David Askevold
The Immediate Landscape, May 20 – Jun 19, 2004

Past: 55 Chrystie St

Installation view, The Immediate Landscape, Canada, 2005


David Askevold,

Rock Art Saga with Tourists,


48 × 72 in (121.92 × 182.88 cm)

inkjet on canvas

David Askevold,

Pilescape with 2 Tourists,


48 × 66 in (121.92 × 167.64 cm)

inkjet on canvas

David Askevold,

Residue from Breaking Glass event,


Press Release

"This is a multimedia exhibition involving 3 video projections, 2 large ink jet prints on canvas, four type C prints, and a glass tower sculpture. The following is a description of all of these elements followed by some conceptual considerations and factual information related to the geographies, Yellowstone National Park and Latrajarg, Iceland. As you enter the gallery, directly to your right on the South wall is a 7 min. loop projection of a seagull flying in circles. This footage was shot in the most North Eastern point from Europe to North America. The location is "Letrajarg", (of the cliff) in Iceland where many species of gulls and puffins co-habitate.

On the east wall is "Rock Art Saga Viewed by Tourist", a constructed digital ink jet print that uses as a base, another cliff near Letrajarg where multiple scanned images have been incorporated into and digitally placed in an urban setting. Across from this image is "Pilescape Viewed by Two Tourists" which is another digital ink jet print on canvas, depicts two individuals viewing varieties of Eastern and Western forms of architecture, artifacts and popular cultural icons. On the North wall are photographic prints of four buffalo. These photos were established from video footage I shot in Yellowstone National Park during the winter of 1988, following the large forest fire earlier in the year. It was also the coldest winter in history since 1934.

These photos were constructed by taking them from a monitor and then projecting other images over them and re-photographing them to form them into a transformed state.

Two video projections are in proximity to this area of the gallery. The footage consists of other video I took at this same time. Recently I processed the footage with a "Max" program which after giving permitters to the program, permutes the footage in random patterns where none of the combination repeats itself. The video is a continuous 2 hour sequence. I took 4 different sets of footage which the computer plays with. Along with the 'natural' footage, I constructed fake pools in a turkey roaster filled with water where lighter fluid, spray paints and dyes were added. This process was documented with video and a light source at night in --40 F. degree temperature. This footage becomes a singular track along with a diorama taped in an exhibition setting at a tourist attraction outside of Reykjavik, Iceland. The other three tracks consist of 1.a boiling mud pot, 2. running buffalo, 3. a steaming open pool and Mammoth Hot Springs.

The other element in the exhibition is a glass tower that will be put together at the gallery from broken glass that invited participants will break in the gallery on the evening of May 18,05. This event will be documented by photographs and video that will be presented in another room of the gallery. The tower built from this broken glass will be held together by transparent resin and will rise from the floor to approx. 7-8 feet. This tower represents a frozen in time "Old Faithful", the most famous and largest geyser in Yellowstone Park that erupts every hour on the hour. This year marks the 199th anniversary of the parks documented discovery by John Colter. The glass tower is also a monument to this discovery which was dismissed as a form of observational delirium.

The concept of this exhibition is based on the transformation of landscape, ecotourism, including natural environments, urban, a combination of both and how they interact in the way I have put them together.

Some documented facts: Yellowstone National Park is the oldest and largest park in the world and covers 3,470 square miles, to include the boarder of Montana, Idaho, and mostly in the northwest corner of Wyoming. It is the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest intact temperate zone ecosystems remaining on the planet.

Yellowstone typically erupts every 600,000 years with the last event occurring 640,000 years ago. Its eruptions are the largest known to have ever occurred on Earth, producing drastic climate change in the aftermath. DNA evidence suggests the devastating results of these changes could have resulted in the worldwide population of humans falling to as little as 10,000 individuals.

The park was named for the yellow rocks seen in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - a deep gash in the Yellowstone Plateau that was formed by floods during previous ice ages and by river erosion from the Yellowstone River.

The human history of the park dates back 12,000 years. It was known to the original natives as "Mizi-a-dazi" the "River of Yellow Rocks," because of the hydrothermally-altered iron-containing yellow rocks in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (many people incorrectly believe that the yellow color is from sulfur).

The Native Americans utilized significant amounts f obsidian found in the park to make cutting tools and weapons. Arrowheads made of Yellowstone obsidian have been found as far away as the Mississippi Valley.

In 1806 a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition named John Colter left the Expedition to join a group of fur-trappers and was probably the first non-Native American to visit the region and make contact with the Native Americans there. After surviving wounds he suffered in a battle with Crow and Blackfoot tribes he gave a description of a place of "fire and brimstone" that was dismissed by most people as delirium.

On March 1, 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill into law that created Yellowstone National Park, 133 years ago. In 2003 notable changes occurred in the thermal activity resulting in the closure of certain areas of the park. Other findings included a bulge had appeared beneath Yellowstone Lake. On March 10, 2004 a biologist discovered 5 dead bison, which had inhaled an apparent release of toxic geothermal gases.

The Island of Iceland shares similar characteristics as Yellowstone, which is of volcanic origin. There are three large volcanoes, Vantnajokull (8300km) Langjokull (953km) Hofsjokull (6925 km) and 4 smaller ones Myrdalsjokull, 625 km, Drangajokull, 199 km, Eyjaffallafokull, 107 km and Snaefellsjokull.

I have to locate some more information about the bird sanctuary if I can find it. Probably the most interesting thing about Latrajarg is that it is the closest point to North America from Europe and contains one of the largest populations of gulls co-habitating together. What interests me most about this footage is the sound of the bird voices, and the persistent activity of the singular gull - like it was holding court or something over all of the activity on the cliffs. Like the big gorilla in the cage controlling the monkeys around him in the zoo. This is in reference to the Kansas City gorilla/monkey cages in the zoo there which I observed for several hours making a lasting impression on me during 1967."