Crum Creek Meander is an incognito version of water: driven by wind, neither liquid nor made of natural materials, it nonetheless invokes the hidden histories of local streams and tributaries.
CRUM CREEK MEANDER
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
2014 - 2015
Vinyl, steel, lighting
250 linear feet x 11 feet tall
Two hundred and fifty feet of vinyl strips suspended from a steel framework, Crum Creek Meander employs the pattern of a nearby living creek to echo the footprint of an ancient tributary. This piece evokes the actual nearby stream, even though this version is dry and created with industrial materials. It responds to the ever-changing weather: blowing madly in a strong wind or gently undulating in a breeze. The piece creates a memory of water for students passing by it everyday on their way to the dining hall. Though many of these students will never visit the actual Crum Creek, they will get a sense of the meandering form of this stream whose Dutch name translates to Crooked Creek.
Sometimes tossed by the wind, sometimes just swinging gently in the breeze, the Meander is responsive to the minute to minute weather…
…and the changing of the seasons.
The artwork’s serpentine form is designed to be interactive, inviting viewers to “cross” the vertical creek by passing through the vinyl strips.
In early summer.
In the fog.
The ambient light of the street lights play on the reflectivity of the plastic, sending waves of light across the piece at night.
During the weekend, dog walkers and other neighbors inhabit this park-like space.
Installing the Meander.
Strips of black and transparent vinyl create darker alcoves within the meander.
Casting long winter shadows on the green.
The vinyl strips are made to withstand all types of weather which allowed the piece to last for an entire year outside, interacting with each of the four seasons. All of the vinyl was adopted by various food markets for their refrigeration rooms and by Habitat for Humanity.