Hi My name is Violet Dennison and I’m an artist.
So this piece in particular, it’s comprised of seagrass that I collected in south Florida. This piece is from a body of work that was exploring sort of bacteria and algae. When I sort of track my sort of interest over time, what lead me there, was really starting when I went to Venice and I wrote this essay about a harmful algae bloom that takes over Venice and then takes over the world. I was reading about the autoreduction movement in Italy so I was sort of speculating ways that the entire world could just stop working, so I was thinking about this new sort of algae that just takes over the world and creates like a new environment. And I guess I was sort of really focusing on the sentience of other beings and kind of decentralizing the human experience.
So I guess from there I was you know, because basically harmful algae blooms suffocate everything under them. So they’ll take out all the oxygen and just like kill everything. So when I was walking on the beach and when I saw this seagrass in an area, which I knew to be polluted and I thought it was this really beautiful, kind of otherworldly material, and I think I was also really drawn to it because when I was talking about the sentience before, this plant is ancient, as I was saying it clones itself so it’s DNA is ancient. And yet it’s still kind of finds a way to thrive in a world which is mostly just friendly to humans. And so I was just sort of thinking about how maybe wise this plant is, or how it’s sort of overlooked.
While the piece is sort of honoring nature in a way or sort of has this sort of holistic approach. There’s also something a bit wrong about it because I’m kind of displacing this material. I’m removing it and in some ways that’s sort of violent I guess. I guess part of those pieces is also smuggling the seagrass which is basically anything with seeds or roots is illegal to carry over different territories. It’s seen as sort of an alien species that could harm the specific ecosystem in which it’s brought. So I feel like that’s another kind of important part to the piece is, bringing this plant matter in a place where it maybe doesn’t belong or something. And giving it kind of a new life in way.
Audio guide recorded on the occasion of “2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage.”