If you do a quick Google search for Porta Hedge, you’ll find a couple of pages of blogs linking back to an article that orginally credited the Porta Hedge to SMUDGE STUDIO, who wrote a fantastic critical review of the project on theSMUDGE STUDIO BLOG. If you happen to read a blog post that miscredits the Porta Hedge, leave a comment and we’ll be very appreciative!
The Porta Hedge will enter Yellowstone National Park today from the north. We’re approaching the park on highway 89 and the last stop before the entrance is the small town of Gardiner where one can buy great sandwiches and any sort of kayak, river raft, or anything else related to rivers and rapids.
On Friday our hosts brought us to the Gallatin International Speedway in Belgrade, Montana. The races were loud, fast, and full of cheering fans, beer and half burned gasoline fumes. We were not able to get the Porta Hedge to circle the track – but that would make a spectacular coda to any car race.
After the races, we parked the Porta Hedge so that racegoers could visit it as they walked back to their cars. We invited people to take a minute and explore the inside of the hedge and some did. Others stayed clear with scowls on their face. No one took the offer to place it in their yard for observation or surveillance purposes.
The Little Big Horn Battlefield has been memorialized as one of the last armed efforts of the Northern Plains Indians to preserve their way of life. We visited this important field with the Porta Hedge on our way through Montana.
For those who need a history refresher, the Battle of Little Big Horn (also known as Custer’s Last Stand, or as the Battle of Greasy Grass) occurred between a Lakota-Cheyene force and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army on June 25 and June 26 1876, during which five of the Seventh’s companies were annihilated, including George Armstrong Custer’s company and he as well.
Much of eastern Montana is without cell phone reception, so our mobile broadband that makes this blog possible has been on the fritz yesterday and today. After an extended drive through the eastern part of the state, we arrived in Bozeman, stopped in at MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY’S SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, and then we were treated by our hosts to the GALLATIN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY in Belgrade this evening. Reception of the hedge by race goers covered the spectrum and photos and video of the Speedway will be up this weekend.
Next stop, Yellowstone National Park!
What an amazing rugged landscape is Roosevelt National Park! Rugged and completely accessible. We drove the paved road through the park with the Porta Hedge, spotting some wildlife along the way and admiring the geological formations that originally earned the place the title ‘the badlands’.
We heard talk of herds, but what we met was a solitary grazer along the road. The buffalo was oblivious to the Porta Hedge – it’s easy to see why the park posts signs up everywhere warning visitors to stay clear of the wildlife, this buffalo appeared tame.
Anyone traveling along I94 in North Dakota must visit Salem Sue, the world’s largest Holstein Cow. Standing at a whopping 38 feet tall, 50 feet long, and weighing in at 1200 lbs., this 35 year old cow would have no problem getting over the Porta Hedge.
The Porta Hedge spends some time alone in the parking lot of CA$H WI$E FOODS in Fargo, North Dakota while we get the oil changed on the suburban.
Porta Hedge parked on I94 in western Minnesota following some white out rain storms charging through from the north; after the rain passes the clouds hang low out over the expanse of fields. Corn for miles. Rest stops are far and few between. The hedge serves as cover for roadside bathroom breaks.
Last night the Porta Hedge rolled through northern Pennsylvania, across Ohio, Indiana and Illinois into Wisconsin on I90 and I94. As we drive farther into the Midwest, the road has straightened considerably and the Porta Hedge is able to travel through locations much faster than we originally anticipated.
In an attempt to keep small birds and insects from becoming lodged (and perishing) in the branches of the Porta Hedge as it travels down the interstate at speeds close to 70 MPH, the crew secured a tarp over the front of the Hedge (Christo Hedge?). Alas, our plan backfired! As the tarp flapped on its sides, it tore out a small patch of branches on the driver side, leaving an unsightly bald spot on the Hedge that we will repair later today.
An expanse of grass overlooking Lake Chautauqua was the perfect location for 20 feet of artificial hedge and observation of the summer community strolling by on the nearby street. We happened also to attract the attention of the neighboring preschool, where the theme of the week was Birds and Trees.
Several groups of preschoolers came chaperoned to the Porta Hedge for introductory impromptu observation workshops – energetic swinging, jumping up and down in front of the bird cams, and peephole inspired chalkboard drawings ensued.
More about Chautauqua Institution
I am posting a few of the composite drawings that have developed on the Porta Hedge’s chalkboards. At each location, visitors are invited to erase and draw at their discretion, so the drawings here are a culmination of our visits to Dartmouth, the Fine Arts Work Center and Chautauqua.
A quick detour from the New York State Thruway to Goat Island. None of us had seen Niagra Falls from the American side and the international tourist contingent proved an enticing publicity opportunity for the Porta Hedge.
The Porta Hedge sited in Truro, Massachusetts between its trip down to Cape Cod and the opening at the Fine Arts Work Center. While on location in Truro, the Hedge was introduced to weasels and ticks for the first time!
The Porta Hedge may be mobile, but it’s still a hedge! On Friday we blocked the view of some garbage cans quite successfully at the opening of the exhibition browser, inter-actor, coauthor, producer, nomad at the Fine Arts Work Center, in which the Porta Hedge assumed the title of nomad before appropriately rolling out of town the next day.
The show goes on however, from July 10-28 at teh Hudson D. Walker Gallery. Lauren Ewing, who curated the show, says, “browser, inter-actor, coauthor, producer, nomad is a non-hierarchical string of terms that applies to all participants in media society…. As artists and viewers alike we are all browsers, inter-actors, coauthors, producers and nomads and it is the intention of this exhibition to produce that awareness and enactment in the viewer.”
Fine Arts Work Center
24 Pearl Street
Provincetown, MA 02657