Work Out
Click images for larger view
On View Jun 15, 2013 - Oct 06, 2013

DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is proud to present its inaugural outdoor exhibition. Futurefarmers, Fritz Haeg, Jane D. Marsching, and Andi Sutton have each created alternative, sustainable engagements with the landscape in deCordova’s Sculpture Park. By using the Sculpture Park’s land as their primary material, the four projects on view ask us to rethink our relationship to our immediate and global environments through the less traditional art practices of farming, building, and research. While these artists are driven by social and environmental issues of climate change, local agriculture, and self-sustainability, they draw on a strong artistic tradition of extending the boundaries of what and where art can be.

Collaborative workshops and programs are integral parts of each installation, underscoring the importance of community and communal efforts in effecting change. Click the EVENTS tab to view WORK OUT programs.

WORK OUT features four new commissions:

Futurefarmers present Tree University, an outdoor classroom in which deCordova’s fallen trees (originally toppled during Hurricane Sandy) are used to explore all the creative possibilities that can stem from a single tree. The tree will slowly disappear, as the artists whittle and carve away its pieces into new objects (including pencils and a canoe), but its spirit will live on in these communal objects and experiences.

Fritz Haeg’s Domestic Integrities explores the ways in which local resources are harvested and brought into the domestic interior landscape of the home. As part of the project, a circular, 19-foot wide wild garden will be created in the Museum parking lot. Plants and vegetables grown in the parking lot garden will be presented inside the adjacent gallery, The Square, on a hand-crocheted rug made of used and discarded textiles.

Jane D. Marsching’s Field Station Concordia takes the form of a field station created from reclaimed materials in the dimensions of Henry Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond, located down the road from deCordova.  The structure operates as a field station for the artist for gathering data about the local ecology in the form of observations, handmade and virtual representations, and texts and maps. It gives visitors the opportunity to consider themselves citizen scientists. Check out photos from Jane D. Marsching's WORK OUT program for April Vacation.

Andi Suttons Assisted Flagration features nearly 100 handmade, seed-spreading sculptures shaped like pink flamingos. The pink flamingo-shaped seed-sowing structures are made from biodegradable material that, with time and weather, drop seeds of endangered wildflowers, grasses, and perennials. The installation examines the issues of diversity, belonging, migration, preservation, and the future of “native” and “local” species in the face of climate change.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Futurefarmers is a group of practitioners that have been working together since 1995. They are aligned through an open practice of making work that is relevant to the time and space surrounding the viewer. They are based in San Francisco, CA.

Fritz Haeg was trained as an architect, but his current work spans a range of disciplines and media including gardens, dance, performance, design, installation, ecology and architecture, most of which is commissioned and presented by art museums and institutions. His work often involves collaboration with other individuals and site specific projects that respond to particular places. Haeg lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Jane D. Marsching is a digital media artist and explores past, present and future human impact on the environment through interdisciplinary and collaborative practices, including video installations, virtual landscapes, dynamic websites, and data visualizations. She is currently Associate Professor at Massachusetts College of Art; she is the Sustainability Fellow and teaches in Studio Foundation, Graduate Studies, and SIM.

Andi Sutton is a Boston-based artist whose practice explores the ways that performance art methodology can create new models for community development and social engagement.  Working in a solo and collective context, her projects incorporate food, agriculture, television and street intervention, video, performance, and installation.

WORK OUT Opening Day
Saturday, June 15, 2 pm
Celebrate the opening of WORK OUT and join in on participatory programs. Commissioned projects by Futurefarmers, Fritz Haeg, Jane D. Marsching, and Andi Sutton will be activated by presentations, workshops, and special interactive tours.

Walk at Walden with Jane D. Marsching and Special Guest Wen Stephenson
Thursday, June 20, 1 pm
Join WORK OUT artist Jane D. Marsching and climate writer/activist Wen Stephenson in a walking event that reconsiders the radical politics of Thoreau in our time. Connect observation, environmental awareness, aesthetic action, and social change to the climate crisis now.

What You Can Learn from Local Farmers
The Food Project: Saturday, June 22, 2 pm
Lindentree Farm: Friday, June 28, 2 pm
Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary: Saturday, July 27, 2 pm
Blue Heron Organic Farm: Saturday, August 3, 2 pm
Breton Meadow Farm Saturday, August 24, 2 pm
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project: Friday, August 30, 2 pm
Lincoln Agricultural Commission: Friday, September 13, 2 pm
Discuss the week’s harvest with artist Fritz Haeg’s resident gardener and local farmers.

A Field Guide to Participatory Ecology, Presented by Jane D. Marsching
Saturday, July 13, 2 pm
What is citizen science, and why does it matter? Join Jane D. Marsching as she observes, gathers data, and records the intertwined strands of human and natural interactions in the Sculpture Park. Make a field guide for recording the changes in your environment and learn about the stresses and resiliencies of local ecosystems.

Learning from the Forest with Futurefarmers
Monday, July 22, 1 pm–3 pm
This workshop is a Tree University course with WORK OUT artist collaborative Futurefarmers, who offer a week of classes inspired by what you can learn from a tree. Vladimir Douhovnikoff, a biologist who studies forest ecologies, has been invited to enlighten the start of Tree University. Discover how trees act as schools (of fish) and how forests act as classrooms.

Pencil-Making Workshop with Futurefarmers
Wednesday, July 24, 1 pm
This workshop is a Tree University course with WORK OUT artist collaborative Futurefarmers, who offer a week of classes inspired by what you can learn from a tree. In a nod to Thoreau, whose family was in the lucrative pencil-making industry, the gesture of creating a pencil from raw materials will be explored in this hands-on workshop.

Night Sky Gazing with Futurefarmers
Thursday, July 25, 8 pm–9:30 pm
This workshop is a Tree University course with WORK OUT artist collaborative Futurefarmers, who offer a week of classes inspired by what you can learn from a tree. Immerse yourself in deCordova at night with the natural sounds amplified after dark, star gazing, and a tree film collage. Experience all that the environment has to offer as the sun sets on the Sculpture Park. Reserve your space here.

Members-Only Lunch and Tour of WORK OUT
Friday, July 26, 11 pm1 pm
Join deCordova Curators for lunch and a Members-Only tour. Please RSVP to or 781.259.3635.

Considering the Future: A Discussion with Andi Sutton
Tuesday, July 30, 3 pm
Join WORK OUT artist Andi Sutton’s story telling circle. As each participant selects an action, person, animal, plant, or social structure that they either mourn, fear, or hope will become extinct in the near or the long term future, a poignant discussion emerges about the changing earth, changing landscape, loss, and extinction.

Witness/Record/Engage: Walking Ecologies
Friday, August 9, 2 pm
Join WORK OUT artist Jane D. Marsching and area naturalist Cherrie Corey as they walk deCordova's Sculpture Park to observe, identify, and record the interactions of plants, animals, art, and people. 

Eulogy for the Future: A Performance by Andi Sutton
Wednesday, August 28, 2 pm
Andi Sutton’s performance will include a reading and the installation of future extinctions: ideas, behaviors, plants, and creatures, that will disappear in years to come. Sutton documents shared stories in the form of botanical tree tags, organized through a taxonomy system.