April 20, 2014

IN-SITE Proposal

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As an artist, I am interested in the intersection of nature and culture, including the way that we humans represent plant-life in illustrations, advertisements and logos, as well as for decorative purposes. The many representations of nature are, in my estimation, about as numerous and varied as real plant species. They range from the most simple geometric shapes to detailed illustrations and photographs, sometimes referencing existing or even imaginary species. As we are increasingly separated from direct contact with wilderness, these representations can sometimes stand in for the real thing. I’ve been playing with this idea in projects such as the fabric sculpture Canopy (2010), my collage series Field Studies (2011), as well as my recent public sculpture on Randall’s Island, New Growth (2013).

I propose to create a conceptual project in which I collect and scan real leaves from downtown South Orange and the park area as well as representations of leaves also found in the downtown area, such as those printed on packaging in stores, signs, on clothing fabric, decorative fake plants, elements of logos, architectural elements reminiscent of plants, etc. I will organize these “specimens” into a digital herbarium in the form of a website with accompanying information about each leaf (photos of the leaves as they were found, along with information such as location, context, size, and species).

I will also enlarge several of these images to approximately 2 feet tall (quite possibly larger) and wheatpaste them onto walls in public space throughout the downtown area. A QR code symbol will accompany each leaf which will lead viewers to the project website. This will function as a dispersed “natural” history display.

Wheatpasting is a temporary way to adhere paper to an outdoor wall. It’s made of water, flour, and sugar. It can last for months in an outdoor location. Wheatpasted images can be removed with hot water.

QR Codes are square black and white bar codes which can be scanned using smart phones. These codes can have web addresses embedded in them. Scanning the code will take you to the website.

Images attached:

1. Examples of leaves and leaf imagery found in downtown South Orange.

2 & 3. Digital collage of wheatpaste installation for one leaf.

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April 16, 2014

Lecture Notes – Environmental Studies

“Whenever you make something invisible visible or something visible invisible, it is a political act.” — Jacques Ranciere?

AGNES DENES

FUTUREFARMERS

Victory Gardens (2007+) is one of my favorite public projects of Futurefarmers and no doubt an ode to Eleanor Roosevelt’s own victory garden during World War II. Along with Garden for the Environment, Futurefarmers helps San Franciscans transition their backyard, front yard, window boxes, rooftops and unused land into food production areas. Delivery men and women bicycle starter kits containing small plots, seeds, fertilizer, “how-to” guide, and more to participants’ homes.

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Soil Kitchen, 2011

Soil Kitchen tested over 350 soil samples and served 300 bowls of soup per day made from locally sourced vegetables grown on a former brownfield. In addition to serving soup and testing soil a Philadelphia Brownfields Map and Soil Archive was produced and the building was a hub for exchange and learning; free workshops including wind turbine construction, urban agriculture, soil remediation, composting, lectures by soil scientists and cooking lessons.

MARY MATTINGLY

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PATRICIA DOMINGUEZ & DOMINICA KSEL

Tree Analogue: Studies in Myth Making, El Museo del Barrio

There is one specific tree that has become a hybrid during the years. It merged into the fence, creating a new morphology between urbanization and organic growth. It is radiantly impure. This tree will contain a box with an audio recording unit. The recording device will be slightly camouflaged in a box. People will be able to access this box from the periphery of the park, as it is part of the fence. The storytellers can stand beneath the tree and press record when they are ready to share personal experiences, love songs, messages to deceased loved ones, dirty jokes, local gossips, commentaries on current events, weather predictions, marriage proposals, confessions, forgiveness, offerings, wishes, desires, frustrations and new myths. The tree will be also activated as temple, healing center, materia prima for essences and inspiration for wood cuts, weaving, as cabinet of curiosity and a new celestial body.

MARK DION

Thames Dig

ROBERT SMITHSON

Spiral Jetty

WALTER DE MARIA

Earth Room

ANA MENDIETA

MARIE LORENZ

NATALIE JEREMIJENKO

Environmental Health Clinic

Fwish Interface

OOZ

No Park

EVE MOSHER

High Water Line

TATTFOO TAN

New Earth – Tree of Life

New Earth: Tree of Life

McColl Center for Visual Art, Charlotte, NC

RACHEL SUSSMAN

REVEREND BILLY

MIERLE LADERMAN-UKELES

CHRISTINA KELLY

Sweep

JOSEPH BEUYS

7,000 Oaks

JUSTIN SHULL

7,000 Evergreens

WILLIS ELKINS
Jamaica Bay Pen Project

Sunburnt Scribbler

The Vice Versa

Registry Ink

The Haksiva

April 14, 2014

Student Work, 2003-2005

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April 1, 2014

Non-Human Neighbor

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Yesterday, a raccoon made himself comfortable on my fire escape and slept there for 6 hours. Mindy was pretty interested and seemed to be trying to get his attention, but he didn’t even notice her until it got dark. At that point, he was definitely interested. He watched as she walked in and out of the room, and when Mindy hopped onto the window sill to check him out, they were both pressed up against the glass, mirroring each other.

They are about the same size, and the raccoon groomed himself like a cat both before and after sleeping. Apparently raccoons make good pets.

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I am very interested in Julian Montague’s work, specifically a project called Secondary Occupants, which documents animal-architecture interactions from the point of view of an imaginary author.

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February 22, 2014

Field Trip

A couple months ago, Mike and I visited Jackie at her job cataloging insects at the Natural History Museum.

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I’m thinking of doing a taxonomy project myself, so I wanted to see how it’s done by professionals… how the bugs are stored, what types of programs they use to digitize the info, what sort of data they track, etc.

These are the notes I took:

NYC Surplus Property - Where I might be able to buy display drawers and cases on the cheap.
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MySQL - A database programming language. Seems pretty hardcore. I want a real database, but not sure I’ve got the patience for learning a computer language. A friend who works in archiving suggested Tumblr and getting some of the functionality of a database with tagging. However, that only allows for searches using one criteria. But maybe I’ll start there.
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Morphological Key – A kind of guide or document that helps you identify & classify a specimen. Need to read more about this.
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Leaf Snap – An app that helps ID plants based on pictures you take of leaves and upload. More about this in a future post.
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The Stray Shopping Carts of North America: A Guide to Field Identification - By Julian Montague. Bought it and love it. More about this in a future post.
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Clustering Algorithm – Need to read more about this.
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Above: It’s hard to see here, but each insect has a tiny QR code which can be scanned and then brings up all the info about that specimen.
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Above: Number of bugs Jackie has digitized.
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February 19, 2014

Snapshots from India

This is the first major trip I’ve taken with Instagram.

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February 18, 2014

Installation on Upvan Lake

A little preview …. still editing / waiting for documentation of my second project for the Upvan Art Festival, supported by FCA’s Emergency Grant. A little sculpture installed on a tiny island in the lake, via paddleboat.

Here are some video clips from the installation — one of the most surreal installations I’ve experienced.

February 1, 2014

Reconciliation of the Opposites

During my time in Thane, I took a brief trip to Borivali, Mumbai to give a slide lecture at Cona, a space run primarily by Shreyas Karle and Hemali Bhuta. We had a nice conversation about public art in an Indian vs. western context, and I answered questions from students about finding one’s way as an artist and the creative process.

Shreyas printed these beautiful invitation cards for my lecture, which he titled “reconciliation of the opposites”.

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February 1, 2014

Las Plantas

This gorgeous photo was sent over by Miss Martha Clippenger in response to my Weed Census. Photo taken in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Check out Martha’s great show at Elizabeth Harris, up for one more week.

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January 31, 2014

Flight Paths

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Watch the video on Flowing Data.

Dennis Hlynsky, an artist and a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, recorded videos of flying birds and in post-processing shows previous flight positions for less than a second.”

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