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Mark Dion in "Ecology"

Mark Dion is a collector and a shopper: “I am constantly out there buying things, going to flea markets and yard sales and junk stores, and I like to surround myself with things that are inspirational.”

Intrigued by natural history and museum procedures, Dion’s collections become part of his installations and public projects that address our ideas and assumptions about nature. “I’m not one of these artists who is spending a lot of time imagining a better ecological future. I’m more the kind of artist who is holding up a mirror to the present.”

Viewers follow Dion on a journey during which he brings a “nurse log”—a fallen Hemlock tree which is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna—into the heart of Seattle.

More information and credits


Created by: Susan Sollins & Susan Dowling. Executive Producer & Curator: Susan Sollins. Series Producer: Eve-Laure Moros Ortega. Associate Producer: Migs Wright. Associate Curator: Wesley Miller. Production Manager: Alice Bertoni & Nick Ravich. Production Coordinator: Amanda Donnan & Meredith Klein. Consulting Director: Catherine Tatge. Editor: Steven Wechsler. Director of Photography: Bob Elfstrom, Mark Falstad, Mead Hunt, & Joel Shapiro. Additional Photography: Christine Burrill, Alice Bertoni, & John Gordon Hill. Sound: Tom Bergin, Ray Day, Doug Dunderdale, Heidi Hesse, Mark Mandler, Gabriel Monts, Roger Phenix, Yuri Raicin, & Charles Tomaras. Audio Technician: Drew Weir. Assistant Camera: Craig Feldman & Brian Hwang. Jib Arm Operator: Scott Hoffman. Production Assistant: Carlos Moncada & David Nugent. Additional Animation: Shawn Dunbar.

Creative Consultant: Ed Sherin. Art Direction & Design: Open, New York. On-Line Editor: Don Wyllie. Composer: Peter Foley. Voice-Over Artist: Jace Alexander. Sound Editing: Margaret Crimmins & Greg Smith. Sound Mix: Cory Melious & Tony Volante. Animation Stand: Frank Ferrigno. Assistant Editor: Ahmed Amer, Jennifer Chiurco, & George Panos.

Director of Education & Public Programs: Tana Hargest. Education Consultant: Jessica Hamlin. Manager of Public Programs & Outreach: Kelly Shindler. Web Producer: Ana Otero. Senior Development Officer: Beth Allen. Development Associate: Sara Simonson. Development Coordinator: Erin Cesta & Katherine Payne.

Artworks Courtesy of: Robert Adams; Mark Dion; Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle; Ursula von Rydingsvard; Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Galerie Lelong, New York; Matthew Marks Gallery, New York; Max Protetch, New York; Seattle Art Museum; & Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. Archival Footage Courtesy of: Ursula Anne von Rydingsvard.

Special Thanks: Mark Hereld; Rick Gribenas; Kerstin Adams; ADM Works, Los Angeles; Angela Andres; The Art21 Board of Trustees; James Barber; Vanessa Bergonzoli; Callen Blair; Bloomberg; Josie Browne; Daniel Cheek; Tyler Cufley; Stuart Desmond; Renee Devine; Dog Bark Sound; Kris Douglas; Michael Finn; Frame:Runner NYC; Jules Gaffney; Gina Glascock-Broze; Green River Watershed, King County, WA; Rick Gribenas; Tamara Gubernat; Anthony Guzzone; Anneka Herre; Mark Herald; Todd Holmes; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Stephanie Joson; Bryan King; Meredith Klein; Cristobal Lehyt; Sheila Lynch; Mad. Sq. Art; Anna Miller; J. Morgan Pruett; Julia Murray; Brandon Noble; Jeffrey Peabody; Allison Peters; Eli Ping; J. Morgan Pruett; Andre Ribuoli; Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN; Seattle Art Museum and Olympic Sculpture Park; Sound Lounge; Dawn Troy; Christina Turley; U.S. General Service Administration; Vagabond Audio; & Javier Valdivieso.

Interns: Stephanie Abraitis, Alex Agnant, Gabriella della Croce, Nora Herting, Milena Hoegsberg, Rives Kitchell, Katie McCurry, Simone Otenaike, Karoline Pfeiffer, Nick Pozek, Carolina Puente, Muña Qamar, Bettina Riccio Henry, Meg Scally, Karen Seapker, Peter Sebeckis, Lucy Strong, & Kelly Williamson.

Public Relations: Goodman Media International. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman. Bookkeeper: Marea Alverio-Chaveco & Valerie Riley. Travel Agent: Lita Gottesman.

Major underwriting for Season 4 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Bloomberg, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Bagley Wright Fund, and W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Mark Dion

Mark Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between “objective” (“rational”) scientific methods and “subjective” (“irrational”) influences. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.

“I’m not one of these artists who is spending a lot of time imagining a better ecological future. I’m more the kind of artist who is holding up a mirror to the present.”

Mark Dion

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“Neukom Vivarium”

Artist Mark Dion discusses his 2006 installation Neukom Vivarium.

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Mark Dion

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Mark Dion

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Science and Aesthetics

Artist Mark Dion discusses his work’s relation to performance, authority, aesthetics and humor.