4/5/2013 11:12:39 AM
With moss, graffiti artists and activists get green, literally speaking.
Quick, what can you make with a handful of moss, some yogurt, and a
can of beer?
Over the last several years, gardeners and graffiti artists
have been discovering common ground—on walls. While it’s difficult to pinpoint
the origin of the moss graffiti movement, Edina Tokodi—a.k.a. Mosstica—seems a
likely source. The Hungarian artist has been putting moss in public spaces since
2004 (above, a work from 2008; below, from 2004).
Since then, word has spread (alongside striking photos) about
how to make and grow this fuzzy paint. Methods vary slightly, but most follow
the general formula of this recipe
from Destructables or this
concoction featuring beer and corn syrup from Gardening Guru. These simple approaches have made the technique
accessible to internationally recognized artists and Occupiers alike.
While moss’s inclination to keep trim makes it a clear
choice for wall growth, the bryophyte has another quality that makes it ideal.
Because the “paint” making process involves putting the moss in a blender, this
technique would only work with a plant that spreads via spores. One drawback to
moss: unless you live in a rainy clime, this art will require upkeep. In drier
regions, the moss must be sprayed religiously.
Set in London,
Anna Garforth’s Grow seems to
encourage the wilderness that’s crept back into an unused plot of land (slated
for redevelopment). “It’s amazing how quickly the wild reclaims its space and
carries on growing even after is has been destroyed,” she writes.
Many are touting moss graffiti as a green alternative to
spray paint— aerosol and solvent free, with fewer cans left on the ground. While
street art techniques like wheatpasting have been environmentally-friendly
options for quite some time, the stunning effects of this green graffiti cannot
green graffiti at Environmental
Graffiti, or check out Good’s
round-up of cool
guerilla gardens from around the world.
Cattle (Brooklyn, 2008) and As It
Started (Budapest, 2004): Mosstika; Occupy: finiculi,
Grow: Anna Garforth
3/25/2013 12:37:03 PM
Sony Pictures Classics
How do you overthrow a dictatorship? If you thought armed insurrection or mass protests were the answer, think again. In this sharp, darkly humorous political thriller about Chile’s 1989 referendum on the leadership of Augusto Pinochet, filmmaker Pablo Larrain shows how the superficial tools of popular mass media—rainbows, catchy jingles, and celebrity endorsements—upended an autocracy. The film follows skateboard-riding ad-man René Saavedra (terrific Mexican actor Gael García Bernal), as he comes up with the upbeat Coca-Cola-inspired commercials to effect the outcome of the election. Facing resistance from the Communists who hired him and the authorities who attempt to sabotage him, Saavedra struggles against all odds to change the future of a nation. Larrain nails period details with a sardonic specificity—from microwaves to “We Are the World”—but most of all, his film brilliantly captures his country’s tense, unsteady transition from brutal tyranny to tentative democracy.
3/25/2013 10:57:02 AM
When we look at the physical makeup of urban areas, it's obvious that we've transformed a natural wilderness into a modern forest of steel and concrete. The truth is we're still surrounded by nature in the middle of the city, but our lives are simply too fast and our attention too fractured to notice it. A pair of professors at the University of Rochester aim to change our perception of urban nature and help us better understand the evolution of our cities with a new smart phone app called Indeterminate Hikes+ (IH+).
Assistant professor of art Cary Peppermint and Leila Nadir, a writer and lecturer on sustainability, are the co-founders of EcoArtTech, a collaboration that explores technology and environmentally focused work with other artists and organizations.The IH+ app is their latest project and utilizes Google Maps to create task-oriented paths designed to slow us down and simply make us more aware of our surroundings. As a news release explains:
After downloading IH+, users "pioneer" a "hike" by entering a start and end location, similar to finding directions online. But instead of selecting a direct route, Google Maps generates a random path with prompts and activities that encourage users to look for wilderness in urban spaces. "The prompts increase awareness of the environment where you live and also cause social interactions—you're using the technology to reconnect with space instead of people," said Peppermint.
When following the route, users may be asked to take a photograph with their phones at selected points, write a "field note" on their phones, send a text message to someone, or perform a particular task—all in response to their surroundings. "Hikes" are intended to be performed in groups and with one phone, to make the experience socially interactive. "Wilderness is all around you and the app encourages users to give the same attention to inner city parks and rain gutters that we do to landscapes like canyons and gorges," said Nadir.
Image by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester
3/21/2013 2:14:35 PM
The Very Best of the Pogues
Now Available at Shout Factory
Punk is not simply a musical style or fashion aesthetic; punk is a look in the eye. The Pogues proved this without a doubt upon forming back in 1982. Fronted by Shane Macgowan—in songwriting, singing, and swaggering antics—the Pogues often outdid the Sex Pistols in their excesses.
Despite the Guinness-fueled shenanigans, no punk band—actually, few bands of any sort—has ever written as many beautiful ballads as the Pogues. Paul McCartney may be the pop song maestro, but MacGowan should be crowned the king of the sentimental sad song.
They’re all distilled down in the The Very Best of the Pogues, form the Christmas carol “Fairytale of New York” to the rousing, life-affirming “The Sunny Side of the Street.” A Yuletide greeting and life-affirming punk anthem? It’s all part of what makes the Pogues special. One can always quibble with the choices on a greatest hits disc, but this collection does what it should: makes you yearn for more.
3/21/2013 12:46:56 PM
The Wilderness Available Now on Lefse Records
Chilled out, enchanting, and spooky, Cemeteries’ first official album offers a welcome haunting. The solo project of Kyle Reigle, Cemeteries creates a soundscape in which mellow percussion gets layered with synth and guitar, where ethereal vocals lend dream pop a drafty feel. Reigle composed The Wilderness from an apartment bordering the woods and industrial wastelands at the edge of Buffalo, New York – a setting that seems to match the stark, lonely majesty embedded in the album’s sound.
As one might expect of a name like Cemeteries, the music is steeped in an awareness of both life and mortality. Lyrical references to seasons, temperature, and natural surroundings comprise almost every track. Album opener “Young Blood” swells with longing as Reigle sings, “I can still hear the whisper / of the cold and snow in winter / when I sleep.” Songs like “Summer Smoke” reference our kindest season, though their tone sustains the album’s wintry feel. And while the title track rides on a twist of upbeat folk, lyrics allude to long, chilly nights. Despite all the reference to cold and winter, there is something inviting and hopeful here. Musically, the album is a deep breath, capable of bringing awareness to the moment in a way that seems to slow time.
Reigle is selling The Wilderness and other works kickstarter-style on his blog to raise funds for studio time. The next album is already written, he reports, and a tour—with additional members Pete Zamniak and Jonathan Ioverio for live shows—is in the planning stages.
1/31/2013 2:39:57 PM
Photos courtesy of Jeppe Hein and Shareable.
This article originally appeared at Shareable.
Jeppe Hein, a
Danish artist known for creating experiential art, has put an
interesting twist on park benches by populating the town of De Haan in
Belgium with his eye-catching “modified social benches.” The benches,
which range from the super-comfy-looking to the seemingly unsittable,
are intended to bring people together in unexpected ways and make them
more aware of their surroundings.
While they look enough like traditional park benches to be
recognizable as something you sit on, Hein’s benches have features that
break the park bench mold: tight angles, slopes, missing pieces, loops,
dips, closed circles and more. With their unusual shapes, the benches
are conversation starters and people magnets and they add a fun touch to
Of the benches Hein says, “With their modification, the spaces they
inhabit become active rather than places of rest and solitude; they
foster exchange between the users and the passers-by, thus lending the
work a social quality.”
No choice but to sit ... together.
Is it a gazebo or a bench? You choose.
A bench and slide, great for families and hipsters.
The tête-à-tête taken to a new level.
This bench seats many and orders space in the park.
The nap bench.
9/28/2012 10:02:29 AM
This post originally appeared at EcoSalon.
Big city, smaller footprint:
blurring the line between landscape design and modern architecture.
The trend of vertical gardening is up, as is the rise of the jolly green skyscraper. Easy on the eyes and easier on the planet, upward greenery is transforming our concrete jungles into ivied oases.
The Musee du Quai Branly in Paris (top) is one such example, with some 8,600 vertical square footage dedicated to more than 170 different species of plants.
London’s Athenaeum, its tendrils and blossoms looming high over Piccadilly Circus, is another.
To read the rest of this article, visit EcoSalon.
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