Part 1 of the Preface continued

Published on 2018-07-17

When I saw little progress towards an experience of sexual parity and greater caring for the Earth around me, I moved to Vinalhaven Island, Maine, in 1989 with an idea. Metaphorical paintings of alternate realities were no longer enough for me. In Maine, I began trying to restore wetlands to save the Earth. The result was Ghost Nets (1990-2000), a decade long artwork in which the property I purchased, a former coastal town dump, was restored to flourishing wetlands and stroll gardens. The sequel Blue Rocks (2002-2005), contributed to the restoration of almost thirty acres of wetlands at another site on Vinalhaven Island. During those years I began exploring the possibility of what I came to call “Trigger Point Theory,” an original premise. I asked if we could assemble and layer as much relevant information as possible to address a problem, including connections that might seem irrelevant, could we identify small points of intervention in large degraded landscapes, which, if restored could have major systemic impacts? At first, I only meant to apply my theory to solving problems of environmental degradation by identifying locations where restoration could have maximum impacts. Eventually however, I realized the theory was a strategy that could be applied to any problem. I regarded the strategic assemblage of information as artmaking. Later, I understood I had been constructing “Complex Adaptive Models (CAMs)” and thinking of them as sculpture: another way to consider how agents interact and predict the outcomes of complex situations, such a saving the world.