2200 Acres: Field R/D Artists on Regeneration at Freshkills Park
June 2018 – February 2019
Role: Co-curator with Dylan Gauthier
Photos: Natalie Conn

Artists: Billy and Steven Dufala, Mary Mattingly, Lize Mogel, Nancy Nowacek, Joe Riley, Audrey Snyder, Mare Liberum, and Markley Boyer with Natalie Conn and Seb Choe

2200 Acres is the first exhibition to feature works, research, stories, tours, and reflections on Freshkills Park by the inaugural cohort of Field R/D artists. Over the past year, the seven Field R/D artists “in residence” at Freshkills Park have worked in flexible, collaborative, long-term engagements with the 2,200 acre landscape as it continuously develops from landfill to park -- a process that will evolve over the next 25+ years. Over the course of the residency, artists followed their own paths, developed research methodologies, and posed questions to a range of actors from NYC Parks and NYC Sanitation, to scholars, scientists, ecologists, and environmental writers. As researchers in this first phase, Field R/D artists were propelled into the intertwined legacies of waste and consumerism, novel ecosystems and environmental blind spots, and past, present, and future uses of a major open space resource in New York City.

The residency program format, much like the park’s development, emphasizes process as an organizing principle.  On display in this culminating exhibition are the artists’ tools and artifacts of the residency period that reflect the unique slice of time and place that the Freshkills Park site occupies within intersecting systems, material networks,and social histories. Collectively, they prompt consideration of how to make infrastructure such as waste management systems in New York City comprehensible and visible. They also engage with the Park as a site in transition. Fittingly, many of these projects will take on new trajectories in the years to come, peeling back layers and adding new interpretations, offering novel ways of noticing change by prompting the unexpected.