Infestation

Bunnell Street Gallery, Homer, Alaska, 2001

Materials: nine Sitka spruce logs hanging above nine circular light tables with an image of a bark beetle, Sitka spruce wood, 4 tons of spruce chips, and spruce pitch, glass and steel display case with 2000 insects, sound track of insects eating

This installation focuses on dendoctronus rufipennis, a spruce bark beetle, which has decimated millions of acres of Alaska’s Sitka Spruce forest. The infestation in Alaska's spruce forests, like all of the forests along the Northwest coasts is due to global warming. 

In Infestation, I've tried to recreate the dark, moist, aromatic home of this quarter inch insect, with a main chamber and nine perpendicular galleries. At the end of each gallery is a circular light table containing a magnified image of a spruce bark beetle.  Surrounding the light tables are four tons of freshly cut spruce wood chips.  In the center of the chamber, stands a steel/glass display case containing 2000 insects.  The sound you hear is the sound of these insects eating.