The Soil Sampling Shoes are part of a larger project, Gardening Superfund Sites. They attempt to covertly take soil samples of Superfund waste sites in Silicon Valley as the wearer simply walks around on the soil.
In researching the sites, Amy Franceschini found that there are 29 sites in Santa Clara County. This is the most concentrated area of toxic sites in America. Many of the companies responsible for contaminating this area were making products that the artist uses. But it proved very hard to get information about the history and current status of the toxic clean up.
The shoes gather information in the form of soil information that can be pure evidence. This soil presented in the form of a sculpture becomes suspended evidence. The shoes become charged objects in the sense that the glass vials filled with soil become a representation of the memory of each site. A record of the waste produced in the making of computer memory in the early 1980s.
Via Jonah Brucker-Cohen's interview of Amy Francescini for Gizmodo.
Soil Sampling Shoes is a part of our month long retrospective leading up to our anniversary on Oct. 1. For the next four weeks, we'll celebrate five years of solutions-based, forward-thinking and innovative journalism by publishing the best of the Worldchanging archives.