Plus 3 Ferris Wheels


Michael Gambill
December 20, 2007, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Plus 3 Ferris Wheels

Clearing the Site, 2004
Running Time: 1:34 mins
Michael Gambill – Gallup New Mexico

michaelgambill2.jpg

On the summer solstice of 2004, I concluded the Entropic Reversal Project, which began in February 2004. The project included clearing all the debris out of an abandoned, crumbling house in Yatahey, New Mexico, which boarders the Navajo Indian Reservation. By replacing close to 1000 cubic feet of soil and burned roofing material with fill dirt and compost, I was able to grow and sustain a species of flower native to Arizona and New Mexico.

The piece was about creating an equilibrium between the crumbling walls, the tragedy of a collapsing roof and the growth of new life in the space. I felt the need to create an almost anonymous gift or offering to the structure, to perhaps ease the weighty feeling of suffering that is embedded into the site.

During the five month project, I collected video and created “Clearing the Site”, which is a testament to the process and serves as part of the only documentation of the entire project.

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3 Comments so far
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I have never seen the video but the images are haunting and provocative. Your project reminds of Agnes Denes’ wheat over landfill in NY city. Good work!!!!

Comment by jack horner

Your art project was in true stewardship to environmental concerns and reminded me of a John Denver song …

The Earth is our mother just turning around
With her trees in the forest and roots underground
Our father above us who’s sigh is the wind
Paint us a rainbow without any end

As the river runs freely the mountain does rise
Let me touch with my fingers and see with my eyes
In the hearts of the children a pure love still roams
Like a bright star in heaven that lights our way home
Like the flower that shattered the stone …

Sparrows find freedom beholding the sun
In the engine and beauty we’re all joined in one
I reach out before me and look to the sky
Then I hear someone whisper its something pass by

As the river runs freely the mountain does rise
Let me touch with my fingers and see with my eyes
In the hearts of the children a pure love still roams
Like a bright star in heaven that lights our way home
Like the flower that shattered the stone ….

excerpt from words and music by Joe Henry and John Jarvis

Comment by Joy A. Burki-Watson

The video grabs the viewer with pacing, contrast and sound. I was left wanting to see more of the later steps in clearing this site. Perhaps we are meant to feel that way, but it left me slightly puzzled. Regardless this is a fascinating and surprising way to portray a worthy action and cause.

Comment by Laura S.




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