Up Newtown Creek, Or This, Anish, It Don't Stink


I've been moving art and life at our storage unit in Long Island City several times the last couple of weeks, and it's given me time to really look. Look across the water to the most spectacular structures built in New York City in the last five years: the massive, stainless steel egg-shaped digesters at the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant.

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I mean, really. I refuse to be swayed or disheartened [too much] by it--it's totally different, I say. I really want to put mine in the Pantheon anyway, I say--but several thoughtful folks have expressed their sympathies upon seeing Anish Kapoor's Leviathan at the Grand Palais photographed from its more satelloonish angles.

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But you know what they say in the sewage treatment business, what goes around comes around. If Kapoor has the intestinal fortitude to keep working after the opening of these unsurpassable 145-foot tanks, I can certainly forge ahead with replicating a satelloon.

If anything, it's even more relevant and imperative than before. Because Newtown Creek is actually designed by Polshek Partners [now Ennead], who also designed the Rose Center at the American Museum of Natural History, an early inspiration for my Project Echo project.

In a way, then, the idea for putting a satelloon in a museum space was hatched from the eggs of Newtown Creek. In another way, though, no, gross.


Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant digesters up close and symmetrical on Google Maps [google]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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first published: June 19, 2011.

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