How does one make a huge barcode out of their front yard? You gotta start with a lot of white. That's where these reclaimed, used vinyl billboards came in handy. One one side was an advertisement; the other is pure white. I took three of them, placed them lengthwise and overlapped them. It took a lot of tilling and dirt moving to get the ground nice and flat for this. But it was all worth it because the billboards laid down beautifully. I used landscaping brick to hold everything in place, and provide resistance for tension. U-shaped metal garden stakes were used to hold the vinyl signs to the ground. Once they were secured, I had a gleaming 35'x45' front yard. Sunglasses were a must!
Everything was done to-scale from a regular sized UPC barcode. I recreated the lines needed for the 61500-77301 code (can you guess what it will say?). Using a chalk line helped us know where to cut through the vinyl. This process took several days and about 1800 linear feet of cutting. Is there such a thing a scissor elbow?
This is what it looked like when it was all done! Its starting to look like a barcode! We just need some numbers...
Two dear friends, and fellow artists, helped me paint the numbers for the UPC code on the billboard vinyl. I had to make stencils out of cardboard so the font looked just right and…..
Voila!!…front yard barcode! If the coding didn't end in a "0" this huge barcode could be scanned from cruising altitude. But I had another purpose for this sign.
Before long, the 24 different species of vegetables, herbs, melons, and beans I planted started to sprout, till one day, they just exploded...
And this, my friends, is a front yard barcode garden. Sunflowers, corn, carrots, turnips, lettuce, spinach, watermelon, green beans, summer squash, sugar snap peas, and beets, just to name a few things I planted. Most everything thrived and I grew way more than I could eat. The vinyl worked great and helped keep the weeds under control. I still had to pull some, but it was a lot less thanks to these billboards.
In case you're wounding why I turned my front yard into a huge barcode garden, or what the numbers say, here's the short answer and title of this work: DISCONNECT
I'll leave some of the nuanced interpretations and double-meanings up to you, but the gist of it is to get people thinking about how our artificial world and systems seek to define and manipulate nature to our will. The only problem is that such efforts are not only predicated on, but also ultimately overrun by the very thing we try to control. Hopefully it will get people thinking about our relationship to the world, and the connectedness of all species. Maybe you got something else out of it. Please share a comment below! Thanks for reading.