Final Oakland Installation Dispatch


Lake Merritt, looking towards the Northeast

James and I completed the lenticular murals yesterday by clear-coating them with a  protective, anti-graffiti glaze. Touching every square inch of the surface of the images reminded me how much the tiles have been handled over the past eight months, how much care has gone into realizing a hand made structure at this scale. It seemed an appropriate finale to wash them over with a final clear wash, kind of like a baptism.

At the end of the day I took a final reconnaissance tour of Lake Merritt as Ene and I think about designing a system of watershed markers for the City of Oakland. Lake Merritt has been my quiet obsession during the past month’s installation, and I continue to be fascinated with its impact on the culture of the city and its environment.


mapping the old oaks

This time around I took note of as many old oak trees as I could see from the pathways, and began to make a map of their positions relative to the lake and closest intersecting roads. I also took notice of a surprising number of churches surrounding the lake, and thought how we could potentially activate their congregations to help learn about the watershed and its natural/cultural ecology. Maybe a church could ‘adopt’ a stream or an old tree..


The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, CA

2 replies on “Final Oakland Installation Dispatch”

  1. scott,

    lake merritt is one of the coolest and strangest water works ever — the history of a salt water lagoon and its division of neighborhood — i learned to sail there, fearful of falling into the water — not even from drowning, but from garbage — of course it is cleaner now — the hopeful course of water in cities. I’ve been reading Derrick Jensen and trying to figure out what hope might be. Eamon is crawling and that looks like hope. I’m teaching in art and ecology here at unm starting next year. would love to converse, share,

  2. hey caquoi!
    so lovely to hear from you! thanks for the lake merritt memories and eamon update.. yes, let’s converse and share more- the proverbial dust is settling around the homestead and i’ll make a point of phoning you soon. aili is in her final weeks of middle school, and is poised to be promoted to black belt in tae kwon do. we’re all heading to the jersey shore for late june then i’m off to a residency at mildred’s lane. then we’re home for the remaining summer, with a family bike trip in august to celebrate our 20th anniversary (gulp!) xo S

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