Scent Poems for Pipeline Plants

collaboration with Lindsey french, 2023. 

Multisensory Art Gallery at Uncommon Senses IV: Sensory Ecologies, Economies and Aesthetics, Concordia University, May 6-9, 2023

Plant signal- and petroleum-inspired aromachemicals diluted in perfumer's base, white Prairie Provinces clays, charred pin oak, polyethylene tubing, rubber bulb pumps, polypropylene funnels, painted wood structure, inkjet prints.

Enacting close engagement with the ruderal plant species that grow atop the overturned earth that covers the expanse of the Line 3 pipeline, Young and french followed its path from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin. Scent poems for the plants, created with workshop participants, were deposited in ceramic vessels at intervals along the way. The scented materials–composed of airborne chemical compounds used in plant communication–were made to be activated by the sun and slowly emit their signals to nearby plants.

In this installation, scents based on the experience of 3 locations along the pipeline (and the petroleum discard found there) are activated by rubber hand pumps.

Download the Virtual Book of Abstracts for the Multisensory Art Gallery at Uncommon Senses IV for more information.

Initial project created for and with support by 4Ground: Midwest Land Art Bienniel at Franconia Sculpture Park, curated by Ginger Shulick Porcella. With additional support from the University of Regina.

Scent Poems for Pipeline Plants, 4Ground: Midwest Land Art Biennial, 2022