It is with great enthusiasm that I announce The Blued Trees Symphony will add a new 1/3-mile measure in Minnesota this spring of 2020. The new measure will launch a powerful new partnership with the Lake Superior Living Lab Network (LSLLN)! As with all previous measures, the performance-installation will be realized at the invitation of private landowners. Minnesota landowners are resisting eminent domain takings for the “Enbridge Line 3” pipeline to transport tar sands oil across Lake Superior. The Blue Trees Symphony in collaboration with the LSLLN will join Indigenous groups represented by Honor the Earth, led by Winona LaDuke and Universities on both sides of the border, all responding to the call of the land.
Tar sands represent a significant environmental danger to Minnesota, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” America’s 5th most important source of agricultural products. The proposed Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project would impact 700 miles of lake shoreline and endanger watersheds in Canada as well as the Midwestern United States. Mapping from the LSLLN illustrates how the location of proposed pipelines could threaten critical water reserves needed for clean drinking water, local farming, fish and wildlife.
Each measure of The Blued Trees Symphony designates a series of GPS located “tree-notes” in an aerial pattern that represents a melodic refrain. Tree-notes are selected by on-the-ground teams of painters from the local community. Each tree-note selected is marked with a vertical sine wave of non-toxic ultramarine blue casein which can grow moss. The spatial relationships between tree-notes and local geographic features modulates the composition of each unique measure. The sigil is applied according to my precise instruction from canopy to roots and wraps around the trunk, binding soil, habitat and copyrighted art. A final mapping of all the GPS identified tree-notes generates the performable score.
This new planned measure will continue to build a case for including habitat dependent ecological art at the intersection of eminent domain and copyright law as a new category of art to be protection under VARA (the Visual Artists Rights Act). In 2018, working with copyright lawyer Gale Elston A Blade of Grass (ABOG) produced a mock trial which was held at the Cardozo School of Law in New York City to test the legal theory behind TheBlued Trees Symphony. The Blued Trees Symphonyin Minnesota will be the next step in modeling new systems that value environmental justice, beauty and human survival in the Anthropocene.
(Top Photo: Logistics of a Minnesota Measure of The Blued Trees Symphony overlaid on a Creative Commons map of the Lake Superior watershed, Aviva Rahmani, 2020.)
Contacts for further information:
Legal adviser: Gale P. Elston PC, Manhattan Offices: 111 Broadway, 14th Floor, Yellin Suite 1403, New York, New York, 10006 W: (646) 584-3987 firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnesota adviser and LSLLN contact: Kathryn Milun, Associate Professor, Sociology/Anthropology Department, University of Minnesota, Duluth, 1123 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812 W (218) 726-7071 email@example.com
Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the project through NYFA (the New York Foundation for the Arts) to see this work continue!
The Blued Trees Symphony is part of Gulf to Gulf, a project fiscally sponsored by NYFA, a 501©3, tax exempt organization founded in 1971 to work with the arts community throughout New York State to develop and facilitate programs in all disciplines. NYFA will receive grants on behalf of the project and ensure the use of grant funds in accordance with the grant agreements as well as provide program or financial reports as required. Any donations made to the project through NYFA are tax deductible!