Speculative Arboriculture, 6:26, 2011

Speculative Arboriculture is a video set in a small suburban forest in Long Island. It explores a conception of ecology that encompasses human activity, erasing the artificial borders between humans and habitat. The video is based around a sculptural project that combines found natural materials (dead wood and foliage) with electrical conduit and living plants like moss and lichen. The sculpture takes the form of a networked branch that seems to be either drawing power from or conveying power to the surrounding built environment. I began filming the sculpture as I built it, combining footage shot in the studio with details from the small forest outside my studio space during my time as an artist in residence at the Carriage House in East Islip, Long Island. 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. I’ve also created a sound map for this piece.