Monday, April 27, 2009

art and ecology: blender bike on vimeo

hey there! this is the compiled footage of our blender bike test.


that is all


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

pulse #1

// this is a pulse journal //

i took several walks around the village, trying to pay attention to what things attracted me. i found myself being reluctant to follow any paths that i know well or normally use. my mind ran in front of me and comptemplated where i was going before i was going there, and what the route would be. my directions started to loosen themselves from the places i was heading, but became dependent on steps i had not yet taken. whether this meant walking a little further into the road than i normally do down a particular street, or turning left when i usually turn right, to force myself to think of another route to get to my eventual destination that would be very different than the one i am used to. this process of navigation lead me to think much more about the village as a whole; but more specifically, it got to me thinking about the process of carving out communal pathways, around which narratives are built.

as i walked around, i meditated on the history of the gound upon which i was traveling, ground which up to that point had had very little interaction with my feet, and the moments during which that space became part of many people's life stories. what each place means to a multitude of people was a thought that struck me: several moments, all simultaneously existing within a space, are fixed, and fluid, within the memories and histories of individuals and groups of people.

i thought about the dirt on the ground, and how much the earth has absorbed from the generations of people living up on it. i am wondering about how the earth keeps record of our involvement with it, and how we keep record of our involvement with others in certain places.

i started to think about the actual records of places, the visual drawings of the spaces we inhabit and how these images become standardized in our mind's as ways of locus representation.

i then attempted constructing local maps in my mind's eye using this experiencial knowledge supplementation for the construction, and specifically trying to disregard my previous knowledge of actual maps of the area. the images created in my mind's eye were very different than how i know the land "actually" is (supposedly)... this simply drew my attention to how our experience of moving within a space is apperceived differently than our representational constructions of that space...

/// this is to be continued ///


For my first pulse project I conducted some eco-friendly tagging. I made a simple stencil of a no spraying symbol and tagged a few places around the school. As the medium was water and it was a good high 60 degrees outside when I did it the tags only lasted about 30 seconds or so. It was difficult to get a good image because not every surface shows the difference between wet and dry but I found that concrete works best. More images will follow. I plan on making more stencils and continue the process.


While considering my first Eco Art project I spent some time exploring my local surroundings that I felt foreign to. I wanted to get a larger picture, as I know many of the hills directly surrounding the campus. So out I went in my Volvo for a late winter drive. I made use of a sketch book and my camera to document points of interest and my path. Some noted points directly reflected in my frist eco art project, such as my notations of hay bails in my sketchbook. Other places discovered became places of interaction later in the semester.

I found myself finding interested in the land that was claimed by humans, either through simple signage, or mining.

Up Sherman road I came a crossed a row of posted signs standing alone in a large empty, snow covered field.

Also on Sherman road I came to a view of Buffalo Crushed Stone mining. I followed up with a visit to the Buffalo Crushed Stone web site. I spent some time exploring their Environmental Impact Statement ( I found nothing addressing the Alfred quarry specifically. Most interesting was plans to turn a quarry into a 169 acre lake.

sondra and jenny pulse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

we planted some beans and mint in the powell plant boxes 20 minutes ago.

Last year in the box we appropriated, there was a holly plant.
But it died.
So the box has been dry all year. It took about 50 gallons of water to hydrate the soil. As I was watering the dirt i co-oped secret care takers that passed by. They agreed to keep an eye on the plants...

we may have to move them to the opposite side, there may not be enough light for the beans. the mint however will survive in low light.
we plan on trying to start seeds there soon.

we will be here this summer to take care of the plants when their secret caretakers cannot!


that is all...for now! owww yes!?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

found object sculpture house

Use Your Imagination

Pulse Project #1:
The Pulse Projects consist of small works outside. there are no tight parameters, it could be you taking a walk along a path for a mile, noting sounds you hear at every hundredth step; or standing at an intersection as a witness to the events of that place for a set amount of time, or photographs of a place over a set duration. it really is an opportunity for you to go outside, and look, listen, feel, think, reflect. a time for you to notice, and of course to document what you note. we are all in a hurry as we negotiate our outdoor navigation, usually not really present in that space. what are you drawn to, what pulls you into that present place/time? people? clouds? color? sounds? movement? smells?

On Monday May 13th 2009, a cardboard box labeled FREE in black bold letters was placed in the middle of academic ally at Alfred University. Inside the box was 300 folded pieces of small paper all of which stated "Use Your Imagination." Many students who walk through academic ally are in a hurry to beat the clock and get to class on time or are in a yank to get out of class and back to their dorm and such. I placed the box on the side walk forcing students to have to walk around the box and or over the box, which would draw attention to the box. I then stood afar and watched.
Between 8:10 - 8:20am, almost all the students who walked past the box didn't stop to open one of the papers inside the box. Many looked inside but didn't bend down and take the time to view one of the papers. A total of 6 students took the time to see what was actually inside the box. 4 of the students kept the paper and continued walking, and 2 of the student placed the papers back into the box and carried on their walk. Out of the 6 students between these morning hours, only two stood and place and concentrated on what they were reading.
Between 9:10 - 9:20am, there was many more students who walked past the box and many more who stopped to view inside the box. I noticed that it was when someone was looking inside the box that drew the attention of others to also follow in their lead. I also noticed that it was more likely that a group of students would draw pieces of paper out vs. someone by themself. 52 students stopped near the box to look inside. 37 of those students opened the papers. Some laughed and put the papers back, some kept them in their pockets, purses, bags, ect. Unfortunately I was too far away to hear the comments of the students after reading "Use Your Imagination."
Between 11:10-11:20am, I stood closer so I could not only view the progess of the box but also hear. 49 students viewed inside the box during these hours and 44 of those students took the time to read the papers. I heard students tell one another "I don't get it," and continue walking, not taking the time to figure out what there was to get. I also heard students explain to other students who ran into this problem some of their input. "The box says free, so use your imagination as to what you would like," was the best response I heard from a student. Numerous students complained because they thought there would be actual objects inside, none of which were pieces of paper. Free kittens and puppies were what students thought would most likely be in the box. The next highest responses were free books.
Between 5:00 - 5:30pm, I placed the box on the second floor of Powell near the couches. Only 21 students viewed in the box, 18 actually keeping the papers they pulled from the box. I feel the best responses were noted during this time duration. A group of 4 boys walked past, looked inside, read some of the papers, and knocked the box completely over and shook the box until all the papers were scattered on the floor. After placing the papers back into the box, 2 children came through, one boy, one girl. I watched as they sat down and opened one of the papers. The boy instantly said, "I want this one to be a dinosaur." The girl stated, "I want mine to be a truck." I was amazed when they kept reaching into the box and creating new objects with their imagination. A pony, pizza, a magic wand, new sneakers, a kickball that the dog can't pop, coloring books, and crayons were what the two children drew from the box with their imagination.
Out of 126 students who took the time to glance in the box, only 103 of those students took the time to actually investigate what was in the box by viewing one of the papers. What I found to be most true was, students felt more confident reading the papers when with others. I also found that very few took the time to state what the paper meant to them. Some were more upset that the box didn't hold kittens. The children were the best subjects. They not only took the time to view the papers, but they also took the time to use their imagination and create objects for the box. Maybe its that children don't concentrate on time and base their day on what needs to be done in what amount of time like we students do. They concentrate on dinosaurs and pizza and use their imagination much more.


My first post ever! Oh me oh my! Expect a large series of photos my eco-friends!

Monday, April 13, 2009

This is a preliminary work for a perfomance using myths. I thought my face was an appropriate stage for storytelling and visualizing oral traditions.
The script is taken from the diary of Opal Whitely. It says:
Today near eventime I did lead
the girl who has no seeing
a little way into the forest
where it was darkness and shadows were.
I led her toward a shadow
that was coming our way.
It did touch her cheeks
with its velvety fingers.
And now she too
does have likings for shadows.
And her fear that was is gone.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

“life lesson #4

“life lesson #4, consider a gassy truck” makes visible the invisible. The amount of CO2 emitted by automobiles is reported in terms of tons. The unit, “tons of a gas” is impossible for me to imagine. To put that amount in terms that I could “see” (albeit CO2 is a colorless gas), I chose to work with the unit "DGWGN equivalent" which is the volume of my truck as described by a life scale inflatable of my GMC Sonoma pickup.

to calculate the volume of CO2 this truck produces in driving an average of 15,000 miles per year:

Question: How much CO2 does my truck, DGWGN, produce per year?

Average milage/year 15,000
Volume (cubic feet) of DGWGN 150
Fuel Consumption (mi./gal) 20
Volume (gal) of gas consumed/year 750
Density of gasoline (grams/gal) 2.791
% Carbon /1 gal. of gasoline 85.5%
1 cubic meter 35.31 cubic feet
1 mole of a pure substance is the mass of the material in grams (g) that is
numerically equal to the molecular mass in atomic mass units.
Boyles Law – 1 mol of an ideal gas (not compressed) at STP occupies 22.4 liters

Calculation for volume of CO2 produced from 1 gal gasoline

1) Mass of CO2 from 1 gal of gasoline
= 8.75 kilograms CO2/gal of gas

2) Volume of 1 kg of CO2
= 509 liters CO2/ kilogram CO2
convert to cubic meters = 0.509 cubic meters/kilogram CO2
convert to cubic feet = 17.92 cubic feet/ kilogram CO2

3) Volume of CO2 from 1 gal of gasoline
= 157.2 cubic feet of CO2 / gal of gas

4) Volume of CO2 produced by DGWGN / year
= 157.2 cubic ft CO2/gal times 750 gal
= 786

Answer: 786 DGWGN Equivalents of CO2

pulse projects

pulses consist of small works outside. there are no tight parameters, it could be taking a walk along a mile long path, noting sounds heard at every hundredth step, or standing at an intersection witnessing the events of that place for a set amount of time, or photographs of a place over a set duration. it really is an opportunity for to go outside, to look, to listen, to feel, to think, to reflect... a time for you to notice, and of course to document what you note. we are all in a hurry as we negotiate our outdoor navigations, usually not really present in that space. what are you drawn to, what pulls you into that present place or time? people? clouds? color? sounds? movement? smells?