{ greenhouse modification - charles gaines }

Help make the Greenhouse Modification Project happen. Follow the link below: Greenhouse Modification by Charles Gaines - Project Site - Where Great Art Starts - from United States Artists.

Since 1995 Charles Gaines has focused on the postmodern sublime and metonymy to make art that combines drawn or photographic images with text. Drawing from an array of literary sources, especially arguments challenging conventional ideas about meaning in art and its relationship to aesthetic experience, he made these ideas the basis of his work. His art began to address the irreconcilable opposition, in classical theory, between the conditions of feelings (beauty) and the conditions of culture (sublimity), which negate each other in the same experience. Gaines had his first show in New York City in 1972, and since then he has had more than sixty solo exhibitions and has participated in several hundred group shows throughout the United States and Europe.

I would like to raise funds to modify "Greenhouse" (2004), a large 3 dimensional installation that addresses landscape and Nature as a political subject -- specifically, the politics of Nature's conservation. I now want to make the final changes to the work that will, I believe, successfully realize this political and poetic narrative by pointing to specific material references.

By emphasizing properties of the landscape that one cannot see, the atmosphere, I attempted to make "Greenhouse" dramatize the invisible in order to intensify the fact that we all live in a capsule. It is through the idea of the capsule that we might come to understand that both the sublime properties of nature and the consequences of human behavior produce the environment-as-landscape, taking us from believing that we exist in a limitless and incomprehensible space, one that's too vast to be meaningfully influenced by our acts, to one that is actually formed by our understanding of what nature is. "Greenhouse" metaphorically belches poison into the atmosphere. And as it does this, it simulates the corrosive effects of pollution and simultaneously measures that pollution in reality.

The result is a political landscape that urges the viewer to reconsider the relationship between humans and Nature.

The Modification: Presently, the fog enters the structure through its roof (where the machine is located). On the floor of the structure are aerial photos of the LA basin. And presently, the computer wallpaper is a photo of California poppies, which is replaced by the website itself each time the computer dials it up to take a reading. The proposal is to use all funds raised here to undertake research to find a plant or factory (company) somewhere in LA that has been or continues to be cited for clean air violations.

Then, inside the structure, instead of the aerial photos, we will build a scale model of the smoke stacks that would be part of the factory's architecture. There may be anywhere from two to four of these stacks, each one about 4 ½ feet high. The smoke (smog) from the fog machine will come from the mouths of these smokestacks instead of from the structure's ceiling. We plan to change the computer image. Instead of using "poppies" wallpaper as the alternate image to that of the website, instead, there will be a looped, serial video image of "belching" smokestacks that will play except during the moments the website is dialed up.