A seed a deer a seed (2023)
Marianne Hoffmeister Castro

A seed a deer a seed is a short film that examines the conservation efforts at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX. Developed as part of a residency program at the Botanical Garden, the film threads together stories and modalities of care and management of local ecosystems while bringing forth the alliances and challenges between plant, animal and human communities. The project connects different imagery and visual registers such as the careful tactility of the vegetation surveys at the Center, nocturnal footage of animals in the area, archival material from the Herbarium, and fragments of conversations with the Wildflower’s volunteers, experts and the conservation botanist and seed bank curator Minnette Marr. It also connects different institutions that represent different modes of care, preservation and management of plant communities through different timescales, such as the Billie L. Turner Plant Resources Center and the Paleobotanical Collection at The University of Texas in Austin.

What are the ecological alliances that need to be sustained in time? How long can the land management efforts continue to preserve balance on the local ecosystems? Who decides who needs to keep on living or who needs to be eradicated? By formulating these questions throughout the film, A seed a deer a seed becomes a meeting place to reflect on the human impact on managed landscapes but also on the entanglements with vegetal lives and nonhuman animals as agents in these conservation efforts.