Tuesday, December 26, 2006
So congratulations to me and a huuuuge thanks to BAC for believing in me and the project. I am so excited to be able to say that someone is backing me, it really helps other granters feel like they are not alone in supporting the project (it is a real chicken and the egg scenario).
Today I did some research on the chalk I want to use for marking the line, I have found that the sports field marking chalk is white. I found some good blue chalk powder in the form of the powder used for construction marking (chalk lines - which I always thought was fun to do when I was little - hmm a little premonition?) I was also looking into gulal (the colored powder used for the Indian celebration of Holi) but I don't think it is permanent enough - I want something that will stay around for a couple weeks. Anyone have any ideas?
I also will be building the calendar around the work projects that I have and the travel coming up in the year. My friend over at Solar One just got back from the Al Gore Climate Project training (teaching people to give an effective presentation and giving them the tools). He is hoping to put me in touch with other New Yorkers who attended so that we can coordinate a whole workshop outreach portion of the project - the presentations will be done in partnership with community organizations in the communities through which I will be creating the project.
So now I wait to hear back from NYFA and Cabot, and still have to write letters to Puffin and Jerome...
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
i had wanted to get the solio solar charger as a gift for my family (hey if i am going to be out drawing a chalk line - it will be a good way to power the gadgets!) but decided instead to put the money towards bigger things.
i first read about kiva in good magazine, then I was reminded of it while visiting the red lipstick blog.
here's the deal, Kiva brings together small dollar lenders in the US (or other "developed" [i am not a fan of that term] countries) to lend money to individuals around the world - it gives the money through micro lenders around the world. Since American dollars go pretty far in other parts of the world, even a little bit can make a big difference. Once the load is fully funded, the money is distributed to the individual for their business. As they are succesful, they pay back the loan (100% of microloans are repaid) and the money gets put back into your kiva account. You can withdraw the funds, or you can use it to refund new projects. Pretty cool little money cycle there.
So go online at kiva.org, and pick out some loans that are of interest to you - maybe give someone the last $25 they need to complete the loan - or start someone off who doesn't have the money yet. Or give the entire amount of money to one person to fully fund their project. Think of it as a nice holiday gift to the world. (Does that sound sappy? - I don't care - just do it.)
I am helping to fund Kossi (making shoes), Cecilia (a pub - thats for g-pup!), Ana (food market), and Komi (decorations).
and happy holidays to all!
updated 12/26: I am so thrilled about this project - within 24 hours of making my donations, 3 of my funded projects were fully funded. As of now they are all fully funded, and two of them have received their funds. I can't wait to watch the blogs to hear how the business progresses.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Gothamist posted about the windows in Washington Square by Jae Hi Ahn. In looking up more about her work, I came across this post from Libby and Roberta on Artblog, about a show at Vox Populi in Philadelphia. The show was called "Parts to the Whole." The premise was that each of the works were made of many smaller pieces to create a whole - it looks like it was a stunning show, I wish I had seen it. I will have to watch for more of the shows by the curator, Elizabeth Grady and many of the artists in the show, Nami Yamamoto, Julie Hughes, Pete Goldlust, Charley Friedman, David Myers and Gelah Penn.
You know the aggregation of these pieces appeals to me. I am curious to the compulsion to create the repetitive form. I wonder if there is any generational thing to this and what shapes an artists desire to create this kind of work.
I have some time off over the next few weeks, and while I hope to get to Chelsea, I will also go see the window display of Jae's work, and will think on this for a bit. (Feeling under the weather right now, so not thinking much at all).
Photos from top to bottom: Jae Hi Anh, Charley Friedman, Julie Hughes, Pete Goldlust, Gelah Penn
Also of note, Wooster Collective opens 11 Spring Street tomorrow (12/15) - this from the Gothamist post. (Times for the exhibition. It will only be open for three days....Friday, December 15th: From 11am to 5pm, Saturday, December 16th: From 11am to 5pm, Sunday, December 17th: From 11am to 5pm, On Sunday, December 17th at 3pm there will be a panel discussion with many of the artists attending.)
Streetsblog (news roundup)
And in the realm of responding in a positive manner, here's my nyfa fiscal sponsorship proposal:
I am seeking fiscal sponsorship from the New York Foundation for the Arts to produce Sea Change, a public art installation on the
The blue chalk line of Sea Change will outline the areas at risk to increased cycles of flooding and storm surge resulting from global warming. Along this line, in parks and other high visibility settings, there will be a moveable set of illuminated, water-filled, clear acrylic markers. These markers will be etched with scientific data and easily adoptable tips for a more sustainable lifestyle. Beside the chalk line, information will be stenciled in chalk on the ground. Accompanied by a website, advertising campaign and community-based workshops, Sea Change will provide viewers – residents and tourists – with knowledge to shape the future of their physical environment.
Goals. 1) To create Sea Change, a public artwork that maps the “critical line” of projected flood zones along approximately 60 miles of
I will draw the 4-inch wide blue chalk line in parks, plazas, and streets, using a device for drawing lines on sports fields. The markers will be 50-100 (3-feet high, 3-inches diameter) recycled plastic acrylic tubes lit with LEDs powered by solar panels and filled with water and will be installed in heavily trafficked areas along the “critical line.” They will be staked in the ground (a low impact installation) and will migrate over time along the blue line. I will move the markers to a new location every two weeks for the duration of the piece. There will be 8 (2-week) settings for the markers in
Allowing time for trouble shooting and interacting with the public, I plan to “draw” an average of 4 miles a day, 1-3 days every two weeks, with the remaining time spent on installation of the markers, outreach and maintenance. As an example, for the first installation of the project (early June 2007) in
I have already completed extensive research and mapping of the line’s trajectory in relation to public space. In
Audience. The simplicity of the project, aesthetically and visually, will appeal to people of all ages, ethnicities and economic backgrounds. Sea Change seeks to engage people on the street, in the neighborhoods where they live, work and play. People will encounter the chalk line and the markers while going about their daily lives. The work is an intervention in routine. This aspect of the piece ensures catching people’s attention and providing easy and direct access. Sea Change is designed to engage the community, and promote thoughtful, informed dialogue and action.
Public outreach/dissemination. Scientific data and sustainable living tips will be disseminated to the public through the artwork itself and my presence (with an assistant) in coastal neighborhoods as we execute the piece. I am planning a website and a public outreach campaign consisting of posters on bus shelters, large ads on the sides of buses for routes along the coast and a “poster swipe” (wheat pasted posters) in surrounding neighborhoods. This campaign will attract an audience to the artwork and convey educational information. I have a background in marketing, web design and project management, which I will use to work effectively with designers. The campaign will provide vital information in a visually engaging manner and the website will present in-depth information in an easy to use and easily accessible format.
The website will contain information on the global warming scenarios the scientific community is projecting, as well as local conditions, energy saving tips, and links to numerous other resources. The information included in the various materials will address potential scenarios (for the years 2030, 2050 and 2100) during which significant and measurable change is expected to occur – e.g., by 2030, sea level will rise 6.9-inches to 23.7-inches above current heights; by 2100, annual flood heights could increase dramatically from 3.9-feet to 10.5-feet. The information will be drawn from sources like “Impacts of sea level rise in the New York City metropolitan area,” a frequently cited document produced by representatives of Center for Climate Systems Research, Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the US Army Co
Portions of the ad campaign will target tourists directly, to indicate how actions, no matter where one lives, have an affect on the impact of global warming. Sea Change illustrates for all viewers the “butterfly effect,” the theory that a small change can cause a chain of events leading to larger phenomena. The presence of the chalk line and markers, in conjunction with the website and public outreach campaign, will give communities the knowledge to affect the future shape of
We are also planning community workshops in partnership with Solar One, NYC’s foremost nonprofit green arts and education center. These workshops are not reflected in my budget, since they will be lead by Solar One. Solar One will create specific programming to teach community members (activists and high school students) to educate others about climate change and lifestyle choices. These trainees will then lead 3-7 workshops for adults at community centers such as Red Hook Recreation Area, Battery Park Conservancy and Salt Marsh Nature Center.
Partnerships. Solar One is the primary partner for outreach through community-based organizations. In addition, the National Press Secretary of the Sierra Club has offered promotional support through their international network.
Timeline. TO DATE: Completely mapped (on paper) the “critical line” – 10-feet above sea level - around
NOVEMBER 2006 - MAY 2007. Identify high visibility sites. Plan the design, fabrication, and placement of markers. Write text for markers and stencils. Have the markers and stencils fabricated. Hire an administrative assistant. Submit applications for all necessary permits. Continue networking and research to identify funding prospects; initiate contact with potential funders; submit co
JUNE 2007 - SEPTEMBER 2007. Sea Change is enacted in
I have, of course, continued to refine and update the proposal. The recent letter of intent was even more clear and concise than this proposal. (And this one was better than the LMCC and BAC apps). I don't want to keep posting the proposals though, so I will maybe do every other one or something like that. If you have questions about the proposal, the budget, or how you can be involved let me know!
Friday, December 08, 2006
" What sets climate change apart from these other crises is that most people can't see the problem -- CO2 gases are invisible. If you could see them and they were colored red, 50 years ago it would have looked like a small brush fire smoldering around the world, and today it would look like a wildfire raging across the globe. We desperately need leaders who can help bring visibility and forge solutions to this imperceptible menace before it's too late."Indeed.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I was honestly feeling a bit burnt on the project, but this woman has the amazing power to re-invigorate me, put the passion back in the project, and here's the kicker, help of understand the project in new and different ways. Today we were working on a letter of intent for a fumeds that doesn't normally fund art projects. They will consider an art project that meets their criteria, which includes a transformative project for the person undertaking it and it should have an affect on people's lives.
We talked about what the physical act of drawing the line will be. I had certainly thought about this, but hadn't investigated in depth how transformative that act will be. I will be out on the street laying down this blue line on the street and through people's neighborhoods. I will get the full range of responses, from full support, to surprise, to passing interest, to annoyance and even anger.
The really beautiful thing, in my opinion, is the potential for these one on one reactions and that very range of emotions. How much more powerful is a message when it is part of a one on one conversation. A key word in that sentence is conversation. I don't expect to go out and deliver a message (that would be awfully conceited). I hope to be able to talk to people, to hear their stories and experiences and to find a common ground.
Undoubtedly this will be a transformative project for me.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I wanna let you in on a little secret...
This scarcity model that the arts world operates on?
Not only is it not sustainable and false, its just plain stupid. How many of you out there in the art world have bought into the idea that there isn't enough money, space, opportunities (whatever, you fill in the blank) to go around?
Hmmm, that's kind of an old fashioned idea.
If we, as artists, want to be successful, we really have to start thinking more strategically and working to ensure our own collective success. The more artwork that is out in the world, the more of a chance that someone will see it, be moved by it, and want more of it.
It is also important that we all stop devaluing our own work. Don't offer your services, your skills, for anything less than what they are worth. It artwork (and I am talking about visual, performing, literary - all the arts) is perceived as having a low value, how will it ever be perceived as having a higher value than it is currently assigned?
As artists (particularly in America) we underwrite the countries culture. Art can't solve all the problems, but it can provide insight and understanding, it can act as a catalyst to greater things and it enriches our collective soul in a way nothing else can. It has value.
This scarcity model that the arts world operates on? Not only is it not sustainable and false, it's just plain stupid. How many of you out there in the art world have bought into the idea that there isn't enough money, space, opportunities (whatever, you fill in the blank) to go around.
Hmmm, that's kind of an old fashioned idea. If we as artists want to succeed, we really have to start thinking more strategically and working to ensure our own collective success. The more artwork that is out in the world, the more of a chance that someone will see it, be moved by it, and want more of it.
It is also important that we all stop devaluing our own work. Don't offer your work, your services, your skills for anything less than what they are worth. If artwork is perceived as only having a low value, how will it ever be perceived as having a higher value than it is currently assigned?
As artists (particularly in America) we underwrte the counties culture. Art can't solve all the problems, but it can provide insight and understanding, it can act as a catalyst to greater things, and it enriches our collective soul in a way nothing else can.
I am working on the letters of intent at this point. After learning about writing an in-depth project proposal for the application, it can be hard to then scale it back and really approach the sales pitch in a shorter format. I still have to get the idea across, and explain why I am appropriate for the project, but in a lot fewer words.
By the way - anyone have any comments of the notorious globally warmed weather we are having in NYC? Did you also notice the extraordinarily high Air Quality Index of the past few days. When I first moved to NYC (the first time - 13 years ago) the air here was pretty good. Most of our pollution blew into New Jersey or off to the sea. It didn't really hang around the island. Now with so many wealthy people living in Manhattan and even Brooklyn, there are a LOT more cars on the road (notice that?) with the increased traffic we have increased smog - thats why breathing in NYC is equivalent to smoking a pack a day.
Image at top: Woman planting flowers in New York's Union Square Park on the first Earth Day. (©Bettmann/Corbis. off the Pollution Issues website.)
Friday, November 10, 2006
Bloging live from Green Brooklyn, part 2
Panel 2, The Natural Environment with Brooklyn Botanic Garden, ConEdison Solutions, Gaia Institute, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Slow Food USA, Solar Energy Systems, and Sustainable Table (the meatrix guys). Right now we are listening to the story of compost, I take my compost to the Farmer's market in Fort Greene, this part weekend I got a nice little container of it back. San Francisco, as part of their efforts to divert 75% of its waste from the dump, a large scale residential compost pick up program was enacted. The compost was resold to farmers in the surrounding areas. After about a year, the compost was a highly sought item. It seems to me that New York is an ideal place to create an extensive composting project. Apparently we already have a large compost center on Riker's Island.
Now we are listening to a discussion on the damon value of the urban jungle (my term), including street trees which save the city $3000 each year from their carbon sequestering and capturing rainwater runoff.
We just heard about the slow food movement and are now hearing about the perils of factory farming (antibiotics, manure lagoons, i will add a link because they are enormous). Next up, my dream city presented by Gaia. Green roofs, green streets, living edges and blue waters, creating a sustainable New York City. Storm water capture, permeable surfaces, urban wetlands, retring brownfields. Living edges means getting natural filters (like mussels). It's an incredibly nice day for sitting inside, but if we can make even half these ideas work we could have a lot more beautiful days.
The hardest part of these conferences are the question periods. I often think it would be more interesting to have the panelists discuss amongst themselves.
Final presentation for the day, the architects, Workshop/APD, who won the Global Green competition to design a green low income complex in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward.
Following that was a "workshop" on transportation that because of time was focused on bicycling (which is fine with me). The presenter was really rushed and anxious to get across to the audience some points about which she was clearly passionate, all of which made for a rather frantic presentation. She did have some salient points to pass on including the idea that all a biker really wants is safe space (thats why they/we sit in crosswalks instead of squeezed between traffic and parked cars, its why a biker might jump a light - to get ahead of the traffic that is going to squeeze him out when passing the double parked car). She also talked about the idea that if bikers were better respected, then bikers will be more respectful (of traffic laws). As it is, bikers and pedestrians are forced to share precious little space while automobiles (and the 10% of new yorkers who drive them) take up the lion's share of the road. It would be nice to have a more car-free city - have you ever noticed how different the city looks when viewed from the middle of the street - its really cool! (You can stop on some streets in SoHo and look around - but most of the streets are too traffic-ridden to even try). For more information on livable streets - check out StreetsBlog.org and Transportation Alternatives (who could just as easily rename themselves traffic alternatives).
Thursday, November 09, 2006
i have the final installment from Green Brooklyn, but my phone battery died, I will get it up tomorrow.
Random thoughts from the Green Brooklyn conference. Another thing that Jeffrey Hollender talked about was "real cost" the idea that if the actual cost of a thing (the cost of long term affects of pesticides on the land and workers, the cost of transporting foods and the carbon emissions effects from that.) You might remember that I want to do a project on that - to create a coffee shop "The Real Cost Cafe".
Next thought, why is it that at these events there are always lots of bits of trash to pick up? There's a 'gift bag' - I don't even know what's in it, I didn't pick one up because I don't need any more stuff. Then there are lots of little niggly brochures. Can't you just beam the info to my phone or something? Or take my email (not on a piece of paper, let of just input it directly) and you can email me more information.
Bloging live from Green Brooklyn!
Marty Markowitz started us of with the typically ebulliant Marty style. One thing he talked about was understanding global issues at the local level. That's a key part of Sea Change, so you can bet I will be trying to get a little face time with him!
He was followed by Jeffrey Hollender, President/CEO of Seventh Generation who gave an extemporaneous talk on business and sustainability. Although he was hesitant to use the term "sustainable" because he thought it was too vague. I have to agree, I also want to know just what it is that we are sustaining. We can't really sustain the current patterns (of population, lifestyle, business, etc).
We are now in the first panel "The Built Environment" with a somewhat diverse panel, including Bettencourt Green Building Supplies, Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education, Conservation Services Group, Earth Pledge, Green Maps and Jonathon Rose Companies. Earth Pledge is doing some really great projects including the green roofs initiative, waste to fuel initiative and future fashion initiative. Their efforts are to promote new technologies in sustainable efforts.
The question session, I am having a little difficulty figuring out just who the audience is for this conference. I am guessing businesses, educators, city officials (at least I hope some of those people are in the audience). More later.
As a side note, check out the original Jonathan Rose Atlantic Center Design. Wouldn't that be a nice alternative?
Monday, November 06, 2006
I don't really have an answer to the first one, maybe a question of emphasis, and for the second question, I am here because I am interested in the role of art in social change, as well as artists working in communities which are not there own. The conference was very interesting, and only occassionally spiraled into a gentrification, anti development (Atlantic Yards, Williamsburg) rant. I would have liked to have seen more discussion on the role of individual artists in the community, but there were some really great organizations there and independent speakers. Sadly, I think they tried to cram waaaaay too much into one day, which meant that there really wasn't that much discussion and some very interesting ideas were only presented in a superficial manner.
A sampler from the day, and people from whom I would love to have heard more from...
- Ann Markusen, Professor, University of Minnesota, Director of H. Humphrey Institue’s Project on Regional and Industrial Economics, author of “ The Artistic Dividend: The Arts Hidden Contributions to Regional Development” (links to a PDF)
- Tom Borrup, Minneapolis-based consultant, and author of “Creative Tools for Community Building”
- Rick Lowe, Sculptor and activist, and founder of Project Row Houses in Houston and Commissioner on the Municipal Arts Commission of Houston
- Esther Robinson, former Program Director of Film/Video and Performing Arts, The Creative Capital Foundation, and founder of ArtHome
- Amy Sananman, Founder and Executive Director of Groundswell Community Mural Project
- Beka Economopoulos and Jason Jones, Artists, Not an Alternative
- Jonathan Lethem, Author and board member of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn
- Kellie Terry-Sepulveda, Co-director of The Point, Bronx
- Rosten Woo, Designer, writer, policy analyst and principal at the Center for Urban Pedagogy
I got to watch the documentary, "Third Ward, TX" which was about the development of Project Row Houses. I knew about the artist installations that happened in the row houses, but didn't realize how much Rick Lowe and the other founders had really put into the community. They developend a Young Mother's Residential Program, to help single mothers go to college. They created a number of educational programs for the kids in the neighborhood, and they have worked to buy land in the area to protect the neighborhood from development. If you get a change to see the documentary (when it is released - we saw a pre-screening) I highly recommend it, it is a fascinating study on how arts and artists can be used in social activism.
I also hope to talk to Amy Sanaman and Rosten Woo about their work in different communities, and how they created effective partnerships with local organizations. One of the issues I am sensitive to in creating the Sea Change project is going into a neighborhood that is not my own and being able to effectively communicate the relevant information (this is why the local partnerships are so important). Tom Finkelpearl, Director, Queens Museum of Art, moderated the discussion on Arts Organizations as Community Partners, and he believed that 'drop in community art' is possible if the artistic vision is clear enough. You can bet I will contact him about that.
11/10: I realize that the excerpt from this run on "No Land Grab:" makes it sound like I might somehow be in favor of the Ratner Atlantic Yards project. I want to be clear that I am definitely not in favor of the development as it currently stands.
I am in favor of massive overhaul of the 421 tax abatement program, and city requirements for additional low-income housing (affordable doesn't mean enough). I am opposed to the massive hulk of a development with unbelievably impermeable street surfaces.
I am in favor of a stringently green development with NO parking, improved transit (although it sits on top of one of the best transit hubs in the city), generous community and public open space, and a development designed with community input.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Hoo-boy! What a roller coaster ride. I have just exited the latest manic phase of this whole thing. Mid October I decide that maybe fiscal sponsorship is a good way to go. I can tap into larger amounts of money and a greater pool of funders. Ford foundation anyone? So I contacted nyfa because I thought I had missed the last seminar. Turns out it was happening that night (fortuitous timing no?) I dropped everything and ran off to the seminar. It, like all of the others was extremely informative. I walked away KNOWING that Sea Change would be a great nyfa fiscal sponsor project. So in I dove. It meant researching grants that would be available to me through an agent and wading through them to determine eligibility and deadlines. Also meant re-working the grant again to fit the nyfa application. I also had an opportunity to submit 2 work samples, so images and a promotional packet were possibilities (of course that means making a packet). And in the middle of all this I was traveling to Philadelphia and Santa Fe with Creative Capital Professional Development Program.
Philly was not a big travel deal, although it was a day away from work. Santa Fe on the other hand, while absolutely brilliant, was quite a lot of time away, and wouldn't you know it, I got sick the night before. So instead of being really productive on the 14 hour journey, I was intermittently sleeping or miserable. I made it through the weekend well enough, I think if I hadn't been sick I would have really enjoyed it. The food, through the haze of illness was very yummy, I loved the liberal use of chilies. My team of consultants were brilliant as always. Colleen with her powerful way of speaking (it is a subtle mix of assurance and gentle) and wonderful turn of phrase. Jackie, the spitfire, full of contagious energy and enthusiasm. Aaron, generous of heart and mind, thoughtful and encouraging, quick to smile and joke. I was introduced to a lovely crop of artist leaders, Erika quietly clever and boisterously creative. Daniel a well dressed charmer with style and elan. And Barbara with unending passion and determination. They all give out so much in the way of information, insight and encouragement. A favorite take away of the artist attendees is "are the dreams big enough, are the steps small
I took a very short trip to Houston on the way home, it was supposed to be a mini grant writing retreat, which it was, and I came back feeling pretty good about the proposal (although knowing it still lacked clarity, but unable to pull it through on my own). I worked on it more over the weekend, them handed it out for some serious editing. It came through that process as a much much better application. I cranked through the final rounds, put together a promo pack (and came up with some great ideas for presentation) got the image cd together, got it all copied, and dropped it off today. I was actually nervous (like knots in my tummy). This weekend will be recovery, then I start putting together a more slick packet and start a couple more grant applications. Thank goodness I added the cost of hiring an assistant into my budget!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I got a phone call from LMCC the other day to let me know that I had forgotten to sign the front page of the grant - whoops! They were nice enough to let me sign it and fax it in. There was an awful lot of hullabaloo at the last minute before the deadline, so it seems fair. Although frequently with the size of applicants that these guys get they could easily just dump it for incomplete application.
A little bit of advice here, if you are applying for a program and that program offers an information seminar - I don't care how many you have attended or how much you think you know - go. Absolutely attend, you can get so much insight into the program and what they expect. We have some really amazing programs here in New York and they all offer informational seminars - what an abundant and informative resource.
Currently I am trying to get bids on design and printing for the outreach part of the project, as well as an estimate from the ad space agency which holds the rights to the bus shelters and bus sides. I have met again with the wonderful people at Solar One and they are really excited about putting together training for people within the community who can then go out and teach members of their own neighborhoods. So I have to start getting in touch with schools in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. One really great program that I have learned about is the "City as School" program. They "offer students a multitude of Learning Experiences that encompass the depth and breadth of New York City's businesses or resources." I heard that one project traced garbage in NYC. I would have loved this program - they have pretty high expectations of their students too, offering something that more closely resembles college studies (with term papers, portfolios, etc).
In other art news, I did make it over to Chelsea on friday - seems that painting is really popular this year. Even the one interesting installation - Matthew Ritchie at Andrea Rosen - was entirely based on paintings and was clearly executed by a 2-dimensionally based artist. I stumbled onto the work of Kwan-Young Chun whose work had been featured in Sculpture magazine in September. I had really liked the photos of the work, but it was less impressive in person. I missed the Jesse Bercowetz and Matt Bua show at Derek Eller which is unfortunate because not only did it look good, a friend of mine assisted on it.
I also got myself down to Dumbo for the Art Under the Bridge festivities. Always nice to drink a way too chocolate-y hot chocolate (is that possible?) from Jacques Torres, while looking at art. The most interesting work was probably the work in the rented Ryder trucks parked on water street. That and Mary Temple at Smack Mellon - I really love her trompe l'oiel paintings of light and shadow. They have such a serene sense of whimsy and mystery.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
The grant applications are in, a lot of initial outreach has been done. At this point I am waiting for responses, setting up meetings and putting together a slick looking packet to present to people. That's kind of a fun part. I made a logo. And some letterhead. And I am working on the website. (Damn good thing I am so incredibly multi-talented).
I did promise a long time ago to post a project description. I finally have a broad NYC one (as opposed to the Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan specific ones required for the grants). So here it is:
Sea Change is a public art installation Â a series of ÂmarkersÂ designating the high waterline predicted as a consequence of global warming - throughout all five New York City boroughs. This work will act as visual reminder of how our lives and those of our children and grandchildren will be affected by climate change.
New York City has almost 600 miles of coastline. World financial infrastructure, tourist attractions, transportation hubs, residential developments and municipal services are at risk of being drastically altered by climate change. Sea Change will trace the topographic contour line of ten feet above sea-level; areas below this line would be subject to frequent inundation from increased cycles of flooding and storm surge resulting from the elevated sea-levels associated with climate change.
The installation, three-foot high, water-filled illuminated markers will be fabricated with ecologically friendly materials. Etched onto the markers will be information on scenarios (2030, 2050 and 2100) during which significant and measurable change will occur in the environment. The information will include factors such as sea-level rise, increased flooding and storm-surge cycles. For example Âyear 2030: sea-level will be 3.5 inches to 9.8 inches above current heights; year 2090: annual flood heights could reach 3.9 feet to 10.5 feet.Â Each progressive installation will consist of about 100 markers and will migrate along the line in intervals of two weeks. Between the markers, a blue chalk line will trace the future waterline.
A website will provide information regarding the project, tips for changing habits and links to additional resources. There will be a public awareness and outreach campaign produced in partnership with local environmental, park conservancy and community groups. This outreach will engage the community residents and workers in a dialogue about the future of their neighborhoods and will target tourists in NYC to indicate how actions, no matter where one lives, have an affect on the impact of global warming. The outreach and campaign will address the effects of global warming and generate ideas for changing habits to reduce the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. The presence of the artwork and the information in the campaign will empower communities to affect their future and will be a catalyst to efforts for change.
By marking the high waterline, residents, workers and visitors to Lower Manhattan will understand how their habits at home will affect the landscape of New York. It provides the community an understanding of how climate change will directly affect their lives and the lives of future generations. Sea Change provides a sense of hope and gives people the knowledge and understanding to see how change in lifestyle and habits will have a direct impact on the shape of New York City.
Feel free to let me know if things are unclear or if there are grammatical mistakes, I am okay fixing this - if it was on the applications, I do not want to know about it at this point! (I am already worried that I should have allocated the money differently on the LMCC grant - and that will mess the whole application up).
The pieces included in the packet are:
map of nyc w/high waterline marked
Is there anything else I should include? I can tailor it to each recipient, but I wanted to make sure I had covered all of my bases. Is a business card overkill? The applications had me doing things like census data, community involvement, bios, resumes, statements, etc. etc.
I plan to send off some packets to my local representatives, as well as some green organizations. If anyone can think of someone who should really have this in their hands, let me know. Also if you can think of any other ways to get money (or know someone at Pollack Krasner, Jerome Foundation or MacArthur...)
Monday, October 02, 2006
In 2000, the World Bank published a map showing that a 1-meter rise in sea level would inundate half of Bangladesh's rice land. With a rise in sea level up to 1 meter forecast for this century, tens of millions of Bangladeshis would be forced to migrate. In a country with 142 million people - already one of the most densely populated on earth = this would be a traumatic experience.I have a really hard time grasping big numbers. I think we all do. Unless you have looked at hundreds of thousands of any one object, its hard to fathom that number. How many of us have ever seen 142 million of anything.
I had read in the book a number of scenarios where millions of people would be forced to migrate for one reason or another. There is also a chart that lists different countries' populations (China: 1,316,000,000, India: 1,103,000,000, USA: 298,000,000) these numbers are equally hard to comprehend.
So I thought it would be interesting to draw maps with little circles representing the populations and/or migrations. (I was picturing this on the huge walls of the current Drawing Center Space). The first thing I wanted to do was draw a lot of circles to begin to grasp the volume. I was able to fill one page of my sketchbook with 2000 circles, which would mean that to represent 2 million people, (2,000,000) I would need 1000 sheets of circles. Then I started thinking, hmm, I can draw about 100 circles per minute. So to draw 2 million circles that would mean 20,000 minutes or 334 hours. That's 14 days of nothing (no sleep, eating or toilet) to draw ONLY 2 million. If I want to represent the almost 300 million of the US, that would take 2084 days, or 6 years! If I was going to do this as a "work project" than to represent just the US, drawing for 8 hours a day would take more than 17 years to draw the circles.
Think about it.
Friday, September 29, 2006
You might imagine that with all the crazy of getting the grant applications completed, studio work might fall off. Well you would be wrong!
I decided that the same weekend I was finishing the apps, that I desperately needed to photograph the four drawings from the Soma series, and a few of the Nucleation series. Along with all of that, I will be updating my website this weekend, I have some images from the maquette for the SuperFun(d) show that my friend Wendy Testu is putting together, the Sea Change images and those I just photo'd this weekend.
I am looking forward to getting back to some more of the Soma and Nucleation series, also hoping to put together a maquette of a tree root project I want to do.
Here's the weird thing, perhaps not surprising though, I have not been to any gallery shows at all in ages. Part due to all this work, and part due to the new work schedule. Which I am going to have to address at the end of October. That of course means I will have missed some great shows, including Andrew Schoultz at Jonathan Levine, Christian Maychack at Jeff Bailey, Annabel Daou at Josee Bienvenue, Rebecca Morales at BravinLee, Nicola Lopez at Caren Golden, Stefano Arienti at Morgan Lehman, Janice Caswell at Schroeder Romero, Michelle Forsyth at Hogar Collection, Augusto Arbizo at Roebling Hall (Chelsea)...
Hmmm, maybe I should find some time to go this weekend.
I have continued making connections and keeping Sea Change alive. I now have been talking to the Sierra Club, who just did a project in SF called futuresea.org which taped the sea level predicted if the greenland ice sheet melts. I also am hoping to work with Time's Up to arrange a bike tour of the route.
Anyone else have some interesting projects in the works out there?
Also, if you are on my email list, expect to get one of my very infrequent updates this weekend.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Yesterday I got an email from LMCC saying "[we are] experiencing serious technicaldifficulties with our online application, which we've been working to fix for a few days without positive result."
AUUUUGGGGHHHH! No, I didn't lose any information that I had input. And while I had set up an account (and experienced some technical difficulties myself) I had been crafting everything in a word doc first. What this does mean though is that I now have to be concerned with formating and printing and creating work samples with labels etc. etc. It just blows. The real kicker is that things are still dues on Monday (in office), although they offered an extended deadline to Wednesday if you did create an online account. Kinda think everyone should get an extension no matter what. Well I will be doing a lot of printing this weekend, guess I should get some new printer cartridges... and some decent paper...and new labels... (yeh I do have most of these things on hand, its just hard to change course so late in the process. And yes, I am whining....
I also had a great meeting with Chris from Solar One who was really supportive and excited about the project. He is putting me in touch with a ton of great resources for the fabrication, outreach and possible funding. I have Ben Jervey to thank for that. I also got to meet him at the Good Magazine launch party. Which was in and of itself quite a thing. Loads and loads of people (including Al Gore) in the funky Emergency Arts space.
Okay, enough of all that, off to work on the applications, will update with more information soon (probably this weekend while everything is printing out...)
Wish me luck!!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I spent last Saturday running around with a very suspicious looking tube and a jug of water and l.e.d. flashlight. It got me some strange looks, and some gorgeous photos. I also have completed the first draft of the applications (there are actually three different applications), and hope to get those off for review this afternoon. I also got my images off to the awesome guys at GammaTech, where they turn around slides from digital images in lightning fast speed. Will have the slides in my hands by tonight.
I continued the outreach, emailing notes to Two Trees Developers, Salt Marsh Alliance, Battery Park Conservancy, Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment, Neighborhood Open Space Coalition among others. Haven't heard from any of them. On a bit of a whim, I emailed Ben Jervey - the guy who wrote Big Green Apple (my guidebook for living in the city), and he forwarded my information on to Solar One! What a great guy! I have a meeting with them on Thursday and hope to get them on board in any way they might be interested.
I also contacted the Public Art Coordinator at NYC Parks, who was very nice and responded right away with the information that since my installation would be under 2 weeks, I have to apply for a special event permit and that goes through the borough offices. I will have to wait and apply for those when I have a timeline.
Finally, have applied for general liability insurance so that I can get a quote back on that.
Will post the project descriptions next (one for Lower Manhattan and one for Brooklyn).
Links coming soon, gotta go to work!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I think may be losing my mind - or maybe it is just full.
I got the proposal out for a first sound of edits and have gotten back some great feedback and tips. I also contacted a couple of brooklyn organizations (brooklyn center for urban ecology and the marine park salt marsh learning center) and developers (two trees in dumbo and x in williamsburg). I got a quote on the solar powered l.e.d's - too expensive. I have not heard back from fabricators, but did put together a mock piece to photograph for some digital mock ups. Once that is done I can contact the parks department and submit as well as find out about the insurance. I have started writing the parts of the application that deal with location and audience.
Anyone want to help? I could use a lighting expert and someone familiar with fabrication and installation of this kind of thing!
I think this is invading other parts of my life, my head is so full of and busy thinking about the project that i am getting scattered and forgetful. Probably doesn't help that the cat and dog are both sick (maybe allergic to each other?!?) and there are other unexpected things happening to make me feel a bit insane...
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I can't even remember at this point how I came up with the idea, but I remember a while back seeing maps (and even a 3d animation) of the potential flooding of NYC as an affect of global warning. It struck me as pretty powerful information. I also have been interested in bringing my artistic practices and environmentalism together (particularly given the political climate and the actual climate).
The first idea was actually the rooftop greening project, but I knew that was a much bigger undertaking, so when the Sea Change project came to me I decided to pursue that first. The original vision of the idea was for a more complicated semi-permanent iceberg type markers around the city. Then it went to a poster campaign in bus shelters and on walls. Then it morphed, merged and changed into it's current incarnation. I did a good amount (believe me there will be a lot more) of research, and read some papers (Hot Nights in the City, and Sea Level Rise in New York City) to get an idea of just what we were talking about. Then I started researching grant opportunities and resources for information regarding public art...
And I think that pretty much brings us up to speed.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
No, the post below isn't real (will be one day though!), it's just a tool I use for thinking and writing about my work or a specific project. By writing a "newspaper report " I am forced to do a couple of things which are useful: 1) describe what the work looks like 2) explain the concept of the work in plain English 3) come up with key words and phrases about the project which are catchy. In doing these exercises (which may vary in their level of success) I can develop an objective description of the work.So why did I post that and why am I telling you this?I am deep in the process of making the work "A Sea Change" a reality, and the process can be very involved and time consuming, but also maybe interesting. Given that and the crazy schedule I have, random thoughts on art and going to galleries doesn't really look possible, so instead I thought I would take you along for the magic carpet ride that is community art.Here's what I have done so far:
- first draft of a project proposal (I will post it shortly)
- attended the seminar for Brooklyn Arts Council grants
- met with a BAC representative (we spent an hour and a half reviewing the proposal and budget)
- met with Creative Time representatives through their Open Door program - a question asking opportunity
- identified a few community/environmental groups as potential partners (need more if anyone has any suggestions)
- preliminary quotes on fabrication
- initial research on lighting options
- mapping of Brooklyn topo line
- initial background research
- LMCC seminar
- initial contact letter to orgs, gather census data for neighborhoods
- send proposal to editors (friends good at writing)
- new estimate for fabrication with recycled materials
- initial draft of BAC application
- select images for use in proposal
- build mock up for photographing.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Ms Mosher recently completed her first public artwork, a sea change, in which she marked the line of global warming storm surge with a delicate line of light in Brooklyn parks and along streets in such diverse waterfront neighborhoods as Greenpoint, Dumbo, Sheepshead Bay and Coney Island. Her continuing work will have her mapping out the storm surge line along the waterfront of Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx.
Her goal for the project was to bring global warming into the real world for New Yorkers. Mosher says, "New York, with it's extensive coastline is particularly at risk for the affects of global warming - the rise in sea level, coastal erosion, salt marsh depletion, and the increase in the drought-flood cycle." Ms. Mosher was also concerned about being a "harbinger of doom without offering solutions." To offer those solutions, she teamed up with local environmental organizations to develop a public awareness campaign which consisted of a website as well as posters and workshops around Brooklyn. The campaign promoted cheap and easy ways for New Yorkers to have a positive affect on global warming which included simple tips like using compact fluorescent light bulbs, buying local produce and reducing car trips.
Ms. Mosher already has plans for her next project, which she says is an urban take on an infamous earth work in which 10,000 trees were planted in Finland. Ms. Mosher plans to have New York residents greening their rooftops. She says these oases provide not just a wonderful social space (she calls it "the stoop for the 21st century"), but has a measurable affect on the "heat island" affect in New York.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
In other news I was asked by a gallerist out in California to send out some works for her to use in the Sunset Magazine "Idea House." Its this house that they build every year that includes interesting or innovative design ideas. (The outdoor house is pretty cool). This years house was designed in conjunction with Popular Science Magazine and is a "house of innovation". The gallerist asked me to send out 'fragile' 'a matter of time' and the 'eccentricites' series of drawings. Unfortunately the installations were apparently too 'edgy' (for a house of innovation?), but the drawings are up in the house, and they are pretty tech looking (ink on film, plexi sandwich frames with exposed hardware). 'fragile' though is currently living in the Design Within Reach studio in Palo Alto for now though. So if you are out on the West Coast, or visiting the west coast and feel like an art diversion, go check it out. (The Sunset House opens September 8).
I have also been learning an awful lot about the grant application process. I have previously applied for grants that were pretty individual (even though some were project based they were studio based work). I have started along the process of a public art proposal (the first of two I have in my head right now). Here's the project descriptions (not final descriptions, which will be better):
Project 1: Sea Change
A sculptural installation which demarcates the high water line that will occur in the years 2050 and 2080 due to global warming, also shows levels of storm surges due to a category 2 storm hitting NYC. This project will occur in conjunction with a public awareness campaign regarding practical tips to improve personal habits which affect global warming.
Project 2: 10,000 Trees Redux (working title)
Based on the Agnes Denes 10,000 trees project which was 'dedicated to benefit future generations with a meaningful legacy.' The redux is an effort to green roofs in the NYC area. The greening of roofs provides a
measurable impact on the 'heat island' affect of the dense urban environment. It also creates unique social spaces which increase neighborly communities.
Both of these projects have interesting environmental and social implications which I will delve into further as the projects develop. Right now I am combing through the different reports on the sea level rise in the NYC region and northeast. There are so many implications with the rise in sea level - storm surge, water supply, seasonal changes, impact on wetlands, coastal erosion... My hope though is to not just bring bad news, but to bring awareness and ways for people to make changes (reasonable) in their daily lives that could have a positive impact on the global warming trends. I also want to provide them and their politicians with an understanding of important infrastructure issues that need to be addressed (can you imagine if ALL of the tunnels - subway, train and car - flooded?)
My plan is to find one or more environmental or community groups with whom to partner to bring this project to fruition. (That in conjunction with the grant applications for the public and community arts grants). If anybody has any suggestions, please let me know, its a daunting task!
I feel fortunate to have come upon two programs which may prove invaluable in this process. The first is the grant application process for the re-grants at Brooklyn Arts Council. They provide a super detailed level of information in their application packet and hold appointments for artists to ask questions. There application should help making filling out others a lot easier! The second program which is really really cool for someone just starting out in the public arts sector is the Creative Time Open Door program. They invite artists to come in and meet with key people for 20 minutes to ask any questions at all which you might have regarding the making and showing of public art. Then they tell you feel free to email if you have further questions. My meeting was helpful in understanding about temporary installations. I plan to follow up with questions about working with the park systems, and installing on city streets...
In the midst of all of this I received a boost of sorts. I have been watching the goings on over at the Fine Art Adoption Network, and have applied for a couple of items. The other day I happened upon a couple of great drawings by Nick Holliday. I applied for one of them, and HURRAY! I was chosen as the lucky adopter. Below is an image of the piece, and you can read some of the adoption story here. If you love art, and think you could provide a nuturing environment for some in your home, make sure to check out the Fine Art Adoption Network for yourself.
Those are the updates such as they are. I am looking forward to the gallery season kicking off again, even though I missed some good shows over the summer. Don't expect to see me on opening night, but I will let you know
what I find when the crowds clear out.