The past month I’ve been in residency at Governor’s Island, a 172 acre island in New York harbor, with Works on Water and Underwater New York, two organizations who focus on water as a point of departure to further examine ecological change and the city respectively. Continuing my work with plastic bags, my objective was to create a glacier-like structure out of bags and begin to develop ideas for the performance piece the glacier will be featured in, We Are Drowning. What I landed on surprised me, opening new pathways.
I was recently in Los Angeles scouting sites for an upcoming project along the LA River. My last stop was Golden Shore Marine Biological Reserve to participate in Friends of the Los Angeles River’s annual clean up. While the majority of volunteers collecting debris gathered on the protected wetland side; I opted for the rocky terrain running along the river. Scaling down the rocks toward the water, I stopped at a sizeable gap, crouched down and began to collect piece after piece of Styrofoam. The more I dug the more was exposed. Quickly a quandary arose, do I go for large handfuls and include the natural debris (leaves, reeds and sticks) the Styrofoam is intertwined in? Do I just go after larger pieces? I spent about 20 minutes at this one 12x12 inch nook and, minus a fairly intact cup, a few straws and a Visine bottle, I seemingly did not make a dent here.