Host analog

1991 • Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR

Stainless steel irrigation, basalt, old growth (windfall) logs, city water, porcelain enamel signage. 17' x 90' x 30'.

Host Analog teaches us to see the beauty found in the order of chaos dynamics. Transposing phenomena into aesthetics, this sculpture creates an anomaly with new paradigms. This old growth nursing log, decomposing and nursing a new landscape, is a work in progress. For over 500 years, this Douglas Fir was nurtured in the same watershed which sustains Portland today. In the 1960s, this monarch fell to the winds and later bucked to determine if suitable for lumber. Not harvestable, the eight sections of the old growth trunk, measuring eight feet in diameter by eight feet long each, lay host in what became the Bull Run watershed. Rediscovered by the artist in 1990, the nursing log was moved to rest adjacent to the Oregon State Convention Center to continue its regenerative processes. Over the past nine years, the Host Analog has re-established itself in this new context, nursing both its original indigenous plants, as well as a new "invasive" plantscape from the adjacent urban landscape.


A "volunteer" Pin Oak now grows adjacent a Douglas Fir seedling, the willow, and birch roots between Western Red Cedar and Hemlock. Oregon Grape, salal, and other native ground cover commingle with imported groundcover, some perhaps hitching a ride at some time on the transcontinental railroad to Portland. During the ten years of this sculpture's nursing, the vegetation on and adjacent the sculpture has been un-hampered by human intervention. The sculpture has been prolific and informative as we become the observer of the juxtaposed phenomena, and the accommodation and expansion has taken place.

© 1991 Buster Simpson

Site Design by Todd Metten

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