Fescue/Homo 1, Phase 1
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey invited four artists to use their gallery space as a studio for two weeks as part of an experimental program, the Summer Laboratory for Social Practice.
The arts center is located in downtown Summit, an affluent city with large homes and expansive, manicured lawns. As I drove out to the center each morning, I passed multiple lawn service trucks, illuminating a small portion of the complex relationship between humans and turf grass. I began researching lawn culture-- the history, the thriving industry of seed/fertilizer/herbicide, the benefits, the environmental repercussions, types of grass, and the enemy: weeds.
During the program I began a few experiments that reframe the way humans think about turf grass, and open dialogue about the adopted practice of lawn care.
You can read more about VACNJ programming and exhibitions
Human walking portable lawn. Small portable lawns provide mobile gathering sites and place-making, while preventing excessive water waste and fertilizer/herbicide runoff. Yards shift from mono --> polyculture, and are then available for soil remediation, growing edible plants, and cultivating rich biodiversity.
Thanks to Mary Birmingham, Sarah Walko, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, and the other artists in residence: Ruth Borgenicht, Diana Heise, and Jeffrey Meris.