running table

Running Table was originally installed in Chicago’s Grant park in 1997 and consists of a 100-foot picnic table made of recycled plastic and designed for public interaction. The piece was re-installed during the summer of 2009, this time in Millennium Park. Laurie Palmer, writing in Frieze Magazine, described the experience of Peterman’s table:

“Something both intimate and institutional is involved when sitting down here. Depending on one’s frame of reference, the experience evokes school lunches, church suppers, prison mess halls, or the generosity of the Seder table, at which there is always room for one more. Situated within the contradictions that damn and glorify public space, Peterman’s work takes on a class-crossing potential, in addition to its material ironies, that it could not achieve in a more circumscribed art space. “

Running Table is one of several sculptural projects by Peterman that occupy prominent locations in Millennium Park and Grant Park (The other being Ground Cover). In these heavily frequented settings they quietly yet insistently provoke public interaction. These projects serve dual purposes as intensely used public art furnishings that also function as post-consumer material deposits. These projects invite longer term speculation on patterns of waste and material over-production as “stockpiles” of post-consumer, reprocessed plastics firmly locked into functional, modular, endlessly expandable forms.