Standing in front of the unfinished Alchemist’s Shack with artist and Mildred’s Lane codirector J. Morgan Puett, I realized that some things can take forever. An art installation-cum-habitation, the shack has been a work in progress for Puett, artist and codirector Mark Dion, artist Robert Williams, and the countless participants who have visited Mildred’s Lane for nearly twenty years.
Paul Bartow, Cameron Klavsen, J. Morgan Puett and local artisans collaborate to build a small springhouse larder outbuilding: a vernacular inspired structure that will utilize solar energy, onsite spring, and locally sourced building material. This design-build project will harness the attributes of sun, water, and earth; an exercise in adaptive use/reuse involving off-the-shelf technologies coupled with emergent and low-tech methodologies.
James Prosek is an artist, writer and naturalist who has exhibited his work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art among others. He is the author of eleven books including Eels, which was a New York Times Book Review editor’s choice.
Prosek has written for the New York Times and National Geographic among other publications and is a co-founder of the conservation group World Trout with Patagonia clothing company. His documentary on the 17th-century angler Izaak Walton won a Peabody Award. He is working on a book with Bloomsbury Publishers about how and why we name and order nature.