About

Greenmeme is the vision of artists Freya Bardell and Brian Howe. Together, they have been creating site-specific public artwork since 2005. Qualities of material, context and form begin anew with each project. Their investigations into the history of both the surrounding culture and environment reveals unique ways in which each project can work to raise awareness of these qualities through sculpture, performance and community engagement. Since coming together their work has continued to range from smaller locally-focused commissions to creating projects on a national and international scale.

Greenmeme

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 | Freya Bardell + Brian Howe and Friends

We're currently working on these projects...

405 Sepulveda Widening Project

his project engages a variety of viewers at a various scales and speeds of perception.  Located along Sepulveda Blvd, between Montana and Sunset, the artwork will be viewable by vehicular traffic along Sepulveda, pedestrians along the adjacent sidewalk, and from a distance as far as the southern cactus garden of the Getty.

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405 Sepulveda Widening Project

his project engages a variety of viewers at a various scales and speeds of perception.  Located along Sepulveda Blvd, between Montana and Sunset, the artwork will be viewable by vehicular traffic along Sepulveda, pedestrians along the adjacent sidewalk, and from a distance as far as the southern cactus garden of the Getty. We want for all of these viewers to have a unique way of experiencing the artwork based on the distance and rate of speed at which they view it.

We have designed an artistic graphic to be applied to walls 1720 and 1730. To create an effective design within the budget constraints, we have designed the artwork to run in a band across the wall. The subject matter for the iconographic elements of the artwork has been provided by local community members and is inspired by art deco landmarks such as the nearby Royce Hall and Fox Theatre. We encouraged residents and the public to suggest natural and urban landmarks that they felt represented the community. Through an online forum, ideas were shared and those mentioned most often were given a visual preference in the collaged image.

The approved icon list was converted to imagery through photography and drawing.

The collaged images have been set into a 5’ x 5’ stencil, that will be tiled to give the appearance of a giant swath of torn, concrete wallpaper running along Sepulveda. We have framed empty zones within the graphic that where originally for portraits of people within the community to be displayed. However it was decided by a few community members that the portraits  be removed from the design.

The artwork is placed above the maximum vine growth line, however, the “floral” nature of the pattern is designed to complement the wall’s landscaping plan and embrace areas where the artwork may become obscured by the vines.

 

site: Sepulveda Pass

commissioning Agent: Metro

artist Team:Freya Bardell and Brian Howe

medium: Concrete

dimensions: 20’ x’ 1500’

year to be completed: March 2014 Permanent

description: Water blasted graphic stenciled into retaining walls. Subject matter for iconography was provided by local community members through crowdsourcing. Through workshops and an online forum, ideas were shared and eventually formed the collaged image.

 Special Thanks: Wen Han

Riverside Roundabout

This artwork, part of the Riverside Dr Bridge Improvement program, will be sited in the first roundabout to built in Los Angeles.

Artist's Concept Render
Riverside Roundabout

This artwork, part of the Riverside Dr Bridge Improvement program, will be sited in the first roundabout to built in Los Angeles. Stone sculptures are cut with faces of individuals from the community, randomly chosen over a period of the next 2 years. The sculptures capture stormwater coming from the bridge and process it through a series of fountains, where it is then filtered, stored and distributed throughout the landscape.

 

site: Riverside Bridge and Roundabout

commissioning Agent: City of LA / HNTB engineering

artist Team:Freya Bardell and Brian Howe

medium: Stone, Landscape, Cisterns, LED Lighting, Permeable Pavers, PV panels,

dimensions: 100′ diameter

year to be completed: Jan 2014 Permanent

 

The Blue Tree Project

In 2010 we were commissioned to create a project at California State University San Bernardino.

The Blue Tree project engaged the removal of a tree from the University San campus.

Blue Tree Project
The Blue Tree Project

In 2010 we were commissioned to create a project at California State University San Bernardino.

The Blue Tree project engaged the removal of a tree from the University San campus. The loss of this Aleppo pine was deemed necessary to develop a new station on the line of the more efficient sbX (Bus) Rapid Transit system.
There was no doubt that the loss of the tree was a difficult subject for most of us involved in the project’s process.

Images of the tree have been printed into glass windshield panels within the new structure. The subject matter for the imagery was based on a series of actions and observations between us, the tree and the students and teachers from The Department of Art.

An archive of the process celebrating the many different perspectives on the event of a tree being cut, pruned, painted blue and photographed for public art. Blue images of the tree has be transposed onto the glass panels of the sbX station by a fabricator. The images of the tree blend into the sky on a clear blue day. On overcast or smoggy days, the same blue images of the tree will come to the visual forefront as the panel and white background frame them. As the sun passed though the glass images of the tree are cast onto the ground symbolizing the loss of the tree. These ghostly images serve as a visual memorial to the tree and the celebration of a new cleaner transit system.

 

site:  California State University San Bernardino

client: Omnitrans sbX Bus Rapid Transit

artist Team:Freya Bardell and Brian Howe with Department of Art

medium: Wood, milk paint, tempered glass, video, social media, timelapse photography

dimensions: Phase 1: 45 ft x 18 Ft x 14 Ft, Phase 2: eight glass panels at 5 Ft x 5 Ft

construction techniques: chainsaw, boom lift, paint sprayer, ceramic frit glass printing

contractors: Griffith Company, California State University San Bernardino

 

 

WIRED WILDERNESS, 2012

WIRED WILDERNESS, 2012

This artwork is a creative interpretation of regional climate data generated by scientific institutions in the San Jose region.

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WIRED WILDERNESS, 2012

WIRED WILDERNESS, 2012

This artwork is a creative interpretation of regional climate data generated by scientific institutions in the San Jose region.  The project grew from a three year partnership with UC Berkeley biological field station, Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (BORR) and represents the potential for an ongoing artist residency program focused on evolving issues of climate change, increasing public awareness and inspiring behavioral change.

The project on display in these cases uses a combination of satellite and time-lapse photography transmitted via solar-powered cameras located in the east hills of the Santa Clara Valley.  The cameras record the movement of wildlife and change of the seasons every 3 minutes, 24 hours a day.  The ongoing transmission of information to the airport becomes a dynamic archive of the climate.

Project Partners:  U.C. Berkeley’s Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (BORR), Lick Observatory and XERIC DESIGN, creators of EarthDesk, Richard Humphrey

  • Commissioning Agent: City of San Jose, CA, San Jose cultural Affairs
  • Artist: Freya Bardell and Brian Howe
  • Team: Brent Bucknum, Dr Michael Hamilton
  • Multi Media: LED screens, canon 5D, solar power, wireless, video, CNC etched plywood art panels
  • Dimensions: Two 15′ x 8′ x 5′ display cases
  • Budget: $60,000
  • Year Completed: ongoing

 

Hyperion-Son of Uranus

Our recent project,    ”Hyperion-Son of Uranus”, is an installation for the new Environmental Learning Center for the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment plant.

Hyperion
Hyperion-Son of Uranus

Our recent project,    ”Hyperion-Son of Uranus”, is an installation for the new Environmental Learning Center for the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment plant. Processing millions of gallons of waste per day, it is the last stop for all of Los Angeles County’s waste before heading out to the ocean. The infrastructure to process this waste has grown proportionately to development in Los Angeles over the last 100 years and we wanted to create a visual time-stamp of where we were at.

We created a sculpture (named in honor of the greek god which the plant shares his name) that is a visualization of sewer infrastructure in LA county in 2009, the year of our being commissioned. The south facing exterior wall is treated as the entirety of LA County, broken into a grid, proportional to the Thomas Guide grid. Deformation of the surface was determined by pipe dimensions within the wastewater network to determine a new topography for LA, one based on experiencing the invisible infrastructure beneath us which handles our waste.

Greenmeme’s “Hyperion-Son of Uranus” is a sculptural visualization of the sewage infrastructure of the City of Los Angeles County, represented as a time-stamp of 2012. Commissioned for the Environmental Learning Center for the Hyperion Treatment Plant, the grid-like structure bulges where pipes are largest, creating a unique topography from volumetric data. Fashioned from recycled street signs collected from Caltrans over three years, the artwork symbolizes, ELC’s mission to protect public health and environment through public education.

 Big thanks to the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for believing in us. This was our first public art commission and we are grateful for their awarding us this opportunity. Also, big thanks to Ed Henry, Josko Kirigin, the Flix FX crew and everyone else who helped make this happen!

Chantilly Clad
Chantilly Clad, is a public art project in a vacant lot in downtown Long Beach. The project serves as a public artwork, performance space and front porch for the community.
Slangfest 2011
Chantilly Clad
Chantilly Clad, is a public art project in a vacant lot in downtown Long Beach. The project serves as a public artwork, performance space and front porch for the community. Within this context, the projects core elements are drawn specifically from visually recognizable references within Long Beach and re-contextualized to become the canvas for this multi-purpose artwork.

The craft of knot tying and its relationship to the maritime industry, has been playfully coupled with the craft of lace-making, the Chantilly technique specifically. Weaving over 30,000 linear feet of boat rope, an amazing team of cross-disciplinary and cross-generational individuals have come together to learn this craft and help make this canopy and shade structure component of the pavilion. Supported by another familiar Long Beach icon, the crane, we have appropriated this structural form as a means to support the lace canopy over a modular deck, which is free of central columns and visually framing its performative presence. Based upon palette dimensions and made from reclaimed lumber of locally demolished structures, the design of the modular deck is proportional to the lace canopy and engages it’s shadows.

By drawing upon these recognizable references and translating them into a site-specific sculpture, we hope to have created an artwork and gathering space that the community will make their own. We imagine “Chantilly Clad’ as a shared public space, in essence a front porch, a place to gather and find conversation.

The planter units are constructed from reclaimed lumber previously stacked up to store equipment, material and even houses. We experimented with different ways of stacking using both the 1:1 scale material and smaller models. The shape resolved itself into hexagon shapes connected together with bridges placed inline with the grid of the stage. The connective bridges serve as seating areas. Greenmeme partnered with Apiana Native Landscapes to select the plant list and planting plan for the site. Together we hosted a workshop series where the public participated in the planting of the site. It is hoped that by including the public in the making of the gardens these people may become more connected to the site.

This temporary pavilion, hosts a series of site specific performances, workshops and events. It has been the site of the Long Beach Council for the Arts “A Lot” series.

Which included a series on urban gardening. Interactive workshops, seed bombs, take away veggie planter boxes, panel discussion.Music by DJ Dennis Owens daylong tunes and local band MatteranGhost.
Arts Collective Slanguage hosted, SlangFest: a Festival of Arts, Spoken Word and Music which was organized by LA><ART Assistant Director/Curator of Public Art and Programs Cesar Garcia.

Events and programming bring Chantilly Clad to life and make possible the greater vision of transforming these underused urban spaces through public activation.

Artist Team: Freya Bardell and Brian Howe
Funding: Art Council for Long Beach and Long Beach Redevelopment Agency
Engineering: Burro Happold
Crane Fabrication: Westmont Industries
Plant selection and plan: Apiana Native Landscape
Special Thanks to Sasha Monge, Ruth Jahjah, Alique Garabed, Josko Kirgin,Jessica Kim,Tamar Partamian, Brandi Benkert, Victoria Phouangbandith, Edwin Cho
Edward Henry, Jihyeun Byeon, Boja Banyasz, Christian Aeschliman, Ron Elad, Matthew Melnyk, Melissa Guerrero

Matryoshka

A Russian community and a well loved park. This was a last hoo-rah for the park, which was soon to undergo a major transformation. This context of an existing park, within the boundaries of what would soon be a larger park, made us dream of Matryoshka Dolls, earthen guardians and relational play-spaces.

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Matryoshka

A Russian community and a well loved park. This was a last hoo-rah for the park, which was soon to undergo a major transformation. This context of an existing park, within the boundaries of what would soon be a larger park, made us dream of Matryoshka Dolls, earthen guardians and relational play-spaces.

Appearing to have come up from the earth, 5 earth mounds, in the shape of sleeping Matryoshka’s emerged to create a space for a wide array of community activities, including the predictable slide and climbing hill but also the unpredicted bmx ramp and parkour playground.

When our younger participants had too much fun, the over-played dolls became educational space, as kids learned what it meant to take care of and nurture the artwork back to health. The local after-school program assisted us throughout the process of making and maintaining of the artwork.

When temporary work is finished, where does it go and how can our materials serve a secondary purpose? The Matryoshka dolls were mostly made of straw bail and organic soil, which was nicely re-purposed into a vegetable garden, producing among other things little Matryoshka (cherry) tomatoes.

  • Site: Plummer Park, West Hollywood
  • Commissioning Agent: City of West Hollywood
  • Artist Team: Bardell/Howe
  • Medium: grass, straw bails, soil, vacuum formed plastic, printed faces, lighting, irrigation
  • Dimensions: Doll1 24′ x 10′ x 5′
Weaving The Landscape

CHAMBON SUR LAC, FRANCE 2009
As part of the Horizons Contemporary Art Fair, we chose to highlight the art of ‘point and bobbin’ lace making (once a widely practiced craft from the Puy De Sancy region).

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Weaving The Landscape

CHAMBON SUR LAC, FRANCE 2009
As part of the Horizons Contemporary Art Fair, we chose to highlight the art of ‘point and bobbin’ lace making (once a widely practiced craft from the Puy De Sancy region). We wove an artwork of large-scale lace and played with a myth of giants in the forest. The piece begins with 5000 feet of thread (or in this case 1/2″ rope).

We spent one month in the landscape, weaving the lace using techniques we learned from a local lace museum and school. The woven pattern is derived by combining traditional lace-making techniques with patterns found in nature, weaving relationships between the landscape, the culture and the artwork. The public were invited to participate in the lace making.

Conceived in the computers but shaped and molded through cultural and environment, what would our lace object look like?

We did not know until we got there. Our site was in a field of daisies, along a gateway to a national park, the lace took the form of a daisy, (“margritte” en francais), an homage to the landscape, as well as the lace-maker and actual grandmother ,named Margritte who visited us routinely on the site.

The bright white object was visible from miles away and carried different appearances and projections based upon the distance at which it was visible – from 10 miles away as a patch of snow, 5 miles as a snowflake, a mile it is a flower, from the foot path it is a daisy.

To work with this shift in scale, over-sized tools are necessary. As you walk through the meadows and volcanoes, perhaps discovering a flower or an unknown view, you may come across the giant pins and bobbins laying in the landscape, as if these mythical giants just wondered off for a cup of tea. With the pins in place, acting as guides, the doily’s production is a process of “meditative making” which will grow over the coarse of the summer.

  • Commissioning Agent: Office de Tourisme du Massif du Sancy
  • Artist: Freya Bardell with Brian Howe
  • Team: Ed Henry, Bao Quoc Doan, Jihyeun Byeon,
  • Medium: 5000 feet polypropolyene Rope, rebar, Landscape pegs, Wooden bobbins and pins
  • Dimensions: 50′ by 50′ by 3′ high
  • Budget: 8000 Euros
  • Year Completed: 2009
Live Within Skin

A modular vertical garden, water jet cut screens combine CAD manufacturing techniques with plants. These walls can be pro-actively used to address issues of air quality, storm water runoff, thermal insulation, and sound attenuation.

LiveWithinSkin_replant
Live Within Skin

A modular vertical garden, water jet cut screens combine CAD manufacturing techniques with plants. These walls can be pro-actively used to address issues of air quality, storm water runoff, thermal insulation, and sound attenuation.

Live Within Skin can serve both interior and exterior applications and may be adapted to most environmental conditions through plant selection, integrated irrigation, and lighting. We encourage the use of rainwater harvesting and catchment systems or other techniques of water reuse when possible.

  • Commissioning Agent: Twenty 20 visual effects, Santa Monica, CA
  • Team: Freya Bardell with Brian Howe
  • Size of work: four 3’ x 5’ x 5” panels
  • Media: Water jet cut steel, growing medium, plants, irrigation
  • Fabrication and Installation: Hydrojet

Migration of the Marine Tumbleweed

The ‘Marine tumbleweed’ is a self-organizing creature, evolved from plastic bottles, electric jellyfish and LED’s.

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Migration of the Marine Tumbleweed

The ‘Marine tumbleweed’ is a self-organizing creature, evolved from plastic bottles, electric jellyfish and LED’s. The tumbleweed spawned from within the ‘trash vortex, an island larger than Texas, in the Pacific Ocean. On the night of July 19. 2008, these creatures are expected to be visible off the end of the Santa Monica pier, as they are attracted by the presence of light emanating from the “Glow” festival.

The Marine Tumbleweed will be attempting to communicate through light transmission and scientists from the Center for Marine Intelligence will be attempting to decipher this language of light, allowing it to converse with the public. This was all part of a staged performance where 4000 bottles were cleaned and then woven into fictitous sea-creatures, designed to raise awareness of an environmental issue. We engaged the public through both morse code based interactivity with the creature and through our performance, as pseudo-scientists from the fictitous “Center for Marine Intelligence”.

  • Commissioning Agent: Glow festival, DOCA Santa Monica, CA
  • Project Manager: Freya Bardell, Brian Howe
  • Team: Freya Bardell, Brian Howe, Jihyeun Byeon, BaoQuoc Doan, Moshe Hacmon, Ed Henry, Elizabeth Marley, Ryan Wartena
  • Size of work: 20′D x7′H
  • Media: recycled plastic bottles, color changing LED’s, interactive LED textscreen

River Liver Series

Our first River Liver was created in 2005 in the Los Angeles River,  seeking to further raise awareness of the wealth of diversity in both the ecological and cultural conditions that line its concrete banks.

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River Liver Series

Our first River Liver was created in 2005 in the Los Angeles River,  seeking to further raise awareness of the wealth of diversity in both the ecological and cultural conditions that line its concrete banks.

The River Liver project has since become a yearly ritual, designed to “restore” the health of different stressed and polluted bodies of water.

River Livers are made through community events, in locations where being “down by the river” is not common. We encourage people to create their own River Livers, based around evolving strategies for culturally and ecologically reclaiming their water resources.

River Livers, if given long enough, begin to physically remediate their environment and break down toxic pollutants in the water. However, we have found that the most significant remediation occurs within ourselves, walking away with new friendships based in unique experience and a renewed enthusiasm to come together and reclaim our environment.

River Liver Stowe Lake

The River Liver is an on-going investigation into the creation of constructed wetland sculptures that aim to raise awareness to water quality issues, water pollution and habitat loss.

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River Liver Stowe Lake

The River Liver is an on-going investigation into the creation of constructed wetland sculptures that aim to raise awareness to water quality issues, water pollution and habitat loss. The sculpture’s plants act as a filter, becoming a form of productive and protective infrastructure that actively break down some of the identified pollutants in the water.

In 2008, the River Livers were placed in Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. For this iteration, we chose to create an interactive artwork, which could be towed by paddle-boat, to seek out changes in levels of PH and other toxins  in the water. An LED “traffic light” would respond to changes in water quality. Navigators were encouraged to cast a River Liver off at it’s new location, where it could attempt to remediate the lake. These illuminated the islands, experiment with translating water quality and a variety of other environmental data into coded light and color.

  • Commissioning Agent: COCA Center for Outdoor Contemporary Art
  • Site: Stowe Lake, Golden Gate Park
  • Size of work: 20′ x 30′
  • Media: Polyethylene foam, native wetland grasses, water quality sensors, LED lighting, paddleboats, public participation
Hot Air

Methane is one of the most damaging greenhouse gases. This methane collector, commissioned for a Toyota Prius commercial, highlights the need to look for alternative fuel solutions.

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Hot Air

Methane is one of the most damaging greenhouse gases. This methane collector, commissioned for a Toyota Prius commercial, highlights the need to look for alternative fuel solutions. A whimsical project that toyed with the idea of a ranch where people harvest waste streams for alternative fuels.

  • Commissioning Agent: Toyota Prius
  • Artist team: Marcos Lutyens with Freya Bardell
  • Media: Sail cloth, fans, cows and people
Terrarium

Commissioned by designer Fritz Haeg, for his project at the Bernardi residence in Silverlake, CA. It’s walls are shaped by different rooms throughout the house that are perforated with circular windows.

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Terrarium

Commissioned by designer Fritz Haeg, for his project at the Bernardi residence in Silverlake, CA. It’s walls are shaped by different rooms throughout the house that are perforated with circular windows. The 5’ x5’ x 14’ high grotto hosts a water feature, pool, and 5 different vegetation zones in what once was a closet. Programmable LED lighting has the capability of fluctuating the environmental lighting conditions. The terrarium is a central feature to the house, providing a visual preface to the myriad of architectural surprises they experience throughout the house and it’s grounds.

  • Commissioning Agent: Fritz Haeg Studio
  • Size Of Work: 5′ x 5′ x 14′
  • Media: Assimilation of 5 plant zones, water proofing membrane, irrigation, misters, plants, water feature, stone, pre-programmable LED lighting including a submersible lighting system.
  • Project Manager: Freya Bardell
  • Contractor: Cornerstone
  • Press: Surface Magazine Feb 2007
Meadow Project
The meadow is framed by walls and a ceiling, the semi permeable nature of the structure suggests a softer boundary between the impermeable surfaces of much of Los Angeles and the huge swaths of protected parkland surrounding it.
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Meadow Project
The meadow is framed by walls and a ceiling, the semi permeable nature of the structure suggests a softer boundary between the impermeable surfaces of much of Los Angeles and the huge swaths of protected parkland surrounding it. The walls are punctured on opposite sides to create a pathway through the blooming patch of meadow.
A motion detector monitors visitor responses and if they take their time passing through the space, the environment enhances the feeling with peaceful natural acoustics – but if they become frantic and active so do the acoustical properties of the space, encouraging us to slow down, smell the flowers and relax.
Concrete is Fluid

Concrete is Fluid is a project completed through collaboration with Lauren Bon and Farmlab. The project was a proposal for the Hayward Gallery in London.

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Concrete is Fluid

Concrete is Fluid is a project completed through collaboration with Lauren Bon and Farmlab. The project was a proposal for the Hayward Gallery in London. It was to be a part of their summer fountain series, on the South Bank of the River Thames. It is a deployable piece meant to serve as an ambassador to the reclamation of urban environments. It is now a centerpiece of the “Under Spring” event space, under the Spring St bridge, Los Angeles. The piece was created with an inspiration based on the similarities between the “Under Spring” location and the Hayward Gallery (on the banks of the River Thames). Both are concrete environments bordering industrial rivers. The piece communicates a simple but often unknown material property of concrete, and its relationship to the water it borders.

  • Commissioning Agent: Farmlab
  • Size of Work: 3′ x 25′
  • Media: Neon
  • Artist Team: Lauren Bon, Farmlab with Brian Howe
The Chlorophyll Collective

This is a traveling, interactive, and informative installation that displays algae, its photosynthetic process and the single cell solution it provides.

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The Chlorophyll Collective

This is a traveling, interactive, and informative installation that displays algae, its photosynthetic process and the single cell solution it provides. Designed to remove harmful greenhouse gases and transform them into beneficial oxygen using algae. The Chlorophyll Collective is now an open source collective operating in a number of cities.

  • Commissioning Agent: Black Rock City
  • Budget: Grant funded from Black Rock City 2007. Grant funding ongoing
  • Size of Work: 15′ x 15′
  • Media: Algae tubes, heat exchanger, pumps and blowers to hook up to power generators, polyethylene tubes.