‘We are contaminated by our encounters…’ writes Anthropologist Anna Tsing in ‘The Mushroom at the End of the World’.
There’s a tree species in the rainforest of in New Caledonia. Evolved to survive on the rocky nickel-rich soil it hyperaccumulates the toxic metal nickel in its sap.
Sève bleue / Pycnantha accumulata is in a rare evolutionary niche, on soil more likely to be mined than preserved.
It ‘bleeds’ a blue sap and latex when cut; a metalic circulatory system.
Bodies circulation and restitutions: new research
thinking about the Kingdoms; animal, mineral or vegetable, and the alchemy of a plant that is both.
About bloods; mammalian blood with an iron molecule and heme ring at the centre, and Pycnantha, with nickel-heavy sap.
About the ecology of mycorhzomatous fungi and of insects evolved to coexist and carbon-trade with this almost-toxic tree.
About plant-led restitutions, and growth in disrupted and post-extracted spaces, of post-human landscapes, as Anna Tsing writes about ‘The Mushroom at the End of the World’.
Images from artist, and research images courtesy of Maggie-Anne Harvey and Dr Antony vander Ent, Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, Sustainable Minerals Institute University of Queensland
Ive been looking at plants living on metallic grounds, able to absorb metals from contaminated soil (phytoaccumulators/ hyperaccumulators) and considering post-human landscapes, healing bodies and notions of circulation more widely.
This follows on methodologically, (in that science-art interstitial territory) from my previous line of inquiry- molecularly mapping the outcome of mining silver for a single silver coil in a museum collection, to collapse the space between linked anthropogenic landscapes: Think Like a Mountain, Breathe Like the Ice