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EIS VRH > > resource catalog


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS) + VIRGINIA RIVER HEALERS (VRH) may 6th - may 28th 2016

ORGANIZED BY: Kim Zitzow with Lisa Schonberg (EIS) and Tom Burkett (VRH) Artists:

© 2016, please do not reproduce without permission

Gary Wiseman Heather Treadway Jodie Cavalier Jodi Darby Kim Zitzow Leif Lee Lisa Schonberg + Anthony Brisson (Coordination) Ryan Pierce Tom Burkett Virginia Marting + Tim Brock

SYMPOSIUM PARTICIPANTS: Molly Fair, Justseeds Artist Cooperative Emily Bosanquet, PNCA Art + Science Initiative (in dialog with Gary Wiseman) Jesse Goldstein, Rare Earth Catalog Tom Burkett, Virginia River Healers CATALOG DESIGNED & EDITED BY: Kim Zitzow


This publication has been compiled as an expanded resource for projects, works, ideas and discussions that came into dialog with the EIS + VRH show at SEDIMENT gallery during the symposiums and workshops. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) + Virginia River Healers (VRH) is an exhibition of the work of the two artist collectives (EIS + VRH) from across the country. Issues of public land management in the west alongside private corporate PR tactics in the east form the foundations by which each collective has initiated projects to amplify awareness of what goes on out there. (Is there really an out there ?) Through imaginative and performative tactics generated by each group, the exhibition explores the potential for artists to be powerful cultural agents in interpreting the systems that shape our world, and the values that people hold for the future of our planet. For more information regarding the symposium and workshop events please visit: http://www.sedimentarts.org/events


> > c o n t e n t s : > VIRGINIA RIVER HEALERS (VRH)

Demand Third Party Well Water Testing! > ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS)

Visual Quality Objectives > BARK

Community Mapping Project

> SYMPOSIUMS

PNCA’s Art + Science Initiative Justseeds Artist Cooperative Rare Earth Catalog > WORKSHOPS

Harvesting Charcoal in the Shenandoah Valley Charcoal Ink Making


V I R G I N I A R I V E R H E A L E R S

VRH


Virginia River Healers is a civil disobedient environmental group based in Richmond, VA. The Healers use science, prayer, and group tactics to help equip local communities and Virginia citizens with the knowledge, instruments, and professional support to monitor local waterways and industrial wastelands. Given the current state of deregulation in the state of Virginia, and the absence of sufficient Environmental Protection Agency testing it is up to citizens to determine corporate misconduct.


Virginia River Healers, James River Watershed archive, 2015. SEDIMENT gallery. Photos by Tom Burkett


DEMAND THIRD PARTY WELL WATER TESTING Safeguard VA communities from Dominion’s withdrawal Petition written prior to the re-issuing of Dominion Power’s Coal Ash Dewatering Permits. Signed by: 1176 supporters Delivered orally during the July 6th Virginia Department of Environmental Quality public hearing regarding the closure and dewatering permits for Dominion Power’s Chesterfield Coal Ash Ponds.


> DEMAND THIRD PARTY WELL WATER TESTING!


I demand that you require Dominion Virginia Power to pay for third party professional water testing of residents’ drinking water and well water in the immediate area of coal ash ponds. This demand is for all of Dominion’s power stations that are slated for coal ash cleanup and lifetime “capping” around the commonwealth. Following Duke Energy’s 2014 Dan River coal ash spill, the state of North Carolina required Duke Energy to pay for residential water well testing. The testing found that 93 percent of residential groundwater wells within 1,000 feet of similar coal ash ponds were contaminated with dangerous chemicals found in coal ash. The timeline of coal ash leaching is still undetermined by inorganic chemists. Some professionals predict leaching toxins could become worse in 50+ years, leaving communities that are left with Dominion’s coal ash waste sites environmentally displaced. If Dominion Power is going to move forward with closure plans, we demand a thorough assessment of the current condition of well water in the communities that live near coal ash ponds. Virginia residents have the environmental right to know if their water is currently safe to drink. We also demand that Dominion Virginia Power is to be held responsible for continued third party testing and monitoring of well water in the immediate area of “capped” coal ash ponds to ensure our water tables and aquifers stay protected and safe for consumption in the future.


Written recipients: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Virginia Senator Mark Warner Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring David Paylor Director of Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Jefferson Reynolds Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Enforcement Director Kathleen O’Connell Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Water Enforcement Officer John Ely Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Water Adjudication and Policy Manager Justin Williams Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Division of Land Protection Director, Solid Waste Brett Fisher Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Division of Land Protection, Groundwater and Corrective Action Leslie Romanchik Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Division of Land Protection, Hazardous Waste Sanjay Thirunagari Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Division of Land Protection, Data Survey


E N V I R O N M E N T A L I M P A C T S T A T E M E N T

EIS


An Environmental Impact Statement is required documentation that the government must collect to show potential impact on the environment before development occurs. This process has been increasingly dismantled by industry and removed from public involvement. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is an artist collective based in Portland, OR that derives its name from this required documentation. EIS seeks to redefine the form, scope and potential impact of an environmental impact statement through artist research and response. EIS has created spaces for expression and conversation around ecological, social and political issues central to public land management on Mt. Hood. The project also questions the role of the artist in the debate of managing public lands.

Gary Wiseman, Air Strip, 2015


On January 26, 2015 the Mt. Hood National Forest released a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Polallie Cooper II Timber Sale . This required government document outlines the potential impacts from commercial logging on over 3,000 acres of public land on the north slope of Mt. Hood, including approximately 1,900 large areas of mature and old growth forests. The Forest Service is required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to inform the public of these potential impacts, and collect comments on whether the public agrees that the harm is worth the benefit. In their assessment, the Forest Service uses a metric called Visual Quality Objectives to anticipate impacts on how the forest will look after logging. Th e artist collective Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has invited artists from all disciplines and locations to submit proposals for work that cannot happen if this area is logged thus illustrating the vast potential for creativity, visually and otherwise expressed, that would be lost if logging proceeds. All artist proposals will be submitted as part of the public record in the form of comments in response to the Forest Service’s draft EA for the Polallie Cooper Timber Sale. These creative projects will be included alongside many other environmental concerns submitted during the public comment period. Visual Quality Objectives is encouraging artists to insert their artistic practice in this political process to help protect a very important place. * The original VQO projects were shortened for the EIS+VRH exhibition where they were printed and hung on the wall.


> VISUAL QUALITY OBJECTIVES


TITLE OF PROJECT: Songs for the Canopy NAME: Gabriel Saloman CITY/STATE: Vancouver, British Columbia PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The majority of human relationships with the forest take place at two scales: the extraterrestrial space of the bird or plane or satellite looking down upon the earth as a flat plane, easily cut into pieces by imaginary lines; or from the ground, a space of depth and embodiment yet no less horizontally biased. Some people experience the forest on a vertical axis and have lived for periods short and long in the upper altitude of the forest, its canopy. The canopy of temperate rain forests are their own distinct ecosystems and as such produce a unique human relationship to the environment that aren’t possible to reproduce in any other space. Given this, it is fair to say that human culture as it might be created and experienced in the canopy likewise can not be produced (or reproduced) under any other circumstances.

Leif Lee, Air Strip Timber Sale, 2015

Songs for the Canopy invites people to experience a chorus performed in the upper canopy of the Mt. Hood National Forest. The audience, like the performers, would climb the trees in a widely dispersed area so that the voices of the singers would mingle equally with voices of the surrounding forest. The resulting choral would be a totally unique, unprecedented and impossible to repeat event. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: Each canopy ecosystem is wholly unique and cannot be considered equivalent to any other. While a Song for the Canopy could be performed in another canopy, it would be completely different performance due to the basic features of those distinct forests. Both the sounds produced by the forest (sounds which are integral parts of the composition) and the spatial relationships that the audience would have within those particular trees, could not be simulated or reproduced anywhere except in this particular portion of the forest. Should the logging of this area be allowed, not only would it make this performance physically impossible, it would destroy a unique soundscape that could never be recovered.


TITLE OF PROJECT: Catchment NAME: Grey Crowell CITY/STATE: Los Angeles, CA PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This project would see the installation of 12 hand constructed terracotta water filter vessels. The vessels would be tagged with so they could be located easily. Each vessel would be placed under a different tree species. Each tree has its own smell and taste the vessels would receive a “trickle charge” of water as precipitation falls from the leaves and branches. The water would be collected and bottled in glass bottles with pieces of wood that have been charred by recent forest fires these carbon sticks also work to purify the water. This water would be collected, bottled, dated, and sold all proceeds would go to benefit forest protection and raise awareness about the link between clean water and healthy forests and watersheds. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: If there is no forest there can be no water collection from the trees.


TITLE OF PROJECT: Tentility (tentility.com) NAME: Chelsea Peil CITY/STATE: Portland, OR PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This project will be an installation of portable architecture around the woods to shelter dance performances and experiential interactions. This event and installation is a conversation about the various types of shelters humans need to feel comfortable enough to engage with the outdoors, over 3 days. This piece will further explore the degrees of comfort found in objects, such as to answer the question, if you only had 5 man-made objects with you in these woods what ones would you want? The performance pieces will venture into what catharsis and agitation, and what peace and fear there is about being in the outdoors. What’s our threshold as contemporary urbanities, thru hikers, and outdoors people? HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: The logging would completely alter the landscape necessary for this project to one of engagement with the available forest ecosystem. This section of woods will be required to help the performers elucidate what essential medicines, food, shelter, solace, space, wellbeing, and beauty are found in the forest.


TITLE OF PROJECT: A Description of Trees NAME: Aidan Koch CITY/STATE: Brooklyn, NY PROJECT DESCRIPTION: A text based project creating calligraphic works on paper. Each would be a large graphite drawing vividly describing a single tree. This would include color, tone, texture, height, similarities, and comparisons. The goal would be to create an experience of viewing the tree through language. By using the format of a traditional ‘drawing,’ it would operate outside of the common scientific or biological descriptors, it would help describe the characteristics of such an amazing living thing in a way that is more deeply relatable to the human experience. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: There would be no trees remaining to describe.

Jodi Darby, Air Strip - from NO/ZONES Photographs Along Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary, 2015


TITLE OF PROJECT: Social Network Analog (SNA): Contingent valuations of a forest NAME: Ryan Seibold CITY/STATE: Minneapolis Minnesota PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Under the Forest Reserve Act the area of Mt. Hood was designated a forest reserve and called Cascade Range Forest Reserve. In the early 20th century the forest was given National Forest status; dismissing the creative reserve act untied the forest as a local entity. Frenetic economic order displaced the silent quality that the reserve held in its interconnected ecology. The forest is now valued in board feet and victim to industry and natural resource management by a government concerned with productivity, commodities to export, and endless economic growth. To an artist, the forest as idea is the value of most concern. The forest converted to a chair is no longer abstract, its existence value is destroyed. To keep the forest we must divest the object, invest in forms that place value on life, the event, and the commons, where life and events take place. A commons is a reserve. The forest is creative reserve for a world out of balance. Contingent valuations place a price on the forest as a creative reserve full of potential. This proposal will monitor the ongoing contingent valuations of the forest if it is not logged through a new social network analog, the forest. Instead of a direct connection to other endusers, you, the user, are engaged with the forest on a webbased platform. Many other users are plugged in also, and there begins a common language, a platform, a need for the forest to tie all of us together. A simple blogroll will tune us to the forest floating words sent by someone immersed in the vibrant forest in real time. Each new comment becomes part of an ongoing loop, like trees sending messages through their roots to start flowering. Each user has the personal communion with the forest; the forest breathes words and thoughts out, contingent valuations. In response we give back to the forest. More words. More immersion. More connection. The contingent valuation is a deep communal display of devotion to our relations, ancestors and kin, the forest, and our planet. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: The Social Network Analog is a connection to community through the forest as platform. You destroy the forest and you destroy the community.


TITLE OF PROJECT: “Rustling,” a series of Performance Hikes NAME: Stephanie Brachmann CITY/STATE: Portland, OR PROJECT DESCRIPTION: I propose to curate and facilitate a series of Performance Hikes entitled “Rustling” that would take place on the Tilly Jane loop trail. A Performance Hike is a hike/performance event in which the audience hikes on a trail, and there is a series of stops along the route to view or participate in performances. Performers would be curated and chosen ahead of time, and would hike along with the audience. Performances would include a variety of experiences, such as dance, story telling, poetry, music, etc. Performers would create specific material that is somehow concerned with the Mt. Hood area, its history, its inhabitants, its future. Each hike would include 610 performances, depending on the length of the hike. Audience members would have the option of meeting and carpooling from a designated location. Hikes would last 23 hours. I plan to curate a series of 3 of these events each summer, beginning in 2016. The word rustling refers to the quiet sound of the wind moving in the trees, and also the sound that happens when a person or other creature walks among leaves and branches. Rustle simultaneously refers to the act of energetic movement or the act of gathering something up quickly. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: The proposed trail would be destroyed by the logging.

Jodi Darby, Stump - from NO/ZONES Photographs Along Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary, 2015


Jodi Darby, Hood Sign - from NO/ZONES Photographs Along Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary, 2015


TITLE OF PROJECT: The meaning of green is in it’s use. NAME: Liz Goltz CITY/STATE: Portland, Oregon PROJECT DESCRIPTION: How do the most light sensitive creatures use ambient light? Butterflies and birds have evolved a keen visual sensitivity because it allows them the advantage of locating food, and finding the best egg laying environments, from a flyings distance. We, as humans, with language and symbols, distract ourselves from this sensory experience of the forest with concepts of “trees” and “trails” and “foliage”. This project aims to exemplify the experience of the overwhelming necessity of light quality on a sensitive species’ survival, by distilling it and projecting it, largely (and perhaps with field gathered sound), in the context of art. This project begins as a walk through the forest, with an ambient light and color meter to gather data, and ends with a large scale abstract video projection of the averaged ambient light, as experienced along the walk. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: There is no leaf filtered ambient light if you cut down trees. This project seeks to build experiential empathy for the most visually sensitive creatures of the forest.


TITLE OF PROJECT: Walking Meditation NAME: Veronica Reeves CITY/STATE: Scappoose PROJECT DESCRIPTION: My project includes a walking meditation through the Polallie Cooper area. A group of approximately 15 participants will meet in Parkdale and then travel to a site where the group will begin a walking meditation. The walking meditation will be repeated on a monthly basis, rotating new participants, and will be an intentional focus on positivity and empathy. The goal of this walk will be to measure emotional and empathic changes between the old growth forest area and the new growth forest, in order to begin intuitive observation of human psychology in relationship to landscape. After 6 months, the participants will convene in a summit to discuss further research on the empathic connection between forest ecosystems of different ages, new paths of research, and reports of life forms seen in the Polallie Cooper area. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: If the logging at Polallie Cooper takes place, there will be no way to complete this project.


TITLE OF PROJECT: The Sound of It Falling NAME: Chiara Giovando CITY/STATE: Portland, OR PROJECT DESCRIPTION: “The Sound of it Falling” is a proposal for a site specific sound installation that would include 15 small audio/video devices and remote transmitters to be installed through out the Pollalie Cooper area of Mt.Hood. These devices would be hiked in and installed on trees. The devices would then send sounds and images of the forest at various times of day to a receiver installed in Portland, ideally an interior lobby or gallery. These sounds and images would act as a reminder of the wilderness hopefully bring the immediate threats to our last wild spaces into view. The project also points to a philosophical thought experiment first raised by philosopher George Berkeley, in his work, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710), regarding observation and knowledge of reality. In June 1883 in the magazine The Chautauquan, the question was put, “If a tree were to fall on an island where there were no human beings would there be any sound?” They then went on to answer the query with, “No. Sound is the sensation excited in the ear when the air or other medium is set in motion.” “The Sound of it Falling” looks at the phonomilogical distance of individuals to the rising climate crisis and our attempts at negotiating this distance. The project would hope to explore and construct a “closeness”, or an observational vantage for city dwellers to the forest by providing regular remote access to wild spaces. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: “The Sound of it Falling” will send live sounds and images of the wild forest to viewers in the city; sounds and images of leaves falling, pine needles hissing in the wind, birds, insects and animals. If the Pollalie Cooper area of Mt.Hood is logged it would send the sounds and images of that operation and of the destruction; sounds of trees falling. The project hopes to bring the forest into a more immediate conscious place for those of us who do not get to regularly access it, and bring into consciousness the nurturing aspects of wild spaces on human wellbeing.


Kim Zitzow, Rawness of Raw (video stills), 2015 Score by Lisa Schonberg + Anthony Brisson


TITLE OF PROJECT: Field Survey for Percussion and Noise NAME: Lisa Ann Schonberg CITY/STATE: Portland, Oregon PROJECT DESCRIPTION: I am proposing an intimate audio representation of the ecology of a very small part of the immense proposed Pollalie Cooper timber sale. I will survey trees within a 100 square meter plot in an area of mature or old growth forest. I will collect data for 25 trees, including a range of species and ages. For each tree, I will take photos and collect the following information: species, approximate height, diameter at breast height (dbh), description and rubbings of bark and leaves/needles, descriptions of animals present at the tree, plants growing in soil under the tree, quality of soil, epiphytic or parasitic plant species living on the tree, and any physical evidence of insect or other animal use. I will also make an audio field recording for 2 minutes while standing at the tree. I will select 25 percussion and noise musicians who reside in Oregon, and each musician will be given the photos, recording and data for one tree. They will be asked to compose a 12 minute long piece of music in response to the qualitative and quantitative information provided to them about the tree. This music will be presented in two venues. One installation will take place in the forest where the trees were studied, and music will be played in portable battery powered cassette players and digital audio players. All recordings will be looped, and audio players will be placed at the base of their respective tree, at a volume that cannot be heard from more than five to ten feet away, so that as an observer walks through the forest they hear a changing soundscape, written specifically for the trees the sound is emitted from. This performance will be open to a limited invite only audience. An additional presentation will take place in a gallery in Portland. The music players will be arranged on the floor of the gallery in relation to the tree distribution in the forest, adapted to the scale of the gallery. Through asking a broad range of musicians to create work specifically in response to one tree, this project will create an intimate and dynamic tribute to one of the most majestic old growth forest areas remaining in Mt Hood National Forest. Exhibit visitors will have the opportunity to connect with very specific parts of this forest through musical representation. The majority of the planning area falls within the Forest Service’s “Scenic Viewshed”, and the Environmental Assessment considers critical viewpoints such as views from Highway 35 and Highway 35 recreation sites as well as views from Forest Road 3512.


By providing a detailed audio portrait, my proposal illustrates that the importance of these forests goes much deeper than the preservation of views from nearby roads. What is within these forest stands, the trees that cannot necessarily be seen from the road, are vital to the resilience of this forest, have intrinsic value, and need to be considered and protected. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: My project could not take place if the forest is logged. Thinning operations drastically alter the entire makeup of the forest, and the diverse tree assemblage that I plan to survey would be replaced with a less representative and heavily stressed ecosystem. The logged forest would be drastically changed, visually, sonically, and with respect to species diversity and habitat.


TITLE OF PROJECT: What Wood Would Do? NAME: Jesse Malmed CITY/STATE: Chicago, IL PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Borrowing a segment from my own LANDSCAPE PORTRAIT (2015), (an anti) landscape film focusing on a well trod tourist region of Western Michigan and the various ways it’s been represented in so-called fine art and vernacular culture alike, WHAT WOOD WOULD DO? is a landscape film that interviews the trees themselves. Some are eloquent, some just bark. Some want to stay, other want to leaf. By turns comedic and poetic, this experimental essay film takes as its central concern the agency, rights and opinions of trees. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: It would be destroyed.

Ryan Pierce, Buck Wolf Loop, 2015


TITLE OF PROJECT: In The Shadow of Wy’east NAME: Shawn Creeden CITY/STATE: Portland, OR PROJECT DESCRIPTION: In The Shadow of Wy’east is an experiential project that would combine wilderness exploration, creative writing and the collaborative, social aspects of tabletop gaming in an effort to enhance appreciation of this unique and important landscape. Telling stories is an essential part of being human, and the natural world has always been a primary source of inspiration for our myths and tales. With the exploding popularity of gaming and genre fantasy in recent years there is an opportunity to use these modes to build social bonds and reconnecting with the world around us. The project will begin by leading a group of participants in a loosely guided hike along local trails such as the Zigzag, Dog River, Wagon Road and Elk Meadow loops. Through activities like mapping, discussions of the region’s history, writing, drawing, and sound recording members of the group will be encouraged to let their imaginations run wild and create fantastical scenes or stories based on the things they observe. In such an untouched landscape, simple moments take on an air of mystery or grandeur. A gurgling, fern lined spring might be home to a benevolent nature spirit in the form of a giant salamander, while a swath of inexplicably broken trees might allude to some sinister supernatural activity that threatens the area. These scenes will be fleshed out through a series of short, flash fiction writing exercises. Combining elements of high fantasy, observed details, as well as the writer’s personal experiences will bring them vividly to life. Once we have a selection of scenes I will then combine them into a narrative structure and, using my experience as a game master (GM), run a session of a tabletop role playing game (something like Dungeons & Dragons) with the group. Research shows that role playing games provide a host of benefits for players, including developing creativity, empathy and social skills, teaching problem solving, and encouraging teamwork and cooperation. Through the collaborative storytelling experience the group will have the opportunity to (re)explore and affect this new, pen and paper, “virtual” reality.

Playing “make believe” in the woods behind one’s house is a formative experience for many children, myself included. The things I learned and conjured in those New Hampshire forests have stayed with me always, and a passionate respect for nature central to my identity as an artist and a environmentally conscious citizen. In a contemporary American culture largely mediated through screens and electronics, and with increasing perceived distance from ever more threatened wild spaces I believe it is vital to engage people’s, especially young people’s, innate curiosity and imagination towards the natural world. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: The proposed logging would defile a massive area of previously never harvested, mature, old growth forest. It is precisely in such areas that the fully realized natural wonder of our region is on full display. This is exactly the type of inspiring landscape my project requires. If logging is permitted in this area, the observed marvel will instead be of humanity’s destructive capacity.


TITLE OF PROJECT: Deposit NAME: Adam Farcus CITY/STATE: Chicago, IL PROJECT DESCRIPTION: One headsup penny on the forest floor for every tree on the north slope of Mt. Hood. http://afarcus.tumblr.com/image/137346970692 HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: This proposed project would create an artwork over the entire north slope of Mt. Hood that would legally complicate the logging of the trees there in a similar manner to which Peter von Tiesenhausen blocked an oil pipeline through his property. Conceptually this proposal also comments on the monetization of nature and uses irony (because this piece would also litter the forest with thousands of dollars in “lucky” pennies) to represent the perceived futility that we, artists/activists, have in the face of rampant capitalism.


Jodie Cavalier, Five Skies (Mt. Hood) video stills, 2015


TITLE OF PROJECT: Datascape: Forest Spatial Distribution Patterns As Artistic Generative Mechanism NAME: Collin Richard CITY/STATE: Portland, Oregon PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Data mystifies the land, it becomes organized, classified, compared, and multiplied until it losses meaning. Assimilated into the capitalist economy, the land becomes a commodity. Data compresses the infinite number of lifeforms, habitats, and interrelationships of a landscape into numbers, objectifying living ecosystems into a set of predictable causes and effects. Data sets have become the sharpest tools for natural resource exploitation because of their ability to flatten the land into a lifeless entity. But I believe that data can be a creative entity; a living datasphere—a veritable ether of data in which we are constantly immersed—which can act as a creative wellspring, as opposed to an objective and destructive scientific endpoint mechanism. For this project I plan on exploring how environmental data can be turned around and used by artists, activists, or environmentalists, as a means of re-envisioning the land as a life generating co-evolutionary entity with which humans are actively engaged; an indispensable force of life. I will turn data on its head, so that data itself can be used as a tool to imbue the land with life and energy, as opposed to objectifying it as a determinate set of exploitable commodities. To do this, I will collect and utilize environmental and biological data as a set of generative variables for the production of artistic objects and concepts; using a series of programmatic operations, I will translate flat environmental data into visual art objects to expose data as a creative and malleable entity. Polallie Cooper Timber Sale: I plan to analyze spacial distribution patterns of tree species in the Polallie Cooper Timber Sale area, creating 1020 specific and fixed data collection areas that will each measure approximately 200ft x 200ft. Inside of these 40,000 sq/ft data collection areas, I will map the distribution of trees with a DBH (Diameter at Breast Height) of greater than five inches. The values given in this example should be taken

as a demonstration of the techniques used in this project and do not perfectly match values that will be encountered in the natural environment. This preliminary map will be used as the statistical foundation for data analysis and reconfiguration. From here, the spatial relationships between trees will be mapped; the trees will become vertices, from which lines will connect adjacent vertices to each other, mapping the space in between the trees which composes the phenomenologically perceived forest. This second stage of mapping should be done by measuring the closets points between trees, without crossing any lines. This data—the distance between adjacent trees, the individual species of the trees, the varying diameters of the trees, and tree height—which constitutes the gestalt perceptual spatial distribution patterning in the forest, will then become the translated variables between data and generative artistic compositional production. These data sets will then be given individual corresponding artistic values, such as line, width, color, opacity, shape, size, etc., from which the data can be transformed into an art object. As part of a larger project, this method of data translation will be used to create generated poetry, videos, and environmental installations. But for demonstrative purposes, the artistic product from this proposal will be a pictorial composition, so the forest spatial distribution data (distance, species, DBH, tree height) will correspond to pictorial values—specifically, height, width, orientation, color, opacity, and placement. The individual measurements between trees will act as the foundation for data transformation, from which a pictorial composition will be created. This pictorial composition can then take the form of an oil painting measuring 100cmx100cm, or a 100cmx100cm printed vinyl decal to be displayed in a gallery setting. Thus data, through the methods and techniques inherent to its mathematical composition, becomes a mechanism for artistic production, a generative source of creativity. By shifting the parameters in which data can be applied, by adding discursive relationships and broadening the field of applicable domains, data can become an organic entity. Data can be identified and located within the ecological composition of the earth, intertwining and dissolving within the atmosphere, form


ing a web of relationships that mingles within our daily perceptual field and adds to the life cycle of the earth. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: If the Polallie Cooper Timber Sale proceeds and logging commences in the effected area, it would nullify the possibilities of data interpretation within the specific ecosystems that exist in that area of the Mt. Hood bioregion. When swaths of land are deforested, the land looses it’s specificity, everything that demarcates it as a creative force. By making a datascape of a forest, it shows the unique character of a forest, the specific elements that separate it from other forests. Millions of landscape paintings have already deforested the collective psyche, and have blended our memory of the land into a narrow experience of a limited amount of tropes and genres. But data imbues a land with its specific character, and exhibits a landscape’s divergences and differences. By logging in the Polallie Cooper Timber Sale area, an infinite amount of differences and specificities would be erased from the collective datasphere; because of this, it is crucial to keep the habitats of Mt. Hood intact in an undisturbed manner so they may be perceived and interpreted by generations to come, to keep intact the creative and evolutionary forces that lie within the forest.

Heather Treadway, ATV (recorded interview) 2015 video by Kim Zitzow


Virginia Marting + Tim Brock, a shadow of a forest (video stills of puppet show), 2015


TITLE OF PROJECT: A Proposed Project for the Polallie Cooper Timber Sale NAME: Daniel J Glendening CITY/STATE: Portland, OR PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Arrange to meet a group of participants at a point on an access road closest to area of forest designated by Polallie Cooper Timber Sale proposal. Participant group ideally should number at least five individuals, but not more than 12. Participants ideally should be such persons as exist in relation to capitalist economic structures — that is to say, you or I, or any human person. Lead participants into the forest, on foot. Do not follow a path. Take note of that point at which participants are no longer able to see, hear or otherwise observe the starting point of the walk. Keep walking. If there is an obstacle, walk around it. Change directions often. At a certain point, stop walking. Instruct all participants to remove from their persons any directional, communication or survival devices or tools such as, but not limited to:

Each participant should then walk in a different direction, alone. Each participant should continue walking, as quietly as possible, looking only at the forest floor, for a long time. If a participant reaches an obstacle, participant should walk around it, and keep walking. Participants should walk until all participants are lost. A person might describe another person as “lost in thought.” One might describe oneself as feeling “lost” or without purpose. Some might say that “getting lost” is, at times, a beneficial state: to be lost within one’s artistic work; to find one’s way out of entangled slippages of meaning or reference; to be in a constant state of becoming rather than being; being neither here, nor there. When a thing is lost, it may be only temporary — it may be “lost and found;” it may be “missing.” One might lose one’s eyesight, one’s hearing, one’s sensitivity, one’s virginity. A forest cannot consent. When a thing is lost, it may be lost forever. Participants should walk until all participants are lost.

Compasses Flares Cellular phones Torches Knives Flashlights Lenses Smoke devices Multi tools Laser devices Whistles Firearms Matches Maps Emergency blankets Flint Mirrors Magnesium

Each participant should recognize that they are lost. Each participant should reflect on that lostness — on being alone: lost to their wives, husbands, partners, friends, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters; lost to their homes, communities, schools, churches, states and nations; lost to their employers, employees, contractors; lost to their income, their expenses. Participants should walk until all participants are lost. Participants should keep walking, forever.

Place these objects into a prepared vinyl or canvas sack with drawstring. Tie the sack closed. Tie one end of a short length of rope to the sack, the other end to a medium sized stone. Throw the sack, stone and rope into the trees — if sack falls to the ground, repeat — until sack, rope and stone become entangled in tree branches high above the forest floor.

HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: Please see above.


TITLE OF PROJECT: Listening to the Trees NAME: The Everyday Enlightenment Project: Sweethome Teacup and Oh Prema CITY/STATE: Portland, OR PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Listening to the Trees is a forest relationship happening utilizing meditation and listening. The project engages participants in a listening meditation practice of approximately 5 forty minute sits with twenty minutes of vocalizing and music and 20 minutes of forest listening. The project will be filmed with specific attention given to great sound quality to investigate the sounds the forest might make in response to the sounds the participants make. The participants will stay at Tilly Jane Guard Station and the meditations will take place in the surrounding areas. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: The project would not be possible if the logging proposal is approved.

TITLE OF PROJECT: Manifestos for the Trees NAME: Ellen Mueller CITY/STATE: Buckhannon WV PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This project consists of taking classes of students to the north slope of Mt. Hood, and assigning each student a tree with which to spend time. After one hour of time spent with their tree, students will write a manifesto on the importance of their tree in relationship to the surrounding area, the greater forest, the state, the country, the earth, and the universe. They will also reflect on the importance of becoming more thoughtful and engaged citizens of their class, school, city, state, country, earth, and universe. Students will then read their manifestos aloud to each other and any onlookers. The written manifestos will be wallpapered to a public building or other built structure nearby. As more classes visit and execute this project, the wallpaper will become more complete. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: Without the trees on the north slope of Mt. Hood, this project will not be possible.


TITLE OF PROJECT: Natures Symphonic Creation NAME: Jen Agosta CITY/STATE: Los Angeles PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This project will be recording and surveying the sounds and frequencies created by the wildlife, plant life and weather elements present in the PolallieCooper portion of the Mt. Hood National forest and recreating artwork in two different mediums to represent the sounds that would be lost if the forest is logged. These two different mediums are visual art prints of cymatic patterns, and a musical composition based on sounds and auditory patterns present in the forest. The visual portion of this piece will be creating visual cymatic patterns that resonate at the frequencies created by the soundmakers of the forest. Examples of these frequencies will be found in bird songs and calls, howling and growling animals, cracking of braches, animal chirps, bat echolocation, steps through brush, rainfall, wind in trees and many others. These patterns will be assigned to their corresponding animals, plant, or element and large prints will be made of their cymatic patterns to represent the sounds that would be lost if the forest is logged. The musical components will be recording these sounds of the forest, taking note of the patterns, texture and mood of the forest, then composing a piece of music that represents the natural symphony of the forest in my interpretation and features recorded samples of sounds found there. Examples of past musical compositions can be found here: http://www.jagervision.com What are cymatics? Cymatics is the science of sound waves made visible showing how each frequency creates a different geometric shape and pattern structure when resonating. The basic shapes of these patterns can all be found in the periodic table of elements, which makes up every element of the universe as we know it. To recreate these cymatic patterns, I will be using Chladni plates and a tone generator.


Example of Chladni plates and cymatics can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvJAgrUBF4w Why frequencies? Frequencies are all around us and make up everything that we hear, see and experience, but we cannot hear the vast majority of them on the wide spectrum. This project will focus mostly on the auditory spectrum that can be heard by the human ear. However, there are some other frequencies that will be represented in this project including the ultrasonic frequencies used by bats for echolocation. HOW WOULD THIS PROJECT BE IMPACTED BY THE LOGGING PROPOSED IN THE POLALLIE COOPER TIMBER SALE: Each environment plays it’s own unique symphony composed of many natural sounds made by the forest’s sound-makers. The Polallie Cooper section of the Mt. Hood National Forest has it’s own unique symphony of animals, plants, trees and weather patterns that would be lost if it is logged and this timber sale proceeds. My goal is to make a record of this symphony visually and musically.

Kim Zitzow, border, Jazz Timber Sale (Mt Hood, series), 2015


EIS + VRH installation view, SEDIMENT gallery, 2016. Photos by Gary Wiseman


TITLE OF PROJECT: Valley Almanac NAME: Hudson Gardner PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Feeling That Rises From Beneath Dark Trees At Night I used to go to a patch of land, years ago. When I went, there was dappled light on the forest floor, trickles of water, not streams, but still alive and flowing. There were ferns and moss, and silence. I used to sit under a tree that had been there since before any human now living had been born. I realized both its importance and its rareness, so I came to see it often. One day I came back, thought I had taken a wrong turn. The forest that I used to walk into was dry and bare land. A few patches of trees, a confusion of earth, tracks, stumps, and cut logs. Sawdust, black soil, dead ferns, bright sunlight drenching everything. I turned around and drove back to the road, and then I realized I had not taken a wrong turn, the place I used to come was the place I had just seen. I used to come there in the evenings, walk into the trees without any light. I would find my favorite tree and sit back against it, noticing how things came and went, the sounds of the forest, the quiet in between. Taking time to sit in a place for that long, something different happens, something inside yourself recognizes itself in the landscape in front of you. Its rare, to even sit and do nothing like that for very long these days, but it’s important. After sitting I would leave, but a verdant solidity was awakened each time, and came with me, until the next time. The last time I visited the forest, it was late afternoon. I walked further than usual, and sat on a rock looking out at the trees beyond. As I sat there, I watched a hawk circling. I could not place it, but something came up, an odd, foreboding feeling. As the hawk circled the feeling grew, and I realized that it was fear. I had come to love this place so much, to have made so many memories there, it had become part of my life, just like a friend, or anything else important in a person’s life. I was afraid to lose it.

The final evening I visited, before everything changed, I walked back along the trail and sat under the huge old tree. As the light slowly faded from the sky, the nighttime sounds of the forest picked up. Then it grew quiet in the trees below, and the quiet slowly rolled up the side of the mountain, over the boulders, between the trees, up the hill in front of me, and all the way to where I sat up against the tree. The fear I had was forgotten, and I was instead just part of the landscape. I didn’t know it then, but it was the last time I would lean against that tree, the last time the forest in front of me would even be recognizable. Sitting there, my thoughts and breathing and thinking slowly faded away, became background noise to the feeling itself of being there, a feeling that can only be found in quiet, undisturbed places, far from roads, cities, and the rest of everyday life in the modern world, a feeling that’s hard to find, and even harder to hold onto: the feeling that rises from beneath dark trees at night.


BARK is the resource for community action to protect Mt. Hood National Forest and surrounding federal lands. We prioritize grassroots organizing and believe in the power of an engaged public. We recognize that the forest should thrive not just to provide resources for the human community, but also for the inherent value of nature itself. We maintain an organizational culture that is transparent, inclusive and cooperative, where volunteers, staff and board work together to realize the vision of Bark. Bark’s name originates from the barker, who stands before the public and uses persistent outcry to call attention. We are a group of barkers, ensuring that the public hears about all events, good and bad, occurring in the Mt. Hood National Forest.


> BARK’S community mapping project


“Representation of geographic information through the science of cartography is not neutral and is in no way separate from the broader power relations present in society” - David Livingstone

The information we collect is then used to raise awareness about threatened places, and to support our legal tools to stop the worst logging proposals. The geographic scale of timber sales has increased during the past decade, as the Forest Service lost funding for many of their programs, and significantly downsized their workforce. The result is that fewer and fewer agency specialists plan larger and larger timber sales in order to meet annual timber targets determined by U.S. Congress. It has become increasingly difficult for the Forest Service to adequately survey and thus accurately describe the unique values which may exist in areas they are proposing to log. At any given time in Mt. Hood National Forest, there could be 5-10 timber sales being planned, each between 2,000-8,500 acres. This creates a lot of ground for Bark to cover each year in order to record the data we use to try to stop the most egregious logging. We wouldn’t come close to completing this task without help from volunteers, so we hold regular groundtruthing trainings to introduce folks to this work. Volunteers gain experience with using maps and a compass, reading and interpreting timber sale proposals, forest ecology, and basic field data collection. Polallie Cooper II Timber Sale

Founded in 1999, Bark is an environmental nonprofit in Portland, Oregon, that protects Mt. Hood National Forest. A grassroots organization, we believe in the power of an engaged public, and work to decouple forests surrounding Mt. Hood from corporate and extractive dominance. We get volunteers on the ground to document the real conditions of areas included in proposed “timber sales” and other extractive projects, a process that we call groundtruthing. We carry maps created by the U.S. Forest Service in order to find and walk the areas the agency is proposing to log. .

Located on the north slope of Mt. Hood, the Polallie Cooper Timber Sale was originally canceled in 2005 after fierce opposition from a coalition of conservation, recreation, and citizen groups. In 2013, we got word that this project was being revived, and just like 10 years ago, the proposal includes aggressive logging in some of the forests the Bark community values the most. The area surrounding the newly (re)proposed Polallie Cooper Timber Sale (one of several timber sales currently being planned in the forest) is one where Bark’s com-


munity has a longstanding history, dating back to before the organization was formed. Looking at old photographs taken by volunteers, the earliest date back to 1997.

Logging in Polallie Cooper is especially controversial because the area includes a Wild & Scenic River corridor, a municipal drinking watershed, critical habitat for northern spotted owls, and popular recreation destinations. We knew that this project would spark contention, so we wanted to make sure that the experiences and information we had gathered over the years would be represented in an accessible, creative way. During this time, Signal Fire’s Tinderbox Residency placed Gary Wiseman as Bark’s Artist in Residence. His work centered on Bark’s connection to the forest--the places we walk through, document and observe -to produce maps that were both artistic and personal. This way of thinking about Bark’s work renewed how we think about how our community relates to place. When the Forest Service proposes a logging project, memories and experiences are substituted with technical terms and land designations. Gary’s visual, site-based creations led Bark to think differently about how we engage with extractive proposals that seek to disconnect the public’s personal, harder- to-describe relationship with the place.

Since the Forest Service has been re-examining Polallie Cooper, Bark continues to build and sometimes re-build our connection to this special place. We have hosted camp outs, public hikes and groundtruthing trips to field-check the areas under proposal for logging and road-building. Along with documenting ecological conditions in the timber sale, we also found ourselves taking in beautiful sunsets on the mountain, powerful old growth trees, sharing childhood stories, afternoon dips in the river, and a midnight lightning storm. These experiences are the basis for this project.


Defining the project We were inspired by the fact that our community members hold abundant local knowledge and personal ties to the forest, but are constantly finding ourselves reacting to and using timber sale maps created by those in positions of “power.” We wanted to create our own Polallie Cooper map in a way that was inclusive and accessible to anyone who wanted to help create it, represented our values, and converted personal experiential knowledge into something that can be used and shared publicly. “Participatory GIS” is the development of geospatial information systems that are initiated and directed by community members, who participate collaboratively. This can be described as: • A process which is inclusive, with broad community involvement being more important than mapping skills or accuracy. • A representation of our community’s values, to be used by our community or on behalf of it. • The content that represents our local, site-specific, experiential knowledge - turning our names/symbols into public information. • Accessibility and format is humble enough for Barkers to participate in the long-term without much guidance.

Keeping all this in mind, we sought to demonstrate our values, understandings and interactions with the place, our “long but invisible history” of relating to the forest, the desire for change, and as an educational tool for people who love Mt. Hood.


The idea was that the finished map would speak for itself, so the map was intentionally left untitled. People focused on different types of information. Much was qualitative and ecological, and a considerable amount was experiential, lighthearted, and artistic. The product is an inclusive culmination of our community’s connection to this place. Creating the map

Presenting the map to the “experts”

In early 2016, we invited all members of the Bark community who had spent time in the areas included in the current Polallie Cooper proposal to contribute to the map. Participants were given a marker, access to their old notes and photos, and a verbal description of the map’s purpose. Very little guidance was given other than allowing space for others to place their experiences on the map canvas. The digitally-created map canvas was minimal. There were some reference points (main roads, streams, etc.), but most landmarks were up to the participants to define, depending on their experiential importance.

We brought our map to a public open house that the Forest Service held in Hood River, Oregon, where the agency presented their own maps of Polallie Cooper. These open housestyle meetings usually include a series of maps that are often difficult for a lay person to comprehend. When we brought in our map, the Forest Service told us keep it outside the meeting room, since the “floor belonged to the project planners” that night. We positioned the map outside the entrance to the meeting, so that everyone who came in or out could see it. Several attendees contributed their own experiences to it with a marker we brought along.


Many of these attendees expressed frustration with the meeting, and said they preferred our community mapping exercise to the seemingly intentional confusion in the meeting room. “Finally, a map I can understand!” said one participant. After the meeting was over, some Forest Service staff came out, (quietly) contributed to the map, and expressed interest in looking at it in more depth because they saw its value for their own information gathering on the area. Bark submitted over 3,000 signed postcards in opposition to the timber sale that night, and sent our organization’s written comments later that month. We made a full-size color copy of the “finished” community map and sent it to the Forest Service to include in their records and to consider as valuable, publicly-submitted information. Since maps are typically created by those in “power,” this project sought to place that power in the hands of those who walk, listen to, and love this land. This map is just the beginning of a process that the Bark community will carry onward to record our history in the forests surrounding Mt. Hood. This information will be available to our supporters, federal agencies in power, and other stakeholder groups when decisions are being made about our public forests. While we don’t yet know if or how the Forest Service will use this map to inform their planning of the Polallie Cooper timber sale, for Bark it’s a fascinating tool to complement our customary data collection. We have gathered information in the forests surrounding Mt. Hood for so long, and have created such an expansive data archive, that the amount of documentation can be daunting. The map was a good way to capture a lot of information in one place. While the map was destabilizing for the Forest Service at “their” meeting, it connected Bark to new allies who found the agency-sanctioned process inaccessible. We hope more group-mapping projects like this can be used by other communities to better capture their invisible history on the land, and make for a more long-term connection to forests and other threatened ecosystems.

For images and text, thanks to Michael Krochta Forest Watch Coordinator, BARK www.bark-out.org


Two symposiums were held during the month long exhibition in order to explore other projects and initiatives related to the artistic and activist objectives defined by Environmental Impact Statement and Virginia River Healers. For the first symposium, Molly Fair presented on behalf of the artist cooperative justeeds, followed by participating artist Gary Wiseman in conversation with Emily Bosanquet, founder of the Art + Science Initiative at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. For the second symposium, Tom Burkett presented on behalf of the Virginia River Healers, followed by Jesse Goldstein who presented The Rare Earth Catalog. This section explores each of these projects.


> SYMPOSIUMS


With members working from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Justseeds operates both as a unified collaboration of like-minded artists and as a loose collection of creative individuals with unique viewpoints and working methods. We believe in the transformative power of personal expression in concert with collective action. To this end, we produce collective portfolios, contribute graphics to grassroots struggles for justice, work collaboratively both in- and outside the co-op, build large sculptural installations in galleries, and wheatpaste on the streets—all while offering each other daily support as allies and friends


> JUSTSEEDS ARTIST’S COOPERATIVE


WE ARE THE STORM Climate change continues to have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable communities around the globe, including migrants and communities of color — people who are typically marginalized in our society. Justseeds, in collaboration with CultureStrike, has forged partnerships between artists and front-line environmental justice organizations to create this provocative, limited-edition art print portfolio called We Are the Storm, which highlights the effects of climate change on these communities. The portfolio draws inspiration from the powerful work of grassroots groups that are championing creative and community-based solutions to combat climate change, and resisting industrial fossil fuel projects, such as the Tar Sands projects, the Keystone pipeline, fracking operations, destructive mining practices, and the transporting and burning of toxic fuels. The featured artworks bring voices from front-line communities most impacted by global warming and destructive environmental practices to the forefront of the climate change discussion.

Note: each portfolio contains a USB thumb-drive, containing digital images for the press, a copy of the press release, copy of the colophon hanging instructions for exhibition, a guide to the images, the “We Are the Storm/ Climate Warrior” video, and two “how to” videos about banner and stencil making.


Associated Artists Bec Young, Colin Matthes, Favianna Rodriguez, Fernando MartĂ­, Jesse Purcell, Justseeds Collaboration, Kevin Caplicki, Mary Tremonte, Mazatl, Meredith Stern, Nicolas Lampert, Pete Railand, Roger Peet, & Thea Gahr Other Artists Agana, Micah Bazant, Gilda Posada, Nicolas Medina, Thomas Greyeyes, Romy Torrico, Erin Yoshi, David Tim, Julio Salgado


The Art + Science Initiative became a formally grant funded, long-term interdisciplinary platform for students to make, think, experience, and research ideas and concepts at the intersection of science, culture and art practice. The work is motivated by a desire to invite varied epistemological frameworks to address the pressing social and ecological concerns we face as a society -- water resource use, climate change, toxic contamination, environmental justice -- by incorporating creative research, making, collaborations with scientists, and community engagement as a way to situate our scientific understanding into the cultural landscape, and allow for a different sort of access and interrogation and response. - Emily Bosanquet


> PACIFIC NORTHWEST COLLEGE OF ART (PNCA) ART + SCIENCE INITIATIVE


art + science A collaboration between contemporary art practice, scientific investigation, and higher education. by E. Bosanquet

Contemporary artist, Robert Irwin coined a “dialogue of immanence” to capture a series of collaborative, multidisciplinary engagements between artists and scientists that was taking place in the post war technological (space-age) climate of the west coast. Irwin goes on to define this dialogue of immanence as a place where “certain questions become demanding and potentially answerable at a certain point in time, and that everyone involved on a particular level of asking questions, whether he’s a physicist or a philosopher or an artist, is essentially involved in the same questions.”1 1

From L Weschler, Seeing is Forgetting p137

all images PNCA Art + Science Initiative

Irwin’s, and his scientific contemporaries’ questions were of a psychological nature. Along with James Turrell, he worked in collaboration with NASA to create the ganzfeld sphere to invoke disorientating perceptual ambiguity by manipulating light and sound—exploring and distorting the experience of seeing and imagining.


Perhaps the question we are asking ourselves today within a science-art discourse is “how do we move through the landscape in which we find ourselves” . This landscape is physical —but also technological, especially digital; consider a hybrid space existing between me and my phone as part of the “landscape” we are navigating; it is political, cultural and psychological. Asking “how do we move through the landscape in which we find ourselves” appears to neglect a more fundamental question: “What is the landscape in which we find ourselves?” . This is a tricky questions, not least because the landscape is different for different groups, and localized only to the extent that circumstances are shared. We can probably agree that the landscape will be different than today and experience change at different rates and degrees of intensity. We are caught in a period of climatic variability, suspended in transition into the Anthropocene. (Illustration by Shelby Smith, below). Artist and recent PNCA graduate Matt Dan, (BFA’16) described his interpretation of the landscape in his thesis work, defining a new orientation to the world: “The Funky Horizon”. He writes, “Students are taught how punishing human activity is to the environment. Polar bears are losing their habitat due to global warming; the rainforests are being grazed at alarming rates for agriculture development; every year I am taught more and more about this crisis. Over my lifetime I have been aware of an impending environmental catastrophe on the horizon”.

Fatigue of urgency. The funk is reflective of the “contemporary conditions of environmentalism in the 21st century”, appropriating Cornel West’s rejection of a romanticized view of the world, for something more disappointing; a human, or in the case ecological, condition of “shattered and shuttering” blues man. Echoing writer Roy Scranton’s proposition that we need to learn how to die as a civilization. It is not clear what this landscape will look like. Response: Collaboration art + science + teaching To live in a sustainable, resilient or adaptive way requires us to be critically engaged and embodied in the world, in whatever epistemologies, forms of making and knowing we engage with. This has been difficult in an educational model where, to reflect on a contemporary critique by Bill Deresiewicz, our postmodern youth exists in the realm of preliminary adulthood, having no opportunity to allow for the cultural critique and examination to support the necessary fundamental changes in our societies, and instead perpetuate the same conditions through simple imitation.


What does this look like in praxis: PNCA’s Art+Science Initiative Figuring out humility, temperance, mindfulness AND what do we really want. “how do we move through the landscape in which we find ourselves” Letting go of urgency and making room for dialogue. A point of intervention from an Art School/pedagogical perspective is to inspire Art as a tactic to shift culture, (echoing the mission of the Just Seeds collective) as a way to reclaim what Dale Jamison describes, in relation to the ecological collapse of the planet, as failure of a common sense morality and invite a consideration of ethics for the Anthropocene encompassing humility, temperance and mindfulness,2 allowing us to become in full possession of our full humanity.3 Roy Scranton similarly discusses a new humanism and way of thinking as a form of adaptation. Not to retransmitted our fear through the vehicles of social media—reposting violent scenes of hurricane damage and ecological catastrophe, but echoing what Deresiewicz and philosopher Peter Sloterdijk say about pausing, interrupting in a critical thoughtful and autonomous way. Adapting by creating [new] culture.4 Creative practice can be a form of agency, to avoid what art historian TJ Demos describes as “the publics passive deferral of responsibility to scientific expertise and government authority”5 (Art+Ecology pp18), And “create modes of intervention that can identify and address our desires”6 _________ 2 From Dale Jamison’s book, Reason in Dark Time. 2014. 3 From FR Leavis 4 From Roy Scranton’s book, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene. 2015. 5 From TJ Demo’s essay “The Politics of Sustainability: Contemporary Art and Ecology”. 2009. 6 From conversation with TJ Demos “Politics of Ecology” Mar 26, 2013 - Uploaded by Nottingham Contemporary. Accessed June 2016.

The story of two cultural forms: NOAA Fisheries wanted an image to communicate science better to support their mission to protect and preserve living marine resources and their habitats. PNCA faculty recognized a opportunity to bridge a dialogue between contemporary art culture and a scientific and policy organization. And allow student artists to step into an various engagements with scientists and policy makers, to shape a discourse and to find new and varied ways through creative practice to share the scientific insights with us all.


After two pilot years, The Art+Science Initiative became a formally grant funded, long-term, interdisciplinary platform for students to make, think, experience, and research ideas and concepts at the intersection of science, culture and art practice. The work is motivated by a desire to invite varied epistemological frameworks to address the pressing social and ecological concerns we face as a society—water resource use, climate change, toxic contamination, environmental justice—by incorporating creative research, making, collaborations with scientists, and community engagement as a way to situate our scientific understanding into the cultural landscape, and allow for a different sort of access and interrogation and response. To quote the artist Gary Wiseman framing the Art+Science Initiative programming for an artist talk at SEDIMENT gallery in Richmond Virginia : “NOAA—a federal science organization—is actively commissioning works of art from PNCA students. A federal science organization is acting as a cultural funding body . . . That is weird. Why are they doing this? Because they can’t figure out how to communicate extremely complex issues to the public they serve. How do toxics get in the water and destroy fish habitat and water quality? This year the initiative is dealing with a really surreal situation in which social media is driving Whale + Human interactions into destructive, dangerous territory because everyone wants a selfie with a whale to post on their FB wall. The whales now have their own paparazzi of the coast of long beach”. Artists Tippi Carlson’s work (below) in creating curriculum for OMSI science camps 4/5 grade, address an intervention in addressing the frequent mediation of nature through data and imagery— landscapes become hyperreal, becoming

recreated and improved upon in computed simulated experiences—such as Minecraft. What Tippi is doing is getting back to real representation, inviting closer observation, that lays down a more critical way of seeing the world, avoids an infantilized or anthropomorphized “nature” and the implication of ownership or inappropriate dominance.


The Art+Science Initiative programming has three tiers of activity, described below: (1) Science in Studio Award Selected students create a variety of work that addresses specific concern. Students collaborate with NOAA Fishers and develop a research based approach to create a visual language to highlight the issue. Past projects have addressed Nearshore Habitat of juvenile salmon (2013/14) and Watershed Toxic contamination (2014/15), and ongoing 2015/16 students are examining our relationship with marine mammals along the Southern California coastline to better support a more harmonious relationship across human and whale interaction. (2) The Art + Science Fellowship Each year graduate students, or upper division undergraduate students, has an opportunity to apply for the Art+Science Fellowship. The Art+Science Fellow is embedded in a paid residency, working on-site alongside the NOAA scientific community during the summer, and will return for the academic year to coordinate art+science events at PNCA, working closely with faculty and students to develop and create the Art+Science Initiative programming for the subsequent academic year. The Art+Science Fellow is required to document and make work in response to their experiences, and give an Artist Talk to the PNCA community and public at large.


(3) Lecture Series + Workshops Programming of lecture series and workshops provide an opportunity to create various discourses and the types of unanticipated exchanges that can be artful; creating a type of social engagement that might more formally be considered social practice or expanded practice. A recent event invited tribal Chairman Micah McCarty and NOAA biologists Steve Stone to frame an understanding of the complex dynamics at play in considering our relationship to the whale—from a recent legacy of commercial whaling that drove the gray whale to near extinction, to a growing movement to protect whale species under regulatory frameworks that plays out alongside requests to allow the ancient traditions of subsistence hunting by the Makah tribe that define their cultural rituals and food traditions. *More details of the work and artists involve can be found here: http://artsciencepnca.tumblr.com/ *This paper was adapted from a presentation for the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences Conference 2016, American University, Washington D.C. https://aessonline.org/2016-conference/


The Rare Earth Catalog presents short investigations of capital’s unfortunate production of nature – from extraction, enclosure, and pollution to solar panels, science fiction and climate denial. It also surveys some of the methods and strategies that groups are using to fight environmental injustice in this new age of accelerating climate disaster. - Jesse Goldstein


> RARE EARTH CATALOG


That same photograph of the whole earth glosses over all of the messy realities of global capitalism and invokes a type of utopianism that reeks of the legacy of Euro-American settler heritage. With the 21st century well underway, it should be clear that there is no land or nature “out there” to go back to. The quickening advance of our profit-motivated, w a s t e - p r o d u c i n g global economy has left us in the midst of a centuries-old planetary disaster, rooted in racialized and gendered forms of exploitation, violence, and exclusion. The earth and all life on it has become a source and sink for all of the excesses of the ruling economy’s insistence upon endless growth. The process is not pretty; some are afforded the luxury of distance from this reality, while others experience a toxic mingling of emissions and seepages into their air, water, and bodies. Prolifically polluting industries exist regardless of how far out of sight or mind they may be: the factory farm horrorscapes and tar sands wastelands cannot be refused as our own, as the very land that feeds us, fuels us, is us. These sites of extraction, production, seepage and slaughter are as much a part of our lives as our kitchen tables and alarm clocks.

The Whole Earth Catalog was published fifty years ago, providing access to a wide range of tools and ideas meant to promote a new way of living. The Catalog set out to help its readers drop out, tread lightly and live a “simple life.” Born out of sixties’ American counterculture movements, the catalog was a compendium of back-to-the-land, ostensibly anti-consumerist tools and resources that offered its readers a fusion of settler-colonial nostalgia and entitlement with the burgeoning fields of systems theory and cybernetics. On its cover, a picture of the earth as seen from outer space was meant to offer a paradigm-shifting perspective on this planet -- a whole earth to honor and protect. The rugged frontier individualism promoted by the Whole Earth Catalog translated all too well into a culture of entrepreneurial growth and capital accumulation. Interest in appropriate technologies -- self produced and good enough for local and particular needs -- gave way to an interest in commercial technologies, for a global marketplace of cheap labor, disposable goods, and malleable consumer desires. Many of those involved with and inspired by the Whole Earth Catalog went on to become the entrepreneurs of the ‘new economy’, contributing to many of the techno-conveniences that are littered throughout contemporary lives and landfills.

What makes this planet rare? Is it unique and precious? Half-cooked? Is it the raw material for high-tech gadgets and a techno-fueled imagination that conjures dreams of interstellar escape as a solution to the exhaustion of earth’s resources? Our economy depends upon extraction, which is growing more—not less—extreme in its reach even as we move deeper into the era of climate change. In search of precious elemental inputs that make our unsustainable consumption possible, corporations and governments are going beyond the ends of the earth: excavating under melting glaciers and investing in technology to claim and mine resource deposits in outer space. One of these extracted inputs, which factors into the production of a wide range of advanced technologies, is a family of minerals called the “rare earth metals.” Cell phones, drones, touchscreens, wind turbines, electric car batteries and engines all require rare earth minerals. Though not actually rare in their occurrence, they are costly, complicated, and radioactive to process. This catalog is named after these materials not to single them out as more important than others, but to highlight the narratives of manufactured scarcity (so crucial to maintaining the existing economic order) that we are constantly expected to accept and perpetuate. Our aim is to acknowledge these conditions of production—complicated, dangerous, and antithetical to life. This is an uneven geography of technology and toxicity, extinction and exploitation, racism and radioactivity. If the Whole Earth Catalog was part of a shift in American political culture towards individualistic solutions to environmental problems, the Rare Earth Catalog seeks instead to embrace collective strategies for making life equitable and just in the face of an increasingly grim present. We intend this catalog to be part field guide of industrial sites and spills and part dispatch for the resistances and movements fighting the ever-tightening grip of enclosure and industrialization across the world. This work is provisional, trapped within our existing networks, and biased by perspectives that we seek to challenge, deepen and complicate with the help of a growing network of contributors and collaborators. The dynamics of this rare earth that we seek to examine are impossible to contain. We don’t present this catalog as a selection of the most important ideas or sites or struggles but as an entry into the process of linking the unruly particulars of industrial sites and resistance movements. This publication is a call to others to expand, contribute, and redirect this dialog we’ve begun. Please email us at rareearthcatalog {@} gmail.com. __________________________________________________________ This publication is organized by Jesse Goldstein, Elizabeth Knafo, Carolyn Lambert, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson and Kim Zitzow, with contributions by Kai Bosworth, David Court, Duskin, Molly Fair, George Ferrandi, Stephanie Huguenin, Paul Jackson, Kelly Jazvak, Elizabeth Johnson, Colin Mathes, Nina Montenegro, Lauren Pearson, Heather Rogers, Elizabeth Sibilia, Patricia Silva, Susan Simensky Bietila, Kevin Surprise, Fereshteh Toosi, Eric Triantiflio and Derek Woods. Printed with support from Occuprint, Brooklyn NY. Contact us with comments, ideas, submissions, or inquiries at rareearthcatalog@gmail. com. Information on the project can be found at rareearthcatalog.net.


Jesse Goldstein is an assistant professor of sociology at VCU. His research looks critically and theoretically at aspects of the green economy, from biomimicry and human-nature relations, to the techno-fetish of mainstream environmentalism. He has recently collaborated on the publication of the Rare Earth Catalog: Tools For Reckoning with the Anthropocene, and is currently working on a book titled Planetary Improvement: Cleantech and the New Green Spirit of Capitalism. He is a former member of the artist studio and collective Space 1026 (Philadelphia, PA), and still makes art, occasionally.  Molly Fair is an librarian, organizer and multi-disciplinary artist. Her work with Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative has been exhibited internationally, everywhere from activist centers to museums.  Her work has been published in Firebrands: Portraits From the Americas (Microcosm, 2010), Celebrate People’s History: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution (Feminist Press, 2011), and World War III Illustrated. http://justseeds.org/artist/mollyfair/ The Virginia River Healers are a community born militia that incite targeted civil disobedience and entertain an alternative to laissez faire environmentalism. The VRH responds to regional environmental disasters by gathering and testing water and substrate samples from oil spills, train derailments, and toxic discharges. Collective materials are gathered in circumstances where citizens contemplate the safety of their drinking water and the placement of their communities. Virginia is a densely tangled and loosely regulated network of railroads, waterways, and coal ash landfills. The VRH presents the breakdown of policy that regulates this network and provides public access to the toxic materials that dispossess individuals and disenfranchise communities. In 2013 and 2014 The VRH produced public coal ash analyses by obtaining sample material directly from Dominion Power’s property. The VRH has presented speeches to the Environmental Protection Agency during hearings on The Clean Power Plan and presented data and speeches to The Virginia Department of Energy Quality during hearings on the state’s implementation of The Clean Power Plan. Emily Bosanquet is an interdisciplinary scientist, integrating economics, law and public policy into the field of environmental science. Bosanquet has worked for Greenpeace, the Environmental Protection Agency as an independent researcher, and in community-supported natural resource management with non-profit groups in Southeast Asia. She has also worked as a geologist for the Geological Survey of Western Australia and for the Chilean National Copper Company in South America.


Thesis work includes creating mitigation strategies for the Casmalia Wetland, commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as a six-week fieldwork project mapping the geology of the Lennard River Gorge, Northwest Australia. Awards include the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation International Affairs Internship and the Bren Academic Fellowship. Bosanquet is also a contributing author of the Participatory Rural Appraisal for Community Forest Management Tools and Techniques, Asia Forest Network, and a contributing geologist on three map publications, GSWA. Bosanquet teaches a variety of undergraduate science classes and also critical pedagogy in the MFA Print Media department. She is thePNCA representative to the Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability for AICAD and is Principal Investigator for a five-year grant with NOAA Fisheries and founder of the Art + Science Initiative at PNCA. http://www.pnca.edu/programs/special/c/art-science-initiative/ Gary Wiseman is an expanded practitioner who investigates the areas in which art intersects with other things. Wiseman is currently investigating transgenerational traumatic transfer,  circularity, complex systems, patterns, and change.    Wiseman has performed and exhibited at Flux Factory (NYC), The 2007 PICA TBA festival, The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Gallery, Milepost 5, Reed College Arts Week, Gallery Homeland, Appendix Project Space, Open Engagement, PNCA, Nuit Blanche (Canada), The Housatonic Museum of Art (CT), and the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Wiseman co-founded Place Gallery with Gabe Flores in 2010. Place was located on the third floor of a vacant urban mall in downtown Portland, OR. In 2005 Wiseman co-founded and directed the art collective Kitchen Sink PDX with Alicia Eggert. Wiseman has held residencies at Milepost 5, Flux Factory, Signal Fire, Bark: Defenders of the Mount Hood National Forest, and Columbia Riverkeeper.  He has received awards from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Gallery Homeland, PICA, Open Engagement, the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Gallery, Signal Fire, Vancouver School of the Arts and Academics, and the Lemelson Foundation.  http://garywiseman.tumblr.com/


> WORKSHOPS


Participating artist Gary Wiseman led a group through a recent burn in the Shenandoah National Forest in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains to gather charcoal from burnt trees.


> HARVESTING CHARCOAL IN THE SHENENDOAH VALLEY


> Burn areas are fragile and alive ecosystems. Take care where you step, there may be flora and insects beginning to thrive there. > Take a ziplock bag or jar along with a handkerchief or dust mask and gardening gloves. > Scrape the bases of burnt trees with a metal spoon. Logs that have been downed and decomposing before the fire started tend to be rich charcoal sources. Even small twigs can grind into a nice pigment. Be sure to choose pieces that are thoroughly burned and crumble in your hands. > Upon returning home, lay your charcoal samples out on a baking sheet in a very dry place. The charcoal may absorb water and other life forms like mold if left in a humid atmosphere. Consider using a dehydrator or treating the samples with alcohol or vinegar and allowing these liquids to evaporate before making ink.

Photos by Claire Zitzow


The gathered charcoal was used by participants in an ink making workshop at SEDIMENT. Wiseman led the workshop, sharing the recipe he developed while an artist in residence at BARK, where he used the ink to create maps of burns on Mt. Hood. MATERIALS + TOOLS ______________________________________________________________________________

mortar pestle 4�-6� diameter medium metal bowls dust mask spoons jar for keeping ink


> CHARCOAL INK MAKING WORKSHOP


Photos by Claire Zitzow


HOW TO MAKE WILD CRAFTED CHARCOAL INK Pigment: > Remove any dirt, sand, vegetation—all non charcoal matter from your charcoal collection. > Grind charcoal in a mortar and pestle until it is very fine. The finer the pigment the more consistent your ink will be. > Place pigment aside and clean the mortar and pestle.   Medium:

> Mix gum arabic and distilled water in the clean mortar and pestle. Make sure it is dissolved completely. Using distilled water achieves archival quality, but any water will do. > Let the mixture sit for several minutes and periodically grind it with the pestle. > The gum arabic mixture should have a syrup quality that coats the pestle completely. Ink: > Add the pigment to the medium and mix thoroughly. You cannot over-mix. > Add more water or gum arabic medium to achieve your desired ink/paint consistency. > Keep your ink refrigerated in a clean, airtight glass container when not in use.


Information about historic and current burn regimes. http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ Information about fire and why it is good for dry forest ecosystems. http://bark-out.org/content/barks-policy-forest-fire-and-ecology http://bark-out.org/ Gary Wiseman email: eugeniousw@gmail.com Instagram: #wildcharcoal

Photos by Claire Zitzow

*Experiment to achieve your desired results! Other techniques include boiling the ground charcoal in a vinegar/distilled water mixture for 24 hours to break-down the pigment into a finer consistency. After boiling, strain through cheesecloth and add the gum arabic medium until the desired consistency is reached. **Note that the charcoal in this stater pack has been thoroughly dried after being collected and has been disinfected with rubbing alcohol to remove mold and bacteria that can grow once the medium has been added or because of the humid environment in the studio.


Gary Wiseman, ink jars. Photo by Gary Wiseman


Gary Wiseman, Dollar Lake Burn, 2015


left: Gary Wiseman, Burn Maps, 2015 ; right: Ryan Pierce, Buck Wolf Loop photos, SEDIMENT gallery, 2016. Photo by Gary Wiseman


published on the occasion of the exhibition Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) + Virginia River Healers (VRH) SEDIMENT arts www.sedimentarts.org

2016


EIS+VRH >> resource catalog  

This publication has been compiled as an expanded resource for projects, works, ideas and discussions that came into dialog with the EIS + V...

EIS+VRH >> resource catalog  

This publication has been compiled as an expanded resource for projects, works, ideas and discussions that came into dialog with the EIS + V...

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