I have really enjoyed looking at Ken’s experimental grid renditions. They are a really neat way to visualize the spatial design of the potential experiments we could create. This week, I spent some time adding my ideas on top of Ken’s grid, to explain how I’m thinking about these experiments.
So first, my favorite of the grid designs so far seems to be the most complicated to build - but I
think this one will create the most turbulence. See my blog from week 10 if you need a
refresher on turbulence. I am envisioning that the plots within the grid would be planted in a
specific pattern. With some plots (the red and blue plots) as “source” plots that contain species
we want to track as they move around on the landscape. All the surrounding gray plots would
have a different subset of species so if you saw species from either the red or blue plots, you
would have an idea of where they came from. The red vs blue plots could contain different
subsets of species as well, that differ by dispersal mechanism. This would allow you to compare
how different types of species respond to turbulent vs non-turbulent environments. I imagine
that there could be plots that have species that disperse primarily by wind (blue plots), and
plots where species disperse primarily by gravity or animals (red plots). If you want to
remember what wind-dispersed species look like, check back to my blog from week 7. I would
hypothesize that the blue plots with more wind dispersed species would be more affected by
the turbulent wind conditions than those in the red plots that do not have adaptations for wind
dispersal. Finally, within each plot (or at least the blue and red plots) we could have species
arranged in a design if we wanted, in order to add more visual interest to the project. This
would also allow us to look at image erosion because we could see how this image changed
through time using drone photography.
I will note that there would also be a similar design on grids without the landscape element that
creates the turbulence in order to create an appropriate control. This would be the “laminar
Blogged while listening to Shooting Stars, with a twist :)
As the Residency officially come to an end Lauren and I have begun to think about continuing our science/ art project and actually realizing it in the world. Four months of collaboration have
been great but only provide the beginning of a much longer sustained joint effort. We have
settled on restocking prairie land in vacant urban lots in St. Louis. As we move forward in
crafting this art/research, into the effects of landform turbulence on seed dispersal, we have
outlined our plan (or at least the next couple steps.)
Completion of proposal drawings - this falls to me and will include plan, elevation (orthographic drawings) as well as a few finished renderings of the landforms and grid. These will be Photoshopped onto photos of existing vacant lots to provide a better understanding of the finished project as it will actually look at that specific site.
Finalize budget - I have begun reaching out to several colleagues in landscape architecture for some information of both cost and logistics. Materials - vacant lot rental, seed vs seedling, grid material, dirt acquisition, research materials, labor, fencing, etc.
Identify possible vacant lots in St. Louis - fortunately Lauren has a few leads on this.
Secure funding- we plan to approach both traditional science and art funders as well as local/
Lauren and I value the importance of creating work (both science and art) in a urban/neighborhood setting and are very excited to see this project through to completion. It provides a sturdy challenge for a scientist and artist pair to bring about an ambitious project in an urban setting. As with most challenges and unknown variables, a patient timeline must be considered. Fortunately, we both feel sustained excitement to create this project. When completed, it will provide a unique experience for the St. Louis community as well as the science and art communities.