I Write Your Name

PLA Resin, Stone paper, Wood, Ink—2019


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For me, the term ​’climate change’ ​encompasses more than a meteorological impact on global ecosystems. The words reflect diminished relationships with the natural world. I observe this situation when human language for technology supersedes words that describe Earth’s flora. What factors contribute to this condition? I argue that the following example may have some bearing on the situation.

Since 2007, natural science vocabulary words have been systematically replaced by Oxford Junior Dictionary (OJD) editors. For example, ‘broadband’ and ‘cut/paste’ terms have become more important than ‘fern’ or ‘fungus’. I share the sentiments expressed by Margaret Atwood and others in this letter.

For the Witnessing Change Umbrella Arts 2019 Art Ramble, I created a project that challenged the OJD decision to remove botanical language from a children’s dictionary. I scribed the identity of (4) native New England plants using a 3D pen. I then placed their wordless shapes on top of a blank journal. Both the journal and forms were protected by a rare book display case. I wanted to call attention to the tenuous presence of the objects and elevate their worth for viewers.

About the process:
My hands are the driving force behind this 21st century writing tool (not a computer). During the procedure, I witness every curve and line of each plant’s identity through sight and touch. The final form is an artifact of my time, focus, and plant muse.


Curators’ Statement