Jan 18- Feb 15 2019

DARK SIDE OF THE WOON – an installation by Sto Len

The Dirt Palace, Providence, RI

Artist talk and conversation with Erik Talley : Friday January 18th 2019 8pm

Do you know the Woonasquatucket River? To know is to go. Its to see, feel, listen, smell, walk, ride, and even fall in. Its to share stories. To hop fences, feed the eels chicken, and have a secret spot. The Woon is ubiquitous yet unseen, its involuntary power of invisibility gets stronger the more we ignore it. While we have our backs to the water, it surges with power and endlessly flows through the city carrying with it a storied people’s history. Under the highways and bridges we made, under the ground we soiled, the Woony is live streaming, day and night, just for you.
It is the bloodstream of the city, naturally pumping with fish and nutrients while seasoned with the industrial by-products of the revenue stream. The lab results show traces of dioxin and greed: toxicity but not a toxic city.

Sto Len is a NY-based artist and waterway worker, who came to Providence this past December to get to know the Woonasquatucket. On “waterwalks” that followed the river’s edge and a canoe trip through the most polluted sites, Sto explored the more hidden areas of the river and documented his discoveries. Dark Side of the Woon features photographs, video, found artifacts, and site-specific mono prints. These “Chemotrophic Prints” were created with iron-oxidizing bacteria found near Lyman Mill Pond at the Centredale Superfund Site. Working en plein air (often from a boat), Sto uses his own marbling-like process to print directly off of the surface of water with paper. The end results are ghostly imprints that contain both the natural and anthropogenic residue of the site’s history. Recent collaborations in the waterways of New York, Colombia, and Vietnam has enabled Sto’s studio to be as large as a river and a practice that is both nomadic and global. Dark Side of the Woon documents Sto’s initial trips on the Woonasquatucket, a journey that will continue to evolve over time.

You can be part of his journey by signing up for a waterwalk with Sto here: stoishere@gmail.com

Supported through the Art Culture and Tourism department, as part of the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Arts project, the Dirt Palace will be commissioning artists to make new work in conversation with the river, its history, and the future plans for the neighborhood greenway.