Sorting the Residue of Years

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Old estate tennis court, Abington Art Center, Abington, PA
April-September, 2009

Materials & Dimensions:
Detritus on court from 16 year’s neglect: Moss, leaves, wood, soil, etc
80 ‘ x 120’ total, each circle 24 ' diameter, mound 12' diameter x 5 ½' high, ball 36" diameter

This was made by separating and sorting the accumulation of debris and growth from 16 years’ of neglect. Only materials in situ were used. The vines covering the low stone walls were stripped and sorted to wind the 3 feet diameter ball, which contains the entire accumulation. The deadfall branches and leaf duff were gathered in separate piles to construct the 24 feet diameter debris circle. The moss that had grown on the court for 16 years was gathered and put together to make the opposing 24 feet diameter growth circle. The soil of the conical mound was beneath the deadfall and leaf duff I removed; it is the compost produced from the leaves. It was piled to form a 12 feet diameter, 5 1/2 feet high cone representing the angle of repose of that material.

Once the residues of decay and growth were separated, the site was maintained by weeding the moss and sweeping the open areas, but allowing the debris circle and the soil mound to promote opportunistic growth. The growth on the mound and circle was documented over the course of the exhibition and posted inside the Art Center as a grid progression. The mound doubled in size over the summer with the growth that occurred. The debris circle became completely obliterated by the 2 to 3-feet tall weeds that grew on it. To complete the installation, the growth on each was harvested, documented (for plant species), and bundled and placed on either side of the net line as the opposing "scores" for each side of the court. The mound produced the greatest biomass and "won" .