The ecoartspace blog features artist profiles and interviews, as well as writings on ecological systems. We are interested in presenting work that our members are making in collaboration with scientists, and poetics including spoken word, opera, and performative work. Painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, drawing, and printmaking are all welcome media. Speculative architecture and public art are also encourage. Submissions for posts can be sent to We look forward to hearing from you!

You can access the previous ecoartspace blog HERE (2008-2019)

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Mailing address: PO Box 5211 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
  • Monday, January 01, 2024 9:02 AM | Anonymous

    January 2024 e-Newsletter for subscribers is here

  • Monday, January 01, 2024 8:09 AM | Anonymous

    Mosses and Marshes, artist while recording audio, photograph, 2020

    Hearing Held and Nurtured Nature: Kim Goldsmith's Multi-Media Work

    Interview by Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein

    Bringing nature bathing to new heights, Kim V. Goldsmith constructs video, soundscape and written work that integrate the natural world through contemplative, socially-engaged media. Research and process driven, Kim’s work sits at the meeting point of natural beauty and human intervention. Between technological assets and the wildest landscapes, Kim expands on her work below. She is also the founder of eco-pulse art.

    Exploring Places That Vibrate, digital audio-video (click image)

    What strikes me about your multimedia pieces is the way that you present stable objects in motion. What parallels do you place between motion and the land?

    In my opinion: nothing is stable. Everything is in motion regardless of whether we feel it, see it or hear it. Our rapidly changing climate has sped up that motion in many ways, and whether it’s the dramatic changes that come with floods, droughts, and fire—or just the progression of time—lands and bodies of water, and everything they sustain, is constantly changing.

    It seems like you celebrate in this works such as “Pulse of the Wetland” and “Mosses and Marshes.” These collaborations explore the interconnectivity between the changing climate, surrounding community, and ecological resilience. How were you able to bridge narratives across communicative methods through collaboration?

    The broader ‘Mosses and Marshes’ project, of which ‘Pulse of the Wetland’ was my part of the project, was an international collaboration with UK artist, Andrew Howe between 2019-2022, exploring the future of Ramsar-listed wetlands in our respective countries. Our process on this project emerged as the project developed but was defined by asking a lot of questions about the issues facing these landscapes and the communities that are shaped by them—including challenging our own biases and assumptions; creating relationships with a wide range of knowledge specialists—from scientists and land managers to traditional owners; then applying our artform preferences to exploring and presenting the information, largely as provocations. The public programming around our work was a really important component of the work that brought ‘outsiders’ into the conversation to consider the issues raised from different perspectives, which showed us that while UK and Australian inland wetlands are vastly different, they also face many common issues. To do this we guided soundwalks, held an international panel event, gathered audio stories, and published a book.

    Mosses and Marshes, video soundscape, 2021 (click image)

    What an incredible process to engage the public and realize common struggles. What can audio work achieve uniquely in your goals of “capturing deep connections and hidden layers?

    Humans tend to hear but not really listen. We’re often reactive rather than reflective, switching off once we’re familiar with something. By bringing subsurface sounds to the surface, I can make the familiar, unfamiliar. This often breaks that reactive listening cycle long enough to have a conversation about active and deep listening that create those deep connections. When practiced, those connections deepen even further, and you can start to tap into those hidden layers without the need for technological assistance.

    ‘Inhalare/ breathe upon’ was a project that was very much about our restricted movement during COVID lockdowns and getting to know local environments better during this time, but it’s also centered on the idea of making the natural world more accessible to everyone. Through taking a written, sound, and visual approach to celebrating these places, we were able to give multiple connection points to the six environments chosen by the artists. In my case, it was the pine forest on my property. They’re also often underappreciated and overlooked places that many don’t take the time to explore and understand. Celebrating the signature sounds of the pine forest brought them into focus in a way most will not have taken the time to notice.

    Inhalare/Breathe Upon, time lapse video with contact mic recordings, 2020-21 (click image)

    Celebrating the signature sounds of the natural world with “Inhalare” reminds me of acoustic-ecology. As a person who is deeply connected to the environmental landscape and many rural communities, what are your experiences related to man-made noise?

    Loud, man-made noise drives me nuts! I live in a peri-urban area a few kilometres outside a major regional city, where people believe it’s their right to make as much noise as they want. Dirt bikes, chainsaws, revving cars, lawn mowers and the pumped-up bass on sound systems are all features of the after work/ weekend soundscape—often drowning out beautiful native bird song, frog song, and wind in the trees. I also live within kilometres of a major inland rail line and regional airport, so those feature in my local soundscape too. All this said, it doesn’t mean that man-made noise is all bad—the sound of our footsteps on fallen leaves or dry grass isn’t going to dramatically alter other elements of that soundscape. We are, after all, part of the environments we live in. It’s just about moderation.

    There’s growing awareness of the health impacts of constant ‘noise’ and I believe urban sound design will become increasingly important as our cities continue to grow. The need to house more people in medium and high-density spaces will require the use of sound impedance measures and green spaces to dampen sound. Allowing communities in these areas to have a say about what soundscapes they want to live within and engage with should be a key consideration in the planning of cities now and in future.

    Sonic Byte-Wingham Brush Boardwalk, narrative audio walk, NSW Regional Futures project residency, 2022 (click image)

    The connection between designed spaces and your work is very clear! I am thinking especially about the work you created in Skye. Reading your passages, I feel like I am on a journey with you. What do you consider while choosing how to share your contemplative journey so vividly with a reader, such as myself?

    The writing I did during my residency on the Isle of Skye in August/September was about creating a more experiential and immersive experience of being in the natural world, that’s accessible to everyone. For some, access is about not being able to hear soundscapes, to see landscapes, or to be mobile enough to move freely through a territory. This project is called ‘The Sonic Language of (Lost) Landscapes' and it came off the back of trying to make sound more accessible to d/Deaf people or those who are hard of hearing, should they wish to engage with it. I have people with hearing loss in my own family, who can’t enjoy some of the soundscape compositions I’ve created over the years, as some of the frequencies are out of their range. I also have this fear of losing my hearing as I age. I’ve noticed that many of the best nature writers, some of whom I greatly admire, often don’t describe sound well or they use descriptions that only those who can or were once able to hear could relate to. While sound doesn’t always have to be centre stage, it makes writing about the natural world so much richer, particularly when you start to explore sub-surface worlds.

    View From My Window, photograph, (Arts) Territory Exchange, 2017-19

    And you are opening this journey by exploring agroecology artist residency options. What have you discovered so far?

    Yes, I’ve been doing a feasibility study for the ‘SOIL+AiR: creative future landscapes project’. It’s a multidisciplinary, artist-on-farms residency program. Held as a co-led, on-farm creative exploration of land management and agroecology issues impacting the future of secure food and fibre production, and the need for cultural adaptation for us to adapt, survive and thrive in changing environments. It’s designed to be an active partnership between the creative and the farmer, as well as engaging local communities and consumers to better understand the environment in which foods and fibres are produced. I’m wanting it to be more than just awareness raising though, but bring new voices to the conversation, offer different perspectives, immersive experiences, potential solutions, and provide a way for people to act.

    Following many conversations here in Australia, and in the UK while I was there recently, a small pilot residency project is now being developed, with the hope they'll be more artists and farmers involved in future. Eventually we’ll bring all the participants together to share the outcomes on an international stage. For me, it’s exciting to see my interests and experience in rural industry, natural resource management and the arts all coming together in a way that engages others and offers hope for the future.

    Thank you, Kim! I think it may be time for a walk in the forest after such an inspiring interview.

  • Monday, December 25, 2023 9:04 AM | Anonymous


    December 25, 2023

    This week we recognize Art-in-Nature artist  NILS-UDO  NILS-UDO and        his decades-long practice creating site works with natural materials, as well as his current painting practice.

    A passage by the artist to describe "THE NEST," 1978 (above), including rocks, birch trees, and grasses, made in Germany:

    "I smelled the earth, the stones, the freshly struck wood. I built the nest walls high and twisted the soil of the nest. From the height of the edge of the nest I looked down on the forest soil, up into the branch work of the trees and into the sky. I heard the singing of the birds and felt the breath of the wind. In the dawn I began to freeze. The nest was not finished yet. I thought, high above on the edge of the nest squatting: I build myself a house, it sinks silently past the tops of the trees on the forest soil, openly to the cold night sky and nevertheless warmly and softly, deeply into the dark earth dug." 

     click images for more info

    In 1998, NILS-UDO was invited to create an outdoor site installation in the Santa Monica Mountains, in Topanga Canyon (Los Angeles County, California), off Old Topanga Canyon Road in Red Rock Canyon Park. The artist chose a cave where he assembled one of his signature nests for this iteration, made with Arundo donax, a lesser bamboo that grows along Topanga Creek. Considered an invasive species, great care was taken to remove the work after several days. Visitors to the cave were taken by surprise, then learned about his site works made around the world and became protectors of the work until it was removed. Some local residents even made a daily pilgrimage. The off-site work was included in the exhibition Art & Nature, curated by Patricia Watts for Julie Rico Gallery, Santa Monica.

    "Nature becomes a platform on which the artist layers a discourse of human intervention in relation to the scale and dimensionality of landscape as well as the life forms therein. A sense of the ephemerality of life is inscribed onto the landscape in these ever-changing artworks. We see his work in documents, photos, and catalogues more often than we will see them in reality, and their ephemerality is an omnipresent theme—nature plays the central role, with the artist as intervenor, someone who sensitizes viewers to their links to nature." John Grande

    NILS-UDO began as a painter in the 1960s before creating his site-specific works in nature. He continued to paint until 1980, then focused exclusively on his nature installations until 2004, when he returned to painting as well. For the last twenty years, he has made dozens of paintings from memory and photographs. And, though most of his work has been made in and with nature, the artist considers his photographs as the primary artwork. He learned photography out of necessity to document his site work.

    HABITATS is an installation created in 2022 (below) in the heart of Champagne, France, at Taissy Vineyards. As part of the countdown to the Vineyard's 300th anniversary in 2029, they commissioned the artist to create a work that would highlight the links between humans and nature, and to promote biodiversity. The installation sculptures, or nests, are made with vines and branches extracted from the vineyard to give them a bocage appearance (hedged fields). Oak trunks found in the surrounding area during forest maintenance operations form the bases of the sculptures, and young pines from regeneration work carried out in the neighboring Montbré forest are used for the branches. The artist’s ultimate dream? That birds nest there. That the bees take their place in the small holes dug in the trunk to make room for them... "Let the squirrels, caterpillars, butterflies, ladybugs... follow."

    NILS-UDO       (born 1937) is a German artist from Bavaria who has been creating environmental art since the 1960s, when he moved away from painting and the studio and began to work with and in nature. He began in the 1960s as a painter on traditional surfaces in Paris, but moved to his home country of Bavaria and started to plant creations, putting them in Nature's hands to develop and eventually disappear. As his work became more ephemeral, the artist introduced photography as part of his art to document and share it. Perhaps the best-known example of his work for the general public is the cover design for Peter Gabriel's OVO. The artist seeks to offer a mutualist vision wherein nature as environment is an omnipresent backdrop. In revealing the diversity in a specific environment, he establishes links between human and natural history, between nature and humanity that are always there yet seldom recognized. NILS-UDO uses natural materials, such as sticks, petals, and branches, to create site-specific installations.

    Featured images (top to bottom): ©NILS-UDO,      THE NEST, 1978, rocks, Birch trees, grasses, made in Germany, photo documentation; Red Rock Nest, site-specific installation in Topanga Canyon, California, off-site work included in exhibition Art & Nature at Julie Rico Gallery, Santa Monica, California, January-February 1998, photo documentation; Small Lakeearth, 2000, water, Hazel stakes, Butterly Orchids, old leaves, made in France, photo documentation; Painting 1058, 2015, oil on canvas; Habitats, 2022, oak trees, pine trees, grapevines, at Taissy Vineyard, Campaigne, France, photo documentation; Portrait of the artist at Taissy Vineyard.

  • Monday, December 11, 2023 11:32 AM | Anonymous


    December 11, 2023

    This week we recognize artist  John Roloff John Roloff  and    his decades-long investigation of geologic time, sites, and other natural phenomena that began in the late 1960’s, combining poetics and site-specific relationships between material, concept and performance in the domains of ecology, architecture, ceramics, industry, metabolic systems and history.

    Fired and Glazed Earth Piece, 1979 (above) is the first larger environmental performance/ kiln work after a series of smaller experimental kilns and firing projects. This work had two stages, the first of purely firing the existing earth in-situ. The second state, is after a second firing and the layered placement of all powdered glaze materials available at the Notre Dame ceramic facility were fused in-situ. In both cases the burner was placed in one end of the kiln, and left to reach a unknown temperature, the purpose being to let the kiln dynamics and natural forces (to the extent possible) determine the state of fusion of the materials, not a pre-determined formula or goal.The work also related to the earthworks projects done by artists of the 1960's and 1970's. Echoing volcanic processes, such as contact metamorphism where a heat source (plutonic intrusion, lava flow, etc) would come into contact with the surrounding native rock and create an altered zone of materials, potential metamorphic facies change in minerology as well as color and texture. The illumination of the ceramic fiber blanket by the heat of the firing, sustaining the kilns ship form at night, became important in developing the spectacle/kiln image dynamic of later projects.

    click images for more info

    Fragment: The Hidden Sea (Island of Refuge), 1993 (above) is a 35 foot long "artificial" sectioned rock outcrop whose polished front facade is activated by intermittent and distributed seepages of water. An illusion of the art work is that the water is flowing "uphill." The main structure is set into a series of wave-like grass berms, the berms and structure provide sitting and relaxing space for the students of the surrounding housing complex.

    "Fragment..." An assemblage of geologic materials and concepts adrift as if broken from a larger system floating in what is a geologically complex and fragmented terrain as in the Franciscan and Great Valley rock sequences that make up much of Western California. These ‘suspect terrains,’ are geologic progressions of ancient sea floor deposited against the original North American continent by accretion processes generated by plate tectonics and oceanic sea-floor spreading over millions of years.

    "...(Island of Refuge)" An interactive topography: an ‘outcrop’ sited in a communal terrain, berms for relaxing and reading, the back slope for viewing activities on the adjacent grass expanse, the slow drip of the front facade inviting investigation of its origin and secrets.

    "...The Hidden Sea..." A sea that resides in the memory of all sediments deposited in marine and estuarine environments. A sea that once lapped shorelines, that can now only be imagined. A sea that exists within the vast expanses of stratified material making up sedimentary landscapes, its currents and subtle subcurrents persisting in the orientation and gradients of minute lithified particles that drifted and settled to the bottom of the deep oceans. The variable seepage of water from the front facade of Fragment: The Hidden Sea (Island of Refuge) provides a living reminder of these themes, dampening the fossil-like inclusions and waveform strata.

    Stratigraphic Column I   2002  (above) is composed of alternating images taken of Cambrian and Ordovician Era carbonate marine sediments from the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley, California and contemporary buildings (Holocene era) in the process of being deconstructed or having undergone conflagration in northern California. The images have been digitally stretched to form strata-like structures that recompose the column into a sequence of non-conformities and displacement in geologic time and distance. This meta-order examines an intermingling of Holocene and Paleozoic structures over 300 million years and 500 miles (800 kilometers) apart. The geographic displacement from Death Valley to Oakland is on the scale of plate tectonics or large strike/slip or transform fault systems such as the San Andreas Fault in western California. The practice of architecture often brings together materials from even greater distances and time frames for aesthetic, design or structural reasons.

    Protogaea Civica II (Franciscan Formation/San Francisco, CA), 2005 (above) is the second and largest of three variations of the Geology Flag Project, a system of symbolic demarcation of site-specific geologic structures and materials using flags. This version uses 19 flag poles at the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza. The flags emblematically identify the Civic Center’s site in relationship to the Franciscan Formation, the bedrock beneath the larger Bay Area, east of the San Andreas Fault. The Civic Center, in geologic terms, rests unconformably (a time gap in deposition) on part of the Franciscan called the Alcatraz Terrane, near its western edge. The complete set of flags are envisioned as a comprehensive system of geo-taxonomy, an indexing and revealing of the geologic materials and structures beneath any given site, and, as flags flying above civic sites, such as the San Francisco Civic Center, staking a claim for the “nationhood” of nature and natural systems. The flags are political, national and regional history flags.

    The Sea Within the Land, 1980-2019 (below) are images from Roloff's retrospective exhibition at Anglim Gilbert Gallery in San Francisco, presenting selected kiln documentation, photographic installations, and recent ceramic ships. Utilizing a cross-disciplinary approach to ceramics and performance, his work incorporates the earth and life sciences with architectural and historical elements. The exhibition incorporated a view of the landscape where, in the context of geologic time, the land and sea are mutable, interdependent and may be construed as forms of each other. The processes of erosion and deposition being cyclical inversions of each other, a continuum of land and sea interaction through which new land is constantly being formed. In this fundamental way, land/seascapes are constructed of previous land/seascapes each carrying the blueprint of their ancestor.

    John Roloff      is a visual artist who works conceptually with site, process and natural systems. He is known for his ceramic works and outdoor kiln/furnace projects done from the 1970’s into the 1990’s, as well as other large-scale environmental projects, gallery installations and objects investigating geologic and natural phenomena. Based on an extensive background and ongoing research in the earth sciences, he works from geochemical and global metabolic perspectives. The ship is a central image of his work, metaphorically evoking psychological and transformative processes of the sea and land in geologic and contemporary time. He studied geology at UC Davis, Davis, CA with Professor Eldridge Moores and others during the formative days of plate tectonics in the late-1960’s. He studied with Louis Marak and received a master’s degree in art in 1973 from CSU Humboldt. In addition to numerous environmental, site-specific installations in the US, Canada and Europe, his work has been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, UC Berkeley Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institution, Photoscene Cologne and the Venice Architectural and Art Biennales, The Snow Show in Kemi, Finland and Artlantic: wonder, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Art works in the public realm that explore geologic and related concepts can be found at sites such as: Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, I-5 Colonnade Park, Seattle, WA and Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. He has received three artist’s visual arts fellowships from the NEA, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, a California Arts Council grant for visual artists and a Bernard Osher Fellowship at the Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA. He is Professor Emeritus of Sculpture/Ceramics at the San Francisco Art Institute.

    Featured images (top to bottom): ©John Roloff, Fired and Glazed Earth Piece, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN / 1979, images: Pre-fireing, 12 ft long, fire brick, ceramic fiber blanket, metal tubing, burner, propane, earth and 12 ft long, fire brick, fused and glazed earth beneath kiln / second firing of kiln; Fragment: The Hidden Sea (Island of Refuge) is a35 ft. long, cement, artificial stone, timed water-seepage system, roses, landscaping, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1993;Stratigraphic Column I, 2002, an extension of Roloff's Landscape Projection (for an Unknown Window) series, 1998-2001;Protogaea Civica II (Franciscan Formation/San Francisco, CA) 2005, 19 flag poles at the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza as part of the 2005, part of the exhibition, High Five, presented in conjunction with the opening of the new DeYoung Art Museum in Golden Gate Park;The Sea Within the Land 1980-2019; Portrait of the artist.

  • Monday, December 04, 2023 12:58 PM | Anonymous


    December 4, 2023

    This week we recognize artist  Felicia Young, and  her collaborative community-based projects to address environmental challenges through the arts, as the founder of  Earth Celebrations, a non-profit organization established in 1991.

    Young created the Trash Monster for Earth Day in 1990 (above), a 50-foot long dragon covered in soda cans, plastics bottles, and a tail of discarded New York Times papers. Volunteers from throughout the city collected cans for the monster and helped in its creation over several weeks. It was also featured in the Earth Day Parade at One World Trade Center 1992-1995. Volunteers operated the dragon by walking under the heaps of trash, their heads popping out like vertebrae. At the end of the parade the volunteers emerged and slayed the dragon, cutting off the cans, plastic bottles and paper tail. It was then separated in the ritual of recycling and offered to the We Can Recycling Center for recycling.

     click images for more info

    The Rites of Spring, Procession to Save Our Gardens, 1991-2005 (above) was a collaborative art and environmental action project directed by Young, to build a community effort to preserve the gardens on the Lower East Side that were threatened with destruction by proposed development plans.Over many months local residents participated in workshops to create visual art, giant puppets, and performances of music, dance, theater and poetry, presented in a culminating day-long procession to Save Our Gardens, visiting the network of over 50 community gardens. The procession grew into an ongoing program with the founding of Earth Celebrations, dedicated to engaging communities to generate ecological change through the arts. The project continued for fifteen years with annual pageants, community art-making workshops and a grassroots coalition effort that led to the preservation of hundreds community gardens throughout New York City.

    Earth Celebrations’ Hudson River Restoration Project & Pageant, 2009-2012 (above) engaged residents, youth, students, schools and local river, environmental, cultural and community organizations in a collaborative arts and action project on restoration efforts of the Hudson River Estuary and impacts of climate on the waterfront in Lower Manhattan. Months of workshops engaged residents, youth, schools, community centers and organizations to collaborate with Earth Celebrations’ artists-in-residence and environmental experts exploring the waterfront sites and their related environmental programs and climate mitigation initiatives. Workshops culminated in a co-created theatrical pageant, featuring a 5 hour procession of visual art, giant puppets and costumes with 13 site performances celebrating the restoration initiatives along the downtown section of the Hudson River Park. Oyster planting, marine labs, native river grass, species of plants and animals, and boating programs were celebrated while addressing sea level rise, flooding and climate challenges impacting the waterfront.

    The Vaigai River Restoration Pageant & Project, 2014-2016 (above) was a social action art initiative and an international collaborative effort to restore the Vaigai River in Madurai, South India. The River was in a severe environmental crisis due to pollution, waste dumping, and the drying effects of extreme climate. The project applied the arts to mobilize community action and build partnerships among diverse groups and people throughout the city, working together to develop and implement solutions. Young activated cultural strategies and methodology to engage diverse sectors throughout the City, to work collaboratively, exploring how pollution and climate are impacting the river. Over 50 partners throughout the city including local organizations worked on critical environmental and health programs, rural and urban neighborhood associations, religious centers, women’s empowerment groups, academic and cultural institutions, government officials, farmers and people living in poverty along the riverbank. Research and data were then interpreted by community participants into visual art and performances for a culminating public Vaigai River Restoration Pageant on May 12, 2015. A procession of giant mobile sculptures, spectacular costumes, and musical bands with performances at significant sites along the route followed the river bank. The project catalyzed on-going engagement and actions with river clean ups, and the Vaigai River Restoration Trust was established along with an official panel appointed by the Mayor of Madurai. In 2018, Madurai was identified by the Smart Cities Council of India to receive 1 billion rupees for the Vaigai River Restoration implementation.

    Earth Celebrations’ Ecological City - Art & Climate Solutions Action Project, 2017 - present (below) applies the arts to build community, collaboration and action on climate solution initiatives to mitigate climate change including impacts of flooding, carbon pollution and the consequences of sea-level rise throughout the network of community gardens, neighborhood and waterfront on the Lower East Side of New York City. Gardeners, artists, residents, youth and over 50 community partner organizations collaborate through 9 months of creative engagement, partnership building, and Art & Climate Solutions Workshops, to develop visual art and performances exploring local sustainability sites and their climate solution initiatives. The community presents their inspiring sustainable urban ecosystem and artistic works created through the workshops in the culminating Ecological City: Procession for Climate Solutions. The co-created theatrical pageant features a spectacular procession of visual art with 21 site performances of dance, theater, music and poetry, celebrating local climate solutions embedded throughout the neighborhood. Ecological City provides an inspiring creative, collaborative and public platform to amplify and build action on local environmental challenges and solutions.

    Felicia Young   is an artist and the Founder and Executive Director of Earth Celebrations, a non-profit organization since 1991, engaging communities to generate ecological and social change through the arts. For the past 32 years she has applied the arts to build community, collaboration and action on climate change, water quality, river restoration, waste management, and the preservation of species, habitats, nature, gardens, parks, and a healthy urban environment. Her collaborative arts projects build partnerships with organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, and residents to work together to achieve common goals and ecological policy and social change. As a native 3rd generation New Yorker, Young has deep roots in the City of New York, as well as much inspiration from the festivals, ceremonies, and mythic dramas from her mother’s native land of India. Young has also developed a course "Art, Ecology and Community," for Princeton University. She shares these cultural strategies as a guest speaker on urban sustainability and artistic activism at numerous schools and colleges including New York University, Columbia University, School of Visual Arts, New School/Parsons and Hunter College. Young has BA in Art History from Skidmore College and a MA degree in Performance Studies from New York University.

    Featured images (top to bottom): ©Felicia Young, Trash Monster: Create, Parade & Recycle, 1990-1995, also performed Earth Day New York & World Trade Trade Center, LMCC, 1992-1995; Hudson River Restoration Pageant, 2008-2012, downtown section of the Hudson River Park, Lower Manhattan, World Financial Center to Gansevoort Street; Vaigai River Restoration Pageant & Project (2014-2016), Madurai, South India; Ecological City, Art & Climate Solutions Action Project, 2018-Present, Lower East Side, New York City, Gardens to Waterfront; portrait of the artist.

  • Friday, December 01, 2023 8:18 PM | Anonymous

    Geo Crumbs: Making the Invisible Visible

    by Michelle Sirois Silver

    Artivist: Natalya Khorover

    “What does one year of collecting trash look like?”

    Geo Crumbs: Making the Invisible Visible (2023) is Natalya Khorover’s most personal installation to date. Bits and pieces of trash were collected over a year of walking along a favorite footpath in a forest. These geo crumbs of trash are cast in resin and installed in a small, abandoned building steps away from the footpath for people to see just how many crumbs they may have left behind on their walks.

    An interactive component is a QR code created by the artist. Encased in resin, it hangs on one of the walls. When scanned a description of the concept for the installation pops up. Followed by a series of questions: Do you know about climate change? Do you know what plalking is and do you do it? Can you tell me something about the history of the forest you are hiking through? They can then sign a virtual guest book and leave a message for the artist.  

    This well-traveled footpath is where Natalya walks her dog and where she collects trash crumbs discarded by walkers, hikers, and cyclists. She describes it as her little patch of forest, “Obviously it’s not mine but it’s where I walk my dog almost every day. It’s a beautiful patch of nature with mature maple and oak trees. A stream runs through it. When I find trash on the ground it breaks my heart. I want to clean it up.”

    Calls to action come in many ways. Natalya comments that when one person picks up one piece of trash and puts it into the trash receptacle it saves that piece from being washed by the rain into the water way and flowing out into the ocean where eventually a fish will eat it. “It’s one small act that all of us can do,” she says.

    The concept for Geo Crumbs came about organically so to speak. From September 2022 until September 2023, Natalya picked up pieces of plastic, glass, bits of metal, batteries, charging cables, lights from bicycles, condom wrappers, and lace underwear. As well as tennis balls, dog balls, golf balls, and tees.

    The concept for the installation is an intuitive process. “In September 2022 when I first began picking up the trash along the footpath, instead of putting it into the trash receptacle I felt compelled to collect it. I would bring it home, wash, sort, and catalog it. I didn’t throw anything out. At the time I wasn’t sure why.”

    Creating spaces for conversations about single use plastic is an underpinning for the artivism that Natalya engages with. The walks in the forest offered her the opportunity for contemplation and creative problem solving. It was during her dog walks that she routinely walked by an abandoned building. And, it was here she saw the opportunity to create an installation that would draw attention to the trash that she had collected along the path.

    To prepare the trash for the installation it is cast in resin to prevent further harm. The resin casting is a transformative process turning the bits of trash into precious shiny objects. Installed in the secret gallery, the transformed geo crumbs have the potential to draw attention and generate conversations about the responsibilities we have for objects and the things we may unknowingly leave behind.

    Our conversation broadens as we discuss her decision to work with resin. Intrigued by resin she also worried about it because it’s a fossil fuel product.  We talked about why her work requires a bonding element. Whether it’s polyester thread or acrylic paint. As far as she is concerned, they all have their detriment to the Anthropocene epoch. She concludes, “These are choices I must make.” 

    Some of the work is suspended with wires. Other pieces are placed on the floor and create an unexpected mosaic effect. When the exhibition ends everything will be removed. It’s Natalya’s intention to cause no harm to the site. Everything will be taken away and exhibited again or reused to create new works.

    “I want visitors to initially be attracted to the beauty of the installation but as they get closer, I want them to realize that it’s trash. I want them to be surprised. And I want them to think about how they may have contributed to the installation by leaving a geo crumb behind.”

    Geo Crumbs: Making the Invisible Visible. The year of collecting trash is currently on display in the secret gallery somewhere in New York state (November 2023 – Winter 2024).  

    Installation:  40.96593° N, 73.74636° W

    Natalya Khorover is an artivist based in New York state. She describes the work she makes as environmental art that uses the discarded materials she finds within those environments. “Everything I make is made with repurposed materials. Specifically single use plastics. This is the core of my art practice.” Community participation in the form of workshops is a key underpinning for her installations with the intention to empower participants to engage in activism in actionable ways. “I’m compelled to draw people’s attention to single use plastics. And, the way I know how is to use the plastic in my art in ways that make it unrecognizable.  When someone first sees my work, they are drawn to the imagery, color, and texture. When they lean in, they pause and ask, ‘What’s that made from?’ This is where the conversation about single use plastic often begins.” Khorover is the founder of the Repurposer Collective. A community for creatives concerned about the environment and passionate about exploring repurposed materials in art. In 2023 Natalya was the teaching artist in residence at the Hudson River Museum. She earned her BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), Surface Design Association (SDA), the Katonah Museum Artist Association (KMAA), and the Silvermine Guild of Artists. In 2022, she created a site-specific installation from single-use plastic waste for The Social Fabric, an exhibition at ArtsWestchester in White Plains, NY. Her work has also been exhibited at the Dairy Barn’s biennial Quilt National (2021, 2017, 2013), the Visions Museum of Textile Art in San Diego, CA, The Other Art Fair in Brooklyn, NY, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.

    Photographs by Ana Szilagyi 

  • Friday, December 01, 2023 9:39 AM | Anonymous

    December 2023 e-Newsletter for subscribers is here

  • Thursday, November 16, 2023 8:47 AM | Anonymous

    Deep Horizons: A Multisensory Archive of Ecological Affects and Prospects

    The specifics of ecological destruction often take a cruel turn, affecting those who can least resist its impacts and who are least responsible for it. Deep Horizons: A Multisensory Archive of Ecological Affects and Prospects gathers contributions from multiple disciplines to investigate intersectional questions of how the changing planet affects specific peoples, communities, wildlife species, and ecosystems in varying and inequitable ways. A multisensory, artistic-archival supplement to the University of Colorado Boulder’s 2020-2022 Mellon Sawyer Environmental Futures Project, the volume enriches current conversations by bridging the environmental humanities and affect theory with insights from Native and Indigenous philosophies. It highlights artistic practices that make legible the long-term durational effects of ecological catastrophe, inviting readers and viewers to consider the emotional resonance of poems, nonfiction texts, sound-texts, photographs, and other artworks that grapple with the less visible loss and prospects of environmental transformation. 

    Learn more about the book, which includes work by Erika Osborne, here

  • Wednesday, November 15, 2023 6:39 PM | Anonymous

    Entanglement and the Inner Feminine as Artistic Practice

    Hillary Irene Johnson | October 19, 2023 on MAHB

    Now that I am deep into the final year of my MFA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago, I find I’m reflecting on the problematic nature, the constraining potential of what the rational, well-ordered, intellectual, academic, rectilinear, traditionally masculine modes of thinking, doing and making. I am also researching models of success both out in the world and from an interior perspective. I wonder how I (and others if they like) might reframe experience and path from these masculine modes and views of success to those more feminine in nature, more internal processes, heroine’s journeys of transformation for the good of myself, for the good of all beings. 

    I’m thinking a lot about entanglement, of our collective dilemmas and how we might move forward, borrowing Donna Harroway’s notion of a new period we have the potential to enter into, what she calls the Chthulucene. In her book, Staying with the Trouble (1), she writes:

    “Chthulucene is a simple word. It is a compound of two Greek roots (khthôn and kainos) that together name a kind of timeplace for learning to stay with the trouble of living and dying in response-ability on a damaged earth. Kainos means now, a time of beginnings, a time for ongoing, for freshness. Nothing in kainos must mean conventional pasts, presents, or futures. There is nothing in times of beginnings that insists on wiping out what has come before, or, indeed, wiping out what comes after. Kainos can be full of inheritances, of remembering, and full of comings, of nurturing what might still be. I hear kainos in the sense of thick, ongoing presence, with hyphae infusing all sorts of temporalities and materialities.”

    Continue reading on MAHB here

  • Wednesday, November 15, 2023 6:35 PM | Anonymous

    The UN/making Network: An Interdisciplinary Artist-run Platform that Celebrates the UN/making of Harm

    Jill Price | September 28, 2023

    Arising out of personal observations about how the art world contributes to the Anthropocene, which Dr. Natalie Loveless from the University of Alberta defines as a colonial, industrial capitalist, patriarchal and petrol phenomenon that I would add is made exponential by the globalization of Western thought that privileges economic growth and individual wealth over ecological justice and social equity, the UN/making Network is an assemblage of online platforms that support and promote interdisciplinary art forms that push beyond the production of objects for commodification and consumption and uptake methods of performativity to assist in the care and repair of ecological sites and spaces that support human and more-than-human well-being. 

    Formulated as a research-creation Ph.D. project in which I was interested in discovering and developing ways in which to unmake myself from systems of harm as a consumer and a maker, as well as transition my personal practice away from the narrative towards that which could be considered performative, preventative or reparative, the UN/making Network is Inspired by other artivist or cultural websites that work to share eco-ethical mandates, resources, and outcomes, and build a community of like-minded thinkers and doers. Temporarily housed under, the UN/making Network currently exists as a series of web pages that:

    Continue reading on MAHB here

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