Tides: Everglade – Description of Project
Tides is a research based multimedia environmental installation that was initiated in October of 2005. The project utilizes technology, kinetic sculpture and video projections to examine our continually evolving landscape. A tide is a cyclic rise and fall of a body of water due to the gravitational attraction of the moon and sun. This project uses this definition as a metaphor for the naturally and unnaturally changing topography around us. Erosion is a natural and gradual way the earth evolves beneath us; however, human adaptation of the planet has accelerated earthly progression to a questionable velocity.
Artistically I am attracted to the word everglade and the marshland for two reasons. Firstly the definitions of the word combination implies and infinite open space. To an installation artist this is speaks to me on multiple levels and being born on the prairies of North America it is my intuitive nature to seek special concepts in any form. The notion of an earthly parcel of land being infinite is, however antiquated and this is an important point of the project. As landmasses are bought and sold for development we are more easily seeing the end of our so called infinite space. Much like the definition of wetlands by previous geological survey’s as “useless land masses” the thought of these spaces being never-ending must change. The land is developed and overdeveloped with the attitude that this is a resource that cannot possibly be exhausted.
My second approach to the Everglade as a source for inspiration lies in its characteristics of a transitional tract of land. Even referring to the marsh, as land feels contradictory to what it actually is. The space is neither water nor land for any extended period of time and can visually fluctuate in color and size with a twenty-four hour period. The wetland can reflect the ecological mood or health of a particular region, which can also change from day to day. Essentially this ecosystem is indefinable in many ways and perhaps that’s why the misuse of these vital areas continues. On a personal level the ambiguity of marshland is what interests me. This extends into my art viewing as well. When I look and a work of art I am not seeking hard definitions and practical theories but more often I tend to focus on visual and conceptual connections that the artist may or may not have intended within the work.
This project like most of my work will be planned out to the smallest detail to eliminate unknown factors during the installation time. Most materials and supplies not listed will be purchased in Montana from local vendors and all materials will be recycled following the exhibition.
I would like to thank the following for their help with this exhibition.
Without them it would not have been possible.
Mary Ann Bonjorni
The Gallery of Visual Arts
The University of Montana
The College of Charleston
The Puffin Foundation
And Jennifer Charzewski