More than us

More than us thriving where we are (not yet)

Wayfinding application, ecological test site, photographs, plants, 3-d printed planters, Dimensions variable

Images courtesy of Wave Hill. Photo: Stefan Hagen

SPURSE, Block Ecology and Flourish LAB in collaboration with

Jack Henning, PhD and Renuka P. Sankaran, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences Lehman College, City University of New York; Steve Conaway, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Wave Hill; Bryan Williams and Jezreel Deseo

The interdisciplinary collectives SPURSE, Block Ecology and Flourish LAB, work with communities and institutions to develop strategies centering interdependency with nature. Their site-specific, research-based project at Wave Hill explores untapped aspects of living in an urban environment, including potential food sources. Creating an installation that functions as a laboratory, these collectives develop an ecological test site from which to collect samples outside of Glyndor Gallery throughout the exhibition. The plot of land consists of two areas—one that explores what happens when we allow a lawn to grow and another that simulates the disturbed ecosystems common in urban environments. Throughout the project these changing ecosystems will be monitored through studies of phytoremediation, soil composition, and nitrogen fixing.

Through indoor and outdoor installations as well as guided walks with an app, SPURSE, Block Ecology and Flourish LAB develop prototypes that seek to problem-solve and shift the interaction with the urban ecosystem, focusing on local ecologies and the lost understanding of our immediate environment due to modernization. This project suggests ways for us to become sensitized to our natural surroundings—for instance, overcoming plant blindness, the coded thinking that reinforces a lack of awareness for the multi-functional properties of local plants. The second part of “More than us thriving where we are (not yet)” continues at Lehman College Art Gallery from December 4, 2021-April 23, 2022.