In 2019 I began researching the plants growing along the Mississippi River between the two waterfalls from Owamni (Saint Anthony Falls) to Mnigaga (Minnehaha Falls). My initial photographs, collages and research led to the images in the River Constructs series and the essay Immersion from the Observation Deck, Essay & Photographs for Mississippi. An Anthropocene River, published by Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Temporary Continent.
I am continually amazed by the resilient plants that grow along this urban river through concrete and stone, thriving in spaces radically altered by both human interventions into the landscape and the incredible seasonal expansion and contraction of the river.
In 2021 I received a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to create a book that would record the plant species I found and also catalog the many names given to each plant by the many groups of people that have a connection to these plants and this river. This is Dakota Land take by white settlers in the Treaties of Traverse Des Sioux and Mendota in 1851.
After taking hundreds of images of plants along the river, then printing and cutting apart those images and rephotographing these fragments with actual plants floating in river water, I realized my work on this project was just beginning. The River Constructs series is ongoing, as the course of the river and culturally understanding around its importance continues to shift, the plant life growing alongside the river continues to evolve.