During his residency at Marginal Utility Brandon Straus created a multichannel video installation: Coconut Palace and a Bamboo Mansion. It is the result of long distance research and free association about the Philippines’ visual culture from his Filipino-American perspective. The videos explore cultural symbols, economy, and ecosystems within Philadelphia and Hawaii. Store bought coconuts and invasive bamboo in Philadelphia alongside Hawaiian bamboo groves and coconut trees highlight the connection between immigration, international commerce and colonialism.
The project has since continued with travel to the Philippines and will continue to evolve and iterate in different venues.