Escaped Exotics Volume II: Melaleuca Monocultures PROJECT MAP

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Escaped Exotics is an ecological multimedia series exploring unseen histories latent in the anatomies of invasive non-native plant species embedded within the landscape of South Florida.



Collection of Short HD Color Videos with Original Soundtrack ( >10 min length)
Ecological text (offered in English, Spanish, and Haitian creole) annotates video visions unfolding amidst the fragrance of antibacterial essential oil produced from local foliage.
Print materials including Field Guides featuring texts on Melaleuca and 3 other invasive species will distributed to audience members in Spanish, English, and Creole from within the installation/viewing arena. Limited edition locally sourced invasive Melaleuca Quinquenervia Essential Oil (Naouli) assists in the multisensory element of the installation illustrating the properties of the plant.



Escaped Exotics embraces the current material realities of the natural world through not only media but also by literally utilizing the beneficial properties of invasive species for distilled essential oils.

Melaleuca Quinquenervia is a direct relative of Melaleuca Alternifolia. Oils from Melaleuca Alternifolia are harvested and sold commercially as Tea Tree Oil, a common ingredient in beauty cleaning and health products. Like Alternifolia essential oil, Quinquenervia is a powerful natural antiseptic but has a milder scent. During filming, myself and my associates will collect leaves and produce a small batch of Tea Tree Oil to release along with the film as a sensory attraction and a material illustration of the tree’s properties.


Because Escaped Exotics proposes new conversations on ecology audiences for the film include scientists, journalists, naturalists, tourists, and policymakers and of course a are a South Florida bioregional audience.

Films interpret neglected disturbed sub/urban sites to encourage a sense of radical biophilia that embraces the present realities of human impacted natural systems. Nature therapy focused on regions deemed as imperfect examples of nature is a valuable and pragmatic evolution/extension of traditional conservation oriented parks and recreation programs. The health of ecosystems portrayed in this film directly impacts Florida residents. Florida audiences may directly access sites physically and have some voice in policies toward land use and management.


Screenings of Escaped Exotics Melaleuca Monoculture may take place in an installation where audience members can explore the physical materials produced to compliment the film. Ideal screenings take place in an enclosed area where the film loops activated by the dissoluted scent of Melaleuca essential oil and printed guides to 4 invasive plants of South Florida are made available to browse in English Spanish and Haitian Creole.

click through for sample videos of melaleuca monocultures

Melaleuca 🔥 Patterns:::: Our borders effect policy but as the #creole proverb says- “the pencil of god has no eraser “ swipe thru for comparison !!! Native #FL pine forests adapted to resurge from wildfires of a certain intensity- video1 shows a patch of mostly native pine forest in Dade county during a wildfire last March that overtook hundreds of acres - wildfires today however are hotter and more intense than those from which native species coevolved & adapted to recover from—- MELALEUCA increases wildfires heat, speed, and intensity to its own preferences which are beyond the safe realm for native plant& animal recovery MELALEUCA Depletes groundwater and builds dry litter on forest floor-. The dry feathery bark and masses of leaves drenched in volatile essential oils create intense crown fires that spread rapidly and destroy native wildlife . —////////// FINAL PHOTO leaves of pines by the patch of melaleuca just down the road were decimated leaving only dead stumps, and topsoils were charred inches down beyond the point that native seeds can recover.. clearing the way for melaleuca seeds to claim the area in mere days ... Continuing following me for more coverage of #invasiveecology & send in locations of melaleuca for posters in #Spanish #English and #creole ——-AND A #PRIZE from @weirdmiami #melaleucaquinquenervia #criticalecology #fieldwork #miami #miamiart #ecotourism #essentialoils #naturalbeauty #wildfire #ecotourism #waterislife #everglades #noborders #ecologicalart #miamiart #materialarts #ecology #everywhere

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