Slide Mosquitoes Caught in Trap, West Baltimore (2015)
photograph
Slide Vacant House Covered with Vines,
Harlem Park
(2015)
archival pigment print
18 x 12 inches
Slide Marble Steps, Harlem Park (2016)
archival pigment print
20 x 16 inches
Slide Abandoned Building, Harlem Park (2015)
archival pigment print
16.5 x 24 inches
Slide Abandoned Building, Harlem Park (2015)
archival pigment print
16.5 x 24 inches
Slide Mosquito Trapping Site, Harlem Park (2015)
photograph
Slide Hanging Mosquito Habitat (2015)
photograph
Slide Vacant Rowhouse, Harlem Park (2015)
photograph
Slide Backyard Pigeon Coop, Harlem Park (2015)
archival pigment print
18 x 12 inches
Slide Illegally Dumped Truck Tire with Water Containing Mosquito Larvae, Harlem Park (2015)
photograph
Slide Mosquito Habitat, Harlem Park (2015)
source photo for 3D-printed sculpture
Slide Mosquito Habitat, Harlem Park (2015)
acrylic on 3D printed plastic
18 x 18 x 2 inches
Slide Sandtown-Winchester, West Baltimore (2015)
antique map and Google Earth view
Antique broadside c. 1890s (left) advertises "Property of the North Baltimore Land and Improvement Co. of Baltimore City, As subdivided into Building Sites for Villas and Cottages, for Sale or Lease" I found the Google Earth view of the same site (right) and overlaid the broadside on it (center). This map advertises a new development planned in the 1890s for what is now the Sandtown-Winchester section of West Baltimore, between North Avenue and Lorman Street as a "Beautiful location, high and unsurpassed for health." The North Avenue Electric railway, shown in this map, was part of a surge of construction of rapid transit in the early 1890s, which spurred development along its route. Note the stream, labeled "Mill Race," which, like most such streams in urban Baltimore, has since been buried underground. This is the same neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested and died in custody earlier in 2015. I accompanied the mosquito study researchers there less than 2 months after the a citywide night of riots and looting sparked by the incident took place.

Printed broadside courtesy of George Glazer Gallery, New York.
Slide Sandtown-Winchester, West Baltimore (2015) Antique map showing the location of the Mill Race stream (curved lines at bottom), overlaid onto a 2015 Google Earth view. Like many urban streams, it was buried decades ago, with no trace aboveground.

At regular intervals from June and September, the Baltimore Mosquito Study research team, led by scientist Shannon LaDeau, went into several inner city West Baltimore neighborhoods that lie within the Gwynns Falls watershed to trap and count the mosquitoes in each neighborhood. About once a month they also surveyed specific square-block areas to look for mosquito larvae, which are found wherever there is standing water, sampling every instance they found, no matter how small the container. I went out with both groups of researchers.

The Freddie Gray incident and the civic unrest that followed had occurred nearby just a few weeks prior. I knew Baltimore had a vacant housing problem, and had driven past boarded-up rowhouses before, but it’s an entirely different experience to walk into the alleys and courtyards behind them and realize the extent to which they are falling apart. I was struck by how nature had reasserted itself over the landscape, covering the buildings with vines and pulling them apart.

On a micro level, mosquitoes have found fertile breeding grounds in neglected, leaking buildings and trash that is constantly being dumped in the alleys by unscrupulous contractors seeking to paying the city for bulk waste disposal, to the continual frustration of residents. LaDeau has looked at the correlation between poverty and mosquito populations and has found that the lower the income level of the neighborhood, not only are more mosquitoes found there, but more of the aggressive species that bite humans rather than the types that only bite birds, which predominate in a nearby middle income West Baltimore neighborhood.

Please inquire to see additional photographs from this series.
Main Baltimore Ecosystem Study page

Links to More Baltimore Ecosystem Study Images

Watershed Moments exhibition installation
Exhibition Installation
(View photos)

Gwynns Falls Under I-95, Carroll Park (2015)
Urban Streams
(View photos)

Mosquitoes Caught in Trap, West Baltimore
Mosquito Study
(View photos)