Bartow+Metzgar, Stratimentation: investigations of a metamorphic landscape


Morphology Field Station for Sensing Place
August 17, 2009, 1:01 am
Filed under: Morphology Field Station for Sensing Place

Morphology Field Station for Sensing Place, an installation by Bartow+Metzgar at the deCordova Sculpture Park+Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts from August 2009 to October 2010.  The Field Station was utilized as a provisional research space where environmental samples collected from the deCordova site were processed and registered into an archive for the study of human and nonhuman agents.  The archive acts as a virtual fingerprint of the deCordova site with potential relations to its future across time, i.e., it is a geographical record of a specific place in time with historical import.  B+M consider the deCordova Sculpture Park+Museum a unique urban environment where the human and nonhuman are fully entangled at varying scales and intensities.  This project was an experiment with time, scale, materiality, and difference; it focused on unassuming agents that produce specific qualities of place through the forces of event, e.g., deep time geology, bacterial action, localized atmospheres, mycological networks, auditory phenomena, etc.

In November 2010 the Morphology Field Station was reconfigured for an exhibition titled Stratimentation: investigations of a metamorphic landscape in the Dewey Gallery of the deCordova Museum.  The Field Station and its follow-up exhibition are part of deCordova’s Platform program, #5.  The structure’s shape was derived from the topography of the deCordova site (see Installation, Research Station category below).  This Stratimentation blog chronicles the development of  Bartow+Metzgar’s activity with the Field Station during its exhibition in the Sculpture Park+Museum.   Inquiries can be directed to B+M at stratimentation@gmail.com.

 

Interior of Morphology Field Station, August 2010.

 Working in the Morphology Field Station, June 2010

Working in the Morphology Field Station, February 2010.

Morphology Field Station in June 2010.

Morphology Field Station in February 2010.

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Morphology Field Station in November 2009.

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Upper portion of entrance door raised in “awning position”.

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Detail, upper portion of entrance door.

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East view of Morphology Field Station.

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Window opening into archive area of field station (Northwest view).  The shape of the window and the entrance were determined by overlaying all of the major fault lines in Massachusetts onto the structure.  Where two fault lines joined became the openings respectively.  Other fault lines signified where the structure would “break” apart when moved to the Dewey Gallery space in the deCordova Museum, November 2010.  The drawing below represents a plan view of the structure with the fault lines (blue) overlaid onto it.  The red lines signify the topography of the deCordova site from which the structure was derived.

Major fault lines in Massachusetts (dark blue) laid over structure (red).  The small green circles represent collection points that correlate with the deCordova site map.  See Environmental Collections category below.  The light blue rings represent footer locations for the structure.  The plan view of the structure is also a site map of the deCordova Sculpture Park.  To state simply, the Morphology Field Station is a scale model of the deCordova site.

Adding collection point numbers onto the structure.  The placement of the numbers on the structure correspond with the location of the collection points on the deCordova site.  The numbered shingles utilize seven different colors which relate to seven different site zones.  The same color scheme was used to organize B+M’s Fall exhibit when the Field Station and its archive were moved into the deCordova Museum (November 2010).

Detail of collection point numbers on structure.

While the Morphology Field Station is in place a series of tree drawings are being produced.  These drawings utilize wind, a tree branch, and atmospheric conditions e.g., dry weather, humidity, temperature, etc. to produce nonhuman documents with qualitatively different outcomes for several locations and periods of time.  Drawing stations were placed throughout the deCordova site while B+M were in residency.  The tree drawing is an experiment with time, not as a metric but rather as a qualitative event.  A typical drawing station is pictured below.  Other examples of tree drawing (from a previous project) can be seen at Colloquiseum and at nonhuman drawing apparatuses.

Detail of tree drawing station.  A mobile drawing platform (aluminum) is positioned up-right from the ground with a sheet of 8-1/2″ x 11″ vellum attached to its surface.  A fine permanent marker is attached to a string which is attached to a tree branch above the drawing platform.  The drawing is activated by movement of the branch from the wind.  Variables affecting the quality of the drawing are wind intensity, type of tree, humidity, and location.  Drawing duration varies for each drawing and is determined by arrival and departure times when B+M visit the deCordova site.

Setting up a tree drawing station in June 2010.

Tree drawing, 6-9-10, 2 hours-5 minutes

Tree drawing, 6-8-10, 5 hours-6 minutes

Tree drawing, 3-21-10, 2 hours-12 minutes

Tree drawing, 3-20-10, 5 hours-35 minutes

Tree drawing, 2-14-10, 2 hours

Tree drawing, 1-14-10, 4 hours-44 minutes

Tree drawing, 1-12-10, 6 hours-7 minutes

Tree drawing, 11-08-09, 3 hours-22 minutes

Tree drawing, 11-08-09, 3 hours-48 minutes

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Environmental Collection Walks
August 9, 2009, 12:13 am
Filed under: Environmental Collection walks and samples

As a part of B+M’s project Stratimentation: investigations of a metamorphic landscape, organic and inorganic samples are being collected over a 1-1/2 year period.  Collections include soil cores, rock samples, plant life, urban detritus, environmental audio and video, tree drawings, microbial drawings, and fungi (see directly below).  Selected soil, rock, and art samples were cultured for microbiological activity.  All samples were incorporated into an archive for the project (see installation, research station category).

Bartow+Metzgar meeting with the Boston Mycological Club in the visitor’s parking lot of the deCordova Sculpture Park + Museum on the morning of July 11th, 2010.  The BMC hosted a fungi foray on the grounds of the Sculpture Park in conjunction with B+M’s project Stratimentation: investigations of a metamorphic landscape.   The attendance was excellent and many different species of fungi were located despite the stretch of dry weather preceding the event.  deCordova’s fungi will be mapped out over the course of the summer into the fall of 2010 with the assistance of the BMC.

Members and guest of the BMC displaying the fungi collected on the deCordova site.  A field map of the deCordova site was produced by B+M specifically for mapping  the locations of different species of fungi.  A total of six fungi forays will be hosted by the BMC in collaboration with Bartow+Metzgar’s project.  The dates of future fungi forays are:  August 7th, August 28th, September 18th, October 9th, and October 30th. 

Fungi Specimens from BMC fungi foray, July 2010.

Fungi Specimens from BMC fungi foray, July 2010.

Fungi Specimens from BMC fungi foray, July 2010.

Fungi Specimens and B+M’s field map from BMC fungi foray, July 2010.

Detail of fungi field map used to record specimen field notes, e.g., location, species, visual markers, etc.

Vector map of material relations between sculptures in the deCordova Sculpture Park, used to produce random collection points on the park site.  Collection points are produced where vectors of differing materials intersect.  Black and orange circles represent sculpture locations.  Smaller circles represent collection points.

Collecting samples in July 2010 at collection point #21-318

Collection bag, # 21-318

Organic sample, collection #21-318

Organic sample, # 21-318

Organic sample, # 21-318

Inorganic sample/material culture, collection #21-318

Placing microbial drawing plate in a hole 12″ deep at collection point #21-318, July 12th, 2010.  The location of the plate is marked with GPS coordinates so that it can be retrieved at a later date. This is a nonhuman drawing process that involves bacteria, soil, and water – a virtual drawing environment.  The drawing (a sheet of 8-1/2″x11″ vellum paper sandwiched between two Plexi plates) is buried for a determinant amount of time (from 1 month to 1 year) and pulled at a later date.  The drawing is then swabbed and cultured for bacterial analysis to see who its authors are.

Digging up microbial drawing plate August 13th, 2010

Microbial drawing, collection #21-318, 7-12-10 to 8-13-10, 33 days.  More on nonhuman drawing here.

Collecting samples at collection point #20-322

Organic sample, collection #20-322

Organic sample, collection #20-322

Organic sample, collection #20-322

Inorganic sample/material culture, collection #20-322

Collecting samples at collection point #19-367

Organic sample, collection #19-367

Organic sample, collection #19-367

Organic sample, collection #19-367

Digging hole for microbial drawing plate, collection point #18-291, May 1st, 2010. 

Detail of microbial drawing plate at collection point #18-291

Digging up microbial drawing plate, collection #18-291, August 13th, 2010.

Microbial drawing, collection #18-291, 5-1-10 to 8-13-10, 105 days

Inorganic sample/material culture, collection #18-291

Organic sample, collection #18-291

Organic sample, collection #18-291

Collecting samples in March 2010 at collection point #17-343.

Organic sample (fungi), collection #17-343

Organic sample, collection #17-343

Inorganic sample/material culture, collection #17-343

Collection #16-345.  Swabbing an art piece from the deCordova art collection for bacteria culturing.  Several art pieces were randomly chosen using the vector map pictured above.  The vector system allowed B+M to select pieces across time, i.e., from the Museum’s history of acquiring work for their permanent collection.  Swabbing points were selectively chosen on the frame, glass, or backing paper with the use of a location directive. 

Collection #16-345, Alexander Ross, Untitled, 2001.  Accession year: 2005 (red dot represents swabbing point on picture glass)

Bacteria culture from Alexander Ross piece (see above), collection #16-345

Collection #16-345, Harriet Casdin-Silver, Venus of Willendorf, 1991.  Accession year: 1999 (red dot represents swabbing point on picture glass)

Bacteria culture from Venus of Willendorf (see above), collection #16-345

Collection #16-345, Jules Aarons, Untitled (West End ) from the portfolio In The Jewish Neighborhoods, 1946-76, printed 2003, Accession year: 2008 (red dot represents swabbing point on picture glass)

Bacteria culture from Jules Aarons piece (see above), collection #16-345

Collection #16-345, Aaron Siskind, Providence 15, 1975, Accession year: 1990 (red dot represents swabbing point on picture glass)

Bacteria culture from Providence 15 (see above), collection #16-345

B+M preparing bacteria cultures in the microbiology lab at Oswego State University.

Collection bag, # 15-274

Organic sample, collection #15-274

Organic sample, collection #15-274

Organic sample, collection #15-274

Collection bag, # 14-288

Organic sample, collection # 14-288

Organic sample, collection # 14-288

Organic sample, collection # 14-288

Organic sample, collection # 13-283

Organic sample, collection # 13-283

Organic sample, collection # 13-283

Organic sample (with lichen), collection # 13-283

Collecting samples in February 2010 at collection point #12-286.

Organic sample, collection # 12-286

 Organic sample, collection # 12-286

Organic sample, collection # 12-286

Organic sample, collection # 12-286

Geologic sample, rock slice, collection #12-286a

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection # 12-286a

Inorganic samples and geologic sample, collection # 11-407 (collection point inside the DeCordova Museum)

Collection bag, # 10-332

Organic sample, collection # 10-332

Organic sample, collection # 10-332

Organic samples, collection # 10-332

Organic sample, collection # 9-313

Organic sample, collection # 9-313

Organic samples, collection # 9-313

Collecting samples in January 2010 at collection point #8-292.

Organic sample (with lichen), collection # 8-292

Organic sample, collection # 8-292

Organic sample, collection # 8-292

Digging up microbial drawing plate, collection #7-350, August 13th, 2010

Microbial drawing, collection #7-350, 11-8-09 to 8-13-10, 278 days

Organic sample, collection # 7-350

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Organic sample, collection # 7-350

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Organic sample, collection # 7-350

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Organic sample, collection # 7-350

Geologic sample, rock slice, collection #7-350

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection # 7-350

Anaerobic bacteria culture from pulverized rock sample, #7-350

Collecting pulverized rock sample for anaerobic bacteria culture.

Preparing culture plates with growth medium.

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Collecting samples with DeCordova patrons at collection point #6-292, November 11th, 2009.

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Collection #6-292

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Organic sample, collection # 6-292

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Organic sample, collection # 6-292

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Organic sample, collection # 6-292

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Organic sample, collection # 6-292

Geologic sample, rock slice, collection #6-292

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #6-292

Anaerobic bacteria culture from interior of rock sample, #6-292

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Digging hole for microbial drawing plate, collection point #6-292, November 11th, 2009

Digging up microbial drawing, collection #6-292, August 13th, 2010

Microbial drawing, collection #6-292, 11-11-09 to 8-13-10, 275 days

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Organic sample, collection #5-320

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Organic sample, collection #5-320

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Geologic sample, collection #5-320

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Organic sample, collection #5-320

Geologic sample, rock slice, collection #5-320

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection # 7-350

 Anaerobic bacteria culture from interior of rock sample, #5-320

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Burying microbial drawing plate, collection point #5-320, November 11th, 2009.

Digging up microbial drawing plate, collection # 5-320, August 13th, 2010.

Microbial drawing, collection #5-320, 11-11-09 to 8-13-10, 275 days

Bacteria culture from soil sample, #5-320

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Digging hole for microbial drawing plate at collection point #4-281, September 24th, 2009.

Digging up microbial drawing plate, collection# 4-281, August 12th, 2010

Microbial drawing, collection #4-281, 9-24-09 to 8-12-10, 323 days

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Collection bag filled with samples from collection #4-281.

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Organic sample, #4-281

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Organic sample, #4-281

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Organic sample (fungi), #4-281

Geologic sample, rock slice, collection# 4-281B

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #4-281B

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #4-281C

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #4-281E

Anaerobic bacteria culture from interior of rock sample, #4-281E

Bacteria culture from soil sample, #4-281

Collecting with deCordova patrons at collection point # 3-302, September 24th, 2009.

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Burying microbial drawing plate #3-302, September 24th, 2009.

Microbial drawing plate pulled from ground, collection #3-302, August 12th, 2010.  Over 95% of the microbial drawing degraded while buried, which leads to speculations about bacterial activity, moisture level, burial procedure, etc. 

Microbial drawing, collection #3-302, 9-24-09 to 8-12-10, 323 days

Geologic sample, rock slice, collection #3-302A

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #3-302A

Geologic sample, rock slice/material culture, collection#3-302B

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #3-302B

Anaerobic bacteria culture from interior of rock sample, #3-302B

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Collecting samples with deCordova patrons at collection point #2-308, August 15th, 2009.

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Burying microbial drawing plate at collection point #2-308, August 15th, 2009.

Digging up microbial drawing plate, collection #2-308, August 12th, 2010.

Microbial drawing, collection #2-308

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Organic sample, collection #2-308

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Inorganic sample/material culture, collection #2-308

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Organic sample, collection #2-308

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Organic sample, collection #2-308

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #2-308A

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #2-308B

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #2-308G

Anaerobic bacteria culture from interior of rock sample, #2-308G

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Geologic sample, collection #2-308H

Rock slice

Geologic sample, rock slice, collection #2-308H

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #2-308H

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Collecting with two deCordova patrons during B+M’s first public collection walk, collection point #1-213, August 8th, 2009.

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Digging hole for microbial drawing plate, collection # 1-213.

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Burying microbial drawing plate at collection #1-213, August 8th, 2009.

Digging up microbial drawing plate, collection #1-213, August 12th, 2010. 

Microbial drawing, collection # 1-213, 8-8-09 to 8-12-10, 370 days

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Organic sample pulled from collection #1-213

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Organic sample, collection #1-213

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Organic sample, collection point #1-213

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Organic sample, collection #1-213

Rock Smpl

Geologic sample, collection #1-213

Rock Slice 1-213

Geologic sample, rock slice, collection #1-213

Geologic sample, magnification of rock slice 30X (field of view 4.3mm x 3.26mm), collection #1-213

Anaerobic bacteria culture from interior of rock sample, #1-213



Deinstallation/Installation, Morphology Field Station
July 29, 2009, 2:32 am
Filed under: Installation, research station



Cutting Field Station in September 2010 along fault lines for reinstallation in the Dewey Gallery of the deCordova Museum (see Morphology Field Station section above for fault line information).  B+M’s exhibit Stratimentation: investigations of a metamorphic landscape opens November 16th, 2010. 

B+M and deCordova crew removing sections of Field Station during disassembly process, September 2010.

Field Station partially disassembled, September 2010

Field Station fully disassembled for transport into the Museum, Septemebr 2010.

 

 

INSTALLATION, MORPHOLOGY FIELD STATION, August 2009

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Work begins August 2009 with the installation of Bartow+Metzgar’s Morphology Field Station in the Sculpture Park at deCordova Sculpture Park+Museum.  The installation was a 3-1/2 week fabrication process with the assistance of Peter and Philip Bartow, Brian DeRosia, and Brad Gonyer.

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Structural ribbing added to research station (Northwest view).

Oriented Site

The structure and its orientation were derived from the topography of the deCordova site.

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Structural ribbing continues (Southwest view).  As the research station gets higher the “topo-rings” get more complex and eccentric.

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East side of research station.  Painting, cutting, and applying purlins for painted Cedar shingles (Northeast view).

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Cladding the structure with a painted Cedar shingle (Northwest view).  The color was derived from a Google satellite view of the site, Cabot’s “Shade Tree Green” matched a color sample pulled from the digital satellite image. The cladding becomes more textural and complex as it meets the intricate facets closer to the top of the structure.

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Fabricating door on South side of structure.  The bottom half of the door is detachable.  The top half folds up to become an awning. 

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Cladding the structure ( Southeast view).

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Cladding the structure (Northeast view)

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Cladding the top of structure (Northwest view).  The shingles produce an expressive surface due to the complexity of the planer facets.

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Interior view of structure (South view).

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Internal structure consist of horizontal ribs (topo-rings), vertical supports and purlins.

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Touch-up of cedar shingles.  Cladding is close to completion (Southwest view).

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Entrance of structure close to completion.