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Evolutionary Solutions: A New Orleans Environmental Planner Makes Art to Prepare for Climate Disaster

via Art News

If you walk up Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans, cross the former swampland of Bayou Road, and look to your left, you may see a 15-foot fish suspended from the trees. If it’s nowhere in sight, you can expect bad weather ahead.

The giant fiberglass fish—modeled on a marlin—is one of the many sculptures that inhabit the garden of the artist, urbanist, and environmental planner Robert Tannen. With its soaring columns and wedding-cake pediment, the house beyond is as ornate as any along the avenue, an impression at odds with the stacks of construction materials piled in the front yard. A pyramidal tower of concrete blocks is installed by the gate, and steel boxes shaped like southern shotgun houses are smashed in a heap—a sculpture made in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina. The marlin sometimes swings from the porch or between two live oaks. But when a storm is forecast—and those storms have become stronger and more frequent since Tannen moved to New Orleans in 1972—the marlin is tightly tied to the trunk of a tree, barely visible behind the palm fronds and crumpled steel

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