CREATIVE ECOLOGIES: A Group Residency + Public Conversation

Creative Ecologies
A Group Residency + Public Conversation

Sunday, March 6, 1PM Learn more
Admission FREE
Mess Hall Cafe Open

Reservations are not required, but we invite you to click here as a courtesy RSVP
Invite friends via Facebook

Join us for Creative Ecologies, a round table discussion and presentation by artists and creative thinkers from across the country who address the complex relationship between humans, cultural production, and the natural environment. As part of a new programming initiative exploring ways that residencies catalyze collaboration, participants spend two weeks in residence at Headlands leading up to the event, living, thinking, and working together.

As a group, participants will examine issues on-site in the Marin Headlands portion of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area, in the greater Bay Area, and throughout the world-at-large. Areas of exploration include New Definitions of the Commons: Land Use & Appropriation; Larger Cycles of Resource Management: Waste Disposal and Recycling; Big Bad By-Products: Toxic Waste Prevention and Mitigation; Alternative Systems of Sustainable Agriculture & Human Foodways; How Far Do We Go? Urban Growth & its Limits.

T. Allan Comp (AIR '00), U.S. Department of the Interior
Amy Franceschini (AIR '03), Future Farmer and artist
Cynthia Hooper Eco-artist
Patricia Johanson Environmental artist
Philip Ross (AIR '03) Critter Salon founder and mushroom artist
Susan Thering Professor of Landscape Architecture, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
Daniel Tucker AREA Chicago co-founder
Rosten Woo Founder and Former Executive Director Center for Urban Pedagogy

Directions to Headlands
Click here for directions to Headlands by car or bike. Parking is available on site.
The MUNI 76 bus runs between San Francisco and Headlands on Sundays.
Finally, we encourage folks to coordinate "casual carpools" via the event's Facebook page!

Call for entries | Translocated

Call for entries now OPEN!

Translocated is currently seeking contributions from artists whose work engages with cities and the spatial imaginary, across a wide scope of forms and practices that embrace, question and enrich our understanding of and relationship to urban space.

The project is traversed by the following themes and preliminary key questions:

  • How is our understanding of a city shaped, by the combined effects of experience, representations, memory and myth?
  • What kind of relationship is formed between people and place? How is urban space appropriated by its inhabitants? What makes it (un-)pleasurable?
  • What boundaries are at play in the city, between the personal and the collective, the visible and the invisible? What ways are there to read / write space and to look at the spatial practices / narratives inscribed within a place?
  • What relationships exist between city and language, space and semantics?
  • What is the meaning of home in the age of globalisation? What is the purpose of travel and tourism? How can the exotic be relocated within the everyday?

For more information, please download our call for entries, or get in touch by email at contact [at]translocated [dot] org.

REMOTE STUDIO | Artemis Institute



A Program of Artemis Institute

How we understand ourselves in the world and react to it is directly tied to the qualities of the built environments in which we live and socialize

Remote Studio is a full immersion educational program offered through Artemis Institute, that provides semester long hands-on program in the Yellowstone Eco-region for design students. The program combines environmental philosophy and backcountry experiences with a design / build project for in-need community clients.

The extended goals of the program are two fold: to provide students in their chosen creative fields with first hand experiences that focus and empower their commitment to the world in which they live and to provide local communities within large wild-land environments with inspiring public structures.

Remote Studio ties first hand knowledge to sustainable concepts, environmental literacy and creative processes preparing students for a lifetime of designing for a healthier planet.

Remote Studio is offered twice a year, in the summer and fall. The course of study is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate architecture, landscape architecture and general design students.

Credit toward your degree for attending Remote Studio may be gained through:

· Artemis Institute’s cooperative agreement with Montana State University with transferrable credit back to your university.

· Artemis Institute’s certificate program recognized for credit directly through your university.

Remote Studio may also be attended as a post-degree certificate program.



For more information go to


Artemis Institute
PO Box 1887
Livingston, MT 59047



The community of Charlotte, NC and the McColl Center for Visual Art welcomes artists to create works
of environmental art in the public domain. The Environmental Artist-in-Residence (EAIR) program
encourages artists to have beneficial impacts on urban life through creation of art that is scientifically
relevant, meaningful and beneficial environmental art. Community outreach is an essential part of
McColl Center for Visual Art's mission. Volunteer groups, for which the greater Charlotte community is
well known, actively support the work of the Environmental Artist in Residence. These volunteers are
hands-on participants of all age groups and abilities.

This special artist residency presents opportunities for established and emerging artists and
collaborators, as well as design professionals, to create installations that interact with the urban
environment and become remedial interventions. In addition to an honorarium, travel and living
accommodations, artists will receive a stipend for materials, technical advice or labor to assist them.
Residency periods vary from several weeks to 3 months.

McColl Center for Visual Art has secured several sites in metropolitan Charlotte for artists˙˙™ interventions
including urban creeks, parks, streetscapes and semi-rural lands. These sites represent opportunities
for artists who work in a remedial way with a site and who create projects that go beyond
documentation and demonstrations to bring benefit to a specific site.

View the application at:
Deadline for Applications: preference given to artists who submit applications before May 1.2011. First artists will be selected and notified prior to June 1. 2011.

Submission Call #8 Grassroots Modernism: Journal of Aesthetics and Protest

Submission Call #8
Grassroots Modernism- movement for today's tomorrow.

We hear of rigorously pedestrian, joyful projects.
We hear of projects,we hear of movements.
Rumor has it that they are adamant. Present and grounded. Utopian.
Rumor has it that they are creative and common and critically minded, and that they can blow our minds.
Rumor has it that while the conditions can only be local, the ideals can find international support.

We are smart as hell, queer and quotidian. Just like the neighbors.
Its movement time again.
Utopia tomorrow. Hard work today. Hopefully, your situation allows it that you can enjoy the nights.
In calling for a Grassroots Modernism, we seek a political and cultural movement towards liberatory and just futures. This future is not the top-down technocratic, homicidal nightmare known as yesterday's modernism. Rather it is a future where our children are crafting their communities, councils and networks, and being. Grassroots Modernism is in contradiction explicitly to the current delusions of "impossibility", "aimlessness" and "realism." Grassroots Modernism must be realistic to localized situations and the general human capacity to dream together, build together… and chill out.

The strength, but also the limitations of current social practices are now clear. Some are just cashed out, others are easily normalized within the neo-liberal city. All the while, the earth gets more polluted, our children are educated with crap, and governments tell us we are more and more screwed by some unwitting invisible hand.

Grassroots Modernism
doesn't just talk about itself, it is visible in the generative presence of idealistic social formations. It is not necessarily art-historical, though it is aware of how culture has always mattered.

To again be modern (here, modern=present in the future), we need to assess how neo-liberal regimes have crushed our capacity to realize our capacities- to articulate new understandings of social wealth, liberated corporeal presences.

We understand how neoliberal ideology from the most cellular level inside our wee bodies on up, has crushed solidarity, denied collective right to a good life, obliterated common interests. Yet as editors, we know that practice within grassroots communities, studios and movements best clarify these notions by demonstrating neoliberalism's creative undoings.

We are looking for critique and reflection on what does and does not work. Now, now that tomorrow is a reality and our ideals are a possibility. That is a good thing, especially when our strategies, tactics, dreams and beauties come into effect.

What we may be looking for:

projects from or in the context of collaborative or collective practices.
grounded in specific practices in context to movement or scene building
grounded in occupation
lessons learned and best practices
constructive criticality
that are of the flesh, for our flesh
things that effect the ways we think about our lives
that are strategic propositions to the readership on constituting movements.
affect in effect
art with a role in a movement
strategic propositions toward constituting movement
new or old things

Note :This submission call is a provocation as much as it is a request for archival material.
Proposals can be sent to us before you have the capacity to understand what it is you might really be writing, creating or

To submit:
LENGTH: Proposals can be short, one (1) paragraph is fine.
CONTENTS: Please provide us with enough information to be able to grasp what you are aiming at.
ETC: Please make sure your contact info is up to date.
DEADLINE: April 1st, 2011
PROCESS: After the deadline, we will review submissions and be in touch as soon as our schedules allow.
NOTE :We are imagining a relatively long writing and editing period. We are aiming to release the issue in the late Autumn of this year. If this time frame was used advantageously, that might be interesting.
Website for the call:

Eve Andree Laramee's Slouching Towards Yucca Mountain

Eve Andree Laramee has just launched a new project called, “Slouching Towards Yucca Mountain,” a video installation dealing with environmental issues and the effects of radioactive waste on human health and water quality.

For the past 20+ years she has made, "anti-nuke artwork, including an investigation of radiotoxins in Los Alamos water: "Fluid Geographies," "Burial at Los Alamos," and "Massacre at Pajarito Plateau," and the genetic impact of uranium mining on the peoples of the Four Corners Region, "Halfway to Invisible," among numerous other artworks."

You can support her latest project at:


Over on our Friends of the Pleistocene blog we've posted a call for submissions. We welcome all smudge readers to submit and spread the word!


FOP/smudge studio announces a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for a proposed edited collection of brief writings and visual essays, tentatively entitled “Making a Geologic Turn.” The book, which we are now proposing to publishers, is part of our larger project to both document and make something more of the geologic turn in contemporary cultural practices (see below).

what we mean by “making a geologic turn”

Until recently, the word “geologic” referred simply and directly to the science of geology–the study of the origin, history, and structure of the earth. But that’s changing. (We reported our first whiff of this change in a recent FOP post: geologic time is now). Something is happening to and with the ways people take up “the geologic,” and that’s intriguing to us as Friends of the Pleistocene.

Contemporary artists, popular culture producers, and even philosophers are adding new layers of meaning and sensation to “geologic.” Humans seem to be sensing (in new ways?) that the geologic is not only an area of scientific study–it’s also a condition of daily life.

Nevada Forest Fire, 2005, image NASA Johnson Space Center – Earth Sciences and Image Analysis (NASA-JSC-ES&IA)

At some point in the recent past, the geologic became sense-able (with new physical intensity and from new angles of thought) as a situation that we live within, not just something “out there” that we study.

Contemporary visual culture, art practices, ideas and values are now signaling the fact that the geologic is a force in contemporary life. There seems to be a growing recognition that the geologic, both as a material dynamic and as a preoccupation, shapes the “now” in ever more direct and urgent ways, through geologic forces such as: deep time, slow accumulations and metamorphoses of the world’s materiality, tectonic plate movements, erosion and displacement of landforms, dramatic earth reshaping events, geo-bio interactions. These are forces to be reckoned with existentially, creatively, and pragmatically as humans work to meet the fact that our species is both vulnerable to geologic forces and also has become a geologic force on the planet.

You could say the geologic has become a condition of contemporaneity.

And that brings us to contemporary art practices. One definition of contemporary art is “art created within the conditions of contemporaneity.” As if embodying that definition, FOP and other artists are making work within the geologic as a condition of our present time.

Many contemporary artists now locate their work primarily within the situation of the geologic–within the jostling and unstable physical, social, political, and economic situations that arise from and act back upon geologic materialities and forces. And they actualize their inspiration, motivation, materials, and gestures there. The result is a growing body of aesthetic works and practices that plumb the geologic depth of “now.”

If we were to say what’s propelling this geologic turn in our own work, and more broadly within visual culture, we’d point in at least two directions.

First, we’d cite recent “natural” and human-made events, some unprecedented in scale and consequence. These seem to have compounded–both actually and within human consciousness–to lay bare the reality of just how deeply human life is embedded in the “brute materiality of the external world”–in the very “stuff” of the geologic.

A few examples: the discovery in 1997 of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch; the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami; Hurricane Katrina (2005); the 2010 eruption and disruption of Eyjafjallajökull; the 2010 Haiti Earthquake; increasing awareness of and preparedness efforts for the long overdue “big one” along the San Andreas Fault in California; ever-clearer signs of climate change both man-made and earth-made; recent “near misses” of earth by asteroids; growing stockpiles of high level nuclear waste and the urgent attempts to design ways to contain it–within the geologic–for up to 1 million years; the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; geologic-scale engineering projects capable of altering planetary dynamics, such as the Three Gorges Dam in China and carbon sequestering.

DOE image, retrieval of buried nuclear waste at Hanford, 2005

Second, we’d point to new developments in human thought and culture. These include new scientific understandings of geologic dynamics–especially the deep interplays between the geo and the bio; shifts in popular consciousness about the relation of the human to the geo; emerging philosophical concepts that use the geologic as metaphor, model, and inspiration for thinking about space, time, and change; radically new insights about our own evolution and existence as the result of an immensely long process of geologic time; and qualitatively new ways the humans experience time and space on planet earth.

These new ways of making sense of the geologic are being made thinkable and possible by new technologies and unprecedented lived experiences. For example:

New tools for visualizing the geologic may have precipitated the current turn from seeing the geologic as an area of scientific study that is abstract at best (nerdy hobby at worst) to experiencing the geologic vividly as a situation of daily life. Perhaps the turn began in 1972, on the day that humans first saw the “blue marble” photograph of earth taken by Apollo 17 astronauts from 28,000 miles out. Our abilities to visualize Earth as a wholly interconnected and dynamic geo-bio system have grown only more acute, refined, and now even interactively palpable thanks to Google Earth. Today, dynamic imaging technologies allow us to “see” and “sense” unimaginably slow and vast geologic dynamics as “flows.” Data animations make geo-forms such as mountains and deserts perceptible as motion through time.

Because of such vivid experiences–first hand, mediated, and imagined–it’s becoming increasingly possible, even necessary, for humans to further heighten our abilities for sensing geologic time. In the 1980s, word started getting out that the geologic conditions of life on earth can be–and have been–transformed in an instant: dinosaurs probably went extinct because of anasteroid impact. Today, some scientists think dinosaurs were wiped out by volcanic eruptions in India. Regardless, their disappearance happened fast and most likely because of geologic events that were planetary in scale. Journalists and Hollywood filmmakers are peaking audiences’ curiosities–and even adding to the scientific knowledge of laypersons–about very real (past and future) catastrophic geologic events. Scientific facts about how the geologic is capable of throwing our entire species into a crisis of existential risk are now part of pop culture (see the movie 2012 for a special effects version of everything from Noah-scale tsunamis to the movement of tectonic plates to the periodic and believed-to-be-overdue geomagnetic reversal of the earth’s poles).

Coal mine, image Stephen Codrington. Planet Geography 3rd Edition (2005) [1]

Perhaps most starkly, geologic time is beginning to have applied, material meaning for non-geologists. Not all that long ago, geologic resources seemed to be infinite. No nuclear waste needed to be stored. Carbon emissions didn’t exist. And the oceans contained zero tons of plastic. Two hundred years ago, concerns about what the planet might be like in 1000 years seemed irrelevant. No longer. In the face of rapid planetary-scale change, much of which has been human designed, today’s humans are confronted with realizing that life on earth hasn’t been like “this”, or looked like “us” for long at all. Humans seem to be having first inklings of the reality that geologic time hasn’t been composed of us–though we are composed of it. We (modern, Western people) are realizing all over again that our species’ existence is incredibly recent–that the human is a mere blip in geologic time. The sense of ourselves as a “blip” is only reinforced by the fact that “we” aren’t likely to be here much longer: most mammalian species last only one or two million years at the most, and the genus homo has already been around for almost 2.5 million years.

The internet and globalization (global flows and exchanges of information, human beings, manufactured products and earth materials) are radically transforming human experiences of time and space on earth. Philosophers and popular culture producers alike ponder the consequences for how humans sense and making meaning of time and space–including what it means to have a body. New, lived experiences of time open humans to evolving new ways to sense geologic time.

What we will make of our growing abilities and needs to sense geologic time, and what they will make of us, is a new and starkly different possibility. Already, in some realms of regional and urban “planning,” designing for geologic or “deep time” has become a design specification: deep geologic repositories for nuclear waste require engineers to plan for one million years into the future, and regional planners now actually consider what it might mean to design for the fact that the next ice age is a pretty sure thing.

Rising Currents exhibition entrance MoMA, Photo: Jason Mandella

Most recently, thanks to transdisciplinary exchanges across traditional fields of science, it’s becoming difficult for geologists and biologists to distinguish between the “brute materiality” of geology’s “external world” (rocks, minerals, mountains) and the soft, “inner” worlds of biology’s living things. According to current science-based stories about life, earth, and life on earth, we humans are walking rocks–we are actually composed of geologic elements such as calcium, iron, phosphorous; from humans to lichen, comparatively tiny living organisms are key players in monumental geologic processes (the earth would have a completely different geologic self if there were no life on it); and the geologic must now be taken into account in any concept of “the environment.” Best sellers that help us think across biology, geology, and environmental sciences, such as “The World Without Us,” fuel another growing realization about deep time: while the human species can’t get along without the geologic, the geologic will continue on in some form or other long after we have ceased being part of it.

“The Crude and the Rare,” curated by Saskia Bos and Steven Lam, at Cooper Union, photo Andrew Russeth

Contemporary artists, speculative architects, and hybridized cultural producers are making work from and within these events and ideas. As part of the geologic turn, their works and processes heighten collective awareness of the geologic as a condition of contemporary life. As Friends of the Pleistocene, we draw inspiration and insight from the themes and gestures that characterize their work.

still from Into Eternity, courtesy Michael Madsen 2009

Some of our sightings of those who are working with the geologic as a condition of contemporary life include:

Rachael Sussman’s photography project: the oldest living things in the world

Ilana Halperin’s works of “geologic intimacy” exploring the relationship between geological phenomena and daily life.

Karthik Pandiam’s Unearth at the Whitney examining relationships between the ancient and the modern.

Trevor Paglen’s Debris project, documenting orbiting space debris that will ironically outlast humankind’s presence on the planet

Lucy Raven’s photographic animation China Town

Ed Keller’s Design and Existential Risk 2010 lecture series at Parsons, The New School

David Gersten’s literary/visual work on architectonics

Geoff Manaugh’s ongoing visual research as cataloged on the BLDG BLOG

Peter Galison’s upcoming documentary on wilderness, wasteland, and nuclear “zones of exclusion”

Michael Madsen’s documentary Into Eternity on Onkalo, the world’s first deep earth repository for high level nuclear waste

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s recent show, Day After at Pace Gallery, exploring the origins of life millions of years ago.

Recent exhibition at Cooper Union, the Crude and the Rare where artists were commissioned to creatively respond to rare earth materials.

The Long Now Foundation’s ongoing programs and projects.

Brian Eno’s 2010 album Small Craft on a Milk Sea, including tracks such as Late Anthropocene and Paleosonic.

Rising Currents a 2010 exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art exploring how a rise in global sea levels will affect New York City due to geologic force and event.

In addition to Making a Geologic Turn, we plan to produce an exhibition that maps the geologic turn in contemporary art and creative practices; facilitate gallery conversations and pedagogical events to discuss the ideas and works at the heart of the project; and offer an online, college-level course on the geologic turn in contemporary culture and art.

The Edge of Light: Wendover, by Brian Rosa and Adam Ryder

"The Edge of Light: Wendover," by Brian Rosa and Adam Ryder has just been published in the online journal Places. Their work originated at the Center for Land Use Interpretation's residency program in Wendover, Utah, where military history, land-speed racing and the casino industry make for unexpected juxtapositions.

Nurturing Nature: Artists Engage the Environment

Opening February 10, 7pm at OSilas Gallery, Concordia College, Bronxville, NY

Nurturing Nature: Artists Engage the Environment

with artists Eva Bakkeslett,
Vaughn Bell, Susan Benarcik, Michele Brody,

Brookner, Linda Bryne,
Xavier Cortada, Sonja Hinrichsen, Basia Irland,

Meyer, Maria Michai
Roy Staab, Joel Tauber.

Co-curated by Amy Lipton and Patricia Miranda

Arid Lands Lecture Series

The Agency of Water: Scarcity, Abundance, and Design in Dialog

Vinayak Bharne
Urbanism, Infrastructure & the Urban Water Crisis: Perspectives from Asia & the American Southwest

Dilip da Cunha

Negotiated Landscapes: Mississippi, Bangalore, and Mumbai

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
7:00 pm

Vinayak Bharne, a practicing urban designer and planner, teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His work has focused on the critical conservation and reuse of indigenous infrastructures as catalysts for sustainable urban growth and development, with ongoing projects in Iran, India and the American southwest. He is a contributing author of Los Angeles: Building the Polycentric Region (2005), and the forthcoming Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture (mid 2011).

Dilip da Cunha, an architect and planner, serves on the faculty of Parsons School of Design, New York and the University of Pennsylvania. With Anuradha Mathur, his work has focused on cultural and ecological dimensions of contentious landscapes, wet and dry. His work includes Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape (2001); Deccan Traverses: the Making of Bangalore's Terrain (2006); and SOAK: Mumbai in an Estuary (2009).

Hadley Arnold, co-director of the Arid Lands Institute, will moderate a discussion on water infrastructure, design strategy, and the public realm

Update to the lineup and dates can be found here: Arid Lands Institute lecture series

Land Arts at the 2011 College Art Association Conference


Embodied Ecology with 
Land Arts of the American West
Saturday, 11 February 2011, 2:30pm
College Art Association Conference Studio Art Open Session: Green and Sustainable Art
Sutton Parlor South, 2nd Floor, Hilton New York
1335 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10010

Chris Taylor will participate in the Studio Art Open Session: Green and Sustainable Art at the 2011 College Art Association Annual Conference. The session will be moderated by Anita Cooney andRebeccah Pailes-Friedman with other presentations by Cal Lane, Kelly Cobb, and Rachel Miller. Taylor will discuss how embodied ecology is cultivated by Land Arts of the American West.

Land Arts of the American West is a semester long field program investigating the intersection of geomorphology and human construction. It is a semester abroad in our own back yard where students travel 7,000 miles visiting locations across the Southwest camping for two months as they explore natural and human forces that shape contemporary landscapes—ranging from geology and weather to cigarette butts and hydroelectric dams. Land Arts situates our work within a continuous tradition of land-based operations that is thousands of years old, hinging on the primacy of first person experience and the realization that human-land relationships are rarely singular.

Image: Sunny Tang at Point Sublime, North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, 2 September 2010.

Winter edition of the Center for Land Use Interpretation's The Lay of the Land

The Winter 2011 edition of the Center for Land Use Interpretation's The Lay of the Land newsletter is now available!
Read it online at, or subscribe to receive a print copy.

The Center for Land Use Interpretation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge about how the nation's lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived.