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  Ecologic Projects  

Cancelled Crop

Los Angeles Project

Forest Project

Notes on Ecologic Projects

 

Dennis Oppenheim

Robert Morris

Dennis Oppenheim

Dennis Oppenheim



   

Cancelled Crop

The route from Finsterwolde, Holland (field location) to Niewe Schans (location of storage silo) was reduced and plotted on a 154x267 meter field. The field was then seeded following this line. In September, the harvest followed a large X configuration. The media (grain) from the first cuts was shipped to a gallery location in Germany. All characteristics of the gallery were dropped. For one month, it became a silo — a storage room for grain. New personnel were hired, the phone number was changed, new staionery printed, advertisements mentioned only "Grain for Sale." The interior was filled with large bags of grain — only a large scale was added. top




 

A SITE WILL BE SELECTED SOMEWHERE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. THE EXACT SIZE OR TYPE OF TERRAIN IS OF NO PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE. RURAL OR UNINHABITED AREAS ARE MOST DESIRABLE. SOME PART OF THE SITE COULD INVOLVE CULTIVATED AREAS. URBAN CENTERS OR HIGHLY POPULATED AREAS WILL BE AVOIDED. SOMETHING LIKE ONE SQUARE MILE IS BEING AIMED AT. AN EXTENSIVE ECOLOGICAL SURVEY OF THE AREA SELECTED WILL BE CARRIED OUT. SUCH STUDIES WILL RECORD SEASONAL VAR IATIONS IN FLORA AND ANIMAL LIFE, WEATHER, HUMIDITY, WIND, RAINFALL. GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS, BACKGROUND RADIATION RECORDINGS, AERIAL AND INFRA-RED PHOTOGRAPHY ARE A FEW OF THE ECOLOGICAL PARAMETERS THAT WILL BE STUDIED AND RECORDED. A FILM SHOT FROM A HELICOPTER TRAVERSING THE ENTIRE AREA WILL BE MADE. IN ORDER THAT NO SPECIFIC SPA TIAL SITE BE ESTABLISHED THE VARIOUS SURVEYS WILL VARY WITH RESPECT TO BOUNDARIES- I.E.: THERE WILL BE A COMMON CENTER BUT THE PERIMETERS OF EACH STUDY WILL NOT BE THE SAME. TWENTY-FOUR HOUR AUDIO RECORDINGS AT VARIOUS SAMPLING POINTS WILL BE MADE. AFTER THE VARIOUS SURVEYS HAVE BEEN IN PROGRESS FOR SEVERAL MONTHS A NUMBER OF HIGH-OUTPUT AIR CONDITIONERS AND HEATERS WILL BE INSTALLED UNDERGROUND. THEIR NUMBER AND LOCATION WITH RESPECT TO EACH OTHER HAS NOT YET BEEN DETERMINED. THE DEVICES USED WILL BE ADAPTED FROM EXISTING UNITS NOW FUNCTIONING IN AERO-SPACE GROUND SUPPORT SYSTEMS FOR AIRCRAFT, MISSILES AND ELECTRONICS PRODUCED BY A DIVISION OF LEAR SIEGLER, INC., SANTA ANA, CALI FORNIA. NONE OF THE TECHNOLOGY USED WILL BE VISIBLE. THE OUTPUTS OF HOT AND COLD AIR, EITHER IN THE FORM OF AIR CURRENTS OR RADIANT ENERGY, WILL FOR THE MOST PART BE ABOVE GROUND, ALTHOUGH SUB-SURFACE RADIANT HEATING WILL PROBABLY BE INCORPORATED. THE SWITCHING DEVICES HAVE NOT BEEN DETERMINED BUT CONTROL OF MODULATION WILL PROBABLY BE PROGRAMMED TO CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES. THE ACTUAL OUTPUT FOR CURRENTS OF HOT OR COLD OR WARM OR COOL AIR WILL BE DISGUISED. FIBERGLASS ROCKS WITH FISSURES, PLASTIC CREVASSES, CAMOUFLAGED CONDUITS IN TREES, ETC., WILL FUNCTION AS THE INTERFACES BETWEEN THE TECHNOLOGY AND NATURE. ECOLOGICAL RECORDINGS WILL CONTINUE AT ALL LEVELS AFTER INSTALLATION OF THE TECHNOLOGY WITH A VIEW TOWARD DETERMINING CHANGES WHICH THE ARTIFICIAL LOCALIZED WEATHER MIGHT PRODUCE ON ANY ASPECT OF THE ENVIRONMENT. THE PROJECT IS BEING MADE POSSIBLE BY THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM TOGETHER WITH LEAR SIEGLER. IN APRIL, 197O THE MUSEUM WILL EXHIBIT WORK MADE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BY VARIOUS ARTISTS WORKING WITH VARIOUS INDUSTRIES. ONLY VARIOUS RECORDINGS FROM THESE SURVEYS WILL BE ADAPTABLE TO A MUSEUM SHOWING. THESE WILL, IN FACT, BE THE ONLY VISIBLE ASPECT OF THE PROJECT. PRESUMABLY THE SITE ITSELF WILL BE ACCESSIBLE FOR VISITING. PERHAPS WHAT MINIATURE GOLF DID FOR THE SENSE OF THE GAME THIS PROJECT WILL DO FOR THE NATIONAL PARKS. ROBERT MORRIS top

 



 

Dennis Oppenheim: Forest Project — Removal Transplant — New Canaan, Conn. 4" X 25' x 35' of surface stratum (leaf material) was trucked from the forest to an area near Rattlesnake Hill, and spread on snow in a 25' by 35' boundary, thus assimilating original floor. Holes were left to designate the trees and rocks in the original location. (From the collection of Candace Fischer). top

 

 

NOTES ON ECOLOGIC PROJECTS BY DENNIS OPPENHEIM Much of my work deals with two distinct placements. The art gallery, on one hand; land mass on the other. Conceptually they share similar ingredients. In the gallery, my concern with decomposed matter is more directly related to place, and explores, problematically, the justification of object placement. Therefore, the material matter of my conic pile would be composed of material ingredients of the supports on which it rests. Example: a conic pile leaning into a vertical wall support, spreading to the ground, would be made of the same ingredients as those supports (gypsum, sand, concrete) thus allowing the compositionalized matter to become the place on which it rests. In other words, decomposed form is not put in a place — it is that place, devoid of manual organization, eradicated of all imposed rigidity, free to respond only to extension, inertia, and gravitation. · As for my land pieces: the negative particle slide in Long Island, which continues with expanding arcs for 1,000 feet, could conceptually (in a manner similar to radar bands) travel the extent of the globe. This factor of articulating land area in terms of prescribed distance markers led me to some interesting ideas, in that distance (footage, yardage, etc.) is tangible when applied to specific land surface, it must be regarded as sculpturally significant. Merely by driving two stakes at separate points, you are working with points, you are working with tangible sculptural form. Seeing distance as the time required to span an area is another consideration which draws further away from our traditional concern with objects. Shortly after the Long Island piece, in search for land parcels with particular surface characteristics, I ended up in Pennsylvania. It was July and the farmers were beginning to harvest wheat. My first field piece involved the use of commercial snowfencing — 4'x5O' — to create linear cuts in the surface media. Any imposed linear pattern seemed forced, so I worked mainly with long, single directional cuts. In some cases, however, the fencing was curved and grouped to assimilate truncated or incomplete contour lines. My contours were in opposition to the existing topography. After watching numerous wheat harvest operations, I approached a farmer in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, asking to direct or plot the harvester's course. My instruction was simply to make a cut directly down the center of a 200'x900' field bordered by corn which was alloted to me. The same farmer will allow me to organize the planting of his corps (corn, orats, barley, hay, wheat) this coming year. What became interesting with the field pieces were the isolated stages of progress. If we see the 200'x900' field of wheat as a kind of non—rigid media held in geometry, which through linear cuts or eradications are transformed in separate sub-forms (bales) later to be subjected to a mobile topographical displacement (trucking bales to stock piles,) each stage is art. · Another piece, located on a New Haven, Connecticut swamp grid is divided into rectangles (150'x 175'), each bordered by water. Using a sickle mower, I scribed altitude or contour lines in the thick surface. The cuts were filled with iron filings (residue from steel borings.) Altitude lines on contour maps served to translate mea surement of existing topography to a two-dimensional surface. With my piece, I create contours which oppose the reality of the existing land, and impose their measurements onto the actual site, thus creating a kind of conceptual mountainous structure on a swamp grid. · My use of contour lines taken from maps and enlarged has always stemmed from a rejection of a compositional order. I did not want merely to scribe a composed gesture on land, snow or whatever. To avoid this, I use information data from charts, etc. In some ways, this is close to Sol LeWitt. He too is trying to avoid compositional order by having a serial order dictate the eventual structure. He just sets up a system. He doesn't worry about what the thing looks like. The last thing I wanted to do was bring action gesture into a terrestial art. · Another example is my project for Yvonne Lambert in Paris, called Void. I simply remove 1 acre of sugar beet from the center of a field. The effect of the reduction is traced through all stages of trucking, processing, packing, storage, etc. until the original void or space on the field finds itself transferred, in reduced form, to the end product. Trucking the harvested beets shows a marked decrease in load/volume proportion. The number of gross cartons in proportion to field size decreases. Cartons missing create voids in gross shipments. Missing boxes create voids in cartons. Finally the end result is simply the removal of 2 cubes from the center of x number of boxes of sugar. top

 








 

Original format: Single sheet, 16-3/4 by 21-1/2 inches, printed both sides.

 
 
 

 

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