Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mel Chin

In “Revival Field” by Mel Chin, he used a variety of plants known for their ability to store heavy metals they take up from the soil. This attempt to clean up Pig’s Eye Landfill in St. Paul was to make it habitable in the future, at least for plants and animals, if not humans themselves. He left a large X in the middle of the fenced circle, showing that this place is, and should be, a target of our interest, and while the circled X arouses our aesthetic sensibilities, it also serves the functional purpose of dividing the land up and separating the plants, so the scientists can test which plants are best at removing heavy metals. Revival Field right now may not look like much, but maybe someday it will be thriving with life, instead of being a toxic landfill. It’s not particularly pretty, but it is spectacular.

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