In most times,  and conversations for that matter,  if a bit of excavation is done, one can expose many historical strata of exercises in contrast. Geologic time is intentionally being invoked"”as it has to do with flow and expectations, and a certain vigilance in the examination and questioning of not only of who we are, but how we work and how we live and what we do, be that eating, sleeping, teaching, protesting, sustaining a life, etc.


NYTimes Article on Occupy-Wall-Street and that Zuccotti Park will not be closed


It was somewhat of a surprise to receive a Google Alert at 3:05 pm on October 14, 2011 and read under the awning of a building on 34th Street in Manhattan in the pouring rain, the unexpected announcement that Occupy Wall Street would not be evicted from Zuccotti Park in Manhattan by the New York City Police, so that the park could be cleaned by its owners, Brookfield Properties.

Brookfield Properties: Cities with Brookfield Properties that are deemed sustainable properties.

Brookfield Properties: Cities with Brookfield Properties that are deemed sustainable properties.

The question came to mind of who came to their senses, Bloomberg or Brookfield. It doesn’t matter because someone was paying attention to the forecast and somewhere is a detailed analysis on successful  protest movements and the weather. That would be worth a read. It rained a better part of the day today and having recently spent some times at Occupy Wall Street, I can attest to how clean and organized Zuccotti Park actually is. Impressive are the library,  transportation center, communication center, language center, workers rights table, training center,  kitchen, pantry, closet, hygiene facility etc.  But, there is no park as one would imagine a park to be as a green space as Janette Sadik-Khan has done for Manhattan in particular, but there is a public space that is actually a private space in the public. Having never made the trek to Burning Man, although I  did spend one evening in Big Sur around the original fire, in retrospect, those embers now seem like a smudge stick.  I would imagine that Zuccotti’s  attention to organization and the needs of the full time occupiers is similar to the Nevada staging. Brookfield Properties has a link on their site of their sustainable buildings that are on the map above.

In the strata of being all too human and needing to eat or be fed, it locates us in a grocery store in 1992 with the artist, Gabriel Orozco who was placing cat food tins on watermelons in order to create contrast or  intervention that resulted in a photograph as a tableau of contrast that is emblematic of just that, Zuccotti Park.

Dole Iceberg Lettuce Head from California at a Farm Stand in Hempstead, Maryland

Head of Dole Iceberg Lettuce from California at a Farm Stand in Hempstead, Maryland

Being on the dole or if one is to reddit the word dole, the list is one that includes not a can of cat food, but a head of lettuce that has made its way from California to Maryland, nor an airport code, but the states, laws and transportation systems that not only make this possible, but the larger system at large where  a farm stand in central Maryland that sells locally grown produce has a bin of Dole  branded heads of iceberg lettuce from California"”begging the question of why they are there, but also how. It brings us back to Orozco and another work of his from 1992, Five Problems.

But, I prefer to defer to Lars Von Trier and his film, Five Obstructions that would make us look at everything, including ourselves and how we live and work and the decisions around such decisions.

Cats and Watermelons. 1992. © 2010 Gabriel Orozco

Cats and Watermelons. 1992. © 2010 Gabriel Orozco

Five Problems. 1992. © 2010 Gabriel Orozco

Five Problems. 1992. © 2010 Gabriel Orozco


Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Carroll is an artist and technology developer who teaches architecture.

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