Paul Ramírez Jonas
Artist in the Public Realm

When Nature Becomes History, 2001


MATERIALS: 26 plastic flags, string.

    This is a large edition of strands of 26 plastic colored flags streamers. There is a flag for each letter of the alphabet, represented by the name of a hurricane that begins with that letter, and a satellite photo of the storm. The festive forms of flag streamers are used to highlight special times in specific places.  They transform a space and indicate the there there will be an observance of a special date or period of dates.  Thus, the plaza becomes a place to celebrate independence, the store has a grand opening, the car lot has a sale, and the living room is hosting a birthday. Sometimes the everyday gets named, and sometimes that name enters history.  Storms form and subside, if a storm reaches a certain intensity it is named, and if that newly named system creates enough damage it becomes history and gets to keep its name.  Otherwise, the name is recycled and gets to be used again.