Midterm: Pepper Canyon Meditations

Title: Pepper Canyon Meditations

Artist: Siyi Ye

Completion Date: February 17, 2015

Place of Creation: Pepper Canyon, Sixth College

Style: Graffiti, Video

Duration: Graffiti displayed for three days, video 9:53

Technique: basic drawing/writing, video shooting, video editing

Material: Chalk, video camera, computer

Link to the piece: 

Descriptive paragraph:

My project combines art with the science of Ecology. The project shows concerns about the environment and lives in the Pepper Canyon, located in Sixth College at UCSD. I did some research and took several field trips prior to my planning. I observed that the canyon has been somehow over-exploited by human beings, and the construction of a San Diego public transportation trolley(light rail) through the canyon is starting very soon (The trolley project is called Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project: http://www.sandag.org/index.asp?projectid=250&fuseaction=projects.detail). I used the medium of video camera to record the situations that people might never get a chance to see because of the particular location of the canyon, beneath the surface of the ground, and to make the invisible visible. The film demonstrates situations including loss of trees and grasslands, abandoned “agriculture”, human and mechanical invasion, a preview of trolley construction, etc. Along with the filming, I did several chalk graffiti inside and outside the canyon. I wrote on the bare lands in the canyon, on tree strums, on sidewalks next to edges of the canyon, and on logs I collected from the canyon. Graffiti included words such as “SAVE THE CANYON”, “Don’t let construction DESTROY canyon”, “Someone’s crazy, they are chopping down trees to make way for trolley”, and also graphics of a trolley on the position of the future trolley platform, according to SANDAG (http://www.sandag.org/uploads/projectid/projectid_434_16072.pdf). I also placed the logs from the canyon next to the graffiti on the sidewalk. Pictures and videos of the graffiti can be found at the end of the film. This eco-art project is intended to raise the awareness of the crisis Pepper Canyon is confronting, such as the loss of bio-diversity, industrialization and human invasion. The background music in the film expresses a shift in mood and guides the viewer through the meditations. Human should respect the lives in the canyon, as well as preserve the natural environment while developing. My work is influenced by an art project named “Sacramento Meditations” produced by Environmental and Ecological Artists Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison (http://theharrisonstudio.net/?page_id=273).

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