About the Exhibition
New York environmental artist Alan Sonfist (b.1946, New York City, NY) has installed five metal poles containing plant seeds around Doris C. Freedman Plaza. Each pole is made from a different metal: aluminum, copper, brass, Corten steel, and stainless steel. Sonfist envisions the piece as an ecological time capsule. Hermetically sealed within the topmost portion of each is a set of seeds collected from five different forests of the northeastern U.S (forests of the inner coastal regions of Connecticut and New Jersey, the northern forests of New York, and the southern forests of Pennsylvania). Each pole represents one of these forest zones and contains more than one million seeds gathered from that distinct ecosystem. The poles will decay at different rates over the next 500 years, owing to their different metallic composition. As each pole decomposes, the encapsulated seeds are re-introduced into the environment and allowed to germinate. The seeds are released in a succession that insures the re-establishment of northeast native vegetation for future generations.