Kerem Ozan Bayraktar’s work in “Sokak Otları” (2018 – 20) (“urban weeds” in Turkish) consists of observing growth and pattern dynamics of “ruderal” urban plants in ecologically disturbed sites such as ruins, car parks, abandoned buildings, road cracks, railways, etc. He is interested in the weeds’ “invasive” and “native” status, their connection with history and migrations, and their interaction with infrastructure.
“Through these issues, I aim to understand the relationship between environment and living things, and to explore new possible ways of thinking and sensing by looking at the non-human. Starting in 2018 with small notes on Instagram (@sokakotlari), this ongoing inquiry proceeds with photos, texts and diagrams.“
The video contains footage of ruderal plants recorded at night accompanied by atmospheric urban sounds. A ruderal species is a plant species that is first to colonize disturbed lands in cities. Ruderal species typically dominate the disturbed area for a few years, gradually losing the competition to other native species. However, in extreme disturbance circumstances, such as when the natural topsoil is covered with a foreign substance, a single-species ruderal community may become permanently established. Besides, some ruderal invasive species may have such a competitive advantage over the native species that they, too, may permanently prevent a disturbed area from returning to its original state despite natural topsoil.
While considering that sociological terms such as native, invasive, exotic, etc. are also used in botany, the behavior of ruderal plants may act as a reminder of crime, displacement, migration, and slums. Even though the plants seen in the low light without a clear background awaken the “natural” connotations in the first place such as a forest, the city sounds in the background prevent this. The video approaches to the plants as individuals, focusing on their bodies in a haptic way.
(...) Uzun bir ömrü değil Avare bir yaşamın geçiciliğini tercih ediyoruz (...) oku
The Sound of No-One Listening
abondoned area, uncultivated state, dead zone, border vacuum, derelict land, empty place, free space, loose-fit landscape, liminal space, nameless space, No Man’s Land, postarchitectural zone, spaces of indeterminacy, ambivalent landscape, space of uncertainty, Tabula Rasa, Temporary Autonomous Zone, terrain vague, urban desert, vacant land, voids wasteland, Informal urban greenspace (IGS), desolate space, hole, threshold, urban interstices, space in-between, gap, unintenional landscape, brownfield land
İstanbul Ruderalleri: Sokak Otları
Port, Sayı 2, 2019
Kente yayılan bitkiler: Sokak otları
Yasemin Ülgen ile Röportaj
Kentin Doğasının Peşinde: Sokak otları
Yeni Şafak Pazar Eki
Botanitopya: Sokak Otları ve Onların Kent Ekolojisindeki Yeri
Benan Kapucu / Açık Radyo
Mekan ve İnsan (55): Kerem Ozan Bayraktar ile sokak otları /
Melis Oğuz Medyascope
Nurhan Keleer / Açık Radyo
TRT Radyo Ankara
TRT Radyo İstanbul
“Açık Seminer – Ortak Yaşam Üzerine Araştırmalar: Dağıtık Yaşam“, Çevrimiçi Seminer, Organizasyon: Murat Alat, İstanbul Özel Saint-Joseph Fransız Lisesi & Poşe, İstanbul
“Sokak otları”, İstanbul Üniversitesi Peyzaj Mimarlığı Bölümü, İstanbul
Notes (on Instagram)