Recompose

(Wall Installation)

Recompose (Wall Installation)

I spent one uncomfortably hot summer day wading and swimming in Lookout Creek in the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. In a logjam on the edge of the creek is a bone-white naked log with a small patch of fungus following the log’s longitudinal cracks. I almost missed it because it was so small and unassuming. When I saw it, I instantly fell in love with it.

Window-like holes created by insects open into the interior of the log revealing ribbons of cubical brown rot, cellulose long gone. Fungus, like an old scab with edges curling and dry, has been transforming the log that became part of the architecture of the creek many floods in the past. Unlike a scab on skin that protects a wound as it heals, the log’s scab is actively digesting the log. The forest is in a constant state of recomposition as fungi and other decomposers change the structure of the trees, and in doing so, create the foundation of the forest that is yet to be.

I manipulated the size of the fungus to 36 times its actual size and isolated it from its original surroundings of the log to investigate its form without distraction. Most of this fungus is hidden. I increased the scale to be able to explore the structure of the fungus beyond the form that is accessible to my eye and I have found that it has a pocketed body that is simultaneously exquisite and grotesque. Recompose is built layer upon layer of paper. Each layer cuts away windows to the layer underneath, as rot has created windows into the layers of wood. The process of making it is like creating a door that leads to deeper layers and complexity of understanding.

Recompose

Gouache on hand-cut watercolor paper (wall installation), 16 in. x 69 in.

Recompose Detail

Recompose (Sketch)

Gouache on paper, 9 5/8 in. x 9 11/16 in.

Work-In-Progress for Recompose

Recompose

In a logjam on the edge of the creek is a bone-white naked log with a small patch of fungus following the log’s longitudinal cracks

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Rot Work In Progress – Final Layer

January 5, 2016 Work In Progress: ROT Final Layer January 5, 2016 The final layer is completed. It's an odd feeling. I've have spent so much time with this project over the past 6 months. As much as I was happily anticipating finishing, I was unprepared to finish...

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Progress Report – Rot Midpoint Layer 6

October 25, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT Layer 6 (midpoint) October 25, 2015 Layer 6 is still in progress. The paper has not been painted and in some places is not fixed to the piece. Layer 6 in its unfinished form contrasts with the earlier layers to more easily show...

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Rot In Progress Layer 5

October 11, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT Layer 5 October 11, 2015 Typically, I’m not too keen on documenting my work in progress. Exposing the awkwardness of  developing piece is something I avoid, usually to protect the uneven growth of the work. I need to provide...

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Rot In Progress Layer 4

September 26, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT Layer 4 September 26, 2015 The project has developed its own rhythm. I learn as I go. Each layer becomes more delicate and I hope that my skills with the blade increase with each layer's intricacies. Image below: Layer 4...

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Rot Layer 3

September 7, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT Layer 3 September 7, 2015 The project has developed its own rhythm. I learn as I go. Each layer becomes more delicate and I hope that my skills with the blade increase with each layer's intricacies. Image below: Layer 3 Gouache...

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Rot Work in Progress: Layer 2

August 29, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT Layer 2 August 29, 2015 I've reached the stage where I feel that this project is too insane. My hands and back hurt hurt and the process seems to be an endless tedious Sisyphean task that will produce nothing but a piece of crap....

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Work In Progress: ROT – Base Layer

August 16, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT Base Layer August 16, 2015   Image below: Base Layer Gouache on Paper & Map Pins 17 1/2 in. x 70 in. Image below: Base Layer Before Gouache Paper & Map Pins 17 1/2...

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Work in Progress: ROT August 15

August 15, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT August 15, 2015 Typically, I'm not too keen on documenting my work in progress. Exposing the awkwardness of  developing piece is something I avoid, usually to protect the uneven growth of the work. I...

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Rot on the 4th of July

HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Rot on the 4th of July Over the 4th of July weekend I went to HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Search of rot (liver-er trees). This is a selection of what I found. Stay In Touch... Call...

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HJA Day 2015

June 25, 2015 Decomposition & Composition: Writing and Reflection Inspired by Long-Term Research This time at the log decomposition site I was there not to write, but to see if I could figure out what to paint for ROT, opening in January...

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