Paurotis palm (Acoelorrhaphe wrightii), ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata), and coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) from agricultural zones 8 and 9 transplanted to zones 5 | 60 x 50 x 22 ft. (18.3 m x 15.2 m x 670.6 cm) at Storm King, New Windsor, NY for the exhibition Indicators: Artists on Climate Change curated by Nora Lawrence.
To create Along the Lines of Displacement: A Tropical Food Forest, tropical fruit trees - coconut palms, a ponytail palm, and others - were brought from Florida to Storm King Art Center and installed as a living sculpture on Storm King’s proposal for a future that is predicted by the turn of the next century, where a temperature rise of 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) is projected to be the baseline in many places around the world. This project uses the language of an architectural folly, presenting something unfamiliar and unexpected in a particular environment. Assisted plant migration is something that the National Forest Service is studying with a range of plants, from ginkgoes and metasequoia to prairie grasses. The Forest Service looks backward at the fossil record to see what plant species inhabited a place millions of years ago, and for how long. While the earth currently supports about 415 parts of CO2 per million (the highest level ever in human history), climate models predict that the concentration of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere will reach 1,000 parts per million before the end of this century if industrialized nations don't curb greenhouse gas emissions. 1,000 parts per million would match the level of CO2 found in geologic records during the early Eocene epoch, which reminds me that geologic time has caught up with human time...and that I'll regularly see palm trees in New York State in my lifetime.