As Stem is to Leaf

2017

Single channel HD video; 16:9 aspect ratio, vertical orientation; 00:01:10

A flashlight, perched in the leaves of a common house plant, blinks the phrase "At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again” - an opening line from Henry David Thoreau’s "Walden" - in morse code. Bringing together objects, references, and visual tropes that signify the natural and the artificial - or the universal and the contingent - in equal measure, this work contemplates the complex role that the nature/artifice divide has played in the post-industrial world. Jumping off from Thoreau's admission, in the very opening paragraph of his book, that his transcendent voyage into the woods eventually led him back to the city that he sought to escape, this work thinks through the conflicted, contradictory, and still-unresolved relationship that metropolitan, post-industrial cultures have with this notion of "nature".