Giant Reed/Carrizo Cane/Arundo Donax
chain link fence, thermal sensors, signage and video
Giant Reed or Arundo donax is a grass used for woodwind reeds, biomass, and in the past medicinally. Giant Reed is also the only plant on the Homeland Security eradication list because the US Border Patrol’s heat sensing apparatus are rendered ineffective in the presence of large amounts of Giant Reed. Its dense growth habits displace native plants and subsequently animals Giant Reed is also an ecological problem in riparian environments. My involvement with Giant Reed is personal as the drama of its prodigious growth is played out in my backyard. Armed with a shovel and clippers, preparing to rid myself of this uninvited guest, I wondered what it would feel like to stand amongst canes of Giant Reed in circumstances distant from my own. As I struggled to dig up the never-ending inter-connected tubers on a plant that grows twenty feet over the course of a summer, the political and environment issues surrounding Giant Reed became embodied by its rhizomatic root structure. Invasive Sanctuary is a living “room” that invites the viewer to reflect upon the larger metaphors engendered by this noxious weed.