Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I was here

Rocks do not tend to pile themselves, at least not in an orderly sort of way. There is the occasional natural balanced rock, but it’s more a side effect of erosion than placement.

That’s what makes a pile of balanced rocks such an eye-catcher. It’s rare and intentional. I first stumbled upon rock balancing through the pictures of a West Coast rock balancer named Bill Dan on Flickr. His creations seem to defy gravity as his balanced rock towers stand in a silent, frozen dance.

The first stop on a recent vacation for my wife and me was a rocky beach between Manitowoc and Two Rivers, Wisconsin. While we stopped to rest and take in the Lake Michigan view, without really thinking about it, I picked up a fist-sized rock worn round by the waves and tried to balance it on a large boulder nearby. It took a few minutes of fussing with it, but I managed to get it to stand on end, and took a couple of photos of my achievement. We then continued our trip into Door County.

Throughout the week, I attempted more ambitious rock stacks. Two rocks. Three rocks. Even four-rock towers, like the one pictured above. Door County provided plenty of material to work with, and I got better at it as I went. I would stack rocks, then hang back as people came upon them just to gauge their reactions. They ranged from total indifference to wide-eyed wonder, picture taking and pointing them out to friends.

My wife looked at my rock-piling anonymous art project as a bit silly, and I suppose it is in a way. But it is also a way for me to say “I was here” without resorting to graffiti. And that makes it kinda cool.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Photographs © 2008 James Jordan.

3 comments:

I need orange said...

Definitely cool.

Not only the mark that you were there, but the creativity and originality......

I stacked some rocks one time, and was very surprised they were still there the next day. I guess I expected kids to knock them down.....

It's easy to want to make something of the fact the stack was still there the next day -- some sort of respect for the work of others? Respect for the result of the trouble taken? I dunno.

Keep on stackin'.

Ilan said...

The colors are absolutely mind blowing! Superbly done.

Wanda said...

They are all great ~~ but I especially kie the man sitting in the bottom picture. He appears to be gazing at the building across the street!!!

James, the amazing!!