Echo Systems


Tess Clark
Installation with video and performance

To revisit nature and understand yourself as part of the landscape is to see worlds animate. By representing interconnectedness through materiality, this installation emulates the life cycle of what flows through.

For hundreds of years, colonization has misinformed and manipulated humanity’s relationship with the natural world. Through the otherization of ecological perspectives, the colonization of native knowledge, and the detrimental effects of industrialization, modern society has experienced an irrevocable disconnect with the Earth. However, the resiliency of nature persists. By becoming students of existing knowledge, and revisiting natural sites that are significant to the personal, we can develop empathetic understandings and establish lost connections. Ultimately, we can embrace the interconnectedness of nature, and know that humans too are nature, and respect all life forms as we do humanity. Through harmony, there is hope.

Researching human usage of the river including indigenous and industrial histories, exploring natural plant and wildlife communities such as the black ash swamp, and learning from decolonized Anishinabek teachings can allow for connections to be drawn between society’s estranged relationship with nature as it relates to colonization and industrialization. Still, the resiliency of nature persists, and ecological relationships of the river can put it in perspective.

Flow invites you to embody the natural world by investigating ecological perspectives of the Grand River, where it runs through the land humans currently refer to as Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Other projects from Civic at Straight and Wealthy

Project Archive includes an index of projects and exhibitions on this site.