The Mobile Herbarium, 2015

Installation, performance, social practice

The Mobile Herbarium functions as a mobile archive, performance space, and learning-center. Unlike a traditional herbarium, the purpose of this project is to contain a collection of stories and materials that narrate the social and cultural histories of the archived plant specimens. The wagon includes an interior projection screen, recording station, and shelves for display. The nature of it’s multi-use is in direct conversation with traditional modes of archiving and categorizing. In this regard, The Mobile Herbarium reimagines the archive as an interactive space, allowing for new ways of archival viewing and storytelling connected to people and place.

Field Station 1:

The first iteration of this project, Field Station 1, investigated the botanical narratives of dried plant specimens within the University of Michigan Herbarium, and explored themes around identity, statehood, and ecological change. Using the digitized coordinate data from this collection, I was able to return to the general areas where these specimens were first collected.


Field Station 1:

Beginning my exploration within the University, I researched Asa Gray and his involvement with the University Michigan Herbarium and developed a story based off this research in the form of a video which was projected inside the wagon. This work was presented in 2015 at the Work Gallery in downtown Ann Arbor, MI. I used the gallery space as an opportunity to test ways participants could engage with the installation and contribute to this research. I held regular studio hours in the gallery and mapped my research findings on the gallery wall. This also provided an opportunity to talk with visitors about the project and record their personal stories related to plants in the collection.


Field Station 1. The Search For Shortia, 2015

Video (color, sound)

Duration: 09:21