I just learned (via artist Margaret Boozer) of an exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design that relates closely to my interest in the aesthetics of urban soil. Swept Away: Dust, Ashes and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design includes what sounds like an amazing collaborative piece created by Boozer with the cooperation of Dr. Richard K. Shaw, soil scientist for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Shaw has been surveying soil in New York City’s five boroughs over the past 15 years, leading up the recently finished New York City Reconnaissance Soil Survey. Boozer’s project Correlation Drawing/ Drawing Correlations presents samples collected across the 5 boroughs, displayed in a grid of plexiglass structures reminiscent of correlation boxes (which are cardboard boxes used to collect and transport samples in the field). I’m looking forward to seeing the piece in person, and I’m also excited to learn that urban soil surveying is getting its due! My recent project in the Wissahickon and my upcoming workshop Drawing with Dirt at Trade School are both closely related to this project, and it’s great to know who else I’m dialogue with. When I was in the planning stages of the Wissahickon project last spring I learned of the Future Farmers run project Soil Kitchen, which definitely influenced and extended my thinking on the topic. Below, an image of Margaret Boozer’s Correlation Drawing/Drawing Correlations: A Five Borough Reconnaissance Soil Survey from the artist’s website.