The Vermont Sail Freight Project is a sail-powered transportation company, delivering sustainably farmed products to families and retailers along the historic Champlain-Hudson waterway. Sailing barge, Ceres is named for the Roman goddess of agriculture, ferries shelf stable foods from the Champlain Valley, Vermont and the Adirondack region down to New York City and ports between maximizing wind power over costly and polluting fossil fuels.
The goal is explicit: to advance a carbon neutral distribution model that supports the local farm economy. Our sailing barge combines traditional technologies (sail power, rigging, winches and pulleys) with the power of crowd-sourced investment, internet commerce and grange-hall cooperative kitchens.
The sailing barge carries non-persishable and preserved agricultural products such as jams, jellies, pickles and condiments, along with potatoes, garlic, and other storage crops, dry beans, rice, dried herbs, maple syrup, honey, hard cider—all sustainably produced by farmers in NY area community. Some products are fermented, some dried or preserved with vinegar or sugar, processed in state-verified 20-c facilities by farmers and co-packers.
The Science Barge located in Yonkers, NY is a prototype, sustainable urban farm and environmental education center. It is the only fully functioning demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in New York City. The Science Barge grows tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero chemical pesticides, and zero runoff.
This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years, director Matt Anderson traveled 16,000 miles to document firsthand our modern industrial world and the environmental destruction in its wake. In the process, he discovered exciting strategies to help humanity transcend the coming ecological and psychological crisis.
Some of today’s most progressive thinkers, from anthropologists and bio-architects to psychologists and journalists, collectively recreate a story of humanity and the history of Earth, illuminating a desperately needed new path for us to take. Fall and Winter is a survival guide for the 21st Century.
A Film Screening and Q&A with the director, Matt Anderson
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013, 7:00PM - 10:00PM, at Cooper Union - 41 Cooper Squaremore →
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”
Boucheroite rag rugs at LOVE ADORNED in NYC: http://blog.loveadorned.com
“Boucherouite rugs ( Boucherouite meaning “rag” in Moroccan Arabic) are a recent pan-Moroccan phenomenon brought on by the loss of the nomadic lifestyle of the Amazigh people, though they are often referred to as “Berber”. No longer a nomadic people dependent on sheep herding, these artisans have adapted to the changes by mixing wool with cotton rags to keep the tradition alive. With dramatic colors and patterns, these one of a kind pieces combine the casual ease of cotton with an artful, collage-like aesthetic”
The free canary warbles
In leafy forest dell:
Who feels what rapture thrills her,
And who her joy can tell?
The sweet canary warbles
Where wealth and splendor dwell:
Who knows what sorrow moves her,
And who her pain can tell?
- Morris Rosenfeld
Installation by Spencer Tunick
“Employing a combination of natural and industrial materials, my interest lies in articulating humankind’s desire to take command over the earth, revealing distinct conflicts with ecology, politics and ourselves in large-scale installations that utilize architectural space in a distinct, powerful and imposing manner”
Cloud made of plastic bottles which brought to life a local myth in Vrindavan, India.
“The Life Instinct” solo show by Anne Percoco celebrates makeshift solutions, survival instincts, and reuse of discarded material. The centerpiece is a scrappy yet intricate hut assembled from scavenged materials and textural handmade elements, which visitors could enter and sit inside.more →
Above: Artworks by Lara de Moor.more →
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”
Felted fox hat by Vaivanat
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?”
Laneways of Oak Bay and Fairfield, Summer 2010.
(Laneways are narrow alleys behind buildings common in British Columbia, Canada.)
Photographs by Victoria (British Columbia, Canada) artist Ali Bosworth.
Above: DIY wooden toy car
Above: DIY scarecrow
Above: DIY sleds
Above: DIY bird feeder
Above: DIY stool
Above: DIY bench
Above: Rhododendrons blooming everywhere.
Above: Blueberries. Not yet ripened
Carless days. Catching a train from New York City, Penn Station to Sloatsburg then hiking to Harriman State Park(Upstate New York)more →
Avoska, translated as “just in case” is a Russian net bag. Avoska collapses to fit inside your fist and expands to hold 12 grapefruits. It is easy to wash and boxes edges do not rip it’s threads. Best of all, it prevents plastic bags from gathering in your kitchen corner or the world’s landfills. With the popularization of plastic bags after the 90’s (after the fall of Soviet Union) avoska bags gradually went into disuse in Russia.
Above: Russia 1959. People carrying avoska bags. Photo: Carl Mydans.
Contemporary Russian folklore: Once upon a time in Russia there lived a simple little net bag - Avoska. Everyone loved her. People took her with them everywhere - to the store, farmers market and even birthdays. But then….plastic bags came and people forgot about Avoska. To see what happens next watch this really adorable 3 minute film on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/avoska
Above: Boy hugging avoska bag from short “Avoska” film (See above)
Read blog dedicated to Avoski: http://avoski.livejournal.com/more →
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
Illustration by Maayan Pearl and Emily Keegin.
Read article in Bloomberg Businessweek
“Desire to Disappear” is a film by Minnesota based artist Alec Soth. Alec Soth traveled across America looking for people who’ve retreated from society. Below are some of Alec’s photographs and quotes from his film.
“This is Alec Soth. So I am a photographer and the project I am doing deals with the subject of retreating from the world. That can involve everything from hermits to monks.”
“I think it is something in the culture right now and is, in some ways, preparation for the decline of the American empire.”
“A part of it is a fantasy of having retreat”
“It is not really about running away. It is about the desire to run away.”