Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives (Outdoor Exhibit)


    Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives (Outdoor Exhibit)

  • WHEN

    September 15 – November 10, 2023

Friday, 15 Sept. – Friday, 10 Nov., 2023
Visit anytime
18th Street Bridge, 465 North 18th Street
Dr. Ashley Gripper, Sonia Galiber
Eto Otitigbe, eo Studio

Asian Arts Initiative is pleased to present Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives, a series of projects and events that are the culmination of the two-year collaboration with Dr. Ashley Gripper (of Land Based Jawns) and Sonia Galiber (of Soil Generation), with Eto Otitigbe and eo Studio as the artistic director and production partner. The presentations in Fall 2023 will include an Outdoor Exhibition, Gallery Exhibition, Performances, AAI Block Party Community Day, and Workshops.
From September 15th through October 15th, 2023, an interactive public installation will be presented on the 18th Street Bridge. Eto Otitigbe and eo Studio present an immersive mixed reality project, and invites visitors to use mixed reality as they cross-pollinate the Cut’s diverse plant life with narratives about cultural and physical migration.

Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives invites you to consider the Cut, a sub-street level, open-air green space that runs parallel to Callowhill Street from North Broad Street to 18th Street, and is currently being considered for transformation from an abandoned rail line into a beautiful public space for all in the heart of Philadelphia. Today, as a natural environment of an ignored patch of the city’s streetscape, this passive ecosystem is integral in creating critical resources for community residents and passersby. This narrative is not limited to plants and wildlife, as neighborhoods stewarded by people who have migrated are often neglected by institutional authority and seen as passive, when in reality they also generate richness for the community through land-based traditions. Invasive Species demonstrates the tremendous potential of art to assist in understanding public infrastructure, the beauty of unseen corners of the city, the deep connection to the land people share despite being displaced in developed landscapes, and the role we can play as cultural producers in climate mitigation.

Please note: This project is viewed from the 18st pedestrian bridge. The substreet-level Cut is not accessible to the public.


Our building is located at the intersection of 12th St and the Vine Street Expressway, easily accessible by the Broad Street Line and multiple bus routes. The building is routinely surveyed to ensure ADA compliance, including a permanent ramp at the entrance of our building and elevator access to all three floors. AAI is also establishing an Accessibility Accommodations Plan. Current offerings include: hearing auxiliary packs with headphones and microphones, alternative texts and descriptions, and mobility accessible on all floors. Future offerings may include: professional ASL interpreters, Braille markers, portable digital magnifiers, and a cognitive disability guide.

Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives is funded by: Our Town Grant of the National Endowment for the Arts William Penn Foundation

Our Town projects advance local economic, physical, or social outcomes in communities, ultimately laying the groundwork for systems change and centering equity. These projects require a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. Asian Arts Initiative is pleased to partner with The Rail Park, SEPTA and the City of Philadelphia to present Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives in 2023.

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