Mel Chin

Revival Field
Materials: plants, industrial fencing on a hazardous waste landfill
1991- ongoing. An ongoing project in conjunction with Dr. Rufus Chaney, senior research agronomist, USDA

Revival Field began as a conceptual artwork with the intent to sculpt a site’s ecology. 1993 marked a successful conclusion to the first phase of this collaborative effort. The initial experiment, located at Pig’s Eye Landfill, a State Superfund site in St. Paul, Minnesota, was a replicated field test using special hyperaccumulator plants to extract heavy metals from contaminated soil. Scientific analysis of biomass samples from this field confirmed the potential of “Green Remediation” as an on-site, low-tech alternative to current costly and unsatisfactory remediation methods. Despite soil conditions adverse to metal uptake, a variety of Thlaspi, the test plant with the highest capacity for hyperaccumulation, was found to have significant concentration of cadmium in its leaves and stems.

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