A R T + I N F R A S T R U C T U R E
Infrastructure is the basic foundation of structures and systems that underpins our quality of life. Like a circulatory system, it conveys
resources to us. It is constantly evolving, expanding and contracting to accommodate our inhabitation of space. From dams to highway
overpasses, these structures are monuments of our time. They reflect a process that shifts and adapts to our culture.
Infrastructure is an integral part of our built environment, but in many ways, it works so seamlessly that we do not have to consider it
in our daily lives. These systems are carefully engineered in response to environmental conditions; however, they often function as a
barrier to our experience of those conditions. For example, we can drink a glass of water without knowing where it came from; we
can traverse a mountain pass by road in minutes instead of days.
This research project examines how art can be applied to reveal infrastructure and its relationship to the environment. It uses the
practice of land art, or art that responds to the characteristics of a site, to make visible this relationship. Three conceptual models
were developed for the project that integrate public art into infrastructure. They include a site-specific work, a replicable small-scale
work that can be adapted to various sites, and a work incorporating pre-existing infrastructure. All projects focus on infrastructure
that relates to water, since they were created for the high-desert environment of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
With each of the case studies, the goal was to take the human experience of infrastructure into consideration as an integral part of
the design. These works seek to demonstrate how the incorporation of these considerations can deepen our understanding of and
connectedness to place.
Funded by a Land Arts Mobile Research Center Post-MFA Grant through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation