Peter Krsko

Para Z


Lincoln Park


Artist Bio and Statement: Peter Krsko, trained as a biophysicist, listens to nature and creates objects and experiences to share his observations. His approach combines science and art; participatory, interactive and community arts; and play with hands-on education. His artwork compares the laws governing biological communities to the dynamics within human societies.

The installation titled “Para Z” by Peter Krsko examines relationships between trees and humans. Are they mutualistic or parasitic?

This particular installation consists of the old majestic tree and the pre-fabricated modules. The modules are also made of wood, but the contrast with the tree is striking. The tree is an old, weathered witness to the immediate life on this street. Its trunk is hard and heavy. The modules represent the modern manufacturing and fabrication methods. They are stream-lined, sterile, straight, light and soft. There are many of them and they are repeating.

The tree may be dead but it is still a functional member of the local urban ecosystem. When its branches were cut off, it became less inviting to the birds. It is harder for them to sit on it, to nest on it, to be protected by it. However, immediately after the pre-fabricated modules were installed, the birds took a new interest in the tree. They came back.

It is not easy to determine whether the modules are a parasitic component of the installation, or if a mutualistic symbiosis was created, when they became the new branches. The old beautiful organic tree and the sterile-looking assemblies live together in great contrast, yet they complement each other and elevate each other to new heights. Let’s celebrate our relationship with the trees.

Steve Gaeth



Palmer Square Park


Artist Statement: Recompense captures the elevation of the human spirit. This is achieved through the unification of a diverse population, that in engaged in an act of penance. The human, yet androgynous, figures exude strength and grace as they join together in a monumental task. The rotund form of each figure adds to the challenge of the action. They must work as one, in unity, to achieve the collective goal.

The inspiration for this work initially came from a secular source. The artwork should not be interpreted as belonging to any particular faith or denomination; rather, it is intended to be a celebration of the universal goals of unity and diversity within a community. Logan Square is a living embodiment of this philosophy. While completing this piece I was approached by many passersby and exchanged many kind and encouraging words. I met many care workers and dog walkers, parents and nannies, each with their own responsibility for the survival of the community. The physical struggle depicted in the piece is echoed in the runners on the Palmer Square path, each engaged in their own strenuous act of self-improvement.

Recompense is not intended to diminish the importance of spirituality; instead, it blends elements of diverse spiritualties. The figures nod to the Serbian Orthodox church across the boulevard, while simultaneously facing northeast, in the direction of observance for mecca. The staining, multi-hued figures acknowledge the diversity of the neighborhood. Enlightenment and transformation is implied as the trunk of the tree lightens through the act of redemption. The designation of distinct wood stains and the position of each figure is important for the interpretation of this piece. The assigned order of the figures conveys a message about who bears responsibility for the survival of the community, while also showing that survival can only be achieved through collective effort.