outside in

temporary public art installation at clover park, santa monica, ca
client: city of santa monica, commissioned as part of fresh art

materials: plywood, steel frames, photographic wallpaper
size: 5 houses, ±3’x4’x4’
art consultant: marc pally
fabrication: by artists
photos: merge

houses are the base units of our city. it is in our houses that we create our own miniature cosmos to define our place in the world. choosing to live close to each other we search for community, with each step moving further away from nature. but what happens to our longing for nature and open space in the urban environment?

a park is one way to substitute a nature experience in a city. on the other hand, our homes often contain decorative elements to reconnect us to nature. the highly idealized images in photographic wallpapers bring this experience into our living rooms. oral traditions such as songs, texts, and rhymes provide yet another way to connect us to nature.

in this installation we connected these manifestations of humanity’s desire for nature. we created five abstracted, identical house shapes and inhabited them with nature references. the inside of each house was wallpapered by one nature motif. regional legends, poems or songs on the plywood exterior of each house referred to the nature’s environment created inside the house.

the houses were installed in park areas adjacent to the playground. thus they became usable objects to touch and play with, dimensioned to fit children’s bodies.