Robin Lasser + Marguerite Perret, 2010.
Temporary Portable Public Art Commission by the San Jose Public Art Program in collaboration with the Zer01 International Biennial. Budget: $50,000. Partners include: Duquette Structural Engineering, Anthony Teixeira, licensed welder, James Stone, programmer and electrician, Keay Edwards, audio engineer, Bruce Scherting, Director of Exhibits and Designs, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute Natural History Museum, and Sasha Vermel, seamstress.
The installation site embodies a niche; river, road and air that supports migration of humans, birds and fish. This corridor also references a site for potential displacement of animals and people. The site provides fertile grounds to explore the connections, balance and adaptations that humans and animals make to our built world.
Twenty-one miniature flood disaster relief tents, spanning 100 feet, are cantilevered off the guardrail gracing the bridge that crosses over the Guadalupe River. The tent designs are fashioned after emergency relief shelters, and are scaled for birds. The tent interiors contain one speaker per encampment and lanterns. Lit at night, the tents appear to float over the river.
The sound compositions are a collage of audio interviews with scientists, environmental educators, urban planners, and kids who love the river. These interviews are mixed with songs written by locals.
The flags associated with each tent design also refer to the health, ecology and culture of the river. Patterns on the flag are based on mercury molecules, greenhouse gases, native bird species and macro invertebrates---both indicators of water quality.