Down the River ~ 5

The “Down the River” text was cut from a kind of rubbery card-board, again by the sign guy. You’ll be seeing the second half of the title in another part of the piece.

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 I used reports of toxic spills only along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and in the states covered in our journey from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. There were a handful of blue birds and some small blackbirds too.

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It was my friend Chris Hoeting who told me about the epoxy. It’s really easy to use, almost screw-up proof and not too hard on your nose. It’s intended use is for a thick clear coat of a bar or table.

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Down the River ~ 4

Here’s where you can see a closeup of the glass cling that the gallery’s sign guy installed for me. I had taken a tiny-teeny piece of ocean wave clip art and turned it into a repeating tile. We used it on the gallery window and the upper outside edge of glass, wrapping its way around all the way down the stairs to the second set of galleries and to the conclusion of the journey in New Orleans. I loved the way the this graphic interacted with the gallery’s already existing white lettering signage on their windows and interior glass.

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There were about a hundred of these little birds, perched on river stones. Even though they started life in a factory in China and then made their way to my studio factory, they each had their own distinct personalities.

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In addition to the oil-slick sickness I gave the birds fluorescent blue feathers. My idea was that with enough toxicity, wildlife will surely mutate into a creature that we may not recognize as a bird in the traditional sense.

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This text came directly from a report made by an average citizen to the U.S. Coast Guard. Amazingly, you can find them all, thousands of reports, in spreadsheets on a federal web site. The text was printed on transparencies, cut up in wavy curvy shapes and then coated in an epoxy, creating the appearance of a puddle.

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