In “cleaning” his forest/river backyard in Three Rivers, CA for our party last weekend, my cousin Mike Perez collected stuff that was strewn about. He found a bunch of pickaxe heads. He found a bunch of chop saw wheels. With the pickaxes he made this totemic sculpture. He gave me the used chop saw wheels and invited me to make something.
It was exciting to have a bunch of circular elements in an environment as rich and inspiring as Mike’s backyard with it’s forest ambiance and finger of the South Fork of the Kaweah River flowing past. I thought about making it an interactive public artwork with the kids. But the logistics of the weekend made that hard. So Saturday morning I wandered to the other bank of the stream and made my small installation, partly in water and partly in dry land.
The South Fork of the Kaweah River was low both because it’s late June, and also because of the California Drought. But on Saturday June 20 Mike’s backyard stream still had a gentle flow of clear water. Since then Mike’s texted me photo updates. The stream may not have been roaring a week ago, but already 7 days later it’s totally dry. Just a bit like Spiral Jetty submerging and reappearing, but on a much shorter time-scale. Not many of us have the dynamics of a backyard stream for site-specific installations. But it is an invitation to consider how our spaces evolve or stay the same.