Sunday, October 31, 2010

final project

negative triangles
I set off for round two of the final project and came up with this! It is an exploration of the negative space of a tree- which turns out very largely to be triangles.The translucent plastic is really accented by the lighting.  The inorganic vibe that plastic offers is really a nice counter point to the tree. The space lays only 100 feet (maximum) from the expressway. The headlights of the cars offer really neat lighting, almost producing a sort of light fixturesque look for both triangles.The plastic fastened to the tree is analogous to the road carving through the earth. The piece was more spontaneous than anything and below I describe how it came to be.

It was a bit of a journey of self-discovery. First I had to find a tree, a much larger one than in the previous attempt. After a walk in the park I saw a tree that not only was massive but looked climbable:

Next was the biggest challenge of all- getting up into the tree. I learned that I am a terrible climber. Terrible. I couldn't think of a way to get up the tree at first but found a log and decided to roll it over to give me a little assistance.
Now that I had a boost there was no stopping me! Except there was. I attempted to climb up and reach out to the desired branch but was stuck. I eventually found one that looked decent and tried to measure the dimensions. Hanging from a branch is not the best position to be in while measuring distances. I ended up just climbing back down and guess at the length. Unable to climb the tree I shoved both the plastic and the staple gun in little nooks in the tree and headed upward. At first I just stretched the plastic and stapled away. Reaching out as far as I felt comfortable 12 feet in the air.

I pruned the extra plastic and took a look. It didn't look like I wanted it to. I climbed up again to try to fine ways to alter it in someway. Feeling discouraged I began to climb back down. Then I realized that the split down the middle of the tree was also a triangle and decided I could try something there as well. And so I did.

There was light coming from across the expressway that was extremely complementary. I really like the log in the piece, even though it was simply there for practical reasons. Additionally I think the centerpiece turned out better than the curtain in the branches. Pretty much my favorite things about this project were either thought of while on site, or happened on accident. Also 'the process' was a lot more demanding than I thought. I have scrapes, and am pretty tired from the climb. Who needs the gym when you have earth art I suppose?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


My initial attempt (previous post) was not only slightly unsuccessful but it also was not very appealing looking. I was considering coloring the plastic, perhaps different colors for each section- and multiple placed on one tree. Thoughts? Spray paint? I'm not really sure how you color plastic. I have a red sharpee and considered doing designs but think that may look tacky and a solid color would be better.

I have also considered fastening a string to a stick and feeding it through the washer to have a sort of web coming down through the middle, perhaps placing a stick on that end as well. This could help with weighting down the water draining point and perhaps look neat?

Monday, October 25, 2010

first try- fail(ish)

This is my first attempt. I assumed it would be difficult so I choose a smaller spread of branches and something closer to the ground so I could figure out my technique. 

Well the zipties, the measuring, and the plastic all worked out just fine. The hole was a bit of a fail. It was glued on the dorsal surface of the plastic- mistake. Because it creates a lip it does not allow ample flow (I just poured a glass of water into it) without (I'm guessing) torrential rains. Also I think it could be weighted more heavily in order to cause the water to run to the hole and not elsewhere. For the next one I'm going to glue it on the opposite side of the plastic and fashion an addition washer to it. Also the branch space will be larger and less rectangular- rectangles are really not exciting looking.


I purchased all of the things I think I'll need for the project:



The plastic will form most of the piece. The washers will serve as the weight and hole for the water. The zip ties (paired with a staple gun) will hold the plastic in the trees, hopefully.

scoping out trees

updating a couple of different events. trying to find places to do my final project- specifically trees. there are a lot in the yard and park behind my house so i'm looking to do it there. here are some trees!

I'm really looking for good branch spacings. Again my project is basically using plastic to cover the spacing between the branches creating a hole in the middle somewhere to funnel water.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hollywood Cemetery + Valley Curtain = Idea?

Christo's Valley Curtain
I really love this piece. It gave me inspiration to integrate the degenerating tombstone with water- and I have a sort of decent idea. I'd like to string a curtain like Cristo's between branches, put a hole in it near the center for drainage, and below the hole I have a piece of wood, level with the ground easily covered that becomes revealed upon rain? Perhaps it'd need to be in some sort of sand pile or something. 

water + sand
 Well that looks pretty neat I'd say and this wasn't even a designed piece, just an observation. Perhaps I can pool rocks into the idea?

Hollywood Cemetery

tree roots in embankment, spreading through 'cairn'

akin to the vietnam memorial

overgrown grave stone

dead plant juxtaposes green grass, appropriate in a graveyard

deterioration of tombstone

cairn meets gravestone

lack of tree promotes circular overgrowth

the light leaves seem to bend the heavy metal
Hollywood Cemetery is awesome first off. There are some serious monolithic gravestones- one of which I could not find for some reason, and it was the reason I went there. I found a lot of inspiration here. I really like the idea of moss overgrowing the tombstones. I think in my final project I'd like to facilitate some sort of overgrowth of some seemingly tough structure (stone, or metal is in the last image). The overgrown grave stone that is level with the earth seems to be the most applicable. I don't see myself working with stone necessarily (it'd probably be super difficult) but perhaps wood? I also want to integrate water- perhaps that will be my method of increasing the life and entropy of the work.