Archive for the ‘Kyoung’ Category


Fair Well Reclamation


My time as a member of the Reclamation collaborative has come to an end.  From the unadulterated idealism of conceiving Planetarium through the sobering reality of breaking down Terrarium, the past nearly two years of co-creating, -participating, and -growing Reclamation has been a profound learning experience.

From the start, I always considered Reclamation an inclusionary amoeba of a project.  That consists, yes, of Drew Denny, John Matthew Heard, Edwina Portocarrero, Claudia Slanar, Morgan Gerstmar, and myself, but also and arguably more importantly includes Jennifer Styperk, Ben Segall, Charles Mallison, Sara Roberts, Tom Leeser, Norman Klein, Seth, Jared Woodland, Caroline Chang, Niki Roussou-Schindler, the students at the Whitman Continuation School, Emily Shaw, Carlo Martinez, Darrell T. Watson, Eddie Moreno, Hans, Hein, Jens, Jorge, Rand Vorhies, Jenna Eyrich, Eric Ritz, Lara Bank, Jantine Wjinja, Josine Siderius, Wouter Sibum, Tom Leeser, Norman Klein, Gerhard Schultz, Julia Holter, Amy, Angele, Erik, Nick, Rosan, Tjeerd, Cherelle, Denise, Devin, Kaj, Liam, Sabine, Sade, Brian, Daisy, Daniel, Jeffrey, Joelle, Maxime, Anh tuan, Annabeth, Ebru, Mike, Sara, Thomas, and Veronique of Richard Beharry’s Class 2S at Copernicus, Kristy Fenton aka Modern Witch, Robert Joe, Esq., Sade, Gerritt, Tonya, Trudie, Hazel Hill McCarthy, John Heard, Rachel, Daiana Feuer, Actually Huizenga, Big Whup, Dublab, Emily Lacy, God=Genocide, Geoff Geis, Human Ear Music, Leaving Records, Michael Nhat, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Cole, Jib Kidder, *SADIE. David Liebe Hart, Souris Hong-Porretta, Celeste Sunderland Gottfried, Gedda Ilves, Jungsoon Kim, Wook Kim, Sahn Kim, Grace Lee, Adele Seuhng Kim, Kathryn Heim, Amanda Estrine, Lee Wang, Wasana Punyasena,Corridor, Aaron Drake, Sarah Ibrahim, Gerard Olson, Teira Johnson, Daniel Pelt, Daiana Feuer, Amanda Jo Williams, Maxi Kim, Golden Hits, Matthew David, Jessilisa Moretti, Maya Gingery, Narinda Heng, Janice Lee, Alex Mack, Stephen van Dyck, John Martin, Hyesun Kim, Changsoo Kim, Jiyuh Kim, Jinhoo Kim, Hope Cho, Niko Solaris, Fritz Haeg, Jen Hofer, Jon Wagner, Steve Erickson, Bruce Bauman, Michaele Simmering, Joe Milazzo, Robert Dansby, Jonathan Rutzmoser, Erica Jackson, Samantha Cohen, Mady Schutzman, Jon Lindsey, Genevieve McCaw Becker, Charlie Becker, the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), the California Arts Partnership (CAP), Fritz Haeg, Global Inheritance, Environmentaland, Sea and Space Explorations, Dome Colony X in the San Gabriel Mountains, Hotel MariaKapel, Echo Curio, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Gerhard, HVC Inzameling, Joop, Alice, The Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, L.A. Record, the Mondrian Foundation,,, Tidepooler, Hustler of Culture, Theme Magazine, the nice woman from the bookshop with the flaming red hair, the people at Snackbar Judith, the kindergarten teacher who reported us as anarchists to the Dutch police and press, all who chose and chose not to Constellate, Mola, Bibi, Jingjing, Moody, Zeus, anyone and everyone who came through our exhibits or read about Reclamation online or off, all who chose to participate in anything, all who chose to refrain, all who did or didn’t think about participating, him, her, them, you, me, it, and anyone I left out on account of a faulty memory and disorganized archive.

I always hoped anyone and everyone would claim Reclamation as their own, to use it and go with it without any permission from the collective, should you/he/she/it/we/they be moved to do so with whatever time and energy you/he/she/it/we/they were willing to spare—for it to become a viral something or other that might offer an alternative and/or an outlet to the pervading limits and dictates of dialogue on the grand themes of belief, our environment, our relationships, our space, and therefore ultimately, ourselves.  I continue to hope for, encourage, and look forward to this.

And so, though this is a FAIRwell to the Reclamation collaborative, it is not one to Reclamation, which I hope we all—group or no—continue to grow, nurture, and realize into a beautiful mess that even supercedes our idealistic horizons.

– Kyoung Kim


Submit to the 2010 FAIR Conference!


Dear Colleague:

I am writing to invite you to exhibit and/or submit to FAIR, an international conference to be held at Hotel MariaKapel, in Hoorn, Netherlands this October 2nd-3rd, which presents breakthrough, innovative, revolutionary, and visionary solutions for people and planet on what is fair. FAIR brings together the leading minds of as many people as possible to determine steps towards a Solution to the troubling, pervading, and systemic problem of unfairness.  To this end, we are actively seeking presentations, solutions, responses, and answers to the following pressing question related to fair-ness:

What is a fair way to deinstall and discard of the materials used for Terrarium at Hotel MariaKapel in Hoorn, NL?

Please find below more information on FAIR and how you can play an integral role in making ours a fair-er world.  Please also note that ALL submissions that meet the DEADLINE of WEDNESDAY, SEPT 29th, will be accepted and presented at and during FAIR. Also, please forward this freely, as everyone is welcome to participate (afterall, it’s only fair…).

I sincerely hope that you will find the time to participate in this experiment-of-a-guerrilla-but-nonetheless-real-and-hopefully-fun-and-enlightening-conference.


Conference Director-Coordinator-Intern-Specialist-Consultant-Freelancer-Peon / /


Overview of FAIR

FAIR is: Art fair. Science fair. Book fair. County fair. World fair. Trade fair. Fair world. Fair trade. Bid fair. Fair deal. Fair use. Fair work. Fair statement. Fair and square. Fair ball. Fair sex. Fair skin. Fair surface. Fair off. Fair enough.  Fair health. Fair weather. Fair weather friend. Fair fight. Fair play. Fair game. All’s fair in love and war… Held during the closing weekend of Reclamation’s TERRARIUM at Hotel MariaKapel, FAIR asks artists, researchers, policy wonks, lawyers, psychologists, waste managers, event organizers, gamers, skaters, and school children, among others, to offer solutions ranging from the practical to the fantastical on how to discard of the materials used for the installation in a way that is “fair.”

Submission Guidelines

1) Answer the question “What is a fair way to deinstall and discard of the materials used for Terrarium at Hotel Maria Kapel in Hoorn, NL?” in any medium you see fit.  How you interpret the question is up to you.  How you answer the question is up to you.  Submissions can be as short or as long as you wish; in any language (or no language) you want; as simple and complex as you desire.

2) Include the following information with your submission:

  • NAME as you would like it to appear on the program
  • BIO of 50 words or less
  • TITLE of your occupation
  • CITY and COUNTRY of your current residence or work
  • IMAGE of yourself for the FAIR website ( A photo/drawing/image–all works.

4) Send your submission via email to or via post to: HMK { HotelMariaKapel }, korte achterstraat 6, 1621GA, Hoorn, NETHERLANDS

5) Submissions must be RECEIVED by Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, Midnight GMT.

To learn more about Terrarium, go to or To learn more about Hotel MariaKapel, go to  To find answers to FAQs, read below.  To find answers to more questions, email with additional questions you may have.  To see what’s going on with FAIR, go to


Q: What is Terrarium? What is it made of?

A: TERRARIUM is an installation and event series created by the Reclamation collective, which recombines practices of art, worship, and exploration in spaces and smashes together with the environmental discourse. TERRARIUM provides a space to share ideas, make a mess, and meditate on our relationship with the environment and thereby, each other.  The TERRARIUM installation was created with used materials collected from the Hoorn recycling center and Hotel MariaKapel from previous installations.  Used materials include lumber, bricks, stones, wine and beer bottles, broken plates and popped balloons from a carnival, plastic bags, old rope, dirt, glass, plexi, nails, screws, paint, plywood, paper, l-brackets, sheets, an organ, cords, water, mirror, eggshells, cardboard, and probably other things I am forgetting at this moment. “New” materials include screws, lightbulbs, wires, plants, silicon, L-brackets, water, fish, fish food, and other materials I am forgetting at this moment.  It is approximately 1 truck container worth of materials.  The installation was built by the four current members of Reclamation (Drew Denny, John Matthew Heard, Kyoung Kim, and Edwina Portocarrero) who were invited to Hotel MariaKapel by the fantastic Jantine Wijnja, Josine Siderius, and Wouter Sibum.

Q: What do you mean by “fair”?  Fair to what or to whom–to Reclamation, Hotel MariaKapel, Hoorn citizens, the Dutch, the world population, children of the future, animals, the planet, the oceans, aliens?  What do you mean?!

A: That’s what we want to know from you.  Please enlighten us.  Seriously.  FAIR is not about what we’re thinking, it’s about what you’re thinking.

Q: What kind of submissions are you looking for?

A: We are looking for what you submit.  In any medium, any genre.  There are no parameters beyond an attempt to answer the question by the deadline.  Video, audio, typed, hand-written, paper, diorama, performance, fluxus, bar napkin or coaster, composition, drawing, food, math problem-esque solution, sculpture, simple, complex, long, short, theoretical, practical, fantastical, feasible, hypothetical, technical, metaphorical, litigious, vague, detailed, etc. etc.—it’s all fair game.

Q: Who is participating in FAIR?

A: We are asking a myriad of people to participate, ranging from artists to engineers at MIT, human rights lawyers, school children, teachers, waste managers, event organizers, writers, musicians, and my mom, among others.  Please feel free to invite anyone and everyone to participate in FAIR.

Q: What about my mom?

A: Yes.  We’d love for her to participate.  Please forward this to her, as well as your father of course, and others who you think might be interested.  The more cooks in this kitchen, the better.

Q: How will my work be presented if I am not in the Netherlands?

A: All of the submission for FAIR will be presented in the gallery of Hotel MariaKapel in fair-like fashion.  Depending on the work submitted, we will have booths and tables set up, as well as projectors and screenings, and schedule presentations throughout the two days.  We have 2 projectors that can screen video, Powerpoint, and other multimedia solutions can be offered.  Should you wish to present via videochat, we can arrange for that as well.  We have a color printer that prints on standard paper should you want solutions printed and presented in a certain way.  We also have audio capabilities to play any audio submissions.  Instructional pieces will be printed and presented; in addition, we hope to perform some of the instructional solutions offered (see examples).

Q: Can you offer some examples of submissions you’ve received and how you are going to present them?

A: Sure.

Ex 1: Set up a milk can toss.  Each time someone topples the milkcans, he/she can take a piece of the exhibit home.
Presentation: We will set up a booth with a milkcan toss in a corner of the Hotel MariaKapel space, and we’ll allow people to play the game and take a piece of the exhibit as their prize.  Just like in a county fair. (In this one, I predict the fish, plants, and lamps will go first.  Maybe the extension cords too.  People are terribly practical).

Ex 2: Have the 4 members of Reclamation sit in a circle and draw straws.  Whoever draws the shortest straw has to move everything out of the gallery space and find a way to get it to the dump.  The other 3 can either nap and/or drink beer.  Straws are impartial, so it’s fair, even if the distribution of labor isn’t.
Presentation: 4 members of Reclamation will sit in a circle and draw straws.  Whoever draws the shortest straw has to move as much as he/she can in the course of an hour while the other 3 nap and/or drink beer.

These are probably the easiest of examples to offer (as they are textual and not, say, audio or a schematic, etc. and also because at the moment a beer or a nap sound really nice).  There are submissions that have taken the problem from a physics perspective or as an engineering issue, others from a political angle, others from a fantastical point of view, others from a semantical one, and so on and so forth.

Q: What will be the outcome of FAIR?  Will there be documentation?

A: Photographs will be taken of the FAIR and a schematic of the FAIR booth placements will be published on the website.  The website will list the presenters, submissions, and an Official Confvergence Report will be pulled together from the submissions.  The Official Confvergence Report will include submission summaries, key points, and action items; it will be uploaded to the website and made available for download by December 2010.




Oxford English dictionary to review

meaning of the word ‘fair’

By Spacey Oxford English dictionary to review meaning of the word ‘fair’  thumbnail

The Oxford English Dictionary is to carry out a thorough review of its entry for the word ‘Fair’ after its meaning has become confused following the government’s continuous use of the word to describe absolutely everything it does.


terrarium cometh!




in thinking about bringing terrarium into a 16th century chapel

Flinging Open Those Stately Salon Doors


VERSAILLES, FRANCE — Two years ago, the Château de Versailles set off a predictable firestorm by displaying works by Jeff Koons in and outside its imposing buildings.

As the old saw goes, there is no such thing as bad publicity, and the Koons exhibition, organized under the directorship of Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the museum’s president, brought much that was useful to any cultural institution these days: attention and visitors. After a show last year by the French artist Xavier Veilhan, the next “guest,” starting in mid-September and running through mid-December, will be Takashi Murakami, a highly successful Japanese artist known among other things for his Manga-inspired works. The intention is to turn this into an annual event, alternating French and foreign artists. Mr. Aillagon is also planning to install some modern artistic chandeliers to replace mock-old lighting and various other decorative touches to what he sees as the more lugubrious parts of the château, as well as giving parts of the famous grounds some more recent touches. Contemporary gardeners!

The visiting contemporary art will predictably leave some people completely indifferent — after all, we are no longer necessarily surprised by unusual art turning up all over the place — and others very happy, or spluttering with rage over a “desecration” of the cultural past. This is of course the whole point of the game of contemporary art that goes Boum. We can be pretty sure that neither Mr. Koons nor Mr. Murakami shed any tears on the way to the bank no matter what is said about their work….


Busy Bees Use Flower Petals For Nest Wallpaper


in thinking about beauty and/in reuse, this article by Kathleen Masterson via npr:

When we think of bee nests, we often think of a giant hive, buzzing with social activity, worker bees and honey. But scientists recently discovered a rare, solitary type of bee that makes tiny nests by plastering together flower petals.


on group work


in prepping for terrarium…

By Jon Kelly
BBC News Magazine
Six would-be astronauts will this week begin a 520-day mock space voyage to simulate a mission to Mars. How will they cope with the huge psychological pressures?

Deep in outer space, millions of miles from civilisation, they say no-one can hear you scream.

The same may not be true of a warehouse in Moscow’s suburbs. But here an audacious experiment is about to try to replicate the cramped, claustrophobic conditions of a voyage across the Solar System.

From 3 June, the Mars 500 project will send a “crew” of six on a simulated 520-day round trip to the Red Planet and back.

The cosmonauts – three Russians, a Chinese, a Frenchman and an Italian – will live and work as interplanetary travellers, spending eight hours a day working on maintenance and scientific experiments, eight hours at leisure and eight hours sleeping.

Organisers at the European Space Agency and Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems hope that the project will offer an insight into how such a mission would function. But above all, the most significant assessment they will make will be how it affects the subjects psychologically.

Any communication between the crew and mission control will be subject to 20-minute delay to simulate the time it would take for signals to reach Earth. Sending a message home and receiving a reply will take two days. Meanwhile, cameras will monitor them 24 hours a day.

With no access to telephones, internet or natural light, breathing only recycled air and showering once every 10 days, the men are certain to have both their individual mental states and group dynamics tested to the limits in the 550 cubic m simulator.

Dr Pete Hodkinson, secretary of the UK Space Biomedicine Association: The ultimate aim is to prepare for and support a successful mission to Mars, which will return with the whole crew in good, stable psychological and emotional health.

Looking to analogous situations, the isolation environments of Antarctic research bases and submariners suggest the top two psychiatric diagnoses are anxiety reactions and depression.

Preparations therefore need to include capacity to diagnose and manage these conditions as well as considering other rarer, but potentially more dangerous, psychiatric conditions such as an acute psychiatric episode.

Through appropriate selection, training and in-flight support it is likely the majority of crew members in both Mars 500 and any real mission will cope with the array of psychological challenges they face without any undue effects on themselves, other crew or the mission.

The scenario is one that already has deep resonance in popular culture. Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Duncan Jones’s 2009 award-winning sci-fi film Moon and, of course, A Space Oddity, the breakthrough single by Jones’s father David Bowie, all use the device of space travel to explore themes of alienation and loneliness.

But if art offers an ominous foretelling of the experiment, the scientists running it are confident that real life will be different.

Patrik Sundblad, head of life science at the Esa’s European Space Research and Technology Centre, says each of the crew members have been subject to careful vetting to ensure that all are both psychologically robust and sufficiently motivated enough to cope with their mission.

He also believes that the information it will generate will be of crucial importance not just to any future Mars voyage, but to the broader understanding of human psychology.

“The real value of this project is that we can obtain data that would be very difficult to obtain any other way,” he says. “We can monitor them 24/7 – that’s very difficult to do in any other setting.

“We can learn a lot about group dynamics and work out how to counteract any changes if they are not positive.”

Few would doubt that the conditions will put the crew under enormous pressure – not least given that one of the Russians, Alexei Sitev, 38, was married only four weeks before beginning the mock voyage.

And while Esa insisted that team spirit remained high during an earlier, 105-day simulation, the length of the mission means that the cosmonauts will be metaphorically flying into uncharted territory.

Prof Paddy O’Donnell, a social psychologist at Glasgow University, is intrigued by the experiment, having studied earlier research into the effects on individual and group psychology of space travel.

He says the most significant point may come around six to eight months into the mission when, studies of submariners and Antarctic research teams have suggested, any tensions are most likely to begin to flare.

The biggest dangers, he says, are boredom; crew members forging emotional bonds, positive and negative, which undermine their professionalism; and, worst of all, the group sub-dividing into social cliques.

The way to get round all this this, he says, is clear leadership, explicit divisions of labour and very strict routines.

“Routines and habits are very calming,” he adds. “You don’t have to think all that much.”

Prof O’Donnell acknowledges that separation from loved ones will be a huge psychological challenge for the cosmonauts.

But he believes two factors will count in their favour. One is that the crew members are scientists, who “tend to be relatively introverted and low on neuroticism – these are practical people and you’d expect them to work together”.

Another is that they know they are on camera. “When you’re visible, you’re more likely to follow the rules,” he adds.

What the six will not experience, however, is the impact of weightlessness or, indeed, the terror and euphoria that comes with real-life space travel.

The danger is that because you know you’re really in a hanger in Moscow, you start thinking: ‘I can’t be bothered’
Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock Space scientist

“Astronauts usually experience a great deal of stress on take-off,” he says. “But after a few days – once they’ve gone round the Moon, as it were – they report an enhanced sense of individual well-being and morale.

“They also tend to report a transcendental experience that comes from being in space and looking down on the planet – obviously, this experiment can’t allow for that.”

What is more, the fact that the mission is simulated is likely to have an effect of its own.

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a space scientist with the satellite manufacturer EADS Astrium and a strong advocate of a manned mission to Mars, believes that the experiment will be extremely valuable – but expects that the main difference between a real and simulated voyage will be the difficulty for the crew in maintaining motivation.

“I think the main challenge for them will be trying to maintain motivation for a long period of time,” she says.

“It’s far less likely this would be a problem if you really were going to Mars. But the danger is that because you know you’re really in a hanger in Moscow, you start thinking: ‘I can’t be bothered’.”

Nonetheless, the crew members will know that, if a mission to the Red Planet ever does take place, they will have played a significant part in it.

And that alone may be enough to get them through all 520 days.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/06/01 09:32:40 GMT



“reterrarium” or “how to use rabbits to represent scale”


note: just to give a lay of the land to anyone who’s reading and our future selves when we forget what all of this is: we’re revisiting the logistics of terrarium.  designs, aims, etc.  taking the initial proposal and reassessing from lessons learned over the last year, evolution, devolution, etc.  each of us took the initial proposal and did what we wanted–fantastical, practical, conceptual, theoretical, literal, physical, liminal, subliminal, criminal, half-baked, fully-baked, dough-like–and sent each other notes and sketches.  with the hopes of seeing where everyone’s minds are at, where we coincide, where we don’t, and where we go from here.  drew and jack have posted their ideas in previous posts.  here’re some of my scribbles and (in)articulations…

* design for smaller, individual terrariums
– smaller terrariums representing the individual
modular terrariums, made from materials that are easy to find, anyone can make, and are constructed in using the least material possible, and therefore efficient in maximizing material. planks of wood are harder to come by, as well as transport. lengths of wood (2x4s, strips, dowels) are easier to come by, easier to transport. glass/plexi hard to come by, plastic bottles are easier to come by. at the same time, as learned from aquarium and warned by hmk, there’s a pretty tight infrastructure in place for plastic bottle recycling, and in bulk, actually pretty hard to come by. on other hand, plastic bags are easy to come by (and can make rope), and are also easy to transport. so both lengths of wood and plastic bags could possibly be prepped before going to hoorn, thereby saving lots of time scavenging everything everything.

so… use these lengths of wood to build basic frames. terrariums are triangular, modular and shallow. use plastic bags to create the base of terrariums — waterproof, and if fused and stretched + basic frame underneath, can offer a pretty solid base for even heavy items. also, no need for sealant.

in terms of using 3d space, terrariums can be cut to different heights, also angled.  also, don’t have to raise terrariums also; legs not necessary.  though lots of possibilities can come with playing with height. stacking terrariums for example?

* design for triptych
– triptych representing the cluster/group
made up of smaller terrariums; don’t know if this has to be a “triptych” or adhere to specific number 3. i imagine it more as representative of the possibilities when people work together, for better or worse. so putting together a cluster of smaller terrariums, perhaps they are distinguished in being larger in size. maybe we configure it, and the whole thing is very orderly and serves as a pretty obvious altar. or, it is configured and so overloaded with vegetation that it starts taking over itself, cannibalizing the wood and structure, and by the end of the exhibit, the “manmade” elements have more or less fallen, and it’s transformed into a monster of vegetation. us letting nature do its thing, start taking over.

* designs a floorplan for the installation
– smaller terrariums are arranged along the city map of hoorn; each terrarium more or less representing a house/building (aka individual) and triptych representing a communal space (aka hmk)
– triptych set where hmk would be on the map

* materials for the installation — where from and what?
– scrap wood, plastic bags, plastic bottles — materials that are readily accessible and in bulk
– indigenous plants that are also hardy and easy to come by — moss, grass, ivy, ferns, whatever’s growing in the area at the time. plants that are easy to grow and can be transported/replanted if need be — weeds, essentially
– additional non-organic materials to add to the visual mix?

* idea of what to do with the terrariums at the end of the installation
give to people who want them. if no one wants them, plant the rest, break down and recycle materials. loved this aspect of aquarium–that all the materials for the aqueduct/pipes were so easy to break down and recycle, that it was literally zero-waste.    bottles recycled; plastic bag rope recycled; steel returned to scrap yard.  also that i know at any time, if/whenever i want to, because the materials are accessible (except the stell, i suppose; but any stick/bar would do), the construction simple, it can be recreated easily and in that way still “exists.”  with both aquarium and planetarium that these are more the beginnings rather than the ending of possibilities; that we’ve constructed objects and spaces that any layman can construct, can take basic designs and material and build upon them.  like legos.  that this is larger than us.  because, well, it is.  (same can be more or less said with planetarium, paper if we’d actually recycled the paper or used the fire to some purpose, though not with the frame which was a recycled pvc frame from another installation)

notes on concept/questions
– individual terrariums and “triptych”/cluster as representation of human individual/society — akin to religious architecture (churches, temples, gudwaras) which reflect the structure of the universe and humanity’s role within it…
– continuing idea of “parts of a whole” running through other installations
– terrarium as a representation of what it would be like if natural environment was central to thought/behavior.
– terrarium installation as incubator/nursery for plants but also ideas; reclamation space as a germinating space, literally and metaphorically
– made of materials easy, accessible, modular — anyone can make, and uses materials efficiently (meaning, not so much waste). this doesn’t necessarily mean we end up using our time the most efficiently–an interesting thing to consider. this idea of “efficiency” and time.
– meditating on what happens when you domesticate wilderness…
– non-interference/minimal interference as action — in conceiving of an installation that attempts to maximize materials and as representation, to essentially bring the nature available in hoorn inside to hmk, addressing some questions about modes of thought related to “action” — social, environmental, otherwise. since reclamation’s inception, there’s been a lot of questioning regarding utility. what’s the purpose/point/function in making a planetarium out of thousands of sheets of office paper or an aqueduct that doesn’t work so well to water a garden that’s getting too much water from a very rainy february? but i wonder, why the fixation on utility? just because we are working with tangible problems, does that mean art has to be equally tangible in its utility? is it not enough to try to make something beautiful by using readily-available materials and incubating/growing what’s already there? if it is not enough, why does there have to be more? i also wonder if this mode of thinking–in equating utility, repurposing, in tinkering as intervention and addressing environmental and social issues, is actually systemic to the problem. the best thing to do to revitalize an ecosystem is to just let it be–chernobyl is a perfect example of this. in the case of some endangered species, there’s the breeding, incubating, reintroduction into the wild programs, etc. which also seek minimal interference, though there is obviously interference in this instance. if the whole planet’s at risk, flora/forests, etc. then even the least exotic of species are in danger–what if this is our version of these programs? maybe this a contradiction of thought? we (humans) are incredibly resourceful, coming up with a myriad ways to use anything and everything — but it’s both a blessing and a curse. it allows us to look at things in so many ways and rethink things (the hammer that isn’t the hammer), but it can also make us greedy (look at all the ways we can use oil — let’s rape the world of oil!). not sure if i’m being clear here; actually, very aware that i’m probably not. but also aware that continuing will just make things longer, not clearer. so stopping here for now.


Die Liedertafel


Die Lidertafel is a “weblog for singers, composers and poets” that my friend and colleague, Siobhan O’ Leary–a singer, writer, translator, and lover of cheese to boot–pointed me to.    It has poems and sketches and such.  Beyond that, I don’t know what anything means on the site because I don’t know German.  But at the same time, I feel like it’s cosmically linked to Reclamation’s website.  Perhaps this is me being totally naive.  If you know German, maybe you can prove me right or wrong.  Oh Babel…


“Terrariums Make a comeback” in NYT


Article in The New York Times on terrariums being back en vogue, etc..  And here I didn’t know they had ever gone out of style.