Host Analog is comprised of six segments of a Douglas fir tree that lived for 600 years in the wilderness to the west of Wy'east Mountain, now also known as Mount Hood, in the watershed of the Bull Run River. The tree, felled and bucked, was deemed unsuitable for lumber sometime in the 1960s and was left to decay in the forest. In 1990, it was rediscovered in the Bull Run Watershed (Portland's water source since 1895). Host Analog continues its relationship with the Bull Run as it is misted daily with water brought to the City from its original home. It is an urban nurse log, serving to exemplify a living laboratory of diversity, adaptability and resilience.
When the segmented tree was transported to the plaza of the Oregon Convention Center and declared a work of art called Host Analog, it was already acting as a nurse log, carrying with it a native ecosystem. Over time, the forest landscape growing on Host Analog has been diversified with urban plants self-seeding and taking root, enabling a unique laboratory and creating an aesthetic that confronts the notion of what is "natural" with the elements of chance and change. This dynamic artwork will never be considered complete, as it will continually evolve.
From its inception, the intent has been for Host Analog, as sculpture, to define its own living system as the coexistence of diverse life forms create a dynamic equilibrium. It is imperative that little to no intervention be imposed upon this laboratory environment as it develops a new normal, its own "manifest destiny." Ultimately, this landscape may become a model of an adapting ecosystem, as we adjust in a world of climate change.