Site Profile Flag

2019 –

A soil profile in science research is a vertical section of the subsurface that depicts the multiple layers or horizons of that location. A deep hole is dug to allow researchers to see the composition below the ground and produce its profile. Each horizon is a distinct layer that has different physical, biological and chemical properties than adjacent ones. The distinctions are visually obvious because of texture and color differences.

Soil profiles can be appreciated on an aesthetic level too. When they are exposed they can be breathtakingly beautiful. Being inside a soil profile ravine affects people differently; it can be calming, energizing and sometimes transformative. Some people have attributed this to being six feet underground (or at burial depth) and others speak to being immersed in a biochemical field of microbial activity.

With Site Profile Flag, I am expanding the notion of a soil profile and visually representing the layers both above and below ground. I am transferring the physical, biological and chemical properties of the layers (e.g. plant, rock, soil, human) onto fabric through dye-making. The resulting flag marks the site and is a symbol for the interactions between the layers or ecosystem parts that are often symbiotic or mutualist. The flag is also a signaling device that stakes a claim.