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1. To come about; happen or occur.

2. To become known; come to light.

3. To give off vapor containing waste products, as through animal or plant pores.

Origin: from Latin trans- ‘through’ + spirare ‘breathe’.

“Transpire” is a public art work on the central campus of the State University of New York, Purchase College. It makes visible the impact of human activity on nature as it unfolds over one year.  Three living trees are encased in heavy gauge shrink wrap. Will the generative force of the trees overcome the constraints of the plastic? Will the plastic attenuate or even suffocate the trees?

The most important component in this work is time.  It is my intent to make more immediate forces that have been unfolding for generations.  We are inured to change that happens slowly due to over saturation of all kinds of other stimuli.  Knowledge, especially high quality knowledge, accumulates over time. Big changes (personal, planetary) often happen slowly. At the same time the intent is to slow down viewing.  This isn’t a forest fire or some other emergency.  The work will introduce a sensorial experience that is revealed as people go pass by the installation repeatedly over a year. 

I gratefully acknowledge Purchase College staff for their tireless and enthusiastic support. "Transpire" was funded by The Purchase College President's Award for Public Art.

Eliza Evans