John Roloff
The Seventh Climate (Paradise Reconsidered)

I-5 Colonnade Park
Beneath I-5, south of East Howe Street

Parks & Recreation 1% for Art- Pro Parks 2000 Levy

Beneath the freeway corridor that runs through Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood is an artificial microclimate with cycling light and intermittent rain that replicate the light and weather conditions from each day in 1960, the year before work began on Interstate 5. The artist effectively eliminates the concrete barrier created by the road overhead, taking the area back in time.

The centerpiece of this simulated ecosystem is composed of four densely planted trees including the tulip magnolia, Himalayan birch, urn gum and windmill palm. Each tree represents a different climate, forming a kind of geographic and ecological cross-sample. The trees were also selected, whether through flower, trunk or foliage, for their relation to the color white, a "ghostly" color meant to evoke the past neighborhood that occupied the site. By relating the past to the present and connecting the native climate to geographically diverse flora, The Seventh Climate spans the elements of time and distance and inspires the formation of new chronological and spatial relationships.