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the gardenLAb experiment

in the wind tunnel
art center college of design
september 7th - october 16th 2004
950 south raymond, pasadena, california
11:00am - 8:00pm every day except sunday
events, lectures, films & happenings on saturdays
produced, curated & designed by fritz haeg & francois perrin

with the garden as metaphor and inspiration, los angeles comes together for a fusion exhibition / fair / convention / party / happening / meeting / classroom / exhibit / town square / performance to experiment, meditate and speculate on our current and future ecologies.

e-col-o-gy n. 2. The relationship between organisms and their environment. [G. oikos, house + G. -logie, -logy]

what is our relationship to this place we live in and around called los angeles? we have beaches to the west, mountains to the north, deserts to the east, and a river that runs south. we redirect water from remote locations, 250 miles from owens valley, 300 miles from the colorado river, to artificially support assimilated plants from all over the world and the endless unoccupied lawns that we speed by in our sealed capsules that devour foreign resources and spew noxious fumes producing the unhealthy air we breathe, exceeding federal ozone standards for 63 days in 2003, that stagnates over the valleys that were once fertile flood plains now 90% covered with concrete and the hermetic boxes we live and work in which are either heated or cooled in our temperate climate which is interrupted yearly by precious rains that flush our trash and toxins to the ocean where we play and from which we fish and eat.

this doesn't sound good, but it didn't seem so bad when the car was introduced, the freeways were paved, the river channelized and the grass seed was planted. what happens next?

gar-den n. 1. a plot of land used for cultivation... 2. grounds...for public enjoyment 4. A a fertile well cultivated region. [in most languages from the root ‘enclosure’]

why the garden? perhaps everything we need to know about our next ecology can be found there. the garden began behind walls, a truce, a compromise, between our needs and the wild natural forces on the other side of the walls. garden as metaphor, complex science and rich poetry. balance, harmony and diversity govern. now that a ‘wilderness’ unaffected by human intervention no longer exists, the walls of the garden have fallen. we have become custodians of a garden planet.

ex-per-i-ment n. 1. A test made to demonstrate a known truth, to examine the validity of a hypothesis, or to determine the efficacy of something previously untried. [L. experimentum "a trial, test"from experiri "to try, test," from ex- "out of" + peritus "experienced, tested."]

let’s try something. to see what happens. to ask questions. we’ll bring together over 100 of our city’s artists, architects, designers, writers, film makers, performers, educators, politicians, activists, pacifists, scientists, academics and thinkers to experiment, meditate and speculate on what our next ecology might be.

wind n. 1. a. moving air, esp. a natural and perceptible movement of air...along the ground. b. moving air where artificially produced, as by a fan. 3. a. something that disrupts or destroys. [O.E. wind, from P.Gmc. *wendas, from PIE *went-, from base *we- "blow"]

in 1942 five aircraft companies joined forces to create the southern california cooperative wind tunnel to test aircraft for aerodynamic data. the 16,000-square-foot facility was one of the first large supersonic wind tunnels in the world. recently re-purposed as an exhibition hall by art center college of design, the wind tunnel is a stupendous artifact of brute industrial force testing itself against the extreme forces of nature it must conquer.

lab-o-rat-o-ry n. 3. a place for practice, experimentation or testing. [Med. Lat. laboratorium < Lat. laborare, to labor]

in september and october 2004 the wind tunnel returns to its previous role as a test facility. instead of jet engines, it will now be testing our current relationship to natural forces, experimenting with models of an ecology in flux. with site specific installations, film screenings, lecture series, information booths, performances, seminars, exhibits, this will be a fusion of exhibition / fair / convention / party / happening / meeting / classroom / exhibit / town square / performance. the gardenLAb experiment will be an evolving ecosystem where the work of each participant will add up to represent the diversity of the cooperative process. the presentation of this construction in progress will reveal how the design arts and sciences stem from natural forces and question how they could further merge in the future. structured like a multiple stage, the show will include different zones which participants may appropriate to install their projects: a street, a beach, a park, a public place, an open-air theater, a cafe, a river. part simulated garden, part miniature city, this recreated environment will represent the natural cycle of a biotope and manifest the vital interdependent relationships we have with complex natural cycles. the hope is that this gardenLAb gathering will, for the first time, bring together every single person in the los angeles area who is concerned about issues of the environment and ecology, giving us a snapshot of the state of our city and citizens in our current efforts to create our future ecology. - fritz haeg

the gardenLAb experiment was...
produced, curated & designed by fritz haeg and francois perrin

exhibition design in collaboration with dewey ambrosino

environmental and graphic design by the artcenter transdiciplinary studio
instructor: francois perrin and joshua trees

jennifer anderson
jamie barlow
seohaa choi
cassie cobb
seth ferris
eric gilmore
jeffrey hastings
vladimir martinez
trilby nelson
susheela sankara
jonathan zabala
jason zasa

production crew:
mason hall
tom rugani
brad meadows
michael price
michael thomas
jon boy
matt rolletta

graphic design of brochure contributed by:
liz anderson
gretchen larson
of the department of graphic sciences

special thanks to those at art center college of design:
margaret bach, grant writer, foundation relations
diana holm, getty intern, public programs
richard koshalek, president
leslie marcus, director of special projects
kim miller, director of foundation relations
sarah todd, coordinator, foundation relations
louis valenzuela, media services supervisor
david walker, director of public programs

the gardenlab program was established in 2001 by fritz haeg to support ecology based initiatives, including design studios, academic courses, design / build projects, lectures and conferences, provoking thought on the complex interdependent relationships that define our communities and environment.

the gardenLAb experiment was made possible with generous support from the wallis foundation, lef foundation, the pasadena arts commission and the city of pasadena cultural affairs division, the ford motor company fund and the british council. additional in kind support provided by anawalt lumber and wilson industries.