Hogpen Hill Farms artworks
"North America's best sculpture park: Edward Tufte's Hogpen Hill Farms" Philip Greenspun
Triptych, steel series #5, 2013, about 5 x 10 x 1.5 feet
Someone mentioned that this steel piece had echoes of Paul Klee. Prompted memories about how the Triptych
was constructed: ~ same time I made a quilt of Klee's paintings
and had been studying Paul Klee's notebooks The Thinking Eye
. On the other hand, 3 of these circle steel-cutouts were sitting around our outdoor studio for several months just waiting for an opportunity to fill a triptych gap.
Ken Carbone, CarboneSmolanAgency and a co-star in our documentary film Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See,
visits Hogepen's Stone Mountain in the presence of 2 stone tablet artworks (at 3rd annual open house).
Ken Carbone + ET at my Little Steel Horse, mocking the long history of bilaterally symmetric sculptures of
Dear-Leader-on-a-Big-Pedestalized-Horse. Little Steel Horse, made from an anvil and the jaw of a vise,
sits atop a 30-ton stone pedestal and watches over all of Stone Mountain. 20th-century sculpture happily
escaped bilateral symmetry and often sat, now depedestalized, directly on the earth. Near the end of my
there's more in the chapter "Sculptural Pedestals: Meaning, Practice, Depedestatlization."
Images above were taken by Andrei Severny at the 2013 annual open house at Hogpen Hill Farms,
my 234-acre tree and sculpture farm in northwest Connecticut.
Designs for Walking Maps
Here's a visual map guide to Hogpen made in a few hours right before the 3rd open house.
It started out (wrongly) with a plot plan (like the floor plan of a house), which is a lousy model
for people walking around.
So instead, navigation between the 7 sculpture fields that form
Hogpen Hill Farms was conducted by means of what visitors actually see: sculptures, hills, trees.
The North direction is strongly enforced on the image map and also on the ground as
visitors drive in: the security staff, after greeting our guests with a show catalog,
then point to the north and to a sign that says, of all things "NORTH." This visual guide
is unrefined, but worked and was produced very quickly, in fact just-in-time.
Such designs might serve sculpture parks and museums. I once critiqued a sculpture park map
in which the basic navigation was conducted through codings derived directly from a damn
Acoustiguide that in turn were printed of the map. I suggested that the sculpture itself should
be used as visual guide posts, not double-codings results from an interface (Acoustiguide)
for an interface (map). Rather let the amazing art provide its own guide. No one has ever
come to an art exhibit to see an interface to an interface.
Another way to think about this: use visual solutions for visual problems.
Not interface solutions, not flatland map solutions, but rather imaging the scene to be seen.
Photographs below are by Fredrick K.Orkin at the 2012 annual open house.
Continuous silent megalith, a structure of unknown significance,
2012-2013, native stone and air,
300 x 30 x height 16 feet, or 90 x 9 x height 5 meters,
flows along on top of a local ridge.
The entire artwork is devoted to contemplative seeing beyond words, and visitors are requested to
remain silent when within sight of the stones. It is constructed entirely of stones found on the farm.
Many of the found stones are split to reveal fresh fractured cubist arrangement. Airspaces are constructed
and worked by adjusting the stones as the local configurations are created and revised.
Three infrared images of the
Airstream Trailer Interplanetary Explorer.
The infrared image lightens the darkness of the cool (in temperature) tree leaves,
and creates an especially eerie quality to the image immediately below.
Airstream Trailer Interplanetary Explorer, with a big stainless steel Feynman diagram
and a really big Tong Bird of Paradise, off toward a distant horizon.
Airspace, 14 feet height, aluminum petals, luscious reflections in pond.
Saturated-color/infrared images adjacent, then rotated upside down:
Fred Orkin's infrared photograph combines the textures of the Millstone 8 and the tree leaves
(lightened by their cool temperature by infrared imaging), best picture I've seen of the Millstone series:
Hogpen Hill #1, first piece installed at Hogpen Hill Farms 6 years ago,
stainless steel with matte (double-action grinding) finish intensely responsive to light,
24 feet tall, installation area recently revised.
Tong Bird of Paradise, on a hill against the horizon, largest version 30 feet wide x 20 feet tall, silhouette can be seen from far away.
Magritte's Smile resting on the deck of a studio.
Black swan boat at pond.
-- Edward Tufte