Rachel Rushing

Installation No. 1

Installation No. 1, 2012 (anthotypes, plant, contact frame, mortar and pestle, etc.)

In response to a personal disconnection to the physical world, I have taken on the role of pseudoscientist and explorer searching for ways of connecting to the physical at the intersection of the senses and organic elements through various media and installations. What I found in my investigation was not the Nature I expected, but the nature I could buy.


These images provide a case study of the natural world that has been gardened, cloned, grafted, and commodified into the controlled, manicured ideal of Nature at human disposal and under human supervision. These specimen are representative of exotic and non-native species of flora that have been introduced to and cultivated in North America. These plants have become pastoral tropes that feed the assumptions of our society of Nature as a controllable force that can be manipulated without consequence or concern. Out of desires for status and beauty, these plants have been bred for their hardiness and foliage. Many introduced plants have become invasive and dramatically alter the land and ecosystem of their new environments. Often, these species are attractive to area wildlife, which further disperses fruits and seeds and widens the impact of invasive vegetation.

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Points of Reference observes the manufactured landscape of modern suburbia. The anthotype printing process is employed as a method of documentation and preservation, one that destroys the very specimen being documented. This process of documentation echoes the destructive habits of societal obsessions of control and manipulation we exert over the land we maintain and the means by which we engage with the world.