Monday, December 10, 2012

The future is us

Tomorrow, I head to Memphis to begin on the site research and conversations for Fish Story. Meanwhile, I continue to edit my dissertation, with the expectation that I will be done in March. Each page edit is a drawing and another opportunity to consider how to model change in the face of uncertainty.

Page of edit notes from dissertation

In 2010 for the eartotheearth festival in NYC, I did one of a series of performance events on fracking, experimenting with how embodiment might be part of the solution. Now, I am coming to the end of my dissertation work and between working on my dissertation, am moving along on Fish Story. These have been experiments in how to model community solutions to climate change.

Memphis, TN., is my next trigger point research site. I am going to meet folks with whom I might work on Fish Story for May, to walk along the river banks there and think about how Memphis might be a trigger point at the center of the North American world: sited between the species loss, fires, droughts, floods, dead zones, factory farms and the Arctic opening of the grand anthropocene, where polar bears are going extinct. I will present a PPT about Fish Story in a Pecha Kucha @ Crosstown Arts in Memphis Thursday night and meet with people from Ducks Unlimited (DU) Friday morning. I plan to sing in one of the local churches Sunday and get to Graceland before heading home. At DU, one of my interests will be to study their extensive GIS work.

Yesterday, Chandler Blackington, on Vinalhaven island, Me., where I'm a legal resident, posted in his town blog, that Governor LePage defunded climate change studies for the state. I wrote him, cc: to our town manager, "As far as the climate change issues you referenced and the Governor has abandoned, thank you! I think this is very serious stuff and foolish to ignore. A couple years ago (after COP15), I suggested we start a town committee to deal with how we might be affected, on the advice of NOAA, with whom I'd spoken in Copenhagen.  I offered to serve on that committee. In 1994, the town parking lot was flooded to the Post Office and waves broke under my studio. That scenario might be much worse next time. My proposal was voted down by the Town Selectmen as "not necessary." I sincerely hope this is taken up again and would still be happy to serve. I think it is VERY NECESSARY prudence, even more so than in 2010 because we are now in the cumulative "fast phase" of climate change. I appreciate you bringing it up publically. It was my observation during COP15, that future needed change would not come from policy makers. It will come from people like yourself."

The future is us.

Since Dec 18, 2010, there have been some dark times on this planet. Yesterday, I participated in a  panel, "Culture trashes nature," at Sideshow Gallery, with Ruth Hardinger and Jonathan Goodman. One of our threads was about how you fight this environmental war (with unscrupulous corporations and the policy makers that support them) from a sane position of generosity and with the power of art? Not easy, eh? But as I stated last night, as I believed in 2010, and believe even more firmly now, an answer is in social networking and linked platforms: us.

Dec 18, I will be home and it will be exactly three years since I left the IPCC change United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen. That was the day I wrote my last post for my blog at the time: High Tide COP15 project I posted after the Danish police attacked demonstrators, threatened participants at the Bella Center and closed the doors to official observers, including myself, leaving me shaken and angry.

Right after that, the fossil fuel corporate industries launched 2 devastating campaigns. One campaign was a blitz of disinformation to confuse the alerted public and lull them back to silence. The second campaign was to launch drilling for natural gas: fracking, which is endangering water supplies world wide. fracking would enrich those corporations at the future expense of all life on this planet. We need us to have a future ...  that's why I'm headed for Memphis.

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