Thursday, January 31, 2008


Tree number 2 is next to the yarn tree, and both make up the evergreen section of the North Woods. It'll be another "climbing tree." This tree is made of old green manufactured sweaters, whose arms are super starched to stand up like limbs of a tree. Some of the limbs can be peered into--I'm not exactly sure how to make this happen, but I want to have some old fashioned woodland scenes in them that are kind of 3d. But I want them to look kind of far away, like you're peering into a telescope that shows you the inside of the tree, and inside there are, say, chipmunks playing Uno. I'll make the illustrations and do cutouts for a 3d effect.

Anyway, here's the plan for this tree:


You'll notice that just like the Yarn Tree, the Sweater Tree is climbable. At the top is a large, sloppy turtleneck (starched, of course) that has a pigeon nest inside. Participants can send the pigeon across the Park on a Zip line. More on this in the next post.

One thing I forgot. These sweaters are the kind with zippers and pockets. Inside the pockets are guitar picks; they are green with leaf veins printed on them. You can take one home if you want to. Occasionally there might be a brown leaf pick, or a red pick that's like the berry or the fruit of the tree.

There may be hoods as well that hold other nests...haven't quite worked that out yet. Any ideas?

Ingredients list:

1. Many green sweaters
2. One sloppy turtleneck sweater (for the pigeon nest at the tippy-top of the tree)

(The turtleneck should be bigger, and sloppier than this one)

3. Green guitar picks with leaf printing (for the tree pockets)
(I like this shape of pick--it's sort of the shape of an aspen leaf)

4. Various cutouts of woodland creatures playing Uno
(Something like this squirrel. But he'll be cut out, life size, and holding real Uno cards. He'll be at a table with a chipmunk and a raccoon or something.)

Once again, I believe this whole idea came up in my brainstorm session with Caralie and Austin.

Coming up next: Mrs. Arlene Pigeon-Pants who lives at the top of the Sweater Tree. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Just a second, it's a little hard to explain.

I'm remaking Central Park for an indoor installation that will travel with me on tour with my new album Souvenirs and Shiny Things.

The album ( and the Web serial it's the soundtrack to ( first episode: ), are both more-or-less about Central Park, so I thought it'd be fun to make a super fancy park reproduction.

I think it's pretty cool how Central Park is made-up nature. Every rock and tree and blade of grass is carefully planned and plopped in exactly the right spot for your amusement. In my park every rock and tree and blade of grass is made out of something else--something not-nature. And it's all arranged just for you to look at and paw through and play with and take apples from.

In case this isn't making sense, here's an example: In one part of the venue will be The North Woods. So, I'm making a bunch of trees, see? Each tree is different, special, and wants you to play with it. This particular tree is made of hundreds of knitted yarn cones like this:

They are going to be all sewn together and hung over a wooden ladder like this:

(click on pic to see a larger, readable version)

Notice how you can climb up the back of the tree and look out over the whole park with the binoculars provided!

Please also notice that the tree is full of nests. Inside the nests are tiny cupcakes that you can swallow in one bite. Just like a robin's egg, only sweeter and without that bad feeling that
you're wrecking nature. This nature wants you to lick its frosting off.

Ingredients list:

Yarn Cones (hundreds and hundreds all haphazardly sewn together)

Wooden Ladder (should be stouter than this one)

Blue Plastic Needles (to make cupcake nests)

(I put a hair pin in there for some scale)

Cupcakes (like these, only smaller)
Small Binoculars (too see across the park)

This idea came from a brainstorm session with Caralie and Austin. I think the tree was mostly Austin's idea. Thanks Austin!