"It's the first river that any artist has ever woven. I've beaten Christo," Gerola proclaims, referring to Christo's plans to hang awnings over miles of river in Colorado. "This is the equivalent of Christo doing New York City or the Eiffel Tower." Hmm.

Yellow, red, blue, and green ropes span the Blackstone River. Some twist on blue rods that are meant to reference shuttles used in weaving, which in turn reference the Slater Mill's foundational role in American textile manufacturing. "It's about the past and the present," Gerola tells me. "And on a much higher level, it's about a world that's falling apart that needs repair one thread at a time."

The installation feels more about whimsical minimalist design than ideas like the history of textiles or social healing. Lines appear and disappear as you walk around. At night, spotlights illuminate it. It feels imposed on the landscape, not really engaged with it. The ropes radiate across the roiling water between the dams, like the vectors of digital speed lines. It's nice and neat-o, a physical feat, big and temporarily diverting and inoffensive.

Read Greg Cook's blog at  gregcookland.com/journal.

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