The infrastructure of the boll weevil
The boll weevil, despite of his tiny size is what we call a giant of infrastructure, an earthly power that has a strong influence on the design of human infrastructures, and therefore deserves to be represented in the Future Assembly. It is a small coleopteran beetle whose egg, when laid in the cotton boll, develops at the same pace as the plant’s bud. Its larva feeds on the bud before leaving its host cotton plant as an adult and looking for another one where it can procreate.
There are two way to deal with this tiny giant. Either you try to destroy him by any means without any guarantee you can win this battle, or you adapt your agricultural infrastructure to keep him under control. In the past, the citizens of the city of Enterprise (Alabama, USA) have chosen the second way, diversifying their crops to limit the territory of the insect. Then, from the 1950ies, various pesticides have been used to eradicate it from the United States, while he was spreading over South America. As architects in his service, we propose to recreate in the cotton fields some quickset hedges where his natural predators—birds and other insects—could live. Though it might seem a little masochistic from our client, he ensured us that he prefers to live side by side with them and to take the risk of suffering some regular loss among his countless offspring, rather than to be perpetually chased by farmers and disappear from the Earth’s surface.
Contribution to the collective work “Future Assembly”
Studio Other Spaces (Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann)
Armelle Le Mouëllic, David Malaud, Sarah Sauton (project directors), Antoine Bertaudière, Carole Chevalier, Michele Franzoi, Clément Masurier, Jihana Nassif, Cassandra Roulleau, Eric Vallauri