The group exhibition Indicators: Artists on Climate Change and the solo presentation Outlooks: Elaine Cameron-Weir opened last month at Storm King Art Center, in New Windsor, NY. The two exhibitions present an array of large-scale sculptural projects, along with photos, videos, drawings, and other works that grapple with the human impact on the environment and the history of the 500-acre site. In Indicators, the 18 participating artists and collectives engage with the art center’s site, and with the environment, geography, and infrastructure more broadly, some through explicitly architectural means. Field Station for the Melancholy Marine Biologist by Mark Dion is a wooden cabin housing a “scientific lab” with contents that respond to the surrounding ecology. Field Station is part of Dion’s broader project of appropriating scientific and archaeological methods to trouble the ways we come to know our environment. Gabriela Salazar’s sculpture Matters in Shelter (and Place, Puerto Rico) uses the visual language of temporary shelters built after hurricanes or the semilleros used to protect young coffee plants as commentary on personal narrative and climate change. The typical concrete cinder blocks that support the structure will be gradually changed out for bricks made of compressed coffee grounds, which will in turn slowly disintegrate. Salazar’s piece meditates on the very fragility of the built world and highlights the paradoxical place of concrete in it; it's a material both fundamental to making structures that can withstand climate change-caused severe weather, yet it releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide while being produced. Other exhibiting artists in Indicators include David Brooks, Dear Climate, Ellie Ga, Justin Brice Guariglia, Allison Janae Hamilton, Jenny Kendler, Maya Lin, Mary Mattingly, Alan Michelson, Mike Nelson, Steve Rowell, Rebecca Smith, Tavares Strachan, Meg Webster, and Hara Woltz. Storm King also is presenting the sixth iteration of its Outlooks series with Outlooks: Elaine Cameron-Weir. Cameron-Weir created A toothless grin. A STAR EXPANSION! GLOBE OF DEATH A graveyard orbit, a site-specific sculpture combining a metal sphere, inspired by motorcyclist’s “globes of death,” the metallic globes bikers enter and speed around inside, and a military-style shelter. The closed globe set in an open field is intended to be suggestive of communication devices and scientific apparatuses—real and imagined, current and future—while the shelter suggests someone watching over. Weir researched the history of Storm King mountain, and let it inform her choices in materials. One such material inspiration were the steel fasteners and bolts of the Star Expansion Industries Corporation which was owned by Ralph E. Ogden and his son-in-law Peter Stern, who founded Storm King Art Center. The project also engages with the history of a successful 18-year fight to block a ConEdison power plant in Storm King Mountain. Indicators: Artists on Climate Change Storm King Art Center 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY Through November 11 Outlooks: Elaine Cameron-Weir Storm King Art Center 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY Through November 25
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Kids get it. While the adults stand around discussing the merits and aspirations of a large sculpture or installation, kids climb all over it. A few years back, when Richard Serra's Intersections II was installed in MoMA's sculpture garden, toddlers raced between the tilted arcs in a game of hide and seek. More recently, kids playing around Situ Studio's reOrder installation have turned the Great Hall of the Brooklyn Museum into Romper Room. Now, with Storm King bringing in Mark di Suvero sculptures and Figment in town to install their annual golf course and sculpture garden, Governors Island is getting its workout. On Memorial Day weekend some of the artists creating the "Bugs and Features" golf course were still working out some of the kinks with their designs. While many of them addressed the issues of hot sun and island winds, they didn't quite account for the destructive nature of children. Dee Dee Maucher stood quietly pondering her installation, trying to figure out what would make it more kid proof. Two days in and her segment in the the golf course, titled The Composting Micro Bug Food Spiral, was in need repair. Michael Loverich of Bittertang mulled over how to keep the kids from climbing atop Burble Bup, this year's winner of the City of Dreams Pavilion, sponsored in part by the Emerging New York Architect committee of the AIANY and the Structural Engineers Association of New York. "We don’t want the kids, or even adults, to come in and kick it," said Loverich. "We kind of knew that people would be interacting with it, but not so aggressively." Loverich said that he and his partner Antonio Torres were considering installing some preventative climbing measures.