Sunday, January 10, 2010

This is a tale of adventure

This November I did a residency at Nes Artist Residency in Skagastrong, Iceland. Iceland is pretty amazing and I highly recommend it. Go there.

This will be mostly a picture blog, with a bit of a story

Iceland is covered in very small, low-lying foliage with not very many trees in most of the country. So to me Iceland looked as if it were covered in another miniature world. Like a cluster of very, very small trees in a small tree forest.

I recently did a piece based off of the book, The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four, and Five, by Doris Lessing. I won’t get into too many details about it, but it is a really interesting bit of feminist science fiction, although calling it feminist seems too limiting. I have since become very interested in women’s feminist and utopic science fiction. I love how they utilize the political power of using one’s imagination, and beside that, science fiction has pretty killer aesthetics.
Speaking of killer aesthetics, Skagastrond has an amazing landfill. I have been thinking a lot about sustainability as I had mentioned in earlier posts, and had recently made the decision to only use trash/recyclables/thrift store or repurposed items to make my work.
I had somehow come into possession of the book The 1983 Annual World’s Best SF edited by Donald Wollheim. In it, I came across the story Written in Water by Tanith Lee. It is a really interesting story about Jaina, the last woman on earth. Men fall out of the sky, presumably sent by an alien race, to help her re-populate the earth. Jaina basically says, hey I never wanted to have a kid, I don’t really trust the human race, and I am fine here by my lonesome. And do you think I want to die giving birth to your alien kids out here all by myself with no doctors? So she shoots him.
I was interested in the idea of the last woman on earth. I had never heard of anyone telling that story before. And I was interested in the idea of the world as essentially a continuance that alternates between nature and culture. Perhaps humans need to die back for a while so that nature can come back and regain some kind of equilibrium. Trees popping up through holes in the concrete and the like.

This piece is an abstract utility vehicle designed for Jaina to sew her crops, whatever those may be. In one point in the book Jaina’s new alien man begins to till and plant her garden. “But he would make her garden grow, oh yes.” This is obviously a metaphor for fertility, but I think it may also be about the need to re-fertilize the soil and the earth as well.

Here is the final piece along with a few details. The balls are covered in the fibers of the old fishing nets that I took apart.

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