Adopt-A-Cart: We are raising money to build a public exhibition inspired by the Boneyard and Saline creeks and to publish an illustrated document on the how, why, and what if of these Urban water ways. To do this we are asking people to adopt one of the fifty-two Shopping carts that we have plucked from the midst of the Boneyard and Saline. Each cart has been photographed in situ and mapped with GPS and will be represented at the exhibition by a reproduction of a mysterious vessel we have excavated from the banks of the saline.
The Exhibition and Project Atlas: The exhibition space has been generously donated for a one month period by the family of the late Mr. Allman. The auto body building sits on the former path of the Boneyard creek before it was moved to accommodate the construction of the Flat Iron Building (destroyed by fire and replaced by Allmans) and the development of the north side of main street during the first years of the 20th century. The exhibition will consist of an indoor space that features video projections, a sound installation, the canoes used to remove carts, and a scale model of the saline with the vessels, which are offered as donor gifts, marking the location of each cart. The indoor space can only be accessed visually through a line representing the Boneyard and Saline creeks that will be drawn across the entire facade of the exhibition building. The outdoor space will be inhabited by a sculpture garden created from the carts which have been transformed into gabion baskets. The Atlas, to be completed following the exhibition, will include maps and visual documentation as well as consider the how, why, and what if of the Boneyard and Saline Creeks.
The Work Completed: The project team has spent the better part of the summer locating and removing shopping carts from the Boneyard and Saline creeks. Using canoes, shovels, hand cranked winches, and support from private individuals and the Urbana Parks District we have removed 52 shopping carts from a two mile stretch of the Saline creek.
The Excavation:The Boneyard and Saline creeks are engineered environments built to create viable urban and Agricultural lands and have largely been used as dumping grounds for solid waste and water run-off. Dumping has taken place since at least the early 1900's and has created an interesting place to excavate the past. We located several areas where extensive dumping has occurred and excavated based on ceramic shards exposed by erosion. One area in particular yielded a large cache of ceramic shards and the remnants of the ceramic firing process such as molds, fire brick, glass clinkers, and glazing residues. We gathered enough shards to reconstruct an unidentifiable yet beautiful form.
The Name: The project gets its name from the combination of three very important sources of inspiration: two water arteries know as the Boneyard and Saline creeks that whisk water from the Urban and agricultural surrounds of Champaign and Urbana, Illinois and the location of the forth coming exhibition at the former Allman's Auto Body in the heart of downtown Urbana. We appreciate the combination of the names, Allman's and Boneyard and Saline, as each person living in Champaign-Urbana has a strong connection to these waterways.
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