© Lucien Anderson 2019


Part spectacle, part speculative solution, Last Ditch Attempt is a mobile seed library and starting point for a seed-sharing network. The result of a collaboration between artists Lucien Anderson and David Lisser, it asks us to consider a different model for future-resilience in the face of a concerning climatic outlook.

The catalyst for this project was the recent flooding of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Located off the coast of Norway, “The Vault is the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply,... It
will secure, for centuries, millions of seeds representing every important crop variety available in
the world today. It is the final back up.”

Last year warming surface temperatures caused the permafrost to melt and water cascaded in. Thankfully no seeds were damaged, but the vault was designed to run without human intervention, and now constantly monitored pumps are being installed. This monumental, permanent stronghold clearly won’t hold forever - we need a new strategy. Last Ditch Attempt proposes one such approach, based not on centralised control and silo-mentality, but on open, generous and egalitarian networks.

On a self built cargo trike, the artists will cycle to various venues across the region and set up the library as a forum for learning and sharing. At these events Lucien and David will distribute a number of starter seed capsules, give advice about seed preservation and hopefully encourage the planning of a new seed-sharing network for the North East.

Last Ditch Attempt was originally commissioned by The Newbridge Project, as part of their Deep Adaptation programme.

Lucien Anderson Artist