Alien Lands was a year long, cross-media art endeavor, researching the history of palm trees in Los Angeles and documenting their current presence. I photographed and made videos of the palm trees in Los Angeles and ended the project with a ceremonial installation/performance, grieving the colonial history and unsustainability of palm trees by ironically commemorating them. This body of work is meant to provoke discussion of palm trees' iconicization, their ubiquitous invisibility in our environment, their colonial history, and their likely nonexistent future.

palmam qui meruit ferat

Video Installation of palmam qui meruit ferat at The Frederick R. Weisman Museum

on view April 12-April 28


Video projected on a wall at night at Pepperdine University. 

Prism Palms of Sunset Boulevard

 I created this video by shooting the palm trees of sunset boulevard through a prism outside a moving vehicle during rush hour of traffic. I edited the video to give it the feeling of a VHS home video tape. 

photo from installation of the video 

I installed this video on an old television set in a room covered in mylar. Participants entered the room with a mylar blanket and a foil hat and sat to watch the video. Additionally, there were red green and blue filtered lights shining into the space reflecting off the mylar. With this piece, I discuss the existence of palm trees in LA while evoking feelings of nostalgia for the past and childhood ideas about the future.

Prism'd Palms in Paradise

short animations above and photographs below 

Palm Angel 

Palms in the Night

Day of the Palms

Video documentation of the performance/Installation. Performed on November 30, 2017 at Pepperdine University, in which participants created a ceremony by leaving nonnative plants and fruit, photos of palms, and palm devotional candles at the altar below a print of the oldest palm tree in Los Angeles.

Elegy Recited: 
Let us invoke the Great Palm Trees of Los Angeles 
You served us in times of need
Our ancestors came to this land and found it foreign, palmless
You came to save our souls on the day of reckoning 
As we lie your fronds at the feet of our God

You served us in our time of need 
When our lands dried without rain 
we created infrastructure 
And no longer thirsted 
You flaunted our greatness

You served us in our time of need
When we were sprawling and lost of identity
You gave us an image

You served us in our time of need 
When our streets were left in wretched bleakness 
Boulevards with open sky
You adorned us

You served us in our time of need 
When no man knew or cared of our little city
You screamed Health, Wealth, Island Paradise
The people flocked 
You created us

You served us in our time of need 
When all shone bright like the lights above Hollywood and everything was going too well
You burn, fall to the ground and become sick and infested 
Reminding us of our Nature

You served us in our time of need

And yet as we all know, city council has reached a decision
And palms may no longer be replanted here
And given their short lifespan and the prevalence of fungi, weevil, and sudden crown drop
They will soon be gone
So today we gather
To celebrate, to honor, to appease the Great Palms

photo documentation

Alien Palmlands 

infrared photography 

Streets of the Palms