APPALACHIAN TRAIL FRIEZ
CARLTON ABBOTT & JOE KELLEY
A project that began in the summer of 1994 and periodically changed is PATHWAY: APPALACHIAN TRAIL FRIEZE. Closer in design to the Cage and Kass workshops in the way it uses chance imagery, it is a collaborative project conducted by former workshop assistant Joe Kelley in the Jefferson National Forest in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service. It originated from an earlier activity, that of photographing the Ripplemead site on the New River where Cage acquired most of the rocks he used in his two workshops.
Known fondly as “John’s Place,” photographs taken at the site were made into polygonally-shaped photomontages by Kass as a personal memorial to Cage. From this came the idea of giving film to participants to photograph places of interest to them while on hikes on and near the Appalachian Trail near Mountain Lake. These photographs, which are records of visual experiences of both physical places and seasonal changes, are then collaged by chance procedures into a long frieze. The frieze has a narrative quality in the way it unfolds in time, creating an experience akin to walking an actual forest trail.
Carlton Abbott talking with his workshop group, 1994