Author Archives: ficusinterfaith

Wit’s End: Smell the Earth, Taste the Rain…Hear the Sun Rise and Night Fall

 

http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2013/10/smell-earth-taste-rainhear-sun-rise-and_10.html

 

biorock links and additional reading

Title Notes
Goreau’s “Marine Electrolysis for Building Materials and Environmental Restoration” Lots of essential details about the types of rocks grown at different charges, etc, and the increased growth of marine wildlife
Not as much detail about specific building techniques
Official Biorock FAQ Includes more practical questions of budget, process, materials – encouraging for those on a shoestring budget!
Goreau’s “Electrical Stimulation Greatly Increases Settlement, Growth, Survival, and Stress Resistance of Marine Organisms” Research paper with evidence and graphs of biorock’s positive effects on marine growth – good for the “why” of a project like this – includes oyster mentions
The Biorock Process Short general description of Biorock’s process, other pages on this site also useful to browse
DIY Aquarium Biorock – Forum 1 Forum, someone trying to create biorock in a home aquarium, conversation ends before a solution is described but still useful as a premise
DIY Biorock – Forum 2 70 forum posts, partly contesting Biorock’s strength for building materials, but this is irrelevant for a structure like ours that will stay underwater
Should read through – lots of concrete tips scattered throughout long nerdy conversation (how fast material builds up, what to use, etc.)
Seament Accretion Experiment This is one of the MOST useful pages so far! Describes and pictures specific materials (even dimensions and part #s) and spells out a step by step process
Includes a case study experiment of biorock
STUDY ON BIOROCK® TECHNIQUE USING THREE DIFFERENT ANODE MATERIALS (MAGNESIUM, ALUMINUM, AND TITANIUM) Compares anode materials – literally a tl;dr – Titanium is best and fastest, Magnesium Aluminum is second-best
DIY Biorock conservation Kind of introductory and written by a crazy guy, has a useful diagram to explain how the whole system is set up
Biorock Technology Benefits Search for “New York” to see examples of Biorock allowing oysters to grow even in severely polluted site in NYC – this applies to our project
Mara Mara’s worked with Tom and James- exactly what were trying to do
Colleen Colleen’s project, she’s very nice via email
Mara;s new project Mara’s using a fairytale format and aesthetic to develop a How-To for Oyster Rehab
The Biorock Book – Unit 16 – Bartlett School of Architecture Summarizes several practical experiments, useful for observing rate and factors of growth
Oyster Growth Study using Biorock® Accretion Technology Oyster and NYC-specific experiment – very similar to what we’re trying to do! Shows that oysters grow where Biorock gives them a structure, and they actually grow more quickly than other oysters
Biorock® oysters grow faster and have higher survival Results from studies on the growth rate of oysters in Biorock conditions in New York – Tom Goreau is an author

DarwinGardenAmaryllis.jpg

“When heaven’s high vault condensing clouds deform,
Fair Amaryllis flies the incumbent storm,
Seeks with unsteady step the shelter’d vale,
And turns her blushing beauties from the gale.
Six rival youths, with soft concern impress’d,
Calm all her fears, and charm her cares to rest.” (I.151-156)

-Erasmus Darwin

Poem on evolution

a61345b03b00ad644a7dbc6412af181c--science-week-erasmus

Erasmus Darwin offered the first glimpse of his theory of evolution, obliquely, in a question at the end of a long footnote to his popular poem The Loves of the Plants (1789), which was republished throughout the 1790s in several editions as The Botanic Garden. His poetic concept was to anthropomorphise the stamen (male) and pistil (female) sexual organs, as bride and groom. In this stanza on the flower Curcuma (also Flax and Turmeric) the “youths” are infertile, and he devotes the footnote to other examples of neutered organs in flowers, insect castes, and finally associates this more broadly with many popular and well-known cases of vestigial organs (male nipples, the third and fourth wings of flies, etc.)

Woo’d with long care, CURCUMA cold and shy
Meets her fond husband with averted eye:
Four beardless youths the obdurate beauty move
With soft attentions of Platonic love.

Darwin’s final long poem, The Temple of Nature was published posthumously in 1803. The poem was originally titled The Origin of Society. It is considered his best poetic work. It centres on his own conception of evolution. The poem traces the progression of life from micro-organisms to civilised society. The poem contains a passage that describes the struggle for existence.[10]

His poetry was admired by Wordsworth, although Coleridge was intensely critical, writing, “I absolutely nauseate Darwin’s poem”.[6] It often made reference to his interests in science; for example botany and steam engines.

 

WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

 

Walt Whitman

The Earth is a Trampled Garden

The Earth is A Trampled Garden
Bea Fremderman, Ficus Interfaith, and Laurie Kang
Organized by Bryce Grates

http://brycegrat.es/

Brooklyn, NY

/

(Hu)Man is perpetually erasing existing bonds with nature in exchange for a reality that they have erected. This new reality can be viewed as a “second nature”. We are societally intertwined with this overdetermined second nature, and have pushed the antiquated “first nature” further and further away from us, into a space that only exists within the experience economy. This comes in the form of nature preserves, zoos, artificially-designed parks established in the midst of cities, and so forth. Much like art, we now experience and view nature as a preserved object, or entertainment. We see it as a reproduction of something that once was, which is now just an optimized system composed and funded through a capitalistic agenda.

The Earth is a Trampled Garden aims to bring together artists who move in the direction of a perhaps fictional, or not-yet-tapped, “third nature”. Handmade objects using seeds, plants, naturally occurring chemical reactions, et al., they provide a new take on the ways that natural materials can be considered and reconstructed for an audience.

/

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photographer Franco Banfi and his fellow divers were following this pod of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) when the giants suddenly seemed to fall into a vertical slumber. This phenomenon was first studied in 2008, when a team of biologists from the UK and Japan inadvertently drifted into a group of non-responsive sperm whales floating just below the surface. Baffled by the behavior, the scientists analyzed data from tagged whales and discovered that these massive marine mammals spend about 7 percent of their time taking short (6- to 24-minute) rests in this shallow vertical position. Scientists think these brief naps may, in fact, be the only time the whales sleep.sleeping-whales.jpg.0x545_q70_crop-scale-1

Dangerous Together

19222968_1679675195379899_6273899256783872462_oDANGEROUS TOGETHER, co-curated by Prairie and Micah Schippa, presents:

BB5000
Dorota Gaweda & Egle Kulbokaite
Ficus Interfaith R+ P
Institute of Queer Ecology
KERNEL
Loney Abrams + Johnny Stannish
Sorbus

Opening June 23rd from 7-10pm. Show runs June 23rd – July 30th 2017.

~

Micah Schippa:

Here let me send you what I have

Guillaume says “the critical potential of collaboration has to be problematized in relation with the question of authorship, as the latter holds a prominent place in modern academic self-image and systems of valorization. Thus, authorship is central to understanding how collaboration can provide a critical pathway to the production of knowledge. To be successful, collaboration needs to steer participants away from an intellectual state of idleness, where the effects of one’s social, historical, institutional, ideological, gendered and cultural situatedness are ‘in an unthought stage’ (Bourdieu 1994: 217). To this purpose, collaboration can offer a networked and dynamic collaborative environment within and through which ideas are critically fostered and engaged with, but also an epistemic frame where the notion of individual(ist) production is not necessarily celebrated as a competitive feature of contemporary academia, but re-situated in the dialogical dynamics of knowledge production, management and valorization.”

Prairie:

I like that

Did you see what I posted in the doc?

More-so related to ecology than collaboration, this excerpt from the introduction to Jason W. Moore’s “Capitalism in the Web of Life” offers a nice, brief analysis of how early human life developed symbiotically with the environment:

“When geographers say space, may we not also say nature? All social relations are spatial relations, relations within the web if life. Socio-spatial relations develop through nature. All species “build” environments – they are “ecosystem engineers.” But some engineers are more powerful than others. Humans have been especially powerful. This is not simply because of thought and language – which are of course central – but also because hominid evolution favored distinctive extroversions: a smaller digestive system and the use of fire as an external stomach; a narrower birth canal and community as external womb; less hair and the production of clothes as external fur. That list could be extended. The point is to highlight the ways in which evolutionary processes were powerfully co-produced: humanity is a species-environment relation.”

Can we think of a way in which to address both the collaboration happening between members of these artist collectives and the material/natural “collaboration” these groups are engaged with?

Micah Schippa:

Omg i looooooove this

It breaks the naturalized, solipsistic idea of capitalist development. Like, competition as a species-eat-species, top down effect is a matter of the way we perceive time at a small scale. We are engineers in a world of engineers, a world which itself is an engineer. But not so technically; more ambiently.

I like the way these two texts of ours breathe back and forth.

Omg wait should we just use this for the press release?

Prairie:

Yeah love that.

Haha, are these two texts dangerous together??! 😀

 

IMG_2759IMG_2729IMG_2721IMG_2791

Progress Beyond Reason

­­MX Gallery
169 Canal St, 5th floor

“Progress Beyond Reason”

Thomas Laprade/Aaron Lehman
Ficus Interfaith

 

We’ve always made sure to tell and retell the story of darkness and light.  And just as our ancestors danced to the songs of their ancestors, they always remembered to teach the steps to their young.  Juking became jerking and Egyptian hieroglyphs found their way into gay ballroom dances uptown.  The things the dead made and left behind were poignant too, especially when we could run fingers along the cracks that bore witness to their stories– as if we needed proof that time passed before we became lucky enough to sit up and watch it tick.

These rituals of making, sharing, and conserving guarantee that beliefs and values endure from one generation to the next.  Ritual, above all, functions to preserve social memory by connecting an individual to a shared, cultural history.  Dapping it up in the local fashion feels especially good when it’s as physical (with your arms around another body) as it is transcendentally shared. Ritual becomes the performance of history and our performance of ritual is the medium by which history thrusts forward and gives life meaning.

In pre-modern society this meaning of life was given at the beginning, and this meaning was immanent in all the ordinary customs and practices of daily life.  The beat of the drum told the feet exactly how they should move- and that alone was worth reproducing to keep the world going around.  In modern society, however, meaning is not given at the beginning of life– meaning is to be sought, discovered, acquired, and often discarded and re-rediscovered.  Suddenly it was no longer enough to make the world go around but necessary that it also move forward.

So the idea of progress and the need for perpetual improvement became held in the highest regard in the new world. A society, a life, or an action that did not show progress came to seem meaningless, and, in turn, ritual stood on the other side of a Great Divide.  It became tantamount to a blind faith in the past.  Ritual, as opposed to reason, became barbarism and idolatry that could only impede the path to a bright and rational future.

Some, equipped with instruments for measuring and fine-tuning, went about banishing the sprites and gargoyles that lived in the dark corners of the imagination.  They replaced them with methods of categorization and confinement, and even applied these ideas to people.  They claimed ornament was the mark of the savage and renovated temples to humiliate monks with simple reason and logic.  Others, erecting towers of mullioned glass and rectangular greys, said ritual was the insidious tool of authority used to stratify and take advantage of the aspirational poor. Ritual became our bogeyman, no longer a boon but a blight on progress.

Progress was to be social, scientific, liberal, constant, faster, constant, better, constant… until we found ourselves moving again to the beat of that ancient drum.  These activities, held to the metric of seemingly quantifiable progress and perpetual improvement became the new customs and practices of every day life–the modern ritual.

Yet all those cancerous qualities we feared about ritual– the blind faith and idolatry– were only in remission.  Aided by technology, these symbols of progress reproduced and hurdled through our psyches so fast that they became empty shells of what they once stood for. A dangerously ritualistic faith in progress emerged; the idea of a better future hijacked by eco-conscious marketing ploys, protestors at rallies in search of social currency, aerodynamic razors with embossed speed stripes for hairless bodies.  Futurism in this sense became reduced to a hyperbole of a wasteful and indulgent present; one that carrot-sticks us into the future while leaving us too tranquilized to really feel, think, or act in the moment.

We see this trickery most clearly in the technologies and materials that literally form the foundation of our culture. Perhaps the enabling feature of the Roman Empire’s sprawl was their use of concrete— they were the envy of the western world for the speed of their megalithic construction. Domes, aqueducts, and arches were poured rather than painstakingly pieced together. The imperfect predecessor of this technology was clay and the inheritors of its successes were plastics, rubber, terrazzo, and today the infinitely variable rendered image. What each of these technologies enable and share is their plasticity and offer of unlimited new forms. A poured concrete façade of a neoclassical building does not rely on wooden beams, columns of fluted reeds, and pegs that tie columns to architrave, and yet all those features are visible because they were the original construction techniques of Greek temples. While plastic materials like concrete offer vast potential for new forms, we continue to imbue them with the symbols of the past. We see in these technologies a preservation of image, appearance, and ritual while materiality drops away. This culminates in the rendered image, an image literally without matter. We live in homes with hollow Ikea furniture.

The fact of how we preserve our past when given so much technological potential for newness suggests that we can’t escape our history, but maybe there is potential within it for liberation.  If ritual is the practice of history then it must be a history for life. Not an idea of history that is only a scientific recording of facts, or limited by nostalgia and a blind recreation of past styles, but a practice that empowers an imagination aimed at the horizon. Today it’s possible to hear the ancient drum and, rather than be captive to it, have the ability to decide how the feet should move.

“Progress Beyond Reason”, featuring Thomas Laprade/Aaron Lehman and Ficus Interfaith, will run through July 4. Gallery hours are by appointment. To make an appointment please contact 773-490-0191 or 203-321-3701, or email info@mxgallery@gmail.com

 

_DSC4918_DSC4976_DSC4757_DSC4970_DSC4962_DSC4967_DSC4779_DSC4801_DSC4809_DSC4828_DSC4851

_DSC4876

_DSC4884

_DSC4903

_DSC4867