Into the ground, Joe Riley and Audrey Snyder, 2018/2019
I had the honor of documenting this collaborative sculpture by Joe Riley and Audrey Snyder for Clockshop, now on view at the Bowtie Project.
This project was originally commissioned for The Socrates Annual at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York. Into the ground reflects on how urban ecologies uptake and transform contaminants, and how collective bodies realize agency through ground-up organizing. At Socrates, this sculpture engaged with the park’s history of transformation from landfill to public park, and in Los Angeles, it will draw similar parallels to the Bowtie’s transformation-in-progress.
For the sculpture’s west coast debut, Riley and Snyder have adapted the structure to include a seat, re-upholstered with a rust-dyed cover made during participatory workshops at Socrates. During these workshops, attendees excavated iron objects from the park and participated in a communal rust-dye to produce an abstracted imprint of discarded material. This process highlights practices of use, abandonment, and alchemical transformations over time.
Joe Riley & Audrey Snyder are collaborators with one another and the artist collective Futurefarmers. Their art combines the poetic, political, and practical as a point of entry to explore dense interactions of urban and rural concourses, human and nonhuman forms. The work is context-specific and collaborative in (and with) nature. Their material-based practice attends to the connectivity of ecology and infrastructures: finding expression as sculpture, installation, and public engagements. Tangled in the knotty togetherness of geological time and political urgencies, this work proceeds with the hope of grasping the past in order to excite the present and future.
This project’s installation in Los Angeles is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.