The latest in conceptual art is politically correct, biodegradable, and carries a formidable olfactory punch
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Out Front, Fall 1998
As Christo, everyone’s favorite environmental artiste and wrapping bandit, is poised to festoon Central Park with huge gold flags this fall, we pause for a moment of celebration: The good old days of nature as performance art are upon us once again. Remember 1974, when we were treated to Joseph Beuys’s masterwork, I Like
Green art is compostable. Carol Cook’s Hogritude is a sculpture group of several hogs, molded from fresh cow manure eagerly donated by a local dairy farm. The first (and only) showing of Hogritude was last spring at an outdoor exhibit near Dallas. For the life-size molds, Cook mixed cow patties with alfalfa, pecans, acorns, birdseed, Crisco, and for sturdiness, psyllium, a
Green art makes strip-mining a breeze. When you’re tearing minerals from the earth, state regulations can cost a lot of jack: Reclaimed hills can be only so steep; unnatural holes must be filled. How annoying. But call it craft and you can do anything you want. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s Angelo Ciotti did. Ciotti says he saved the State of Pennsylvania $72,000 with his
Green art eats pests. The balance wasn’t quite right on Lightning Raptor Roost, until the hawk chicks moved in and it became Lightning Raptor Roost with Hawk Chicks. The wood sculpture, complete with nesting platform, was built by former Wyoming potter Lynne Hull, and it does a fine job of keeping a parking area off
Green art walks the walk. “A work of art may be purchased,” proclaims British “walking artist” Hamish Fulton, “but a walk cannot be sold.” The bwana of the conceptual hike, Fulton turns museum-sponsored trips — from the Bolivian Andes to Montana’s Beartooth Mountains — into ambulatory oeuvres that might, say, end on the winter solstice or be undertaken (during his