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  • Writer's pictureDavid Hodgson

Clown Trees

Driving through St. Paul I come to the intersection of Functional and Bizarre. The goals are evident: to preserve the tree while clearing a path for high-voltage lines. Valid ends for certain, yet the outcome is clown-headed trees. And not just here and there. Entire rows of these oddities can be found along power line trajectories. I could, in theory, view this arboreal mangling through the lens of public art — call it utilitarian topiary. But then I realize how bad most public art is and I’m back to square one. That leaves me with the Absurd, which I prefer to dismay.

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