Fallen Fruit took root when CalArts professor Matias Viegener discovered an old city law declaring that all fruit growing on branches that overhang into public property is free for the taking, even if the trunk of that tree is in private domain. Along with two fellow professors, Austin Young and Dave Burns, Viegnener composed a manifesto calling for the picking and planting of public fruit trees. Naturally, art poured forth from the idea, including some outstanding photography and a digital mapping system to track the locations and ripening cycles of fruit trees in LA neighborhoods. The mapping caught on and community members joined in, planning late-night fruit harvesting walks and growing the radius of the mapped regions.
Clearly, the community aspect of this had no trouble taking off. Fallen Fruit mixed guerilla-style adventurousness and uber-cool art with a very real mission to tap into abundant and underutilized resources in their city. What’s been slower to take hold is the public service component?the systemic recognition of public food sources as a good idea. But new seeds are germinating…
The Fallen Fruit trio is long on ideas for how to bring fruit to the masses, from planting out the LA river corridor to planting up the Santa Monica mountains. This week they submitted a proposal to design an installation for the redevelopment of a park at the LA Civic Center. Their design, entitled “Endless Orchard,” will contain a square grid of fruit trees planted around four mirrored walls, giving the illusion of “the endless vista of fruit trees that once characterized so much of California.” The trees will be grafted ? 5 species per tree ? so that ripe fruit will almost always be available, maturing on a rotating cycle. The installation is meant to awaken visitors to the idea that there is food available all around them, and to invite community participation by encouraging people to pick and share the Endless Orchard’s offerings.
(Stay tuned to their site for new photos and info on the Endless Orchard project)
Thanks, Dave, Austin and Matias, for the sneak peek!