Frankenstein, The Tree with Forty Fruit

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Miraculous, and not a flaming sword near it—Sam Van Aken’s project marries sculpture and agriculture and genetics and a little bit of wonder.

I was able to see the grafting process while growing up on a farm and have always been fascinated by how one living thing cut could be cut inserted into another living thing and continue to grow,” Van Aken explained to HuffPost. “As this fascination evolved I came to see grafting used as a metaphor for sexuality such as in Ovid’s Metamorphosis and the modern man such as Frankenstein. Like the forms in these books I wanted the tree to be the beginning of a narrative. A form that when seen causes one to create narrative.


Casey Dayan is a Rumpus intern and musician. He is finishing up his undergraduate studies in literature and anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he is working on a memoir and trying to one-up Jeff Buckley. Find his twitter here, @caseydayan. Find his band, “Moo,” here. More from this author →