At the beginning of the year a group of artists in Madison Wisconsin continued the local tradition of “The annual discarded Christmas tree spiral” with a special artistic twist. Loch Nest was a participatory art installation of these trees – a mashup of Robert Simthson’s Spiral Jetty and the Art Shanty Projects in Minnesota.
The artists used the frozen surface of Lake Monona as an ideal canvas for this participatory public art. Much like the playa, the surface of the frozen lake is a poetic backdrop for temporary art. It made an overnight appearance about half a mile out in the middle of the lake and disappeared just as mysteriously with no trace a few weeks ago.
It was a spiraling display of 40 old Christmas trees. Inside of the spiral was a box full of ribbons with a note inside encouraging visitors to write “a resolution, wish, or something to let go.” The note read:
Welcome and please enjoy the forest! This is a temporary art installation that will exist for approximately 1 month. The trees will then be removed using a ‘Leave No Trace’ ethic. If you would like to make a resolution, wish, or have something you would like to let go of in 2011 please write on a ribbon and attach it to the trees.
Loch Nest is one of many participatory art projects happening around the globe. What do you see happening in your neighborhood/community/city?