A Knotty Problem: Arts Based Action Research in and out of a Community Garden

Sam Smiley


What happens when A/R/Tographers attempt to build a sculpture out of Japanese Knotweed,  an “invasive species” in a community garden in Provincetown, MA, U.S.?  Using an arts based performative approach, media artist and researcher sam smiley organized a series of community interventions with gardeners, and naturalists and sculptors during the Appearances Environmental Arts Festival in May of 2016. This article is a debrief of the journey of a Knotweed Sculpture from the B-Street community garden, to the side of the highway, and its ultimate destruction in a bonfire on National Seashore, in a public event called Smouldering Thing. The article is primarily methodological from an arts based research perspective, but draws theoretically on the STS fields of the public understanding of science, as well as media and science studies.


Japanese Knotweed, Fallopia japonica, Polygonum cuspidatum,Provincetown, interventionist art, invasive species,ecology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.28968/cftt.v3i2.206


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Copyright (c) 2018 Sam Smiley


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