desire path, game trail, social trail, fishermen trail, herd path, cow path, elephan path, goat track, pig trail, use trail, bootleg trail
Lucia Monge (1983-)
“Lucia Monge started bringing people and plants together as Plantón Móvil in Lima, Peru. This is a participatory, walking forest performance that occurs annually and leads to the creation of public green areas.
“Plantón” is the word in Spanish for a sapling, a young tree that is ready to be planted into the ground. It is also the word for a sit-in. This project takes on both: the green to be planted and the peaceful protest. It is about giving plants and trees the opportunity to “walk” down the streets of a city that is also theirs. This walking forest performance culminates with the creation of a public green area.
Plantón Móvil started in 2010 while I was walking around Lima, my hometown, and noticing how many trees and plants had their leaves blackened with smog, were being treated as trash cans, or even used as bathrooms. I started to put myself in their place, and thought I would have left town a long time ago. Instead they are sort of forced to sit there and accept this abuse because of their planted “immobile” state. I wondered what it would be like to encounter a walking forest that had taken to the streets like any other group of people would do, demanding respect.
Plantón Móvil, however, is not a group of people carrying plants: at least for that time being we are the forest. I find it important to make this distinction because it changes the nature of the gesture. This is about lending our mobility to plants so that they can benefit from the speed and scale that draws people’s attention. In return; we may momentarily borrow some of their slowness. Essentially, it is about moving-with as a form of solidarity.” (credit)
This work sits at Richmond’s Capitol Square Park in Virginia. The spiral shaped walking path honors the original inhabitants of the region, especially seventeenth-century Chief Powhatan (d. 1618) who united thirty-four Algonquian tribes. The site incorporates cast images of corn, squash, and bean plants around the edge of a reflecting pool, and is surrounded by groves of trees native to the area. The site requires active participation, unlike a statue on a plinth, thereby becoming a reflective activation of this space of reintroduced Native life and cultural memory.
— Michelson, Alan. “Mantle, 2018,” Alan Michelson. Accessed June 25, 2022: https://www.alanmichelson.com/mantle
“I have always loved walking by the sea and was increasingly disturbed by the amount of plastic I was finding washed up on the beach. But in 2006, the United Nations Environment Programme reported that humankind’s exploitation of the oceans was ‘rapidly passing the point of no return’ and I was really shocked to discover that they estimated that on average there were around 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating on every square mile of ocean, leading to the death of over one million seabirds and over 100,000 marine mammals every year due to entanglement with or swallowing of litter.
We now know that over 12 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, travelling on ocean currents to every part of the globe. These plastics endure in the marine environment indefinitely: items from the birth of plastics are washing up on our shores, virtually unscathed. Scientists estimate that plastic can take 1000 years or more to degrade in seawater and even then will continue to pollute our environment with thousands of microscopic fibres: samples taken from a Northumbrian beach were found to have over 10,000 fibres in just one litre of sand… But disposal of plastics in our oceans isn’t just harming wildlife now. We are also providing a toxic legacy that may last an eternity. Moreover, plastics can be found throughout the food chain, even ending up in the food on our plates.
plastics, like diamonds, are forever…
I was so shocked by what I had learned, I felt I had to do something and resolved to ‘save’ one square mile of ocean by collecting 46000 pieces of litter whilst walking on the beaches near my home. Every time I visited the beach I picked up all the litter I could carry. My challenge took exactly a year to achieve (September 2006 – September 2007) and in total I walked over 200kms and carried away nearly a third of a tonne of rubbish.
But sadly my challenge will never really be complete. Scientists estimate that the amount of plastic in the sea is increasing at a rapid rate, doubling every 2 or 3 years. I’m still collecting (I can’t stop!). But this could be a lifetime’s work and I still might not save a single square mile of sea…
My efforts may only be a literal splash in the ocean compared to the immensity of the problems are seas are facing. But what if everyone tried to do something about it? Luckily there is a lot more we can do – have a look here at the things we can all do…
Whilst walking, I took photographs and created a book of what I saw, contrasting the seemingly unspoilt beauty of the landscape with the man-made debris which inhabits it.
See my photographs in sequence from the beginning of my challenge.
To see specific locations, click the following links:
Aldeburgh – Bawdsey – Covehythe – Dunwich – Felixstowe – Orford Ness – Shingle Street – Sizewell – Southwold – Thorpeness – Walberswick
I have saved and photographed nearly everything from my walks.
See some of my collections.
The plastics I have collected have become my materials: I create huge installations with what I have found, ‘recycling’ it as art with potent message, playful but deadly serious.
See photographs from some of my exhibitions.“
- Designer: Dan Graham
- Location: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, part of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
- Date: constructed 1994-1996
- Size: 7.5 x 17.15 x 42.3 feet
- Materials: stainless steel, glass, arborvitae
“Relating both to landscape and corporate architecture, Graham’s pavilions sometimes create a kaleidoscopic, psychedelic experience relating to “child’s play,” recreating apparatuses for children in a playground setting. Graham says, “my use of two-way mirror glass in pavilions is not a critique of the alienation of the corporate building; in many ways the work I do tries to create a kind of pleasure area in relationship to the corporate office building, or to use Foucault’s notion, my wish being to create a kind of ‘heterotopia.'”
Dan Graham (1942-2022) was born in Urbana, Illinois and grew up in New Jersey. Since the 1960s, Graham’s work has explored the meeting between architecture, pop culture, and our built environment. Celebrated for his glass and mirror pavilions, Graham also considers himself a writer-artist paramount to his practice. His work incorporates criticism, photography, video, performance art, as well as influences from music and magazine pages. … One of the most important quasi-functional works that Graham [did] was a design for the mezzanine section of the Hayward Gallery in London, involving displays of classic and contemporary cartoons for children and adults of all ages. ” [credit]
Chain Link Maze, 1978-79 (destroyed), Galvanized chain link fencing, 8′ x 61′ x 61′, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
“Adjacent to the University of Massachusetts football stadium in Amherst stands an 8-foot-tall chain-link fence encompassing an area some 60 feet square [by Richard Fleischner (1944-)]. …
The work sits, as do most of Fleischner’s projects, delicately on its terrain—it does not so much structure the natural, open site as it asserts itself discreetly, sensitively on the slightly rolling topography as a neat, geometrically concise object. Once through the corner entryway, we are confronted with a long corridor, the beginning of a path that winds, multicursal, toward a central inner chamber. Decisions must be made, and confusion is possible as we look through the wire grid at spaces beyond our reach. Both entry and path are ample, affording no sense of claustrophobia. One is struck instead by the open, hospitable feeling of the first corridors as they trace the perimeter. Comfortable strides are possible within the labyrinth; one can even turn or stop easily. It is not long before one of several decision points is reached—several paths can be taken but no great mistake can be made. It is as if the artist wants to coax us gently through this experience. There is no threat here but instead a fuller, more rewarding task of finding one’s own way. We are separated spatially but never visually from the outdoor environment as we can almost always see shimmering details through the various layers of mesh.
As one traverses the walkway, patterns of light reflect off the metallic walls, sometimes creating moiré-like surfaces, at others seeming almost flat and mat-colored. Fleischner has given us a visual labyrinth as well as a participatory maze. In no other maze are almost all the parts visible even as we are confined to a specific track. Depending on how many layers of chain link we gaze through (and this can vary from one to almost a dozen), details of the environment and other figures in the maze fade in and out of our sight. This seems then the perfect visual accompaniment to the fugitive spatial experiences we all undergo within a labyrinth.
In Chain Link Maze, Fleischner uses intuition to achieve his means—physical, optical and psychological experiences that depend on carefully measured spaces. In a broader context, a work like this directly engages some of the notions, particularly American, of the unbounded, natural environment. Fleischner works directly in the landscape, sometimes using concepts from rarified historical traditions. He has reasserted his ability visually to grasp the given landscape in a particularly American fashion, while simultaneously structuring situations within that landscape derived from conventions of garden design, architectural history and spatial perception. —Ronald J. Onorato ” [credit]
“Five hundred volunteers with shovels gathered at a huge sand dune on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, and over the course of a day moved it by several inches. Alÿs developed the idea after first visiting Lima in October 2000. The political context was inescapable: “This was during the last months of the Fujimori dictatorship. Lima was in turmoil with clashes on the streets, obvious social tension and an emerging movement of resistance. This was a desperate situation calling for an epic response: staging a social allegory to fit the circumstances seemed more appropriate than engaging in a sculptural exercise.” The principle that drove When Faith Moves Mountains was “maximum effort, minimal result.” The most apparently minimal change was effected, and only by means of the most massive of collective efforts.
The action itself, as documented in photographs and video, is extraordinarily impressive, but in the end the “social allegory” takes over from the work’s undeniable formal presence. The action was completely transitory. The next day, no one could recognize that the huge sand dune had been moved. The true aftermath of the work lies in the ripples of anecdote and image that radiate out from it.” [credit]
“Wrapped Walk Ways, in Jacob Loose Memorial Park, Kansas City, Missouri, consisted of the installation of 12,540 square meters (135,000 square feet) of saffron-colored nylon fabric covering 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles) of formal garden walkways and jogging paths.
Installation began on Monday, October 2, 1978, and was completed on Wednesday, October 4. 84 people were employed by A. L. Huber and Sons, a Kansas City building contractor, to install the fabric. There were 13 construction workers, four professional seamstresses and 67 students.
After 15,850 meters (52,000 feet) of seams and hems had been sewn in a West Virginia factory, professional seamstresses, using portable sewing machines and assisted by many workers, completed the sewing in the park. The cloth was secured in place by 34,500 steel spikes (each 7 x 5/16 inch/17.8 x 0.8 centimeters) driven into the soil through brass grommets along the sides of the fabric, and 40,000 staples into wooden planks on the stairways.
All expenses related to Wrapped Walk Ways were borne by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, as in all their other projects, through the sale of preparatory works created by Christo: drawings and collages, as well as early works and original lithographs. The artists did not accept sponsorship of any kind.
The temporary work of art remained in the park until October 16, 1978, after which the material was removed and given to the Kansas City Parks Department for recycling, and the park was restored to its original condition.” [credit]
This book brings together documentation of work made in and about Detroit from 2017 to 2018. It includes writing and images from pieces including: “Walking Detroit” (2017-2018), “Michigan Avenue: Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI to 47330 Michigan Avenue, Canton, MI” (2017), “Unsettling: A Walk through Cranbrook” (2018), and “Architextural Disruptions” (2018). Appendices include slides from a research presentation on Detroit history, and a bibliography.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION 1: DETROIT
Walking Detroit (2017-2018)
Interlude: Installation April 4, 2017
Grand River Avenue
Interlude: My Mother’s Store
Michigan Avenue: Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI to 47330 Michigan Avenue, Canton, MI (2017)
Interlude: Installation December 8, 2017
Dearborn & Inkster
Interlude: Installation August 25, 2018
SECTION 2: CRANBROOK
Unsettling: A Walk through Cranbrook (2018)
Architextural Disruptions (2018)
Interlude: All Times Exist Now
Appendix A: Research Presentation
Appendix B: Bibliography