I'm developing a series of visual poems and narratives for my multispecies PhD thesis about 'unloved' microcommunities, challenging the idea of humans at the center of the universe.
I am interested in traces. I want to get to know the lives of mosses, insects, mushrooms, rocks, and how they are entangled with human lives //
Witness the traces of Earth’s earliest land creatures who participate in ancient conversations – insects find shelter in moss and help mosses to spread, fungi provide food for many, break down surfaces, and help moss to establish, moss and lichens play a role in turning rocks into sand; streams of rainwater run down cracks and crevices. Small plants turn sun into sugar and give off oxygen. These lives and processes paved the way for bigger life forms to emerge, including us. Now our buildings and places are a home for microcommunities, too.
This project begins from a curiosity. I am interested in how we might imagine better relationships with the environment from the macro to the micro. But how can I imagine better relationships when I hardly grasp what is going on all around me? I respond to Anna Tsing’s call for ‘passionate immersion in the lives of nonhumans’ or a ‘field philosophy’ described by Thom van Dooren where, through art, we can find ways to spend time in and learn about these ‘other worlds’.
Trace, a word that evokes a humility. In these works, I am interested in gestures of care towards the environment that can only ever be humble. I dwell with them, notice their marks, and write up their lively stories.
Can it only be a short-lived trace eventually eroded by Earth’s cyclical processes?