Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Rest of the Forest

Imagine walking through the forest and discovering a set of random chairs. Would they look and feel like the forest furniture by Tom Loeser?

Taking on the notions of nativeness and invasiveness, Loeser collaborated with his wife, fellow artist Bird Ross, on The Rest of the Forest, a piece consisting of groups of ready-made chairs placed in different configurations to introduce hikers to social conditions unfamiliar to the forest. It invited individuals to become a part of the ecosystem of the area—they were each given their own place in nature to cohabit with other hikers. (cited from American Craft Magazine)

I'm intrigued by Loeser's work and it reminds me of an incident that happened at my former university. A student created a temporary art installation in a nearby hiking park, which involved wrapping cotton fabric around tree trunks. The local hikers were totally against it even to the point of cursing at him while he set-up the installation. This incident makes me question whether art should interfere with nature.

Your thoughts - should art mix with nature? If so, are there only certain materials that should be used?

17 comments:

Rachel said...

Hmmmmm...I think if it's temporary, easily removable, and not taking over the entire forest, then it's okay.
For some reason these chairs make me crack up, though. They look so expectant, waiting there, like they are having a chair convention out in the forest. But then again, I always personify inanimate household objects, so maybe that's just me.

please sir said...

Haha - a chair convention - love it!

Cassie said...

One person's art is another person's trash. That's one of the nice things about Andy Goldsworthy's art — he works with materials collected at the scene.

I kind of like the chairs too, they're a bit surreal. But then, I'm not really a nature person.

Joyce said...

I think it is fun. I like finding things where you wouldn't think to find them.

erin@designcrisis said...

Agree with Rachel: as long as the installation is temporary and won't cause damage, I think it's fine. And I'm a lazy hiker, so finding a chair in the middle of the forest sounds fabulous to me.

Mrs.French said...

this makes me smile...perfect for my gray day...xo t

Fifi Flowers said...

Fun chairs in the woods... VERY INTRESTING! Sure nature and art mix!

Victoria said...

Love the chairs, I find it enchanting.
As for art mixing with nature... I think as long as nothing is permanently altered and no damage is done, (and everything is cleaned up afterwards) it's fine. Actually more then fine, it's great, because it has the potential to engage people on various levels, and encourages questions and thought as to our relationship with nature. We need more of that.

Design Lovely said...

Interesting topic. Maybe this is weird but I think I would rather see a wood chair than a plastic chair in the woods.

Franco said...

should art interfere with nature? as long as it's not damagin' it i see no prob.

Michelle Parks McCourt said...

Yes art should mix with nature when it is right. It is so unexpected, suppose that is the point. Love this.

Cicada Studio said...

Everything man does interferes with nature it seems. I like the role reversal here: the boldness of nature when man's impact is small. I like this. I don't know if it's a "forever" thing, as time will erode the work, but while it's fresh, it's unexpected and curious.

Raina said...

Shhhhh! The next thing you know a tiny Starbucks will pop up there with WiFi and $4 cookies.

fly tie said...

that is pretty intriguing.

as far as the question...hmmmm...considering that a lot of inspiration comes from nature and that nature is there for everyone, i don't have a problem with the two mixing. as long as nature's not abused in the process

Hey Harriet said...

Like what most of the others have already said, i have no problem with art mixing with nature if nature is not abused in the process. No harm to nature, then mix it up I say!

Georgia B. said...

I love this concept too. It reminds me of the landscape architect on some British garden show that I used to watch on BBC America. I can't recall his name, but he had such innovative and avant garde ideas. His yard landscape creations were truly amazing.

I say yes, art should definitely mix with nature and vice versa!

shilvia said...

wow!!! i think this looks like a lot of fun, apart from being artistic!!!

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