Serpentine Mounds

Co-designed with Badanna Zack, Serpentine Mounds was a site-specific environmental art installation featured as part of the Toronto zooarts Festival, which ran from June 29 to September 29, 2004, at the Toronto Zoo. The installation was composed of 42 obsolete cars, which were stripped and cleaned to remove the toxic elements and embedded in two mounds of earth, covered with turf and ground cover. It was 45,000 square feet by 27 feet high (13,716 square meters by 8 metres high), and was located on unused land in the African area of the Toronto Zoo. Serpentine Mounds transformed a conventionally landscaped area in to a sculptural environment.

Serpentine Mounds portrayed the continuing battle between our natural world and our love affair with the automobile — our modern beast of burden — and the promises offered by “ever-improving” technological innovations. Serpentine Mounds was not only a visual art installation with fundamental visual concepts that triggered interest and questions, it was a means from which to express ideas of environmental conservation and sustainability.

Serpentine Mounds was built with the help of the City of Toronto Solid Waste Management Services, Standard Auto Wreckers and Terrafix Geo whose interests in the concept uniquely tied in with their environmental mandates. We are grateful to these partners for their generous support and to the Toronto Zoo for having provided the location. We acknowledge support from OCAF, Canada Council for the Arts and Toronto Arts Council.