Balance and Barrier


The field of invasion biology is saturated with militaristic language, and unsurprisingly results in approaches of control that mirror military tactics. This installation expands the war metaphors common in "invasion biology" discourse to its parallels with the genre of fiction called "invasion literature." A series of dioramas combine factual aspects of prairie dog management with an imagined history of prairie dog colonies on Mars, while a colony of prairie dogs listens intently to the War of the Worlds broadcast on an antique radio. This story is accompanied by a piece that explores a contemporary and almost preposterously war-like tactic for managing a textbook-case of invasive species, the brown tree snake in Guam, by parachuting poison-laced mouse carcasses into the tree canopies. Portable, traveling diorama boxes focus on the history of certain highly-successful "invasive species" in war (rats and pigeons) and offer alternatives to a war-hawk methodology demonstrated through no-kill management practices.

This exhibition is an updated version of two previous projects, Red Planet, and Ecology of Invasions. Installation views at Greenly Gallery, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.

Stuffed fabric prairie dogs, buttons, fake Mars rocks, vintage 1930′s radio; series of 6 wood and acrylic painted dioramas, wall text; wooden traveling diorama cases with pigeon decoys, wooden eggs, and plastic rat; toy parachutes, cast dead mice, backdrop of 1950's photograph from Guam, fictional military correspondence.