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Q18 DESCRIBED: CREATIVITY, SUSTAINABILITY, DISABILITi

Lead Editor’s note: We will be publishing excerpts from Q18: dis/sustain/ability, guest edited by Bronwyn Preece, 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 fifth chapter, Neil Marcus shares thoughts on disability, theater, hope and embedment.

Audio Description of photos in “Creativity, Sustainability, Disabiliti”

CREATIVITY, SUSTAINABILITY, DISABILITi

Neil Marcus

“You don’t have to quote me unless I say something relevant. I am just myself.”

–Manfred Warmuth

portland may08 112

Photograph from a talk on “Disability Culture” by Petra Kuppers: “The Olimpias” Art Collective at Portland Art Festival, May 2008

RETHINKING SHAKESPEARE

IS YOURS THE STUFF THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF II?

my thoughts on theater and disability
its about making sense of chaos.
its about making the spirit visible.
its about discovering all the connections and linkages that make us
human together and describing them.
disability as having a meaning in disability, has no meaning. 

“it doesn’t rain disability.” 

SELF SUSTENANCE

…in a Godzilla world in the location of Manhattan…Godzilla roams the city streets with huge car sized footsteps.  Car alarms go off constantly. Godzilla is upset by the ruckus.

wheeee yuhhh wheeee beeep beep!! A big nuisance.  irritant…bother.

in a Godzilla world, everything topples around her.  towers, freeways, stores, trees. and Godzilla spits fire.  ssss…

THOUGHTS OF POETIC EMBEDMENT


Hello dear friend of the petrified wasp-in-pine sap:
I heard of your search for documents or documentability.
I search for the same. Striving for clarity and new forms of expressions in my own ‘disability’ [bad word] related prose poetry/theater of life.
Personally, I like the words hypertext, subtext, metaphor link and offshoot:
where words and ideas constantly embark on spin off words and ideas and
movement shakes and dances out of every crevice of thought.

I often work off graphic images. A sign reading ACCESS TO PLANETARIUM
with appropriate stick wheelchair figure mid sentence prompts my bodythinking.

Hence pictures take us to words, ideas to explore.

crip planetarium

“Department of English, University of Michigan” Photo by Neil Marcus

WHAT GIVES YOU HOPE?

Email exchange:
Neil Marcus66<!– (10:46:23 AM)–>: doing art……living artistically I think helps me …………………it gives me good direction
Neil Marcus66<!– (10:48:29 AM)–>: I as always fascinated by movies about prisons. how people cope?
Ester — (10:49:04 AM)–>: With?
Neil Marcus66<!– (10:51:01 AM)–>: difficult situations.. another favorite topic…………..marooned…………..
Ester– (10:52:36 AM)–>: Themes of isolation? Separateness?
Neil Marcus66<!– (10:54:22 AM)–>: yes definitely and discovering tremendous resources………….

Picture = 1000 words
Idea = staff of life
Poem = 1000 ideas

Art on the walls.  Art in the trees. Art in the gaze.  Art in the clay.

Art in the flesh.  Art in the move. Art in the stroke.

I am doing my criptography (the painting of brush stroke simple figures that in my mind are all representations of disabled people moving) the view of the view of the view of the view of the view:

SELF SUSTAINING ACTS  

to insinuate oneself onto
to insert ones self
into public discourse/sphere
appropriate popular culture
with culinary delights
sandwiches made with garden fresh tomatoes peanut butter
and homemade jam
To be spastic
to be proud
To boldly go where  …
you want to  go in this intrepid universe
with great enterprise

NORMALIZING RELATIONS

I found this road sign on the campus of the National University of Australia outside of the Chefly Library. It was lovely to run into.  As far as I know, it is a one-of-a-kind artwork and/or perhaps a ‘public work of art,’ as Australia is famous for government-funded art in public spaces. 

I have never seen the universal access sign in this format.

 I imagine someone had walked by it one day and saw the need to humanize it a little.  This was truly a revolutionary act to me. With a flower, no less. 

ausie crip

Thoughts about the importance of road signs and getting the message right. 

Art Full. 

The flower presented here really undermines the static purely ‘functional’ representation of disability. 

 “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die.” 

–Replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) in Blade Runner

                                                         RE-MINDS

We don’t always remember how glorious it is to be human…what we live

through and how we come out. It is hard to speak of such experiences

but we all do have them.

I quote Blade Runner above because I think the android’s view of life

is well articulated. I look to the outsider for commentaries on the

human life. Aliens androids prisoners: the disenfranchised.

Humans often can feel our own lives and struggles outside our numbness

if given a bit of distance/perspective. All of us have exceptional

things to express.  Moments that have touched us deeply. I see access

to these memories as being our only limit. 

Do we believe we are artists and philosophers? 

Do our lives have meaning?

Do we have something to say?

METEORIC

meteoric-2

‘Meteoric’ Neil Marcus, Sketch from Superfest Film Festival SPSU, 2016 

EXAMPLE OF RELEVANCE

After the evening show, we have the Q and A with the audience and in front of 200 people, a woman asks me: “What kind of woman do you like, I mean you say you are a lover and all. I was just wondering?”   I fumble A LOT and say “friendly ones” then “next question please.” Matt makes a joke saying, “what’s your phone number?” He continues, “You have such perfect timing Neil and such control. Is there anything you can tell others to help them?”  I answer, “Well…to appreciate ones body no matter what it does or doesn’t do, helps.” 

During the night and the next day, I think about that first question. I think about who I am, the position I’m in and what I’m doing.  Part of it is FEEDBACK. It’s sustenance. I’ve created a situation. Me performing audience. Inspired dialogue. It’s a situation where no matter what I think, act or do, I cannot fail. It’s failsafe. Because I’m always out there doing my best. WOW. And I usually always get applause. What does this tell me?  I’m telling you this because I think it is to be a model of physical therapy. Emotional therapy. Self help.

foot 2

A dancer’s foot. My foot.

In an oral history interview of artists with disabilities, using the technology of ‘instant messaging’ I was able to articulate:

medusa

                                                        “Medusa” by Neil Marcus. Touch pad art. 2012

Neil Marcus66<!– (11:00:58 AM)–>: I’m a human bridge in a moment of time spanning as far and as relevant as my thoughts will carry me
Esther – (11:04:58 AM)–>: I’m a human bridge in a moment of time, spanning as far and as relevant as my thoughts will carry me.

MY AUTO CORRECT ON “DISABILITY”…:

“disability/ disabled”: an un quantifiable concept, immeasurable, non-poetic, medicalized word that represents no thing or no body EXCEPT as a idea in need of revolution.

The concept of “Disability” is non sustainable.

love joy art …sustainable self renewing   

I listen to the waves at the seashore and watch them roll in. in and out. They never stop.
My mind wanders. I think of love. I smell the sea life air. I think of grains of sand slipping through my wet toes. I think of starry nights and streaming comets and glowing rounded moons. I think of thousands of fishes that will run with the tides at a certain season and time each year.
There are moments in my life when everything is so completely and totally understandable, all I can do is gasp in wonder and cry a special brand of joyous tear and try to tell someone all about it.
There is a postcard that I TREASURE. I found it in a postcard store in 1984. It totally says a lot of what I want to say. Maybe it says everything! !
the card stock is braille with braille dots as the postcard “scene” thats raised little “bumps”on a white background. The effect is that you are sending this postcard to someone and its so complete that at first glance…it seems like nothing is there. To a sighted person, the card seems blank. It’s all white.
Turn it over. In very small print it says ,
”I often imagine myself being here. Sitting on the beach, listening to the waves, feeling the salty air upon my face and tongue. Everything seems possible. i wish you were here”
so.. it’s not blank. The front is the poem translated into braille. Touch. speaks a language that is very real but is little known.  What could be more communicative than a fingers touch.
And the artistic statement is so strong. my words don’t do it justice.

 Biography

Neil Marcus is a Spastic artist and performer living in Berkeley, California, USA. His books include Special Effects: Advances in Neurology (2011), and Cripple Poetics: A Love Story (2010), and The Princess and the Dragon  (a disabled fable) (unpublished). His most performed play is Storm Reading (1988).

Major Influences:

100 million miracles [flower drum song] Dir. Gene Kelley

easy rider

the mothers of invention

re evaluation counseling

love revolution

Cyrano de Bergerac

performance art

storytelling

calligraphy

sprouting

poetry/rhythm

human liberation

dance

body as art

disable/d liberation

touch

idea … weaving

At age 13 I began learning co-counseling. Theories of liberation and oppression. This enriched my thinking. My world. I could live. I could give. I could love. I had a brush with which to touch-up the world.  Ideas popping. I was radicalized. I had a vibrant self. I had expression. I had raves. 

recording

Filming: “disability/disabled country”

Smithsonian video by Neil Marcus/filmed and edited by Jai Jai Noire,

National Museum of American History, 1987/2014

Photo by Gary Ivanek

ARTPORT_making waves newsletter

(December Edition)
A newsletter of the stories you might have missed including upcoming events
by ARTPORT_making waves. Edited by Anne-Marie Melster.

State Studio Berlin, 14 December  2019, 3 – 8 pm 

Address: Hauptstr. 3, 10827 Berlin

Description (State Studio, Berlin,14 December 2019)
For the fourth and final event of the Berlin part of WE ARE OCEAN at State Studio Berlin, an independent project space for art and science, we are presenting for the first time in full length the film “WE ARE OCEAN – A film made in collaboration with secondary school students in Berlin and in Brandenburg” by Berlin-based artist Lisa Rave, which was created during a series of WE ARE OCEAN workshops with students this summer. In the afternoon we will conduct a final student workshop, which will formulate future scenarios for the climate protection of the oceans (please register for workshop participation at communication@artport-project.org). The students will present their findings following the film presentation in three short interviews with one member of the WE ARE OCEAN team, one of the participating educators and the audience, and formulate further questions for the project to continue in other cities. Afterwards, the bar of the State Studio invites for a more informal exchange. Throughout the duration of the event, the basement features the approximately one-hour program of artistic short films on the theme of the sea and ecology, poetry and politics that has been put together specifically for WE ARE OCEAN (presented in a loop).

3 – 6 pm
A workshop for registered school students (workshop room).

3 – 8 pm
A screening of WE ARE OCEAN curated film program with artistic short videos by Ursula Biemann (CH), Forensic Oceanography (GB), Tue Greenfort (DK), Michelle-Marie Letelier (CHI), Parvathi Nayar (IN), Ana Vaz (BR), Susanne M. Winterling (D), Marina Zurkow (US) (in the basement)

6 – 6:30 pm
Lisa Rave: “WE ARE OCEAN – A film made in collaboration with secondary school students in Berlin and in Brandenburg” (first floor)

6:30 – 7:30 pm
Dialogue situations with selected participants (first floor): Christian Rauch (STATE Studio), Julia Moritz, Lisa Rave, Anne-Marie Melster, Students and teachers of: Schule am Berlinickeplatz, Barbara-Zürner-Oberschule Velten, Montessori Gesamtschule Bernau

7:30 pm onward
Open bar


Webinar
Virtual Blue COP 25

“Can the arts mobilize youth
for the preservation of the Ocean?”

PLEASE JOIN US

Connect: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtd0eRkjwgrp0HZyp6xDeIg

SATURDAY 7 DECEMBER AT 08:30 am CET

Description (Webinar)
We decided to contribute something CO2-emissions-reduced to this year’s Climate Conference COP25 in Madrid: Virtual Blue COP25 invited us to hold a webinar on WE ARE OCEAN.

The webinar WE ARE OCEAN on 07 December 2019 has the transdisciplinary project WE ARE OCEAN by ARTPORT_making waves as a point of departure and will illustrate and discuss the role of art, education in combination with science in the implementation of environmental awareness in the broader public. The activity will have two different components: The screening of an excerpt of the artistic video by Lisa Rave created as part of her commissioned WE ARE OCEAN workshops in and around Berlin and a panel discussion with Anne-Marie Melster (ARTPORT_making waves, moderator), Julia Moritz (Co-curator of WE ARE OCEAN), Nick Nuttall (Earth Day Network), Nancy Couling (BAS Bergen School of Architecture).


Portrait of Nick Nuttall

ARTPORT_making waves is proud to announce that Nick Nuttall is joining our Advisory Board. Nick is the Strategic Communications Director for Earth Day 2020 and Former Director of Communications and Spokesperson for UN climate change and UN Environment.

Nick Nuttall has over 40 years’ experience in communicating climate and environmental issues. He was the Director of Communications and the Spokesperson for the 2015 Paris Agreement and spearheaded the communications and outreach for the UN Environment from 2001 to 2013.
Before that Nick was an award-winning journalist with The Times newspaper in London. Throughout his career, and in his personal life, art and culture have been significant companions. In the United Nations, he led several communications initiatives in which artists were engaged including a Song for Paris involving young musicians.

Nick has supported the Save the World Festival which brings together international artists from many disciplines with scientists and experts on sustainable development and recently was an advisor to the play Tornado.
As Director of Communications of the Global Climate Action Summit in California in 2018, Nick promoted artistic and cultural engagement. Earth Day, which in 2020 marks its 50th anniversary, is actively engaging artists under its Artists for the Earth initiative.

In his private life, Nick has performed with the Bonn Players and Bonn University Shakespeare Company is lead singer and guitarist with the band Sleepers Den while being a backing singer for the German artist Bernadette La Hengst. His other passions are tennis and his childhood English football team, Burnley.


ARTPORT_making waves Staff Picks

The ARTPORT_making waves Staff Pick is exactly what the name implies, a selection of recent articles, videos and content that have been curated by the staff at ARTPORT_making waves. Explore, Learn and Discover the world of climate change mitigation and climate action.

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0

An aeroplane flies over a glacier in the Wrangell St Elias National Park in Alaska.
Credit: Frans Lanting/Nat Geo Image Collection

Carbon markets shape agenda at UN climate summit

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03695-x

Protestors gather in London, UK, to call for climate action ahead of COP25 as part of the Global Climate Strike movement.Credit: Mike Kemp/In Pictures/Getty

Our Partners and Funders

(Top image: State Studio Berlin, Foto: Anne Freitag)

Climate Strikes Continue – Get Creative on Dec. 6!

Youth across the country and the world are once again striking for Climate Justice. Some folks already went on strike last Friday; many more are preparing to strike this Friday, December 6th. No matter how old or young you are, we invite you to join!  

Find a local strike to join, or host your own!

After the global record-breaking September 20th strikes, we know that the upcoming strikes will be smaller. As communities build and shore up for the long haul, the strikes are deepening too. Town by town, coalitions are organizing, deepening youth leadership, crafting bigger visions and clearer demands of politicians, and taking bolder risks. If you haven’t joined the climate strikes yet, now’s the perfect time to show up with your loudest cheer and friendliest smile, to make your own sign or to just show up and be present with the youth.

Why does the USDAC go on strike? Because the climate crisis is a crisis for our culture—it’s a crisis for our values, for our communities and the people we love. It’s also an opportunity to bring our creative gifts into the streets. As artists and cultural leaders, we invite you to join us in taking a stand: send information to your friends and neighbors, bring creative action to the fight for climate justice in to your work and your life. Walk out of your offices, buy nothing, create something, stay home from school, attend a rally, start a conversation.

And if this week doesn’t work, set your eyes towards the spring, as the next global climate strike will be on Earth Day: April 22, 2020! With the months ahead to plan, we ask: who could you be standing with at the April Earth Day strike if you start preparing now? If you are a teacher or a convener of any sort, can you integrate preparations for the strike in to your curriculum or organizing plan? What visions of creative participation might we spend our winter hatching together?

Here are some other concrete ways you can show up for the climate strikes:

And don’t forget to register to strike on Dec 6th!

Yours in Creativity and Justice,

Rachel Schragis, Minister of the Bureau of EPA (Energy, Power and Art)

PS: Have you checked out our job description for a new Co-Director yet? Help us find an awesome new team member!!

Pollution Pods at COP25 and Cape Farewell Winter News

Pollution Pods at COP25, Madrid
2-13 December, 2019

Visitors to be immersed in choking smog as part of a drive to urge world leaders to take action on air pollution

One or two minutes inside artist Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods and visitors might begin experiencing shortness of breath, but there’s nothing dangerous in the air in the pods. Safe perfume blends and fog machines imitate the air quality of some of the world’s most polluted cities – London, Beijing, São Paulo, New Delhi – as well as one of the most pristine environments on earth, Tautra in Norway.

As part of World Health Organisation’s BreatheLife Campaign, which mobilizes governments and communities to reduce the impact of air pollution on our health and climate, this viscerally powerful art installation will be installed at the COP25 climate summit. Negotiators, observers and world leaders attending the summit will be encouraged to walk through the pods, which are being brought to Madrid by Cape Farewell, WHO, Clean Air Fund and Ministry of Ecological Transition, Spain.

The true cost of climate change is felt in our hospitals and in our lungs. The health burden of polluting energy sources is now so high, that moving to cleaner and more sustainable choices for energy supply, transport and food systems effectively pays for itself,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “When health is taken into account, climate change mitigation is an opportunity, not a cost”.

Find out more ›


“Kõmij Mour Ijin/
Our Life Is Here”

An Arts/Science Expedition in the Marshall Islands August 2020

In February we will announce full details of this latest Cape Farewell expedition. 


Books: the Ideal Solstice present

Burning Ice – recently re-printed, Cape Farewell’s defining publication on ‘Climate is Culture’. 
Buy here >

Exchange – Kay Syrad and Chris Drury were commissioned by Cape Farewell to work with organic farmers in Dorset. A two year FarmArt engagement produced this magical book.
Buy here >


(Top image: Greta Thunberg with artist Michael Pinsky inside the Pollution Pods at the UN Climate Summit, September 2019 © David Buckland / Cape Farewell)

Four Shows You Should See This Fall

Exhibitions across the United States this autumn. Join me!

Danielle Eubank

Aquarium of the Pacific Presents “Ocean Resiliency”

See Eubank’s paintings of all 5 oceans, attend two talks, and help the oceans, at the prestigious Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. Join us for the opening of “Ocean Resiliency: The Art and Expeditions of Danielle Eubank” on November 5 with an oral presentation at the Aquarium.

In addition to the opening, join Danielle Eubank on November 12 to attend a special fundraising event and presentation on “Ocean Resiliency, A Call to Action.” Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the Aquarium of the Pacific’s climate resiliency and sustainability programs and to help with research and education activities at California State University of Long Beach’s Shark Lab. Supported by C Gallery Fine Art.

Opening Artist Talk, “One Artist Five Oceans” Tuesday, November 5, 7:00-8:30pm. Get tickets.
Date and times of the exhibition and Call to Action below.

University of Michigan Exhibition Opens Today!

“Oil on Water: Painting on Linen, Danielle Eubank” opens today at The University of Michigan, Michigan Medicine. It features 4 of Eubank’s largest and most noteworthy paintings to date. Gifts of Art is one of the “most comprehensive arts in medicine programs nationwide….The arts have the power to nurture and engage… to assist and enhance the healing process, reduce stress, support human dignity and renew the spirit.”

An exclusive, informal artist’s talk, date TBD. Email Danielle Eubank if you are interested.
Date and times of the exhibition below.

Slate Contemporary Hosts First Antarctica Paintings

Join Danielle at Slate Contemporary Gallery in Oakland on October 4th for the opening of “State of Change” with the incomparable Audra Weaser and David Ruth. This show features the premiere of Eubank’s first big oil paintings of Antarctica. 

Opening Reception + Artists’ Talk: Friday October 4th 6:30pm.
Date and times of the exhibition below.

“One Artist Five Oceans” at C Gallery Fine Art

“One Artist, Five Oceans”, a massive exhibition featuring paintings of all 5 oceans, is the first time Eubank’s paintings will be exhibited at a Long Beach gallery. It will encompass the exhibition, a Call to Action to support our oceans, and other events. More details to come.

C Gallery is supporting the Call to Action at The Aquarium of the Pacific on November 12. Danielle Eubank and C Gallery Fine Art will donate 100% of the proceeds to support the environmental and sustainable efforts of the AOP and CSULB’s Shark Lab.

Opening TBD
Exhibition November 1 – December 15, 2019.
Date and times of the exhibition below.

In the News ~

Here are the best articles from this year from The Guardian and KCLU, NPR for the California Coast. Also, Danielle Eubank will be included in KPCC’s Unheard LA, a “curated lineup of real people sharing true stories of life here in Southern California” In October or November. Please email Danielle Eubank if you want to hear the date and time.


Exhibitions Details

“Oil on Water: Painting on Linen, Danielle Eubank”
University of Michigan
Gifts of Art Gallery – University Hospital Main Lobby, Floor 1
1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
September 16 – December 6, 2019
Open daily from 8am – 8pm
An informal artist’s talk, date TBD

“State of Change”
Slate Contemporary Gallery
473 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612
510.652.4085  
October 3 – November 30, 2019
Opening Reception + Artists’ Talk: Friday October 4th 6:30pm

“One Artist Five Oceans: Danielle Eubank”
C Gallery Fine Art
441 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802
November 1 – December 15, 2019
Opening Reception date TBD

“Ocean Resiliency: The Art and Expeditions of Danielle Eubank”
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
November 5, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Opening Artist Talk, “One Artist Five Oceans” Tuesday, November 5th 7:00-8:30pm. Get tickets.
“Ocean Resiliency: Call to Action” November 12, 2019. Tickets available soon
.


Three things we can do to help the oceans right now
  • I will install rain barrels around my house. They help capture water for my garden, putting less stress on municipal systems and replenishing underground aquifers. 
    Source: worldwildlife.org
  • I will wash clothes in cold water. Approximately 90 percent of the total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions produced by a single load of laundry come from warming the water. Plus, studies have shown that washing in cold water is just as effective. 
    Source: coldwatersaves.org
  • I will recycle and donate my used things to charity instead of throwing them away. The average American tosses 4.4 pounds of trash every single day. It may not seem all that astonishing on the surface, but with323.7 million people living in the United States, that is roughly 728,000 tons of daily garbage, enough to fill 63,000 garbage trucks. 
    Source: saveonenergy.com

You can help raise awareness about our effect on the climate and oceans. Send these suggestions to your friends! If it gets ONE person to think about how they can help the environment in their everyday life, it will be worth it.

(Top image: Carthage VII, Oil on linen 10×30 inches, 2018)

The Blued Trees Symphony

Aviva Rahmani will be presenting The Blued Trees Symphony this Thursday, November 7th, for “Law: Perspectives on Environmental Justice” the University of Minnesota Spotlight Series 2019-20, a collaborative partnership between Northrop, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University Honors Program. The event begins at 3:30 pm in the Best Buy Theater of Northrop, 4th Floor, 84 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN.

Please join us if you are in the area, the event is free and open to the public. I would love to connect and see you there!

Blue dots on the map indicate sites of “tree notes” in the Blued Trees Symphony.

Blued Trees Symphony

The Blued Trees Symphony launched on the Summer Solstice, June 21, 2015, with an overture in Peekskill, New York. It is now installed in many miles of proposed pipeline expansions, and each 1/3 measure of those miles has been copyrighted for protection. Variations of each movement are based on an iterative score created for the overture. All installations are created at the invitation of landowners. The overture was accompanied by an international Greek Chorus at a total of twenty sites internationally. Individual trees were painted and musical variations of the score were performed to echo the theme of connectivity to all life. The score is simultaneously spatial and acoustic and will conclude with a coda, a final movement that recapitulates and resolves previous themes, on the American presidential Election day, November, 2016. 

The Peekskill site was chosen because the pipelines would be 105 feet from the infrastructure of the failing Indian Point nuclear facility, 30 miles from New York City. The score corresponds to a pattern that prevents the movement of heavy machinery. The paint for each vertical sine wave is a casein slurry of non-toxic Ultramarine blue and buttermilk that grows moss (based on a Japanese gardening technique).

Blued Trees Facebook Page

Video Links: 

Blued Trees Symphony Overture

Virginia Film


Even if you can’t attend please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the project through NYFA (the New York Foundation for the Arts)! 

Blued Trees is a division of Gulf to Gulf, a project fiscally sponsored by NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts), a 501©3, tax exempt organization founded in 1971 to work with the arts community throughout New York State to develop and facilitate programs in all disciplines. NYFA will receive grants on behalf of the project and ensure the use of grant funds in accordance with the grant agreements as well as provide program or financial reports as required. Any donations made to the project through NYFA are tax deductible!

AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC PRESENTS ART EXHIBIT, OCEAN RESILIENCY: THE EXPEDITIONS OF DANIELLE EUBANK

The Aquarium will display art by painter Danielle Eubank resulting from her twenty-year quest to capture all the world’s oceans

The Aquarium of the Pacific will display an exhibit of paintings by artist Danielle Eubank from November 5, 2019, to January 5, 2020. Eubank is exploring the relationship between abstraction and realism. For her One Artist Five Oceans project, she has sailed and painted all of the oceans on the planet. Her process of documenting the world’s oceans has included expeditions aboard replica historic ships. In the exhibit at the Aquarium, Eubank’s paintings will be paired with messages about what people can do to help the environment. On November 5 at 7:00 p.m., Eubank will present a lecture as part of the Aquarium’s Guest Speaker Series. She will discuss the process of documenting the world’s oceans and her travels.

Eubank holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and exhibits widely in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia. She is a former director of the Women’s Caucus for Art, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant awardee, a member of The Explorer’s Club, a 2018 Creative Climate Awards nominee, and the awardee of the 2018 WCA/United Nations Program Honor Roll. Her paintings are on exhibit at C Gallery Fine Art in Long Beach.

WHEN:            November 5, 2019 – January 5, 2020, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

COST:             Free to Aquarium members and included with general admission for the public – General admission: $34.95 adult (12+), $31.95 senior (62+), and $24.95 child (3-11)

INFO:              (562) 590-3100 or aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/one_artist_five_oceans/

AQUARIUM:   The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 12,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the new Pacific Visions wing, Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the Tentacles and Ink and FROGS: Dazzling & Disappearing exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. Field trips for schoolchildren are offered at a heavily discounted rate, from $7 to $8.50 per student. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits. Convenient parking is available for $8 with Aquarium validation.

Q18 DESCRIBED: WALKING INTERCONNECTIONS

Lead Editor’s note: We will be publishing excerpts from Q18: dis/sustain/ability, guest edited by Bronwyn Preece, 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 fourth chapter, Dee Heddon and Sue Porter discuss the reframing of walking practices for wheelchair-bound participants, along with ideas of interdependency.

Audio Description of images in Walking Interconnections

CONNECTIONS

It is the summer of 2012 and Dee is walking across Belgium with The Walking Library, a library filled with books considered good to take for a walk and carried on foot. The Walking Library is an artwork created for Sideways festival, a month- long peripatetic festival aiming to renew attention to the ‘slow paths’ – the underused and thus endangered network of footpaths crossing the country – by walking some 334 km along them. 1

In a tent in a field somewhere in the Flanders region Dee’s phone accesses wifi and emails are downloaded. One of them is from Alison Parfitt, a collaborator with Dee in a 2010 research network which explored site-specific performances’ relationship with environmental change. Alison introduces Dee to her friend and colleague, Dr. Sue Porter, a researcher at the University of Bristol. Sue is in the process of putting together an interdisciplinary research grant application for a project which would explore disabled people’s everyday experiences of landscape and environment to surface everyday wisdoms and expertise. Sue’s interest in using walking as a research method had prompted Alison to connect then, given Dee’s enduring interest in walking art. 2 From the tent in the field in Belgium, battling the erratic internet connection, Dee sends Sue an email, signalling her enthusiasm.


WALKING


In 2014, the project Walking Interconnections: Researching the Lived Experience of Disabled People for a Sustainable Society was launched. Walking Interconnections, led by Sue Porter, was a year-long interdisciplinary study that responded to the demonstrable lack of connection between disability and environmental movements. More pointedly, it was motivated by the marginalization of disabled people within and by environmentalist discourse, which most often presumes, figures and reiterates a normative, undifferentiated and able-bodied subject, revealing what Sarah Jacquette Ray identifies as a “corporeal unconscious”. The ‘environmental subject’ is one who is independent, self-sufficient, fit and healthy. 3 Walking Interconnections took walking as its primary methodology in part because it is immersive and fosters convivial exchanges, 4 but more importantly because placing walking at the centre challenged a corporeal unconscious which figured the ‘walking’ body as a body walking upright on two feet. As one of our co-researchers, Liz Crow – a wheelchair user – commented on the Walking Interconnections blog in June 2013, she bit her ‘tongue at the word walking (because I’m not, am I?)’. Notably, six months further into the project, Crow’s use of the word walking, though still hesitant, indicates an importantly expanded signification:

Speaking personally, so many years of medical history have been of
doctors telling me I should walk – that is, functionally, place one foot in
front of the other in order to move from one point to another. In almost 30 years of using a wheelchair, I’ve never yet seen a doctor who understood that that’s not what walking ever represented to me. It was moving through space, connecting with natural and social environments, relationships, meditation, relaxation, pleasure, mental health, tactility, and more. Those are the really important features of walking and it remains all of those things when I ‘walk’ with wheels. 5

Walking Interconnections emerged from an earlier scoping essay by Porter and her academic colleague David Abbott. 6 In this, the authors asked whether physically disabled peoples’ experiences might enable them to become valuable contributors to planning initiatives directed towards environmental hazard, rather than marginalized by the dominant perception of disabled people as singularly vulnerable. The authors didn’t deny that disabled people were vulnerable – that is, ‘disproportionately affected by the consequences of all kinds of natural and human made hazards’ 7 – but their contention was that such vulnerability is a product of neglect (for example, structural attitudes position disabled people as the least worth saving) and also by design (the needs – and skills – of disabled people are not fully acknowledged – for example, planning responses are often ablest in their assumptions, privileging normative notions of bodily abilities).

Seeking to problematize the perception of vulnerability, Abbott & Porter
proposed an alternative hypothesis, one paying attention to disabled people’s ‘intricate, daily negotiations with risk, hazard and barriers’. 8 As they argue, ‘disabled people may have lived experiences which bestow expertise which could significantly contribute to discussions about and planning for environmental risk’. 9 Walking Interconnections aimed to identify such expertise in order that it could be recognized and valued and could contribute to wider discussions around sustainability.

Over the course of a year, a research team worked with 19 co-researchers
from Bristol who self-identified as either physically disabled or environmental activist – tellingly, only one co-researcher self-identified as both. Each co-researcher was asked to invite another co-researcher to accompany them on a walk of their choice. Walking pairs were often also accompanied by Personal Assistants and/or assistance dogs. A variety of walking aids were used, from a trike, to scooters and sticks. Each walking pair carried a digital voice recorder. More than 20 hours of audio material, mostly recorded on the move, was transcribed and edited and re-recorded into a 30-minute verbatim audio play-reading, ‘Going for a Walk’. This can be downloaded from the project’s website; here, I offer just a few extracts taken from across different scenes. 10

SCENE 2: PLANNING
Jane: Have you got a walk in mind?
Hayley: Yes, Baydock Woods. There’s quite a few little walks round there, but there is one on the level up round the top, which you can basically just go round in a circle.
Neil: I was thinking about walking round my allotment site.
Hayley: Are there places to sit?
Neil: Good question. Not readily, no, there are not.
Jane: Has it got a path?
Neil: Yes, there’s a path.
Jane: Tarmacked?
Neil: Not tarmacked, ehm, a combination of sort of hard sort of gravel and grass.
Hayley: And level?
Neil: There’s a very slight incline, as you go up, but nothing.
Hayley: Nothing major. Neil: Yeah, pretty much level.
Sue: Well what you find with disabled people is that they have to plan very
meticulously if they don’t want to get caught out. This is why I chose this
walk today. We came and reccied it after our meeting and made sure I
could see where I could get on.
Sharon: So from the bridge if you go up the hill it takes you somewhere else. But it’s a bit steep and I don’t think the buggy will manage it very well, and it’s a bit rockety so I don’t think we will go up there.
Tony: There’s this bridge, that’s a footbridge, so these are all footpaths, these purple colored things on the map, so we could maybe investigate that?
Sue: As long as we’ve got some options in case it doesn’t work.


SCENE 4: MAKING CHOICES
Julie: The reason I’ve chosen this walk today is, one, they’ve got good facilities. Obviously you’ve got the café, and the toilets for disabled which you can access them with a radar key, most of the footpaths are quite level, and obviously it’s good for Billie to run around and there’s various walks to do with Blaise Castle. I’ve chosen this walk because we can go, almost complete it.
Dale: I like walking around the dock area. It’s a big, wide open space and there’s lots of different things to look at, like boats, and ships and the harbor side. And for me it expresses the freedom of walking. Because you don’t get a lot of traffic down there, it’s much easier and accessible for people like myself.
Sharon: I chose this one because I’d been there before. It’s quite a nice walk. It’s not too far, and they have loads of lovely trees and there’s always people in there walking their dogs and it’s just very peaceful in there.
Sue: I think I chose it because I knew it was flat. And you’ve chosen it to
accommodate me, really.
Tony: Partly, but I just like somewhere near water. I think anywhere near water I quite like.


SCENE 6: THE STEPS GOT US
Glenise: Ah, there’s steps up here. […]
Julie: Sometimes, people take things for granted. All the walks here aren’t fully accessible.
Anais: Clearly you wouldn’t go through there?
Julie: You wouldn’t, because of the dip. […] We couldn’t go up to the mill. That’s one of the things that we couldn’t access. There’s going to be other things.
Anais: For example, going to the path on the left, which is too steep.
Julie: Yes, too steep.
Liz: Ok, so we’ve come past the nature reserve and got onto a track that we were both getting really quite enthusiastic about, it’s one of those very sustainable tracks, tramped down earth and my trike has coped just about with the loose gravel surface on it. And beyond this gate we’ve come to what looks lovely, real potential for open countryside but we’ve
come to one of those kissing gates which is impassable. I would probably
get stuck in and left there because I think I would get wedged. And
there’s a lovely big gate next to it – but unfortunately that’s padlocked – so
that’s the end of this route. So – now we are going to backtrack.

SUSTAINING INTERDEPENDENCY

Key aspects of the transformation towards sustainability are the abilities to cope with and adapt to new challenges arising from changing environments. 11 Going for a Walk reveals repeated practices of planning, mitigation, risk taking, deviation, adaptability, problem solving, persistence, commitment, attentiveness and creativity and interdependency. The dominant discourse of ‘independence’, particularly as this is attached to the field of disability policy and practices, belies the reality and necessity of interdependence – interdependence offering alternative and useful conceptions of ‘sustainable living’. Repeatedly observed in our project were interdependencies’ attendant practices, including trust, negotiation, collaboration, reciprocity, mutuality, and co-operation. The inter, we suggest, is surely part of an environmental ethic, contesting as it does the story of the subject as self-sufficient and singular. Whilst interdependency is perhaps more apparent because more explicit in the relationships of (some) disabled people (some of the time), Judith Butler has insisted that as ‘socially constituted bodies’, ‘we are fundamentally dependent on others’. 12 Vulnerability and interdependency are two sides of the same ontological coin, far removed from the idea of the ‘masterful’, omnipotent subject. Borrowing from Butler again, greater recognition of our ‘inevitable interdependency’ might very well provide the sustaining grounds for what she calls a ‘global political community’. 13 Such sustaining grounds are surely the foundations for sustainability? Acknowledging our vulnerability might just allow all of us to practice our interdependency better, a process of resilience necessary to sustaining a diversity of assembled lives, human ones included.


POST-SCRIPT

Dr. Sue Porter died suddenly on 11 January 2017. Nevertheless, this piece of
writing is interdependent, the product of conjoined labor, written and rewritten as a collaborative act. The ‘I’ is a ‘we’. I last saw Sue in July 2016. She gifted me a book for The Walking Library for Women Walking. The book was Examined Life: Excursions with Contemporary Thinkers. 14 Sue wrote:

The reason I chose the Examined Life book was particularly for the
chapter that is the walk Sunaura Taylor and Judith Butler take in San
Francisco – where we hear what makes a city inclusive and therefore
accessible, in city planning terms and, more importantly for me, the
exchange between these walkers on the ideas of ‘what a body does’. They speak to me of the importance of ‘belonging’ and the value of asking again and again, ‘who is it that belongs here?’ I also love hearing the relationship that evolves between them, the gaze, the touching, the making of a shared pace.


Dee Heddon holds the James Arnott Chair in Drama at the University of
Glasgow. She is the author of numerous books, essays and articles, many of
which engage with walking as an aesthetic practice.

Sue Porter was a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Policy Studies,
University of Bristol. Sue wrote widely about disability, justice and equality. She lived her life as a scholar, an activist and an artist.

FOOTNOTES

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. 

Eden

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 http://www.planetthrive.com re|shelter http://reshelter.org AAPD American Association for People with Disabilities aapd.com ASAN Autism Self-Advocacy Network autisticadvocacy.org AUCD Association of University Centers on Disabilities aucd.org Accessworks access-works.knowbility.org Catalyst Center (healthcare reform for people with disabilities) cahpp.org Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities c-c-d.org Council for Exceptional Children cec.sped.org Employment Incentives employmentincentives.com NDRN National Disability Rights Network ndrn.org SABE Self Advocates Becoming Empowered sabeusa.org The ARC For People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities thearc.org Special Needs Alliance specialneedsalliance.org Electrosensitivity UK http://www.es-uk.info/ Skin Deep ewg.org/skindeep/ EI Wellspring eiwellspring.org/ Stink! https://stinkmovie.com/ Peggy Munson www.peggymunson.com/activism.html JAN askjan.org/ Rachel Carson Council rachelcarsoncouncil.org Beyond Pesticides beyondpesticides.org/ Pesticide Action Network www.panna.org/ www.mcs-aware.org/sah Homesick: Multiple Chemical Sensitivites – Dual Power Productions http://dualpowerproductions.com/homesick/ A Canary’s Eye View http://www.canarys-eye-view.org  Ability Maine http://www.abilitymaine.org/resource/guides/mcs.html Chemical Injury Information Network (CIIN) http://ciin.org/ Environmental Health Network http://ehnca.org/  Advice for Non-Toxic Living ourlittleplace.com/multiple-chemical-sensitivity/guidelines-for-nontoxic-living Chemical Injury  http://www.chemicalinjury.net  Environmental Illness Resource  http://www.ei-resource.org Chemical Sensitivity Foundation http://www.chemicalsensitivityfoundation.org   www.drsteinemann.com princesstigerlily.com/mcs/mcs_by_area.html  The Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org  Amelia Hill http://www.ameliahill.com

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. jennifernfink.com.

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. julielaffin.com

You will never be out of the woods.  

             You will never be the woods. 

You are the woods.