BOB BRAINE AND LESLIE C. REED
of the collective unconscious or an inverted golf course. 2007
term restoration implies an UR
landscape, a pure, ideal landscape. In
most people’s minds this existed in some nebulous past tense – did our great-grandparents
live in this sublime and pristine American landscape? The first colonialists?
The Native Americans? This URscape
exists for us as an ecosystem that is distinct, indeed separate from human
endeavors. The restored landscape only
exists in our collective unconscious. Nearly 30,000 years ago humans first came
to the Americas. In so doing, they forever and dramatically
altered the land. In the landscape of Suffolk County one can read thousands of years
of human interaction with the environment.
From the spotted knapweed in Art Sites’ backyard to the golf courses and
sod farms to the North and even the Pine Barrens across the Peconic River,
the land is marked by the footprint of man. Restoration can only be a
restoration of habitat types that support a genetically diverse gene pool. This
may manifest as wetlands,-which are critical in so many ways, providing flood and
erosion control and functioning as nursery areas for many species of marine
life. Removing this type of biologically diverse ecosystem and replacing it
with a monoculture like a golf course, sod farm or lawn-heavy, residential
development does even more than reduce the survival prospects of the gene pool
of our planet; it also creates a psychological void of sorts. This void is buffered
by the interstitial spaces that don’t get fully planned-the wooded border
around the discarded farming machinery pile, the marshy depressions that form
in the leaves of the LIE clovers.
doing a series of studies in real space on the grounds of Art Sites, we have
decided to create an inverted golf course--a scale model built on the grounds.
It will be a planted marshland in the space that would ordinarily be the
fairways and greens, and it will be carefully manicured golf course turf on
mounds the shape of which will be the inverse of the benthic profile of the
water features. These islands are like overturned glacial kettle holes. As we
survey the site from the air, the iconic importance of the actual aerial image
of a golf course, highway clover leaf or housing development with its circuit
board pattern becomes apparent. These are the earth works of our culture and
like the Nazca Lines or Serpentine earthen mounds of the middle US, they form
familiar terrestrial constellations for the myriad airborne citizens passing
over them each year.
Bob Braine: Born
in Queens NY 1963. University of Hartford Art
School, 1987. Since 1990 Braine has been showing work in
the US as well as internationally at
venues such as the Queens Museum of Art (Crossing the Line), PS1 (Greater NY),
as well as gallery exhibitions in NYC.. In
Europe he has been extensively involved with The Gallery for Landscape Art in Hamburg, Germany.
Exhibitions in Europe include HamburgerKunsthalle (Fieldwork), Kunstverien in Hamburg (Mapping a City), Al Almere, The Netherlands
(From Reality to Fantasy), Kunsthalle Wien, Karlsplatz, Vienna
(Get Together, Art as Teamwork), Villa Medici, Rome (La Memoire-99), as well as others.. Braine
has traveled extensively in Central and South America, Europe and the US generating
photographs, drawings and site specific interventions based on the fractured
utopia of compromised ecosystems.
Publications include “Two Waters” Published by Salon Verlag in
collaboration with The Gallerie Fur Landschaftskunst in Hamburg, Concrete
Jungle, Juno Books, New York, and Neotropic, Onestar Press, Paris, France. Writings appear in “Writing on Water” MIT
Press, Cambridge, MA.
Born in Baltimore, MD,
1979 She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, receiving her BFA in
2002. In 2006 she received a certificate
in Urban Horticulture from the Brooklyn
Botanical Garden, in Brooklyn, NY. In 2004 Reed was awarded an Emerging Artist
Fellowship from Socrates
Sculpture Park for her work Littoral Resonance, an installation of
50+ cast silicone crabs installed in the East River.
Recently Reed, together with her collaborator Bob Braine, received the
Generated@WaveHill grant from Wave Hill to produce new
Illustration: Riverhead Golf Course and Housing, Infrared