Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 294: Field encounters

Image: Oficina Salitreria Properidad, Chile, 12 Oct 2007 by Chris Taylor (Land Arts of the American West)

We met Chris Taylor for the first time (in person) last October at the Art + Environment conference in Reno, NV. But, we had also randomly called him almost two years prior from the side of a mesa (with a terrible cell connection) in Colorado, seeking advice about how to get access to James Turrell's Roden Crater. We had read online that he took groups of students there on something called Land Arts of the American West. He gave us his best advice for getting into the highly protected and unfinished art work (it didn't work out) but, without having ever met us, he also told us about his sustainable building project in Madrid, NM (aka the Red Dog Shed). Even though he wouldn't be there, he said we should stop by and check-it out. He gave us directions and info on the key. The house was amazing, you can check-it out on our blog from 28 days (see the May 5th entry). This is the kind of open and supportive energy that we have encountered over and over again when meeting, collaborating and exchanging with the artists involved with the emerging art + environment movement/field/work/context.

A lot had changed since May of 2007! We have collaborated with the New Mexican contingent of the Land Arts of the American West program this past fall, and will again this summer and next fall. We might even end up meeting up with them out in the field next October. We also are very much looking forward to seeing Chris again today, in New York for his talk at Parsons. He'll also be at Yale next Monday if you are in the area.

The low down on the conversation follows below, we couldn't be more intrigued and inspired by the content. Oh yeah, the Land Arts program also just published a book, check it out and place advanced orders!


Friday, 10 April 2009, 2:00-4:00pm
Parsons The New School for Design
Aronson Gallery, 2 West 13 Street, 1st floor, New York, NY 10011

This event will address the reclamation of post-industrial landscapes, environmental impact of the practices of reclamation, and roles that architecture, art and design play in such processes. The panel will further discuss the field methods of Land Arts of the American West, and the Incubo Atacama Lab in Chile, as a case study. Joel Towers, Dean of the School of Design Strategies, and an Assoc. Professor of Architecture and Urban Ecology at The New School, will frame the panel by discussing the epistemological significance of post-industrial landscapes within the framework of Urban Ecology, and also the environmental impact of reclamation.

Land Arts of the American West at Texas Tech, directed by Chris Taylor, is a field program that investigates the intersection of geomorphology and human construction beginning with the land and extending through the complex social and ecological processes that produce contemporary landscapes. The Incubo Atacama Lab project began when the curatorial exchange organization Incubo invited Chris Taylor to bring the working methods of Land Arts to Chile. The lab brought together a group of students and researchers from North and South America for a conference in Santiago and fieldwork in the Atacama Desert to examine earthworks and create contemporary responses to the industrial use of land over time. Panel respondent will be Carin Kuoni, Director of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, who will also moderate the discussion.

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