ElectroSmog Festival: Urban Wilderness Action Center
March 20, 2010
The Urban Wilderness Action Center (UWAC) is a project initiated by Eyebeam alum Jon Cohrs, in collaboration with the Eyebeam Student Residents, Eyebeam education coordinator Stephanie Pereira, and UK-based artist Kai-Oi Jay Yung. The UWAC project includes a web platform uwac.anewfuckingwilderness.com and a day of action where people from NYC, Berlin, Amsterdam and London will design and disseminate projects around the theme of “urban wilderness.”
UWAC DAY is Saturday, March 20. Each of four lead cities will host a day of free artist-led interventions that respond to urban wilderness. We will document the day through a live Twitter, Flickr, and video feed streamed through the UWAC website.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
• Live video chat with Berlin, London, and NYC: 1PM EST / 5PM GMT / 6PM GMT
• Live video chat with Amsterdam, Berlin, NYC: 4PM EST / 9PM CET
• Ongoing live Twitter, Flickr and Ustream feed from each project site on the UWAC website.
1–6PM EST, NYC:
Join us at Eyebeam for a series of FREE and open to the public events:
- Eyebeam Student Residents Caroline Spivack, Jade Highleyman, Luther Cherry, Spencer Brown, and Zoe Penina Baker are working with artists Doris Cacoilo and Sonali Sridhar and gardener / window farmer Maya Nayak to workshop a guerrilla gardening andventure. Participants on UWAC Day will craft and distribute their own plant-based urban intervention.
- Tattfoo Tan (artist) will be onsite at Eyebeam collecting pledges for environmental stewardship, and teaching people the basics of urban friendly, worm-based composting. Free worms!
- Matthew Slaats (artist) will be at Eyebeam signing up participants to join Freespace, an initiative which will be made up of are forgotten spaces, private spaces, lost spaces. People are invited to go out and find and reclaim a space, or donate a space they control in some way for a period of time.
- Boswyck Farms will be demonstrating hydroponic systems, and introducing their new Mobile Guerrilla Kitchen
- Liz Neves (healthy home consultant) will invite participants to re-establish wilderness in NYC by recreating a lost world where beavers dammed and turtles swam in flowing streams, and foxes frollicked under towering trees.
- Safari 7 will invite participants to embark on a self-guided tour of urban wildlife along the No. 7 Subway line. Listen in, grab a map, and go!
- Jay Weichun (filmmaker/artist) will be onsite from 2-6PM making flower bombs. Using a simple mixture of regional wildflower seeds, soil and clay, flower bombs are a fun way to spread color and life to places of neglect. Participants are invited to make their own flower bombs and form their own flower bombing collectives!
2–6PM CET, Berlin:
Myriel Milicevic + Jon Cohrs are organizing the Berlin Micro-Turf Expedition. With a team of self-defined experts they will survey parking lot ecosystems, abandoned infrastructures, trade routes, and micro habitats of Berlin by dissecting the fringe-ecologies within the city. The expedition will report back live with its band of specialists who will setup up camp in several different areas in Berlin. Using a methodology that analyzes ecological succession the expedition will collect samples, map wildlife, illustrate the topography, detect seismographic data, and observe the micro-climates to create scientific models of future urban habitats.
3–6PM GMT, London:
Everbloom Pocket City Pollination: Kai-Oi Jay Yung organises Everbloom Pocket City Pollination, a day of urban wilderness activity between 3-6pm, Saturday, March 20 across North and East London. Everbloom will unify rogue concrete cultivation experts and integrated social gardeners in synchronised urban wilderness activity across Harringay to Shoreditch. Private and public action will share skills and deploy guerrilla tactics across multiple sites and activities; from inner city housing, parking lot and religious grounds to council endorsed Memorial site. Actions involve a chance to share skills, meet fellow green belts or beginners and undertake some clandestine activity; from edible wild flower patchwork exchange, vegetable balcony advisory, pumpkin planting and mistreated yard clear up to a geo-map seed bombing walk.
There are two public urban wilderness events to get involved in on the day, with Tim Osborn at Furtherfield, and dispersal of the latest seed vegetable capsule technology in an exploratory walk across Shoreditch. This is a chance to join forces, bring some seeds and experiment in subversive gardening tactics to cultivate our forgotten, unlikely concrete settings for a healthier, self-regenerating city garden
Everbloom resists inertia of urban environment beyond risk of getting arrested and into walk to work. Yung serves cohesive mulch, pollinating communication between the loci events to generate and configure process, stimulating healing landscape.
Pocket City Pollinators include: Stoke Newington Transition Group, Friends Of Arnold Circus, The New Hanbury Project, Tim Osborn, Vanessa Harden and Sam Varney. Participants include: local residents, recovering addicts, university students and passers by.
Public Events: Take Part in Two Events Across London
Urban Wilderness activity
HTTP:// Gallery, Unit A2, Arena Business Centre, 71 Ashfield Rd, London N4 1NY
Bring your seeds and your tools: nurturing the sites of a mud strip in a nearby public car park and the overgrown Furtherfield.org’s rubbish strewn back garden…
Seed Capsule Bombing Walk
TIME: 5:30pm Meeting point at Hoxton Square Fountain, walk till 6:30pm, Shoreditch, N1 6PB
Capsules will be provided but welcome to bring along some seeds
Other events across London:
- Stoke Newington Transition Group will demonstrate seed planting techniques, seed bombing skills, and balcony gardening wisdom.
- Friends of Arnold Circus will team up with the local Bengali community for a day of gardening around Arnold Circus
- New Hanbury Project will work with Sean the Gardener along with some very special East London students to revitalize the garden of a Shared Housing Project in Buxton St, E1
9PM CET, Amsterdam:
Urban Wilderness Amsterdam: ElectroSmog goes Schijnheilig. Amsterdam, a city once known as a happening place, is suffering from the bureaucratic drive to over regulate. In the nineties, an abundance of underground initiatives marked Amsterdam as a home of spontaneity and experimentation. Squatted cultural centers lined the waterfront, free radio stations populated the air waves. Due to sparked up property prices and an ever growing political pressure to formalize everything and anything, Amsterdam underground culture has dissipated. Instead of the metropolis it claims to be, it has become the village we all know it to be. Where one has little chance of running into the unexpected.
As a necessary antidote, the closing event of the Amsterdam Electrosmog festival will take place in the squatted gallery Schijnheilig. There will be lectures on branding and public space, streamed guerilla gardening actions from around New York, London and Berlin, performances, ex-pirateers of radio 100 behind turntables, and much much more. Come along and play!
UWAC has been conceived of as part of ElectroSmog, a new, three-day, international festival that will introduce and explore of concept of “Sustainable Immobility”: a critique of current systems of hyper mobility of people and products in travel and transport, and their ecological unsustainability.
As part of this festival, Eyebeam has also organized a skillshare on Tools and Models for Online Collaboration, led by Eyebeam fellows and residents.