View slideshow of Parrish Road Show events
|The “Parrish Road Show” is an innovative exhibition and program series, of the Parrish Art Museum, created to generate transformative convergences between artists, visitors and diverse members of Long Island’s East End community. This ongoing summer series features artists’ projects and related programs that are sited in atypical public spaces from the open landscape, to businesses and public parks. The Museum commissions new works by regional artists (temporary projects, site-specific sculpture, public works, or performances) that activate spaces not normally associated with art exhibition, and consequently encourage unexpected encounters with art. The inaugural Road Show took place from June–August 2012, from Southampton to Montauk, NY, and included projects by Maziar Behrooz, Jameson Ellis, Alice Hope and Jill Musnicki, with related programs and performances by Matthew Biederman, Alain Thibault, Kelly Morris, and Richard Vaudrey. The series also included an art historical bike tour of the Springs with Amagansett Beach & Bike Co., and an Eat Drink Local Film Festival at Silas Marder Gallery, presented with Edible East End magazine. The Parrish Road Show is organized by Curator of Programs, Andrea Grover.
Press coverage of the Parrish Road Show:
A Museum Takes Art on the Road, Molly MacFadden, Hyperallergic.com
011110010110010101110011 (on Alice Hope at Camp Hero State Park), Janet Goleas, blinnk.com
being there (on Jill Musnicki at Bridgehampton Historical Society), Janet Goleas, blinnk.com
Taking the Parrish on the Road, Jennifer Landes, East Hampton Star
Parrish Road Show features two new artists’ projects, artdaily.org
Capturing Scenes Unseen, Joan Baum, Sag Harbor Express
Site Specific Installations Bring the Parrish Off Grounds, Pat Rogers, hamptonsarthub.com
Video of Matthew Biederman and Alain Thibault’s PULSE projected into architect Maziar Behrooz’s RDMU (Rapid Deployment Meditation Unit).
Returning to my sometimes pastime of fantasy house hunting for a property to house our “art b and b,” I discovered this gem. Three hours from New York City. Thirty-six thousand square feet. A steal at $1.2 million. Oh the things we could do there. Amsterdam Castle is already a bed and breakfast…
Built in 1894 by the state of New York for the National Guard, Amsterdam Castle is a 36,000 square foot private residence listed on the National Register of Historic Places. New York originally built 100 of these armories, of which nearly 50 are still in use by the National Guard. Other “sister” armories uses include a military museum (Saratoga), art gallery (Manhattan East Side), and a concert hall (Albany). This armory was decommissioned in 1995 and is the only armory converted into a home. This home has two guest wings available for bed and breakfast accommodation. - HistoricProperties.com
Here’s what I’m “rolling out” this summer with the Parrish Art Museum.
The “Parrish Road Show” is an innovative exhibition and program series created to generate transformative convergences between artists, visitors and diverse members of Long Island’s East End community. The series will feature four artists’ projects and related programs that will be sited in atypical public spaces from the open landscape, to businesses and public parks. The Museum is commissioning new works by regional artists (temporary projects, site-specific sculpture, public works, or performances) that will activate spaces not normally associated with art exhibition, and consequently encourage unexpected encounters with art.
The “Parrish Road Show” is designed to broaden the traditional understanding of the function of an art museum, opening up a new dialogue to deeply connect creativity to everyday life.
After departing the intrepid Aurora Picture Show, I dreamed about creating a new breed of artist residency program– one that wasn’t a non-profit per-say, but more of an art bed and breakfast. As a result, I started pouring over historic properties for sale on the Eastern Seaboard, from Lighthouses to island retreats. We ended up in Sag Harbor, NY in a bungalow named “The Anchorage” where we’ve hosted at least a dozen artists on weekend vacations. A good in-between, but my dream of something more full-time is still in the future. In the meantime, I came across this incredible project in Canada: Fogo Island Arts Project (discovered again, on the blog Dezeen). Saunders Architects of Norway has designed the first of six artist’s quarters, inspired by fisherman’s houses, and perched above the coast line. The Fogo Island project also includes the design of a 29-room inn for artists and visitors.
Before I left Pittsburgh in December 2010, I started this list of people I met who contributed to the “scenius” there. Some of these folks were just passing through the academic universe of CMU, others are full-time residents.
Artist, writer and musician Jennifer Baron is Pop Filter arts and culture editor for Pop City Media, and author of a column on historic signs for Western Pennsylvania History Magazine, a publication of the Senator John Heinz History Center. Baron runs Fresh Popcorn Productions, a locally made line of craft products, and is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair, which received the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s “People’s Choice Award” in 2007 and 2009. She is co-editor of the award-winning book, “Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania” (Carnegie Mellon Press, 2009). Baron also was a founding member of the Brooklyn band, the Ladybug Transistor (Merge Records), and has played in Saturnine and the New Alcindors. In 2009 she started the Pittsburgh-based girl band, the Garment District.
Kim Beck is an artist and educator. She grew up in Colorado and currently lives and works in Pittsburgh and New York. She has exhibited widely including at the Walker Art Center, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Smack Mellon, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center. A recent fellow at the MacDowell Colony, she has participated in other residencies at Yaddo, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program, the International Studio & Curatorial Program, Cité Internationale des Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and VCCA. She has received awards from ARS Electronica, Pollock-Krasner, Thomas J. Watson and Heinz Foundations and her artist’s book, A Field Guide to Weeds, was published through the Printed Matter Emerging Artist Publishing Program and is in its second edition. She is currently developing a project for the High Line in New York City for Fall, 2010. She received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and BA from Brandeis University.
Bob Bingham makes art that incorporates systems of growth, live plants and natural materials with mechanical and electronic devices. Through this combination of systems he addresses issues pertaining to a sustainable future where technology and nature exist in a symbiotic relationship.
Lowry Burgess is an internationally renowned conceptual and environmental artist and educator. He has been an educator for over forty five years and is a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University where he is a Distinguished Fellow in the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. As the former Dean of the College of Fine Arts he has founded and administered numerous departments and projects at the institutional level. Burgess served as coordinator of the Graduate Program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Alisa is the founder of Third Termite Press, an independent, extraordinary letterpress studio. Dix is married to Greg Pierce, film collector, filmmaker, and Assistant Curator of Film & Video of the Warhol Museum.
Amisha Gadani is an artist interested in naturally occurring forms and systems; from sinuous curves to swarming patterns and super organisms. Her work, often drawing from curious creatures and their behaviors, attempts to instill in her viewers a portion of the wonder and awe she finds in these subjects. From her underwater video of seductively descending monsters to her flock of motorized slivers of fabric her fascination with each subject beckons viewers to share in her hand-picked wonders of the world. She is currently working on a series of “animal homunculus” drawings to visually compare differences in sensory and motor adaptations in the animal kingdom, and a fourth animal defense inspired costume to partner her blowfish, porcupine and skink dresses, this time inspired by ink-squirting cephalopods. Amisha lives in Pittsburgh where she has been working for an interdisciplinary arts research lab within Carnegie Mellon University called The STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Previously she worked at the hands-on Exploratorium Museum of science, art, and human perception in San Francisco as an educator, exhibit support fabricator, and assistant on various projects toward the development of their “Geometry Playground” exhibition.
Pablo R. Garcia is the founder and principal of POiNT, a collaborative and multidisciplinary research studio based in Pittsburgh. POiNT is dedicated to experiments in the spatial arts–architecture, design, and the visual and performing arts, in a variety of scales from the portable to the urban. In addition to POiNT, Pablo is the Lucian and Rita Caste Chair in Architecture and Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, Pablo was the 2007-2008 Muschenheim Fellow at the University of Michigan College of Architecture + Urban Planning. From 2004-2007 he worked as an architect and designer for Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Pablo has taught at Parsons The New School for Design and Princeton University. He holds architecture degrees from Cornell and Princeton Universities.
HackPittsburgh is a non-profit, community-based workshop that allows members to come together and share skills & tools to pursue creative projects. Their membership is open to everyone but typically comprises inventors, engineers, scientists, programmers, hobbyists, artists, roboteers, families, entrepreneurs, and arts and crafts enthusiasts. Their focus is on collaboration, education, and community outreach. They are a benevolent group and do not promote or condone illegal activities. The term “hacking” is used in a benign sense, in the context of deconstructing and understanding objects and systems and re-purposing existing materials for new and innovative uses.
Riley Harmon is an artist currently pursuing an interdisciplinary MFA at Carnegie Mellon University. As an artist, he is particularly interested in the blurring of physical and virtual experiences, philosophical concepts of authenticity, and détournement. He has exhibited work and performed throughout Europe and the United States. At the STUDIO, Riley constructed and manages our website and provides server, technical, and software support as needed. Riley comes from from the University of Oklahoma where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts with Distinction.
Is a writer, artist, music critic, and journalist, and the creator of Public Record and Old Weird Albion, among many other projects.
Incite! is a journal of experimental media & radical aesthetics, edited by Brett Kashmere, filmmaker and educator.
Artist, roboticist, animator and Lamettrian Geppettoist.
Brett is a Canadian-born, Pittsburgh-based filmmaker, curator, and writer. Combining traditional research methods with materialist aesthetics and hybrid interfaces, Kashmere’s experimental documentaries explore the intersection of history and (counter-) memory, geographies of identity,and the politics of represenation. Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the National Film Board of Canada, the Saskatchewan Art Board, and the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative, his films and videos have screened internationally at the London Film Festival, Made in Video: International Video Art Festival in Copenhagen, Anthology Film Archives in New York, the Kassel Documentary Festival in Germany, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo, the British Film Institute, and The Images Festival in Toronto.
Heather is currently conducting her doctoral research at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and running Marilyn Monrobot Labs in NYC, which creates socially intelligent robot performances and sensor-based electronic art.
Golan Levin develops artifacts and events which explore supple new modes of reactive expression. His work focuses on the design of systems for the creation, manipulation and performance of simultaneous image and sound, as part of a more general inquiry into the formal language of interactivity, and of nonverbal communications protocols in cybernetic systems. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Levin has exhibited widely in Europe, America and Asia.
Patricia is a visual artist and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University whose professional training is multidisciplinary and includes graduate studies in both molecular biology and visual arts. She often works collaboratively on projects that intersect the biological sciences and the visual arts. Integrating her interests in molecular genetics and psychology, Maurides probes issues of identity and origins in her art practice. She frequently uses her body as subject, screen, or conduit for memory play. Maurides teaches “Art and Biology”, a studio laboratory artmaking course that explores interactions between art and biology.
Marek Michalowski is a co-founder of BeatBots, a group of roboticists who design interactive characters and machines for entertainment, research, therapy, art and toys. Their popular robot Keepon was built to engage in nonverbal interaction with children, particularly those with autism. Michalowski holds a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and B.A. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science and Psychology from Yale University. He has held visiting researcher positions at institutions in Japan (ATR, NICT), Korea (KAIST), and France (CNRS); he is collaborating with a group of robotic artists on the New Artist project; and he has recently worked with Syyn Labs to design Rube Goldberg machines.
Jill Miller received a BA from UC Berkeley in English Literature in 1999 and an MFA in Art from UCLA in 2004. At UCLA she worked with Paul McCarthy, John Baldessari, and Mary Kelly. Her work has been exhibited internationally; recent exhibitions include Collectors at 2nd Floor Projects in San Francisco and Playback at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in France. Miller has received grants and awards from Arts Council England and D’Arcy Hayman Foundation, among others. Her work has been collected around the world, including a recent acquisition by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. She currently teaches at the San Francisco Art Institute and the California College of Arts.
Jonathan is an artist and filmmaker who investigates human experience in extreme environments and the evolutionary dynamic between nature and culture. Recent documentaries have featured communities of extremophiles; the nomads of Mongolia, deep sea oceanographers, scientists searching for extraterrestrial civilizations and artists working in outer space. Communities of interest include the nomads of Mongolia, deep sea oceanographers and astrobiologists, the SETI program and the emerging culture of humans in outer space. At the STUDIO, Jonathan is specifically involved with the Moon Arts Project where he records certain events and meetings and directs and edits all associated documentaries. Jonathan has a joint degree in Fine Art and Anthropology from Carnegie Mellon and previously worked at his alma mater’s College of Fine Arts as an advisor to prospective joint degree students.
Margaret Myers is the Associate Director of the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. She has over 25 years of experience in managing programs for artists and has a track record of success in creating environments for creativity and in assisting artists in finding funds for their work. She was previously the Executive Director of Pittsburgh Filmmakers and a grants program director in Media Arts and Theatre at the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She has been a grant panelist for numerous agencies and an Adjunct Professor for the Arts Management Program. She served as principal investigator for several projects including the Creativity in Collective Project funded by the NEA and for the Pittsburgh Creativity Project.
Eric Paulos is the Director of the Living Environments Lab and an Assistant Professor in theHuman-Computer Interaction Institute with courtesy faculty appointments in the Robotics Institute within the School of Computer Science and in the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. Previously Eric was Senior Research Scientist at Intel Research in Berkeley, California where he founded the Urban Atmospheres research group – challenged to employ innovative methods to explore urban life and the future fabric of emerging technologies across public urban landscapes. His areas of expertise span a deep body of research territory in urban computing, sustainability, green design, environmental awareness, social telepresence, robotics, physical computing, interaction design, persuasive technologies, and intimate media. Eric is a leading figure in the field of urban computing, coining the term in 2004, and a regular contributor, editorial board member, and reviewer for numerous professional journals and conferences. Eric received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley where he helped launch a new robotic industry by developing some of the first internet tele-operated robots including Space Browsing helium filled blimps and Personal Roving Presence devices (PRoPs).
Richard Pell is a founding member of the highly acclaimed art and engineering collective, the Institute for Applied Autonomy. His work with IAAincludes several robotic, web and biologically based projects that call into question the imperatives that drive technological development. IAA projects such as the robotic GraffitiWriter, iSee and TXTmob have been exhibited in art, activist and engineering contexts such as the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Mass MoCA, CAC in Cincinnati, Australian Center for the Moving Image, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Hackers On Planet Earth and the International Conference On Robotics And Automation. IAA projects have been chosen for an Award of Distinction and two Honorable Mentions at the Prix-Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria and were selected for RES Magazine’s 10 Best New Artists of 2005. His narrative and documentary videos explore the individual’s relationship to authority. His most recent video documentary entitled, Don’t Call Me Crazy On The 4th Of July, won the Best Michigan Director Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2005, took 1st prize at the Iowa International Documentary Film Festival has screened in numerous festivals internationally. In 2007 he was awarded a prestigious Rockefeller New Media Fellowship for the establishment of a new museum entitled The Center for PostNatural History.
Assistant Film and Video Curator at Warhol Museum, film collector extraordinaire with a specific interest in home movies and camera originals.
Ragona teaches a range of courses in the College of Fine Arts at CMU including MFA Academic Seminar, sophomore required surveys in both Modern and Contemporary Visual Culture, as well as various intermediate and upper level seminars in art history, film, sound, aesthetics, and critical theory. Ragona’s critical and creative work focuses on sound design, film theory and new media practice and reception. By forging approaches from the disciplines of film studies, art history, and new media technologies, her work has sought to present a more complex aesthetic, theoretical, and historical foundation for the analysis of contemporary time-based arts. Her current book project, Readymade Sound: Andy Warhol’s Recording Aesthetics examines Warhol’s tape recording projects from the mid-sixties until the late 70s in light of audio experiments in modern art as well as contemporary practices of pattern matching and information visualization.
Rossum’s is a working group for robotic artists and engineers. The group is devoted to creating and showing new art work which combines the digital and mechanical in embodied forms. The Rossum’s group meets semi-regularly to discuss practical and conceptual issues in our work. We also often invite external speakers to present at our meetings in a relaxed seminar format. Most of the group is concentrated in Pittsburgh, but the wider Rossum’s network includes members in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Indiana.
Jon Rubin is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores the social dynamics of public places and the idiosyncrasies of individual and group behavior. His projects include starting a radio station in an abandoned steel town that only plays the sound of an extinct bird, developing a hypnotized human robot army, running an autonomous nomadic art school, and operating a working restaurant that produces a live talk show with its customers. He has exhibited at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico; The Rooseum, Sweden; Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Germany; Nemo Film Festival, Paris; as well as in backyards, living rooms, and street corners.
1. computer scientist specializing in machine learning and its applications in language, biology, and social computing. 2. singer-songwriterand musician, proficient at several instruments and known to perform live on occasion [see also delicious pastries]. 3. freelance graphic designer, web developer, and mixing/mastering engineer for audio-type stuff. 4. founder of the annual february album writing month challenge [see fawm.org]. 5. traveler, lover of languages, wordplay addict, and armadillo enthusiast.
Natalie is an artist who engages the often-parallel concerns of art and science. For over a decade her work has lead to collaborative projects with researchers in biochemistry, botany, physiology, and zoology. In 2007 she lived and worked in Cambridge, UK independently researching Victorian design and topics in biology for her work in the Natural Motif series of drawings on paper and wall. Settles is a 2008 Wisconsin Arts Board Fellow. She is currently based in Pittsburgh, PA where she teaches in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University and is the artist in residence at the Tonsor Lab for Plant Evolutionary Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh.
Suzie Silver is an artist working primarily in video and performance. Her works have screened at the New Museum and Whitney Museum in New York; the Worldwide Video Festival in The Hague; Documenta IX Video Festival, Kassel; the London Film Festival; The Moscow Film Festival, gay and lesbian film and video festivals in Austin, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, and Tel Aviv; and dozens of other venues worldwide.
Eric Singer is a Brooklyn-based musician, artist, engineer and programmer with 20 years of arts and multimedia programming, engineering and performance experience. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon; a Diploma in Music Synthesis (Magna Cum Laude) from Berklee College of Music; and an MS in Computer Science from New York University. He has performed and lectured throughout the world with electronic musical instruments, as well as touring and recording with many bands on tenor, alto, and baritone saxes. He is a founding member of the Brooklyn-based arts collaborative The Madagascar Institute, and he has contributed to many of the group’s spectacular projects in addition to reaching the semi-finals with the MI-originating team “The Brooklyn Benders” on The Learning Channel’s ‘Junkyard Wars’ television show. He is also the founder of LEMUR (League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots), a group of artists and technologists creating robotic musical instruments. In addition to directing LEMUR, he currently works as an independent Arts Engineer and Consultant.
Straschnoy is a visual artist born in Buenos Aires in 1978. He lives and works in Helsinki.
Astria Suparak, a curator known for her efforts to highlight emerging and international artists, was appointed director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery, effective March 1, 2008. Suparak’s cutting-edge exhibitions often employ a variety of media, from painting and photography, to craft and electronic arts.
Jer Thorp is an artist and educator from Vancouver, Canada, currently living in New York. A former geneticist, his digital art practice explores the many-folded boundaries between science and art. Recently, his work has been featured by The New York Times, The Guardian, BusinessWeek and the CBC.
Mary Tremonte is an artist, educator, activist and DJ. She is a member of Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. Mary is a Youth Programs Coordinator at the Andy Warhol Museum and volunteers at Artists Image Resource and the Braddock Neighborhood Silkscreen Studio. She is consumed with printmaking, totally teens, collaboration, communication and the politics of social space, especially the dance-party.
Douglas Vakoch is the Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute, as well as the only social scientist employed by a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) organization. Dr. Vakoch researches ways that different civilizations might create messages that could be transmitted across interstellar space, allowing communication between humans and extraterrestrials even without face-to-face contact. He is particularly interested in how we might compose messages that would begin to express what it’s like to be human.
Dawn is a multi-disciplinary artist and co-founder with Jon Rubin of Conflict Kitchen.
Dan is an artist, programmer, and performer also known as Robot Cowboy.
Garth is a roboticist, artist, and co-founder of Rossums. He is a researcher at the Robotics Institute, and specializes in “minimalist mechanisms, compliant manipulation, and legged locomotion.”
My visit to the Freeport Historical Museum last Sunday was quite pleasurable, despite the lack of air conditioning in the Civil War era “Bayman’s Cottage.” I was heartened by the all-volunteer (seemingly all female) staff, and their endurance of the heat and the low ceilings. The Museum Curator, Cynthia Krieg, helped me find the postcard below of my parent’s house in its earlier incarnation as The Wind Mill Inn, and a former Our Holy Redeemer classmate of mine, Regina Feeney, talked with me about Nikola Tesla’s Long Island Lab in Shoreham, and other architecture deserving of preservation.
As of July 12, we are living with my parents in my hometown of Freeport, New York. (Our plan is to lounge here until we relocate to Pittsburgh in mid-August for a Warhol Curatorial Fellowship I was awarded at Carnegie Mellon University.) I was raised in Freeport, but I know surprisingly little about its history. I see this vacation as an opportunity to bone-up on all things Long Island, especially nautical history.
Growing up, I had heard tales of Freeport’s many famous thespians who took up waterfront residence here in the early part of the 20th Century. My parent’s house (the former “Windmill Inn”) was host to vaudeville era performers and operated as a speakeasy during prohibition. On a recent visit to my brother’s house (also in Freeport), I was delighted to find a newly minted historic plaque in the front yard, indicating my brother’s residence is built on the site of the L.I.G.H.T.S. Club (Long Island Good Hearted Thespian Society), whose members included Al Jolson, Victor Moore, Will Rogers, and John Philip Sousa. The Freeport Historical Museum has photos of the club in action, and I plan to make a visit there this Sunday (they’re only open one day per week).
One of the traditional Lights Club functions was the celebration of Christmas on the Fourth of July. Most of the vaudeville actors spent their Christmas days on trains, in dingy dressing rooms or in drab hotels. On July Fourth, though the temperature be in the 90s, the Lights’ Christmas tree was decorated and lighted, Santa Claus was dressed in his heavy suit with ermine trimmings, presents were placed under the tree and the members and their children arrived in their furs, mittens and earlaps, some even clattering into the club on snowshoes.
- Fred Allen, “Much Ado About Me,” 1956
During the ten years that I was with Aurora Picture Show, I hosted at least 300 visiting artists, and gave almost that many tours of Houston. Like an old cabbie, I have fine-tuned these trips into a scripted tour that features folk art environments, underground tunnels, celebrity grave sites, art cars, urban bayous, museums, mega churches, and art chapels. Imagine my gravelly voice coming through an old p.a. system as I humbly present to you, “Grover’s Guide to Houston, Part I.” Read this post on Glasstire.com.
Thanks to my friend Bree Edwards for suggesting I write it all down!
Just three weeks till we make the big move from Houston to New York. While packing I found among my possessions, the 1995 audio tour of Graceland (obtained by my friend Joanna Spitzner, who was helping co-pilot my moving van from Chicago to Texas). We made a pit stop in Memphis to pay tribute to “The King.”
I hope you enjoy listening to the tour as much as I do. It’s as though I’m right there in the “Jungle Room” digging my toes into green pile carpet.
Find some amazing 360 views of the Jungle Room here.
Congratulations to the good folks at Culture Pilot for knocking the TEDx Houston ball outta the park on Saturday, June 12, 2010 at University of Houston’s Wortham Theater. I had the good fortune to serve on the organizing committee, and learned volumes from the group’s cool resolve, and assurance that all would go as planned. And it did.
Throughout each talk, the theme that stood out for me was “unlearning” as Buckminster Fuller termed it – an approach to innovation that involves dispensing of old ideas that we now know are untrue.
Cliffnotes (don’t sue me) to TEDxHouston talks:
Brené Brown (research professor and writer at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work)
• Humans have a neurobiological imperative for connection.
• Shame is the fear of disconnection.
• In order to have connection, one must be vulnerable, defined as “doing something that offers no guarantees.”
• People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging, and have in common: courage, compassion and connection.
• On numbing (via substances, food, prescription drugs): you cannot selectively numb emotions.
Dan Phillips (founder of Phoenix Commotion construction company that uses recycled and salvaged materials to build affordable housing)
• The first cause of waste is hardwired into our DNA– the desire for expected pattern and unity of structural features.
• Trees don’t grow in 2 x 4s, at lengths of 8, 10, and 12′.
• Standardization leads to waste.
• Apollonian / Dionysian contradiction.
• John Paul Sartre: Human beings act differently when they know people are watching them.
• We [Westerners] have confused Maslow’s Hierarchy and put vanity at the top, but the problem of waste is worldwide
Rebecca Richards-Kortum (Stanley C. Moore Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University) & Maria Oden (Professor in the Practice of Bioengineering Education in the Department of Bioengineering at Rice University)
• 9 million children under 5 die annually because of lack of medical treatment.
• Using college students’ enthusiasm and ideas to solve global health problems.
• Students created a medical centrifuge from a salad spinner; a florescent microscope for $200 (vs. the $40k cost of a medical grade equivalent).
• And designed field backpacks for MDs to use in remote parts of the world – a kind of portable clinic made cheaply and efficiently.
• Redesigned a locally produced incubator in Malawi, made for under $100.
Stephen Kleinberg (Rice University Sociologist and Houston’s leading demographer)
• 1 million people moved to Houston between 1970-1982; abundance of jobs in the oil and gas industry.
• Houston was the city with the least industrial control: “Come on down and make some money.”
• Crash of 1983: 100,000 jobs lost.
• Industry became more diverse (medical, aeronautics, etc.). Quality of life became an issue.
• October 7, 1999: USA Today Headline: Houston, Cough Cough, We Have A Problem, Cough Cough. Air quality was worst in country.
• Environmental regulation was no longer seen as “anti-growth” but rather necessary for success.
• Changing view of prosperity in the 21st century.
• Innovation is now network-driven.
• In the space of the last 20 years, Houston has become one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country. It is a city of majority minorities.
Mark Johnson (founder of Hometta, a collaborative of designers, architects, builders, writers and editors who have banded together to rethink and improve the way residential architecture is designed)
• With regard to the architectural mash-ups in Houston (French Chateau, Tuscan Villa, etc): “One day I’d like to go to France and see Houston ice houses.”
• First ring of suburbs built 30-40 years ago are now deteriorating; going to landfills.
• How can we reboot our value system to promote sustainable building?
• We can start by building appropriate to scale and location: authenticity.
• Look to the sustainable food movement as an example.
• Build to impress your kids; your kids won’t remember the 2″ beveled granite countertops or the 6 burner professional stainless range. They’ll remember the oak tree, the reading nook, the originality.
• Build a house with intentionality and thoughtfulness, to be passed down through the generations.
• Houston’s Beer Can House is an example of sustainable building, and the townhouses around it will be gone in 100 years, while it will still stand.
Monica Pope (award winning chef, T’afia)
• Most of my cooking career has not been about cooking;
• Through food, I search for who I am, and what I’m supposed to do.
• We say “eat where your food grows.” I say “eat at a table.”
• We need to reinvent the campfire- the place where we gather, tell stories, and eat.
Gracie Cavnar (founder Recipe for Success)
• Obesity rates in the US doubled between 1980-2000.
• As a nation, we need to lose 4.6 billion lbs.
• 41% of us will be morbidly obese by 2015. This will be the first generation that will die before their parents.
• In 2008, $147 billion was spent on medical treatment for obesity related illness.
• Recipe for Success fights marketing with marketing.
• They put kids in touch with their food from farm to plate.
• Future plan for Hope Farms: 100 acres in the shadow of downtown Houston: the largest urban farm in the world!
David Crossley (President, Houston Tomorrow)
• By 2050, Houston will reach 11 million in population. How will that population be fed?
• We live in the most diverse eco-region in North America, but are looking at a major loss of farm land, and forested area to accommodate the growing population.
• New urbanism values: balance of natural and socio-economic development.
• 47% of Americans would rather live in a different place.
• HUD/DOT/EPA have formed “Sustainable Communities Department.”
• Ebenezer Howard, Garden Cities of Tomorrow.
• James Howard Kunsler: Downscaling.
• Houston 3.0 walkable urbanism, monorail!
Mat Johnson (Author of the graphic novel, Incognegro)
• Between 1880-1930 an estimated 2400 men, women and children were murdered in the US by lynching.
• Lynching is murder by mob action (a tactic which makes prosecution difficult to impossible)
• Lynching was a form of “domestic terrorism.”
• Mention of Walter White, civil rights leader and chief investigator of lynchings.
David Eagleman (Neuroscientist and author)
• 2003, Hubble Deep Field Observation of a dark spot in the sky, revealed thousand of universes.
• What we really learn from a life in science is the vastness of our ignorance.
• The scientific temperament is one of creativity.
• We have created a false dichotomy of god vs. no god.
• I am not an agnostic, I’m a possibilian – one who makes up new narratives about why we are here.
• Doubt is an uncomfortable position but certainty is an absurd position (In reference to quote by Voltaire, “Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous.”)