Friday, September 30, 2011

Prometheus





16 or so "bandit signs", and one dead tree in Utah's West Desert near Callao.
We hung them with string.
If I could change one thing about this, it would be to have the backdrop be more desolate -- the West Desert in July is far too verdant for the message this tree displays.

Forgive me as I wax pretentious...

The name Prometheus (after the Greek Titan and meaning "forethought" or "foresight") refers to the tree's elevated position on a hill at the foot of the Deep Creek mountains, giving it perspective over the world, but which also exposes it to the elements the way the original Prometheus was chained to a stone and exposed to ravenous vultures. The tree is dead, but is still standing and decaying slowly making it timeless much like the Titan's own immortality. This tree also is experiencing the parasitic growth of consumerism and greed, as seen by the appearance of polyp-like bandit signs offering consumers opportunities for cheap television or to get rich quick, and as such has foresight into what will eventually befall this as-yet unspoiled desert valley.

The name Prometheus originally occurred to me because it is also the name of a bristlecone pine which was cut down in 1964 for research purposes and then discovered to have been the world's oldest living organism.