Seventeen Hundred Seeds
March 15 - June 30, 2012
A temporary site-specific land work and social sculpture, a collaboration between Robert Hamilton and Cynthia Mulcahy,
located in a vacant 1.6-acre city block in the middle of the city of Dallas.
Seventeen Hundred Seeds field at peak, May 2012.
Seventeen Hundred Seeds
installation team: Juan Cano, Chanito, Efren Gutierrez, Robert
Hamilton, Cynthia Mulcahy, Courtney Rainwater, Jose Tinajero and Jose
Villa and visitors to the field.
Seventeen Hundred Seeds full Press Release:
The public art project Seventeen Hundred Seeds, a collaboration between Robert Hamilton and Cynthia Mulcahy,
is a temporary site-specific land work and social sculpture in an empty 1.6 acre city block in the middle of
the city of Dallas.
It all began on a late Friday afternoon in March with the debris-clearing and mowing of a large, empty field
in preparation for a second day of tractor-tilling and prepping of the soil for planting. Finally, in advance
of an obliging Texas rainstorm, over seventeen hundred seeds were individually planted in the newly created field by an eight-member crew in traditional farm crop rows. The seeds, all single-stem sunflowers, will grow
to heights of five to six feet with ample ten-inch flower heads by mid-May.
Located in the busy heart of Oak Cliff off a well-traveled car and pedestrian street, the public art project has
been on view since field preparation began March 15th, offering up a daily tableau of the farmer's life of land
tilling and seed planting, weeding and watering, and finally harvesting and sharing.
The activity in the empty lot, a form of artistic intervention or farming as street theater, has drawn many area
neighbors, passersby, and local business folk curious about what’s going on in their community. “You don’t often
see a tractor tilling soil in the city,” the very first visitor declared. Others have shared their knowledge of
the history of the land, even family photographs, or memories of flower gardens in their native Mexico. With our
farm crew in the field, laughs and stories have been swapped over as many tacos and beer during weeks of crop
cultivation. All are part of the process.
Seventeen Hundred Seeds remains on view to humans, insects and animals
through June and is free and open to the
public. A public picnic
reception in the field, also free, will be held on Saturday, May 19th,
from 6:30pm to
8:30pm, at 715 W. Davis Street, Dallas, Texas, 75208.
Seventeen Hundred Seeds is generously underwritten by Courtney
Rainwater. Land is provided by Rick Garza of
Bishop/Davis LLC. Water provided
by Juan Pablo Segura of Familia Auto Sales. Farming consultation
Mulcahy Farms, graphic design by Lily Smith-Kirkley and
planting blueprint by landscape designer Kelley Murry.
Graphic Design/Landscape Design Crew
Project information flyer located at the site:
1700 Seeds Workshop, Rocinha favela community, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Since the death
of the field in June of 2012, seeds from the project have been distributed
by the thousands to area residents and business owners as
as to friends, artists, curators and interested others
all over the world. The
first 1700 Seeds Workshop, sponsored by the Brazilian
government, was held
in 2013 in the Rocinha favela
community in Rio de Janeiro for area school kids and residents at the Biblioteca da Rocinha, the first government cultural
center and library built in a favela community in Brazil.
Left: View from the Biblioteca da Rocinha balcony. Right: Area school kids planting seeds in re-purposed milk containers and Havaianas boxes at the
first 1700 Seeds Workshop in August 2013.