Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bamboo Art Project to Grow Over LA Freeways

Urban Air replaces billboards with bamboo
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to article:
Six Questions About LA's Lush Aerial Gardens Project

Artist Stephen Glassman hopes to make LA freeway billboards into lush aerial gardens of bamboo.  His project Urban Air (currently heating up the offerings at Kickstarter) will use existing billboard frames as a sort of postmodern trellis where stands of bamboo will freshen up the view and give weary commuters something to think about.

Excerpt: "1. Why bamboo on a billboard?
Artistically, my work is rooted in bamboo, pun intended. For me it’s like drawing in space, and it feels nearly as gravity free. In the aftermath of L.A.’s earthquakes, fires, and riots in the 1990s, the city commissioned me to create large, expressive, bamboo installations as symbols of resiliency in devastated neighborhood sites. I noticed that although bridges, freeways, and buildings were collapsing, the billboards withstood. Structurally, scientifically and symbolically bamboo is the perfect choice as it has always been admired for its structural durability. It has a very shallow root system – just 24 inches deep, yet can attain heights of up to 40 feet. A bamboo forest is one plant, interconnected by a vast underground horizontal rhizome network. The strength and beauty of any individual culm is only a manifestation of its interconnectedness. In this way, I see bamboo as a model for our 21st century, increasingly interconnected world.

2. Why Los Angeles as a test city for a project like this?
Of course, Los Angeles is a place where people spend an inordinate amount of time driving and in traffic. But when I am in cars I frequently look beyond the traffic to the skyline and the horizon, and my eyes rest on billboards. Los Angeles is also a city of connectors: Engineers, producers, advertising execs, entrepenures and billboard companies — they’re are all here and in a position to really help make this happen."

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