Serpentine Lattice, 1993

Where it can be seen that a tree farm is not a forest and tree farm floor is not a forest floor.

Where it can be seen that a tree farm is not a forest and tree farm floor is not a forest floor.

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Installation. A 10′x36′ dissolving slide mural of the disappearing North American Pacific Coast Temperate Rain Forest. Includes a 12′x36′ hand drawn map, text and forest image photo panels.

95% of the old growth forest has been harvested and the clear-cutting that has taken the trees has left perhaps 75 thousand miles of damaged stream and river. The Harrison Studio generated a conceptual design that would require controlling the high ground from the San Francisco Bay to Yakutat Bay in Alaska. This design would create a scaffolding for the sustainable reclamation of the Pacific North West Temperate Coastal Rain Forest. The funding was reasonable from our perspective. The idea was to generate an eco-security system, a system not unlike the social security system, using 1% of the Gross National Product as an environmental act of restitution and as a counter pressure to endless extraction.

FROM SOUTHERN ALASKA
TO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
NORTH AMERICA’S LAST GREAT TEMPERATE RAIN FOREST IS DYING
EVERYBODY KNOWS THERES LESS THAN 10%
OF THE OLD GROWTH LEFT
BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO AND VANCOUVER ISLAND
PERHAPS 40% IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
AND NOBODY CAN AGREE ABOUT ALASKA

WE
BEING GRATEFUL
FOR THE INVITATION TO JOIN THIS PERILOUS CONVERSATION
BEGAN TO IMAGINE AN ACT OF RESTITUTION
YOU SEEING A SERPENTINE
I SEEING A LATTICE
WE BEGINNING TO IMAGE NORTH/SOUTH CONTINUITIES
FROM YAKUTAT BAY
TO SAN FRANCISCO
CONTINUES THAT WOULD BESPEAK
THE ECO-POETICS OF THE WHOLE.

IMAGINE THE SERPENTINE FORM
OF THE CREST OF THE COASTAL MOUNTAINS
IMAGINE THE SERPENTINE FORM OF THE PACIFIC COAST
IMAGINE SOME OF THE RIVERS
REALLY WATERSHED ENSEMBLES
EXTENDING FROM CREST TO COAST
CONNECTING THE SERPENTINES
AS NEARLY LEAF SHAPED RUNGS
OR CROSS MEMBERS OF THE LATTICE

 

 

 

THEN
WITHIN THIS LATTICE COULD BEGIN
THE RESTORATION OF THE MORE PRISTINE ENVIRONMENTS
BY LEAVING THEM ALONE
BY ENGAGING IN MORE ACTIVE RESTORATION
ONLY
WHERE CLEAR CUTTING HAD BEEN MORE SEVERE
BY CLOSING OFF ENTRY ROADS
WHEN FINISHED

A WILLFUL GETTING OUT OF THE WAY
A FELICTOUS WITHDRAWAL

Catalog. Exhibition catalog. German translation. In the traveling exhibition, “Creative Solutions to Ecological Issues.” A variation is in the collection of the San Jose Museum of Art.

Where: Reed College, Portland, Oregon

When: 1993

Who: HELEN MAYER HARRISON AND NEWTON HARRISON with research support by Susan Fillin-Yeh, Gallery Director

Commissioned: Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery of Reed College.

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