Root Project

 
 
 

Installation. Space 3 Gallery. Sydney, April 2003

Recreating a biotic community from an underground perspective, the installation includes over four hundred root systems hanging overhead in an interior space. Collected from the Mallee bioregion in central New South Wales, Australia, the root systems represent a diverse cross section of the Mallee understory, and include over thirty different species sampled from the forested woodlands and stabilized sand dunes. Two seperate channels of video are projected through the hanging root systems onto two adjacent walls of the space. Comprised of a combination of video footage and vector animation, the projections vacillate between narrative and non-narrative segments.

The work explores how an individual fits into a particular place, and how that place is defined by community. The piece explores these ideas from an ecological perspective in narrated segments on the Mallee community and the North American tree species, the Quaking Aspen. A clonal species, the quaking aspen is considered the most massive living organism on earth. What appears as thousands of individual trees are interconnected below ground by a massive root system, forming one massive plant. At times a single tree can occupy an entire forest thousands of kilometers wide.