Sep 2002

Series of daily actions and temporary interventions over two weeks

For a two-week residency at Boréal Art/Nature Centre in La Minerve, Québec, I performed a different activity or task (almost) every day for the fortnight. The residency took place on a 100-acre wooded property in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal. Formerly a farm, the land and forest are still managed and tended, so domestic concerns and operational rhythms intersect with natural ones.

Some of the daily actions

Friday, 6 September:  Matchmaking
Action:  Choose a stone at random. Look for another stone of similar shape and size. Each time you find a better mate for the original stone, leave behind the previous match. I started the day with a worn stone that had several flat sides. By the end of the day I had matched it with a somewhat flatter one with rougher edges that one could imagine might have — in thousands of years — eventually eroded to resemble the first.

Monday, 9 September:  Photosynthesis
I built an electronic circuit for installation in a tree trunk. The circuit uses a solar panel and a column of green LEDs to indicate the amount of sunlight shining on the tree. Suggesting the natural conversion of light into energy through photosynthesis and the upward movement of sap, it is a machine that reiterates the obvious.

Thursday, 12 September
With hunting season approaching, I decided to make a piece that would be seen only by those approaching the woods with limited vision. Along a deer path, I used yellow paint to highlight a number of tree branches in order that, from a specific vantage point and with one eye closed, they aligned to spell out the word "NO." On a nearby tree I added a primitive viewfinder to direct the view. Walking along with more usual binocular vision, one probably wouldn't notice the intervention.

Wednesday, 18 September
I carried around a large stone — a piece of local granite about the size of a breadbox, weighing about 20 kg (ie. about 3 stone) -— everywhere I went, while performing my usual daily activities.

Thursday-Friday, 19-20 September: The flood before
In an area once flooded by a beaver dam, I used blue surveyor's tape to flag horizontal lines around the mature and dead trees that would have been present during the flood. Together the broken lines suggested a continuing horizontal, enabling one to imagine the now-overgrown area covered by water. Due to the changing topography, the lines rose then fell in relation to one's body as one descended into and re-emerged from the small valley.

Group Exhibitions: Beyond Belief, Sep 2002.
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Earl Miller, C Magazine, Autumn 2006. PDF

Germaine Koh, Fortnight, 2002, series of daily actions and temporary interventions over two weeks. This image: carrying a stone.