Herbert Hoover Dyke

de la Cruz Collection, Miami 2010

From the de la Cruz Collection press release

A tap dancer manipulates the literal point of connection between a performer and eponymous landscape to produce percussive song as she moves around the perimeter of Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s inland sea, via the Herbert Hoover Dike—a 30 foot high earthen berm that keeps the lake from freely flowing into the Everglades and South Florida’s suburban expanses.

Taking advantage of the engineering conventions adorning this 140 mile-long social sculpture, she taps out an assortment of rhythms on a ribbon of crunching gravel and asphalt, plinking steel grates and barrier gates, reverberating water tanks and a confounding array of limestone columns jutting from the slope. This feat of environmental engineering—derided by environmentalists but essential to several communities—is transformed into a colossal stage, its parts reconceptualized as ready-made musical instruments. It appears that crows, egrets and vultures are the only witnesses as the lone tuxedoed figure stomps, leaps and shuffles resolutely through the not-quite-natural landscape.