Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thesis I

"Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing." Waangari Maathai

Tonight I had my first Thesis I class. We were asked about our dream project, and I talked about a paint garden. We were asked about our hopes and fears for the class and I remembered a metaphor I drew last semester, of the idea as a seed. I hope that this seed grows into a hearty plant, one in a garden of my accomplishments. I fear that it will die. So to put physical next to spiritual, i planted four Alkanet seeds tonight. Alkanet is a dye plant; I hope for it to be my companion and a metaphor and a responsibility and a reminder. I hope some day for it to bear color into my world. I cannot let it die. I cannot.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


...I need you.

I met a girl on the train from Canada. Her name was Corey. She was in town visiting the University of Chicago, where she will soon begin the pursuit of her PhD. She reacted to the book I was reading, Art as History, History as Art by Dipti Desai, et al.

When I made the comment that production is a fundamental human need I instantly, on reflex, qualified that statement by saying that well, maybe not EVERYONE needs it... because I am quite used to the opposition I encounter when I make unqualified statements like that (although I often firmly believe them). Corey looked me right in the eye and said yes, everyone. She was right there with me, on the page that there are fundamental human needs satisfied by the process of making things.

I think it is safe to say that I instantly fell in love with her.

The point is that she has been on my mind for weeks because she reminded me that there are many, many, many people out there who are tapped in to the same hunch as me. The hunch that we need to adopt some practices for modern life that have featured into every epoch but this one. Practices like the production of our tools and belongings, practices like growing the food we eat. Practices like belonging to community and dancing around a fire.

And look, if I am to be true to my beliefs, I need to remember the other people who are on to the same hunch, and forget the system-oriented peers with which I am surrounded. I need to remember that I am not Alone, only alone here.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Plato on the first living creature in universe:

The living being had no need of eyes when there was nothing remaining outside him to be seen; nor of ears when there was nothing to be heard; and there was no surrounding atmosphere to be breathed; nor would there have been any use of organs by the help of which he might receive his food or get rid of what he had already digested, since there was nothing which went from him or came into him: for there was nothing beside him. Of design he was created thus, his own waste providing his own food, and all that he did or suffered taking place in and by himself. For the Creator conceived that a being which was self-sufficient would be far more excellent than one which lacked anything; and, as he had no need to take anything or defend himself against any one, the Creator did not think it necessary to bestow upon him hands: nor had he any need of feet, nor of the whole apparatus of walking; but the movement suited to his spherical form was assigned to him... that which is most appropriate to mind and intelligence; and he was made to move in the same manner and on the same spot, within his own limits revolving in a circle. All the other... motions were taken away from him, and he was made not to partake of their deviations. And as this circular movement required no feet, the universe was created without legs and without feet.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Time Passages

For someone as attached to words and books and chairs as I am, gratuitous physical labor wouldn't ordinarily hold much appeal. Yet I had lately developed--in the garden, as it happened--an appreciation for those forms of knowledge that seem to yield most readily to the hands. Different kinds of work, performed with different sets of tools, can disclose different faces of the world, and my work in the garden had revealed a face of nature I'd never seen before, not as a reader or a spectator. What I'd gleaned there was a taste of what the "green thumb" has in abundance, this almost bodily sense of plants and the earth that comes from handwork, sweat, and a particular quantity of attention that involves very little intellect, but all of the senses. It reminded me just how much of reality slips through the net of our words, and that time spent working directly with the flesh of the world is the best antidote for abstraction.

-Michael Pollan, A Place Of My Own

Friday, February 19, 2010


I had my interview today for Graduate School. I think it went quite well, and I will know by the middle of March! Wish me luck, internet.

So, sign up for this website immediately, it's like Facebook for Permaculturists.

It is a great way to get involved with people who care about things like peak oil, climate change, community building, local foods and economies, and such. Just check out the groups, there is a little of everything.

I started a discussion just today about a slice of my vision.
Art in a Post-Oil World.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Food Fight

Another film that I'd love to see:

Watch the Trailer

Transition Rogers Park is hosting an event on April 14th.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Study in Homemade Tempera

This video was part of my application for grad school :/

If that isn't working, here's the link.