This research and photography project is an attempt to develop a typology of dwindling “vacant” spaces of Bushwick, Brooklyn. Of course so-called “vacant” land isn’t really vacant. It lacks the all-encompassing artifice associated with consistently maintained, human-centered habitats. It’s also void of certain culturally recognized markers of progress, from cement and steel foundations masking and stabilizing the earth below, to the promise of rising property values for contiguous real estate. But it’s full of many other things. Looking beyond plastic bags, candy wrappers and the occasional abandoned mattress, the companion species that flourish in humanity’s shadow come into focus, filling these “empty” spaces to the brim.
Selected images from this project are currently on view at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History as part of the exhibition “Unsettled Nature“. Read a review of the show: A Smithsonian museum turns to art, not science, to hammer home a warning about Mother Nature
This project lays the groundwork for the Feral Landscape Lobby by tracking and documenting “vacant” land and the vegetal lifeforms who live in and on it. The project is ongoing and includes a growing collection of photos, plant portraits, and a selection of herbarium specimens.
Some sites regenerate across the seasons and in pauses between maintenance or construction, while others disappear beneath concrete.
This project is currently on view at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History as part of the exhibition “Unsettled Nature“.