February 2, 2012 at 2:50 am #158684
Cristo is attempting to get his Over the River project approved in my home state of Colorado. As a landscape architect, I am conflicted about this project. Part of me sees the economic and publicity benefits this project could create. Part of me thinks this is an art for art’s sake project on a grandiose scale. Another part of me thinks the unknown temporary and potential permanent damages to the environment outweigh the benefits. Is this a form of landscape architecture or is the product of an artist’s ego?February 2, 2012 at 4:01 am #158700
Maybe it’s me but…
… I don’t get it. Maybe it’s me. Somehow I doubt it.
Do sponsors get to put advertising on the panels for rafters to enjoy? /Big Bill’s Bait ‘n Tackle/ right up next to /Boater Life Insurance/ (actually that one would be too late) etc etcFebruary 2, 2012 at 4:24 am #158699
Jason T. RadiceParticipant
He should just retire already. I guess he’s out of ideas, so lets just drape crap over whatever and call it ‘art’. What a collosal waste of materials.February 2, 2012 at 5:45 am #158698
I listened to Christo and jean claude speak in denver a few years ago before jean claudes death. They were completely open to the fact that their work is precisely ‘art for arts sake’ making no qualms about it.
I’m supportive of the piece not only for the potential economic benefits, however marginal, but because I think the eco-awareness undertones vastly outweigh the temporary impacts.
The fact is, also, there’s really very little thats ‘natural’ or pristine about that stretch of river anyway.
by the way, this is a thirty plus year project in the making…someone will correct me, but this is certainly nothing new. This project, in many ways has become their opus.
Also, I’m reading that much of the land is under BLM jurisdiction. If thats the case, I hope the opponents to this project are just as concerned about the millions of acres the BLM is opening to fracking in Colorado, and I’m not even sure they require EIS’.February 2, 2012 at 7:48 am #158697
The idea behind their work like this is that by covering something you’re used to seeing, you stop taking it for granted and when the covering is removed (all their works are temporary and privately funded) you see it in a new light with a fresh outlook. Because it’s temporary, I don’t have any issues with it and it’s kind of nice to get to unwrap a present you always have every once in awhile.February 2, 2012 at 8:01 am #158696
Now see if they were bringing attention to something like fracking I could somehow garner some emotional support, albeit very little even then I admit. Has anyone been noting the tremors being caused by dumping fracking waste?
— Drape this over the Wall Street protesters or somehow make a forest in downtown Manhattan… now that would be noticed. Squirrels in the lobby! —
This will likely be done, reported on for a day and forgotten just as quickly.
In fact /poof/, I’ve already forgotten it.February 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm #158695
I hate this one — seems like it will be very disruptive to whatever lives there..I loved “The Gates” however – it was gorgeous…but also don’t like any of his others – the Reichstag, the Umbrella thing, the island wrapping – just hate all of those..
But the Gates – man that was great..Gorgeous orange color, in the grey New York Febuary, beautiful fabric, each Gate framing a teeny piece of Central Park, which of course can totally handle the attention and scrutiny, being absolutely gorgeous itself..I was lucky, it snowed a couple of inches the morning I was going to see the Gates, and the Park was hushed, with just random groups of people quietly talking to some of the Gates docents, here and there..
This thing, over this beautiful river, I hate..Makes me want to gasp for air.February 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm #158694
I think it’s hard to understand if you don’t live in a predominantly ‘natural’ environment like the rockies full time. I honestly dont think the deer, elk, moose, and bear that go to this stretch of the arkansas to drink are really going to care that theres a giant piece of fabric over the river. They dont care about the highway directly adjacent, or the guardrails, train tracks, and grade cuts. I think mother nature is in many ways delicate, certainly, but she is also very resilient.
The piece will be up for two weeks, a miniscule amount of time, but long enough for plenty of photographers, critics, and tourists to come and think about the meaning of a natural resource covered in fabric- theres a lot of room for metaphor there. That in and of itself is probably worth the trouble.February 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm #158693
I disagree, Nick. The bears and elks do care about the highways, guardrails and train tracks because these things result in their deaths by the thousands, across the country..Look up the statistics on Mooses (?) getting hit by cars and trains..And having lived in these environments, I find the animals are very sensitive to changes in their worlds.. To the extent that we are experiencing now what is being called the “Sixth great die-off ” of species – mass extinction, on a global scale..Look that up, if you haven’t heard of it..
How about if Christo could just do nothing in the landscape, and have everyone come and just imagine doing nothing to one landscape, forever – just lets keep our human hands off, let something just be. Perhaps the strength of the imagining could make it happen..Now that would be a beautiful thing.February 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm #158692
Jason T. RadiceParticipant
Moose…already plural.February 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm #158691
No kidding, but trust me when I say they still have no problem crossing and accessing the river. My point was two-fold:
1. The ecological impact of this installation is negligible
2. Going through the 3-year process of completing an EIS (for BLM land mind you where just about anything goes) is ridiculous when you’re talking about a stretch of river 25 feet from a highway, RR Tracks, and extensive road cuts. Meanwhile the BLM is approving well sites for oil and gas fracking without an EIS..strange times.
Moose- I from Maine, so dont even go there 😉 . If I hit a moose while driving my car, I’m not walking away, the moose will probably be fine, plus they tend to travel at night.
The elk in these parts do not mind at all crossing the highway (and standing in the middle of it during rush hour). Unfortunately we’ve spent all this time and energy looking at an art installation when we dont spend half the time planning our extensive network of highways.
While I tend to agree that we need to keep our ‘hands off’ public land I also think we, as humans suffer from hubris or egotism. We think everything we do to the land is irreversible when that notion is very untrue.
I think of the Earth, land as a garden in the japanese sense. If we build a subdivision we must tend to maintenance of the roads, buildings, infrastructure or else over time nature will essentially take over, given over a longer time scale than we’re accustomed to.
We cant just whitewash every manmade intervention on the land as potentially devastating. But I think theres a big difference between disturbing surface vegetation and disturbing deeper systems like groundwater.February 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm #158690
I’ve been opposed to this since I first heard about it years ago. In my opinion, no it isn’t landscape architecture, it’s just art. But I’m biased – I prefer natural beauty over art, which is part of why I came here (I also live in CO) and one of the fundamental reasons I chose this field.February 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm #158689
Would you consider any of your own work ‘beautiful?’February 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm #158688
there is something wrong with your sentence, “we can’t whitewash every manmade intervention on the land as …”..I don’t think you mean ‘whitewash” – I think you mean the opposite, i.e, “we can’t slime every manmade intervention…”
just being picky..
If you read todays NYT article on the objections raised by residents, “don’t file the papers yet” or something like that headline..the residents are describing every single hole that needs to get dug – its a lot, Nick!
I lived in Waterville, by the way, so I know Meece (?) also..Mooses. Moose..thank you mr. radice..
and finally, I agree completely that the EIS process is really really stupid..Have you ever been part of that? It has been my life, in Landscape architecture, after drawing with Mike Lin and learning from Ian McHarg, I have found the predominant job flow is from the STUPID EIS CEQR process our society has evolved..STUPID..
I would love to change that..February 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm #158687
On the whole, no. There are some pieces of certain projects that have come out wonderfully, but most of my work to date has been more… suburban in nature. But that begins to get into an entirely different and complex subject about the types of work one does and for whom. And while my personal aesthetic preferences might be toward more natural state (reality or appearance) landscapes, that doesn’t mean I don’t find some man-made landscapes beautiful as well.
I’m not opposed to art for art’s sake, or even an artistic landscape. Like others in this thread, I thought the Gates was a wonderful and beautiful project. But to me that installation fit its site, whereas this one just doesn’t in any way shape or form.
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