They've become so commonplace, we hardly even notice anymore that cell towers are disguised as trees. They aren't even convincing trees really, more like a bad Elvis impersonator. Alas, they're here to stay, and we suppose looking at a fake tree is better than looking at a blatantly obvious cell tower. In his new "Invasive Species" photo essay, South African photographer Dillon Marsh explores these towers as what they are -- foreign invaders that have sprouted amongst the native trees, standing out like a sore thumb.
When cell towers starting popping up in the ’90s, they were signs of progress, but then as more sprouted they became an eyesore. Even worse was when they were planted in a neighborhood and towered over friendly suburban houses. In an attempt to make them blend into the landscape, cell companies have tried to disguise the towers. The tree-shaped cell towers come in different varieties, including pine trees, palms, furs, and even ones that look like dead snag trees. They’re not fooling us though; we can still tell they’re cell towers and they’re still broadcasting in our back yards.
Dillon Marsh, a landscape photographer who likes to focus on humanity’s interaction with nature, noticed all of the cell phone trees in his town of Cape Town and began documenting them. His filtered images evoke a sense of nostalgia for a time before the digital invasion. In a few, the towers almost fit in, but most of them stick out like a sore thumb. Invasive Species explores this relationship between the environment and these disguised cell towers.
Images ©Dillon Marsh