Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TRACKING XMASS TREES 2011





I arrived at _______ (a big box store which will remain anonymous) in time to see a large portion of their garden department empty. blank isles were lined with curious cement block pyramids ready for the 2011 shipment of Xmass trees. . .my timing was perfect to document one season of our most conspicuous consumer symbols -- the Xmass trees. They arrive in mass to the market and then disappear. we create whole temporary forests growing in parking lots, which we ritualistically tear down, only to have crop up again next year.





for a few januaries in a row, I noticed a mountain of dried up Xmass trees piling up behind _____ (a different big box store which will remain anonymous). I made a note of this--wanting to document it some day. we live through this incredible annual public process of cutting, marketing, selling, bringing into our homes, and then throwing away "evergreen" trees. given a new context of greater Earth awareness (weather change, earthquakes, volcanoes, deforestation, ozone depletion, etc, etc. . . ) this major american tradition reveals some important aspects of how our relationship with nature is f-cked up. perhaps this is a tradition that needs to be secularized and twisted into an act which upholds society's new respect for trees, plants & forests . . . instead of repeating a blind ritual which unconsciously instills the disappearance of our beloved natural environment. ( yes, it's an outrageously idealistic proposal. . .but not entirely impossible )





Saturday, November 26, 2011

END OF "THE MEADOW"









for two years I have tended a meadow in the empty lot next to my house. I do not own this property, but have been making art there for three years. In reaction to some intolerance towards public art in my neighborhood, I built a custom billboard which which was a nice companion piece to the wild garden. I live on a very public corner of Atlanta. It's a long saga click here if you want to investigate more about the artworks I created here.

alas, a few weeks ago, the property owner showed up with a bobcat and tore down the meadow and the billboard. then sprinkled cement dust on the surface to make a parking lot.

I knew that I was playing with space temporarily and was almost relieved not to have to go through the trouble of a total deinstall. but I wanted to find a way to keep people from actually parking in this space. After some consideration of a series of potential low-impact responses, my friend Crytal and I created a walking labyrinth in the space.

not sure how to maintain it or it I do, is that being too agressive with private property? but the idea of creating surface graphics over unused blocks of property is an idea with a lot of potential. Imagine finding a way to use parking lots as places to walk and contemplate when not filled up with cars. . .