5


Permaculture
October 29, 2010, 7:26 am
Filed under: Design, Food, Production, Theories | Tags: , , , , , ,

Fuji Eco Park Village, Japan, by Cecilia Macaulay

Last night, I attended a lecture about Permaculture at the Hub Helsinki. My mind is blasted. Jerome Osentowski, director of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, was speaker of the night. It got me really interested in learning more about Permaculture, which is a whole philosophy including social, economical, technological, cultural, educational, political and spiritual aspects. Basically, it is a concept about a self-sustained life, independent from governments and states, in accord with nature. The term comes from the two words ‘permanent’ and ‘agriculture’, and “aims to design human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic nature”, Osentowski presented in his lecture. Three basic ethics lead Permaculture: care for the earth, care for the people, and sharing the surplus. From the website www.permacultureprinciples.com, you can find very nice and clear descriptions of the principles, presented in the permaculture flower diagram, which are explained more nearly when clicking on them. Those Ecovillages are like small Utopian realities with a holistic philosophy, that I agree with in many aspects. I would only be careful with a too large body of rules and regulations that need to be followed.

In the discussion after the lecture, the question was raised whether is was possible to use only vegan fertilizers, forgoing animal manures, since Osentowski is making use of the rabbits’ and chicken’s dirt for the plants. I was wondering what could be wrong with using animal excrement, and found an answer of sorts in the internet: Using animal manures would support the meat and dairy industries. But if one raises the animals himself and does not make use of any other products but their dirt? Food philosophy at its best, source of discussion and thoughts; I am seriously troubled.

Here an interesting article about Masanobu Fukuoka’s, a Japanese farmer, philosophy, whose agricultural approach is recommended on the Permaculture website. Another interesting aspect are the alternative economic models proposed and encouraged, such as volunteer work, trading without money, and concepts such as WWOOFing (which I plan on doing next year – I hope to find answers to all my questions!).

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gentle actions & small worlds
October 26, 2010, 12:54 pm
Filed under: Art, Food, Network, Projects for inspiration | Tags: , , , ,

Interspecies collaborations/ David Rothenberg

A few weeks ago, I have been contacted by a Swedish artist named Jana Fröberg, who studied at the Art Academy of Oslo, where my good friend Tabea is studying now. Somehow, she had stumbled upon my blog, and told me about an art and ecology happening in Oslo she is participating in, Gentle Actions. Shortly after, I got to know Jan van Boeckl, who is a researcher and lecturer in Environmental Art Education, when he attended the 2/5:GROW-dinner at Taik, who tells me about participating in the Gentle Actions event. What a small world! A few days ago, I talked to Tabea on Skype, and she attended the event and got to know, without knowing about me knowing, Jana and Jan. The world is not only small, it is shrinking!

“Gentle Actions is an art & ecology happening with an experimental visual framework that will take place at the gallery Kunstnerenes Hus in Oslo/Norway from the 23rd of October till the 14th of November 2010. It will be an interactive meeting place which combines the transformatory power of art with interdisciplinary ecology. Gentle Actions will function as a social sculpture and gather people engaged in social transformation within the arts, culture, humanities, social and nature based academia together with cultural activists and an actively engaged public.  It will be an interactive and collaborative platform that includes dialogues and lectures, various presentations, workshops, discussions, and an extensive film program.

Quoting Jaques Rancière: “Art no longer wants to respond to the excess of commodities and signs, but to a lack of connections. The loss of the “social bond”, and the duty incumbent on artist to work to repair it, are the words on the agenda… It’s not only the forms of civility that we have lost, but the very sense of co-presence of beings and things that constitutes a world.”

As part of the program, Jana and the artists Sandor Ellix Katz and Rebecka Beinart will do something very inspiring and related to my topic:

“Porridge, cutting edge yoghurt, and sourdough bread” This space will provide food for thought in the form of workshops, space for conversation and the rituals of sharing meals, in addition to a variety of sensory experiences. There will be a rich array of tastes and smells from living cultured foods and sourdough bread, to traditional porridge and wild teas. The duration of the event will be marked through the slow fermentation and growth of living foods occupying the space.

Wish I could be there!



behind bread
October 26, 2010, 11:32 am
Filed under: Art, Bread, Design, Theories | Tags: , , ,

I did it again. I baked. Bread. I just cannot help it. This one is a mix of maybe Finnish, Italian, and German bread. Rye-sourdough with walnuts and olives. Really good with pea soup, another very typical Finnish dish. Hmm, it seems like I am jumping from art theory to ‘bread theory’ today, doesn’t it? But, just a reminder: bread is the basic metaphore of this project, each event had its own special bread that actually connects to a theory; 1/5: Rieska, 2/5: Reikäleipä, 3/5:Piimälimppu, the rest will still be kept in secret. Plus, baking bread is just the most beautiful and relaxing thing to do after getting done with some work. By the way, it is time for true contemplation, since halftime has been crossed – two more out of five events to go!



Thoughts about aura
October 26, 2010, 11:03 am
Filed under: Art, Theories | Tags: ,

In 1935, cultural critic Walter Benjamin wrote his famous essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit; originally published in Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung). Back in the days, it did not find too much attention, but in the 1960’s and 70’s, it has been rediscovered and since the 80’s, it is one of the documents modern theory of culture and media is founded on.

The essay speaks about the aura of an artwork; art in itself, has, according to Benjamin, been a tool to record history. Its uniqueness is bound to time and place. With the invention of different tools of reproduction, such as copperplate engraving, the printing press, photography, and many others, works could be reproduced and distributed widely. At the same time, the work of art would deprive its aura, its originality, the certain distant unseizable feeling that comes with an original art piece.

When it comes to photography, the digital age has overruled most analogic picture taking. Admittedly, I also mostly take pictures in digital form, due to easier handling and costs. The ‘aura’, that Benjamin is talking about, is lost though. The only camera that takes true originals is maybe the Polaroid camera, a technology, that has been lost, but it being revived by nostalgic fans, after Polaroid ceased the production of films in 2008. (The impossible project) The same thing occurs in nature, nothing that grows and is alive is alike (unless humans fiddle with it). This diversity is beautiful and should be kept alive at all times.

Why is it that people long to go backwards to old technologies and production methods? Why is it that people start to do things themselves again? I hate to call it a trend, because I don’t believe people do so because they think it is fashionable (for that, it is way to time-consuming and would demand a change of lifestyle), but most certainly, it is a growing movement present in most Western countries.



when cacadoos and woodpeckers go travel the world
October 24, 2010, 9:29 am
Filed under: 3/5, Art, Bread, Food, Helsinki | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I hate talking about the weather, but I am still in awe of the weather circumstances we were blessed with last night: what are the odds to wake up to pouring rain after a beautiful sunny/ moonshiny night on Seurasaari, which was actually preceded by a minor snow storm the day before? So, big thanks to Petrus and his buddies for the meteorologic conditions!

The third event 3/5:PREPARE started last night around 5pm at the BBQ-area of Seurasaari. A big pot was filled with different surprise ingredients brought and prepared on location by the guests:  lanttu (turnip), onions, lentils, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and hemp seeds were cooked into a delicious stew, which was topped with water cress and nuts and seeds. It was no problem to brave the cold with that hot stew on the table and improvised story games at hand. Each spoon was marked with a letter from the alphabet, which was used as a starting point for a long long story. When dew started to fall on us, we decided to pack things up and leave for the warmer realms of city indoors. What a night! More pictures can be found on the 5-Facebook page and Picasa!

P.S.: As always, a huge thank you to all the brave participants who made it out there in a cold late-fall-almost-winter night!!! :D



Sun and moon shine for us!
October 23, 2010, 8:08 am
Filed under: 3/5, Art, Design, Food, Helsinki | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,



http://foreca.fi/Finland/Helsinki?details=20101023

After this year’s first real, very light and blitheful snowfall yesterday afternoon, I was getting prepared for some snowshoes and heavy weather gear for today’s event 3/5:PREPARE – but no, the forecast tells us, we will have a bright sky and sun, plus a clear night with a full moon shining on us!

So, get ready, pack your one ingredient and story for our get together tonight at Seurasaari’s grillipaikka!

 



3/5:PREPARE, 23.10.2010, 5 pm – open end, Seurasaari Grillipaikka
October 13, 2010, 10:17 am
Filed under: 3/5, Art, Design, Food, Helsinki, Network | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here the invitation as is that I just published on Facebook (the event is open – so, welcome! – , but I will experimentally invite this time only via Facebook with some sort of system (see below) and be surprised with who will come!):

A full moon will bring light to this food and art event, taking place on an urban island in the sea waters surrounding Helsinki. An island breathing history: Seurasaari.

Welcome to the third happening of the 5-series. We will prepare a stew with as many cooks as there will be guests. Everybody brings one ingredient and prepares it on location. Stories and fairytales chosen or brought by the guests will be read and performed in any preferred way to accompany the mysterious atmosphere.

To make use of the unpredictable ways of getting connected with new people on Facebook, this invitation first goes out to the 21/33 fans of this project’s fans living in Finland. Please forward this invitation to 3 people of your choice on Facebook (of whom you think they might not know each other and be interested), and tell them to do the same. It will be exciting to see who will, in the end, attend the happening (please confirm on FB to be able to estimate the amount of guests).

Something warm to drink and fresh bread will be offered.

See you at full moon!

Some things to bring along:

– one raw unprepared ingredient (considering vegan and vegetarians, the stew will be without animal products. Any vegetables, beans, sprouts, herbs, etc. goes!)

– one story/ fairytale/ poem/ song/ …

– very warm clothes (imagine you would go skiing)

(- if at hand and desired, a blanket)

– any musical instrument is welcome!

P.S.: In case of rain/sleet/snow/storm the event will be cancelled and moved to a different day. Contact me via email or FB if there is anything to ask (katharina.moebus@gmail.com).

* Check this link for a map and directions http://www.seurasaarisaatio.fi/index.php?id=12. You can either take bus 24 (www.hsl.fi) or cycle (to the island, but no bicycles allowed on the island itself). After crossing the white bridge, just follow the signs to the “Juhlakenttä” (see map).