Heterogeneous Ecologies: Cascadia

Heterogeneous Ecologies: Cascadia

Currently in development


An an exploration, documentation, and recontextualization of the Cascadia Bioregion, an area of enormous ecological complexity that stretches across borders in the Pacific Northwest. Combining elements of art and landscape ecology, the objective of the project will be to locate, describe, and connect “ecological others” within the region. In the tradition of environmental artists such as the Harrisons, James Turrell and Mel Chin, HE:C will represent our attempt to “take stock” and assess our ecological present, as well as make subjective and speculative projections about our ecological future. Creating an intermingling across space and time, HE:C will recontextualize the landscape and its myriad interacting components as a factor of expeditionary experience, challenging the very definition of ecology and landscape.


Employing a diverse set of technologies and materials — including ecological data collection
(e.g. tree-species richness, tree density, etc.), soundscape field recordings, global positioning
systems (GPS), and remote sensing via unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) — we will
execute expeditions across Cascadia in order to construct a large-scale ecological portrait of the
region that explores its ecological, historical, and cultural complexity. The research will result in
a series of installations, workshops, lectures, panel discussions, and peer-reviewed publications
examining changing conceptions of the natural ecology and landscape as we move from an
ontology focusing on representation and mechanistic rationality to one that embraces
complexity, diversity, and ambiguity.

The tangible outcomes of the project will serve as a record of both the process and products of
our artistic inquiry. Exhibitions will document the process of the project through the display of
the various developmental artifacts that are produced as we collectively deal with the inevitable
technical and aesthetic contingencies that are often encountered in an effort of this magnitude.
For example, we will present the iterative plans (e.g., sketches, prototypes) that will result from
the design and construction of maps, expeditions, flight plans, and sensing devices. The
products of the project that we plan to display include drone aerial photographs and video, sound recordings, sensor data, and ecological data. We will also exhibit explorations and
syntheses of these data, in the form of computer graphic renderings, sound compositions,
visualizations, virtual software expeditions and physical objects. Finally, we will also present
critical writings, notes and reflections.