Drawings and sculptures installed at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts *
Landscape architects, like archaeologists, interrogate the firm relationship between landscape and memory. In archaeology, beliefs about the construction of memory drive the collecting of remnant artifacts, figures, and whole cores of soil to understand what the ground might tell us about the people of the past.
I began to question archaeological paradigms to develop my own method of understanding memory in the Midwest US region anthropologists call ‘The American Bottom.’ My core sample drawing series documents traces of memory and also investigates methods of knowing, beyond what we can see with our own eyes.
The concept of landscape relies on the approximation of complex conditions in order to make them knowable. Thus, I developed a process of approximating an archaeological form. Typical core samples aim to understand events that transpired on the ever-changing surface of the ground. My Approximate Cores are constructed out of material gleaned from disturbed ground, where the soil—and all it contains—has been already turned up.
The proposition is to mark historically significant sites with the Approximate Cores. The site markers, coupled with a pamphlet of histories in hand, enable a public to walk and chart a difficult spatial stories, such as the loss of many of the great Indian mounds or the massacre that was the 1917 East St. Louis 'race riots.'