LOCATION : NORTH UMPQUA RIVER, OREGON
MATERIALS : SCOTCH BROOM & SWEET PEA FLOWERS
Invasion of foreign species can become an ecological succession from native habitat to non native habitat. Many of the disturbed soils along roadways and in urban environments enables introduced species to take root in the landscape.
These alien species traveled with foreigners across distant oceans to a new world where pioneers enabled their habitation to exist. In some cases, foreign plants to native environments are not detrimental to the balanced ecosystem that formed over centuries of ecological development. These invasive plants at times can provide habitat and food for wildlife as well as humans, but in other cases introduced plants can dominate the landscape and become hard to exterminate.
The irony of invasive plants and its symbolic nature to the human foreigners and their dominance and imperial nature in foreign landscapes is still visible today. After years of introduction from one cultural landscape to another, humanity has searched the world over for natural resources that provide wealth of materials. The nature of placing a value on a material or an ecosystem is not new to the world. This value can provide an understanding on what is rare or what is considered beautiful. This concept enables us as humans to also place a value on ecosystems that are not worth destroying because their ecological value has already been harmed or needs to be restored. How do we place a value on the very life that sustains us?
I collected yellow flowers from Scotch Broom and pink flowers from a Sweet Pea growing along the North Umpqua River. These plants were carried along boats to the Americas by the oceans currents and winds. In the pools of water created by eddies and currents in the bedrock I placed the flowers that I harvested and watched them sail away to a distant landscape. The removal of these invasive species would require years of work to get rid of not only roots, but the seeds awaiting their germination in a new landscape.