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.
Work-In-Progress for 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 cracksread more
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...read more
Sometimes the things that are not under my control contribute greatly to making a piece work.read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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....read more
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 in. x 70 in....read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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