Urban Tumulus: 11,000 pounds out of 12,500 pounds

Jessica Marshall E., Michael and I made 12,500 pounds of adobe bricks for the Urban Tumulus installation this past July. Earth, sand, straw, water. Each air-dried brick measures 5 inches by 10 inches by 16 inches, and weighs 50 pounds. I don’t know how heavy they were when they were wet and newly unmolded. We made 250 bricks. The weather was damnably hot, bright, and dry, the hottest week of the summer, with temperatures ranging from 98 to 103 degrees. Making adobe is brutal physical labor, each day we needed to make between 35 -45 bricks. At the end of each day we were trashed. All of us who were involved with the project have a deep appreciation for the labor that goes into building an adobe dwelling.


Jessica Marshall E.’s perspective

Wrapped in a sweeping coat of compost, Urban Tumulus is a process in existence.  Its mass is substantial and gives it a presence that wants embracing.  Drawn to the internal womb I find it welcoming and comforting.  Once inside it is safe and hard to leave but never the least bit claustrophobic. (more…)

Urban Tumulus

Soil.  The Urban Tumulus is about soil.  Soil is under our feet.  We depend upon it, we ignore it, we don’t see it.  All of our food comes from soil.  All of us return to soil.  The soil of Urban Tumulus addresses the viewer.