As an extension of my investigation into Richmond and Point Richmond’s environmental and political landscape, I installed Terrivivarium in the Richmond Health Center’s waiting room as a site of representation, investigation, and performance.
Converting a trophy case into a terrarium featuring locally sourced plants and sculptural objects standing in as metaphors for oil refinery infrastructures, I recreated a representation of biological and industrial systems particular to the local environment.
Through acts of cultivation and weekly maintenance of Terrivivarium, I built a working relationship with the center and material sourced from the local Richmond environs. During its four months of existence, my acts of watering and replacing plants generated a performative space. On display, my body and hands worked with the material in a very public yet personal way. My weekly struggle to keep this ecosystem alive was underscored with a desire to persevere in the face of futility.
A reflexive site was created through connecting the idea of environmental health to industrial development in this on-site installation. The territory of the third site offers the potential to activate discourse and action, contestation and negotiation, and to serve as a threshold or window between inside and outside, public and private. This is where the material and the metaphorical merge, reanimating and elevating the invisible infrastructures affecting and impacting
our daily lives.
Installed in the waiting room at the Richmond Health Center, Richmond, CA.