THE FLUCTUS JOURNAL / I
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Fluctus J O U R N A L
THE FLUCTUS JOURNAL / III
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01. ENVELOPES Joe Sorrentino The Barcelona Review http://www.barcelonareview.com/73/e_js.html 02. CIRCLE OF MEMORY David Torr 03. MERIDIAN David Torr 04. Pollination Kevin Welzel http://www.rooftophoney.com.au/
ENvelopes Joe Sorrentino.
circle of Memory Exhibition by Eleanor Coppola.
mEridiaN Photographic journey through Lisboa, Chefchaoen, Fez and Marrakesh.
Pollination Rooftop Honey & Kevin Welzel.
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ENvelopes Melinda Jankovich was a young woman in 1979. In 1979, the young woman strode into Festival Hall B of the labyrinthine glass structure built over the old brick walls of the University of Illinois campus, which once sat among the boats on Navy Pier. Her hair was not as short as it is in 2010. In 1979, she used less rouge. Her skin did not billow when she smiled, and she had yet to ever talk to herself while looking into a mirror. Nineteen seventy-nine was a good year for Melinda Jankovich. It was the year she met John Malkovich. In fact, she met him that very night in Festival Hall B, at the inaugural Entrepreneurial Women’s Convention, the night her lips parted in awe as her eyes traced the lightbulbs that outlined the main supports of the vaulted ceiling. Melinda would spend most her time during dinner fixated on the tiny lights high above her, frustrated by her inability to determine how the maintenance crew replaced the dead bulbs so high off the ground. At the 31st Annual Entrepreneurial Women’s Convention in 2010, the year her story would be written, Melinda just looked up at the dead bulbs and was glad no one ever figured out how to replace them. But in 1979, before her hair began to fall out and her cheeks began to sag and mirrors weren’t something she spoke into just yet, John
Malkovich was absolutely certain he had found someone at this fucking thing his aunt had dragged him to that might actually have drugs on them. The wonder in her eyes when she leveled her gaze at him, her crooked smile, revealed the perfect mixture of intoxication and stupidity that John Malkovich had been searching for all night, and he jumped in his pants. He cornered her that night in the back of Festival Hall B, beneath the banners of the corporate sponsors. When he mentioned acting at the Steppenwolf she looked at him the same way she looked at one of the tiny bright lights on the ceiling. Melinda told John Malkovich that she was a realtor, catering only to the high-rise crowd, the fabulously well-to-do that filled the seats of the Steppenwolf. John told her he had been looking for a place to live, a flat he could retire to after an opening night to celebrate. She asked him if he had a “boopah,” which is polish slang for a grandmother. John Malkovich, whose star in the universe was only beginning to rise in 1979, had never been asked a question of this nature during sex. “That is the weirdest fucking thing someone has ever fucking asked me midfuck,” he informed her. Melinda, alone, cleaned the apartment she had taken him to see that night. She put her dress back on in the bathroom, and the cosmetic
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mirror didn’t say a thing to her as she inspected her make up before leaving. When Melinda told Becky Jacoby about the mirrors in 2009, Becky neatly penciled paliperidone onto an empty line in her notebook. It was part of the standard protocol she had adopted during her 15 years in psychotherapy to counter any ominous notation with a reassuring nod, so as not to startle one of her patients with the truth. Becky nodded reassuringly. She reached into her desk and retrieved a few sample packets of INVEGA, offering a handful of the tiny white pills to Melinda as their hour together expired. “Take these,” she said. Melinda tore at the foil of a sample packet later that afternoon. Her ex-boyfriend, a man she dated for seven years and lived with for three, Sean Loop, had been pounding on the front door of her apartment for the last five minutes. She swallowed the white pills and opened the door. Sean had come for the signed Brian Urlacher jersey Melinda had given his autistic son some time ago, before she accused the boy of putting shoe polish in her coffee. Melinda had no intention of relinquishing the jersey, and Sean knew it. He wandered about the apartment as Melinda ignored him. Sean Loop knew Melinda would soon be moving into one of the condominiums she had failed to sell. It had been two years since her last sale. With every month, she seemed to recede further into herself, into dusty memories of her past that didn’t sound right anymore. Memories of her father, the policeman, anecdotes about what he
had been like when she was a child and not the confused, bitter man she coerced Sean into visiting on occasion. He worried about Melinda, but hated her too. Sean had also taken white pills recently. His were meant for people who felt blue. When Sean Loop told Ken Salazar that he sometimes went over to Melinda’ apartment because he took pleasure in watching Melinda unravel before his very eyes, Ken carefully scribed paliperidone onto the bottom line of his legal pad, and underscored it twice. Ken nodded reassuringly. Frankie, Melinda’s three-year-old, caramel-colored daschund, was in desperate need of the outdoors later that night. He could not afford another mistake on the carpet, as the last one had resulted in a baffling hour spent watching his owner sob uncontrollably while rubbing the stain into oblivion, uprooting the tendrils of the carpet and leaving a bald spoton the floor. He would wait as long as he could. Frankie patiently sat in the hallway as Melinda held two of the tiny white pills up in front of her eyes in the bathroom mirror, confident that she would notice him soon enough. “I should’ve had children, Frankie,” Melinda said. Hours later, Frankie would successfully defecate mid-sprint for the first and only time in his short life. Melinda lifted herself from the floor of her garage, long after the white pills that stuck in her throat had taken effect, and tore off into the darkness on the tandem bicycle Sean had bought her years before, towing the reluctant dachshund in her wake.
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She had become surprisingly adept at riding the bike meant for two by herself, leaning into her turns along the pathways as the moon lit the breakers of Lake Michigan beside her. “Paliperidone,” Melinda laughed. John Malkovich did not resurface in Melinda Jankovich’s life until the weekend of her move in 2010. Melinda had been expecting him. She delicately removed the packaging and pushed past the packing peanuts. Frankie tugged at the leather straps that hung from Melinda’s hands. The doorbell rang. Melinda hid John Malkovich in her duffel bag. The woman she had hired to pack her things arrived. Melinda left after assuring her that she would surely notice if the woman stole anything. She drove to her office with the top down on the Mercedes that she could no longer afford and John Malkovich asleep in the trunk. There were 79 messages on Melinda Jankovich’s answering machine. She laughed. Ben Fusberg, marketing coordinator at Gold Coast Realty, watched Melinda from a distance. Ben was an aspiring playwright, and had been working on a stage play about Melinda for some time. Melinda had attended every play of his to date, and Ben despised her for this. He did not want Melinda Jankovich in his audience. It was embarrassing enough that he worked at Gold Coast Realty without Melinda misinterpreting his work as she butted into the conversations of his pupils at the after parties. His plan was to reveal his hatred by personally inviting Melinda to the desecration of her character on stage. When Ben Fusberg told his father,
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Charles Fusberg, PhD, that he had written such a scathing account of one of his coworkers, Charles made a note of it on his personal voice memo recorder, enunciating each letter aripiprazole while nodding to himself, but did not feel reassured. And with this prescription dominating much of his character, Ben’s aripiprazole would collide with Melinda’s paliperidone and give him the spite he needed to continue rifling through her drawers on the days she couldn’t drag herself to work. Melinda fired almost a dozen temporary workers because of the obvious snooping that had occurred after each hiatus from her office. The aripiprazole made it hard for Ben to feel any remorse for this. The aripiprazole made it hard for Ben to feel anything. As he observed Melinda on the 20th Floor of the Hancock Building, Frankie tore at the foil of a sample packet of ‘Invega’ in the guest bedroom of the apartment Melinda’s old apartment. He had not eaten in days. The two white pills tasted not at all like food to the poor dog. Melinda coursed through her new condominium in the dark that night. She did not turn on the lights in fear of one of the neighbors noticing her. She had explained away the boxes and the movers by claiming that she was bringing in furniture meant to showcase the dramatic features of the apartment when it was viewed by potential buyers. She had been searching for Frankie for some time. Frankie’s life had taken a turn that evening; the paliperidone that he ingested had manifested a lucidity within him that was not meant for dogs.
Melinda found him asleep on the duffel bag she had stuffed John Malkovich inside earlier that day. With one in each hand, she proceeded to the bedroom that did not belong to her. Frankie felt heavier than she remembered. She set him on the bed, and he settled limply between the sheets. Melinda opened her duffel bag and kissed John Malkovich on the top of his head. She stroked the latex shaft, and ran her finger along the veins that bulged from his sides. She walked out onto the terrace after John had finished making love to her. She lit a cigarette for the first time in ages. Melinda blew smoke at the moon and laughed. She looked out over the Field Museum, at the lake, as it quietly churned against the shoreline. Then, in the pearl-white hue of the moon, a figure passed over her shoulder, beyond the railing of the porch she had no legal right to. Frankie’s nose flared and his fangs settled as air and life and energy flowed inside him for the last time, enveloped in an absolute unending shade of black in all directions. His owner watched as he soared out into the night with John Malkovich still strapped to his head. Melinda spent most of the night with Frankie, in the parking lot where he had landed. When she awoke in the morning, she walked the eight blocks to her office and put her head down on her desk. The phone had barely stopped ringing since her arrival. She finally picked up. A voice on the other end asked if she was Melinda Jankovich. “I haven’t been Melinda Jankovich for a long time,” she said.
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Ben’s play began with the flower scene he had cut from his first draft. As the house lights dimmed, Melinda lugged an arrangement of potted flowers across the garage floor of her condominium and mumbled to her summer intern about the neighbors. This last minute decision plagued his dreams in the early morning hours of opening day. His first draft began with a scene in which a younger Melinda arrived at the 1979 Entrepreneurial Woman’s Convention on Navy Pier. His more discerning friends would have had a field day with such heavy-handed symbolism in the opening minutes of the production. The aluminum ribbing strung with the tiny light bulbs that capture young Melinda Jankovich’s imagination would be lowered into sight for the second scene. Aside from this change, Ben’s original draft survived to see the stage. A few mechanical problems had been smoothed out. Not that it was any sort of surprise, but John Malkovich’s agent never responded to Ben’s email with the envelopes manuscript attached. Luckily Gary Sinese was available, and had done a rather impressive job of quickly memorizing the few lines and stage directions he had been given. From the moment the curtains were pulled back, this play spoke to Melinda, and not in the condescending tone the rear view mirror had taken when it criticized her choice of lipstick in the parking lot. She could relate to this Melinda woman. She seemed to grapple with the very same issues that the real
Melinda Jankovich struggled with. Could this be? The real Melinda Jankovich watched as the Sean Loop on stage sidled out of the mock-apartment and towards the fourth wall at the end of the first act. The stage darkened, and a lone shaft of lamplight focused on a much more attractive, crowd-worthy version of Sean Loop. “I love Melinda Jankovich.” A man wearing a hat and sunglasses seated in front of Melinda stood quickly and darted up the main aisle. The real Sean Loop pinched the bill of his cap as he passed the real Melinda Jankovich but Melinda wasn’t looking at him anyways. After all, the Sean Loop on stage, however derivative and specious the words Ben had given him might have been, was much more attractive, and Melinda had always found it hard to listen to the real Sean because he wasn’t. “I love Melinda Jankovich. But I hate her too. I hate loving her almost as much as I love hating her. She’s sick and it’s not going away. And I can’t remember why I’ve stuck around for so long anymore. There isn’t anything left for me here. There isn’t anything left here for anyone. I’ve spent the last three years of my life falling out of love with the woman I spent two decades falling in love with as she fucked every available rich guy in Chicago. I loved her so much more then, when I couldn’t have her, when even a kiss was just too much to ask. I cried the night she met John Malkovich. We were friends back then and I thought she was the one and then
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she met him and I was sure that was it. I fell in love listening to her go on and on about him and his penis that had jumped out of his pants that night. I fell in love with her as the days and weeks went by and he didn’t return her calls or the messages she had written on his car in lipstick. But I hated her too.” When the stuffed daschund with a strap-on dildo attached to its head was hurled from the scaffolding on the stage towards the end of the play, over the shoulder of Melinda Jankovich as she stood frozen and drenched in spotlight, the real Melinda Jankovich could not stifle her laughter from the audience. When Melinda Jankovich reappeared on the stage below the scaffolding, sobbing over Frankie’s carcass, the real Melinda realized something that she was not prepared for. She had never enjoyed one of Ben’s plays as much as she was enjoying this one. Frankly, his other pieces bored her. Too preachy. Melinda drank too much at the afterparty. Ben’s aripiprazole had helped him pick out a nice tie and shirt combination, and the suit Ben’s father had handed down to him the week before fit as if tailored to his own dimensions. When Ben first noticed Melinda at the play earlier
in the night, he instantly regretted his decision to invite her. He hadn’t fully considered what she was capable of if she caught on and decided to do something drastic. Melinda kept her eyes on him as she crossed the small tavern’s basement that Ben reserved for the cast and close friends. She approached him, kissing him hard on the lips. Ben Fusberg didn’t know what to do. The room went quiet as every eye and ear trained itself on the pair. His cheeks flushed and his arms reached around her. Melinda cradled his bulge in one hand, and put her lips to his neck. It was very late when the two arrived on the doorstep of Melinda’s new apartment. Ben tried not to look around too much on their way into the bedroom. Everywhere, boxes were stacked on top of one another, and personal effects covered what little floor space remained. Melinda put Ben’s cock in her mouth. Her tongue was dry and she made little sucking sounds when the head of his penis escaped her lips. Ben eased his way onto the bed without interrupting Melinda. His eyes adjusted to the shadows. The faint, putrid smell of dead meat made its way to his nostrils. Ben looked around. A black duffel bag sat in the corner of the bedroom. A tail poked out of one end, and something else Ben could not make out in the halfdarkness of the bedroom protruded from
“There was a time in my life when I considered myself beautiful. There was a time in my life when I was considered.”
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the opposite end. Ben walked out onto the terrace after Melinda had finished making love to him. He lit a cigarette and laughed at the moon. He looked out over the South Loop. A Metra train pulled into the station from the north. The lake shimmered against the shoreline. Suddenly Melinda appeared next to him under the spotlight of the moon, cradling the fur and pulp that was left of Frankie. She put one leg over the railing and then the next, holding on to the opposite side with one hand. Her lips parted in awe as she gazed up at the tiny bright lights high above them. Melinda said nothing. Her cheeks billowed. Her rouge had rubbed off on Ben’s pants in the taxi. Two minutes passed. “I really liked your play.” “Thank you.” “Who was it about?” “You, mostly. And Gary Sinese.” Melinda lowered her head and peered below her. One of Frankie’s legs detached and fell. Melinda didn’t notice. She looked back at Ben. “It was very accurate.” “Thank you.” Ben was becoming impatient. “Die,” he said, and began to pry her fingers from the railing. “There was a time in my life when I considered myself beautiful. There was a time in my life when I was considered. I never loved Sean Loop. I never loved Gary Sinese or Frankie or John Malkovich. I’ve never been in love. I know I’m sick, and I have been for long
time. It’s not my fault. I am not Melinda Jankovich. I’m not anyone, neither are you. And while you fucked me I couldn’t stop thinking about the bald spot on the back of your head.” Ben’s aripiprazole contemplated the possibility of finger prints, of trace amounts of semen that might be found in her pulverized cervix if she were to fall. Ben had not listened to Melinda’s final adieu. Ben’s aripiprazole was resistant to the temptation of aiding Melinda’s suicide. It seemed cliché, even to a prescription drug for bipolarity. “I’m going to help you. Give me the dog.” Melinda handed Frankie to Ben. The weight of John Malkovich had become too much for the dead daschund’s tiny neck, and Frankie’s head fell off onto the porch. Melinda laughed. She hastily began to climb back over the railing to retrieve it, but slipped. Melinda fell backwards. Ben watched as she made her way down into the parking lot. Melinda tucked her legs up into her chest, somersaulted twice, and straightened out into a swan dive for the remainder of her journey. Ben pondered this as he laid Frankie on the terrace. He couldn’t help but think about what a tidier ending he had given Melinda on stage earlier that night, bringing up the house lights as she admitted on the phone that she was no longer Melinda Jankovich, but he couldn’t fault her for lack of originality. He looked down on Melinda. “Nine-point–five.” Melinda rolled her lips off of yours when she kissed. They touched yours
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plushy and soft all at once. And when she pulled away it was like something that had always been there was gone and it shouldn’t be. Ben hadn’t been taking his aripiprazole. Or going to work. Ben probably wasn’t employed at the moment. His parents, Charles and Ruth Fusberg, rancorous hosts of the past seven Fusberg-Salazar Thanksgiving dinners, seven, let the basement to their son, whose apparent grief over his fallen coworker had begun to affect Ben the way puberty had during but not limited to the first three or so of the aforementioned Thursdays in November when the mail isn’t delivered. Ben drank lilac wine. It put his mind at ease, but more importantly it made him drunk. When he was drunk he could think about Melinda’s lips and they way they felt that night and not about how he had said “Nine-point-five” when she hit the pavement. That was cold. He couldn’t believe he said that. Ben drank out of the disposable cups his mother had socked away somewhere in the unfinished half of the basement. Ruth kept things like that. Not a hoarder, Ben didn’t suppose. Hateful of waste. The childhood boxers he found in the unfurnished storage area and had resorted to wearing didn’t fit anymore, and the elastic waistband kept flipping over from the fat he stored on his abdomen, fat he had been keeping much more of now that he was at home and drunk on lilac wine and not taking his pills anymore. Ben went to the funeral. He was worried that if he didn’t it might look
suspicious, and he didn’t want that. The night his play debuted, Ben got out of Melinda’s building and away from where she and Frankie had landed without much hullabaloo. When the police interviewed him he admitted that he had been there earlier in the night, the only night the two had shared since Melinda admitted her deep seeded desire to do things to his cock. No one needed much convincing that Melinda had jumped without any help anyway. Her funeral mass was held at St. John’s downtown. Melinda’s pearledpink coffin sat on casters behind Frankie’s tiny urn. Heavy rays of sunlight streamed through the inlaid chunks of stained glass mosaics lining the walls. In the first row of pews, a few people sat facing the casket. Ben was late. No one noticed him as he approached. Someone coughed. Ben ambled up the center aisle, closer and closer to the casket. Melinda was always willing to help others, but, in her later years, never seemed able to help herself, said the priest from behind the pulpit. Her body was interred at Palamino Pines Cemetery later that afternoon. In a moment perceived as tenderness by those around him, Ben ran his hand along the paneling like it was the brand new car he had never bought or owned. Ben looked across the plot and saw Sean Loop standing next to Sean Loop from Ben’s play. How embarrassing. The actor was at least a half foot taller than his source material, and his hair
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was much thicker. He had been crying. The real Sean Loop had not. When it was all over, Ben could tell that Sean was waiting for him, waiting for his chance to say something to Ben. Ben made sure to separate himself from the small group of people gathered around the grave when he was certain that Sean was making his move towards him. Two minutes passed. “I liked your play.” “Thanks.” “It was very accurate. I loved Melinda Jankovich. But I hated her too. I hated loving her almost as much as I loved hating her. She was sick for a long time, you know. I spent the last three years of my life falling out of love with the woman I had spent decades falling in love with as she fucked everyone else in Chicago. I loved her so much more then, when I didn’t have her, when even a kiss was just too much to ask. I cried the night she met John Malkovich. We were friends back then and I thought that someday she’d be my wife and then she met him and I finally understood that there would always be a John Malkovich, some brighter light from on high that would eclipse me in her eyes. I fell in love listening to her go on and on about him and his penis that had jumped out of his pants that night. I fell in love with her as the days and weeks went by and he hadn’t returned her calls or the messages she had written on his car in lipstick. But I hated her too.” “I know.” Joe Sorrentino
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circle Of MemOry
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A COLLABORATIVE PROJECT DEVISED BY FILM-MAKER AND ARTIST, ELEANOR COPPOLA. Together with Jean McMann (writer and photographer), Richard Beggs (sound technician), Robilee Frederick (designer), Elizabeth Macdonald (architect), and Alexander V. Nichols (lighting technitian). The intallation focuses around loss, and is reminiscent of a ceremony taken place in Ireland by Coppola and McMann in 1990, morning the loss of Coppola’s eldest son, Gian-Carlo, killed in 1987, aged 22. Five hundred bales of straw construct inspirations of an ancient cairn, previously built out of stone centuries ago, and the meaning and emotions carried from the cairns are reconstructed for the guests. The patrons are invited to interact with the cairn, and are lead around the outside, past thousands of handwritten memories, of loss and love. Photographs of the Irish cultic stones adorn the walkway. On entering the chamber, one can hear a sound installation of children’s voices, as the narrow dark passage opens up into a cavern. This is where the installation climaxes and the personal spirituality can be felt. Fotografskia’s chief curator, Michelle Marie-Roy, has excellently positioned The Circle of Memory, next to Jacqueline Hellmann’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a personal photographic journey of friendship, with her friend Cizzi, as she battles cancer. This
multimedia exhibition really breaks down emotional barriers, and even though the two pieces are separate entities, MarieRoy pairs them against each other, to bring patrons into an introverted contemplative headspace. As you start to walk in the door of the exhibition, you are greeting first and fore mostly with the smell of the bales of straw, before you have even had time to start reading the introduction on the wall in front of you, you are feeling transported to another world. The opening essay quotes Coppola’s writings, and expresses the motives behind the piece. She brings her own grief into a global perspective by saying “Even if you haven’t personally lost a child, you know someone who has, or you’ve read in the paper about a child or children dying. It’s something we all universally have to deal with. Right now, a lot of people are losing children in Iraq. There was Columbine, and Oakland has had such a siege of violence that has taken children. It’s not 10 steps removed”. A downfall in this exhibition though is the fact that it hasn’t be aptly modified for different audiences around the world. The content stays the same across each country, and as illustrated in Coppola’s writings, it caters fairly directly at an American audience. The positive from this though, is that the construction of the space stays as close as possible to the artists’ original drawings, which perhaps makes up for the ‘Americanism’ of the welcome. The created world is to be celebrated in its construction, to the credit of all of the participating collaborators.
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The room is converted into such a beautiful and elegant space, using only the straw as building blocks. This is definately a bold defiance against a modernist ideal of that the “inner structure dictatates outer form” as the relationship between a straw bale construction and an ancient cairn, or grief is very vague, but meaning nevertheless, is still there. The lighting plays a key part of the ambience; Nichols does a great job in constructing the ambience necessary for this space. The lights tone is warmed by hitting the straw, this is beautifully contrasted to the carpet of the gallery space, and makes the walls really pop out to view. Jean McMann’s photographs adorn the outer hay wall of the entrance space into the exhibition. They are reserved, and in monochrome, there is a sepia tone to them, which makes them blend slightly into the hay walls, lit in a glow by Nichols, just one of many seamlessly, yet well thought out parts of this collaboration team’s expression. The photographs, together, make up a panorama of the inner circle of the upper section of a cairn. This is resemblant of Stonehenge, both in its geological similarities, and its ancient spiritual power that it expresses. Cairns have often been referred to as similar to Stonehenge, sharing in it’s unknown intrigue, with many yet to be fully explored, a process which would shed more light to the mysterious histories and facilitate their posterity. McMann actually does illustrious justice to the rock circle, as she doesn’t try to overplay its anonymity, but just
relay it back to the patrons as realistically as possible. Coppola praises McMann’s photographs and states that she has never looked at stones in this way before, that McMann “takes extraordinary photographs of stones. Her photographs are like portraits of rocks.” By this stage the immense curiosity has become too much, and entering down the tunnel into the cairn is inevitable. Covering the entrance is a veil, constructed by Robilee Frederick, amazingly made from pigs guts, noted to be a common practice in ancient times. “It’s veiled, like memories and loss. It’s translucent, and life goes through it. It has a very visceral feel to it. I wanted it to have the feel of the earth and be as organic as possible”. The sweet scent is now consistent in your nostrils, and is pressing down into your lungs, the multimedia aspect of the installation is becoming apparent. Children’s voices play softly in different languages, the children are aged between 8 and 15, and Richard Beggs’ daughter is even noted to be one of the participants. Beggs stressed the importance of universality in the multimedia installation, and hopes that it would “transcend ethnic or national boundaries”.This is an important note as firstly it supports the multiculturalism that was mentioned before as lacking on first impressions for a travelling show. This however could be down to the fact that a high amount of American’s are expected to be able to speak a second language. For those who are not multilingual, it may even enhance there experience.
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Studies have suggested that being in an environment, and not understanding the language can free up mental resources at a subconscious level. This is useful for Coppola’s constructed environment inside her ‘cairn’. The walkway path into the ‘cairn’ is dark and peaceful. The light juts down in short sharp streams, creating an angular illumination whilst staying at the darkness necessary to envelope curiosity. Once inside the cavern guests are invited to sit around the edge, and gaze into the pinhole light source in the ceiling. Falling from the pinhole is a constant stream of salt, making you feel as if you are deep underground, in the most oppressive environment imaginable, but as you relax your muscles and watch the salt piling up on itself like a miniature sand dune, you begin to contemplate. A great sense of affinity to Coppola’s themes arises whilst sitting in this now seemingly comforting space. Begg’s soundtrack is eerie, yet interesting, and really adds to the bale-construction environment. The use of high-tech sound equipment is in homage of the cairn itself, being stated that to create a cairn was to use “the most powerful and dramatic technology of the period”. The salt seems to be very interpretable, even thought she does specify its particular use for her. She describes it as, “a reminder of the axis mundi the invisible axis around which the earth rotates” and explains “many traditional cultures visualized this axis as the centre of their community and represented it as a central pillar in communal structures”. It
gives the room timelessness, and signifies the rich and deep history of ancient cairns. Negatively, the exhibition on a first glance, it could be said, that in some way, this installation has does not fully express its content, that is, mourning the loss of a child, as none of the artworks in the space denote any traditional reflections to the late Gian-Carlo. Some sceptics could say that the show does somewhat alienate those who have not experienced great loss, like Coppola, only because everything is so personal that it is not blatant when seen, but this only begs for a more in-depth observation to gain understanding and compassion for the situation. The exhibition could not show more compassion, or positive outlook towards grief. She herself clarifies that it is not just about loss, but that of reflection, as she relives her own experience in Ireland – the original inspiration for the show. “We made a little ceremony…We named people who died and were important to us: writers, artists, our mothers. I named several people and eventually called out the name of my son” and that she is only trying to fill a gap in the modern day greif experince, “This experience lingered with me. I began to think about how we didn’t have anything like that in our culture. That we didn’t talk about this. We are deathphobic”. It would say that it would be a shame to glide through here and not feel something special. It is all put up there, ready to be experienced, but it just takes a little bit more of effort than other exhibitions like this, that encourage spirituality.
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The Circle of Memory could be described as installation art, but as anyone who has been can tell you, it’s very hard to work out how to categorize it properly and doing it justice. Installation though seems to be an apt title. It turns the photography into more than just stunning geological prints, and consumes the whole space into a piece itself. Allan Kaprow describes an installation piece as the fruition of the artist who is deeply concerned with the viewer’s presence, “The main actor in the total installation, the main centre toward which everything is addressed, for which everything is intended, is the viewer”. This can be described as providing an experience of intensity in Coppola’s case. Coppola uses a very post-modern attitude to this installation, as she leaves the interpretation open for all the participants. She defies the connotation of shifting from depth, that arrives with the conscerns relating to Post Modernism, and brings an intelligent statement, drawing from aspects of the past. She does not impose herself on anyone, this can be seen also through the messages left from the guests, it is not about exhibiting herself, but using her emotions for others to react with, and make the experience their own. “Not to sound corny, but art can heal. Viewing can be nourishing. It doesn’t have to have a frame around it. People don’t have to be concerned about whether this is art – or not”. Coppola has stated that the notes collected at a show are transferred and placed into the straw bales at the beginning of a new exhibition of Circle of Memory, and it seems
that she takes all this inspiration from reading the notes about loved ones, and turns it towards new projects, emotions heighted with the compassion of her patrons, and their love for one and other. She states that she finds poignancy in so many of the notes, and that everyone experiences that gallery very differently. So much so that she has put on show some of the original notes from the Bay area showing in the United States, on the original exhibition run. This has interested her so much that she now invites patrons to leave photographs of loved ones. Overall, Circle of Memory doesn’t dissapoint. Coppolla and her team of collaborators have gone to every effort to insure that everything possible has been done to create a recollection of an ancient cairn, but stay as partial as possible, leaving the feelings to the patrons, and not impressing any preconceptions onto them. It is open to interpret, and to heal your spirituality, and let your soul grieve. David Torr
CIRCLE OF MEMORY FOTOGRAFSIKA Stadsg책rdshamnen 22, 116 45 Stockholm, Sweden June 18 August 21
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mEridiaN Photographic journey through Lisboa, Chefchaoen, Fez and Marrakesh.
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Due to the large number of wild European honey bees in Australia, the vital role of pollination is not widely recognised or valued and only a small proportion of agricultural producers manage the process through paid pollination. The potentially devastating impact of exotic pests such as the Varroa mite, which is yet to reach Australia, poses a significant threat to the honey bees and our pollination services. Our services have already help ‘re-home’ 25 swarms of honey bee colonies either caught by ourselves including feral colonies saved from extermination during the past Spring and Summer. If it wasn’t for this, these colonies of honey bees would not have survived given the cold conditions they face during the Winter months. Melbourne City Rooftop Honey joins the cities of Paris, London, Toronto, San Francisco and New York City where urban beekeeping is thriving. The community benefits by some true ‘local’ produce – a great tasting honey which is unique to each site, with less actual food miles plus help green our City of Melbourne. Bees provide a pollination ecosystem service to many agricultural systems. Ecosystem services, defined as species interacting within their environment and functioning together to sustain life, are critical to human survival. Animal pollinators pollinate one third of the United States’ food supply, of these, bees are the most abundant and beneficial crop pollinators. American farmers rely solely on honey bees to pollinate their crops,
often importing honey bees specifically for their pollination services. Presently, honey bees provide fifteen billion dollars in added agricultural revenue. However, recent declines in honeybee populations from Colony Collapse Disorder have left the agricultural industry and researchers looking for an alternative. Currently, large-scale agricultural production is declining because of the honey bee’s susceptibility to CCD. The symptoms associated with CCD are the disappearance of all or the majority of honey bees from the hive, leaving only the live queen, yet no dead honey bees in or near the hive. Supplementing the honey bee pollination service with a variety of native bee species would provide insurance against future declines in agricultural production wrought by CCD. Native bees, which are unmanaged, are generally more numerous and diverse near natural habitats have been shown to provide pollination services to various crops, and are just as effective at large scale-pollination as the honey bee. Studies in agricultural landscapes have shown that native pollinators are more effective when they are close to natural habitats. Ricketts et al. (2004) found that native bee diversity and visitation rates are significantly greater in coffee fields that are near tropical forests than other fields that are further away. Kremen et al. (2004) found that farms that were within a 2.4 km radius of areas with forty percent or more natural habitat were able to rely solely on native bee communities for pollination. Additionally, Ricketts found
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strong evidence that increased isolation from natural habitat results in a decline of native bee visitation rates. There are many studies showing the relationship between distance and pollination in commercial agriculture, but not in urban agriculture. Ultimately, there is the potential for native pollinators to play a large role in urban agriculture, but we donâ€™t know how effective they will be in this very different landscape â€“ one with presumably less native habitat nearby. The purpose of urban agriculture is to provide healthy food to urban food deserts, to revitalize neighborhoods, and to provide environmental justice and ecosystem health.Urban agriculture is the process of utilizing sustainable agricultural techniques in an urban environment in order to produce food, while a food desert is an area in an inner city that lacks food retailers. Urban agriculture has been on the rise in many urban areas including Oakland California, where the city council has mandated that thirty percent of all food in Oakland must come from a local source such as urban agriculture by 2015. As agriculture becomes more prominent in urban settings, the need for pollination services by bees also increases. Considering the losses of honey bees, native bees can be utilized to meet the growing demand for pollination service in urban areas. Incorporating resources for native bees into urban agriculture will promote urban ecosystem health in such ways as providing viable seeds and fruits for insects, birds, and other wildlife, while in turn providing urban neighborhoods
with sustainable nutritious food. In order to achieve these goals as well as gain further knowledge of how the pollination service works, it is important to understand the relationship between the distance of the native bee habitat from the site of pollination and the rate of pollination in these urban settings. The purpose of this study is to examine native bee pollination in two urban agricultural sites that differ in their proximity to natural habitat. The two sites under study were the Oxford study site (OXF) and the Berkeley Youth Alternative study site (BYA). The objectives of this study are to 1) calculate native bee diversity for each plant type per site, and 2) compare visitation rates between the two sites for each plant type. I hypothesized that OXF would have higher native bee diversity and visitation rates than the BYA because OXF site was closer to natural habitat. Using distance from natural habitat, diversity of pollinator, and rates of visitation, I hope to further the understanding of the pollination ecological service, by native bees for urban agriculture. The study assessed two urban agricultural gardens located in Berkeley, California. The two gardens are: Berkeley Youth Alternative (BYA) Community Garden located at 1260 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA and OXF located at Oxford at 1751 Walnut Street, Berkeley CA. OXF is 9000 square feet, while BYA is 25000 square feet. OXF is closer to natural habitat than BYA. Both gardens are functional throughout summer and fall ensuring that that some flowers are always available
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for pollination, regardless of the season. In each garden I found sufficient quantities of sunflowers, strawberries, squash, and tomatoes for my study. The length of the beds in OXF was roughly 6 by 4 feet. The length of the beds in the BYA garden was roughly 12 by 4 feet. BYA contains three European honey bee hives. OXF is next to a native bee garden. Both are organic; they do not use pesticides, nor do they use synthetic fertilizers. To measure bee visitation rates at each garden, I observed a 3 by 3 square foot quadrat of squash, tomato, strawberry and sunflower for three minutes. This size quadrat and observation time worked well in other urban bee studies. The quadrates were set according to where the four plants were spaced in the gardens. Each site was visited at least once a week. A visitation was recorded when the bee touches the pollen produced by the flower. To ensure equal representation among the visitations observed, each quadrat was examined between 7:00 am and 2:00 pm. Each quadrat was observed for 3 minutes at a time. Each visit was conducted under sunny or scattered clouds with temperatures between 21 and 38 degrees Celsius and wind speeds that are less than 4 meters per second. From late June through July, 2009, I observed 372 bee visits representing 8 genera. At both BYA and OXF, squash was visited the most by Pepon (P.pruinosa), Strawberry was visited the most by Honey, Sunflower was visited the most by Honey, and Tomato was
visited the most by Bombu. In comparing diversity indices between the two study sites, I found that BYA had more native bee diversity than OXF when I used the Berger Parker index and the Simpsonâ€™s index. The percent difference between the sites and the Berger Parker index is 9% while the percent difference for the Simpsonâ€™s index and the sites was 3%. Using the Shannon index for diversity and evenness I found that OXF was more diverse and more even than BYA. To test the hypothesis that urban gardens closer to natural habitat will have higher native bee diversity and visitation rates, I compared native bee visitation rates to four plants, squash, strawberry, sunflower and tomato, at two gardens BYA and OXF. To test my hypothesis I used diversity indices and t-tests. Contrary to the hypothesis that OXF would have higher native bee diversity and visitation rates because it is closer to natural habitat. The diversity indices from OXF and BYA did not produce consistent results which may be a result of how each diversity index is calculated. Both the Berger-Parker index and the Simpsons index indicated that BYA is more diverse than OXF. The Shannon index contradicted this finding, instead resulted in OXF as more diverse than BYA. The mixed diversity and evenness results would be a result of study sites sharing the same number of genera. The three diversity indices may vary because of the abundance of one genus or the different sample sizes collected. The Shannon index increases through additional unique
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genera, or greater species evenness. OXF displayed more evenness than BYA because the Pepon numbers are closer in magnitude to the other genera counts. Overall the number of each genus that visited each plant type was more. The difference in the Shannon index can be attributed to OXF having a small sample size of 169, versus BYA having a sample size of 206. The Berger-Parker index and the Simpsons index both indicated that BYA was more diverse. A reason for the differences in indices could be that both weigh heavily towards the most abundant genera in the sample while being less sensitive to species richness. Although BYA and OXF have the same number of genera, BYA had higher numbers of a few genera than OXF. The mixed results from the diversity indices indicated that both study sites showed no difference in their diversity or evenness. Contrary to the hypothesis that OXF would have higher native bee diversity and visitation rates because is closer to natural habitat; I found no strong association between distance from natural habitat and native bee visitation and diversity. The diversity indices gave mixed diversity results and the t-test showed no significance between the visitation rates at each site for each plant type. My findings indicate that BYA is no different from OXF in terms of native bee visitation or diversity. The lack of significance in my data suggests that native bee visitation and diversity is not governed by distance from natural habitat alone. Indeed, studies have shown that natural habitat is
one of many governing factors for native bee visitation and diversity in a garden. I suggest four possible reasons as to why proximity to natural habitat may not be the primary governing factor for native bee visitation rates and diversity inÂ urbanÂ agriculture. Floral resources at the study sites may have been complementary between natural and unnatural habitats. Studies have shown that females nesting in organic farms were buffered to isolation effects by switching to floral resources growing at the farm site when seminatural habitat was too distant. The buffering to isolation effects could explain why distance from natural habitat was not significant in BYA and OXF. Although BYA did not have natural habitat in close proximity, the females may have been able to feed off of floral resources already existing in BYA or around the residential area. Winfree et al showed that gardens with sufficient weedy or floral resources year around could mimic the utility of natural resources for native bees. Although BYA does not have any natural habitat in close proximity, there was plenty of bee attracting plants in the neighboring residential area which could have sustained the bee population found at BYA. High dispersion of natural habitat fragments throughout my study sites may have improved native bee visitation and diversity. Organic gardens can support higher pollinator diversity if there are fallow strips of land located within the garden. OXF is closer to natural habitat, but most land in the garden is either
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covered with crops or has groundcover/ mulch. Mulching and crop cover makes it difficult to for bees to nest. BYA has fallow strips of land that allow for nesting habitat. Fallow land may provide the year round nesting but it may not provide enough floral resources to sustain a diverse native bee population. However the floral resources needed to sustain a year round population could be found in urban residential gardens. These residential gardens could also provide more nesting habitat for the native bees. The variability in the age of the study sites may also be a factor in visitation rates. Older gardens tend to have more biodiversity Studies have shown that older gardens tend to have more established native bee populations. BYA is 17 years old while OXF is only 6 years old. OXF is not as old however; it is located close to natural habitat. The lack of significance may result from small sample sizes for I was unable to detect the true effects of natural habitat distance to the study sites. While this may have been true for the smaller data sets such as tomato, the more extensive squash date set also showed no significance between site and visitation rates. This indicates that the sites showed no difference in visitation rates. In contrast to similar studies of crop pollination by native bees, in my two study sites the close proximity to natural habitat did not affect native bee visitation rates to crops. I expect that there is no difference in native bee visitation rates or diversity between the two study
sites because of the effects of common floral resources between natural and non native habitat, habitat fragmentation and the age of the gardens. These factors may explain why native bees are abundant and diverse, even in areas with low proportion of natural habitat. Limitations primarily consist of time constraints, and number of samples. Due to time constraints tomato and sunflower had a smaller amount of visitation samples compared to squash and strawberry. Not being able to sample more tomato and sunflower samples could have caused the lack of significance in visitation rates between BYA and OXF. Lack of time and resources prohibited me from collecting plant specimens in and around each study sites. Having knowledge of neighboring floral resources would help in supporting the isolation buffering idea. However, Frankie et al provided data that indicated sufficient floral resources to support a health native bee community in Berkeley California. My study has provided many areas of inquiry for future research into native bee ecology and the pollination service. I have identified two factors in addition to proximity to natural habitat that might affect native bee visitation and diversity that should be explicitly examined in future studies. The first factor to consider is the amount of fallow land that is near the study sites. Second, studies should record the amount of floral resources that are not food crops. To make a more robust comparison between visitation rates and diversity more sites could be
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added that vary in distance from each other. I also suggest three questions for further inquiry. First, how do different varieties of floral resources influence the amount of visitation to food crops? Second, what affect does fallow land have on the amount of visitation to food crops? Third, is there more native bee visitation and diversity on food crops located in urban areas versus areas near conventional farms? These questions will grant greater insight into native bee ecology and urban ecology. Native bees can be used to supplement the pollination service that is primarily provided by the European honey bee which are currently declining from CCD. In urban areas, native bees may be able to compensate for this loss and also provide higher biodiversity. Providing the necessary habitat for native bee populations in urban areas can improve food quantity and quality in cities that rely on urban agriculture. Nevertheless, my study indicates that close proximity to natural habitat is not the only requirement for native bee attraction. By incorporating common floral resources between native and non native habitat, and habitat fragmentation one could expect native bees to be found in urban agricultural. Kevin Welzel
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