Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration that began with creating maps of public fruit: the fruit trees growing on or over public property in Los Angeles. Our work includes an ongoing series of narrative photographs, videos, public events or collaborative performances, fruit tree plantings and public fruit parks, public-service posters for bus shelters and other media as well as interactive installations and murals.
Using fruit as our lens, Fallen Fruit investigates urban space, ideas of neighborhood and new forms of located citizenship and community. From protests to proposals for new urban green spaces, we aim to reconfigure the relation between those who have resources and those who do not, to examine the nature in and the nature of the city, and to investigate new, shared forms of land use and property.
We consider fruit to be many things. Conceptually speaking, it’s a subject, an object, a noun, a thing, and a symbol. Fruit often triggers a childhood memory, it’s emotional, familiar to most everyone on the planet. Everyone has a fruit story. Many of these are linked to place and family: location and history. In particular they serve as evidence of the mass transition from an agrarian world to an urban one.
We have been working together since 2004. Our projects are usually temporary or time-based, but we have several permanent projects in planning stages – most of these are public fruit parks, shared urban space that is devoted to growing edible fruit and which is managed for the good of the community.
Our budget varies annually, from under $10,000 to over $150,000 last year (from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA). Our funding is mostly through state and private art grants and museums, with a relatively small amount coming from the sale of artwork.
Fallen Fruit was founded: 2004, by David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young.
We are three artists and everything we do is collaborative; we share both the workload and the credit equally.
All decisions are made equally and by the agreement of each of the 3 of us. Recently we have been doing up to 5 new projects a year. While we always research new and potential projects and sites, the ratio of projects selected for realization and the ones actually realized is always 100%.
We think of ourselves as an artists collaboration before all else, but our interests are social and in particular, urban. Our work addresses the alienation of people in cities from both their food and their neighbors. Rather than raising a critique however, we generate solutions. These range from the practical to the symbolic and even fantastic.