6 p.m. to 8 p.m. opening reception, exhibit runs Aug. 4 to Sept. 30
Eli and Edythe Broad Museum
547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing
He’s built an egg made of thousands of sheet marble fragments from the Michigan Train Station, a wooden arc made from an 1893 barn and a pyramid made from 2,109 illegally dumped tires in Detroit.
Now watch him cook up a new exhibit in Lansing. Scott Hocking brings his zeal for the items that are left behind to the Eli and Edythe Broad Museum for its Field Station series on Michigan artists.
“When I started making artwork I was pretty broke, and I am still considered pretty broke today,” said Hocking. “Abandoned buildings were a source of free material. Partly it’s reusing what is wasted, and philosophically I was irritated that people had enough money to own this structure, leave and let it decay.”
Gathering materials from a massive rail yard owned by Conrail, Hocking said the installation at the Broad Museum is testament to Michigan history — from the taming of its wild landscape to the start of its industrial age, all made possible by the railroad.
“I gathered all kinds of material including the rails themselves and tools that, unless you work for the railroad industry, nobody would know what they’re used for,” said Hocking.
Called “Sleeper (Cow Catcher),” Hocking said the name is a play on “sleeper” wooden railroad ties and the front wedged grate of a train known as a “cow catcher.”
The installation will not only play on the sense of sight.
“I tried to create something that confronts museumgoers with the nature of this industrial material and its smell,” said Hocking. “It is really quite strong with the smell of creosote, a byproduct of the coal industry.”
Hocking did spend time as an MSU student in Lansing.
“The time period I’m referencing is based on when I was 18. I did one semester and I dropped out because of smoking pot and drinking beer,” said Hocking.
“It was a really transformational time in my life where I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Reading a book called “Lame Deer Seeker of Visions” during his short time in Lansing, Hocking said this inspired him while working on the exhibit at the Broad museum.
Practicing his form of art, Hocking said there are some pitfalls.
“I have fallen in holes and had things collapse on me,” said Hocking. “I like to work alone, not only for the solace, but because nobody sees the ridiculous things I do.”
People may think that working in abandoned places is hazardous, Hocking said, but it is similar to the dangers anyone would face in nature.
“They might think of the places I’m working as being dangerous, but a lot of the places I work are quite peaceful and reclaimed by nature,” said Hocking. “Even in the city, a lot of places I work I find solace and quietude. Even in an old factory, it's been infiltrated by nature to the point where you are basically out in the woods.”
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 120 S. Bridge St., Grand Ledge
3:30 to 6:30 p.m., $55, Rivertown Adventures, 325 City Market Dr.
1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Davis Park, 5500 Pleasant Grove