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Trees as far as the eye can see
July 21, 2010 1:13 AM   Subscribe

Want a forest but don't have the space? Get a tree and four mirrors and make your own Unlimited Urban Woods
posted by Baldons (58 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Period.
posted by Baldons at 1:13 AM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I would have painted it blue, like a police box, since it's bigger on the inside.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:22 AM on July 21, 2010 [15 favorites]


Nice, but why did they have to plant them all in those long straight lines?
posted by Abiezer at 1:25 AM on July 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Tree museum. Five dollars to see 'em. Etc.
posted by clarknova at 1:26 AM on July 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


Simultaneously cool and repellent.
posted by Edgewise at 1:35 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


A friend went in this the other day and couldn't believe how many of the other people inside shopped at the same clothes store he did.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:39 AM on July 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


Unlimited Crowded Urban Woods. Unless you're a vampire, in which case it would probably feel very lonely.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:50 AM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I want it to replace me with the image of a giant chipmunk. There aren't enough places for me to be a giant chipmunk standing in formation with an infinite number of identical giant chipmunks.

Or maybe I could just wear my giant chipmunk suit in the regular unlimited urban woods.
posted by pracowity at 2:07 AM on July 21, 2010


Unlimited Crowded Urban Woods. Unless you're a vampire, in which case it would probably feel very lonely.
Or (non-undead) you could lurk behind the tree and just peep out and creep yourself out completely, especially with psychedelics taken (I think pracowity's way ahead of me there).
posted by Abiezer at 2:11 AM on July 21, 2010


Put a lit on this thing and drop a beehive in there and it'd be awesome.
posted by doublehappy at 2:51 AM on July 21, 2010


Wait... just a moment. Right.

Gentle viewers - this news is just now coming in from the national business desk.

Dozens if not hundreds of logging and forestry product companies have been spotted near the location of this so-called Unlimited Urban Forest, hoping to take advantage of the infinite trees situated so close to lucrative urban markets.

One logger who refused to officially go on the record by name offered the following quote: "Do I have wood? Buddy, I have so much wood going on right now I'm on my third pair of pants today. We're going to set up a toilet paper mill right next to it and get to work clear-cutting and pulping timber so fast it'll break the sound barrier. This is going to be great for the housing and toothpick markets, too. Replanting? How the hell do you expect us to replant an infinite forest? Fuck you, hippie.Where's the nearest Ferrari dealership?"
posted by loquacious at 2:54 AM on July 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


What's the point? I'm seriously confused. I mean this is the stupidest thing ever, obviously, but what's it supposed to do, as an art installation? Encourage mental masturbation? Help us forget reality or make us feel better about holding cups that won't biodegrade for half a millenium? Is it a satire on "human nature" or something?

Did a search for "Unlimited Urban Woods" and it turned up some really weird results. So... I hope someone here will enlighten me.
posted by mondaygreens at 3:00 AM on July 21, 2010


yeah this is a bit pointless. but i expect the hipsters will love it just to blend in.
posted by monkeyJuice at 3:04 AM on July 21, 2010


Imagine instead of a tree you just had another mirror. Like, five mirrors all up but this time...no tree.

Woah.

Nah, probably works better with a tree. How much is a tree?
posted by ImsoAeriginal at 3:48 AM on July 21, 2010


What's the point?

If the artists had wanted to write an essay, they would have used words. This just is. Either you like it or you don't.

I'm reminded of the mirrored room at the Albright-Knox in Buffalo. When I was a kid, I thought of it mainly as the stinky room. We had to take our shoes off before going in, and after a few zillion museum-goers had kicked off their shoes and walked around in it in their sweaty socks, you were thinking less about the infinite view than you were about the "phew!"
posted by pracowity at 3:54 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


How much is a tree?

Half as much.

Same as in town.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:56 AM on July 21, 2010


When Schrödinger's cat dies in the Unlimited Urban Woods box, does it make a sound?
posted by crunchland at 4:03 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


So a hipster walks into the Unlimited Urban Woods...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:12 AM on July 21, 2010


This just is. Either you like it or you don't.

That's what people say about products, not art. Art gets people talking, as far as I can tell, and most of the time they're talking about what it means. Is that out of fashion now? Does everything come down to just individual "yes" and "no"?

If that's the case, then yeah - this particular one makes a lot more sense.
posted by mondaygreens at 4:15 AM on July 21, 2010


I hope the point of this is how sad it is. If you've never been in the actual woods, by yourself, I feel for you.
posted by DU at 4:17 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's the point? I'm seriously confused. I mean this is the stupidest thing ever, obviously, but what's it supposed to do, as an art installation?

It's supposed to look interesting?
posted by Pyry at 4:50 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been in a couple of those endless-mirror-installation thingys before but this one looks like it would be the best.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:08 AM on July 21, 2010


The problem is this: It's so *crowded* in there.
posted by eriko at 5:19 AM on July 21, 2010


The urban forest as concept art leaves me mostly "meh", but big infinite repeating mirror spaces are just plain cool in general.
posted by usonian at 5:19 AM on July 21, 2010


If you've see one, you've seen 'em all.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:22 AM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I used to live in a room full of mirrors

All I could see was tree
posted by Tube at 5:27 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Originally, they used a tropical tree and called the installation "The Urban Jungle," but people kept getting mugged by their reflections. Then a bunch of people tagged the tree, and the city cut it down. This version is nicer.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:28 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Art gets people talking, as far as I can tell, and most of the time they're talking about what it means.

Eh. Those people are usually barking up the wrong infinite series of trees. Most visual art means nothing. A few artists have encoded actual decipherable messages into their works, in which case you might be able to talk about some literal "meaning" of the work, but even then most of the value in the piece is in the aesthetics of the piece, not in any sort of trivial message you could express in mere wordery.

For example, much European visual art over the last couple thousand years, if it has meant anything, has meant something as simple as that the God of the Bible is great and we owe him a lot for everything, including all that nailed to a cross stuff. But so what? That's trivial. I've typed it in a MetaFilter edit box. You could write it on a bathroom wall while you shit. What matters is that it was instead painted on someone's ceiling like this. Any chatter about what it "means" (as a sort of checklist of Biblical events) is trivial compared to the experience of looking at it.
posted by pracowity at 5:35 AM on July 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


Reminds me of this Yayoi Kusama installation. (Warning:naked mannequins).
posted by octothorpe at 5:37 AM on July 21, 2010


Do those naked mannequins have cheshire grins? I can't tell.
posted by Major Tom at 5:51 AM on July 21, 2010


Unlimited Crowded Urban Woods

My first thought was Unlimited Crowded, Stuffy, Smelly Urban Woods.

Yeah they've got the visuals covered but there are so many other senses. I would miss the coolness of the woods, the sound of birds and wind through the trees, the smell, the feel of the leaf carpeted earth. Standing in a small box with a bunch of strangers sounds horrible.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:01 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is what a tree sees when he goes the to the barbershop, and the barbershop has two mirrors facing each other, and he feels both tiny and infinite sitting in the barber's chair.
posted by Hoenikker at 6:11 AM on July 21, 2010


Standing in a small box with a bunch of strangers sounds horrible.

That's what makes it an urban woods. It's like riding a crowded bus on a hot day. With a tree. Probably nicer than without the tree, but it's still riding a crowded bus
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:13 AM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Right now every reservation is for a "Dr. and Mrs. Predator."
posted by griphus at 6:24 AM on July 21, 2010


In memory of a real tree.
posted by furtive at 6:41 AM on July 21, 2010


Metafilter: Any chatter about what it "means" is trivial compared to the experience of looking at it.

A-and I mean "trivial" in the nicest of ways.
posted by chavenet at 6:43 AM on July 21, 2010


I get to walk in the real woods pretty much whenever I want to. As Secret Life of Gravy said, the real woods have birdsong and sweet composty leaves underfoot and there's no way this mirrored thing can have that. But the real woods also have deerticks and sweat and, increasingly, windfarms at the summit, which this mirrored thing also doesn't have. What's the sense of criticizing something for not being something else? Silly deluded cities, they probably shouldn't have urban parks either.
posted by headnsouth at 7:37 AM on July 21, 2010


I'd have angled the mirrors out slightly so that the impression would be of standing on a very small planet, a`la The Little Prince.
posted by odinsdream at 7:42 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


That looks better than I thought it would.
posted by codacorolla at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2010


Imagine instead of a tree you just had another mirror. Like, five mirrors all up but this time...no tree.

Woah.


Wait a second... what if the tree were replaced with a regular mirrored cylinder, like a 18" diameter perfectly reflective column? What would that look like? What if the walls of the room were slightly concave? And then you let a goose loose in the room, but it had a tiny tiny gorilla mask on? And speakers would play 30 second chunks of Schopenhauer on random shuffle, except in dual-channel format with one of the channels playing the segment backwards? And in the corner of the room is a 70 year old man with no shirt on, and he just sits there the whole time STARING AT YOU? Oh wow... IT'S FREAKING ME OUT MAN
posted by FatherDagon at 7:54 AM on July 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


What would that look like? What if the walls of the room were slightly concave?

Your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by jquinby at 8:17 AM on July 21, 2010


What's the point? I'm seriously confused. I mean this is the stupidest thing ever, obviously, but what's it supposed to do, as an art installation? Encourage mental masturbation?

Art doesn't need to do anything, but if it's supposed to me more than art, maybe it's a reference to Nature Deficit Disorder or Richard Louv.

i.e. if you don't have a real forest for de-stressing, try this simulation.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:53 AM on July 21, 2010


This would be better as a public toilet. Oh, wait...
This is like a camping toilet!
posted by Balisong at 8:54 AM on July 21, 2010


Imagine if a poor bird got stuck in there....
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:59 AM on July 21, 2010


Imagine if a poor bear got stuck in there...
posted by pracowity at 9:04 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Looks like the precise opposite of this awesome thing.
posted by iloveit at 9:10 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Imagine if a poor bird got stuck in there....
posted by Mastercheddaar at 11:59 AM on July 21 [+] [!]

Imagine if a poor bear got stuck in there...
posted by pracowity at 12:04 PM on July 21 [+] [!]



Now imagine that the bird and the bear start making out
posted by Greg Nog at 9:27 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the last five posts I just imagined a bathroom with four mirrored walls. I don't even like looking at myself in 1 full-size mirror as I take care of nature's business.
posted by codacorolla at 9:31 AM on July 21, 2010


I mean this is the stupidest thing ever, obviously

Care to back up your assertion? I mean, I can play this game too. "This is obviously brilliant." We could go on like that all day, but it won't do much to actually advance the conversation.

but what's it supposed to do, as an art installation? Encourage mental masturbation? Help us forget reality or make us feel better about holding cups that won't biodegrade for half a millenium? Is it a satire on "human nature" or something?

I dunno, maybe you'd have go there and step inside to find out. Believe it or not, some art is primarily experiential and doesn't necessarily have a "point" to communicate. And for art that does have a point to communicate, it's absurd to assume that that point can be communicated via a couple of tiny photographs and a brief description.
posted by treepour at 9:34 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's more of an orchard than a forest.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:36 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Standing in a small box with a bunch of strangers sounds horrible."

I see you have heard of M. Night Shyamalan's new movie.
posted by Xoebe at 9:48 AM on July 21, 2010


Someday all urban apartments will have one of these. Except there will be no tree, and possibly no mirrors. But it will be everything to you.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:03 AM on July 21, 2010


> Someday all urban apartments will have one of these. Except there will be no tree, and possibly no mirrors. But it will be everything to you.

Wouldn't a neuro-modulator device be more space saving? Why have a big box when you can just put on a headset that wires right into your brain?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:07 AM on July 21, 2010


off to the holodeck
posted by DaddyNewt at 10:14 AM on July 21, 2010


In my city there used to be a beautiful little park in the middle of downtown, just one city block surrounded by roads and buildings that was a sort of crater filled with big old trees. You could walk off the street and in less than a hundred steps go from the heat and traffic noise into this wonderful, cool green quietness. Sitting on a bench there was... refreshing, in a way that's hard to define. You just felt better about yourself, the city, and life in general after spending time in that park. Then the city decided it was too much trouble keeping the drug dealers and hookers out so they tore it down.

This Unlimited Urban Woods installation sounds like an attempt to replicate that same feeling on a smaller scale, or maybe trigger a longing in people who go inside. You see all the reflected trees and maybe wish that it was real, that you had an actual forest you could escape to when the city gets to be too much. Then you leave the exhibit, and the next time some environmental issue comes up in the news you're less likely to ignore it and just go on with life.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:08 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


treepour, never mind. I was wrong to assume that others would find the idea stupid. I'll agree with what you said; no chance that I'll get to have this art experience so I won't say anything more about it.
posted by mondaygreens at 11:40 AM on July 21, 2010


I like this :3 we had a set of bathroom mirrors that both swung inward, so I would stick my head between them and gaze off into the infinite corridors they provided against the stationary middle pane.

My only regret is not being able to run freely through this forest so singularly free of underbrush.
posted by rubah at 7:10 PM on July 21, 2010


Someone should stash a porno mag in there.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 10:48 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


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