Land Exchange

This sculpture consisted of swapping two 100-pound pieces of land with each other from opposite sides of the planet and claimed by two different governments.

One hundred pounds of China was exchanged with one hundred pounds of the United States. The biological, social and political repercussions of moving land are explored in the sculpture.

Each piece of land was sterilized with heat to prevent transportation of non native biological pests to its new location. After the exchange took place microbes, seeds and other life from the surrounding area gradually colonize the lifeless soil until the foreign soil is identical to the domestic soil. Documentation of the project and the soil was exhibited in an installation at the National Academy of art in Hang Zhou, China.

Intercontinental Land Exchange 1994-95. Above: Site in China with one hundred pounds missing. Below:Site in the United States with one hundred pounds missing.

In The United States the concern regarding the project seemed to be one of controlling and regulating the transportation of a biologically active material. Paperwork was filled out and permits were applied for- no rituals required. In China giving something back when taking something to maintain the spiritual balance of the place was the concern. A small ritual was perfomed- no permits required.

The US Department of Agriculture collaborated by quarantining and confiscating the Chinese soil upon arrival in the US despite a soil importation permit. They completed the piece by sterilizing and disposing of the soil in the US.

Free Speech Monument

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