Sunspotting a Walking Forest

Public Art

Sunspotting a Walking Forest

Sunspotting a Walking Forest was a collaborative project led by Jenny Marketou, Otto von Busch, and Wanda Gala, engaging students from Parsons School of Design, Clinton Middle School, and seniors from Fulton Houses in NYC. The interdisciplinary project aimed to connect fashion and language, culminating in a 2012 performance in urban spaces. Workshops with seniors and middle schoolers produced wearable artifacts like flags and shirts, highlighting communication through performance.
Jenny Marketou



The Highline, New York, NY

Sunspotting a walking forest, Jenny Marketou, 2012.
  • Project description
  • About the artist
Sunspotting a walking forest, Jenny Marketou, 2012.

Sunspotting a Walking Forest was a community-based project led by Jenny Marketou, in collaboration with Otto von Busch (cultural theorist) and Wanda Gala (choreographer) with the participation of students from Parsons School of Design, Clinton Middle School and seniors from the Fulton Houses in New York City. It was a collaborative, interdisciplinary project meant to forge a relationship between fashion and language.

The project started with two parallel workshop series: a workshop of seniors and a workshop of middle school students. In each series, three artifacts were constructed over the course of six weeks: a flag, a shirt and a banner. These artifacts could be both worn and displayed, with the aim of activating communication through performance. All were were used in June 2012 as part of a choreographed performative action conceived for an urban space or public park, with multiple stops at selected locations. Each stop was marked by an action that meant to activate different modes of visibility and engagement.

Sunspotting a Walking Forest employed an exchange economy of textile design and networked action to explore themes of identity and free speech. The aim of the artist was to explore how the use of fashion and language in collectives can be powerful, performative tools of public engagement.

The performance concept was intended as a way of recreating an ecological balance among nature, people and the urban environment. Walking thus became a form of narration in space, which allowed for connections to be made between people and places.

Jenny Marketou and Otto von Busch have independently investigated the concepts of walking and fashion design as aesthetic tools. They have explored the idea of walking as research, ritual, performance, intervention, and political statement.

Supporters and Partners

Jenny Marketou

Jenny Marketou born in Athens, Greece, moved to US as a young adult to study art. She currently lives in New York City. She is an interdisciplinary artist and lecturer, who utilizes video, sound, video installation, internet, photography, public performance to offer an experience, a space for reflection, a site for knowledge and to explore a variety of aesthetics, ethics and poetics of interconnectedness and palpable effects of new media in our identities in our public and private sphere and in uncovering truths. She is interested in a public space of (slight) discomfort, unexpected emotions and pleasure that only art can create.

Marketou holds a Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY (1990) and earned a BFA in Photography from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC (1986). She has taught at the Art Department at Cooper Union School of Art and Science in New York and has lectured at numerous universities and art schools worldwide. She cofounded the art collective Workshopping the Unruly based in New York City from 2011 to 2013. She is affiliated with Services to Artists Committee and is the curator for ArtSpace/Media Lounge for College Art Association International Conference in New York City, 2015 and Los Angeles 2016.