Roots. Deep Roots.

Spring                                                     Waxing Bee Hiving Moon

By chance I had a sculpture tour today and went to a presentation by Steve Tobin at the Arboretum tonight.  He is the sculptor of the new steel roots works now on display there.  He said his ambition lies outside time and culture; his works, he hopes, will work in any place on the planet and in any era, including the past.

This struck me because only this morning I took six Champlin sculpture students on a tour of the MIA’s sculpture and I began with the Woman of Lamouth.  What amazes me about her is that 20,000 years ago a paleolithic artist sat down with simple tools, probably little thought to the future beyond their own life, and made this object, a swollen belly, two milk-rich breasts and a round head with knit cap.  The most amazing part to me?  We recognize her as a woman.  In other words this sculptor worked in a visual language so universal that no one needs to identify this object in stone; we can see, even through the abstract elements of its form, its identity.

Tobin’s ambition made sense to me in light of this ancient object, still speaking 20,000 years later in the corridors of the Minneapolis Art Institute.

On a less positive note I went to a Forest Service information session on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on prospecting in the Superior National Forest.  A Forest Ranger wanted my comments, my opinions.  I said, no prospecting, no mining.  Therefore no need for an EIS.  Save everybody a lot of time, effort and money and would save vast acres of forest and the lifeforms it supports.

She answered me by saying that they were required by law to develop the EIS without taking into account the probability of mining.  This is a splendid example of double think.  The EIS weighs such things as noise bothering animals, the intrusion of new forest roads, the impact of deep drilling.  When she asked me if I had a particular area in mind, I answered, “Northern Minnesota.”  To not take the environmental impact of mining into account when deciding whether or not to permit prospecting is like a teenager concerned about the possibility of STD’s without wondering about the consequences of producing a baby.  Drill, baby, drill.

Makes me gnash my teeth.

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