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Latent Life

Is death actually the antagonist of life? In her talk about seeds that are stored in a permafrost environment at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, historian of science Sophia Roosth suggests that suspending living matter challenges our notions of life. When latent life is resurrected, its past, present, and future living potential coincides so that rather than finite death, seeds or viruses face immortality.

This presentation was given during the Seeds section of the 1948 Unbound: Unleashing the Technical Present at HKW, Berlin, November 30-December 2, 2017. The talk was drawn from an essay published in the Los Angeles Review of Books on December 21, 2016. Video: Dusan Solomun