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The Temple of Deep Time

In 2013 I was commissioned by Dane County Arts to be one of ten artists creating on-site installations in a row of wire corn cribs at newly-established Silverwood County Park, in Dane County, Wisconsin. The park was deeded to the County by the family who had farmed it for almost 100 years, and is designated an agricultural park teaching both history and sustainable agriculture. The ten corn cribs are unique, and Dane County commissioned artists to create installations to both celebrate the park's establishment, and to lobby for preserving the existing buildings, including the row of corn cribs.

My installation was based on the idea of how things change over time, across several spans: deep time, the term used in geology to talk about spans of millions of years; historical time, the term used to describe settlement of the Midwest; and local time, the term used to describe the span of time that Silverwood farm has been cultivated. 

With the assistance of Al Jewer and John Steines, I designed a multimedia art installation that used recycled barn wood to create an interior space in the open corn crib, a place for meditation and contemplation. I created a solar-powered laser light and music program, using entirely my own original music for the program, and three colors of lasers operated by a random number generator. I installed other lights in the corn crib, also solar powered.

When the other artists heard about my use of solar lighting in my installation, three of them added solar-powered lights to their installations as well.

The installations were commissioned to be in place for one year, after which they were to be removed. I was honored to be chosen, alongside one other artist, to have my installation extended indefinitely. With minor repairs, the light show and music has been operating at the press of a switch for several years now. 

art installation, solar power, Silverwood, music, night photography, photography