Midway is a photography project by Chris Jordan
“On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.
For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.
- Chris Jordan, Seattle, February 2011”
William Miller: “To look into the Gowanus canal is to gaze into the eyes of a corpse. It is murky and clouded over but if you look closely you can see life and light reflected in the mercury, feces and coal tar that drift in the canal like malevolent clouds. This uncomfortable cohabitation is the foundation of a photographic study of the strangely beautiful horror that the canal hosts”
Buttons from top to bottom: water lily, lily of the valley, first flowers, chamomile, bluebells, thistle, cornflower, russel muhroom, oak, blackberry, red under aspen mushroom.
“Miracle on the Mountain” by Clarence Schmidt. Clarence Schmidt was locally and nationally renowned outsider artist - an iconic pioneer of monumental environmental sculpture. His ongoing life’s work, the “Miracle on the Mountain,” was constructed of found objects and recycled materials between the years 1940-1972, which evolved on the back slope of Ohayo Mountain, in Woodstock NY.
In 2009, Grimes (Canadian singer-songwriter Claire Boucher) and her then-boyfriend from Tennessee constructed a 20-foot houseboat, named the “Velvet Glove Cast in Iron,” with the intention to sail it down the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to New Orleans. The cargo included chickens, a typewriter, 20 pounds of potatoes and a gifted copy of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Due to engine trouble and subsequent harassment from the Minnesota police, the journey was cut short and the houseboat and chickens were impounded. Above: Grimes.
Mississippi house boat.
Poster by Federal Art Project, W.P.A, Ohio , US 1938. (Ohio is a buckeye state) Image found in The Library of Congress Photostream
Both films center around the sudden disappearance of honey bees from beehives around the world, caused by the poorly understood phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. Vanishing of the Bees does not draw any firm scientific conclusions as to the precise cause or causes of CCD, it does suggest a link between neonicotinoid pesticides and CCD. Queen of the Sun explores the historical and contemporary relationship between bees and humans.
Artwork by Adam Makarenko.
Stunningly dizzying handwoven saltillo sarapes at the Museum of American Indian. “The earliest Saltillo Sarapes, from before about 1850, employ hand-woven wools and organic dyes (indigo, vegetal green and ivory/natural wool—including an extremely costly red dye, cochineal, produced by pulverizing cochineal bugs, a parasite of the nopal cactus. The designs of these early sarapes, generally a diamond of some sort, are linear and geometric. Sarapes are distinct from the world’s other great textile traditions. There are eye-dazzling effects, particularly in the central medallion, and some early examples vibrate like a piece of Op Art”
Once upon a time there lived a cloud. She gave birth to a lot of children (raindrops) and decided to make a nest for them. She built a nest and started moving her children. But she had so many of them that they did not fit into her palms, so some of them dropped down to the ground as rain. One of the smallest raindrops was there too. It dropped into a puddle. From a puddle there was a small stream. Small raindrop got into a stream, from which it got into a river. It swam through a river as a bubble. Bubble woke up in the morning and saw that it is floating not in the river anymore but in the air, and it is not a bubble anymore but a mist. On it’s way it also saw a lot of other mists. On the way of it’s journey it became a cloud.
Girl and Echo is an independent Lithuanian film about childhood, friendship, freedom and nature.
Wild strawberries grown in our backyard in Brooklyn this summer. Last year’s photos of wild strawberries: http://www.blog.designsquish.com/wild-strawberries
“Evidence from archaeological excavations suggests that wild strawberry has been consumed by humans since the Stone Age. It was widely cultivated in Europe until the 18th century, when it began to be replaced by the garden strawberry, which has much larger fruit and showed greater variation, making them better suited for further breeding.”
Was Henry Darger inspired by postcard above?
Hand kranked + solar powered radio by Kikkerland:
Do-it-yourself beach tents. Black Sea, Russia 1970’s. All you have to do is pack a sheet and find some driftwood when you get there.
I am happy to share this interview with Matt Anderson, an amazing filmmaker and artist. In fact, Matt has almost completed his very first feature length documentary, Fall and Winter. The film focuses on environmental issues, but interestingly enough the underlying message doesn’t stop with political action to “change the world.” Fall and Winter inspires us to take matters into our own hands, often quite literally by working with our hands. Building our own homes, growing our own food, and other such practices may require us to alter our current world views, but will ultimately help achieve a much more sustainable lifestyle.
Q: What would be a dream come true?
A: To witness an extraordinary stage of evolution in human consciousness. I think this is happening one way or another.
Q: What did you like about growing up in Vancouver?
A: When I was about 6 or 7 we moved from the city to a small, unserviced island off the coast of Vancouver. There were no cars or stores, and all water and power had to be self-contained. I commuted to school every day on our boat. No matter how big the waves were we had to jump into the dinghy and make it to the mainland. I think this gave me a deep love and respect for the forces of Nature, and set the foundation for my values today.
Q: Why/where/when did you decide to make “Fall and Winter”?
A: There really is no beginning point for this film. For years I was fascinated by conspiracies as a modern mythology - a realm of free thought where fantasy and history co-existed in pursuit of meaning and truth. I went to some conspiracy conventions and read stacks of books about the New World Order, UFO’s and ‘hidden history’. Somewhere along the way I began to migrate from asking ‘what if…?’ and towards ‘what is…?’. This lead me to a small conference in the Silicon Valley called ‘Global Catastrophic Risks’ about 3 years ago. 30 scientists were meeting to discuss the myriad of threats facing life on earth, and strategies to mitigate these threats (if possible). I began to understand that what is really happening is more fascinating and important than the realm of conspiracy. I decided that the film had to be about the massive changes occurring on our planet - and the people facing this challenge head on.
Q: What are some things that inspire you?
A: To me, it’s important to be inspired both by positive and negative forces. I am driven by the beauty of Nature, the things that my dear friends create and also by the destructive practices rampant around the globe. I think it’s important to be full of love and also mad as hell!
“Fall & Winter is a documentary that explores the origins and present-day realities of our global crisis to better understand the catastrophic transition we have now entered. Over the past year we’ve traveled 15,000 miles around the country, documenting various aspects of both the collapse and rebirth happening all around us. The film highlights a variety of ways in which individuals are creating innovative, sustainable methods of living in adaptation to their environment, and fostering in their communities a vital transformation in the way we live on this planet.”
Bloom Magazine launched by one of the most famous trend forecasters, Lidewij Edelkoort. This blog posting is an excerpt from Bloom Magazine article “Newer flower Children”. “The flower child is back. The signs are around us: along with the rise of the musical genre known as freak folk and the nature-espousing counterculture that goes with it, we live at a time of defiance by hair. “
Everywhere you look you see dreadlocks, beards, and fantastical moustaches. Hair is being employed as a tool of expression and rebellion, an assertion of values that go counter the status quo.
“Over the past several years we’ve seen a re-awakening of responsibility for the environment, a desire to live simpler lives, a revival of community, an appreciation for the handmade, the small-scale and the humble, all symptoms of an urgent realization that it’s time to seriously confront our more serious habits as a species. It’s if the flower-child ethos took a break for fifty years, re-emerging in a more developed form when the world had reached a new pinnacle of self-destructiveness and was particularly in need of its values”
“The flower-child spirit of our time has become a more savvy beast - updated, re-imagined, but familiar. Could this be the decade where people finally get serious about turning things around?”
Above: DIY wooden toy car
Above: DIY scarecrow
Above: DIY sleds
Above: DIY bird feeder
Above: DIY stool
Above: DIY bench
Thirty five leaves silhouettes can be found on http://forestry.about.com
Rainbow Gatherings are temporary intentional communities usually held in outdoor settings, and espousing and practicing ideals of peace, love, harmony, freedom and community, as a consciously expressed alternative to mainstream popular culture, consumerism, capitalism and mass media…Rainbow Gatherings are an expression of a Utopian impulse, combined with bohemianism, hipster and hippie culture, with roots clearly traceable to the 1960’s counterculture. Mainstream society is commonly referred to and viewed as “Babylon”, connoting the participants’ widely held belief that modern lifestyles and systems of government are unhealthy, unsustainable, exploitative and out of harmony with the natural systems of the planet….The first Rainbow Gathering, a four-day event in Colorado in July 1972, was organized by youth counterculture “tribes” based in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. - wiki