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From: Vol.04 N.01 – Where to feel now


by Natalie Joelle

To Glean


Found text annotations to Millet’s The Gleaners from James Sanders, Self Portrait in Plants, Coconut Books 2015


lean & green








When entries do not completely fill a page the blank remainder of the page must be ruled out

– George Levitt, Notebook (1975-6), Hagley Museum and Library


“Gleanologics” gathers the rulings out from DuPont chemist George Levitt’s notebook documenting the synthesis of the first commercial sulfonylurea compounds, which would be trademarked and marketed worldwide as Glean Cereal Herbicide.

Levitt later reflected on his discovery, “When I was a boy in Newburgh, New York, I looked forward to mornings when I would awaken to see the ground covered with a new snowfall. I would rush out to be the first person to leave footprints in the yard outside my window. As a synthesis chemist making new compounds, I could continue to be the first to leave footprints in the snow”.

The composite of Levitt’s marks here suggest a figure leaning in field space as precariously as George Seurat’s late 19th-century drawing “The Gleaner”.

“GLEAN® XP is a dry-flowable”, reads a recent user manual for the herbicide, “continuous agitation is required to keep GLEAN® XP in suspension”.

Published: January 2017
Natalie Joelle

is writing a transdisciplinary study of gleaning and its relationship to lean culture at Birkbeck, University of London, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Further information about her work is available on, and she can be reached at

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.