sTREEt Lamp

2012. 16′ x 6″. Wheat paste collage of photographed trees on street lamps.

In order to construct new things within the environment, such as this parking lot – nature must be put aside to man’s devices. One can only imagine the forest of trees which existed some hundred of years ago, right where we stand, before the land was raised and leveled out for human use. As a parking lot, the street lamp and tree became decoration, planted within the gridded template to accommodate parked cars. Now that the parking lot is neglected these lamps are without electricity, becoming more withdrawn from original purpose of illumination, standing as abandoned derelicts with the few trees within this gated zone.

For this project, I wanted to highlight this progressive devaluing of both tree and lamp within this space, by transforming the lamp and other abandoned concrete constructions into a more false looking hybridization of tree and construction. I photographed all four of the different species of trees within this gated area, and wheat pasted the paper photos onto the surfaces in a haphazard, mosaic-like pattern. I wanted the paper to be read as paper, and so I layered them on-top of each other, and ripped them off like old posters or advertisements, which would often be attached to trees and lamps at eye level. The collage become read as litter in the environment and vandalism to the lamp, and the idea of killing trees in the process of making the paper comes to focus, as dead trees are repurposed to make this new synthetic tree even more fake. Even when placing a tree mask onto the lamp, I am unable to hide the lamp’s true form within the open space.