Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Natural Dynamic

Location: Loring Park, Minneapolis, MN, USA
I think it was last month that Rebecca and I went out to Red Eye Theater to see a friend perform: David Harris collaborated with Katie Kaufmann on her play, Everything Must Go. David's a physical and comedic performer, doing everything from balancing sheets of paper in the midst of elaborate choreographed dances to jamming his muscular frame through a folding chair or a hand truck. Katie, who I met briefly at a New Year's Eve party at David's studio apartment, is remarkably expressive as well as a classically trained singer, so the two of them produced a dynamic, engaging show.

Rebecca and I walked from the theater to our bus stop--bussing there was part of our effort to reduce our carbon footprint, as sick as everyone must be of hearing such things--and we went through Loring Park. It was surreal all by itself to see this environment in winter. Usually it's two large pools divided by a bridge, the fringe of each pool stitched with cattails, their surfaces dotted with groups of ducks, and the land around it a continuity of rolling green hills and verdant trees. Now, it's as though the entire area were one block of ice that a particularly ambitious artist chose to sculpt, with a chainsaw, into the semblances of paths, ridges, hills, and glossy sheets of ice where the ponds were. It was bitingly chilly to walk through, as well.

The road next to Loring Park is several yards higher than the ponds and the land around them. As we descended we noticed a thick layer of mist occluding the ponds and the skyline beyond them. Pleased as we were with that visual effect, we were even more delighted to realize the mist only had a low ceiling, did not extend all the way to the ground, but hovered about seven feet off the path. We walked into the mist, I'm saying, and then below it to a level where the air was clear all around us.

Rebecca ran ahead to let me take pictures of her in the mist, then she yelled back for me to raise my hands. Uncertain of the significance of this, I played along and was startled to discover the temperature/humidity shift as my hands left the clear air and plunged into the soupy stratum just above my head! I was confronted with the common and free phenomena our world regularly produces, much of which goes largely unnoticed by business people clacking through the skyway to their next meeting, by surly teens pouting and blocking their environment out with an iPod cranked to full volume, by urban hipsters or suburban gangstas posing in meticulously composed outfits entirely inappropriate for the weather, by garrulous and under-prepared parents herding a gaggle of attention-deficit children from the shopping mall to the car. Playing with starkly layered fog may not be as amazing as seeing Avatar with 3-D glasses or installing the WiiWare update, but it's still pretty cool.

1 comment:

Nana Osaki said...

that's pretty cool. who would have thought to raise there hands to do that...