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Coexistence.

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Designed and created by Josephine R. Unglaub.

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Open Land Art & Fact Team: Interactive Installation at DePaul

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Mock up of the Open Land Art & Fact Team (O.L.A.F.T.) installation

The DePaul Institute for Nature & Culture is delighted to announce the upcoming installation of a new work of art on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus. Conceived by Chicago photographer Doug Fogelson, Openlands Artist-in-Residence 2015-16, and executed by Fogelson and the Open Land Art & Fact Team in collaboration with Openlands.org, O.L.A.F.T. will be installed at DePaul University in April, as an interactive workstation. In an initial proposal, Fogelson described the project as a “conceptual art intervention.” At this stage, the audience is integral to the work:

This is meant to be an interactive experience where participants are invited to read, inspect, and comment on the items in the shelves. The table has instructions with stickers and comment cards that participants can affix to the back of photographs in the bin and leave with the objects. Artifacts in [sealed] bags are assorted natural objects such as leaves or twigs and assorted refuse such as plastic packaging, [that] have been found in forest or prairie preserves. There are also white sheet printed documents with demographic and ecological information on the locations (Initial Proposal).

The installation will be hosted by DePaul’s John T. Richardson Library in conjunction with Earth Day programming and the April 19th visit to the University of New York Times best selling author, Jeff VanderMeer (McGowan South, Room 108, 6:30-8:30 pm). University leaders are delighted by the obvious topical connections between Fogeslon’s work and Vandermeer’s, as well as the aesthetic resonance of O.L.A.F.T. and VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy.

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Fogelson collaborated with a team of artists, over the course of a year, to photograph and creatively survey eight Openland sites. Faculty and students from all colleges, schools, and disciplines are invited to visit the installation, examine the maps, photographs, and artifacts, and add their responses to the project. By interacting with this installation/social experiment, faculty and students will contribute to “meaningful public conversation about the relationship between humans and the spaces we occupy,” in effect co-creating a regional research project and work of art (Open Land Art & Fact Team: O.L.A.F.T. Proposal).
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The installation will be located against the west wall on the second floor of the Richardson Library, near room 201, and will be accessible to faculty and students throughout the Spring semester.

More images here.

Lead Artist: Doug Fogelson
Installation: Open Land Art & Fact Team (O.L.A.F.T.)
Dates: April 1st – June 1st 2017.
Location: John T. Richardson Library,
2350 North Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614,
Second Floor, west wall, near Room 201

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Filed under Art, Literature, Maps, Objects

CAN’T WAGE WAR WITHOUT AN ENEMY

by Murray Reiss

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You say Global Warming’s such an obvious catastrophe

Portending planet-wide chaotic instability

A greater threat to national security

Than invasion occupation or tyranny

The world we co-evolved with simply blown away

 

So where’s our sense of over-riding urgency

Why haven’t we declared a nation-wide emergency

Why haven’t we declared World War III

 

Where’s our Manhattan Project for carbon sequestration

And alternative energy innovation

Where’s our mass conscription

Total mobilization

Where’s our holy crusade to save civilization

 

Well …

 

To wage war we’d need an enemy

Of implacable hostility

And ruthless ingenuity

The mastermind behind the globalized conspiracy

To seize control of our whole fossil-fueled economy

And turn its engines of growth & prosperity

Into mass destruction weaponry

To raise the heat however many degrees

It takes

To trash our poor planet’s liveability

 

‘Cause without the spectre of this sinister foe

We got no one to fight

We got nowhere to go

We’ve had our War on Terror

Had our War on Drugs

Now we need his carbon-bombing

Troops of thugs

Out there raising the level of our seas

Spreading drought famine pestilence & tropical disease

Inciting heat waves wildfires

Hurricanes and floods

Or else … What??

We’re gonna turn on a dime

And wage war on us???

 

Line up our cars and trucks shoot ’em all in the head?

Stomp our air con units till they’re gasping for breath?

 

Put our tractors out to pasture with all the bags

Of fertilizers made from natural gas?

And send our kids out foraging for roots and berries?

Hope they trudge back home with all the grubs they can carry?

Whoa — the future just started looking pretty scary.

 

Evacuate the suburbs  Stuff them like sardines

Into sky-high towers for increased efficiency?

Can’t do that without oceans of cement —

Oops — busted our carbon budget again.

 

Stop refining crude for all our life-enhancing plastics?

No SaranWrap? The future’s looking mighty drastic.

 

Stop drillling for oil? Blasting mountains for coal?

Kick our trillion-dollar pension fund investments down a hole?

 

Pull the plug on our power plants and factories —

And give up our jobs and a functioning economy?

So we can live in caves or up a tree?

Well, we wouldn’t do that to ourselves — would we?

 

No — We need to put a face to that enemy

So we can put an end to his villainy

Before we end up the innocent casualties

Of his plot to squeeze the last degree of heat

From the coal oil and gas right under our feet

 

‘Cause if we don’t conjure up some enemy

We’re gonna have to declare World War Me

 

See the author perform this Climate Action Performance Poem here.

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Filed under Climate Change, poetry, Uncategorized

Jeff VanderMeer Interview: “The Strangling Fruit”

A chat with Jeff VanderMeer, author of the wonderfully scary Southern Reach trilogy, about ecology, horror, social responsibility, science-fiction, William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, climate change, and much more.

Jeff VanderMeer knows a lot about “weird” fiction—that sub-genre that lives between the surreal, the fantastic, the absurd, between horror and speculative fiction, between Franz Kafka and China Miéville, Angela Carter and Kelly Link, William Gibson and Jorge Luis Borges, H.P. Lovecraft and Shirley Jackson and Thomas Ligotti. With his wife Ann, Jeff edits the Weird Fiction Review, and the two have also curated two anthologies, The Weird and The New Weird. VanderMeer is also a novelist who, in the past two years, has achieved a tremendous success, which catapulted him to one of the most widely-known and interesting names in the world of fiction, globally.

His Southern Reach trilogy—comprised of the novels Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance—was published by FSG over an eight month period in 2014, to national and international acclaim. It was optioned by Paramount Pictures for a series of movies, the first of which will be directed by Alex Garland (Ex-Machina), and was translated and published in 35 countries. Specifically, the three novels could be considered speculative, fantastical eco-horror. They are set in and around Area X, a wild, mysterious, and dangerous patch of land, which lies in an unspecified part of the Southeastern United States, surrounded by a strange border within which there exists a new, unexplainable ecosystem, one where the laws of physics and biology seem to not apply. The first novel, Annihilation, tells the story of the biologist, one of the four women who are sent into Area X as part of the twelfth expedition. The expedition team is made of the biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor. All previous expeditions before this one ended very badly. One saw the members kill each other. Another group contracted massively aggressive tumors. Others committed suicide. And how about the Southern Reach, the government agency created to study and control Area X? What secrets does it hide?  [ . . . ]

Read more here.

See my March 2016 post on Southern Reach and Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year here.

Image source: http://io9.gizmodo.com/read-the-mesmerizing-first-chapter-of-jeff-vandermeers-1520682658

 

 

 

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Filed under Jeff VanderMeer, science fiction, Tim Morton

Strange Fungus Seen in Chicago

fungus

Kay Read perplexed Liam Heneghan and frightened Christine Skolnik when she shared this photo at a Chicago Climate Festival meeting today.  Randall Honold remained uncharacteristically calm and philosophical.

The fungus was discovered and photographed by Kay’s husband, Edward Read, who manages the strip garden on Carmen Avenue and Marine Drive, in Lincoln Park (where this creature was found), as well as the nearby native plants garden.  Mr. Read is curious to know what kind of fungus we are dealing with, so please share and/or comment.

Note: The black object to the right is a baseball cap, for reference.

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Filed under Jeff VanderMeer, photography, Species, Urban Agriculture, Urban Ecology

Jeff VanderMeer Going Beyond Lovecraft: Thomas Ligotti

Short interview with Jeff VanderMeer (via synthetic zero).

 Jeff VanderMeer Going Beyond Lovecraft: Thomas Ligotti

Plague Doctor

Image: Robert Warden’s Plague Doctor via The Critique

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Filed under Jeff VanderMeer, Literature

Denali National Park: The Quiet World

by Brandon Hayes

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Denali

“As our full day at Wonder Lake continued, we enjoyed sunny skies over the tundra/taiga transition in which the campground was situated. We had spent the morning and early afternoon on a solid four-and-a-half hour hike to the McKinley River, and now, as we rested, the Alaska Range flooded the southeastern horizon with the Alaska of one’s imagination.”

See more wonderful photos and inspiring journal entries at As They Are: Exploring the National Parks.

This particular photo and text here.

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