The images of Biotope bridge the theories of biophilia1 and topophilia2 to direct viewers’ attention to real and faux plants in our constructed environment and invite questions about the relationship between humans and vegetation. I believe that we become connected to the “flora” that surrounds us every day, be it plastic or real. These connections can benefit us when real plants thrive in our mutual biotope. Though the implemented greenery we experience likely does not satisfy our need for connection, it is an interaction people are exposed to regularly. Architects already design structures with biophilia in mind to great effect, but I am interested in the sites that we have adapted to our needs over time: interiors of homes, office spaces, and institutions where people bring plants inside. We alter our experiences of these spaces with an intent to benefit us, and for many urban dwellers they are a frequent source of interaction with nature.
Many interior plants are located proximate to natural light, making windows a motif in my work. These windows provide a structured contrast to the organic forms of plants in my images. Windows do not simply let in light to support ourselves and interior greenery, they also keep out the nature we seek to emulate while giving us a view of where we are not. If we are outside windows may invite us inside and vice versa. Through photography I juxtapose inside and outside, and organic and geometric forms to call attention to these experiences and ponder their effectiveness at benefiting humanity.
2 Theory that humans grow attachments to their surroundings as they become more familiar.