DB Lampman

I Am Within

Featured in the New York Times on September 30, 2011.

* Updated information and pictures of the sculptures as installed. If you would like a higher resolution image, please contact:

I Am Within was a temporary sculpture installation and performance project 

at Freshkills Park, NYC, August 20 through October 2nd, 2011

The 2,200 acre Freshkills Park is being developed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation on the site of what was once the world’s largest landfill as part of a 30 year plan to restore the land and create a premier cultural and recreational destination for New York City .

I Am Within  was the first sculpture installation ever at Freshkills Park.  It was located on the northern landfill mound, the capping and closure of which was completed by the New York City Department in Sanitation in 1996. 

  I Am Within consisted of three large scale human figurative sculptures that stood atop what is literally a man made mountain of garbage. The figures, made of metal, plastic, and fabrics, have multiple limbs extending from their arms and heads that rise upwards toward the sky and then bend back down toward the earth. The metal was left untreated  so it rusted and bled through the fabric, changing its color as part of a natural process of deterioration during the period that it was installed at the park.

During the performance event on September 17th, the artist wore a giant, unwieldy headdress that mimicked the shape of the sculptures. Unlike the sculptures, the heavy arms did not tether her to the ground. Instead, they rose upwards, suggesting balloons, as if at any moment she would float away into the sky. However, the harness was noticeably very heavy and hard to carry, so any hope of flight was diminished. Instead, she moved among the sculptures imitating their movements, eventually shedding the heavy weight and walking away leaving it as an empty shell next to the sculptures.

 I Am Within is about our connection to the earth and to each other. The sculptural figures and the accompanying performance represent the dual hope and futility of mankind’s intervention with nature. They are reaching out in hopes of mobility, but the multiple limbs serve only to tether the figures to the earth and tangle them in their own folly.


I Am Within was supported by an Art Fund Grant from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Council for the Arts and Humanities of Staten Island (COAHSI).

This project was also supported by New York Custom Fabricators, Inc., and was presented with the cooperation of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the New York City Department of Sanitation.




Curriculum Vitae