GREEN MAN! GREEN MAN!

GREEN MAN is aware that contemporary cultural concepts of "urban" and "rural" are generalized and mythologized to the point of being inaccurate.
 GREEN MAN questions those who mourn the apparent loss of folk rituals and rural life and reminds them that these are continuing current phenomena.

GREEN MAN demonstrates and re-enacts the traditional 20th century urban ritual of crossing the road.

In Urban areas, GREEN MAN will appear at pedestrian crossings and cross the right of way when the Green Man flashes. GREEN MAN follows the rules of the crossings, walking, stopping, flashing and beeping when appropriate.

GREEN MAN extends the geography of the pedestrian crossing, taking the ritual beyond its original context, initially by starting to move along the right of way, perpendicular to the crossing.

GREEN MAN further extends the geography of the pedestrian crossing into rural areas by crossing rights of way which may or may not be visible, at crossings which may or may not exist.

In some location, GREEN MAN appears to disgorge a selection of locally sourced foliage and matted hair.

If approached or challenged, GREEN MAN may interact with people to a greater or lesser extent. In some cases, this may lead to the termination of the occurrence.

GREEN MAN creates instances of Performance Architecture, installation and intervention, by merging with greenery and other relevant phenomena in spaces where the urban meets the rural.

 Click here to see a Gazetteer of GREEN MAN sightings

Suburban areas are full of such spaces, containing many attempts to bring “nature” under control within an urban environment. Perhaps the most ubiquitous example of this is the use of the Leylandii tree.

From the point of view of animistic folk religions such as Shinto and Shamanism, every aspect of the world has a spirit, and trees in particular have long been worshipped.

By contrast, the Leylandii is used as a wall, ignored by passers-by, maltreated and misunderstood, and as well as being a catalyst for neighbourly disputes, can be seen as a symbol of man’s inhumanity to tree.

Leylandii are not native to this country, having been introduced from America in the late 19th century. These trees are not allowed to flourish in what might be considered a natural environment, and have become a mere commodity. The most common use of leylandii is as a wall-like hedge to provide privacy. Leylandii.com describes the leylandii as “The Ultimate Privacy tree”. Leylandii are seen as protective and yet also as intrusive. They are widely considered unpleasant, being described as “monstrous, oppressive plants which deprive us of all daylight” but the mistake made is to blame this unpleasantness on the tree itself rather than on its misuse and social (or anti-social) function. In hedge form, the leylandii is no longer treated as a living organism, but fulfils the social function of “wall”. Spaces are thereby boxed in, and delineated, and the leylandii hedge has come to be a symbol of privacy, and a catalyst for neighbourly disputes.














Copyright 2009 by Sparky Mark Baldwin

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