Park Installation View

Park Installation (1986)



This is a piece of land art I installed in the front yard of Toronto's Garnet Press Gallery, in the late spring of 1986. The plants are all ruderal species, which I started from seed and cuttings that I collected along railway tracks and in vacant lots. In the absence of regular lawn care, the plants grew rampantly and by the end of the summer reached over two metres in height. Soon birds and butterflies started to visit this tiny oasis in the urban wasteland.

I built a small pond in the middle of the installation into which I released some bull frogs I had rescued from a fish market in Chinatown. Their movements and vocalizations got detected by a pair of hydrophones, amplified and then broadcast through a loudspeaker out onto busy Richmond Street. With this electronic assistance, the sound of nature was able to compete effectively with the din of the urban traffic.