CRACKS AND FISSURES
MAY 5, 2007 3:37 PM
The clay form has seen the wear and tear of winter temperatures and spring rain. The piece has evolved and deteriorated.
There is also some growth, though, as a few plants are growing through the cracks in the base.
FULTON HEIGHTS ENDURES THE WINTER MONTHS.
FEBRUARY 12, 2007 11:30 AM
fulton heights is in hibernation during these cold months. The space seems to be in a moment of transition. This is a place of rest now. Soon there will be a elevation in pace, but for now the inhabitants of this space are thinking only of the future or with nostalgia of the past.
An unfired clay form acts as a timer on the site. The cold season brings thoughts of pace and intervals, but one clay form is an intermediary and a reminder of other relative paces. Its self destruction is a function of the elements. This plot then is the determination of its longevity. The form and the space have a common cousin in the elements. It is in this space that I feel a heightened relativity to this local environment.
As I left the space a cone told me the cautionary tale of disregarding the pace and code that fulton heights has to offer.
BIRD WATCHING CAT WATCHING
JUNE 16, 2006 12:23 PM
yesterday i met nurses for a little bird watching
it was spectacular
we saw a nice variety of birds in detail
the site looked really quite nice
i can't wait to go bird watching again
next time i plan to bring materials to draw the birds
i really love watching them through the binoculars
AWAY FROM THE GARDEN
JUNE 4, 2006 4:59 PM
I am living in Ohio for the summer (a 5 hour drive away from my garden site). I'm planning on visiting the site/possibly transplanting some things from Ohio. I also thought about finding some unused space in Mansfield, OH where i could start a new garden. Is anyone still working on their garden through the summer?
MAY 5, 2006 1:27 PM
In what sense is neo-geography a communal idea? Is there something innate to the concept that anchors it to community or interaction? Soon I will be taking a burden walk that will last for 12 hours and hopefully cover 50 miles of unfamiliar territory. The walk will be a seperation from my community. The artifact of the walk will be a tyvex suit that I will wear. It will communicate the experience to the viewer through a visual and conceptual manner. I was thinking about how this piece relates to the plant! project and other ideas of neogeography. Built into my exploration is a desire to return to the community or network that we set up for sustaining the life that we desire. This desire, I feel is a communal feeling of belonging to a system that provides safety and comfort. I think that I am going to find that as I walk that neogeography is deeply tied to the idea of collaboration. So how does this term relate to the individual? Is there possibilities for the individual in neogeography?
MAY 3, 2006 9:47 AM
yesterday was cool and rainy, a perfect day to sit around the table and draw
we worked on our page spread for the PLANT! handbook
(these handbooks will be available for free at the Spring Arts Festival on May 10 at Calvin)
there will also be a bike tour and van tours of PLANT! that day
anyways, the pamphlet is looking hot
on saturday, whisper, dread, and splinters will be printing the covers at the Calvin print shop
interested helpers are welcome- woodcut!
so, here are a few pics of our pamphleteering style
rocking the fun page...
nurses rocking it
billy rocking it
- Splinters (photos by Noodles)
APRIL 24, 2006 10:05 AM
we got together on saturday for some time at the site
some time we chatted
some time we found stones to finish our bed
some time we moved stones, one was a boulder
some time we returned the billboard to its original place
the work was strenuous
we all felt the strain
after washing up, we went to eat at Teshlou's
it was a feast
Nurses was pleased with the day's events
THE RIGHT AWAY
APRIL 20, 2006 4:04 PM
our last stop was the site of Babies Nurses Noodles Splinters
we saw a Beer distributer and took the group photo
what a great day
ONE OF THOSE DAYS
APRIL 18, 2006 3:32 PM
seems like everyone i'm talking to has had one of those days
frustrations, disasters, loss, it's all hitting the fan today
that means that things are only getting better
i am optimistic despite setbacks
we are still strong, "heartache to heartache we stand..."
anyways, our day at the garden was flovered with all of these emotions
we got a pretty slow start
since Nurses was stranded, and since Babies attempt to retrieve Nurses was less than smooth
but after the late arrival we all ate cereal
we were supposed to bring our favorite cereal, but it was one of those days, so we had to settle for second favorites...
we got out to the site, and decided to work gathering more rocks to structure our garden bed
Nurses ideal chunk ended up in the swamp so we went to plan B
we hoped to work on irrigation, so we attempted to salvage
a large plastic billboard sign, to use as a water collection surface
Nurses and I discovered it on Saturday
so we hauled it the 3/4 mile back to the plot
it was awkward
but we made it back
after laying out the billboard, we realized that it was a billboard for lease sign
so i called the number and pretended to be a customer
we decided that using the large tarp would be stealing
so we decided to return it to where we found it
oh well, time for our group portrait
notice the sour faces
but hope was restored in a major way on our walk home
we talked to a couple of neighbors and told them about the project
one of these neighbors was Sandy (THE MOM OF TEDDY!)
Babies managed to snap this photo
have any other groups had discussions about the implications of using "appropriate technology," "salvage," "obtanium," "found objects," "private property," etc?
what's ok to use? to discard?
WATER FOR PLANT!
APRIL 17, 2006 12:38 PM
On Saturday slivers and I worked on the garden some more. We focused mainly on finding materials to keep the garden in tip top shape. We spent a large portion of our time searching for materials to build a self-sustaining irrigation system. We found a extremely large piece of industrial tarp that used to be a billboard pointing toward I-96. Our idea is that with a large surface area rainwater can be collected in large amounts. Maybe enough water to sustain the garden through the hottest days. We also found four long pieces of PVC pipe about 1inch thick. These could also be integrated into the irrigation system. Has anyone else thought about water and how to keep there garden lush? I would like to hear how others are tackling this issue?
APRIL 13, 2006 6:14 PM
We are making good progress in meeting our neighbors. We have met easy sleazy Joe. (not me, I’m nurses) We also met the porchman, the distributor of our wheelbarrow. Finally, I am pretty sure that Otis Nelson is responsible for taking our lawn mower, but that is ok, we can share as long as he brings it back soon. Oh I almost forgot on the way to and from our garden we pass teddy the dog rescued from the puppy mill. I hope your new life is great teddy. Feel better soon.
BUCKET OF CHEER, BUCKET OF SLURPEE
APRIL 13, 2006 2:49 PM
Well it was HOT today on the tracks, maybe because of the sun, maybe because we were really cooking.
Today my lovely wife, Noodles, joined the group. Here we are setting out after eggs and potatoes and fruit and toast (matzos).
Mostly we hauled soil and stones around today. We are moving rich soil from a nearby ravine with a manhole.
Unfortunately, our lawnmower/mover was stolen since tuesday, so today we used an actual wheelbarrow that I borrowed from Howard, The Porch Man (a neighbor). He was happy to oblige my request after an explanation.
Nurses and I shoveled and hauled the soil up the slope, then Noodles used the wheelbarrow to haul to the garden bed. It was grueling.
After all, it is really looking nice and healthy. We have many more loads of soil to move, but not today. We enjoyed a brief sit-down, then headed back.
For some reason, I got really thirsty for a Slurpee, so before we split, we headed to the sev. So many delicious artificial flavors. Babies and I mixed ours, but Nurses went for only the Cherry Light. He missed out on the mystery flavor, but I suppose it might have messed with his golf game.
Here is Babies, getting excited about liquid candy.
We all have stomach aches, except for Noodles who was infinitely wiser than us for abstaning.
RAILROAD, ROTUNDA, AND A RAINWATER PLAN
APRIL 11, 2006 10:17 PM
After the promise of an accomplishment party (with a quarter keg included) we were all ready to work hard this morning. We jumped into the ditch beside the tracks and found soil, stones, and treasures. Wolpa and Joe worked on getting soil and stones. I helped, but became a bit preoccupied with the tiny treasures i encountered. Thursday we will continue working on the boundary wall and transporting rich, dark soil. We are waiting patiently for the plantes to grow indoors in the mini plastic greenhouse. The forcast predicts rain tomorrow. Nurses has yet to come up with a water irrigation system.
APRIL 11, 2006 12:59 PM
What a morning indeed. This time Babies arrived first, right at 9 am. Barbara Comstock was nowhere to be seen. Nurses arrived moments later, and we began drinking tea and eating Erika's ginger chocolate multi-grain scones. Nurses and I each ate two, because they are so good. We kept drinking Gunpowder and getting the crazy eyes before we looked at the seed selection.
It was fun deciding on the seeds- Nurses was thorough in his research, reading each packet carefully.
The whole time Billy and Little Juanita were staring at each other throught the glass door. Juanita wants a outdoor companion. Now it was time to start our seeds in the pod house. First you add 32 oz. of water to make the pods grow like foam dinosaurs.
They got tall and ready for the seeds, so we took turns until all twenty pods were occupied.
After labels were secure and the dome was in place, we headed out for the railroad tracks. It was so warm out, we wore shades and felt spirited. Along the way we met a lady gardening by her house. She had a friend with her named Teddy (Not Pictured), a dog that looked kind of like a Gremlin or a fox. Babies insisted that he looked like a hamster, but I think she was projecting. Anyways, Teddy was raised in a cruel puppy factory, and was kept in a cage for five years. He is now in a period of adjustment, but seems fairly happy.
Our next stop was the Grapevine Wine and Deli, in hopes of introducing ourselves to our neighbors. We met Joe, who I believe to be the owner, and who claims that he is both "easy" and "sleazy."
He offered us a quarter keg of beer for to have an accomplishment party. He wants the whole class there.
We thought that sounded fine, then found ourselves caught in a weird display of saucy behavior and animal instincts- it was Joe and the postal carrier. All she wanted though was her lottery cash.
So we went to work, and made some nice progress.
Babies unearthed this lawnmower and after some restoration by Nurses, it was up and running as a transportation cart to haul rocks and soil.
Babies was using an Easter basket to collect treasures. We found a comb, two shoes, a calculator, a windshield scraper, an arm, and some other beautiful discards.
We decided to finish up, but Babies insisted on working more; she moved the heavy stones.
Finally, we were exhausted. We rested for a bit, and then posed for a final picture. On tuesday we will eat eggs.
P.S. Babies was also hard at work on The Rotunda. Here we will meet for the accomplishment party.
APRIL 8, 2006 2:08 PM
I am excited that our garden is rich with michigan red clay. Well i think thats its name. Maybe we could make some pottery from our garden. I will updadte the blog if i can find out how to refine the clay into clean pure material.
FINDING THE SOIL UNDERNEATH THE PRECIOUS STONES
APRIL 7, 2006 11:58 AM
Yesterday Wolpa, Joe and I got quite a good start on our garden. We raked the stones away from an area between two train tracks to uncover a haven of soil and clay. We removed some weeds, stones, and grubs. Our next plan of action is to build a stone boundary and build up the soil in our area.
Wolpa found a discarded yellow bucket on our site that we will be able to use for watering our plants. He also found a small garden snake. Wolpa asked if he should pick it up with a stick. I said no. Joe didn't say anything. The snake went back into its lair.
It's been raining all night and today. I'm starting to understand the happiness that a farmer must feel when the rain pours down. My arms are a bit sore because the ground was dry and hardened. The rain will definately help our process.
Until next time,
WE SET OUT
APRIL 6, 2006 3:34 PM
Stephanie, just like your group, we started with breakfast- coffee and pastries.
We talked about musical instruments, superman, smoking, pets, campus safety, and even a little bit about PLANT! Kate "Babies" brought her hamster, Barbara Comstock in a travel case.
Barbara was all over the placec taunting Billy and Little Juanita. We finally made it out of the house and walked to our site. It is just a few blocks away by the Grapevine Wine and Deli (alten and Michigan). Alten becomes Ball and then just a few paces north- the railroad. A few more paces to the west and you find our site, nestled between two tracks at the fork. We have great views of a marshland, downtown Grand Rapids, and the Grand Rapids Jail. Coincidentally, a few weeks ago Otis Nelson escaped from the jail and was caught hiding out just a stones throw from our garden.
It seems like the tracks are familiar territory for runaways and rebels, for snakes and nomads, and now for us. So anyways, we got to work preparing the planting area. Joe was determined and strong.
Kate was excited about our progress.
After we worked for a while we sat and enjoyed some tobacco together using some pinchpots made from the site's clay as ashtrays. We watched birds and planned our next meeting. We left for golf and class and naps?