Tim and Reiko

Common ground divergent practices

Definitions: spatial and discursive form of public realm and post industrial commons

Post Industrial public realm ' public space opportunity

How do we form places?

future change

Lyrical ' critical ' transformative activities


Goals &intentions // methods and process amongst group


Fri and sat ' approach to issues in the mon valley ' are there cledar statements that can be made about artists seeking change ' how do we create change and how do we communicate our ability to create change



Rational approach to poetic approach is the area that the people present cover in Tim's view


Cultural elements of the post industrial mindset


How do people poke the world bend it and help it to change over time?


Reiko intro

Subject matter:

Life of nature contemplate nature to renew own identity


Care of the baby animals ' care of the wild life and ask where to release them in an urban environment ' how to create a home for humans and other creatures


Spring ' open studio


Cho-MU Butterfly dream based on butterfly life stages

Cho-En Butterfly Garden to create butterfly habitat

Place plant butterfly and human relationships

How to meet learn and communicate with other people as a part of the work


Move to Pittsburgh


Nine Mile Run

Project result --- opening of stream

Ask nature

Enter into community of nature


Slag garden ' plants grow well on slag if enough water

Three Rivers 2nd nature ' we ask the citizens why/ how we should ask these questions

Experts ' we ask the experts what questions to ask


Strategic knowledge

Pgh is recovering ecosystem

Map based on geology ' restotration potential

Distribution of species ' tracking


Hays hill


Carolyn's notes-


Proposed casino, strip mine, clear cut

River Dialogues

Visions for the future


Jackie Brookner

My work is v. dependant on context.  Some of the work is entirely social process, other's phyical manifestations: Bio-sculptures.


Rivers and Trails in California (collaboration with Susan'._____) Northern California.  Each town had applied for a consultants (grant)


In Idaho wanted to Daylight the stream.  Park service reported that it was difficult to get the Hispanic communities' imput on the project.  Jackie and Susan went and had dinner, and didn't find it so difficult.


Worked with people to manifest projects they wantedto work with.  Not much money.  Projects like: music , public art projects (mural and sculpture)  Two local Hispanic artists worked with local art club college students.  Showcased at the local arts festival and now that is taken over by the town.  5 year project.


Tillamock, Oregon (second project) Slew'  Small group of citizens wanted to make a trail to visit the slew.  Gathered large group of artists helped create a series of design charettes and opportunity for people to share their vision.  Few bits of green the town.  Turns out 5 rivers come into this area.  Made plan for tidal sculpture that would be a literal map of the area.  Successful advocation for house to be turned into interpretive and art center.  One artist bushwacked a trail to show you don't need a lot of money to make a trail.  Kids made object to go in the slew.


Cotton Project.  Modeled portraits of their feet from Mud.  People watched and had very open conversations with Brookner.  She was very moved by these projects.  She realized that through this project she was transforming herself and that she wanted to work with people more.  History.


1996 3rd biosculpure: first tongue.  Consulted with botonists to learn about moss ability to filter water.


Showed a number of biosculputes.  We are part of much larger pattersn- sculpture looks like hands.  Site specific sculptures in Germany and NY.  Plans in Cinncinati for a series of biosculptures leading from parking lot run off into a river ' Mill Run' Most polluted river.


Ibis in Florida- working with Angelo Ciotti on a project in Florida. Ponds, islands,  Dreher Park.


Ciotti: 120 acre park.  Recreating Seminole Indian playgrounds designed with the Seminole and native plants.  Pond that's being dug in the south, there is a former dump, some toxic materials, but with that land, we'll make mounds and replant them with vegetation.  Showing through signage for children about the native species and their uses.  Not using the lawn/European model of pards.


 Angelo Ciotti

I am a painter who was trained in italy, but in 1970 I bought a farm in Butler county on an abandoned surface mine.  So I have no background in geology, biology.  What was left was a moonscape with acid mine drainage, etc.  What cold be done to bring life back.  So I built four dams to trap the build up of silt, the silt would build up and after 3 years, the land revegitated itself.


So I thought, what else could be done?


Why not reclaim the entire 23 acre site?  I knew that it was not a priority for the state. How to get the state to support such a project?  There must be money in mine reclamation'


Use existing mounds, working with Dept. of Env. Engineering.  Saved a lot of money $6 million' In earth moving costs (due to existing mounds).  More could be done in the way of indigenous plants.  So we revegetated the entiere area for the turkey population- we double the turkey population.  The other problem was acid mine drainage in a water area.  Captured local unwanted beavers and they built a dam which helped to clean the waters.  Another acid area was treated with 'cattails.'

Twin stupas (particularly the concave one) is retreeing itself.


Another project- polluted former mine.  Drainage into river killed the river.  The government solves this problem in a couple of ways'.. sorry


Oven run- an outdoor educational center for kids.  7 holding ponds- one very acidic, the last one, fish live in it.  Show the kids that the water can clean itself.  Got funding and volunteers for it from the local churches.


We tried to have the community help us design it, which was a disaster.  But in the end a group of designers and mylsef worked it out.    My advice would be to bring as many people to the table as early as possible to get as many perspectives as possible.



Jackie- wanted to add about cinncinati project that many community groups are involved. 


Ann- one thing that keeps re-occuring is how this work is a catalyst for bringing people together- it seems the work is secondary to this community bringing together.  The work is an acknowledgment of that project.


Newton- The work lives beyond the community- the trees will be there 10 generations after.


Helen- the community continues after the project/ process, the work lives on after the community.


Laurie- is there community consensus?




Angelo-  after twin stupas after two meetings, some people started a campaign against the project, they didn't understand. 


Laurie- that sounds like mis- communication, but is there other problems.


Tim- how do you tell when the community is cohesive?


Mark D.- What is the community'? There's the plant community' The citizens


Malcom- Global communities. I really don't think there is communities anymore, except in small places.


Shifting belief systems.


Newton- people see their advantage in the work.  They co-allese.  Common ground is found in mutual advantage.


Helen- This is such an important group.  I look around and see- whoa- we are a White group. Primarily.


Tim-  I chose the mon valley because it is diverse- economically, racially.  But it's hard to get a racially diverse group in the environmental arts.


Jane- there are plenty  of people who want to have a voice, but it' the middle class in London who are primarily runnin the enivronmetnal movement.


Jackie- spoke about Seminole experience in Florida.


(other people share their experiences about working interracially/community work)


Erika asked about Angelo's turkey population.  Did he look into how the increase in turkey population might affect other populations.  Particularly b/c he used a non-native.  I looked into quail.


Angelo- I went along with the community  and game commission with my decision.


Erika- they are extremely biased.  I have an overall concern about artists without biology background working with biased gov't. officials and not biologists.  The best thing I could suggest is find a renegade biologist.


Dan-  Conversations and intimacy regarding Jackie's  foot sculpting project. Soemtimes when you change the rules, a different conversation might happen.  Like driving and not looking at each other.


Newton-  biologists question is right on.  They see us as being renegades as well.  When you can be complicit with people .  The real issue is trust.


End of discussion


Mark Dannenhauer-   My background is a performance Bread and Puppet.  I did a master's in environmental interpretation. Renegade Performer.


I'll show you my influences.  Show people the diversity of puppets around the world. 


- materials at hand bridge between the places they live, meanings and sense of the place

- amplifiers of ideas

- different visual language in different places.  Sound image, movement.

- Generally puppetry had a community expression

- Political uses

- Scale

- Most places puppetry is not for kids, butfor adults


Then he showed slides of working with kids.  Adults can work on larger structures. Uses of cardboard, wire mesh, staple gun, and brown paper. 


Working with non-profit environmental groups.


A lot of the things I want to do, are things that people here are already doing.


My basic position is not to be an outsider who comes to the community with a plan.  As a way to avoid that ' Coomunity Landscape Project Concept Map

How do people:

- read the landscape?

- Map the landscape' Various media

- Gather information, create a map of town

- Fill in town with GIS information, rivers, sewage, roads

- Populate it with people's contact information

- Way for people to connect with others and find more about what goes on in town.

- Are people doing things in protected habitat.

- Do puppet performances based on how people personally view the community

- Dance, images, sound, located around town.


Erika Fielder's talk: 

Family was interested in the Natural world.  I don't have a degree in biology, but I have taken a number of classes and I have worked as a naturalist.  And a degree in Art.  Two powerful paths.


Panels commission, text. Interpretive work for parks and preserves


Start merging the arts and sciences.  Right after graduation ' eco-art dialogue- found my niche.


The interpretive work is kind of frustrative.  But currently working on : Airport in Portland Oregon- nature walk in the terminal. 


We become tributaries of the watershed in which we live, in seven days of living there, by drinking that water.  We may be confusing ourselves by drinking bottled water.


Cement castings of animal print, children's footprints. Trail marker


Nature guides that are not site-specific.  Worked with a number of human senses. 37' Like gravity, moisture, light and dark, sexuality. With out these senses, we can not fall in love with the earth, that is my new goal.


I love to go into the schools and work with kids.  Kids created an ephemeral work, alongthe ocean.  Two conditions, must be seen by humans on the bridge and by animals.  Made a giant sand compass.


Kids in the city having this day of incredible extasy with nature.


I am interested in returning something to the earth.  In many indigenous cultures, salmon bones were sacred, give people the opportunity to return salmon bones to the lakes and streams.  Series of postcards to converse about watershed, and returning something to the earth that they have taken.


Birdfeeder hats.


Record of people and their watersheds, locally, globally.  Watershed exchange.


Stephanie Flom:

Background as an environmental educator.  Activist. 


Worked for CDC to open up theater in low-income mostly African American community.  Then worked for a dance company. 


As an administrator, but discovering the creative through garden passion.  Could we have garden tours- as a cultural/ creative endevor.


Persephone Project: art gardens of project.


Garden as contemporary ART.

Can we see this pratice that so many people have, as an art practce and through this understanding, have transformation in their lives.


When we engage with art, something happens.


Large ' scale outdoor museum. 


Frank Curto Museum:


Park along bigelow blvd.  1 mile long.  Got funding for Phase One-

Garden Artists (5 catagories)


Worked with local artists, sculpting sycamores.  This summer we worked with an artist with a history as a cotton sharecropping (in her family). Planted cotton, ocra. 


Stephanie's own garden, sunflowers and night flowers. So communter could be greeted morning and night.


Make a garden where people contribute plants.  Magic Penny Garden.  Seed packet to be passed out. Invited people to bring plants and tell story.  Those plants would go in Lily Yeh's garden.  Video taped the stories. 


The two community gardens near-by are the Hill district (with Jorge Myers) and  with paul Banyon in Polish Hill. 


The Mayfly:  doodles turns to cuttings- very similar to mattisse.


Mayflies came out in the doodles, then they appeared in downtown for the first time in 100 years.


Exhibits at Skinny Building and Dance interpretation and outdoor installation at 3 rivers arts festival.



Marks work- broad range of cultural references.  Erikas work- one on one, deep sensual understandings.  Stephanie- long life of consistant interactions, played many roles in the community. Brings up the question of internal actors and external actors.


Newton - common thread of intimacy in all these work. Personal.  A lot of this work creates community.  Community is not some abstract thing.


Helen- in our work we have to create a community around us. 


Erika- how do I do that in my community?  I listen a lot.  I open my ear and don't give advice.


Helen-  I think the caring that you feel is non-verbal communication and that develops trust.


Christine- tools for community connecting. Means, bridges.  Intermediary tools.


What is an intermediary tool?


Like when you are looking at someone's feet, that's a tool.


Suzi,  Sometimes artists go into a community that's already formed.  Is it any value of creating community if you are creating it?


Newton- how about lonliness?


Suzi- so is the signifigance the community that is created?


Tim- it's a question of efficacy'


A number of people say their intention is creating a community.


Brad- what about participating in your community.  I don't want to get stuck on that word.


Mark- I agree with that a lot.  Community is an emergent process- but can't be forced.  Convergent.  But can't be created.


Brad- really the emphasis is your role in that.


Jon- in some of the projects we've done, (I understand the point your making) we've had artists doing a thing in a building over a month, but in that month, a community did emerge.  A lot of the art sucked, but the community lived on.


Brad- I want a city where concentration of power is decreased. Free.


Suzi- Intentionality'''  Particiption.  How the community structure emerges is through a participatory act.


Helen- sometimes the word community is used as the other- not as the self- but then I think of manipulation.  But if it is friends, mutual advantage, things happen.  Two things ' community as others, community as friends.  A close moral, ethical group.


Jackie- some families are dysfunctional. How over history (sigmont' Author) communities are formed- to keep us from killing each other, constraining us.  Especially in ecology we need to see constraint as a positive thing.


Jane- Something frightening is that community is always seen as lacking in something.  Many of us seek funding to work with 'community.'  Concerned about being in a missionary role.


Mark (T.Svs)- I m in a neighborhood with 4 languages.


Erika- the most successful communites I've been a part of is ones with a deep spiritual base, not just human communities.


Laurie- social justice model.  Voluntary community. Power is in an important part of what we need to talk about.


Reiko- sometimes people come and they are not sure they are a community.  Some interesting people stimulate the group and create transformation.


Newton- my whole experience about working is people working together around something bigger than us.  The issue evokes action, feelings.


Ann- 2 things- issue that many of us come into a community tht is not our own, and work in that community. ' hia hellar- the social desire for nature.  We human beings have a desire for something social, but that desire has been subverted by capticalism into buying stuff.


Jackie- story:  restore and restory.


Nicola- the social element  is acitively constructed by us.  Is nature constructed by us?


End of discussion


Helen and Newton:

Our work exists between the possible the probable and the utopic.


This experience is about trust- letting go- the pleasure of letting the unconscious do its work.


Begin with work in 1970- don't know anything about earth except that it's being destroyed.


Smelling and tasting the earth.  Planting.  Lets make things to eat.  Portable orchards.  In museum. Worm farms.


1977- first earth restoration project.  Art park- spoils pile- quarry. Brought earth in from local communities from sewage project.  After bulldozing them, spread meadows.


Kunst in Germany- endangered medows of Europe- rolled up a meadow and brought it to the museum.  Future Garden.  15 meadows.  Sinage informing about the importance of meadows.


Idea was to infect the planners of Europe with the idea of meadows.


Can only affect change through social urgency. 


Developers trying to build 600 thousand houses in the middle of Holland, Harrisons called in to redirect that engine.  Reprint the map of Holland backwards. Showed the houses, as they would mess up the center of Holland, proposed an area of  parks between the cities or else you'll turn into LA.


We've got it all backwards. We frame our ecology into little bits.


Where to put those 600 thousands'  You can put them in  big circle.(around a meadow)  we go on TV,  the green party accepts it and puts it in their plan.  Then the green party goes out of office. Plan is dropped . 3 or 4 years later, we called back by the ministers of agriculture, to do an exhibit the plan again. The work is designed to go from gallery to city hall)


After many meetings, number of years.  (Needed a plan to readdress the water levels.) We made a lake with bogs, trees.


Stacie Levy-

Nature- forbidding thing or prettified thing.  The work I do is tryhing to locate yourself to something you can't see (watershed).


Diagrams of things that are things that are hard to see. 

Another idea is that nature is everywhere- even in concrete jungle.  But a lot of it is covered up.


Showing the watershed.  There was water here and now it isn't let's reveal where it is.


Collecting water from all possible tributaries. Filled in cups, culverted areas are cups turned upside down.  Making bridges with your body.


Seattle- 1% with sewer district. Insets into sidewalk- aquatic and terrestrial.


Show in Edinbourgh- penn- name waterways after animals.  Scotland- named after people.


Work with undesireable water- run-off.  Harvest water off roofs make them gravity fed sculptures.


Storm water park proposal- harvest roof top rain into ponds in vacant lots in philli.


Acid mine drainage piece (in platforms show at Carnegie)  Create designs for areas with a lot of acid mine drainage.  Park- alan compe.  Treating water- talking about site- show how it works. Litmus garden. Vivified by colors of foliage.  Former industrial site.  Wanted to remember former industrial site.


Winifred Lutz collaboration.  Scookle area.Tidal river.  Topography of upper scookle.  Hydrological patterns put in the landscaping.


Project at a school- sandblasted on to stone ' the watersheds.  Slanted so that when it rains the water goes into the mini- Deleware.



 representation of nature- intervention in politics/land use.


Laurie:  comment on agency of immediate moment.  Open relationship through visualization and actualization. 


Newton:  desperation leads to people trusting artists.  Artists are a cheap date.


Tim- how does this resonate to the ground zero folks'


Jon- I coe from  a urban desing background.  If you are trying to work at the scale of a country- you have to let go and let people take it.


Christine: Ideas are out there- people are having the same ideas at the same time. 


Value in standing up and saying it loudly 


Tim- is there a way to make things happen.


Newton- it's about trust.


Stacie- it's about making metaphors- get people to listen/understand.


Dan- you start with something that sounds crazy- unraveling the carbon industry.  Have a long term goal- interjecting that into the dialogue and people will take it up. 


Tim- could Erika help us develop the ears'


Jackie- if you can convince people they have a vested interest'


Nicola- dodgy to use art as a tool for a predictable outcome'


Jackie- not a totally predictable outcome.  Sometimes it gets diluted.


Malcom:  growing ideas might be similar to growing corn.  IF the conditions are right- can do both.  Idas are not simple they are complex.  But if they are mysterious its impossible.  But not like corn in that society is not like earth- much more constructed.  Conditions are not given, they are made.  Impossible to predict, but we can try.