Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Round Two!

In what seems to be an endless cycle of grant applications, I am on to round two. With the LMCC and BAC applications safely tucked away and in the review process, I attended a seminar at NYFA the other evening to learn more about their fiscal sponsorship program. This would be a great resource for me since with it I can tap into foundation grants regarding environment, social change, and community arts.

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

Making it all look SLICK

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 – a series of “markers” 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 “year 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.” 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
press release
artist profile

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

By the numbers...

I was reading "Plan B 2.0 - Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble" while on the train the other day (it's when I get most of my work and thinking done). I came across the following paragraph:
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.