South Waterfront Residency - Backyard Conversation2008



Backyard Conversations was developed as part of the South Waterfront Artist in Residence (AiR) Program, directed by Linda K. Johnson and was presented in June 2008.

The South Waterfront is a new community being constructed along the Willamette River on former industrial land. The rumbling concrete trucks and soaring cranes are operated by the men and women whose skill and determination give the process shape and direction.

Temporary fences enclose the construction sites, necessary structures for safety and protection. They also are a physical demarcation that obscures the choreography of the work and creates an unintended social barrier.



Backyard Conversations Video - by Linda Wysong and Pamela Chipman, focuses on the people live work and build SOWA. 

Backyard Conversations


A hybrid street performance at the nexus of social sculpture and environmental design, it embraces the vocabulary of the guided tour and its connections to public spectacle and sightseeing. Putting a human face on the glistening pristine concrete and steel of Portland's new South Waterfront community, Backyard Conversations explores the intricacies of building a contemporary urban utopia. 
Constructing Community- looks at the built environment as a social hieroglyph and considers the interweaving of the many elements that form a community. 

Water - the Machine and the Garden- traces the watershed and follows each drip as it shapes the landscape. 

Footprints Along the River - focuses on the native gatherings and liberty ships that nce graced a watery land that is no more. 

Backyard Conversations Video - by Linda Wysong and Pamela Chipman, focuses on the people live work and build SOWA. 

Backyard Conversations was developed as part of the South Waterfront Artist in Residence (AiR) Program, directed by Linda K. Johnson and was presented in June 2008. Wysong was then invited to participate in TBA:08, the Time Based Art Festival produced by Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA).

Additional Support from theRegional Arts and Culture Council 
 

This residency allowed Linda Wysong to overcome the limitations of the construction fence and to focus on the men and women whose daily labor shapes our cities.


A hybrid street performance at the nexus of social sculpture and environmental design, it embraces the vocabulary of the guided tour and its connections to public spectacle and sightseeing. Putting a human face on the glistening pristine concrete and steel of Portland's new South Waterfront community, Backyard Conversations explores the intricacies of building a contemporary urban utopia. 
Constructing Community- looks at the built environment as a social hieroglyph and considers the interweaving of the many elements that form a community. 

Water - the Machine and the Garden- traces the watershed and follows each drip as it shapes the landscape. 

Footprints Along the River - focuses on the native gatherings and liberty ships that nce graced a watery land that is no more. 



Water - the Machine and the Garden- traces the watershed and follows each drip as it shapes the landscape. 

Footprints Along the River - focuses on the native gatherings and liberty ships that once graced a watery land that is no more. 



Poet Harold Johnson reading