In one week, we will be in Seattle taking in 80 degree temperatures, great seafood and the culture of the northwest. One of the sites I am most looking forward to visiting is the Olympic Sculpture Park, an extension of the Seattle Art Museum. The reason behind this is Neukom Vivarium, an art installation surrounding life cycles and the decomposition process of an old growth log. Here is a brief description of the installation by Mark Dion from the park web site:
"Neukom Vivarium is a hybrid work of sculpture, architecture, environmental education and horticulture that connects art and science. Sited at the corner of Elliott Avenue and Broad Street, it features a sixty-foot-long 'nurse log' in an eighty-foot-long custom-designed greenhouse. Set on a slab under the glass roof of the greenhouse, the log has been removed from the forest ecosystem and now inhabits an art system. Its ongoing decay and renewal represent nature as a complex system of cycles and processes. Visitors observe life forms within the log using magnifying glasses supplied in a cabinet designed by the artist. Illustrations of potential log inhabitants-bacteria, fungi, lichen, plants, and insects-decorate blue and white tiles that function as a field guide, assisting visitors' identification of 'specimens.' Neukom Vivarium is the artist's first permanent public art work in the United States."