Ornamentalism: The Migrations and Translations of Japanese Knotweed

sam smiley, Astrodime Transit Authority

New Orleans 2019: Living with

Japanese Knotweed [Fallopia Japonica (North America) or Polygonum cuspidatum (Europe).] is a segmented herbaceous plant that can grow in large stands to about 10 feet tall. Its primary means of dispersal in the United States is through its rhizomes. As a result of its rhizomic growth, it forms a monoculture in its place of habitat. It also is a plant of many names by humans. These names, from many different times and places include Mexican Cane, Japanese Cane, Japanese knotweed, Fleeceflower, Mexican bamboo, Huzhang, Fallopia japonica, Polygonum cuspidatum. I am currently working on a scientifiction (Latour) about Japanese Knotweed, using qualitative research and historical research.  For making and doing, I will show a series of videos, articles and zines that make up my process to date on the journey of Japanese Knotweed in the 1800’s to Provincetown, Massachusetts, US in the present day.