Minneapolis / St. Paul
- MLA: University of Minnesota, Landscape Architecture, 2012
- BFA: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1999
Emily Stover is an architect and public artist working in alternative landscapes and new media, and is currently developing temporary architecture as interactive community space. Recently, she has collaborated to concoct a giant megaphone to amplify the “sound” of sunbeams, and also was a team member on the Tono-sauna for Art Shanty Projects. In early spring 2012, she built a kitchen on a cart. This has become a part of Kitchen Lab, a mobile event happening at the Walker Art Center as you read this.
Whether exploring land use, energy production, or the postal service, she is intrigued by the social and physical infrastructures of human civilization. Her practice, based in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design, translates these themes into artful experiences that inspire curiosity about the world and the people within it.
Historically, trade routes have served as the arteries that supplied even the earliest forms of urbanization, cultural exchange, and economy. The flow of goods and people was vital to the growth of population clusters, and the establishment of these paths has inspired countless expeditions into unknown territories. Contemporary shipping practices, employing all of the technology and ingenuity of the digital age, have similarly shaped the landscape and economy that we occupy. Standardized shipping containers travel via ocean, river, rail, and highway, moving through space as discrete objects though they hold all of the stuff that makes the global marketplace possible. Their invisible paths trace the geography of our desires, whether for cheap clothes, fresh food, foreign oil, or exotic tchotchkes. Freighted is a spatial exploration of the weight that global shipping has on the land, and each individual’s impact on these systems. Two facing walls, embedded with mirrored glass, carve a ship-shaped void in the earth where the viewer can inhabit a fragmented version of themselves. It is a place for contemplating how our identities are created from our possessions, and the complex paths that many of these objects have taken to reach us.