Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Statues of Fire to Nurture the Waters

Steel in the earth to nurture the air

Concrete and its cohorts have paved this desert valley and created a heat island that affects the weather. In places outside the city, it cools down at night in the summer, while the inhabitants of Phoenix Metro get to experience a relatively flat line of heat through the dark hours. Trees, green, and natural desert ground surfaces are all remedies for this, preferably native trees and plants that thrive in this unforgiving climate. 

I visited the "Tree of Life" sculpture by Marilyn Zwak over a year ago, and posted the video below of riding up to it. Since I was in the area, I wanted to check in on how it was doing, and how many leaves have been added to it. People who donate money to plant trees around Tempe Town Lake can gave leaves added into the trees to indicate their giving. I think a "One Speed:Go!" leaf would be cool. And since I was there, I took a few pictures.

Tree of Life

I don't think those cracks were there before...

And I was thinking, making a sculpture out of concrete to pay for trees, well that's like making a statue of fire to nurture the waters, or a vessel of earth to glorify the air. At first I had my doubts, but then I decided it was growing on me, co-opting a fundamental building material to raise money to plant trees. Although I suppose the construction and freeway industry could strike back with a vengeance by building wooden cement truck models to improve public relations, or perhaps a stucco and red tile roof factory out of saguaro ribs and mesquite beans. Kind of a Rose Parade with strict rules for using vegetable material to portray things which they are not, but could be. My keyboard could be made of frosting. My monitor of oil paints and gumdrops. And I've always had my suspicions about my cat. Here's the video. Get up. Go ride.



  1. JRA starring in I Am Legend.
    The epic story of the last bicycle riding man on Earth endlessly wandering the cycling infrastructure of the desert.

  2. I guess the adobe trees can provide a bit of shade ! And, the donations are going towards the real thing; I think you should buy a One Speed: Go! leaf !

  3. While I have a fondness for concrete trucks, an adobe "concrete truck of life" would simply not be the same...

  4. limom, cool! Wait, there were zombies in that movie, right? Bicycles are useful for many things, but they may not be my go-to choice in a zombie apocalypse.

    PaddyAnne, I guess it was pretty intentional, they put these trees on a kind of barren site. In the top picture, that's the freeway just behind them. The more I look at them, the more I think the statues needs some real trees over them.

    Steve A, "Concrete Truck of Life," by Steve A, mixed media wood and adobe truck, 15 tons.


Please feel free to comment here, almost anything goes, except for obvious spam or blatantly illegal or objectionable material. Spammers may be subject to public ridicule, scorn, or outright shaming, and the companies represented in spam shall earn disrepute and ire for each occurrence.