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Fallen Fruit

Fallen Fruit invites you to re-imagine the function of public participation and urban space, and to explore the meaning of community through planting, mapping and sharing fruit trees.

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2 Submitted Ideas

  • LIVE ·2016 Grants Challenge

    The Endless Orchard: Phase Two

    The Endless Orchard is a real living fruit orchard planted by the public, for the public, that transforms our neighborhoods into edible gardens.

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    ENDLESS ORCHARD

    Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration that uses fruit as a lens by which to see the world. All our projects are collaborative, forging unique art experiences that connect people to the places they live. This January, we were awarded a 2013 Creative Capital grant for “Endless Orchard” — a public installation of fruit trees in an urban setting that creates an orchard-like grove punctuated by mirrored surfaces, like a prism that creates an illusion of infinity. Our LA2050 proposal is to extend the orchard of fruit trees into the neighborhoods of Los Angeles County in a way that ultimately transforms the cityscape into a sparkling inhabited orchard.

    This public installation contrasts the flashy technology of the spectacular with its opposite, the quietly growing abundant fruit tree. One is fast and complex, like a kaleidoscope, and the other is slow. One is all surface, and the other is all substance. But this is the idea: to see the relationship between our food and its history and how we live today. It interrogates our use of land, our values, and how we relate to one another. It asks us to take a close look, to see beyond the illusions the world presents us with.

    With the support of LA2050, we can bring this concept to the next level by planting fruit trees in the adjacent neighborhoods to transform both their appearance and the way they function. It’s an immersive expansion of the Public Fruit Tree Adoption projects we’ve held in past years. Hundreds of bare-root fruit trees are given to residents through art spaces or cultural centers. These are gifts, and the recipients are asked to collaborate in the project: to care for the trees and to plant them on the border between private and public property, creating a resource to share with others. The abundance of these trees and their fruit creates a legacy for the communities of Los Angeles, with each block or neighborhood devising its own way to care and share for their informal orchard.

    These Public Fruit Tree Adoptions transform a colorful idea into a vibrant reality. They literally root the necessity of healthy food and green space in the fabric of our daily lives. Some of these concepts have been prototyped in the newly dedicated Del Aire Public Fruit Park, in Hawthorne, CA. Fallen Fruit of Del Aire – Public Fruit Park is also the first public fruit park in the State of California. Still in its sapling stage, this park has already impacted the neighborhood of Del Aire in the shadow of LAX. Fallen Fruit planted 27 trees in the park itself, with 65 more distributed in the blocks surrounding it. This is the small-scale model for our much greater ambitions. We like to say that the point of art isn’t to describe what you want to see, but to make it.

    Fallen Fruit’s series of Public Fruit Maps illustrates what already exists in our streets: surprising pockets of fruit trees that exist more through chance than planning — lucky, generous survivors of our urban ecology. Endless Orchard and our other public fruit parks enshrine these trees and creating a living kind of advocacy for an urban landscape. But in the end it’s not about art, and not about shrines. It’s about changing the nature of the city, putting nature back into the city, and imagining a topography that transforms the way we experience a place – both the familiar and the exploratory.

    For Fallen Fruit, a piece of fruit is more than nourishment: it’s a symbol of culture, and a symbol of the basic social bonds not just between grower and consumer, but of the rituals of sharing and community. One of the places this symbol gets activated is in our ongoing series of Public Fruit Jams, in which groups of friends and strangers gather to make jam together, working collaboratively in a ritual that resembles the communal harvests of another epoch.

    Fallen Fruit has worked with fruit, public space and the public for over 9 years. We have three tightly linked indicators for our project: Arts & Cultural Vitality, Environmental Quality, and Social Connectedness, and we do not want to separate them. We are artists whose work is a form of activism that examines the ecology and environment that surrounds us and uses the object of fruit to forge new and unexpected social connections.

    Endless Orchard is a living public artwork that emanates from a defined focal point to suffuse the neighborhoods of Los Angeles County with change from the ground up, systematic change that transforms our conception of the city. It will take on a life of its own, possessed by no one and shared by everyone. By growing into the urban fabric it empowers people to change how they share resources, how they live daily life, and how they experience a city as great as Los Angeles.