Heather Green's projects and installations examine historical and ecological narratives of the Northern Gulf of California and Sonoran Desert. The collaborative nature of her work has allowed her to ally with a diverse range of individuals including scientists, poets and ﬁshermen.
Green is a recipient of the 2011 Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project Grant, the 2010 Community Foundation of Southern Arizona/Buffalo Exchange Arts Award, and the Oregon College of Art & Craft Emerging Artist Residency in Book Arts. Her work has been shown in Spain, México, Uruguay, and in museums and galleries both regionally and across the United States. A native of Tucson, Heather currently works in Tempe as Associate Professor of Book Arts at Arizona State University.
Naming the Unnamed
Naming the Unnamed was originally part of an interactive installation responding to a massive development project that was planned for La Cholla, in Sonora, Mexico. The installation consisted of a bowl of audience takeaway brown and blueprint slips, an etched glass map table, a walk-through steel structure and a table with illuminated specimen jars and video. Borrowing from a number of spiritual traditions to drive home how vital the threatened species and habitats were, it created a sort of evocation—naming as many species as possible that were in the way of the developer’s plans, giving them attention and voice.
The audience was first asked to choose a slip of paper randomly out of a bowl and decide if it was a good or bad fortune for La Cholla. The brown print slips documented biodiversity of a defined site with a list of species or a photogram, and the blueprint slips outlined the developer’s plans for that site. Each slip had a number and GPS coordinates that corresponded to the site numbers on the glass map table and specimen jars.
After choosing a slip, visitors could find their site number on the map and walk through the metal structure covered with tied slips that directed them towards the specimen table and video. The act of tying these slips to the metal structure was inspired by Japanese temple fortunes called Omikuji. When the fortune is anything less than desirable, they are tied onto special structures located outside the temples so their bad fortune will disappear. The audience could choose to tie their slip onto the structure if they decided it was a bad fortune, or take it home if they liked it.
In its new home at the Land with No Name, the steel structure acts similarly as a place to cast off unwanted circumstances or quandary, but now participants create their own messages of things to be taken away and erased by the weather and the elements.