Miler Lagos

195 Rings, 2010

Miler Lagos (Colombian, born 1973), 195 Rings, 2010, newspaper collage, 61 1/4 x 61 1/4 in. Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, 2011.12.

Miler Lagos’s works investigate materiality and often incorporate reused or recycled materials, in part as a comment on diminishing natural resources. This work, which looks like a cross-section of a tree, is constructed from folded stock pages. It is from the artist’s Tree Rings Dating series, which examines the relationship between business and nature, commodities and culture. He explains how the series began: “The idea came from the rings that become visible in a tree’s trunk when it is cut. They not only reveal the tree’s age, but also information about environmental conditions at different moments in time. The sheets of newspaper form concentric circles, evoking time in the same way as recorded in trees.” Lagos prefers newspapers because, in his words, “the essence of the wood is still inside the paper. It’s like the knowledge inside the tree. . . . I was thinking about the nature of materials and how we use them to create our culture. I wasn’t thinking of it from an environmental position, but it became that.”