Kathleen Canta

(image source: graphite journal)

On April 21st, I decided to watch Trisha Brown’s, Floor of the Forest dance piece at the Hammer Museum. As I walked around the museum, I found the location where the performance will be held. There was this elevated structure in the middle of the courtyard that is roughly between 4 and 5 feet raised from the ground. And on the installation, very thick ropes about an inch and a half in diameter were tied to it that created a horizontal grid across the surface. Typical everyday clothing like blouses, sweats and shirts in very bright colors was also hanged horizontally across the grid. I found myself very curious when I saw the installation because by looking at it; it will be hard to move around it simply because gravity will be a challenge for dancers to move comfortably. In an eye level perspective, the top bar where the grid is aligned to of the installation now became the datum line for the dancers. Dancers moved their way to the structure and started to dance in mid-air. Above the datum line, I observed that most of their movements were lying down and crawling but in an outgoing piece of clothing that to me suggests some sort of a daytime activity. For example, when the dancers crawled across the horizontal surface it portrayed the action of walking. Furthermore, below the datum line space is shaded because of the hanged clothes blocking the sunlight to go through therefore, suggests nighttime. Moreover, I observed that whenever they are below the datum line their only movement was lying down hanging and eyes closed. The clothing that they were in was stretched down but not touching the ground surface and created this cocoon like space for them to rest. It was very interesting to see how our normal activities like walking, sitting were normally done vertically, but in her dance piece our basic daily activities were performed in a horizontal manner. But seeing those dancers changed their outfit from one to another, I observed that they were bit struggling to find their balance when changing. I think that struggle adds to the drama of what a person encounter when going through a day. Their movements were restricted of mostly going in and out of the clothes and then pose. Their pose for every outfit became an image and the whole performance for me was a collage of a typical day for a typical person.


Brooklyn Bridge Park at night

Michael Van Valkenburgh is an honored American Landscape Architect. He received Master of Landscape Architecture from the College of Fine Arts at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 1977. In 1982, he founded the Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. (MVVA) and their firm had an extensive array of landscape design, both public and private lands. They had completed over 350 projects including the Brooklyn Bridge Park, in Brooklyn New York 2010.


Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85 acre green space that was built from where the former industrial waterfront site was and it stretches along the Manhattan Bridge, underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, South of upland range of Pier 6 and Atlantic Avenue. The park was designed right next to the 800 acres of open water which helped created the breathtaking view of the urban landscape. Valkenburgh’s concept for his overall design of the park was to create this positive manifesto about the local cultures of the area from the years that had passed.


The park was divided into 11 different phases and two more upcoming phases in the late Fall 2013. Each phase design does not necessarily simulate to one another.  For example, Pier 1 they have waterfront promenade, playground and concessions, and many pedestrian pathways compared to Pier 6 where they have a different approach and installed 3 sand volleyball courts, two lawns, paths, and planted areas. Although each phase is different; he managed to make it work by creating different pleasures for people to experience and enjoy.




Image Source: Urban Landscape (Blue Book)

Designer, Year Built: 2005, Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen

Project: Lookout Point Aurland

The structure is giving each visitor a unique experience on embracing nature by having to view the landscape in a different perspective.


Image Source: Contemporary Landscape Architecture (Black Book)

Designer, Year Built:

Project: City Park Beja

When the light from the sun passed through the water flowing from the structure, it reflects from different angles that creates mood to the surrounding.


Image Source: Contemporary Landscape Architecture (Black Book)

Designer, Year Built: 2003,

 Architect: John Cunningham Architects, Inc.

Landscape Contractor: Emanouil Inc.

Project: Court Square Press Courtyard

The glow in the dark benches not only highlights the landscape plants but also giving the space a much softer side between the building structures.

Blog #4 There is this small authentic garden in Balboa Park called The Japanese Friendship Garden. It was one cloudy Wednesday when I visited the Japanese Friendship Garden, and I felt the cool breeze of air around the park. It was past the hour of ten in the morning and the sun was starting to show its luminous rays of sunshine. The weather was neither warm nor freezing cold; it was a perfect weather to wander and enjoy the astonishing beauty of nature. As I walked passed through the garden’s entrance, I saw the pleasing trellis and walked myself towards it. To my surprise, there is this beautiful pond behind the trees which is also adjacent to the trellis that had immediately caught my attention and captivated me. Kneeling down on one of the big rocks under the trellis facing the pond, the view was very calming. The composition elements of the pond were not as vibrantly colorful like any other gardens. That being said, it was very relaxing to look at. Watching a good number of big colorful koi fish swim in the pond added a hint of color to the monochromatic garden. The soothing sound of the water from the mini waterfall had also added to the effect of peacefulness of the space. It was a good place to contemplate, to breathe in some fresh air, and most of all it was a perfect place to get away from my hectic life. The garden was designed very modest but it was very beautiful. The garden might not have all these vibrant colorful flowers like any other typical gardens but this garden still serves its purposes. The whole experience of my trip made me realized that the true meaning of beauty is simplicity. In other words, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Read More

These images were taken at the Japanese Friendship Garden looking up and standing beside the pond area adjacent to where the trellis is.  The black color represents the figure and the color represents the background.  The figure for me shows time, as the trees does not have any foliage on them tells what season of the year we are on.