A new series of artist-guided projects, Navigations will launch from the neighborhoods of Edgewater, Rogers Park, and Uptown, with audience-activated prompts created by Christa Donner, John-Michael Korpal, JeeYeun Lee, AJ McClenon, Izah Ransohoff + Ruby T, and JI Yang, shared and realized in public/common space.
Image source: Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. Sanborn Map Company, Vol. 17, North, 1928. Sheet 13-14.
West Ridge Nature Park, 5801 N. Western Avenue
October 23, 2021 - December 18, 2021
Opening Event Saturday, October 23 // 1– 3 PM
Ongoing 6 AM – 8 PM Daily
Dear Human is a multisensory walk through Chicago’s West Ridge Nature Park, activating messages from non-human residents: a deer tick, a mulberry tree, and others. Bring your smartphone and headphones for an immersive experience merging narration with the existing soundscape through site-specific prompts to listen, touch, and find your place within the local ecology. Risograph printed booklets of Donner’s map/drawing and narration will be distributed during the opening event, and will be available as a downloadable PDF to be accessible whenever the park is open.
For many years the land that is now the West Ridge Nature Park served as a dumping ground for debris as part of one of Chicago’s oldest cemeteries. During its renovation as a public park in 2013, artifacts revealed it to be part of an enormous precolonial Native American village, and a center for trade, travel, and healing for tribes including the Potowatami, Miami, Kickapoo, and many others. Dedicated as public park space in 2015, the Nature Park is a 21-acre oasis in the heart of the city, supporting native plants, birds, amphibians, deer, and other wildlife including a dedicated community of humans.
Christa Donner is an artist and organizer whose practice combines material exploration and social exchange to move between the emotional architecture of our own bodies and the layered histories of the world we inhabit.. As a volunteer at West Ridge Nature Park she helped to redesign its nature play area in 2018. Donner's work is exhibited widely, including projects for the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin, Germany), The NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (Singapore), Chiaki Kamikawa Contemporary Art (Paphos, Cyprus), and throughout the United States. For more information, please visit christadonner.com.
This work is a part of Navigations, a series of artist projects shared and realized in public/common space. This work is being shared at West Ridge Nature Park in alignment with The Available City as a partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.