Live Matter, installation

Live Matter concerns itself with the ongoing measure of the natural world—how plant life has been described, muted, and labeled throughout botanical history—to reveal a discourse that delights in an attitude of discovery, one that acknowledges the aliveness of plants. Visitors at the Radcliffe Institute are invited to stand beneath the complex of a mature root system, gaining a rare vantage point from which to consider the normally concealed foundations of plant life. In a publication that accompanies the exhibition, plants are foregrounded as a design medium, a proposition that acknowledges that we remain in a period of exploration when it comes to transformations of the plant itself. The project as a whole offers a provocative new perspective on the living, breathing organisms that are all around us, yet seldom fully appreciated. The following images are taken of the root system Populus alba, excavated at Arnold Arboretum and installed for further appreciation at Radcliffe Bylerly Hall.


With the generous support of Radcliffe Institute, Academic Ventures at Harvard University. Photos by Michelle Franco.