In our rapidly technologizing world, we are nudged to interact with devices rather than engaging with the mechanics behind them. Plants in particular sustain us directly, though the processes through which they do so have become increasingly detached from the average person’s daily experience. My work explores the often-hidden mechanics of plant physiology, such as the tension that brings water up a ponderosa pine stem against the force of gravity, or the coevolution of the mucuna flower’s sound-reflective shape with its echo-locating bat pollinator. I use a variety of processes in my work, including textiles dyed with plants I collect, Arduino electronics controlling changes in light and sound, a MIDIsprout device which collects data on changes in electromagnetic signals within plants and converts them into sound, partially germinated seeds in raw clay, ponderosa seedlings subjected to various levels of drought, and traditional drawing and painting techniques. I aim to create work that transforms these microscopic or invisible processes into analogues viewers can experience in a tangible and visceral way. Perhaps engaging with these interpretations of plants as entities in dynamic relationships with their surroundings will contribute to our capacity to view the world around us as less silent, and more eloquent.
Samples of Recent Work:
Erode: Visual Score. One of a pair of pieces in collaboration with composer Daniel Townsend. 2017. These works reference the process of cavitation within a stem when the plant experiences drought. A shortage of water—an increasingly common condition under climate change—creates a negative pressure within chains of polar-bonded molecules, and with too much pressure a plant can experience an embolism, or introduction of an air bubble to block the pathway of water—much the way humans experience embolisms. The inexorable vertical movement of the cursor, combined with organic line drawings interrupted by linear visuals and static sounds, reference the patterns that link humans and plants, and the intrusion of irregularities into those patterns.
Deposit, Visual Score.