our first speculations about what we might be doing:
Harbor Gardens (just a working title)
Harbor Gardens proposes to activate the interconnectedness of humans and plants in our urban port city ecosystem by designing flotants (modular salt marsh habitats) for growing salt marsh plant species. It offers a practical design solution, public intervention, and platform for considering anew the role plants play in protecting and supporting all life on the planet, as well as the possibilities of our role in maintaining their life and needs. These “floating skirts,” as they are called, increase biodiversity, improve water quality, and protect the shoreline.
The spirit of the piece, however, is not solely to create an engineering feat and proposal for improved human coastal living. It is to use this engineering feat as a foundation for growth – of plants, of a whimsical imaginative plant-based adventure story, and of a compassion and empathy-based communication system that brings humans in contact with plant possibilities. A central piece of the project will be a pirate or community radio station that will offer a voice for communities to speak to the plants and the plants to speak back to us.
We plan to build one to three flotant modules out of recycled materials. These modules would be built to sustain salt marsh plantlife while floating on the water. In the exhibition, the modules would not contain living plants, and may be models or experiments testing out different design and narrative possibilities.
We will also include a video that narrates the journey and life of the flotants in the harbor.
Alongside the modules and the video will be a series of drawings (taking the form of collage conversations back and forth between Marsching & Sutton) as speculative research-based fictions about the science, community, narrative, performative, radio, and ecological interrelationships.