2017 - Edgewood: PERSISTENCE
New Mexico Arts, RT 66 Arts Alliance and the Town of Edgewood presented TIME 2017—Temporary Installations Made for the Environment in Edgewood, New Mexico. New Mexican artists from throughout the state were invited to create temporary environmental artworks based on the theme of PERSISTENCE. TIME 2017 featured five visually engaging and conceptually rich outdoor artworks displayed for a short term exhibition in Edgewood; sites included Wildlife West Nature Park, the Edgewood Library, Edgewood Soccer Fields/ Pavilion and the Edgewood Animal Shelter and Police Station. The artworks were displayed from June 30th- August 30th 2017.
TIME was inspired by the emerging public art trend to engage artists interested in creating more spontaneous and immediate artworks with short life-spans. The project is designed to engage unique and distinct New Mexico communities and professional artists in the public art process.
Transmissions was an audio installation- drive-in style- that participants experienced via their car radios. The installation consisted of audio recordings of Edgewood residents discussing change and adaption over time in the community of Edgewood. Each resident’s dialogue was broadcasted on a different frequency. Viewers could drive to the site, and then listen to the audio tracks by tuning their car radio to the indicated frequency. If multiple cars were present the entire conversation could be heard. If there was one car present, viewers could switch between the frequencies to hear different parts of the conversation. Adapting to change, a key component of persistence is also a quality reflected in the medium of radio, a technology that has persisted and remained relevant as other audio technologies have become obsolete.
Persist, Repeat, Reflect was a sculptural installation that celebrated the persistence of the human being’s interaction with the landscape of Edgewood, New Mexico. The work engaged the memory and nostalgia of material such as adobe mud for building, earthen plastering techniques and architectural forms unique to the region. The structure mirrored back the viewer and backdrop of the environment in contemplation, examination and reflection. Persist, Repeat, Reflect actively engaged interaction with the audience. The viewer was confronted with the size of the sculpture that loomed overhead and created an immersive space that reflected back the natural environment in the facets of multiple iterations.
By utilizing the prevalence of wind to create sound, Soundscape illustrated Edgewood’s acoustic environment. Soundscape gave the audience pause in how we can better listen to the persistence of our natural environment. As wind drew through reed like tubes, the physical structure referenced both a vessel and conceptually the act of breathing. The structure was equally divided, each half a conical inverse of the other, and the volumes were entered from either side. One half tapered towards the sky upward and inward, and referenced a man-made traditional vernacular architecture alluding to shelter, protection and dwelling. The other half organically splayed outward in an abstracted characterization of desert flora and musical pipe organs. Each half represents the dichotomies of a natural and cultural environment; inside vs. outside; organic vs. man-made; harmony vs. discord; wild vs. tame.
Barrowhenge was composed of three arches that were made from wheelbarrows. The structures represented persistence in the most classic and lasting facets of architecture, the arch. Similarly, the wheelbarrow itself embodies qualities of persistence as it is an object that is used as an agricultural and domestic tool, it aids for the hands on approach to improving one’s environment surroundings. Both forms have sustained through the centuries. Barrowhenge engaged the viewer to experience the wheelbarrows from various sides, showing the multi-dimensional use of wheelbarrows. The arches embodied the saying “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
Howling Coyote celebrated one of the most durable and adaptable wild canine neighbors who are at once as cunning and crafty as they are stoic and charming. Coyotes persist to be one of the most adaptable and least tolerated wild predators in North America. Howling Coyote was constructed with hay, a persistent organic material referencing the persistent culture of the agricultural southwest. The sculpture was 10 foot tall howling coyote and rested on a two tiered hay-bale platform, lit up at night by solar powered lights.