Invasive Ecologies (High-Fructose Towers), 2015
Paper, ink, adhesive
14” x 16” x 8”
High-Fructose Towers represent a very small slice of data from three non-consecutive years. Rather than representing a series of annualized datasets, the sculpture shows a comparative relationship amongst US population, corn sweetener production and individual consumption of said sweetener. Three towers stand vertically from the flat surface, with separate forms moving up the tower architecture like vines. Each of the impossibly high towers are stabilized with guy lines that cross over one another. The shifts within this piece are subtle but noticeable, from the varying heights of each tower, to the number of concentric rings moving upward, and finally to the amount of amassed corn seeds in front of each tower. The towers buckle and twist because of their architectural structure, a visual response to the broken structure of the US food economy.
Each triangular cutout was assigned a numeric value of 1 million in population, representing the total population of the United States for that given year - 1980, 1999, and 2012 - and rises accordingly in height to account for changes. Positioned slightly in front of each tower, amassed individual corn seeds represent the planted acres of corn in millions. These seeds are characterized by a noticeable lack of order, more like shrubbery and not like organized, straight rows. Because of this organic composition they reject a simple visual comparison that could be reached by counting. Lifting out from each mass of corn seeds are concentric radiating rings, each equaling an individual’s annual consumption of corn sweetener.