Eco-System

Eco-system, 2005-present.
Mixed media, cubes 3 x 2.5″

Rules of Exchange: You can buy any diorama for $20. Once you buy a diorama, you can either take it with you, in which case you take a Polaroid of it to mark its departure (and the money goes to the artist), or you can leave it behind in a preserved area, where no one else can take it (and the money goes to local preservation efforts).

Eco-system began as a collection of 525 miniature dioramas. Through the rules of interaction, the piece results in a quantitative tally-chart that shows the values and actions of the visiting population (detailed below).

The installation was originally designed for Fire Island, shoreline is eroding. One local proposal to deal with the erosion, which threatens housing, is a land buy-out proposal, where community members buy and attend to specific sects of land. Another proposition is headed by the Army Corps of Engineers, which proposes to dump several tons of sand on the beach. These possible solutions became the foundations for the range of actions viewers can carry out in the installation.

Tally:

Art on the Barge, Barbara Ann Levy Gallery, Fire Island, NY
Dioramas bought + preserved: 1 (5%)
Dioramas bought + taken: 21 (95%)
Note that the single preserved diorama was bought by a visitor to the island, and all of the taken dioramas were purchased by residents of Fire Island.

MFA Thesis Exhibition, Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook, NY, 2006
Dioramas bought + preserved: 8 (53%)
Dioramas bought + taken: 7 (47%)

VisualizingTRANS Exhibition, Madison, WI, 2006
Dioramas bought + preserved: 0 (0%)
Dioramas bought + taken: 1 (0.5%)
Dioramas stolen/missing: 8 (3.5%)
Dioramas broken: 218 (96%)

FutureNatural Exhibition, Lake George, NY, 2010
Dioramas bought + preserved: 5 (42%)
Dioramas bought + taken: 7 (58%)