The Arts & Ecology Incubator

The Ringling Museum, Sarasota, Florida
Nov 21-24, 2019
Thu: 5:15pm-7:00pm, Fri & Sun: 10am-5pm, Sat: 10:30am-5pm
Fee: $250 / $225 museum members / $125 students
Leader: Chantal Bilodeau

Calling all artists, activists, scientists, and educators who want to engage or further their engagement with the ecology through artistic practices! Join The Arctic Cycle for the Arts & Ecology Incubator, November 21-24, 2019 at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. All disciplines are welcome and individuals from traditionally underrepresented populations and communities are encouraged to attend. The Incubator is an inclusive environment that supports diverse perspectives.

During this 3-day intensive, participants interact with accomplished guest speakers from the hard and social sciences, and with local artists who have in-depth knowledge of the Florida ecology. Conversations and work sessions allow everyone to dig deep into the challenges and concerns of working at the intersection of arts and a rapidly changing ecology, such as creating narratives that acknowledge inevitable losses but leave room for the possibility of a thriving and inclusive future.

All sessions take place at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243. Limited to 20 participants. Availability is on a first come, first serve basis.

Full museum admission, from November 22-24, is included with the Incubator. Parking is free. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation. Discount hotel rates available for out of town participants. For more information, visit the Ringling Museum website.

To see the program and guest speakers from previous Incubators, visit the 2019 Incubator – Alaska and Incubator – New York pages.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Q18 Described: The Remote Everyday

Lead Editor’s note: We will be publishing excerpts from Q18: dis/sustain/ability, in order to make the content accessible to blind readers with audio screen readers. We’ll also be including audio descriptions of the Quarterly’s original layout designed by Stephanie Plenner, described by Katie Murphy. Please stay tuned for future posts and share widely.

In this our second chapter, Jennifer Natalya Fink and Julie Laffin creatively explore chemical sensitivity and disability in The Remote Everyday.

Audio Description of The Remote Everyday Layout and Pictures

Normal Flower

  1. The First Rule is there are no rules. No maps, no guides, no three wise men. You’re on your own, baby.
  2. The Second Rule is I lied. You want a rule? Here’s a rule for you, sweetheart babydoll: no interrogations. Don’t ask me, “Can N do this? How about this? Can’t she even do that?” as you decide whether N is allowed to be a person. When you ask such questions about her personhood, you’re only proving that you’ve forfeited yours, asshole.
  3.  Assume competence. It’s tricky, right?
  4. If you pay attention, you will discover who she is and what she can do. And why you think you get to arbitrate.
  5. Jumping swinging running laughing. Explaining everything you don’t want to know about artichokes. The joy and ing of her.
  6. Everyone pays all this money to all these bullshit saints, zen masters, art gods etc to be present. Here. Now. This. Moment. Save your money: N is here. Now. This. Moment. 
  7. I used to say, “N is in her own world, and we’re in it, too.” There’s one world though. Hersandours. Watch oh it shimmers.
  8. The Third Rule is also the First and Only Rule: please kindly go fuck yourself with your pity. It’s jagged, rusty. Relentlessly sharp. It will hurt.
  9. You are a visitor. A rule-follower. I am this house, its three. N’s.
  10. Remember: I don’t love you. 


There are days you want normal. You know it’s a fiction, a lie, a cheat. You don’t care. You want that high. The odorless rose, the deathless life. Aren’t we all a little addicted. Don’t you just want a normal child, you whisper. One without any issues. Just like you, right? Oh my parsnip, my pear. You have no ‘issues’, no needs? Ah! So you’re dead. (See Rule #9.) 

And remember: I don’t love you.

Begin by shopping carefully. The potential for cross contamination, second-hand or third-hand residue is very high.

The similarity between cologne and pesticide is remarkable. Once you acquire a highly deranged sense of smell, there is a terrible sameness to it all.

Most failures occur during prep because of the high rate of contamination from having to prep in one’s not so clean living space or car.

Take everything out of your bedroom including all the furniture and mattresses.

Begin washing all your bedding and clothing in sanctioned laundry soap months in advance of a visit.

Rip out all carpet and remove draperies.

Don’t enter the house without a respirator for several days until all the volatized substances have been cleared out.

Re-introduce your personal things into the space your body most frequently inhabits– your chemical-free safe room, your oasis.

Make sure there is no pesticide application happening inside your living space or that there has not been for at least several years. Also, make sure herbicides are not being used outside your door.

And though you have gone through numerous, time-consuming and mind-boggling tasks, it will all seem pointless once you put on my clothing. No so! All the preparation has made the chances of my tolerating your presence in my living space in the realm of the possible. Once you have detoxed yourself and then put on my things, then and only then, is there is a snowball’s chance it hell that it will actually work out.

Assholes and Their Mothers (Genetics)

Early on, maybe two months after N’s diagnosis, a friend with a neurotypical brat, I mean kid, called me. She was High WASP, an erstwhile academic who was generously donating her Harvard-educated brain to the PTA. The helicopter of all helicopters. She took her daughter to the ER for a single sneeze. She was one of the first people I told about The Diagnosis. Two days later, she called me: “Do you know of any kids’ theater groups that do a sensory-friendly version of their show? But it has to be free, because there are only two kids with autism, and why should we pay for just those two?” My head exploded. Steam tunneled out of my ears. I was in a comic book. Correction: I was a comic book. Finally, someone to dump my rage upon. You, my friend, are actually less accommodating than the Americans with Disabilities Act. A plain wool Republican coat of a law.  So basic even a Bush could buy it. Every child is entitled to an equal education. Every. Child. You’re in violation of the LAW, do you get that? You’re under arrest.

I said none of that. I said I didn’t know of any theater that would perform for free etc. I got off the phone and punched in a wall. That was the last conversation I ever had with her. I never returned the fancy mauve tricycle she’d lent us.

Now I would handle it differently: I would be patient, I would be good. I would punch no wall. I would view it as my duty to explain the concept of equal access, of accommodation and inclusion. The social model: places and people (you) are the obstacle, not the difference itself. Hopefully she would come away with a clear understanding of the ADA and its purpose. Hopefully she would better understand her impairment. I’m so sorry that you suffer from being an asshole. It must be so challenging. I see your daughter inherited your enormous asshole; did you consider how unfair it was to pass along this defect when you chose to have children? Your daughter will go through life an enormous gaping asshole. Is it really fair to ask society to pay for her special needs? There’s no cure for being an asshole, you know. Is she able to imagine other people as human? Is she able to empathize? Is she able to stop staring and shut her fucking mouth? No? Well what can she do? Maybe she can go live in some sort of assisted living home for assholes. I hear there some wonderful places that will take assholes like her. 

Planet Thrive re|shelter AAPD American Association for People with Disabilities ASAN Autism Self-Advocacy Network AUCD Association of University Centers on Disabilities Accessworks Catalyst Center (healthcare reform for people with disabilities) Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Council for Exceptional Children Employment Incentives NDRN National Disability Rights Network SABE Self Advocates Becoming Empowered The ARC For People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Special Needs Alliance Electrosensitivity UK Skin Deep EI Wellspring Stink! Peggy Munson JAN Rachel Carson Council Beyond Pesticides Pesticide Action Network Homesick: Multiple Chemical Sensitivites – Dual Power Productions A Canary’s Eye View  Ability Maine Chemical Injury Information Network (CIIN) Environmental Health Network  Advice for Non-Toxic Living Chemical Injury  Environmental Illness Resource Chemical Sensitivity Foundation  The Sierra Club  Amelia Hill

Jennifer Natalya Fink is the author of four novels, including the Dana Award-winning and Pulitzer-nominated The Mikvah Queen. She is a professor of creative writing at Georgetown University. She founded The Gorilla Press, a non-profit aimed at promoting youth literacy through bookmaking, and cofounded the Disability Studies Cluster at Georgetown.

Julie Laffin is an artist living with disabling environmental illness. In anotherlife she made large scale, public performances while wearing overly long gowns. Now living an isolated lifestyle due to myriad environmental triggers, Laffin has turned the camera on herself as a means of navigating her illness and reinventing her artistic practice.

You will never be out of the woods.  

             You will never be the woods. 

You are the woods.

Q18 DESCRIBED: Letter from the Guest Editor

Audio Description of Q18 Cover

dis/sustain/ability defined

Lead Editor’s note: We will be publishing excerpts from Q18: dis/sustain/ability, in order to make the content accessible to blind readers with audio screen readers. We’ll also be including audio descriptions of the Quarterly’s original layout designed by Stephanie Plenner, described by Katie Murphy. Please stay tuned for future posts and share widely.

In this our first chapter, Guest Editor Bronwyn Preece gives an overview of the issue to come, and an unpacking of the issue’s title: dis/sustain/ability.

Audio Description of Q18 Letter from the Guest Editor

Dear Reader,

Buried amongst the leaves and lakes, memes and moss, skin and sidewalks, woods and wheelchairs, normal and nuance… dis/sustain/ability begs us to consider, albeit subtly, who can claim disability in this Anthropocenic age of constant climatic flux? 

This CSPA special-themed issue offers a diverse array of artistic responses, underpinned with strong critical leanings for interrogating the overlaps of sustainability and disability and the relevance of conjoining these concepts in/for today’s world.  Drawing on practitioners and/or scholars from three continents – some self-identifying as ‘disabled’, others not – this issue grapples with the neologistic tensions, hurdles and gifts of our cultural, social, economic and environmental propensities towards and with notions of disability.

dis/sustain/ability embraces transnational intersectionality and the multiple imbrications made accessible through doing so.  This issue serves as a catalyst, as gentle invoker, as provocateur, as reflective medium through which a variety of ideas are offered up by contributors.  It has inverted blatancy through diverse response. It asks more questions than it does try to form firm answers.

As guest editor, it has been nothing short of inspiring to gather the contributions.  The curated call was framed openly, welcoming broad and interpretative possibilities to what was provoked by the notion of dis/sustain/ability.  The issue wheels us down new paths and forks in the road, encounters the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, fingers away notions of freaks, examines irreverence, marginalization, activism and policy, adds dimension to crip vernaculars, poeticizes the political, swears at homogenization, artistically interrogates impairment, sews together and performs through the very being of disability, sustainably…

It has been an honor to curate this issue….

Bronwyn Preece,

PhD Candidate, University of Huddersfield: Performing Embodiment: Improvisational Investigations into the Intersections of Ecology and Disability

dis/sustain/ability: DEFINED

Each contributor was asked to ‘define’ dis/sustain/ability in 25 words or less…


You will never be out of the woods.

You will never be the woods.

You are the woods.


At first I was crashing and burning—consumed by loss. Acceptance was arduous; I was being prepared to have all of my perceptions changed forever.


Interdependency, vulnerability, co-habitation, across and between, you/i/we/me/us. 


We each use systems to make our worlds usable and thriving. The bright sun makes our lives work in so many ways. A good joke sheds light on life when we need laughter.


Continuing to be in flow, through the years, while living in an ableist society. Searching for connection, taking responsibility, engaging, widening the circle.


breathe inside fire or water or soil. make like a succulent, plump and adaptable. try on constraints then wiggle. notice movement – micro / macro.


arranging human, physical, financial, and environmental resources in such a way that every being can live a meaningful, productive, and comfortable life now and into the future


To separate these three words…though dis is not a word by a slash….makes them read as separate. 

Dis is to negate, deem valueless…sustain is to lift up, support for all time and forever…ability is the skill, the life within that understands and knows how. Together…dissustainability…though unrecognized or hidden, is the life within that knows and breaths within us all.


“Disability” and “ability” are not binary terms; making art about Crip/disability experiences is to sustain disability culture and the heritage of resistance and resilience. 


It’s the long slow note made up of a feast of harmonics, always in flux, ever changing, transforming and subverting.

Bronwyn (guest editor):

… circles with edges, borders with welcome signs, awareness of networks, improvisation, interdependence, adaptation, vitality, necessity, inextricability, knitting/weaving/breathing-being…living in shared uniqueness/norming difference…verbing: …

Blued Trees Goes to the Next Level!

Page Spread from “One Year of the Blued Trees Symphony” by Aviva Rahmni 2017, layout design byJudith Mayer, 2019.

Aviva Rahmani is pleased to share the upcoming events that will help take Blued Trees to the next level!

This month I begin a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) studio residency on Governors Island where I will work on aspects of the Blued Trees Opera. Next month, a book launch and signing will be held at LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island for two new artists books, “50 Years of Work,” and “One Year of the Blued Trees Symphony.” Copies of both will be for sale on site however, the launch will have limited space and require a RSVP. Confirmation of time, date and details will be announced shortly.”Using ecological art to spark environmental conservation” an interview of me by Kamea Chayne of the Green Dreamer podcast, is now available (also on iTunesSpotify,GooglePodcastsGooglePlayStitcher, and any other podcast app).

This month I begin a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) studio residency on Governors Island where I will work on aspects of the Blued Trees Opera. Next month, a book launch and signing will be held at LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island for two new artists books, “50 Years of Work,” and “One Year of the Blued Trees Symphony.” Copies of both will be for sale on site however, the launch will have limited space and require a RSVP. Confirmation of time, date and details will be announced shortly.”Using ecological art to spark environmental conservation” an interview of me by Kamea Chayne of the Green Dreamer podcast, is now available (also on iTunesSpotify,GooglePodcastsGooglePlayStitcher, and any other podcast app).

Living Quilt for Santa Rosa

“Living Quilt for Santa Rosa” is a public art project by artist Jane Ingram Allen that was installed on Nov. 25, 2018 and funded by a grant from the City of Santa Rosa, CA. This video shows the progress of the “quilt” from installation to blooming flowers over 6 plus months. The photos are by Timothy S. Allen. This installation consists of a handmade paper quilt in the flying gees pattern that was installed on a bed of soil with a headboard and footboard of woven branches. Many local volunteers helped to make the quilt and install it. The handmade paper dissolves as mulch and the seeds sprout and grow to produce a living quilt.

Q25: Time & Attention


In an era marked by myriad crises (ecosystem collapse, political and social unrest, growing economic inequity), CSPAQ Issue 25: Time and Attention compiles various frameworks, tactics, and propositions for tuning our attention and contextualizing our place in time. An experimental philosopher, prisoners, a child, and others contribute their diverse perspectives, collectively and constructively building a discourse for how we might direct our time and attention. Guest Edited by Ryan Thompson.


The Climate Museum: Taking Action

Nolan Park at Governors Island
New York City, June 1-October 27, 2019

Young people around the world are demanding that society confront the climate crisis with a new level of urgency—the urgency required for them to have a future they can hold in their minds without dread. They are demanding intergenerational justice. Their voices give us all an opportunity to rethink and recommit.

This new youth movement inspires our next exhibition, coming to Governors Island on June 1. Taking Action features hands-on learning about solutions for the climate crisis; a space to understand barriers to their implementation; and a concrete invitation to meaningful civic engagement and collective action.  

Taking Action will be staffed primarily by high school students. It will be open 11am-9pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 11am-5pm on Thursdays and Sundays prior to the end of the public school year, with extended hours during the summer months. The exhibition was highlighted by The New York Times in its recent article on climate arts.

This show extends our previous focus on elevating youth voices. Our Youth Advisory Council organized a large contingent at the youth-led Zero Hour march last summer (New Yorker); with Yuca Arts, we created a program for teens to design and paint a climate mural at their school (Grist); and on June 14 at the Apollo Theater, high school students from across the city will perform spoken word pieces on climate in our inaugural presentation of Climate Speaks, organized in partnership with the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Sustainability and with special thanks to Urban Word NYC (click hereto receive notice of the ticket presale).

Taking Action is an important step for us as an organization. We hope that it can also serve as a catalyst for many of you.

The Climate Museum team

Upcoming Exhibition – ART IN FLUX at Event Two

12th – 17th July 2019

Royal College of Art, Kensington, London, SW7 2EUImage: Current Climate, 2019.

Image by Claudia Agati

I am delighted to invite you to ART IN FLUX at Event Two, an exhibition I have co-curated and will be exhibiting a number of works in. Event Two at the Royal College of Art is an exhibition of historical and contemporary digital art and a program of events marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark Computer Arts SocietyEvent One exhibition at the college in 1969. The exhibition includes work from The CAS50 Collection of computer art, dating from the 1960s to the present day, together with contemporary media art curated by artist platform FLUX Events, London’s preeminent forum for media artists. 

More information here. Event Two website here.

Radical Ecology: THANK YOU

A huge thank you to all who came to my FLUX: Radical Ecology exhibition and talks event last month. The event went brilliantly – see more info and video of the event here.

I would also like to thank Ugly Duck for hosting us that evening. They are a fantastic team, always supportive of the media arts and really helped to make the event possible. And of course thanks go to the chair Laura Pando and speakers, Oskar Krajewski, Becky Lyon and Tilly Hogrebe.Images by Sophie le Roux.

Plant Material presents Two-Person Show—Alex Wand / Ascelpias fascicularis

Curated by Susanna Battin
Sunday June 30 – July 28
Opening reception, screening and performance: Sunday, June 30, 6-8pm

There are three types of exhibitions seen again and again in the art world: the solo show, the group show, and the two-person show. The Two-Person Show Series presented by Plant Material and curated by Susanna Battin, departs from this convention while radically extending notions of personhood to nonhuman beings. As its name suggests the series presents two persons—this time, one artist and a plant.

The first installment of the series features Alex Wand’s Camino de las Monarcas and Ascelpias fascicularis (Narrow-leaved Milkweed). Wand’s 50-minute video piece documents his bicycle migration along the path of southbound monarchs to Michoacán, Mexico. Heeding the call for kinship made by ecofeminist theorist Donna Haraway, Wand performs a real life ‘Camille Story’ by broadcasting milkweed seeds and other pollinator seed mixes along the monarchs’ path. Ascelpias fascicularis’s role in the show is clear. The milkweed acts as a caterpillar nursery, hosting the Monarchs’ eggs, providing food, shelter, and safety to their growing forms. The show is presented simultaneous to the Monarch’s northbound migration, and amongst dire immigration conditions along the Southern border.

The opening events include a plant and video installation, screening of Camino de las Monarcas, and performance followed by a short Q & A.

About Plant Material:
Plant Material is a new garden center located in the Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The ecologically and aesthetically opinionated store carries California native and regionally-appropriate nonnative plants, garden tools, and art objects.

More information at:

Plant Material
3350 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90065

LOBSTER DINNER: a show of small works

On View June 20 – July 14, 2019
Curated by Will Hutnick

Lobster Dinner presents the works of over forty contemporary artists working across drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography. While technically the exhibition is a “small works” show, featuring work 12 inches and under, the works included are certainly not defined by this limitation. On the contrary, many of the works feel expansive and ambitious, despite the physical constraints of being “small”.

Oftentimes, works of a more intimate scale can have a novelty factor surrounding them – look how tiny! I want to put that in my pocket! – or are viewed as sketches or preparatory drawings for larger works – stand-ins for works to come in the future. That is definitely not the case here: loud, ferocious, hilarious, and declaratory, the works in Lobster Dinner shed the stereotype of preciousness. They are fully realized ideas, entities, and objects in their own right, not just little pockets pointing to another thing that is physically larger, but individual, weird galaxies in and of themselves. They pack a punch.

Take Gracelee Lawrence’s External Chamber of Acute Sensation, which at first seems to function as a celebratory banner of sorts. Upon further inspection it reveals an outstretched arm tangled with a pair of hands from another individual. A stranger? Are they beckoning us closer? Is it a secret handshake? A sexual handshake? Mel Arzamarski’s The Ocean features intertwined hands with flaming fingernails and is similarly discomforting, eerie, foreboding and ultimately encouraging. Both works look like they could have been taken straight from the opening credits of an episode of “Black Mirror”, with those sickly mint hands welcoming and proudly communicating a hidden alliance or a forgotten code, proclaiming “Welcome to the show! Come hither, if you dare…”

Stacy Petty’s Pumpkin Twist occupies a parallel ambiguous mental and physical space. A seemingly recognizable and friendly landscape has a darker, extra-terrestrial quality to it, with something unnerving which looms in your immediate space. Katie Holden’s Open Search playfully mimics the display screen on an iPhone, albeit one in a quasi-hallucinatory state with emoji rainbows framing the top register of the screen. Alejandro Macias’ A Color That Can Only Be Obtained Through Mixing II is a MadLibs-type approach to portraiture, in which the top half of an individual’s face is sliced and replaced with seemingly abstract lines in primary colors against a pea green background. Are these lines identity markers? A generic pattern that is a stand-in for the self?

Breanne Trammell’s SPRTS, a colored pencil drawing featuring a brown bear holding a blue balloon on a blue sweatshirt, sums it up: “If It Weren’t For Volleyball I Couldn’t Bear It!” Replace “volleyball” with your choice of activity/distraction/altered mental space, and you’ve got yourself a lobster dinner for one.


Kayla Plosz Antiel, Davis Arney, Mel Arzamarski, Geoff Booras, Gabe Brown, Trey Burns, Jonah Burstein, Douglas Cantor, Max Colby, Sue Danielson, Adam Easton, JP-Anne Judy Giera, Häsler R. Gómez, Katie Holden, Mary Laube, Gracelee Lawrence, Michael Siporin Levine, Beth Livensperger, Taylor Loftin, Alejandro Macias, Max Manning, Alex McClurg, Elias Necol Melad, Nadia Odlum, April Dawn Parker, Laura Payne, Stacy Petty, Colin J. Radcliffe, Jenna Ransom, Allison Reimus, Isaac Roller, Rocco Ruglio-Misurell, Andra Samelson, Giovana Schluter, Chrissy Scolaro, Emilie Selden, Emanuela Harris Sintamarian, Anika Steppe, Taro Takizawa, Dominic Terlizzi, Breanne Trammell, Joy O. Ude, Becca Van K, Lauryn Welch, Curtis Welteroth, Aaron Wax, Tom Wixo

Will Hutnick 
is an artist and curator based in Wassaic, NY. He received his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY) and his B.A. from Providence College (Providence, RI). His work has been exhibited most recently at LVL3 Gallery (Chicago, IL), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), Paradice Palase (Brooklyn), Geoffrey Young Gallery (Great Barrington, MA), DEMO Project (Springfield, IL), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Brooklyn), The Java Project (Brooklyn), Providence College Galleries (Providence, solo) and Pratt Institute. Hutnick has curated numerous exhibitions at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Ortega y Gasset Projects, Trestle Projects, Pratt Institute (New York and Brooklyn) and Hamiltonian Gallery (Washington, DC). He has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY), DNA Gallery (Provincetown, MA), Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT) and a curator-in-residence at Benaco Arte (Sirmione, Italy) and Trestle Projects (Brooklyn). Hutnick is a 2017 Martha Boschen Porter Fund grant recipient from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation as well as a 2015 grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Art. He is the Co-Director of Ortega y Gasset Projects, an artist-run curatorial collective and exhibition space in Brooklyn, and is currently the Residency Director at the Wassaic Project, a nonprofit organization that uses art and art education to foster positive social change.