The Architecture of Nature: A Talk by Maya Lin



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Who is Maya Lin?
Get some information on American contemporary artist, architect, and author Maya Lin.

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The Architecture of Maya Lin
From the article: "The fact that the trajectory of Lin's creative life allows her to focus on a beat-up sink with the same thought and energy she brought to memorializing American soldiers killed in Vietnam makes the direction she has chosen in life clear. It's not an easy path, but it's a good one."

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A Gallery of Pictures and Stories of "The Wall"
Visit hear to learn more about this memorial.

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Yale University
The Yale University Homepage

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Images of Land Art
A safe google search of Land Art Images.

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Timeline of American Civil Rights Movement
From Brown v. Board of Education to Martin Luther King Jr. to the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and beyond.

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Martin Luther King Jr
A history of the life of an American Civil Rights icon.

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A Tribute to Some of Yale's Most Famous Women
Such as Grace Murray Hopper, who was the first woman to receive a Ph.D in mathematics at Yale and is famous for stating, "It is much easier to apologize than to get permission."

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Street Hall at Yale University
A Flickr image from Street Hall.

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What is Internet Time?
Well Swatch invented a new way to tell time without time zones and daylight savings time.

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The Rotation of the Earth
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Earth's rotation.

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Old photo of Penn Station in New York City

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Overview of Maya Lin as an Architect
Learn more about Maya.

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Define: Modernist
Gotta love Google. Quick definition- an artist who makes a deliberate break with previous styles

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Noah's Ark
The story of the most famous ark in history and its traditions and interpretations in many different religions.

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Build Your Own Greenhouse
Sure it isn't a pretty as Maya's, but it will be closer to home.

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Architecture as a Toy
Start building those skills.

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American Express Ad Featuring Wes Anderson
"Are those my birds? I need those"

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Architect Hat?

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Averages of Minneapolis temperature throughout the year
It can get pretty cold there in the winter.

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Stokes Wave
If you can understand this good for you!

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Art:21 on The Wave Field
Want to get a little deeper into The Wave Field? From the article: "But it is the artist's interest in the sciences that generated the initial image for "The Wave Field." While researching the disciplines of aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, Lin stumbled upon an image of the Stokes wave: a naturally occurring phenomenon on the open sea."

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Storm King Art Center
Mountainville, NY. Homepage...

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Andy Goldsworthy's Storm King Wall
This is a 2,278 foot long sculpture made from stones found on the Storm King Art Centers grounds. This is the Storm King page for the installation.

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Grass Growing
Time lapse of Wheat Grass growing.

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Wexner Center for the Arts

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Water Worn Rock
In case you wanted to see one.

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Coast of Hawaii
Looks beautiful, no?

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Systematic Landscapes at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
From the page: "Lin explains that these pieces are meant to challenge the means by which we perceive landscapes in the 21st century the era of digital photos and satellite maps on the internet. You just want to translate what you see, Lin said. I am no different from a 19th-century landscape artist. She is different, of course, as she admits, since she is not actually looking at the landscape and reproducing what she sees, but using large amounts of scientific data to produce a vision of what she might see."

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Maya Lin 2 x 4 Landscape Installation
Shots from the installation at the de Young Museum.

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Bouvet Island
Located in the South Atlantic Ocean south-southwest of the Cape of Good Hope. More info on Wikipedia (of course)

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Richard Andrews, formerly of the Henry Art Gallery, on systematic landscapes
Want more info on systematic landscapes? Richard Andrews is your guy.

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Blue Lake Pass
6.7 miles of beautiful trails northwest of Denver.

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How To Prevent Your Concrete From Cracking
Useful tips from Ask The Builder. Good concrete does not happen by accident, people!

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Digital Mapping Techniques
From the US Geological Survey.

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What is Plasticine?
It is a kind of modeling putty. For more info go to Wikipedia.

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Drawing or Language?
Sounds like a Doctors signature...(insert cymbal crash)

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University of California, Irvine

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More of this Installation

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Tan Lin's Poetry
Just a sample of the poetry of Maya's brother, Tan Lin.

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How We Make a Memory
Quick little article about a study of induced amnesia and how we create new memories.

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Nez Perce
Nez Perce, meaning "pierced nose," were Native Americans of the Northwest Pacific United States. Find out more on a wiki.

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Lewis & Clark Documentary
If you like pan and zoom then check out this Ken Burns documentary Lewis & Clark - The Journey of the Corps of Discovery.

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A fine-grained volcanic rock that is usually gray or black.

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Chinook Nation
Official website of the Chinook Nation with news, history, and events.

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Endangered Birds
A list of US and International birds that are currently on the Endangered Species List. You might be surprised at how many there are.

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LA Times on Missing
"The title of this work-in-progress, like many of the details, is evolving: Perhaps “What is Missing,” perhaps simply “Missing.” But the theme is clear: Lin’s finale will grieve for the animals, birds and plants driven into extinction – and warn of the urgency of acting now to halt the devastation."

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Winged Migration
A stunning documentary on the migration of birds across the globe. Winged Migration is an Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature. Check it out.

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Fair Trade Certified
Get some info on Fair Trade Coalitions including some in your neighborhood, or how to start your own!

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The Brown-Headed Cowbird
The Brown-Headed Cowbird lays their eggs in another birds nest (this is called a "brood parasite" or also known as "a jerk")

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Wild Chronicles Video on Mekong River Wildlife
Skip to about 1:10 in the video for this colossal fish.

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Walla Walla Foundry
This foundry in Walla Walla, Washington has assisted with several of Maya Lin's projects as well as many other notable artists like Jim Dine and Tom Otterness.

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Bluespring Cavern
In the Southern Indiana town of Bedford is a beautiful underground water system, where you can take tours. Hope you aren't afraid of the dark.

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Maya Lin Above and Below
Installed on the Fortune Balcony in between the second floor Asian Galleries and the third floor Contemporary Galleries, this piece is one of the Indianapolis Museum of Art's finest installations.

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Indiana Limestone
Indiana Limestone has been used in the Empire State Building, the Pentagon, the New Yankee Stadium, the National Cathedral, and others.

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For more information on Maya Lin visit her website.

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Indianpolis Museum of Art
For more information on the Indianapolis Museum of Art please visit the homepage.

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In the fall of 2007, the Indianapolis Museum of Art unveiled "Above and Below", a commissioned installation by Maya Lin on the Fortune Balcony of the Asian art galleries; this work was inspired by the complex structure of underground White River tributaries in south central Indiana.

Emerging on the international scene with her design of the Vietnam War Memorial in 1982, Lin’s work has always hovered at the intersection of art, nature and architecture. Watch as artist Maya Lin discusses her works of art and impressive career.

Welcome to artbabble,This web is very good forum where we can get good element of artbabble.Anybody get important information from artbabble.I also want to talk about on At Forward Mark, an attorney will register your trademark for only $119, and that includes a full federal trademark search and an opinion letter. How do you trademark [1] without charging a separate fee. [1]
Mer - Here's a slide/lecture by Maya Lin about some of her work, including some maps at about 28:50.

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00:00:05 The goal for all of us in working with great artists in this institution is to leave a mark, a mark for all time and an opportunity for us to see the world just a little bit differently

00:00:15 and with that, Maya I welcome you to the podium, thank you.

00:00:18 [Applause]

00:00:28 Thank you, Max. Glad to be here. I don't go home to Athens, Ohio anymore. My mom moved away about four years ago, so this is my closest touch to coming home

00:00:38 because it sort of reminds me of the landscape in southeastern Ohio, although I think we're a little bit more rolling hills. This is a talk that will...

00:00:49 I don't wanna go on too long and I apologize if I do. I tried to pare it down and just focus on the art, but I also do architecture and I also have done memorials.

00:00:59 I actually still am doing a few of those and I sort of see my work as a little bit of a tripod and to have cut out the other two and just focused on the art, I didn't feel, you know, in a funny way comfortable standing up here.

00:01:10 So, I'm gonna very briefly touch on, at the start, some of the memorials, some of the architecture, I apologize I am not gonna talk that much about them,

00:01:20 and then I am gonna launch into the art and end with the making of "Above and Below" for the IMA, so here we go....

00:01:31 In 1981, Vietnam Memorial, I was, I think, still in college when I made this. You never know what you're doing as an artist. In fact, I didn't even see myself as an artist

00:01:40 when I made this piece. I was an architecture undergrad. I got labeled as such. I returned to Yale after I finished this piece to start and then finish

00:01:50 my architectural degree and I found myself living almost more in the sculpture department. I don't know why, I don't think you do, but funny thing is I had this rather large piece

00:02:02 that, "what is it?" It is a memorial, but it's also about time and history, but it's also integrated directly into the earth and I think how you develop

00:02:13 as an artist or as an architect, I had no idea, I just started making the work. In 1989, after grad school,

00:02:24 I had been commissioned by the Southern Poverty Law Center to build a memorial to civil rights and again, like the Vietnam Memorial, and I do believe the monuments are hybrids, they're in between art and architecture,

00:02:37 they have a functionality but their function is in a way symbolic or conceptual, but again this one, yet again, uses time and history intertwining

00:02:47 a person's death with a change in legislation, sometimes legislation led to a riot which led to someone's death. By walking around the table, again this timeline

00:02:58 there's a gap between Brown versus Board of Education in 1954 and Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968 and that gap signifies that this is

00:03:08 a slightly open-ended circle, though what this memorial captures is sort of this Civil Rights era. The motto that I chose on the wall, which is a full quote,

00:03:18 "We are not satisfied, we shall not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream," spoke to what, the host, the Southern Poverty Law Center

00:03:29 their ongoing struggles for racial equality, but also the fact that this is an open timeline talking about both the past and the future that I didn't cover here.

00:03:42 Another piece, not so much dealing with loss at all but I was asked by Yale to commemorate women at Yale and I had no idea what that meant

00:03:51 and I created something called the Women's Table and again it starts with spiral of numbers but there's a beginning when women first started at Yale

00:04:02 but of course there was no end, although a lot of people said, " do you end the spiral?" I chose to end the spiral in the year that I put the piece in which was, god I can't remember at this point,

00:04:11 I think it was 1993 and it starts with zeros and it starts with graduate students and ironically the first class there were thirteen women

00:04:21 who were admitted into the Yale School of Art because the funder Mr. Street funded to build the building and he had two daughters.

00:04:32 But what you don't realize is that when Yale first went coed, they allowed only a very set number of women in. There was a very set quota because Yale still had to graduate

00:04:44 a thousand Yale men and so women were let in but there was a very strict quota. So again, I kind of mind that history and let this be about numbers and let this be about the emerging number

00:04:55 of women at Yale enrolled in both grad and undergrad, but you also begin to see, it parallels during the two World Wars. There's a growth in the numbers because, I think,

00:05:05 more men went to war, so they filled it Yale School of Nursing actually, but again, facts, time, history begin to play a part in some of these pieces.

00:05:14 These are very urban pieces. Another piece that I just completed a piece a few years ago for Stanford is called "Time Table" and it's in their computer engineering quad and it is a clock.

00:05:25 The ring is a second hand, the disc is the minutes, the whole inner circle tells you the hours and then the numbers on the outside are Pacific Standard Time,

00:05:35 Daylight Saving Time, and then Greenwich Mean Time because you are on the computer quad, so what time is it really when we were all talking on cyber space and I asked quite a few number of computer experts

00:05:46 and they all said in the end, Greenwich Mean Time is the safest way to do it. But what you don't realize is, you'll notice these markers, these little sundial markers around and they mark the months of the year,

00:05:59 January through December and in a funny way time is slightly relative to where you are, so what you'll notice is in January it will be over on one side

00:06:08 but it will make one complete rotation in the course of the year and so I'm sort of making a point to say, in a funny way, though there might be universal time

00:06:18 that we talk about, time is somewhat relative to where you are standing and then this is another piece that dealt with time, its called "Eclipsed Time",

00:06:27 it is in the MTA Arts for Transit program in Penn Station and it's a clock, lit from above, it's in the ceiling, lit from above with fiber optics. At 12:00 midnight,

00:06:40 the solid disc completely eclipses the light source and at 12:00 noon it's either all the way over on one side and it tells the time accurately up to fifteen minutes

00:06:50 by the shadow line it makes and then this is another use of time. This was put in, in the millennium year, in the year 2000, in Grand Rapids; it's the heart of a park,

00:07:02 four acre park, which I sort of took over and used three different usages of water, solid, liquid, and ice

00:07:12 of which the center piece is a skating rink and embedded in it is a fiber optic array of the midnight sky over Grand Rapids in the year I put the piece in.

00:07:24 So, in a funny way, it commemorates one point in time but also you can skate over it. The light refracts through the ice. You can see in the step terraces on the upper side versus the lower side,

00:07:36 the skating rink is embedded on one side and then it flies free on the other. It gives a perception that it is a slightly tilted plane.

00:07:46 Yet, when you are skating on it, we all intellectually understand that water freezes flat. So, what I am beginning to explore with this is that

00:07:56 odd level of just the question in perception, "Am I skating on a slightly tilted plane, but isn't that impossible?" and you may notice it

00:08:07 and you may not, but that's something that has been of great interest to me and this is a very quick segway.

00:08:16 I've also been working on architectural works. I never thought in my architecture I could also play with time and history and memory, and so I'm only going to talk about a couple pieces.

00:08:26 This is a historic barn in Clinton, Tennessee; I turned it into a library at the retreat for the Children's Defense Fund

00:08:37 and I left the old skin and I cut away at it and slipped in new modern skin inside it and it is now the reading room library.

00:08:47 But I was also asked, as well, to create a brand new structure. So again, I was able to do one old, one new,

00:08:57 everything at the Children's Defense Fund Retreat is a one story log cabin and how could I, as a modernist, create a new work?

00:09:07 And so I thought of a barn as a shape that is both modern yet vernacular and I also thought of the motto of the Children's Defense Fund,

00:09:15 "Dear Lord, be good to me, my boat is so small and the sea is so large." So, I ended up making a bit of an ark

00:09:25 twice a year for graduation ceremonies, because it's a training center, they need capacity that is double the space of their chapel. I didn't want to create a building that was over scale to the sight,

00:09:37 so this area and they used to have a big tent that they would have erected. Instead, I have given them roller furling in this whole trellis area, tents over in inclement weather so they can use

00:09:47 the space as an inside-outside space when they need to go to that capacity and that's just the inside of the space

00:09:57 and there's an administration area, the trellis, and then the boat shape. Another time where I've done old and new, I was asked to come and take a look at an abandoned chapel

00:10:08 on the grounds of Manhattanville and they didn't quite know where they wanted to go with it. They wanted students to be able to use it. So, I thought again of doing one old, one new,

00:10:18 but both green houses, one a very primitive passive solar and the other one a little bit more high tech solar. So, this is the chapel which I just placed a glass roof on

00:10:30 and the students are basically using both and taking the temperatures, taking water analysis and it's almost become a part of the curriculum of the school.

00:10:38 It's cool during the summer by solar fans that pulls air through the crib to cool it and then in the winter we started growing Boston Ivy so that in the summer months

00:10:47 it shades it, but in the winter the leaves fall off and you allow it to be sort of almost a real green house. Along with it,

00:10:55 we created a one classroom learning lab that there is a water treatment facility, a living system that's in the front and they take the water from the nearby stream

00:11:06 and they do tests and analyses on it, but this is a little structure that shuts down on its east and west sides in the wintertime so that

00:11:16 it only allows solar heat gain from a trombe wall in the front and then there's a ground coupled heat loop. So, this is about as high tech solar as you can get

00:11:26 and they compare the two and they compare the notes on how the sunlight reacts and how these buildings change in temperature during the course of the year.

00:11:37 Flexibility is something that I played with a lot in the architecture. This was one apartment I did where it converts from being a two bedroom, two baths to being a three bedroom, three baths.

00:11:49 I love, almost architecture is a bit of toy if you know how to use it, so everything sort of opens up and shuts down

00:11:59 as in the table, is a bit of a toy. The shower, one of the smaller showers was too small, so when it's not in use it hides away

00:12:10 and that lead to one of my first houses which is called "The Box House" and it, too, opens up and shuts down with slatted screens, so it's sort of has a home and away position.

00:12:23 The kitchen downstairs opens up completely. In the floor plan, there's no interior sheet rock wall, it's literally a box within a box

00:12:33 and how you open and shut the box determines how you use the space, which leads me to the first of the projects

00:12:46 very similar to what I did here and that I came in as an artist, but I couldn't resist meddling a little bit

00:12:56 with the architecture. This is a project I did for American Express for their new financial headquarters. They wanted to create a winter garden and I thought of, I don't know if any of you read topo lines,

00:13:08 I thought of pulling topography inside and what happens if you take a simple roll of a hill,

00:13:16 something that you would barely notice out of doors. What happens if you bring it inside and turn it into an architectural wood floor?

00:13:24 The piece is called "A Character of a Hill, Under Glass" but the building I was given to work in was kind of heavy, boxy, there were columns in the corners,

00:13:34 I didn't feel I could create what I wanted to create inside, so I put on my architect hat on and brought in my own engineers and my curtain wall experts

00:13:44 and redesigned the outside of the box. Every now and again, the art and the architecture come together. Very rarely do they come together and merge aesthetics,

00:13:55 but every now and again I modify the architecture in order to accommodate the art work that goes in.

00:14:04 So, you can begin to see just, I guess, the difference in what I had and what I ended up designing, sort of pushing the columns off center, floating

00:14:13 a water wall outside and then beginning to bring this hill inside and these are just studies of what that hill would be in earlier models

00:14:24 and you can see the data lines are the benches and the planters, they kind of give you a straight path through it and that's just sort of how we made it

00:14:34 and that's how it looks today. So, the question is, "What happens when you bring a hill inside?", and I have been told even though this is corporate headquarters

00:14:44 open to the public, people come in, businessmen, they take their shoes off and they don't sit on the benches necessarily, they picnic on the floor.

00:14:53 So, again that bare level of when you bring something natural inside and what do people do, how do people react is something I'm very interested in.

00:15:06 As well, the water wall on the outside, I always wanted to create a fountain that you didn't have to shut off, being in Minneapolis I allow that one to freeze, so you get to see the city through a layer of ice in the wintertime.

00:15:20 But most of the time in my art, I've been working out-of-doors and I do these very large outdoor art installations which one of the first I did,

00:15:31 which was completed in 1996, was based on this naturally occurring water wave called a stokes wave and it's for the University of the Michigan Aerospace Engineering Building

00:15:42 and I am extremely site specific, so I started talking to a lot of the professors in aerospace and they started giving me books on flight and fluid dynamics

00:15:51 and I came across this image in a book Van Dyke's Album of Fluid Motion and I said this is it, I go running over to the scientist and I said,

00:16:02 "I think I am gonna make a piece that is based on this," and one of the aerospace engineers said, "Well it belongs over in naval engineering." So, sometimes when you talk to scientists

00:16:12 you have to say "I might be talking to you, I might be taking a lot of questions down and I might not use any of it" because they tend to be very specific. Anyway, he's actually very happy with the piece.

00:16:21 So, I started studying up what that meant and it goes into model after model after model and then laying it out

00:16:29 and beginning to sculpt it on site and it's called "The Wave Field". It's 10,000 sq. ft. The wave is meant to be of human scale, so you can sit in the wave,

00:16:39 read a book, curl up for about four to five feet above your head and that was what would be the first and what I didn't realize was a series...

00:16:51 it changes drastically in the classrooms above so the daylight changes its shape and its form.

00:16:57 The second in the series I didn't choose to focus on a water wave, but what water does over the beach sand is it about to hit the land, so it's a very shallow

00:17:07 wave formation which is 30,000 sq. ft at the Federal Court House in Miami.

00:17:20 And then the last in the series again, I tend to work in series at times. This one mathematically iterated. I imagine it would be 90,000 sq. ft. It's at Storm King.

00:17:30 It has not been dedicated yet, we're actually literally waiting for the grass to grow. I took over an abandoned gravel pit that they really didn't know what to do with,

00:17:40 it's an EPA reclamation site, took me about three years to get permission to open it up and then do a complete reclamation of it.

00:17:49 This is how it started. So what would happen if you could bring the waves over your head so that when you're in a row of waves, you actually lose sight of the wave rows

00:18:00 adjacent to you and that's the site I was given and its right next to Goldsworthy's walls, but nobody was using this part of Storm King

00:18:10 because they had actually used this site as a gravel pit for the last 20 years, and it was bit of an eye sore, so they hid it behind a very large earth berm,

00:18:19 and I was able to use this earth berm to build most of the piece. I think, 75 percent of the fill came from the berm, and we were out there all fall

00:18:29 building with the bulldozer crew and you can begin to see, I don't know if you can see at the scale of the piece,

00:18:38 the waves range in height from being about ten to fifteen feet above your height, it kind of grew to own this space which is fairly large space, it's about eleven acres,

00:18:48 this piece ended up being about 300,000 square feet, so we're now literally waiting for the grass to grow

00:19:00 which you can begin to see it, which leads me to how do I, and I work at a fairly large scale, bring that aesthetic inside,

00:19:13 which is again what we'll talk about at the end with "Above and Below".

00:19:17 My first show was called "Topologies", and this was the largest piece in that show, it was sixteen-by-eighteen-feet, again studying wave formations.

00:19:28 Is it a dune? Is it water? Very interested in the motion it was making, but again being very aware, and this show

00:19:38 traveled the country from 1998 to 2000. You can see in the background another piece called "Avalanche",

00:19:48 made out of broken car glass, which again is a medium I work with. This is a piece I installed at the Wexner Center called "Groundswell", it's in three levels

00:19:58 using about forty tons of broken car glass creating indoor gardens that you could view.

00:20:07 But back to the show, this is my first show I've ever done, the first time I tried to move what I did outside inside. "Avalanche" was the only one that site specific,

00:20:16 it changed with every move, it went to about five or six different art institutions of which at NYU at the Grey, I poured it up against a window wall

00:20:25 so you could look into it from the outside street. Another group of sculptures in the series is called "Rock Field" just focusing you in

00:20:35 on a simple hand blown object that's based on, I collect water-worn rocks, and so I had a box of rocks and I worked with glass blowers,

00:20:45 and you'll be amazed at how complex these forms are and we don't even look at them anymore because we obviously know what a water-worn rock looks like,

00:20:56 so this piece was all about understanding, studying, almost expressing the pure volume of those forms.

00:21:07 Another group of series was poured glass disks that slightly tilted more and more and it was the shadow line they made

00:21:17 that changed through the course of the pieces as the piece tilted.

00:21:25 And then, I did some drawings of cross-sections through the earth of which in the middle drawing you can see a spike...

00:21:36 any idea what it is?...It's Hawaii, and we never tend to look where we can't see

00:21:45 and I began to get very interested in revealing. I think a lot of these works are very much about revealing parts of nature that we're overlooking or not even thinking about,

00:21:55 so that's one of the tallest mountains, if not the tallest mountain in the world...which leads me to my second show which is traveling the country now. It's called "Systematic Landscapes".

00:22:07 It literally took me eight years to figure out because the first show that was dealing with some of the things I was working with outside, they still came inside and became objects,

00:22:18 and I was trying to say, can I stay environmental, can I stay spatial, can I make installations and come inside.

00:22:26 So if you remember a character of hill, under glass, that piece was open to the public, so it had to be handicapped accessible.

00:22:35 When I walked on it the first time, my instinct was what if I could make a hill inside that truly was a hill and you could climb up it and touch the ceiling.

00:22:50 This is a model, I tend to model it and model it and model it, from two approaches. It looks like a cresting water wave and from the other two sides it looks like a massive solid. This is it

00:23:00 being built in a warehouse before it was installed at the Henry in Seattle. It's now in San Diego at the Contemporary,

00:23:10 and this is one of the major pieces in this show, "Systematic Landscape". It is called "2 x 4 Landscape". It's also if you think about how computers and science looks at a hill, it's a pixilated landscape,

00:23:23 but again it is consciously ambiguous. Is it a land form? Is it a water form? It goes about twelve feet off the ground at its highest point.

00:23:36 There are three major pieces in the show of which the second one I focus on an actual water terrain, underwater terrain, and I needed a singular point,

00:23:47 and so I started calling up and I talked to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Society, and they said, take a look at an island called Bouvet,

00:23:55 it was made when three fracture zones came together and again this is how a computer sees terrain; it takes an XY grid and pulls it,

00:24:06 and this piece ended up being called "Water Line". In the balcony level of The Henry, when it was first installed, it was about two feet from the peak

00:24:16 and everything else is underwater terrain, which I think directly inspired what I installed at the IMA.

00:24:28 As far as my interest in creating these drawings in space, but they're drawings of actual terrain, often times water.

00:24:36 The third major piece in "Systematic Landscape", we've got one you walked on and the second one is the one you walked under, and this one I wanted to get you

00:24:46 to walk through the landscape, so it's three very different relationships back to the land, and for this one, I chose a mountainside terrain where

00:24:56 we live in the summer near Telluride, and it's a mountain called Sneffels, and there's a hike we do every summer that is called the Blue Lake Pass,

00:25:04 and so this piece is called "Blue Lake Pass" and I took it and created a piece that you can walk through

00:25:13 and become almost a part of this stratigraphic layers of the earth. In the background, you see, sort of, what looks like a drawing on the wall

00:25:24 being site specific, I install one river for each time it travels. When it was in St. Louis,

00:25:32 I chose the Mississippi-Missouri to focus on, and I made them out of simple sewing pins.

00:25:39 And this is the Columbia of which all those little places where it looks like it's puddling, that's a dam, and you can sort of see the dispersion

00:25:49 where the dams are with the pins, that's where it ends up in the ocean, so it's a drawing, but it's also a three-dimensional line drawing.

00:25:57 This is just another little drawing I made of a fragment of the Volga.

00:26:04 When I installed a month ago in San Diego, there is no river of note there, and so instead, I took a look at their floor, and they had a fissure and they had a crack in the concrete,

00:26:16 so I took about three days with dental picks and a couple assistants, and we chiseled out and inlaid a sliver leaf river in their floor, so it is called "The Depot River",

00:26:27 because San Diego Contemporary Gluckman just had finished and it's in an existing train depot, so that's that piece, but to me what's interesting is

00:26:37 a fractal plate that cracks or what cracks in nature, is it that different a phenomena than a crack in a concrete floor and can I make you pay attention a little bit more

00:26:48 to again a very mundane thing that actually we think of as a nuisance, so that's that piece. Other rivers that I'm working on right now, this is an areal view of the Yangtze,

00:27:00 so this is a sliver casting about 11 feet of the Yangtze River, and then this is a piece that will go into

00:27:11 Las Vegas, and I took it on because I proposed something that I actually didn't think they'd take. This is the Colorado River and it will be cast in reclaimed silver

00:27:22 and it will be eighty-seven feet long and it will be at the MGM Casino, and I'm studying it up right now. So we started making fragments of that river.

00:27:34 So again, I am very interested in focusing on water a lot, natural landscapes and phenomena. This is another use of water, this is a series called "Dew Point",

00:27:45 just imagine if you threw water on a concrete floor and it beaded up and then back to the show,

00:27:53 these are called "Bodies of Water". You've got the long skinny one is the Red Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Black Sea is at the bottom, and I turned them into plywood sculptures.

00:28:04 And again, it's all about what's underneath, that's the Caspian, as well as these are more of the drawings. These are little sketches I do, there are landscapes,

00:28:15 but I'm as interested in the shadow they make because how does a sculptor draw and I draw three-dimensionally, so I am as interested in the wire

00:28:26 and the play of the shadow it makes, as the drawing on the wall, and then I'd go running over to the Strand, which is a used bookstore in Manhattan.

00:28:35 And again, I don't sketch these, I just start cutting into these wet atlases with an Exacto blade, and it's again how a sculptor is drawing, but I'm drawing three-dimensionally

00:28:49 and I am creating landscapes within these used atlases.

00:28:54 And then in the show as well, I took a couple of my large outdoor pieces that I had made plasticine sketches of and I cast those in bronze.

00:29:03 This is again some of the maquettes for some of my outdoor work of which the first of the earth drawings is called "11 Minute Line" and it literally started in Wanas, Sweden.

00:29:16 I woke up one morning having visited the site a few times and I made this little drawing in the gravel driveway, and it became a 1,600 foot long earthen drawing

00:29:29 that you can walk, and again its six to twelve feet, so its two meters or four meters

00:29:40 and what happens if you walk in a meadow, this is a cow pasture, but you are walking six to ten feet above the plain of the meadow,

00:29:50 how will that change your perception?

00:29:53 I'm also very interested in what is the character and personality of a line drawing, it is a working cow pasture, the cows sort of like it...

00:30:06 and it led me to another series which I just, am working on one in Louisville, Kentucky. This is called "The Kentucky Line" and I consciously wanted to explore a more modern line,

00:30:16 I sort of see this as '50s boomerang sort of shape and its a line that goes above and below grade and it's about 1,300 feet long, it's at a private collection.

00:30:29 This is how it looked last year and this is how it's beginning to look now, and we're waiting for the grass to grow.

00:30:40 In this series I will close it down at some point but I'm going to make one last line drawing and it's a line where you can't tell if it's language or drawing

00:30:51 and here's another, this is just, I will skim through this. This is a drawing I made which is a center piece for Arts Plaza for UC California in Irvine

00:31:01 and I put it in an outdoor classroom and I made a line as the text and the water peculates up through the line and so there's an outdoor classroom

00:31:12 which is that piece you just saw and there's an outdoor screening room where the students can watch movies but this is that table,

00:31:20 it's called "The Drawing Table" and that's the screening room and this is what it used to look like and this is how we were able to deal with a fire lane,

00:31:34 and then the video monitors that watch each of the three entrances and do a continuous loop playback as to what's going on or a student can enter their videotape

00:31:44 and tell their friends to go watch their movie on this one of the four boxes...and another way I've used data and input technologies,

00:31:54 a piece I did for my hometown in Athens, Ohio. It is called "Input" and I asked my brother, who is a language poet, to collaborate with me. It was his childhood memories of Athens, Ohio

00:32:06 and then my relationship to Athens, Ohio was even though my parents taught there, my first working relationship with them was I taught myself cobalt and fortran.

00:32:15 This will date me, when I was in high school and I couldn't type, so you get to like the 40th numerical entry and you would have to throw it out because you had a typo

00:32:24 and I'd be stuck there typing and typing these damn punch cards for hours, so I just wanted to kind of tie my personal connection in to the piece

00:32:35 and this is a just a fragment of my brother's poetry which is the map you are reading is a kind of topographic landscape made of words, photographs, and Appalachian topsoil

00:32:46 carved out to resemble rectangular bits of binary code. And so it's all about memory and through the main body of the work is this sort of non-narrative but poem about memory

00:32:58 and the outer ones are more fragmented words. Though it is his childhood anyone who spent time in Athens will connect and one question is how do you read something like this?

00:33:09 In a way, once we've experienced something how we pull memories back out is nonlinear. It's not random but it is certainly not linear

00:33:19 at which point this is a piece that plays into that idea of people who have spent time there might connect to some of the language and not to some of the words

00:33:28 but it's again it's a three acre or four acre park and you can sit in, it is like an outdoor classroom each raised or lowered rectangle is about sixteen-by-twenty-four-feet,

00:33:40 so you can actually hold a class out-of-doors...and then I'm gonna end with three projects.

00:33:51 This is the fourth of what will be five memorials or pieces, things that deal with history. I actually don't call them memorials and it's a quite complex project.

00:34:03 It's called "Confluence", it's the state of Washington asked me to get involved at the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark

00:34:12 but the people that asked me in weren't just the state officials but the members of the Umatilla, the Chinook, the Nez Perce,

00:34:26 and about three other tribes that came in and they asked me to get involved as one chief you put it, "It isn't that Lewis and Clark came in to an undiscovered land,

00:34:35 we were there," and they just thought I could maybe tell it differently. So, how do I start? I started with where Lewis and Clark ended, at Cape Disappointment

00:34:45 and I ended up creating three places. There's a lot of restoration, reclamation of landscapes in this, as well as teaching you a little bit about each place.

00:34:56 It's cultural history, it's ecological history, it's relation back to Lewis and Clark. Lewis and Clark I use not so much as an object, but as a lens.

00:35:06 They gave us an amazing glimpse at what this place was like exactly 200 years ago and if I could pull their journals out along the Lewis and Clark Trail

00:35:17 and give you a glimpse but then at times I go deeper and tell you what the place was like for the tribes that had been living there for thousands of years

00:35:26 and I also give you an ecological assessment of how much has changed to the present day. So very quickly, this is what I was met with.

00:35:34 I met with a lot of parking lots and restrooms and this is what it looks like today. So, it's a complete restoration to sand dunes of that area and also beginning to understand

00:35:44 this is the culmination where Lewis and Clark came to the Pacific and I thought at times the pathways would converge but at times they don't meet

00:35:54 and so there's a walkway that hugs what used to be the original waterline before the jetty was put in and all this other land was accreted and it leads you to a quiet circle of seven totems

00:36:08 and that's the Chinook's area and it's seven because in the Native American tradition there are seven cardinal directions, not four, so it's north, south, east, west

00:36:19 but it's also up, down, and in. So at times I'm also contrasting different cultural belief systems within. This is the pathway

00:36:28 and exactly 200 years since the time Lewis and Clark set foot there, the Chinook tribal elder blessed the site and in it he read a poem

00:36:40 and of this poem, it was always about nature and then teach us and show us the way. So, it's very different relationship to nature and so I asked permission to inscribe that poem

00:36:51 because I didn't just wanted to deal with the history of the Native Americans; I also wanted to incorporate the present day interactions between the confluence project and the tribes.

00:37:04 Right next to it, leading you right to the ocean is Lewis and Clarks listing of their entire journey and again very factual; latitude, longitude, mile markers.

00:37:14 Just a very different way of measuring nature and looking at nature and I wanted to contrast those two paths, but you'll notice as you take this walkway to the ocean,

00:37:25 you're not walking through undiscovered territory, you are actually walking through many people's homelands

00:37:33 when you read this summary statement which they put together then when they were wintering that year and that's the path that now leads to the ocean.

00:37:42 On the opposite side, which is the estuary side not the ocean side, again I was met with this and we restored it to native wetlands

00:37:51 which drain naturally and you're left looking out on this bay which was obscured by the parking lot

00:38:03 and you're met with a quote by Lewis and Clark, "Went to a handsome bay." But they were so busy going to the ocean, they barely noticed it but then there is a footnote, and it tells you how

00:38:12 ecologically important this bay was and how it is still is...and somewhere in the middle, there is a place there was rusting stainless steel fish cutting table

00:38:25 and there I put a new one, it's made out the basalt and inscribed on it is the creation myth of the Chinook and it's "The Cutting of Fish the Wrong Way,"

00:38:36 and from the blood of the fish springs an eagle, from the eagle an egg is laid and is hatched and it's the Chinook people. So, today you might be cutting your king salmon but as you read that story, or not,

00:38:49 you'll realize you're in the Chinook homelands.

00:38:53 Another one is at Sacagawea where we were embedding seven story circles which will tell you culturally what this place was and how important it was to

00:39:04 the tribes that traded and lived here. The most eastern side is Chief Timothy which we will be renaming with the Nez Perce tribe,

00:39:15 they're going to choose a name that is much more about the nature around it and I was given almost a natural amphitheater in this island

00:39:25 in the river and when the Nez Perce dedicated this site, the men faced east, the women faced west, the elders faced, I think,

00:39:35 they faced north and no one could pass behind them. So again incorporating present day activities I'm creating a natural amphitheater

00:39:47 that almost commemorates and lays out that seating arrangement. Another one is a bird blind, which will take every citing of Lewis and Clark,

00:39:59 all the animals they sighted but it will tell you ecological assessment; endangered, extinct, what their status is today

00:40:08 and I'm also working on what would be the fifth and last of the monuments or memorials and it's called "Missing" or "What is Missing" and it will deal with endangered species and habitats

00:40:20 making a really close link with 20 percent of all global warming is caused by deforestation, this is one of the quickest combinations I say it, can we save two birds with one tree

00:40:32 and so it will focus you and it will show you, I've been working with World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International, Nature Conservancy. There's a consortium of small and large groups

00:40:43 I've asked to bring in to this, so I'll make you aware of things you are not thinking of, scale, abundancy, the ability of animals to migrate, I'll connect them to the ecosystems they need and that are disappearing, but then I'll show you

00:40:56 what the experts are doing all over the world and then I'll show you what we can all do in our everyday lives that can make a huge impact on species protection

00:41:06 and habitat protection. So what's the second most traded good around the world after oil? It's coffee.

00:41:16 And you could go out from now on and you have a choice of fair trade organic shade grown versus plantation grown and it will show you the habitats at risk

00:41:25 if you buy plantation-grown coffee. So, again it's trying to give you hope, this is what the experts are doing and this is what you can do

00:41:32 but it's called it can start launch at the California Academy of Sciences as "What is Missing", this is something, this is a cowbird egg in a robin's nest.

00:41:44 One of the things I'm going to highlight, I'm going to highlight things that you don't realize or disappearing, so the top twenty songbirds in our country are in a 70 percent to 40 percent decline,

00:41:54 so literally the sounds we heard as children in our backyard are no longer there...or it'll take historical reference

00:42:05 to show you what just was, right around the corner. This cultural anthropologist gave me as a very first accounting of deforestation,

00:42:16 its Plato 360 BC and we all think that the Mediterranean is dry and arid, not at all.

00:42:24 This is the giant Mekong River Catfish, which is probably going to disappear within the next ten years...

00:42:35 and this is, there will be species I will be citing that will have gone extinct during as I make this piece,

00:42:41 but I'm going to ask a question when I launch it at the California Academy of Sciences on Earth Day 2009 and then I'm going to work with these groups and the Van Alen Institute has also agreed to participate.

00:42:52 Can we envision a map that shows a future of the balances our carbon footprint and creates a way of living sustainably with the earth?

00:42:59 Can we imagine rearranging the lights? And so these are two of the ideas. I actually want to co-opt billboards on Earth Day 2010 during the biodiversity summit

00:43:10 and just show a twenty-minute clip. It is always twenty minutes because every twenty minutes a species disappears and then the image on the left is an interactive video table

00:43:21 which will debut at the California Academy of Sciences on Earth Day 2009. But for California Academy I'm giving them not one art work but two and on the right-hand side

00:43:34 I will be installing, this August, a wire landscape, it's called "Where the Land Meets the Sea" and it focuses on the area, that tiny little dashed line

00:43:46 at the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, before it empties out into the ocean...

00:43:57 and it'll be fabricated the same place that fabricated "Above and Below"...and I will end with "Above and Below".

00:44:07 So, this is the Bluesprings Cavern on the White River and when I first came to Indiana, again I tend to focus on site specific

00:44:20 issues that deal with nature and topography and I was a little taken aback because it's a little flat and I happen to have an assistant who is from Indiana and she said,

00:44:30 "look below ground" and I realized that you've got the second longest underground river system in the country; I think Kentucky is the first.

00:44:40 It's the White River and we contacted Bluesprings Cavern and they were kind enough to let us go down there and we worked with another geologist, Art Palmer,

00:44:51 and we went in and we found, we looked at a few different areas in the cave system and we needed something because I wanted to do something actual scale

00:45:00 and a lot of the areas were either too small or they got too wide. You've got a terrace out there that's sixteen-by-one hundred-feet, sort of an odd skinny space,

00:45:09 how could I capture, at scale, a part of this cave, so we had to go find the right section and then we started working with

00:45:20 what that could be in model and at one time I had "Above and Below" both above and below but it looked way too busy,

00:45:30 so I tend to model things up and model things up because I just look larger and larger until I get it right and then we decided while I still wanted to capture the above and below

00:45:40 but what if I split it. The first three bays describes the upper part of the cave, the last two bays describe the lower part, what's underwater...

00:45:50 and those were the models and that's how it was getting framed and built and bent in the studio and then this we installed in the fall.

00:45:59 We didn't get it in fast enough to do another part of it, so that's sort of how it looks and at one point where the upper part

00:46:08 meets the lower part, you actually see the full cross section of the cave...and then I couldn't resist, being trained

00:46:20 as an architect, helping out in designing the pattern of the stone on the floor, it just seemed I had to do it

00:46:30 and it leads me back to the character of hill, there are times when the architect hat comes on. I do tend to keep the art and the architecture separate. I love them for their differences,

00:46:39 but at times I end up working on both in one realm and the inspiration for this if you go to some of the drinking fountains, you'll see the Indiana limestone's

00:46:48 sort of in relief and I took one look at that and said that will be the sort of the narrow pattern that will become the floor, and so that's the talk. Thank you very much!

00:47:00 [Applause]