Interview: Jackie Brookner
Interview:Duration: 16 min
Ecological artist Jackie Brookner collaborates internationally with communities, policy makers, design professionals, ecologists, and engineers on water remediation/ public art projects for parks, wetlands, rivers, and stormwater runoff. Her Biosculpture™ projects in Salo, Finland (2009), San Jose CA (2008), Cincinnati, OH (2009 ), West Palm Beach, FL (2005); and near Dresden, Germany (2002) are living water filtration systems that restore habitat, reclaim polluted water and create multifunctional public spaces. Her large-scale participatory remediation art projects are designed to help people reconnect with the places in which they live and to activate collective creative agency as people work together to develop viable strategies where regenerative cultures and ecologies can meet. “The Fargo Project,” in which Brookner is collaborating with the city and residents of Fargo ND was awarded a 2011 inaugural “Our Town” grant from the NEA. Brookner has extensive experience with public process and working with community members and stakeholders. In 2002-3, she and Susan Steinman won the NEA/National Park Service “Art and Community Landscapes” commission to work closely with local communities in 3 towns in the Pacific Northwest providing conceptual planning assistance on stream daylighting, restoration and trail projects, and designing public art. In her museum exhibitions in the 1990’s: “Native Tongues” at The Miro Foundation in Barcelona, Spain and “Of Earth and Cotton,” that traveled throughout the southern United States, Brookner developed oral history strategies to explore how regional cultures and landscapes shape each other. Brookner was Guest Editor of the 1992 Art Journal issue, “Art and Ecology. ” Her essays can be found in Cultures and Settlements, in LA China, in M/E/A/N/I/N/G, in Natural Reality/Artistic Positions Between Nature and Culture. Brookner has taught at Harvard Univ., the Univ. of Pennsylvania, and Parsons School of Design, where she currently teaches. The book “Urban Rain,” published by ORO editions, 2009 provides a survey of Brookner’s work. She lives in New York City.
Check out SPAN’s recent audio interview with Jackie as she talks about her new project in Fargo, North Dakota. Her project recently was funded by the NEA through an “Our Town Grant”. Read the article for greater detail.