Monday, June 29, 2015

Post-launch, parsing common good, public good, public use and moral rights for "Blued Trees"

Detail from the June 21, 2015 overture launch of Blued Trees for the Summer Solstice in Peekskill, NY, where the projected Algonquin "natural" gas pipeline expansion would intersect the Indian Point nuclear plant. The slurry of ultramarine blue pigment and buttermilk that would grown moss, began the sine wave on each painted tree at the base of the trunk and reached as far as our tallest participant could paint, to evoke the course of precious clean water from roots towards the sky for the good of all life.
Last weekends' launch went very well, with about 26 participants, press, 6 international venues for the Greek Chorus and about twenty trees painted on the overture site in Peekskill. It concluded with a performance, which has been documented and will become part of a video. Soon, I will be assembling the documentation of the day. It will be filed for copyright protection with the purpose of redefining the moral rights of the art, where it intersects the contemporary meaning of public good.
Today, the Supreme Court should be ruling on the scope of the EPA's powers to regulate emissions. This morning, someone reminded me that today is also the anniversary of the notorious Kelo case on eminent domain takings for public use and questioned whether the phrase public good in referring to what Blued Trees address is appropriate? The Kelo case in the Supreme Court was a landmark case in the history of ruling that private land could be take for public use. The Kelo case and the EPA ruling both address this crucial question of what is public good in todays world?
Pope Francis has addressed these concerns about public good by asking the world to consider the common good as something beyond greed. Recently, some young people in the Netherlands have sued their government for endangering the common public good by not doing more about global warming.
The legal definitions of public good and use go to redefining the economic benefits of public good in public use. In an ideal American courtroom, a witness should be Robert Costanza, an ecological economist who has written extensively about factoring in the value of “natural resources” when calculating a fair price on the use of those “services.”
"The services of ecological systems and the natural capital stocks that produce them are critical to the functioning of the Earth’s life-support system. They contribute to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, and therefore represent part of the total economic value of the planet. We have estimated the current economic value of 17 ecosystem services for 16 biomes, based on published studies and a few original calculations. For the entire biosphere, the value (most of which is outside the market) is estimated to be in the range of US$16–54 trillion (1012) per year, with an average of US$33 trillion per year. Because of the nature of the uncertainties, this must be considered a minimum estimate. Global gross national product total is around US$18 trillion per year.  Costanza et al 1997
If the goal would be the Supreme Court, then Scalia’s love of verbal specificity is critical. I think Blued Trees might be in good company going forward, with many others setting new precedents. Today’s ruling on the EPA may be especially critical.
Re: Kelo decision: "the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.” -wikipedia
"In economics, a public good is a good that is both non-excludable and non-rivalrous in that individuals cannot be effectively excluded from use and where use by one individual does not reduce availability to others.[2] Gravelle and Rees: "The defining characteristic of a public good is that consumption of it by one individual does not actually or potentially reduce the amount available to be consumed (used) by another individual” '. -wikipedia
"In philosophyethics, and political science the common good (also common wealth or common weal) is a specific "good" that is shared and beneficial for all or most member of a given community.
The good that is common between person A and person B may not be the same as between person A and person C. Thus the common good can often change, although there are some things — such as the basic requirements for staying alive: food, water, and shelter — that are always good for all people.” -wikipedia
"In its 5-4 majority opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court stated in Kelo that the government can never take property from one private party for the sole purpose of giving it to another, even if just compensation is paid. On the other hand, the government can always do so if the general public acquires some actual use of the property. The court has been defining the ground between these extremes since the late 1800s. From the start, "it embraced the broader and more natural interpretation of public use as 'public purpose,'" the court said in Kelo, and deferred to legislative declarations about public use and purpose. 

The Public Good vs. Public Goods

Economists recognize a difference between "private goods" and "public goods." Private goods are both "rival in consumption" and excludable. Rival in consumption means that one person's consumption of a private good denies others the opportunity to enjoy the good. The price of a private good is essentially a result of the good's scarcity, and some individuals will be excluded from consuming the good because they are not willing to pay the price of the good. Unlike a private good, a public good is both non-rival in consumption and non-excludable. The textbook example of a pure public good is national defense because if one U.S. citizen receives the protection of national defense, then others will necessarily benefit from that protection. One person's consumption of a public good does not deny others from consuming the good, and people can use the public good without paying for it. Because the additional cost of providing the good to another person is essentially zero (since all people can use the good once it is provided to one person) the market price for additional users would be zero, which would not be practical for profit-making firms, and the good would tend to be undersupplied in the market."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How to Paint a Tree; join the "Blued Trees" Greek Chorus

How to Paint One Tree for the Greek Chorus

Whisk or mix until uniform:
3 teaspoons ultramarine blue pigment
and 12 oz full fat buttermilk (thick, spreads well)
Here's an alt: Squeeze a TBSP of lemon juice
into 12 oz of whole milk -- 
wait a bit for milk to thicken.

Outline the wave --- we used blue sidewalk chalk.
             The wave shape on each tree should be tall,
Wide, wrap around the tree and in proportion 
to the dimensions of the trunk.
(see pics on previous posts: www. pushing rocks. blogspot)
A three or four inch brush works well. Have a rag handy to wipe off the drips. (Or don't)
One coat produces a translucent wave,
A second, touch-up coat will make the color stand out more boldly.

See details for pigment and buttermilk sources in previous post.

Please send your documentation of your painted tree (trees) to:

Source for the pigment includes Dick Blick: Sources for buttermilk powder include Purchase a 4” wide house-painting bristle brush to practice painting. 

Painting trees to make waves in the forest with Nancy V., Earth Guardians: Sam, Aidan and Christian. The Blued Trees  launch site is in the  corridor for the proposed Algonquin pipeline expansion for "natural" gas that would be installed 105' from the Indian Point nuclear plant facility in Peekskill, NY.
The Greek Chorus for Blued Trees is whomever is resisting the proliferation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure, anyplace in the world. The recipe to make waves with trees or the musical measure to make music with a forest as part of the Greek Chorus, is in the previous post on this blog.

Note: I am trying to be careful to use the word with about the entire project, rather than on or in because as long as we remember we must live with other species, humans have a prayer of survival on this planet, as Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change as a matter of the "common good."

In the next days, I will load examples from the Greek Chorus. From Florida, Jesse Etelson sent this description of two sites he will be painting with:

"Blued Trees Site: Mangrove Park, Indian River Lagoon, Stuart, FL. Mangrove Park is a mangrove tree forest preserve on South Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, one of the most bio-diverse and threatened estuaries in the world. The site is being encroached on by suburban development, poisoned by toxic water from Lake Okeechobee discharges, big agriculture and local runoff. The toxic algae blooms suffocate oyster beds, sea grasses and wildlife. Public health warnings at beaches and waterways plague economies based on tourism and send people to the hospital with infections, coined “River Rot”. EcoArtist, Jesse Etelson is currently working with community, scientists and engineers to develop EcoArt collaborations/interventions on the site to protect and promote expansion of mangrove habitat on the lagoon.

Blued Trees Site: Torry Island, Lake Okeechobee, Belle Glade, FL. Torry Island wildlife preserve is known as the headwaters of Everglades National Park and connects the lakes of Orlando, Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades, coastal estuaries  and Florida Keys. Torry Island preserve is the last 10% of glades marshland habitat remaining in the EAA (Everglades Agricultural Area), a clear cut wasteland of factory farms and shanty towns. The EAA and supporting water management structures exasperate Florida’s toxic water issues by blocking the southward flow down the watershed, fragmenting fragile habitats and adding GMO fertilizers into the ecosystem. Like Torry Island, land purchased/protected in the EAA can restore natural flow and interconnection of the entire watershed and provide economic opportunities for glades communities through permaculture (sustainable farming practices) and Ecotourism. In 2012, EcoArtist, Jesse Etelson directed, “Welcome Home Wildlife, Torry Island EcoArt Project” a collaboration with residents and landowners in the EAA to restore habitat and educate community through continued art intervention/engagement."

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Instructions for Participation in Blued Trees, Part III of three

June 21, 2015 “Blued Trees,”
will launch the overture for a symphony conceived by
Aviva Rahmani at multiple international sites.

Participating international artists and landowners will be announced.

This mage illustrates a portion of the proposed route of the Algonquin 42" "natural" gas pipeline corridor that would abut the Indian Point nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York. If there's an accident, the entire East Coast of North America could experience an American Fukushima. Internationally, similar fossil fuel infrastructure installations endanger the public good. Blued Trees is a symphonic installation for the silent trees that would be destroyed to enable the pipeline. Blued Trees challenges the legal definition of "pubic good" that legitimates eminent domain for fossil fuel infrastructures, with the moral integrity of art under the Visual Artists Rights Act. 
Mapping by Aviva Rahmani.

Art to challenge the amoral control of the world. Blued Trees score by Aviva Rahmani, mapped with Daisy Morton.

"Natural" gas is in quotes because the source is from fracking and the process generates methane. Advertising it as a source of clean energy is at best, a misnomer and as others have pointed out, the marketing strategy is comparable to how tobacco companies historically defended toxic practices.

The Blued Trees score is both a spatial map for installation and a musical composition.
Anyone may be a participating performer June 21, 2015 as part of the Greek Chorus for the Blued Trees symphonic overture. The goal of painting trees in a particular design on the surface and a pattern of distribution across distance is for the purpose of establishing a legally defensible copyright. The documentation of completing the paintings goes into a copyright package for filing, which would be done by at the federal level by attorney Patrick Reilly. Trees may be painted before June 21, 2015.

1 painted tree. Photo: Frank Spinelli


Simplified recipe for Blued Trees Painting a Blue Wave on One Large Tree

Whisk or mix until uniform:
3 teaspoons ultramarine blue pigment and
12 oz full fat buttermilk (thick, spreads well)
Here's an alt: Squeeze a TBSP of lemon juice into 12 oz of whole milk -- wait a bit for milk to thicken)

Outline the wave --- we used blue sidewalk chalk.
             The wave shape on each tree should be tall, wide and in proportion to the dimensions of the surface.
(see pics on website: www. pushing rocks. blogspot)
A three or four inch brush works well. Have a rag handy to wipe off the drips. (Or don't)
One coat produces a translucent wave,
A second, touch-up coat will stand out 

More information: 
If you plan to paint trees, other relatively permanent vegetation or a landscape feature that isn’t on your own property, please get written permission from landowners. You can purchase sufficient ultramarine blue (a non-toxic color) dry pigment and either fresh or powdered buttermilk to paint your trees or other plant species with stylized waves. The  casein slurry for painting could grow moss in a forest. Source for the pigment includes Dick Blick: Sources for buttermilk powder include Purchase a 4” wide house-painting bristle brush to practice painting. The wave shape on each tree should be tall, wide and in proportion to the dimensions of the surface, for example, 10' high by 2' wide wrapping around a good sized true trunk.  See the previous post on this blog to reference how the tree might appear after the painting

Music for Blued Trees.

The measure for the symphony may be repeated in various forms because it has been transposed into music. The measure may be repeated (iterated) and improvised on. The measure changes from a major to a minor signature to express hope. (The clip link records how I worked out the key change with my singing teacher, Debra Vanderlinde.) Performing the music or a variation on it's melodic theme is a way to participate in the score, which will also be copyrighted as part of the same Blued Trees overture. The documentation of performance will go towards effecting the strategy of taking back the justice system from corporatized malfeasance:

Progress of Blued Trees may be followed on twitter #BluedTrees. One note, one tree or group of trees is identified with the Blued Trees logo: