This is a blog of ongoing projects starting with: 1) Antarctica -Dec. 2006 - February 2007 2) Work made from the experience 2008 3) Nevada Feb. - Oct. 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Work at For-Site in the Sierra Nevada foothills

In May I began work at ForSite, Nevada City, where we made 4 works:
Cloud Pool Chamber (2)
Maidu Clouds
Shattered Peace, Broken Promises (real time)
Shattered Peace, Broken Promises (slow time)

The Cloud Pool Chamber is an octagon log Structure, built over a granite boulder which holds a pool of water in the carved dished upper face, acting as a mirror for the interior structure and the sky and trees seen through the top opening of the log structure. Each log has been notched and numbered and the work sat between two large granite outcroppings.

The work was photographed on site (work 1) and then the whole structure has been dismantled and re erected on the flat roof space of the museum, where the mirror pool will reflect the white puffed clouds coming off the Sierra Nevada (work 2)

The land around ForSite was once inhabited by Maidu people who tended the land for optimum production of oak trees. They ground the acorns into a flour in what are now called grinding rocks. These are granite boulders pitted with deep indentations which acted as querns. There are native peoples still alive today who could remember their grandparents doing this. The land however was grabbed in the gold rush and decimated. Today the rivers are still polluted and gold mining is ongoing. The land has been logged and most of the oaks gone, and scrub has invaded what was once productive pasture with much biodiversity. It is still however very beautiful.

Having filled both the dish in the log chamber and one of the grinding rocks with a brown liquid from boiled acorns, I have filmed passing clouds in these mirrored pools over the course of a day. These will make up a video projection within the museum (work 3).

‘Shattered Peace, Broken promises’ (work 4) is another 6 minute looped video of a thin line of smoke from a sage brush bundle (used by native Americans as a cleansing smoke), which is subjected to the sound of 3 explosions (inaudible in the projection). The work is projected and played in real time and also in a slow time, where you can see just how the line of smoke particles are broken down by the waves of sound. This piece connects to another which we will install in the gallery which will be hundreds of small fragments of sagebrush suspended on nylon threads, floor to ceiling, in the shape of the mushroom Amanita virosa (Destroying Angel) and resembling a nuclear mushroom cloud.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Smoke so related to life and death and beautifully interpreted by Princess Ono No Komachi in 850 AD, in her Tanka poetry:

I enjoy viewing and reading about your thoughtful work.