Art Nature Walk
02 May, 2012 - Keeley Manca Lambert
Check out this article from GOOD on an inventive artistic experience…
Last weekened, on a perfect day in New York City, Jon Cotner led a small group of participants on the second of two interactive walks through Central Park. Cotner is an artist whose work centers on walking and talking. He’s co-written a book of dialogues conducted while strolling around the city, and in past projects, he’s linked lines of poetry to a walk in an old-growth forest and fed participants one-liners guaranteed to spark conversation with another person out on a city street.
As an ever-growing portion of the population shifts to cities, natural spaces like these are going to become more important. At the beginning of the walk, Cotner told us, “Central Park wasn’t intended to be a condemnation of this intense progress”—the creep of buildings north along Manhattan. “It was meant to accommodate such developments.” Spaces like Central Park help people crowd together, saving land and energy: As Cotner put it, the park “reconciles… the urban with the rural.” If we’re going to live in cities, we’re going to need more places like Central Park, which can deliver the experience of the natural world to those who crave it.
Midway through the walk, our group stopped at Bethesda Terrace, which looks out over the park. All I could see were trees stretching skyward—from this perspective, the city had disappeared. But a plane, flying low in the sky, came into view. I took a few steps forward, and a building appeared. The city is here, too.