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New audio tour artwork to launch at Lake Union Park, Sept. 25

A new temporary artwork, Field Notes: Observing Lake Union by the Studio for Urban Projects, will launch at the grand opening of Lake Union Park on Sept. 25.  Meet the artists, get an audio tour map, and contribute to the project hotline (see below) between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Studio for Urban Projects members will be at Lake Union Park on the west side of the footbridge near the main park entrance.

Field Notes is an audio tour of the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop and runs from Sept. 25 through October 2011. The tour focuses on four sites along the Loop: Lake Union Park, Fairview Park, Gas Works Park and the mouth of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The artwork explores the underlying ecology of Lake Union and its dramatic transformation through eras of geologic change, Native American stewardship, European settlement, commercial industry and large-scale infrastructural development, as well as urban planning and park design.

At each site, a sign on the loop trail provides a call-in number. This piece, narrated by the Studio for Urban Projects, provides context to each audio tour location. Printed flags with additional call-in numbers are located within each site at specific observation points. Visitors can listen to a collage of voices gathered from interviews with local scholars, ecologists, historians, plant experts, foragers, residents and designers, among others. Visitors will also be able to call in to a project hotline and offer their own observations about the site. The artists will edit and publish these contributions periodically for the duration of the project.

At the park, visitors can use their cell phones to call in.  Preloaded MP3 players are also available at the Northwest Outdoor Center and Dutch Bike Co., Seattle . You can download MP3 files of Field Notes at after the project launches on Sept. 25.

Founded in 2006, Studio for Urban Projects is an artist collaborative that perceives art as a means of advancing civic engagement and furthering public dialogue. The Studio’s core members, including Alison Sant, Marina McDougall, Richard Johnson, Kirstin Bach and Daya Karam, blend backgrounds in new media, film, design and curatorial practice.

Field Notes is created in collaboration with audio engineer Tim Halbur. The artwork is commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs with Seattle Department of Transportation and Parks and Recreation of 1% for Art funds.

Image: Marina McDougall, from Studio for Urban Projects, interviews Richard Haag, designer of Gas Works Park. Photo by Marcia Iwasaki.