Thursday, September 9, 2010

Journal Entry September 8, 1976

Wednesday evening
The silhouettes on the skyline
Capture my thoughts
There is something about
This color of blue
Christo's fence has begun
To breathe

Photo by Wolfgang Volz
The Running Fence was an art installation piece by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, completed on September 10, 1976. The builders removed it 14 days later, leaving no visible trace.

It consisted of a veiled fence 24.5 miles long extending across the hills of Sonoma and Marin counties in northern California. The 18-foot high fence was composed of 2,050 panels of recycled white nylon fabric hung from steel cables by means of 350,000 hooks. The cables were supported by 2,050 steel poles stuck into the ground and braced by steel guy wires anchored to the earth. The route of the fence began near Hwy 101 and crossed 14 roads and the private property of 59 ranchers to reach the Pacific near Bodega Bay. A majority of the work was done by volunteers.

I was working at the Bodega Marine Lab in Bodega Bay at the time. The fence actually bisected the small town of Valley Ford about 12 miles to the South. My boss allowed me to take the morning off so I could watch the fence panels being unfurled. It was truly an awe inspiring sight.

There is a wonderful online exhibition and story of how it all came about at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The link is: