“Giant Steps” was an exhibition of proposals curated by Greg Lundgren and Vital5. The conceit was a project on the moon, deliverable within some specific parameters, including a payload limit and a limited time on the lunar surface to execute you idea.
My proposal involved something simple to accomplish on the moon, but complicated to mount in a gallery context. We settled on a maquette for this particular incarnation.
Passage from my proposal text:
“If I’ve only 500 words to describe a meaningful gesture, I would start with two propositions: there are no straight lines in space, and the scar. I propose taking 60 kilograms of hi-index, type-3 virgin glass reflective beads (similar to what demarcates airport runways, or what guides you drunk, at night, along the highway) and laying them out in a straight(ish) line 1 foot wide and 609 meters long. This simple gesture accomplishes a number of things. It creates a line theoretically visible at a distance (when refracting light shining at it) using a non-native yet inert material, thereby pointing to the reflective essence of the moon’s presence in our life. It speaks both to the human longing to make a mark in the landscape, in a way that communicates intelligence to the alien observer (relative to how straight and unnatural the line is I suppose). It refers back to human history, touching on the ancient and mysterious Nazca lines as well as prosaic runways striping the modern age. It advances the discourses of minimalism and land art in a stellar way. It is possibly temporary, or maybe quasi-permanent: absent wind, the piece could exist until someone else cleans it up. Of course, solar winds and static electricity might degrade the piece over time, but who wants to live forever? And the scar. The scar is the mark that defines the presence of action’s durational impact. Human marks on the landscape are scars, either ennobled or traumatic. Since one motivation in art, especially in contemporary understanding of it, is the glorification of human ego, I think it is important to acknowledge the tension inherent in this call. As much as art can be a declaration of “I am here!” (or “ was here”), we need to remember that poetically, the Moon has often been seen as the face of Nature and what we propose to do is to use her beauty as the springboard for our own folly. If we are going to make a scar – even a temporary one – I think it should be a pretty one: shiny, like a line of glitter sparkling in unmitigated sunshine.”