Proposals

1. Proposal for a long-term Forest Garden in the land. For many years in the United States, we approximate an acre of space (per person) for our food needs. In the space of one acre, I would like to grow and care for a forest garden. Based on perennials, they need care and upkeep for roughly the first two years, and after that can thrive and flourish on their own, providing food and natural beauty for observers and users. The largest of several layers of a forest garden is the tree layer, in need of full light of the sun to thrive and support their growth. They form a shade canopy that shrubs, vines, and ground plants thrive in. Many natural forests fit this pattern, yet with judicious selection these gardens provide a compatible, mutually supportive community of edible plants, a forest garden.

Variation on this proposal: Scaled back, a steel spherical terraced garden 16’ in diameter based on the perennial forest garden.

2. On an exploratory walk and meditative journey from Brooklyn to Storm King, I map a route through significant historic earthwork sites, from “Wheatfield” to the “Monuments of Passaic”. Over the course of seven days I collect objects on the way, and wrap them together into a large bundle that I continue to roll to Storm King, responding to the most significant earthworks of our day, the landfills.

Variation on this proposal: A meditative practice, an 8’ bundle of objects collected on a journey to Storm King from New York City is dragged repeatedly around a circle at Storm King over eight days, creating a deep depression in the soil. After eight days, it is left in place, half submerged in a 4’ depression.

FOOD AND WATER NETWORKS how to

FOOD AND WATER NETWORKS (download full booklet: HowTo_Performing Economies)

As environmental instability continues to transform our cities, how can we connect local networks and individual efforts to work together more cohesively? How can cities utilize the tools of resource decentralization and network interdependency found in global supply chains to provide for each other locally, and how can these local chains more clearly account for social and environmental costs embedded in production?

Recent volatility in global food and fuel costs has increased public awareness of the existing food supply’s vulnerability as well as the detrimental effects of industrialized food systems. As cities increase focus on the effects of climate change on lives, public officials need to fully consider environmental costs as well as the affects of dependency on exterior sources of shipping in food and water.

Strong movements have been building in urban communities across America. People are planting home gardens and forming community-wide initiatives that support urban farms, rainwater collection, and storm water management. Currently, NYC has 7 community farms, 390 community gardens, 3 commercial farms, 117 public school gardens, and 245 New York City Housing Authority gardens.

In 2009 I launched the Waterpod Project: a public space, habitat, and living system on a barge that navigated New York City’s waterways. One of the project goals was to subsist off of the food we grew, eggs from four chickens, solar and bike power, and purified rainwater. All of the materials were found or exchanged through barters arranged with businesses and municipal agencies in NYC. I wanted to figure out how much time was spent maintaining these systems versus our hourly pay working day jobs to purchase these supplies outright. After an initial large investment of our own labor, we ended up with a system that supplied us with all of our basic needs for around 2.5 hours a day.

In 2012 I embarked on the Flock House project: a group of three spherical public spaces that moved around NYC in 2012. Of significant difference was the fact that the Flock House living systems could not fully support a family or even one person. We relied on barter and trade with our neighbors to meet basic needs. One of the goals of Water and Food Networks is to emphasize working together and sharing tools that can empower each other. This booklet explores local ecologies, resource exchange, and practical techniques for small-scale water and food systems.

FOOD AND WATER NETWORKS was written for Performing Economies and Thirst.

Here are plans for the Techne Rover, created for UB, and changes made to my specs for Performing Economies. Blueprints attached:

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WetLand asset mapping

WetLand2 WetLand3 WetLand4 WetLand5

Case study: WetLand Philadelphia

1.  Beginning with an idea and local, I look for interested partners, creating an “asset map” of people in the city of Philadelphia, finding others working in similar realms or with similar goals (whether schools, businesses, community groups, or individuals).

2.  Then, reaching out and sharing the project plans, I inquire as to their potential interest in working together in some way, or if I can help facilitate their missions. This could be as simple as circulating information about their group through the physical and virtual spaces of the project, or as complex as asking for contributions.

a.  For instance, students working in ecological design at Lincoln High School are taking a semester to design an efficient solar cooker for this project, and are using the same solar cooker for an entry into a science competition. The device is useful to the project, and we become their test subjects to collect data about their work. Of course WetLand is also a platform for their project.

3.  Alternative Economies: The economies involved are important and worth investigating here. I’m either asking people to participate in a type of barter, mutual promotion, or asking them to accept a stipend for their contribution (of hosting a workshop, for example).

4.  I try to establish roles and credit for mutual intellectual property in collaborative participation early on.

5.  Networks and Audiences: After a process of asset mapping and finding people who would like to be involved and share similar goals, we have together created a network where for a short time, this sculpture can act as a node or even a hub to a created network. After the project’s duration, the network lives on. With this process, there is a built-in audience of stakeholders who can help circulate information about the project.

Totems from Geodesic Domes

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As part of a research project on counterculture movements I’ve been making totems from past projects that have included geodesic domes.

Artifacts from public spaces like Waterpod project (NY, 2009), the Flock House Project (NY, Boston, and Omaha, ongoing), and Triple Island (LES, NY 2013) are repurposed into three sculptural totems. They were once functional, utilized as domes, spheres, or walls that constructed spaces for inhabitants and guests.

I refer to Buckminster Fuller’s work with geodesic domes for several reasons. I believe in his rhetoric about considering accessibility through tools. For him the dome was all about making something that anyone could build.  I believe it’s important for each of us to be able to make things that we can use with and amongst other people.

My views differ from Fuller’s proclamations in many ways. Fuller argued that appropriate means of dissemination (smooth supply chains) was the answer to housing everyone. We are very aware that isn’t true. I’m concerned about the dependency many people have on large, complex supply chains to meet our most basic needs, and believe that powerful supply networks have enabled endless development, while numerous political and market-driven factors keep us from ever reaching Fuller’s utopian goals.

That same optimism of Fuller’s is clear in the symbol of the dome. Yet the photographs of mostly abandoned communes where the dome stood (symbolic for decades) tell a different set of stories. Those are the stories I’m interested in unpacking. What was this countercultural movement, actually? What can it tell us about the solitude of small communities? How did Fuller’s intentions fit into this very Libertarian set of values?

I’ve been creating these living systems that always contain some aspect of function versus non-function, and always utilize steel conduit for part of the architecture.  Often the conduit I use has been repurposed from buildings that require electrical wiring to be covered in steel.  Using materials leftover from one building to create another has been a consistency in this work. It narrates a new space being built from an old one, but this time it’s severe, almost dystopian but with an element of potential through resource-sharing. Many times it’s mobile due to economic, environmental and political conditions. It’s about working with what you have, finding anything potentially suitable to build a structure, and many times the structure that can be built is round because of odds and ends that need to be pieced together.

With the totems I’m thinking about the final form, the non-utilitarian art object, the useless, and to me these are the most dystopian of all. Relics of hope turned luxury item.

What about a FellowShare

Not exclusive to a particular community, dislocation and relocation due to economic and environmental challenges are commonplace in New York City. Slow displacement from gentrification results in a competitive arena whereby people are forced into positions of offense or defense, seeking out or protecting precarious spaces around the city. On the contrary, quick displacement as the result of trauma from sudden upheaval or emergency often generates a communal response. For instance, stories surrounding devastation caused by recent Hurricane Sandy focus on unparalleled experiences of neighbors helping, housing, and sharing resources with one another.

Working with artists whose spaces are often in a state of flux, as well as people who have lost their homes or workspaces throughout New York City, I am dedicated to an art project that focuses on collaborations that emerge from space and resource sharing. A catalyst for alternative forms of living and working, the “Fellow-share” project enables collective experiences through collaborations based on non-monetary exchanges.

The first year of the “Fellow-share” project will begin by working with two specific communities: people within a range of businesses or municipal organizations are paired with artists. The artists’ work relates to the organizations they would “fellow-share” with. In exchange for space to work, artists are tasked with repurposing a percentage of the organization’s waste, diverting potential resources from the waste stream. This exchange could unfold in many ways. Artists may choose to use waste in artwork or find others who can utilize the waste, creating a networked supply-chain based on resource sharing. Sharing space and resources for the mutual experience of living and working interdependently is the crux of this project.

“Fellow-share” poses the questions: What could the effects be of artists integrating their studio spaces into a larger working community? What can the experiences be of individuals and community members who live and work in a city where integration is nurtured on this scale? How can the “Fellow-share” project become a catalyst for lasting relationships formed across-disciplines? In a world where sought-after resources including minerals, oil, and clean water are being depleted and polluted, waste carries social and environmental traumas with it, from extraction, to production, distribution, consumption, discard, and degradation. Can we find a way to repurpose materials in a direct, immediate way together?

The dialogic processes that build toward “Fellow-share” collaborations are creative and aesthetic experiences. From its moment of inception, the project will form networks of individuals, groups, and conversations that can be documented and persist as a blueprint.  The “Fellow-share” project is a step towards a more long-term utopian social change, based on compassion, empathy, understanding, and mutual learning.

Please contact me if you are interested in participating.

Research On Sleep

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/opinion/sunday/goodnight-sleep-clean.html?_r=1

Mono versus polyphasic sleep:

http://www.polyphasicsociety.com/polyphasic-sleep/overviews/monophasic/

Segmented:

http://www.polyphasicsociety.com/polyphasic-sleep/overviews/segmented-sleep/

Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Sleep:

http://www.polyphasicsociety.com/polyphasic-sleep/overviews/dymaxion/

24/7 Notes (email me for full pdf of the book)