EMPIRE OF DIRT is a site responsive project by James Geurts, excavating soil biology, earth based architecture and modes of species adaptation. This installation brings art and science into conversation with the construction site of RMIT’s New Academic Street. The research involved working in the lab with environmental microbiologist, Distinguished Professor Andy Ball.

The light-boxes include drawings and images from Rodda Lane site, micro laboratory, archival material and field research. The sculptures migrate termite structures from the Northern Territory to colonise Melbourne’s city centre.

Emerging from RMIT’s Centre for Art Society and Transformation, the project was designed in collaboration with a number of partners, including Carbon Arts, RMIT’s New Academic Street’s Urban Animators: Living Laboratory program, and Lightscape Projects RMIT. The project is funded by Wonderment Walk Victoria.

EMPIRE OF DIRT is in situ at Rodda Lane until 17 June. It forms part of Wonderment Walk Victoria’s growing open air gallery of sculptures and installations combining science, mathematics and art to engage passers-by with wonder, delight and curiosity.