A MAP TO THE MUSIC OF THE PLACE - architecture and design

A MAP TO THE MUSIC OF THE PLACE



BY ZACH MORTICE
Inuksuit is meant to be staged outdoors, in any kind of landscape. Photo by Graham Coreil-Allen.
For her landscape art installation in Houston, the landscape architect and artist Falon Mihalic, ASLA, drew inspiration from a musical score as much as she did the live oak trees on her Rice University campus site.
Her installation was the setting for a performance of the composer John Luther Adams?sInuksuit. The Inuit title is loosely translated as ?evidence of human presence? and commonly refers to Arctic wayfinding markers such as cairns of stacked stones. Mihalic?s installation is also concerned with wayfinding amid wildness.
Her work contains three main elements. The origin point is a circle of white crushed limestone gravel 30 feet in diameter that surrounds a live oak tree. At its perimeter are CNC-milled pieces of plywood painted black with triangular acrylic patterns applied on top, pointing outward, shimmering and reflective as water. A thin line of crushed gravel dotted by boulders forms an ellipse around the origin point, which the musicians use as waypoints to track their movements. Up above, a dark aluminum ?ribbon of smoke,? as Mihalic calls it, is hung from a tree?s branches. ?It looks like a kind of ghosted branch,? she says. ?I wanted it to be almost invisible.? This ethereal gray calls to mind the home and hearth that come with human settlement (or inuksuit), but Mihalic sees it as conjuring wildfire and cyclical landscape processes. A shroud ...
_MURLDELAFUENTE http://landscapearchitecturemagazine.org/

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