Salish fruit tree species of the Gulf & San Juan Islands

edible drupes of chokecherry, Prunus virginian a, above Fulford Harbour, just west of the historic Catholic Church, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 9 – 11 * photograph taken jointly by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Salish fruit tree species of the Gulf & San Juan Islands

Around the Salish Sea, there were more than six native, tree species that have been harvested and often carefully cultivated and stewarded for fruit, technology, and medicine. These orchards and respective cultivation practices span a rich set of Salish communities and languages. By ‘fruit tree’, we describe a relatively small deciduous tree that has been maintained by families and communities. With heights ranging from a meter and a half to three meters, these trees were often kept low in order to stimulate fruit production and allow for ease of picking (and more often through shaking with sticks). For some Salish fruit species, cultures and sites, orchards were maintained through planting of seed, transplanting, pruning, and light burning.

fruit of crabapple trees, Malus fusca, in a grove with a very long history of harvesting and stewardship (and now vulnerable to sea level rise) at the Cowichan village, Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 11 & 12 * photograph taken jointly by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca

Of all of the fruit trees around the Salish Sea, this indigenous crabapple produced the most food and provided crucial amounts of carbohydrates and vitamins. Crabapples were eaten raw and preserved in water or eulachon oil in cedar boxes. And of the five, indigenous North American apples, only Malus fusca, is in the primary gene pool of the cultivated, Eurasian apple. Malus fusca grows near the coast of the North Pacific from central California to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and possibly to Hokkaido. Nancy Turner (2014: 59, 65) went as far as suggesting that this species was spread by early human migrants and consistently collected information from informants confirming that crabapple “[t]rees [were] tended pruned, lopped, and transplanted” (Turner 2014: 189).

blossoms of crabapple trees, Malus fusca, in a grove with a very long history of harvesting and stewardship (and now vulnerable to sea level rise) at the Cowichan village, Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2017 May 11 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Perhaps more than any of the other native fruit tree species around the Salish Sea, crabapple trees were “owned” (Turner 2014: 189) often passing from mother to daughter. And in some North-West Coast indigenous cultures, Pacific crabapple was considered a particularly powerful plant central to a complex conception of transformative twigs (as in the cuttings and vegetative propagation so central to Salish horticulture) leading to magical expansions of life into entire ecosystems for human benefit (Turner 2014: 344). In turn, crabapple orchards or ‘gardens’ were often well maintained and pruned.

edible drupes of chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, above Fulford Harbour, just west of the historic Catholic Church, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 9 – 11 * photograph taken jointly by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana

This species of cherry tree is native to every province and territory in Canada. This particular cherry is relatively rare on the Pacific coast largely confined to the Salish Sea. Along the Pacific coast, from Salt Spring Island southward, this species is associated with better-watered sites in Garry oak woodlands and savannahs with this species, though perhaps a different subspecies, reappearing again near marine shorelines in Mendocino County, California.

blossoms of chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, above Fulford Harbour, just west of the historic Catholic Church, Salt Spring Island 2017 April 20 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

This, the most bountiful of the cherries of north-western North America, has close Eurasian relatives extending to Western Europe. Around the Salish Sea, chokecherry were widely harvested, traded (Turner 2014: 124), and tended (Turner 2014: 189). Chokecherry bark was a crucial ingredient in a number of medicinal decoctions (Turner 2014: 437). Distinct varieties of this species were recognized by some Salish communities. So far, the specimens recorded around the Salish Sea have been consistent with the North-West Coast subspecies, Prunus virginiana ssp. demissa.

blossoms of black hawthorn, Crataegus douglasii var. suksdorfii, Ruckle Provincial Park, Salt Spring Island 2017 April 25 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

 

blossoms of bitter cherry, Prunus emarginata, Beaver Point Road just north of North Ridge Drive 2017 May 5 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Bitter cherry, Prunus emarginata

“The fruit of this ‘bitter cherry’ tree was not widely harvested but its wood was prized for knife handles and its bark was crucial for basket weaving” (Turner 2014: 124).

 

buds of Crataegus douglasii var douglasii about a week before blossoming at the Cowichan village, Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2017 April 25 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Two species of black hawthorn

On the Gulf and San Juan Islands and other areas around the Salish Sea, there are two distinct species of black hawthorn:

blossoms of Crataegus douglasii var. douglasii just above the tide-line at the Cowichan village, Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2017 May 6 * photograph taken jointly by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Crataegus douglasii var. douglasii

and

blossoms of Crataegus douglasii var suksdorfii along Burgoyne Bay Road near the main provincial park parking lot, Salt Spring Island 2017 April 25 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Crataegus douglasii var. suksdorfii

that is often considered a separate species in the United States as, Crataegus suksdorfii.

First Nations around the Salish Sea harvested the fruit and stewarded two species of Black hawthorn (Turner 2014: 272). “The dry sweetish fruits were eaten by the Island Salish groups, usually in the early fall. The Songhees ate them with salmon roe (Boas, 1890).[Turner & Bell]”

buds of Crataegus douglasii var douglasii about a week before blossoming above the beach just north of the Cowichan village, Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2017 May 6 * photograph taken jointly by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Crataegus douglasii var. douglasii  is often more associated with the mainland and interior of British Columbia, which occurs more often as a large shrub with some tree forms on the Gulf Islands. In contrast, the island subspecies or species of Black hawthorn, Crataegus douglasii var. suksdorfii (with a distribution more centred on the coast), is more often in a taller, tree form. The label Crataegus douglasii var. suksdorfii corresponds to a species identified in the United States including for the San Juan Islands as Crataegus suksdorfii differentiated as a distinct species because “It is diploid versus tetraploid for Crataegus douglasii.” As well as subtle but consistent differences in the leaves of these two black hawthorn species, a simple differentiation can be made by examining the centre of a blossom. The flowers of “Variation douglasii” nearly always have 10 stamens with ovaries that are more often hairy whereas the flowers of “Variation suksdorfii” have 20 stamens and the ovaries are usually smooth.

 

California hazelnut, Corylus cornuta var. californica

California hazelnut occur near the West Coast of North America from California to Alaska and are closely related to Eurasian hazelnut species that occur as far west as north-western Spain. Within the populations on the North-West Coast of North America, there were two subspecies. The involucral ‘beaks’ attached to the nuts of Corylus cornuta var. cornuta are twice as long as the actual fruit / nut. In contrast, Corylus cornuta var. california fruit are attached to involucral beaks that are half that length and roughly the diameter of the sometimes  larger fruit (that might be the result of indigenous domestication, stewardship, and ecosystem management).

Hazelnut was transplanted on the BC coast (Turner 2014: 203 – 204) and groves were sometimes managed through burning (Turner 2014: 198). Hazelnut were sometimes transplanted (Turner 2014: 365). There are records of historical orchards in northern areas such as the lower Skeena Valley that well into the twentieth century were defended by First Nations who asserted dietary dependence, ownership and stewardship. Around the Salish Sea, records of significant groves are for sites near indigenous settlements and historical population centres. On the Gulf Islands, a significant record of ‘wild hazelnut’ was around Beaver Point Hall on Salt Spring Island just above the Tsawout / mixed Saanich and Cowichan village on the island’s south-east shore.

 

Along with chokecherry, two other species are common in many interior regions of British Columbia and further east in Canada, and are thought to have been more common around the Salish Sea before 5,000 b.p.

 

 

blossoms of Saskatoon berry, Amelanchier alnifolia, bove the beach just north of the Cowichan village, Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2017 April 25 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station
blossoms of Saskatoon berry, Amelanchier alnifolia, bushes adjacent to some Garry oak woodland above the beach just north of the Cowichan village, Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2017 April 25 * * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Saskatoon berry, Amelanchier alnifolia, was transplanted by some First Nations in the region (Turner 203 – 204) as late as the early 20th Century.

 

Soapberry, Shepherdia canadensis,  is thought to have been more common on the Coast and more important dietarily than it is now (Turner 2014: 140 – 144). Along the coast and in the interior, soapberry patches were “maintained by landscape burning, bushes pruned, berries scattered” and “occasionally transplanted” (Turner 2014: 191)

a cultivated European apple tree, Malus sylvestris, planted at what is today Ruckle Provincial Park in the late 19th or early 20th century; around these old trees are second and third generation, ‘volunteer’ apple and pear trees, that most likely have hybridized with the adjacent Salish crabapple trees, Malus fusca, which is the only North American Malus species that can cross with cultivated Eurasian apple crops 2017 May 5 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

circumpolar Eurasian hybrids

All of the Salish fruit tree species, aside from Saskatoon berry and soapberry, are part of circumpolar gene pools with millennia of relationships with human beings and domestication processes — on both sides of Beringia. But there are some distinct differences between each side of the North Pacific. Nearly all of the petals of the Eurasian domesticates are one and a half to twice the size of the North American species. Another general difference between ‘wild’, traditionally stewarded, and indigenous, North American and domesticated and Eurasian, primarily north-western Europe, sides of those gene pools is this simple dichotomy:

aside from the Island species of black hawthorn, Crataegus douglasii var. suksdorfii / Crataegus suksdorfii, which blossoms simultaneously with slow leafing, the North American native fruit trees nearly always leaf-out a week or two BEFORE blossoming

while

the Eurasian domesticates nearly always produce blossoms before they leaf out.

And on the Gulf Islands there are circumpolar hybrids where blossoming and leafing are more simultaneous such as a probable,

hybrid of native bitter cherry, Prunus emarginata, and introduced, north-western European blackthorn or sloe, Prunus spinosa, that began to reproduce without cultivation starting in the twentieth century on Salt Spring Island, where blossoms and fruit begin with a double cluster several inches from the end of each branch like bitter cherry, with petals large like a European domesticate, and blossoming and leafing relatively simultaneous.

***

The Turner 2014 references above refers to the most definitive survey, so far, of indigenous tree crops in British Columbia:

Nancy J. Turner. 2014. Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America. Volume Two – The Place and Meaning of Plants in Indigenous Cultures and Worldviews. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Volume One is also crucial for understanding the human relationships with these species of fruit trees.

a blooming grove of crabapple trees, Malus fusca, with a very long history of harvesting and stewardship (and now vulnerable to sea level rise) at the Cowichan village, Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2017 May 11 * photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Nearly lost: Re-introducing images of Vancouver’s native, Salish fruit trees

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lhexwlhéxw | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana” installed in Vancouver at Station & Terminal, late October and early November 2016, photograph by Alex Grünenfelder

 

Nearly lost: Re-introducing images of Vancouver’s native fruit trees

host
City of Vancouver Public Art Program

 

initial posters in the ongoing ‘Nearly Lost’ project

4 different posters installed in 20 bus shelters with the poster dimension 47.25 inches x 68.25 inches.

 

installation & locations
October 10 to November 7, 2016 (with locations attached)

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authorship
castle grünenfelder ingram (Julian Castle, Alex Grünenfelder, and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram with this project involving conceptualization by all three artists, research, photographing, and initial design conceptualization by Grünenfelder and Brochu-Ingram, text by Brochu-Ingram, and final designs and electronic conveyance by Grünenfelder)

castle grünenfelder ingram is a collective of three working on the cusp of public art, urban design, sustainability transitions, and intercultural conversations especially around First Nations legacies in public space and local territories. Only working together for two years, our individual work in Vancouver goes back decades along with other projects and installations in Kamloops, New York, London UK, Seoul, Geneva, and Prince George. As one of our projects, we coordinate KEXMIN field station, on Salt Spring Island, as a centre for research and learning spanning traditional indigenous knowledge and contemporary science for environmental planning, ecological design, public art and other forms of contemporary cultural production with a focus on the Salish Sea and its Gulf and San Juan Islands between the mainland of the North American West Coast and Vancouver Island.

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castle grünenfelder ingram, 2016 Nearly lost poster #3 kwu7upay Pacific crabapple Malus fusca, installed in Vancouver at Commercial & Adanac, late October and early November 2016, photograph by Laiwan

 

text from project proposal

Nearly lost: Re-introducing images of Vancouver’s native fruit trees We propose large 2D imagery especially at bus stops, with video loop installations also possible for the video screens, of fruit and blossoms of several of the native fruit trees that have existed and continue to survive in the City of Vancouver — and that are of continued interest for First Native use, stewardship, and cultivation. Low resolution photographs would be enlarged, slightly saturated, and ‘montaged’ with educational text in English, Halkomelem (Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim (Squamish) along with other widely spoken languages, and botanical Latin. For the 2015-2016, we would be able focus on making a number of montage posters celebrating two of the most common native fruit trees and more extensive Salish orchards, Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca, and chokecherry, Prunus virginiana ssp. demissa. Both of this crabapple species and this subspecies of chokecherry are limited to coastal ecosystems in BC, Alaska, and Washington State.

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text on posters
four different posters with large type with,

1. lhexwlhéxw | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

2. t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

3. ḵwu7úpay (with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

4. qwa’upulhp | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

Along with the following headings is the following text for respective poster:

1. lhexwlhéxw | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

One of the Salish names for chokecherry is lhexwlhéxw in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Downriver dialect of Halkomelem language.

2. t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

One of the Salish names for chokecherry is t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim language.

3. ḵwu7úpay (with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca One of the Salish names for Pacific crabapple is ḵwu7úpay (with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim language.

4. qwa’upulhp | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca One of the Salish names for Pacific crabapple is qwa’upulhp in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Downriver dialect of Halkomelem language.

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For the two posters on chokecherry, there is the following text: Chokecherry has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver.

For the two posters on Pacific crabapple, there is the following text: Pacific crabapple has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver. For the two posters on chokecherry, there is the following text: Chokecherry has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver. For the two posters on Pacific crabapple, there is the following text: Pacific crabapple has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver.

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All four posters have the following text: This species is being studied at KEXMIN field station, a centre for conversations spanning traditional indigenous knowledge, modern science, and contemporary art — a project of castle grünenfelder ingram (Julian Castle, Alex Grünenfelder and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram). The following text was provided by the City of Vancouver: Commissioned as part of the series Coastal City for the 25th Anniversary of the City of Vancouver Public Art Program Vancouver.ca/platform2016

media
Inkjet printer on paper photographing
The photographs in the attached images of the posters were photographed jointly by Alex Grünenfelder and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram. All of the photographs of the posters installed in the bus shelters were taken by by Alex Grünenfelder.

fabricators / suppliers
OUTFRONT MEDIA Decaux in cooperation with
the printer, LinxPrint, as service-providers to the City of Vancouver

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castle grünenfelder ingram, 2016 Nearly lost poster #3 kwu7upay Pacific crabapple Malus fusca, installed in Vancouver at Nanaimo & East 3rd, late October and early November 2016, photograph by Laiwan

 

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castle grünenfelder ingram, 2016 Nearly lost poster #4 qwa’upulhp | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca, installed in Vancouver at King Edward & Ontario, late October and early November 2016,  photograph by Sally Ogis

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Mnidoo Mnising | chokecherry | crossroad: a multi-site installation with chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, proposed for a bicycle trail on Manitoulin Island, Ontario

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proposal by castle grünenfelder ingram
Mnidoo Mnising | chokecherry | crossroad: a multi-site installation with chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, proposed for a bicycle trail on Manitoulin Island, Ontario

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project concept

Chokecherry [asasawemin [fruit] and asasaweminagaawanzh [bush] in Ojibway, Prunus virginiana in Latin] has been crucial to all of the peoples who have enjoyed Mnidoo Mnising since the receding of the glaciers and the emergence of the island. Chokecherry fruit has been important to local communities as is the medicinal bark. This proposal for public art envisions several installations across the sites available involving:

1. already-established or planted groves of chokecherry at a relatively small scale such as around 5 meters by 5 meters (17 feet x 17 feet);

2. the trees surrounded by abstractions of different chokecherry forms made into permanent sculpture;

3. sculptural elements fabricated from local recycled and repurposed material (mainly wood and metal, no plastic, some paint) in collaboration with local elders and craftspeople;

4. so that each sculpture protects respective groves;

5. along with two plaques of roughly 1 m x 1 x, one more general information about the project, and the other plaque providing information to specific to each installation;

6. text in five languages: Anishnaabeg (Ojibwe), Odawa, Potawatomi, English, and French;

7. an archive and website of consultations with elders and fabricators (who would be presented as collaborating artists) and;

8. performances and other events adjacent to some of the installation sites, related to chokecherry, that would be documented in the archive and on the website —

with two possible manifestations of this project:

a. a larger, $50,000 work with 3 or 4 sites plus chokecherry trees planted or already established, 4 sculptural and text installations with each sculpture up to 2 to 3 metres in height or

b. a smaller $30,000 with 2 sites plus chokecherry trees planted or already established, 2 sculptural and text installations with sculptural elements smaller such as 1 to 2 metres in height and with the possibility of a second castle grünenfelder ingram work for some of these sites generating a soundscape.

This concept proposal envisions elders and fabricators who would be acknowledged as collaborating artists with a transparent and fair, financial formula for fees to these individuals, as part of the final project budget.

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inspirations

Out on the West Coast, our artist collective and field station researchers have been revisiting (and protecting and planting) chokecherry for several years as part of cultural revival of knowledge of traditional fruit and medicinals, on one hand, and for providing a point for intercultural dialogue on the other hand. In October and November of 2016, we have posters in bus-shelters, funded by the City of Vancouver, acknowledging that indigenous families continue to steward, harvest, and own chokecherry and Pacific crabapple.

This particular proposal is to explore divergent experiences of chokecherry that today are relevant to both indigenous and settle people:

the numerous traditional indigenous experiences of chokecherry that extend from harvesting of fruit and bark to protection and stewardship, including a worldview that acknowledges these trees and bushes as crucial relations within a culture of gratitude and respect

and

the modern scientific and environmentalist view of chokecherry as one of the first fruit trees in Canada that re-established after the Ice Age with today’s role being increasingly crucial for pollinators and birds. And from the standpoint of the Canada Council acknowledgements of the 150th Anniversary of Confederation, this one species of chokecherry is the only tree and shrub that occurs in any province and territory of Canada.

And in the spirit of an alternative acknowledgement of Confederation, for First Nations, we celebrate Mnidoo Mnising as the centre, the crossroad, for chokecherry, and knowledge of this important fruit and tree, on this continent.

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some chokecherry forms

The forms of the chokecherry tree, that could be explored, abstracted, and re-iterated around the groves, primarily in metal and wood, would involve recombining some of the following outlines:

1. fruit;

2. blossoms;

3. leaves;

4. trunks;

5. fruit – twigs – branches;

6. bark; and

7. seedlings.

While the actual chokecherry trees are around or near the installations, the sculptures themselves would recombine some of the key lines in the forms and biology of these trees with homages to the three aesthetic movements that have influenced us most:

a. minimalist Coast Salish wood carving that is more austere and abstract that carving further north and west on the Pacific coast;

b. relatively minimalist wood, often log, constructions once common in Métis communities particularly in far north-western Canada rather then in more populous, agricultural areas of the Prairies; and

c. early Swiss Modernism emphasizing clean, rectangular forms.

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collaborative processes with local elders and fabricators

One of us grew up on the edge of an Indian Reserve as part of a Salish-speaking First Nation that has had remarkable success at closing down a residential school (in 1960 with one of us in this collective present), revitalizing their language, and nurturing public art that transmits contentious territorial and cultural experiences (for some non-indigenous people). He has spent decades working with over a score of First Nations in numerous communities. And we are well aware of the garbage disposal issues in many remote communities. So while we have worked with numerous other First Nations artists and craftspeople, we do not have any illusions that working with elders and fabricators on Manitoulin Island would not always be easy. But chokecherry trees can bring us together in new dialogues in cooperation with 4elements Living Arts. So the selection and fabrication of found objects could well involve a wide range of people from the artists to elders who are fabricators to young people supervised by elders and even to school children.

As for pay for advising elders and local fabricators, honorariums were be proposed for a small number of days with elders as advised by 4elements Living Arts. As for pay for community members, all of the artists and local participants, including fabricators, would be asked to work for the same minimum wage in order for there to be a travel and materials budget to complete these installations. Again, one us has spend much of his life working with reserve communities and with negotiating fair exchanges – that would warrant supervision by 4elements Living Arts.

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choice of local materials

This is perhaps the biggest unknown of this particular proposal. Are there reusable materials on the island that are durable, beautiful, ‘clean’ as in not toxic, and of interest to local fabricators – especially those with indigenous knowledge? Probably there are. But the research phase, our field work after being offered a commission, might become too time-consuming. So by May of 2017 and if there were insufficient, discarded wood, metal, stone, and other local material for these installations, the ‘fall back’ would be working with local metal and wood workers with much of the labour completed by Brochu-Ingram and Grünenfelder. But in such an area with a rich history of cultural production, we hope to spark some interest from elders and school classes to become involved and make this project, in part, community-based.

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collective statement

castle grünenfelder ingram is a collective of three working on the cusp of public art, urban design, sustainability transitions, and intercultural conversations especially around First Nations legacies in public space and local territories. Only working together for two years, our individual work in Vancouver goes back decades along with other projects and installations in Kamloops, New York, London UK, Seoul, Geneva, and Prince George.

As one of our projects, we coordinate KEXMIN field station, on Salt Spring Island, as a centre for research and learning spanning traditional indigenous knowledge and contemporary science for environmental planning, ecological design, public art and other forms of contemporary cultural production with a focus on the Salish Sea and its Gulf and San Juan Islands between the mainland of the North American West Coast and Vancouver Island.

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project bibliography: 5. the arts of contesting & re-creating public space

À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting

2014 Utopiana mosaic 6 castle&ingram

bibliography heading

compiled project bibliography:  2017 June 22 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

  1. the arts of contesting & re-creating urban space

Beuys, Joseph. 1982a. 7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung / 7000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration. Kassel, Hesse: documenta 7.

Beuys, Joseph. 1982b. Richard Demarco, “Conversations with Artists.” Studio International 195 (996) (September 1982): 46.

Bishop, Claire. 2004. Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics. October 110 (2004): 51 – 80. http://www.teamgal.com/production/1701/SS04October.pdf

Bourriaud, Nicolas. 1998. Relational Aesthetics. Dijon, France: Les presses du réel.

de Certeau, Michel. 1984. The Practice of Everyday Life. (Steven Rendall trans.) Berkeley: University of California Press.

Deutsche, Rosalyn. 1996. Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics. London: MIT Press.

Ingram, Gordon Brent 1997. Marginality and the landscapes of erotic alien( n)ations. in Queers in Space: Communities | Public Places | Sites of Resistance. Ingram, G. B., A.-M. Bouthillette and Y. Retter (eds.). Seattle: Bay Press. 27 – 52.

Ingram, Gordon Brent. 2013. The New Cubism: Alex Grünenfelder on Cube Living in Vancouver. designs for The Terminal City. http://gordonbrentingram.ca/theterminalcity/?p=894.

Kwon, Miwon. 2004. One Place after Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity. Cambridge UK: The MIT Press.

Lefebvre, Henri. (1973) 2014. Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment. (L. Stanek editor & R. Bononno translator). Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Lefebvre, Henri. (1974) 1991. The Production of Space. (Donald Nicholson-Smith translation). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Lippard, Lucy. 1997. Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Lydon, Mike, Anthony Garcia, and Andres Duany. 2015. Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change. Washington DC: Island Press.

Miessen, Markus. 2010. The Nightmare of Participation: Crossbench Practice as a Mode of Criticality. Berlin: Sternberg Press and Archive Books.

Mouffe, Chantal. 2007. Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces. ART & RESEARCH: A JOURNAL OF IDEAS, CONTEXTS AND METHODS 1 (2).

Rendell, Jane. 2006. Art and Architecture: A Place Between. London: I.B. Tauris. http://www.janerendell.co.uk/books/art-architecture-a-place-between

Rosler, Martha. 2010-11. Culture Class: Art, Creativity, Urbanism. e-flux 21 / 23 / 25.  http://www.e-flux.com/journal/culture-class-art-creativity-urbanism-part-i/    http://www.e-flux.com/journal/culture-class-art-creativity-urbanism-part-ii/   http://www.e-flux.com/journal/culture-class-art-creativity-urbanism-part-iii/

Rosler, Martha. 2012. The Artistic Mode of Revolution: From Gentrification to Occupation. e-flux Journal 33 (March 2012).

Slater, Josephine Berry and Anthony Iles. 2010. No Room to Move: Radical Art And The Regenerate City. London: Mute Publishing.

Squires, Catherine R. 2002. Rethinking the black public sphere: An alternative vocabulary for multiple public spheres. Communication Theory, 12(4) 446-468.

Tavares, Paulo. 2015 Rights of Nature. Social Text: Periscope (2015 March 8 Radical Materialism issue).  http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/rights-of-nature/

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination. 2009. 13 Attitudes. 9th Experiment: C.R.A.S.H: A post capitalist A to Z. London June 2009. www.labofii.net/docs/13attitudes.pdf

W.A.G.E. 2015. Day 16—W.A.G.E., “Online Digital Artwork and the Status of the ‘Based-In’ Artist’. e-flux 56th Venice Biennale (The Art of Work, May 27, 2015).

 

bibliography: 7. decolonising landart & site-based aesthetic interventions

2014 fragment of Utopiana - Geneve - Rhone study

bibliography heading

compiled project bibliographies: 2017 June 22 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

  1. decolonising landart & site-based aesthetic interventions

Beardsley, John. 2006. Earthworks And Beyond: Contemporary Art In the Landscape. Fourth Edition. New York: Abbeville Press.

Benner, Ron. 2008. Gardens of a Colonial Present / Jardins d’un Present Colonial. London, Ontario: London Museum.

Beuys, Joseph. 1982a. 7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung / 7000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration. Kassel, Hesse: documenta 7.

Beuys, Joseph. 1982b. Richard Demarco, “Conversations with Artists.” Studio International 195 (996) (September 1982): 46.

Bishop, Claire. 2004. Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics. October 110 (2004): 51 – 80. http://www.teamgal.com/production/1701/SS04October.pdf

Bishop, Claire. 2006. The Social Turn: Collaboration and its discontents. Artforum (February 2006): 178 – 183.

Bishop, Claire. 2012. Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. New York: Verso.

Bourriaud, Nicolas. 1998. Relational Aesthetics. Dijon, France: Les presses du réel.

Boetzkes, Amanda. 2010. The Ethics of Earth Art. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press

Brown, Andrew. 2014. Art and Ecology. London: Thames and Hudson.

Demos, T. J. 2015. Decolonizing Nature: Making the World Matter. Social Text: Periscope (2015 March 8 Radical Materialism issue). http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/decolonizing-nature-making-the-world-matter/

Kaiser, Philipp and Miwon Kwon (curators). 2013. Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974. Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in collaboration with Haus der Kunst, Munich. http://moca.org/landart/

Garneau, David. 2015. Indigenous Criticism: On Not Walking With Our Sisters. Border Crossings 34(2) (#134): 78 – 82. http://bordercrossingsmag.com/article/indigenous-criticism

Grande, John K. and Edward Lucie-Smith. 2004. Art Nature Dialogues: Interviews with Environmental Artists. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.

Hawkins, Harriet and Elizabeth Straughan (editors). 2015. Geographical Aesthetics: Imagining Space, Staging Encounters. Farnham Surrey UK: Ashgate.

Ingram, Gordon Brent. 2013. Repopulating contentious territory: Recent strategies for indigenous North-west Coast site-based & public art. FUSE (Toronto) 36(4): 7 – 8.  http://fusemagazine.org/2013/11/36-4ingram &  http://gordonbrentingram.ca/scholarship/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/paper-ingram-2013-repopulating-contentious-territory-decolonial-aesthetics.pdf

Johnson, Ken. 2015. Review: Pierre Huyghe Mixes Stones and Water for Roof Garden at the Met. New York Times (May 12, 2015).

Lailach, Michael. 2007. Land Art. New York: Taschen.

Lauder, Adam. 2015. Glue Pour, 1970: Robert Smithson’s Vancouver sojourn. Canadian Art (Summer 2015): 90 – 94.

Linklater, Duane. 2012. Untitled (A Blueberry Garden for Bard College). 12 blueberry bushes, garden implements, soil, mulch, wood, rope. Variable dimensions. http://www.duanelinklater.com/

Lippard, Lucy. 2014. Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics and Art in the Changing West. New York: New Press.

Lockward, Alanna, Rolando Vázquez, Teresa María Díaz Nerio, Marina Grzinic, Michelle Eistrup, Tanja Ostojic, Dalida María Benfield, Raúl Moarquech Ferrera Balanquet, Pedro Lasch, Nelson Maldonado Torres, Ovidiu Tichindeleanu, Miguel Rojas Sotelo, and Walter Mignolo. 2011. Decolonial Aesthetics (I) Sunday, May 22nd, 2011. TDI + Transnational Institute. https://transnationaldecolonialinstitute.wordpress.com/decolonial-aesthetics/

Mann, Charles C. 2005. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. New York: Knopf.

Mbembe, Achille. 2001 On the Postcolony. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Menard, Andrew. 2014. Robert Smithson’s Toxic Tour of Passaic, New Jersey. Journal of American Studies 48(04):1019-1040.

Mignolo, Walter D. 2012. Local Histories / Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Mignolo, Walter and Rolando Vázquez. 2013. Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings. Social Text: Periscope (July 15th, 2013). http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/decolonial-aesthesis-colonial-woundsdecolonial-healings/#sthash.rNSW6zUP.pdf

Natural World Museum. 2007. Art in Action: Nature, Creativity, and Our Collective Future. San Rafael, California: Earth Aware Editions

Nisbet, James. 2014. Ecologies, Environments, and Energy Systems in Art of the 1960s and 1970s. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Scott, Emily Eliza & Kirsten Swenson (editors). 2015. Critical Landscapes: Art, Space, Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Smithson, Robert. 1966 (1996). Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape. in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Jack Flam (ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. 157–171.

Thompson, Nato. 2009. Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism. Brooklyn, New York: Melville House.

Thompson, Nato (editor). 2012. Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Thompson, Nato. 2015. Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the 21st Century. Brooklyn, New York: Melville House.

Wallace, Ian. 2014. Critic Lucy Lippard on Trading Conceptual Art for Environmental Activism. Artspace (May 1, 2014). http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lucy_lippard_interview

Wallis, Brian. 2010. Land and Environmental Art. London: Phaidon Press.

Weintraub, Linda. 2012. To Life!: Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Tavares, Paulo. 2015 Rights of Nature. Social Text: Periscope (2015 March 8 Radical Materialism issue). http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/rights-of-nature/

Tuck, Eave and K. Wayen Yang. 2012. Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1(1): 1 – 40.

Zukin, Sharon. 2010. The Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places. New York: Oxford University Press.

bibliography: 8. site planning as contemporary aesthetic practice

 

2016 August 12 chokecherry by grunenfelder & ingram IMG_0008

chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 12 photograph by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

bibliography heading

 

compiled project bibliographies: 2017 June 22 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

 

 

 

  1. site planning

Benedict, Mark A. and Edward T. McMahon 2006. Green Infrastructure: Linking Landscapes and Communities. Washington DC: Island Press.

Debord, Guy. 1994 [1967]. The Society of the Spectacle. (translation by Donald Nicholson-Smith). New York: Zone Books. http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/tsots00.html

Gehl, Jan. 1987. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space. Jo Koch (translator). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Gehl, Jan and Svarre, B. 2013. How to Study Public Life. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Hirsch, Alison . 2014. City Choreographer: Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Lynch, Kevin and Gary Hack. 1984. Site Planning. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

McHarg, Ian L. 1966. Ecological Determinism. in Future Environments of North America. F. Fraser Darling and John P. Milton (eds). Garden City, New York: The Natural History Press. 526 – 538.

McHarg, Ian L. 1969 (1971). Design With Nature. Garden City, New York: Doubleday / The Natural History Press.

Reed, Chris and Nina-Marie Lister (eds.) 2014. Projective Ecologies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: ACTAR, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Spirn, Anne W. 1985. The Granite Garden: Urban Nature And Human Design. New York: Basic Books.

Thompson, George F. and Frederick R. Steiner (editors). 1997. Ecological Design and Planning. New York: Wiley.

Vogt, Adolf Max. 1998. Le Corbusier, the Noble Savage: Toward an Archaeology of Modernism. (Translated by Radka Donnell). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Whyte, William H. 1980. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. New York: Project for Public Spaces.

bibliography: 9. video, audio & new archives as ‘designs’ for public space

Utopiana mosaic 1 castle&ingram 2014

bibliography heading

complete project bibliographies: 2017 June 22 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

  1. video, audio & new archives as ‘designs’ for public space

Adams, James. 2014. Must-see mischief: The fundamental strangeness of Frenkeland at MoCCA. Globe and Mail (November 28, 2014). http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/art-and-architecture/must-see-mischief-the-fundamental-strangeness-of-frenkeland-at-mocca/article21826940/

Balkin, Amy. 2015. A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting. Social Text: Periscope (2015 March 8 Radical Materialism issue). http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/a-peoples-archive-of-sinking-and-melting-state-as-of-bonn-climate-change-conference-october-2014/

Enwezor, Okwui. 2008. Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art. Göttingen, Germany: Steidl.

Frenkel, Vera. 2005 *String Games: Improvisations for Inter-City Video, in This Must Be the Place, Inaugural Exhibition. Toronto: Inter/Access New Media Centre.

Gagnon, Jean (ed.). 1994. …from the Transit Bar (Vera Frenkel). Toronto, Ontario: The Power Plant, the National Gallery of Canada.

Guattari, Pierre-Félix. 1995. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm. Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis (Translators). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. http://autonomousuniversity.org/sites/default/files/Guattari_Production-of-Subjectivity.pdf

Hampson, Sarah. 2005 (2009). Sick of bureaucrats (interview with Vera Frenkel). Globe and Mail (Saturday, Jan. 01, 2005 12:00AM EST Last updated Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2009 2:12PM EDT). http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/sick-of-bureaucrats/article973858/

Milroy, Sarah. 2005. Art that’s inside the box (set). [Vera Frenkel]. Globe and Mail (Toronto): August 16, 2005. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/art-thats-inside-the-box-set/article984793

Murphy, Mekado. 2015. Sean Baker Talks ‘Tangerine,’ and Making a Movie With an iPhone. New York Times (July 5, 2015). http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/movies/sean-baker-talks-tangerine-and-making-a-movie-with-an-iphone.html

Schade, Sigrid (editor). 2013. Vera Frenkel (with essays by Dot Tuer, Anne Benichou, Griselda Pollock, Ryszard W. Kluszcynski, John Bentley Mays, Elizabeth Legge, Sylvie Lacerte, and Frank Wagner). Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz.

Tomic, Milena. 2015. Vera Frenkel: Toronto at Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Art in America (March 24, 2015). http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/reviews/vera-frenkel/

Wynne, John. 2015 Anspayaxw. Open Sound installation. Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, British Columbia.

 

 

 

 

 

The Tree Question: Field research & cultivation practices in community-based public art in an age of ecological crises

2016 April 25 presentation Geneva University of Art & Design

Trans – Mediation, Education, * Haute École d’art et de design Genève HEAD

bosque-section-presqueperdu-Gordon-Brent-Brochu-Ingram-small

abstract: 2016 April 25 Brochu-Ingram TransHEAD ‘tree’ presentation

bilingual notes: (trad) 2016 April 25 Brochu-Ingram TransHEAD ‘tree’ presentation

powerpoint: 2016 April 25 Brochu-Ingram TransHEAD ‘The Tree Question’ PowerPoint

title of The Tree Question

abstract

Since the pioneering 1982 intervention by Joseph Beuys, the 7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung) / 7000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration, tree planting, and cultivation more generally, have increasingly become contemporary art practice. Employment of such cultivation interventions, as contemporary art and not as landscape architecture, have nearly always used as a way to challenge particular notions and demarcations of the ‘public’, on one hand, and experiences of communities, landscapes and ecosystems, on the other hand. Such a set of oppositional tactics often contrasts itself with professionalized landscape architecture more often employed to re-enforce the status quo of public space. And since documenta 7, a raft of experimental artists have rifted on notions of agriculture (and silviculture, horticulture, and permaculture) as visual culture most notably Alan Sonfist (et al 2014, Landi 2011), Ron Benner (2008), the Fallen Fruit collective (Goodyear 2012), and Sam Van Aken (Brooks 2014). But precisely how ‘contemporary’ are such tree planting ‘works’ and how are associated practices and conceptualizations changing as ecological crises intensify, as cultural signifiers shift, as access to scientific information increases, and as data sources and ecological and social paradigms diversify? And how do these Western and often Eurocentric aesthetic movements, involving trees and urban space, construct relationships with recoveries and practices of indigenous communities often at odds with modernity?

 

One point of inquiry is provided by Claire Bishop’s 2012 note that, “Beuys drew a conceptual line between his output as a sculptor and his discursive / pedagogic work” (page 245), the latter including his tree planting. But if cultivation is more of a conceptual disruptor and teaching opportunity than part of artistic production to produce an art work, why does the aesthetic importance of trees for interventions in public space continue to increase? A more problematic and indefinite set of questions derive from the divergent and shifting uses of tree planting in contemporary culture. For example, there is no sign that the 1982 intervention in Kassel was intended to contribute to carbon sequestration or to conserve local habitat and species, or to build community through sharing fruit as in the recent tree planting work in Los Angeles of Fallen Fruit. Today, it would be difficult to plant a tree, as a contemporary art work, without professed relationships to countering climate change, gentrification, and homelessness and contributing to carbon sequestration, food security, and social equity. So like painting, drawing, and sculpture, the basic ‘materials’ of tree planting, however organic, are infinitely pliable — as long as respective organisms and ecosystems can survive and be part of public space. There is an implicit aesthetic of survival.

 

What are the diverse roles of science in these forms of artistic research? In particular, how does tree-planting-as-contemporary-art challenge, expand, and re-enforce broader art movements such as,

  1. various forms of community participation as art (embodied in the work of Suzanne Lacey and Martha Rosler),
  2. scientific experimentation as in ‘wetware’ and biological modification,
  3. traditional knowledge and other indigenous experiences,
  4. relational aesthetics as new forms of education and community aesthetic engagement, and
  5. micro-urban tactics that transform multiple publics?

Or do the heightened skills and artifice required to sufficiently manipulate a site in deteriorating environments, to insure that trees will thrive, represent another kind of cultivation of culture that signals a new and more tenuous phase of the “Anthropocene” (Wark 2015)? In other words, are the creative perspectives and practices of contemporary artists, particularly collaboratives and collectives, increasingly necessary to keep communities, ecosystems, and public spaces ‘alive’, diverse, and evolving?

 

Brochu-Ingram presents some early results from some of his ongoing investigations, designs, and interventions in the Vancouver and Geneva regions.

 

references

Benner, Ron. 2008. Gardens of a Colonial Present / Jardins d’un Present Colonial. London, Ontario: London Museum.

Beuys, Joseph. 1982. 7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung) / 7000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration. Kassel, Hesse: documenta 7.

Bishop, Claire. 2012. Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. New York: Verso.

Brooks, Katherine. 2014. This One Tree Grows 40 Different Types Of Fruit, Is Probably From The Future. The Huffington Post (July 24, 2014)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/24/tree-of-40-fruit_n_5614935.html

Goodyear, Dana. 2012. Eat A Free Peach: Mapping “Public Fruit.” The New Yorker (March 12, 2012). http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/eat-a-free-peach-mapping-public-fruit

Landi, Ann. 2011. Separating the Trees from the Forest: Alan Sonfist has built a career as an urban land artist. ARTnews (Summer 2011) (POSTED 08/15/11 5:58 PM). http://www.artnews.com/2011/08/15/separating-the-trees-from-the-forest/

Sonfist, Alan, Wolfgang Becker, and Robert Rosenblum. 2004. Nature, The End of Art: Environmental Landscapes. New York: Distributed Art Publishers.

Wark, Mckenzie. 2015. Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene. London: Verso.