High Line : A Field Guide and Handbook of Thoughts, Musings, Observations, Case Studies, and Histories: A Project by Mark Dion

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An alternative guide to New York's beloved elevated park

Presented as an alternative survey of some of the curious aspects of New York's iconic High Line, this Field Guide by American artist Mark Dion (born 1961) provides an account of the wildlife, plants and insects that inhabit the space, as well as essays considering the social context and history of the site.

Full of peculiar observations, rumors, speculations and mostly true facts, the Field Guide encourages viewers to question popular ideologies that define today's "official" history of the elevated park. It includes "thoughts, musings and histories," such as a timeline of events on the High Line, a "concise" guide to the wildlife and illustrated guide to the plants of the area, Facts, Myths, & Rumors and even a Lost & Found section.

Facts, Myths & Rumors is particularly illustrative of Dion's characteristic oscillation between fact and fiction. The section consists of a list of uncategorized statements, ranging from serious declarations ("the High Line once extended to Spring Street") to more humorous musings ("the ghost of the West Side Cowboy has been seen and heard around the West 20th Street section of the park"). Dion leaves the viewer to separate truth from myth.

Taken as a whole, the text encourages imagination and inquiry rather than dictating fact, asking the viewer to play a role in shaping his or her own version of history. Dion's Field Guide is a colorful introduction offering new perspective on the High Line.

Publication Date: 
February 28, 2017