Chris Larson’s Deep North

I saw Chris Larson’s film ‘Deep North’ in 2008 while at the Miami Basel Art explosion, and out of the overstimulating art overload my eyeballs took in that week these images of quiet and cold have stuck with me.  I wish there was a way to watch the film…What these images don’t really show are the women dressed in grey felt or flannel jerkins, pushing a huge wooden machine that seems to make tubes of ice, all crammed into a little country home.  The rhythmic, ritualistic movements seems at once devoid of any meaning, but oh so human in our ability to carry on, business as usual, with the world falling apart.  After the fact, I realize this little film had a great deal of influence on the performance I just completed……

I know this isn’t really what this work was meant to convey, but it’s like ‘eco art’ in reverse.  Rather than some sort of ‘intervention’ in the natural landscape, it is as if it is the built environment that is painfully intervened upon.  Which of course raises the notion that these boundaries between these two states are, on a larger scale, fabricated in our own sense of how we exist in the world.

What Climate Change Might Look Like: Chris Larson’s Deep North.


Wyly’s dandelions

I’ve been meaning to post about this  for a while now, my friend Wyly Astley’s installation from the Arts and Nature Festival a few years ago.  Wyly and I just spent a few weeks together, as she is from time to time a studio assistant for me when I manage to scrape together some funding.  She is a very present person, quiet sometimes and always bright, not as one might use the word to mean “smart” but like something glowing.  She, as an artist, person, mother, really reminds me of this installation of brilliant blue dandelions that were subtly sprinkled about the grounds of Camp Long during the festival.

This work was so straightforward. Simple and direct, about a beautiful healing plant so often viewed with disdain for silly reasons,  and it also filled me with a glee that I kinda stifled because I’m a dumb adult.  But the children didn’t stifle and loved and raced about the park finding the flowers.  She once did a temporary art installation for children at a school, where outside the window of their classroom a colorful grove of fabric mushrooms grew overnight.  These same mushrooms popped up in my yard on the morning of my son’s birthday, and he has never stopped talking about it.  It created a particular path in his mind about how he saw the world, and what kind of magic was possible.  I have been from time to time been asked to make art for children (by adults) and it is hard, nerve wracking…but Wyly does it effortlessly, because she is present and knows how to listen to the natural intellect of the child.  I admire her.  I also shared this installation with my high school class at Centrum on environmental installation, and those young artists particularly were drawn to this piece because it’s just craft felt but some how transcends itself.  We talked a lot about how and why this can happen with art…I’m still not sure I get it, but Wyly seems to.  She’ll be doing another installation at this years Arts and Nature Festival, which I eagerly await.

Wyly also makes lovely things for children to wear that you can find here at her Etsy shop.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Gaia: Taming Nature

I adore wheat paste.  I build most of my sculptures out of it, and office paper and some metal/wood armature.  I love the feel of  it….

I don’t even know how I found this little film, bouncing around the nets as I do.  It reminded me of these amazing postered wolfs that I’ve seen around Seattle, (under the West Seattle bridge, now painted over but still looking like ghosts).

It’s funny, I just put this in my “eco art” category and tagged in with “fiber in the environment”, which is probably outside of the way this kind of street art is usually viewed.  But to me, it fits…

Or even “community-based public art”.  labels, labels, labels…

YouTube – Gaia: Taming Nature.