Past Film/Video | The Box | Exhibitions

Cadine Navarro

Seed Songs for a New Earth (2023)

Artist Residency

Concentric white circles are superimposed over a microscopic image of big bluestem seeds. A hand holds a paintbrush, which hovers over the center of the circles.

Cadine Navarro’s new video and immersive installation invite us to contemplate our relationship to the land through the sounds of seeds—one of Earth’s critical life-forms.

The culmination of Navarro’s year-long residency with the Wexner Center’s Department of Learning & Public Practice, Seed Songs for a New Earth is an expansion of the artist’s project It Sounds Like Love, which captured the subtle energy that lies within seeds using sensitive microphones. Navarro recorded the sounds created by nine local and native prairie seeds and rendered their sonic vibrations in floating ink on water. She then etched images of these sound patterns onto glass lightboxes embedded within an arrangement of Japanese tatami mats.

In Seed Songs for a New Earth, made with the support of the center’s Film/Video Studio, Navarro offers an artful window into the process of making the ink prints that are the basis for these glass etchings. Accompanied by a soundtrack featuring the recordings of the nine seeds, microscopic views of each seed are shown superimposed over images of their corresponding sound waves. The video closes with a cosmic view of all nine seeds and their galaxy-like sound vibration patterns. Presented alongside the video is an installation of tatami mats with a single etched-glass lightbox in the center that represents the vibrations of the little bluestem seed. (5:04 mins. looped, HD video)

Seed Songs for a New Earth, courtesy of the artist.

More about the artist and project

Cadine Navarro chevron-down chevron-up

Cadine Navarro is a tricultural artist, designer, and teacher. Born and raised in Kobe, Japan, by an American mother and French father, she has found home in seven countries across three continents. Experiencing a diversity of worldviews through people, cultures, traditions, rituals, foods, and landscapes, Navarro’s story is increasingly shaped by the subtle, including nuances of energy, thought, and sound. She seeks connections between humans and other-than-humans. This is a recurring theme and driving force behind initiatives that connect her work to persons and places. She has exhibited her work internationally (primarily Europe and North America) since 2004. Learn more on Navarro’s website.

Project credits and acknowledgements chevron-down chevron-up

Artist/Director: Cadine Navarro
Cinematography: Sophie Ansel and Bill Walker
Sound recordings: Cadine Navarro and Janice Glowski
Film editor: Alexis McCrimmon
Sound mix: Paul Hill 

Content for the video comes from the research for It Sounds Like Love, 2019.

Special thanks:
Dionne Custer Edwards
Jean Pitman
Jennifer Lange
Janice Glowski
Terry Hermsen
Bill Walker
Sophie Ansel
Pablo Gerson
Jez French
Jeff Lehman
Brian Harnetty

Support provided by:
The Film/Video Studio at the Wexner Center for the Arts
Wexner Center Artist Residency Award in Learning & Public Practice
Grange Insurance Audubon Center
The Frank Museum of Art at Otterbein University
MIT Acoustics Lab
The Ohio State University
Otterbein University
Prairie Moon

The artist would like to thank:
All the nine seeds: milkweed, wild bergamot, black-eyed Susan, dogbane, echinacea, switchgrass, little bluestem, big bluestem, and butterfly weed.

All the alive beings who have contributed to the learning and experiences of these seed songs: in, on, and above the land; in the prairie; with the teachings and reflections of the elements; and the different tones from the seasons.

Seed Songs for a New Earth is supported by a Wexner Center Artist Residency Award in Learning & Public Practice and a residency in the center’s Film/Video Studio.

Rohauer Collection Foundation

National Endowment for the Arts

Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Wexner Family
National Endowment for the Arts
Ohio Arts Council
L Brands Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
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Past Film/Video

Cadine Navarro