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Tyler Dearing (MFA '12)

Published April 11, 2012

“My art practice uses performance-based serial photography and video to promote awareness about environmental issues within the urban landscape. I perform repetitive tasks relating to ordinary landscaping, including site-specific procedures and materials. I collect, organize and rearrange the space in attempt to gain public notice to create a community dialog about:

  • Maintenance through manual labor vs. gas-powered equipment
  • Beautification of pre-existing resources
  • Urban lifestyle and amount of personal connection with the land

Quiet Landscaping is the result of my experience performing routine outdoor tasks while witnessing our culture’s loss of personal interaction with the land we inhabit because of shifts in land use due to commercial and residential development. As a result, the continual need for landscaping has led to a society that appreciates cheap, fast and efficient work that does not uphold the natural
world as a gift of wonder. The once rural Kentucky farm land I grew up on is situated on the front line of a clash with residential neighborhoods, resulting in the loss of open pastures and wooded creeks for congested cul-de-sacs and deceptively manicured lawns. Seeing this loss of connection to the natural world has encouraged me to tear down my studio walls and work in the real-time social
system of the day-to-day routine of the viewing public.

For my thesis work I commandeered a piece of undeveloped private property in the urban core of Tallahassee, FL, and began a series of beautification projects. Located on the southwest corner of Park Avenue and Magnolia Drive, the 11 acres of planted slash pine trees represent a false reality of what used to be a vast thick forest that has now become surrounded by rush hour traffic, parking
lots and office complexes.”