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Sprouting Possibilities: Beginnings

Our last Urban Arboreta blog post described Sprouting Possibilities: a collaboration between artist laura c carlson and landscape architect Moya Sun. What brought this collaboration together?

“Moya and I met in a graduate Fine Arts class at UPENN with professor Orkan Telhan. Telhan emphasized that we must dig into and challenge our own perspectives and cultural norms, while making new ways to learn about what is around us.

How do humans exist within the natural world? What happens when we stop alienating ourselves from the chaotic natural processes of the world we experience and instead collaborate with those systems? We believed that urban spaces are as much a part of the natural world as our forests and waterways and proposed a 2-part project, Sprouting Possibilities that explored further these complex relationships.”

“The project intends to be a memorial to the trees that may no longer be able to survive in Philadelphia in 30 years. How can plants survive or migrate in the face of rapid climate change. What constitutes a “native” plant if it can no longer live where it has lived for hundreds of years? How can or will ecosystems that have endeavored and adapted to exist persevere in the face of climate change? In the face of these questions, we must learn new ways to exist within Earth. We may “be of nature”, yet find as humans that we have not been acting as part of nature, but rather as above nature.”

“Moya and I created Sprouting Possibilities to explore these questions. We think that understanding Philadelphia’s history through its native tree population, and recognizing the potential of repurposing vacant lands as possible forested futures, can help alter the trajectory of climate change’s impact in our city.”

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