This page (and additional content in the tabs) details all of the experiences/artwork outcomes of our carers in Yuggara, Jinibara, Kabi Kabi Country (2022-3)

Artwork outcomes, resulting from Keith Armstrong's role as Carbon_Dating native grass carer.

Grassland Community of Care (More Than Human Persons), Keith Armstrong, 2023
This artwork was inspired by the goodwill and interpersonal engagement of Carbon_Dating’s artist/carer team. Keith now asks, what might a 'community of care' look like for the native grasses themselves? He approaches this speculative investigation through abstract, ultra-close observations of these enigmatic flowering plants, both living and preserved – intimating their presence, power, activity and agency.

Audio/video Installation and assemblage
- 4k video still from 10-minute animation, 55 inch 4k monitor, stereo audio.
Monitor dimension 112x64x10cm including wall mount. Timber framing panels size variable

Grassland Community of Care, (4k still), Keith Armstrong, 2023 (Image Keith Armstrong)
Grassland Community of Care, (4k still), Keith Armstrong, 2023 (Image Keith Armstrong)
Grassland Community of Care, (4k still), Keith Armstrong, 2023 (Image Keith Armstrong)

Introduction to our Jinibara/Kabi Kabi/Yuggara Country site and the Interweaver Artwork

The project carer for Samford was Carbon Dating director Keith Armstrong, assisted by SERF site technician Marcus Yates. (See bios in tab above). This was the first of the grass gardens for the project and was established in January 2022 - an extremely wet summer for Qld (Australia) - and hence not conducive to local grass growth. The grass garden was planted on flat ground rather than on the mound used at all other sites - and was located at a sited adjacent to the 'Barracks' - the central research centre and accommodation block on that site. Whilst there was not one of the project's Interweavers (as designed by donna davis) at that site, a data/weather monitoring system (custom built by Keith Armstrong) recorded real time weather data at this grass garden site. This data, streamed to the Internet, then automatically directed the composition of a soundtrack (designed and composed by project artist Luke Lickfold) which was then combined with a time lapse of the Samford grasses' growth throughout each 24hr periods. These new daily videos/audio tracks were automatically streamed each day to the project's Interweavers (see below) located at all the other Qld Australia based carer sites - Miles, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Somerset Gold Coast. A history of these Interweaver videos can accessed from this site's home page.

Keith and Marcus planted Barbed Wire, Silky Blue, Kangaroo Grass, Scented Top and Kangaroo Grass - all endemic grasses suitable for that Country/bioregion. Curly Mitchell was also planted which typically grows in W. Queensland, and Black Spear is distributed throughout much of E. Queensland particularly in areas receiving between 600 mm and 1,000 mm annual rainfall.
Marcus Yates planting SERF grass garden, Jan 2022 (Image: Keith Armstrong)
Initial grass garden planting at SERF, Jan 2022 (Image: Keith Armstrong)
SERF's main paddock, a composition of native+introduced grasses (Image: Keith Armstrong)
SERF is predominantly a grassy woodlands environment (Image: courtesy of SERF)
Kangaroo Grass at the SERF grass garden, with recorded wind speed (anemometer) measurement in the foreground, Feb 2023 (Photo Keith Armstrong)
Weather and climate data gathered in realtime at the Samford site, which it turn directed the Interweaver audio (Image Keith Armstrong)
Internet connected weather station electronics at Samford, recording the data, built by Keith Armstrong, Feb 2023 (Photo Keith Armstrong)
SERF grass garden patch Feb 2023, showing time lapse camera and other weather station data equipment (Photo Keith Armstrong)

Marcus Yates is Samford Ecological Research Facility's lead technician, with extensive experience in plant nursery work, plant science and regenerative forestry work. He has assisted the project enthusiastically with both advice on and growing of native grasses.

Marcus Yates with Carbon Dating Writer, Tania Leimbach (Image Keith Armstrong)

Keith Armstrong is the project director for Carbon Dating. He is an experimental artist profoundly motivated by issues of social and ecological justice. His engaged, participative practices provoke audiences to comprehend, envisage and imagine collective pathways towards sustainable futures. He has specialised for over twenty-three years in collaborative, experimental practices with emphasis upon innovative performance forms, site-specific electronic arts, networked interactive installations, alternative interfaces, art-science collaborations and socially and ecologically engaged practices. See embodied

Keith Armstrong (Image James Muller)