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Art Hit Tour - Lecture at the SAM Olympic Sculpture Park

Roxy Paine 'Split' with Mark Dion's 'Neukom Vivarium'

Welcome signage
I had the great honor of being selected to give a Summer Art Hit Tour for the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park. For this lecture I focused on the stainless steel 'Split' and 'Neukom Vivarium' - the real ceder tree in is own glass arboretum. Both pieces showcase the beauty and complexity trees possess while also showcasing mankinds industrial strengths.

'Split' was made via computer produced schmematics and extrudeded and welded steel components. Besides the initial drawings of an actual tree, this piece is a futuristic, perfected glory, and could not be further from what a tree actually is. It exists without seasons, root stucture, or imenant threat of death from parasites, over growth, root rot, or the human hand.

'Neukom Vivarium' is an interesting piece to compare because at first glance, it seems almost entirely organic with it's 60' cedar tree decomposing, surrounded by it's native plants and insects. Upon further consideration of it's location, the arboretum is a man-made space as dependent on human engineering as 'Split' was. The trees conditions are entirely controlled: temperature, humidity, water, even the amount of direct sunlight is limited by the thoughtfully included green glass, which acts as a synthetic canopy.

The lecture concluded with expanding the ideas of 'man-made' and 'man-controlled' natural environments to the whole sculpture park (which is a still recovering brownfield), cross-hybrid agriculture, even state parks and forests.

Here are links to the Olympic Sculpture Park, Mark Dion, and Roxy Paine. Here is a link to my event page on the SAM Website.

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