Although professional indexers no longer use index cards for generating indexes, these ubiquitous little scraps of paper still have their uses.

One of the more surprising uses has been found by New York installation artist Tara Donovan who like to use disposable materials to create large-scale pieces that are “more of a mimicking of the way of nature, the way things actually grow.”

In 2014 Untitled made of acrylic rods and hundreds of thousands of index cards made the exhibition rounds including the PACE gallery and even the Smithsonian Art Museum.

Each undulating tower is eight to thirteen feet tall.

“Training myself to always look for idiosyncrasies has been essential to the development of my practice. I often find myself not even looking at an object, but rather the way it relates to the space around it.”

The Smithsonian website described the exhibit best:

“The resulting enigmatic landscapes force us to wonder just what it is we are looking at and how to respond. The mystery, and the potential for any material in her hands to capture it, prompts us to pay better attention to our surroundings, permitting the everyday to catch us up again.”