We made this piece to change our way of looking at lodgepole pines, which usually grow in a straight line, straight up. Changing the shape of the trees, transforms our understanding. Now, they're in a state of new growth, like a sapling or seedings - on a big scale - and we hope our idea of the landscape and our environment is transformed.
-- Steuart Bremner & Terry Talty
Watch Hume's Guillotine video.
Made for the 2015 Breckenridge International Festival of Art, this ephemeral sculpture was made on site from dead and down lodgepole pines. These trees litter the forests floor, today, having come quickly to the end of their short life cycle. Lodgepoles took over after native spruce and fir were cut or cleared during the Colorado mining boom, or killed by man-made and natural fires. They are still the predominent tree in Summit County's forest, although vulnerable, as we've seen recently, to the pine beetle.
Is does not make ought - that's the gist of Hume's Guillotine, a philosophical law that prefers moral law over natural law. Having lived for a long-time in the Western U.S. where environmental issues are enormously complex, in a time when industry and tourism both want of piece of the landscape, it is sometimes hard to do what's simply right for the land. Especially when there is little federal money for building a proper forest. Often what we do is nothing and wait for a forest fire.
This temporary piece was our action - make a visual metaphor of doing - against intellectual laziness. It's intentionally dramatic and pushes for further thinking on what we ought to do.
Hume's Guillotine was installed on town of Breckenridge open space, on the Moonstone Trail, between Carter Park and Moonstone Road. It is now in a private collection in Denver, Co.