Trade School, April 21, 2012

Art and Soil: Dirt as Medium and Message (workshop slide presentation as pdf)

This workshop was held at Trade School’s Grand Opening location last fall. Since classes at Trade School run by barter, I requested urban soil samples from students’ neighborhoods as my barter! Participants brought a nice range of soils, from Kensington, Brooklyn, to Inwood Hill Park in Northern Manhattan. After exploring some precedents for soil as an artistic medium and learning about NYC’s recently completed Reconnaissance Soil Survey, we turned to our soil samples. We mapped them and described them physically, then we sent them through a sieve to reveal their constituent parts, from rocks, glass and bits of plastic to sand, silt and clay. We ended up with gorgeous piles of finely sifted soil of various shades and textures, which we then used to make rubbings and drawings.
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