Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Confluence Projects, Todd Gilens

Artist Todd Gilens works with Sagehen Creek Field Station outside of Truckee, CA and Reno, NV, and the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL) near Mammoth Lakes, CA. His work there includes:
"...literature reviews, interviews and field work with researchers to understand the language, methods and motivations of stream science, as well as how streams are responding to climate changes."
Gilens has been working in the field and lab with invertebrate biologists David Herbst, Bruce Medhurst and Ian Bell, "considering how to bring aspects of their work to the average urban citizen".

A recent post from the artist's project newsletter illuminates some of the work emerging from that relationship.

From Gilen's crowd-funding website:
In my artworks, I borrow lecture halls, public transit vehicles, nursery propagation houses and other existing structures, adding images that make their meanings more legible. This new project emerged from visits to ecological field stations, where I compared my methods to those of field scientists’ and considered how both could inform our understanding of critical urban systems.  
“Confluence” will use the tops of urban curbs as a space to communicate with pedestrians about flowing water, stream science and the urbanization of landscapes. Using script fonts derived from local historical people’s handwriting, texts will be cut from bright yellow reflective traffic-marking tape and laid down along a mile of curbs, zigzagging from block to block on routes that follow the street grid overlay of former stream channels.

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