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created for Trailmarkers, a weekend festival of outdoor installations, Sept. 2001

Imagine a pond in Los Angeles, under a freeway overpass, surrounded by willows, and formed by water diverted from a concrete flood control channel in the hopes of restoring riparian habitat. Here, I created a temporary place for people to come and reflect on their hopes and dreams in relationship to the contradictions represented by the pond. I spent a full day by myself first,, just sitting, watching, listening and photographing all of the animals I saw. The more I sat, the more I discovered. Looking into the water through the macro-lens I noticed that some of the "rocks" were actually small snails or worms.

For the installation, I cleaned out the trash, hung small viewers with slides showing details of the small animals I found living in the pond and environs, and left a book for people to write their reflections. I also made small boats of dried leaves and cast them, like one casts wishes, into the water. Initially I imagined that they would clump in the thicket of cattails blocking the southern end of the pond. A fitting metaphor for Los Angeles, I thought--too many dreams confined in too small a basin. But on the day I returned to put them in the water, the stream was so low that most of were marooned in the mud. Perhaps this was even a better metaphor for the parched region than I had initially planned.