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Fragrant Earth references government fiscal policies, the Phillips Curve and the balance between the promise of a wage adjusted to inflation and the power to consume. The twenty three tin cans filled with fragranced soil indicate data points on the graph of the Expectations-Augmented Phillips curve which describes a relationship between inflation and unemployment. The original simple Philips curve plotted the relationship between the rate of inflation and the unemployment rate between the years 1861 – 1957.  The Phillips curve remains the NZ Reserve Bank’s core model of the economy (the Forecasting and Policy System or FPS). The fiscal forecasts are prepared on the basis of underlying economic forecasts. Such forecasts are critical for determining revenue and expense estimates. 
http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/befu2012/018.htm
The Expectation Augmented Philips curve takes into account future inflation expectations. This implies the curve becomes a horizontal line at a certain point, indicated by the mechanism of the piece. 
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The data point fragrances reference D. Merrit’s poem:
Curious diets of the poor, down trodden and the so-called mentally ill.

‘Large pepsi max and big tins of tuna

Listerine and caramello chocolate

Free range eggs, oranges and heroin

Pork bones and basmati rice

Single malt whiskey with ripple cut sour cream potato chips

Hastily microwaved steak and cheese pies with bournvita

Curiously strong peppermints and 2 minute noodles

Over boiled cabbage on extra thick white bread toast

Tetrapak custard, chocolate fish and pineapple lumps

Cans of fruit salad and low alchohol beer

Fried white flour and water mix, topped with strawberry jam

Roasted mutton flap with low calorie spearmint chewing gum

Hydroponic skunk marijuana and budget tinned spaghetti

Lime flavoured dairy food and malt biscuits

Hot water, soy sauce, sugar and marmite

Badly mashed potato mixed with more badly mashed potato

Instant macaroni mix and yesterdays left over muffins

Stewed cooking apples and edible wax birthday candles’.

  •  Fragrant Earth 2012 was adapted for indoor installation

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Fragrant Earth 2009 was an environmental art project at Tawharanui Regional park.  23 holes filed with soil to be placed in the pattern of a Phillips curve in a paddock of Tawharanui. I used the fences of the paddock for the x and y axis of the graph.

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Pastoral land use continues to drive this country’s economy. The smell of animals grazing on pastures, and cut lawns wafting across neighbourhoods, both of which were originally grown from introduced seeds, give out volatiles. Furthermore, the larger-scale social, environmental , cultural and ethical consequences of engineering the landscape into the grid system of fields and front yards in the mid 1800’s, can be experienced in the cipher of the smell that now envelops us.

Fragrances supplied by International Flavours and Fragrances, Formula Foods, Flairoma and Plant and Food Research

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