A week ago Friday my bike and I took the Caltran from San Francisco to San Jose for the ZER01 Biennial of Art & Technology . The theme was Build Your Own World. I have to say I wasn't at all impressed by most of what I saw. Maybe my expectations were too high because the pictures and descriptions looked great. Maybe I came on the off day. There was a lot of work presented on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday that I missed. Maybe it's just me and my preference for the hand-made, but the things I liked the best were mostly low-tech craft.
The pictures above are details of Karrie Hovey's ...the Garden Grows: Park Plaza. Karrie constructs gardens "from bi-products of our buy-product disposable society". The time, care and detail of making a garden from trash, and the conceptual displacement between materials and subject matter reminded me of Liza Lou's beaded environments. While Liza Lou creates displacement by using precious, shiny materials to recreate and encase the isolated, sterile environments of our world, such as a razor wire security fence, Karrie Hovey inverts our displacement by recreating rejuvenating natural environments, such as a garden, from the very materials that promise to destroy it.
Where Liza invites us to gaze, Karrie invites us to touch. And people were flocking to touch at ZER01. It was a touchy-feely frenzy. This begs the question of what we take for granted in our physical environment and asks us to consider what we prefer, the real or the virtually real. Visit Karrie Hovey's site to see more images of her work and the installation at ZER01.