Exploring art, ecology, and whatever else catches my eye
Friends & Creators
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I recently finished a new edit of my most recent video project. It’s been in the works for a couple of months and I’m finally publishing it here because I just came up with a title for it, partially inspired by Bruce Sterling’s talk at the 2011 Arts & Environment Conference. Now entitled Speculative Arboriculture, it’s a video set in a small suburban forest in East Islip, New York. It explores a conception of ecology that encompasses human technologies, erasing the artificial borders between humans and habitat. Created during a residency when my studio was located near a nature preserve surrounded by suburban sprawl, it initially took the form of a sculptural project inspired by this bizarre hybrid landscape. Combining found natural materials (dead wood, foliage) with electrical wiring and living plants like moss and lichen, the sculptural installation took the form of a networked branch riddled with wires that seem to be either drawing power from or conveying power too the surrounding built environment. I filmed the sculpture as I built it, combining footage shot in the studio with details from the surprisingly vibrant forest outside my studio. The result is a piece that slowly reveals an ecosystem in which the lines between technological and biological evolution appear increasingly blurred. Oil and water are harvested from or embedded in leaves, branches, wires and moss. The minute details of this hybrid environment are accompanied by a shifting soundscape of traffic, electricity, machinery and forest life.