Printed digital images of the eroding cliffs and dunes of Newcomb Hollow in the Cape Cod National Seashore. I search for the mystery of the fractal in the earth changes and for the reminders of how small we are, like a grain of sand, a spark between two eternities.
I cast in plaster at the base of the dune where the water meets the wall. Two of my casts stood up sculpturally, looking like fossils or scholar rocks. This was a nice surprise and different from the other plaster sand casts. It was interesting to find places where the flow could be captured in a fluid medium, to learn how to make the dams for lakes of plaster.
Below the plaster is setting at the base of the dune. I came back days later and lifted the casting. It was hard to find after more clay and sand had fallen, covering it up.
This image is made from a series of scans of a plaster cast of sculpted sand then morphed into this plaster like image and virtual space using photoshop.
It could be: -projected on a wall -printed on paper, scrim, wallpaper -sculpted, flocked, braille-like, laser cut -painted -interactive -responsive to data -affected by wind, breath, water, heat, sand, touch -something I haven't thought of yet
It might be: -a 22 foot long wall -made available on SecondLife or other alternate virtual world -large format print series -part of a book, physical or virtual -derived from a graph of actual erosion patterns or measurement -light sculpture -set to music
I want to make animation to see what the changing states and iterations evoke.
The day I made this was a day of casting my own erosions experimenting with the plaster before trying it at the bottom of the dunes. Its a big climb with stuff. And a close look at the sand.
Sand flows from the dune cliff onto the growing pile at the foot. The title banner is the same...one grain at a time. The undermined clay outcropping above will likely have fallen after the next storm.
For four+ years I have been documenting the changes in the Newcomb Hollow cliffs of Wellfleet. Clay, sand, water, weather, tides, and gravity in a choreography of change. Last fall I cast moments of the geomorphology in plaster. I will next work with these castings on the scanner. See what comes.
In late January a 19th Century schooner freed itself from the bottom of the sea and rolled ashore just south of the cliffs that have been my studio. The shipwreck made the news. In April a man killed himself just north of these cliffs. This too made the news. These cliffs are a force. Steady as she goes.The sand and clay continues its journey. And I continue mine.
I think our lives are not that different from the life of a grain of sand. We finally work ourselves to the surface and then we hang on until the winds of life loosen us. Gravity, water, or weather takes hold and we are off to the next landing. It doesn't feel like gravity when we are walking or careening through our days, but it is or we would all be flying, no doubt. -"It's not the letting go that is hard, it's the holding on"- Buddhist wisdom
These are some thoughts about the China side of this project. To do research and inspiration work I want to travel to those oldest of erosions, the karst mountains of Guilin, the mountains of misty meditations. And then I want to see the problem erosion of the Bohai Sea. Beijing is a good base for this, so I will look into a residency at Red Gate or position at the Fine Arts Academy.
If I need to work in clay or plaster there are residencies at JingdeZhen or Sanbao in Jiangxi Province or Yingge in Taiwan.
中央美院 Central Fine Art Academy, Beijing
Kunmin, Guilin, Yangshuo, inspirational geography and travel
Update: Spring 2009 travel to Guilin, Yangshuo, Yunnan, Yangtse Tiger Leaping Gorge, Shilin Stone Forest, and a month working in clay in Jingdezhen. Meizhonghua is the blog I am writing about my experience and impressions...in English.