Here is the text of my invitation to people to engage with me in field talk as we walk through the ecosystem of Concordia. Please check back for edited conversation transcripts.
I would like to invite you to join with me on a field walk through part of Concord as part of my upcoming project at the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum entitled Field Station Concordia. In this project I am attempting to connect Thoreau’s radical politics and environmentalism to our local social ecosystems. In his journal on March 31, 1852, Thoreau stated: “These migrating sparrows all bear messages that concern my life.” His journals are filled with his observations that seek to discover the content of those messages. My project takes as its central focus a reimagined field station built as a half scale replica of Thoreau’s cabin. Set in different sites on the DeCordova’s grounds over the next 5 months, I will use this station as the nexus for a series of activities, dialogs, and artworks that will ask questions about the importance of observation and witnessing changes in our local ecologies. I am working to create a visual web of the interconnectedness of humans and species in the local ecology. Through activities such as connecting viewers to a citizen science platform, creating field guides, and mapping ecosystem connections, I hope to engage a participatory ecological awareness.
What does this have to do with you? Part of my project, which is really a residency where I will be working in the field station two or three days a week for the spring/summer, involves inviting scholars, scientists, naturalists, and people from many different knowledge communities to walk with me through a part of Concord to share their particular frame of reference in observing the local ecology. From Thoreau scholars to botanists, from environmental activists to landscape architects, how do we see/frame/represent/engage the landscape as it is changing so quickly and radically today?
Nathan Phillips, Ecologist, Boston University — deCordova April 24
Susan Gallagher, Political Scientist, UMass Lowell — Thoreau House, April 30
Teri Reub, Media Artist — Flint’s Pond, May
David Wood, Curator, Concord Art Museum — May 8
Cherrie Corey, Naturalist & John Hunt, site manager — Nuclear Metals site, May 10
Wen Stephenson, Activist/Writer — June 20 (public event)
Jeff Cramer, Curator, Thoreau Institute, July
Brian Donohue, Landscape Historian, July (as part of Thoreau Institute Summer Learning Institute)
Erin Poor, docent, Gropius House, August 2
Cherrie Corey, Naturalist — deCordova, August 9 (public event)
more to come