Exhortation, 2019. Copper wire, electrical tape, carpet thread, steel mesh, fiberglass, marine varnish, plastic film, thread, polyurethane, book, paper, pen, leather cord, jute rope

Exhortation places in close proximity: a tree, a person, and a text. In this activated space a visitor is invited to witness, to exhort, to become more aware. The book in the Exhortation pod is Journey to Earthland: The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization by Paul Raskin, the founding president of the Tellus Institute, which researches global sustainability planning and policy. Raskin urges us to shift awareness and allegiance beyond state, nation, continent, and to start thinking and living as citizens of a planet-wide proto-country.

Research shows that one’s brain absorbs information better when it can cue from notable features in one’s surroundings. By interacting with Raskin’s text on a hill in the Hapgood Wright Town Forest in Concord, MA, a visitor has the opportunity to more fully absorb the messages. As we read, the sentences, social constructs, ideals and declamations become part of our physiology in the form of neural connections. In this way Exhortation offers each of us a space in which to be transformed.

This installation is part of the 2019 Art Ramble: Witnessing Change exhibition produced by The Umbrella in Concord, MA. Jurors: Jess Muise and Nancy Lippe. On view in the Hapgood Wright Town Forest, September 1 – November 1, 2019.

Production photos are below —

Building the armature for the inner pod
Wrapping with clay-impregnated fiberglass
Shaping the outer pod
Sealing with multiple coats of marine grade varnish for waterproofing
Positioning and orienting the pods and book
Prepping for wrapping
Exhortation pod wrapped with outer skin, installed on an eastern white pine in the Hapgood Wright Town Forest, Concord, MA
Approaching the pod
Reaching for the book and pen
Instructions for visitors
Close-up of the pod-tree juncture
Exhortation pod seen from the back
Original proposal sketch
Exhortation in the Hapgood Wright Town Forest, August 2019