Mingxin Li

"The Rock Vegetation’s Echos about Colonialism"

Section MS3, Ariel Caine

Keywords: documentation, mixed media installation, photogrammetry, environment, atmosphere, colonialism

Moss and lichen, though small in size, provide the basic condition for life on Earth -- oxygen. They are not only colonisers of the rock, but also acts as sensors that feed on the changing climactic environment. They pierce the rocks surface with mycelium in order to colonise it, then, absorb water and nutrients through leaves and mycelia and photosynthesise with sunlight. Through this process they absorbs a large amount of carbon dioxide and generate oxygen and organic matter. The acidic substances secreted by these two species accelerate the weathering and hydrolysis of the rock, fracturing it and causing its disintegration.

Eventually, the rocks become soil. It provides the basic conditions of the growth for higher plants. They ab-sorb water and nutrients from nature as well as carbon dioxide from the air, converting it into oxygen and contributing to slowing down the carbon content of the atmosphere.

My project explores this complex relation between moss, lichen and rocks while searching in it for metaphoric and material echoes to processes of colonial driven violence and transformation.