A Wilderness Science and Art Collaboration

Aldo & Leonardo, a partnership between Colorado Art Ranch and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, is a project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The project is inspired by the scientific wisdom of Aldo Leopold and the artistic genius of Leonardo da Vinci. Our endeavor is an interdisciplinary collaboration of artists and scientists designed to celebrate the lands, resources and opportunities protected by the Wilderness Act. In 2013, we are hosting one-month residencies in six diverse wilderness areas. Artists will work alongside wildland research scientists and gain firsthand knowledge of the wonders, complexities and challenges of our nation's wildest places. The result will be a body of work that creatively illustrates the value of wild areas and honors the scientific efforts to preserve wilderness for the next fifty years.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

on the road to john muir

By Tory Tepp

having a deep ecological approach to art making, that the work cannot fully exist without considering its relationship to concentric ripples of meaning both in terms of its physical and temporal location, my residency began twelve days ago when i left new smyrna beach, florida and hit the highway for california. visitation of vast and varying environments along the way to john muir began informing my eye towards the gathering of diverse information for counterpoint and context. in a week a dizzying array of geographic and cultural environments entertained our scrutiny.

likewise, as the artist is a lens for the observation, interpretation and representation of information, such ecological parameters extend into the esoteric alleys and crevasses of my own internal grotesquerie where unbridled pagan sensibilities combined with three years of itinerant living have left any sense of order tattered as it gets dragged behind my truck down the road. so for me, this trip, this residency, the framework within which i will make work, is about a ritual of purification, a cleaning of the looking glass. i look forward to the rigors and seclusion of the journey up the mountain as a way to clarify the conversation within myself and thereby magnify the dialogue with the mountains and my fellow expeditionary artists and rangers.

as such, i sit here in 111 degree palm springs weather and finally begin to verbalize via blog this adventure already many days down the road. of course, i should have guessed that new orleans would have been a difficult place to sit down and begin to write for obvious reasons, as was my intention. but i will attempt to re-create some points of interest as our travels unfolded on the road and as they continue to develop to los angeles and deep into john muir. it should also be noted that i have been travelling with my friend, alexis dufresne, from montreal, canada, who, aside from his fine companionship and shared hedonistic tendencies, has never traveled these regions of the country and has offered fresh insights and observations. and though i have done this journey many times i've never had the luxury of time to spend nor the human company. (may the gods rest ammon's soul, my faithful canine companion of thirteen years and veteran traveler, no slight to you my friend.)

more to come.

-tory tepp

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