Art and commerce officially coalesce with the expansion of Jae Rhim’s Lee commitment to acknowledging the environmental impact we have when we are dead, as well as when we are living. The company’s name is COEIO. It even has a nifty logo.
This is Mike Ma, Founder & CEO
This is Jae Rhim Lee, Founder & Chief Product Officer
Together they formed a company “to help fulfill people’s last wishes to be as unique as their lives.”
Frans Kracjberg is alive and actively expanding his lifelong efforts to serve as the forests’ steward and protector. This is my first blog dedicated to this distinguished veteran of eco art. He is not often in the news. Thus, I was delighted to discover the following mention in Artsy:
“Nine Artists Respond to Climate Change” by Julie Baumgardner
in the Artsy Editorial.
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In anticipation of my first foray into wilderness last year, I wondered if I would yield to the ‘wild’ of these unfamiliar environs – leaping instead of climbing, crawling instead of walking, screaming instead of talking – joyful escapes from the constraints of social protocols and engineered technologies. Or perhaps, I imagined, I might feel inclined to skulk through the wilderness on tip toe, whispering quietly or refusing to speak to minimize my intrusion into a territory where neither humanity’s greed, abuse, nor its generosity are welcome. Alternatively, I considered the possibility of joining generations of prophets who ventured into wilderness to seek the glory of god. On their behalf I conjured descriptions of wilderness from literature that evoked mysterious light, eternal renewal, and fearsome powers, imagining that this excursion might provide my closest encounter with the divine.
I was reminded of this trip this week when I read a headline in the Wall Street Journal, “Nature Runs Wild in Greenwich Village,” describing the postage-sized ‘wilderness’ in Manhattan created, with great care and dedication, by Alan Sonfist. My journey had led me into the vast, unsettled territory surrounding Questa, New Mexico. It was preserved, fifty years ago, by the Wilderness Act, a landmark bill that created the first legal definition of “wilderness” and established the National Wilderness Preservation System that now protects over 100 million acres of land. Sonfist’s artwork is praised in the article for including one ‘stowaway elm’ that is 40 feet tall. It is not wilderness. Instead, it is an artistic representation of wilderness, bearing the same relationship to the grandeur and expanse of authentic wilderness as a 24″ landscape painting might.
By fostering the decomposition of her future corpse, Jae Rhim Lee makes certain she will make a beneficial material contribution to ‘earth’ (soil) that supports life on ‘Earth’ (planet). The prodigious transformation of inert substances into living matter occurs within the narrow zone where the bottom layer of sky and the top layer of our planet intersect. It is precisely the zone where burial is located.
These contrasting districts opeate on complementary but opposing power sources. The energy that drives the above ground food web issues from the sun, while the energy that propels the soil food web emits from decaying organic matter. Thus photosynthesis and detritus are functionally related. When these energy sources are synchronized, the bacteria and fungi underground conduct the heavy work of nourishing above ground populations of all kinds. This miraculous assemblage ultimately accounts for every living entity that ever existed on our special planet.
Switching metaphors from Mother Nature to Lover Nature indicates a radical shift from relating to nature as a provider, healer, and comforter, to relating to nature as recipient of protection, augmentation, and attention. This supremely special lover thrives on adult mutuality, as opposed to infantile dependence and lack of responsibility.
According to biologist E. O. Wilson, humans are entering an “Age of Loneliness” because we are not only losing the companionship of non-human species, we are converting opportunities for love into acts of warfare.
Wilson notes, “Step into places of diversity, complexity and abundance and you find yourself going straight into the heart of eros. You encounter love, and from love one is moved to care, and from care to action, and from action to imagining a world without all this violence.”
Monsanto GMOs Defeated by Oregon Organic Farmers as Federal Judge Upholds Seed Ban. June 1st, 2015
Beyond congratulating the organic farmers in Oregon for this triumphant victory, this headline may be a game-changer for the GMO industry as a whole. As Steven Rosenfeld reports on AlterNet:
A coalition of Oregon organic farmers has beaten Monsanto—the corporate agriculture giant—in a landmark federal lawsuit that will make national waves by the way that their rural county banned the use of genetically modified seeds.
The legal challenge brought by commercial farmers who use Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa seeds was challenged by the non-organic farmers.Technically, the $350,000 fine is not a lot of money for a major corporate entity. In the fall of 2014, Montano posted total sales of $15.86 billion. At the same time Monsanto reported that the company lost $156 million in that quarter, presumably, one reason is that it spent a significant amount of money to defend the use of GMOs and destroy efforts to require labelling of GMO products.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1942875/monsanto-loses-will-pay-350k-to-settle-more-gm-wheat-lawsuits/#34c7vD8J7rE0fdHC.99
The drama that is currentlyunfolding is being played upon a planet-wide stage that reaches far into the atmosphere and into the depths of the seas. It engages the mighty forces of raging winds and torrential rains, shattering earthquakes and collapsing towers of ice, flushes of invasive populations and witherings of beloved species. Consensus holds that the future will not resemble the past. But it is not known if we are heading toward a worldwide ecosystem adjustment or an epic terminous!
The works of art being created by contemporary eco artists present compelling samplings of material conditions and options. This is an emotional narrative, as fraught with dread and uncertainty as it is invested with optimism and humor. However diverse the outcomes they are imagining, none anticipate a return of the Medieval belief that Paradise on Earth that they envisioned as a congenial climate, abundant vegetation, and perpetual daylight seven times brighter than a sunny day.
At the same time, eco artists hope to avoid updating the mythic tales that describe disasters wrought by angered deities to punish humans for their wanton ways. The international precedents for this tragic scenario include:
Greek: Zeus sent a flood to destroy humans.
Lithuania: the supreme god Pramzimas saw nothing but war and injustice among mankind so he sent the giants of water and wind to destroy earth.
Egypt: people had become rebellious so Atum destroyed all he made and returned the earth to the Primordial Water.
JOIN ME AT OLANA STATE PARK
11 am July 18 or Septebmer 23
ONsite / INsight / OUTside
Tour Guide: Linda Weintraub
Like Frederic Church, the contemporary artists in River Crossings designed their studios to optimize their creativity.
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Humans evolved late in the lengthy, intricate, and wondrous progression of organisms that inhabit the Earth. To this day, evidence of our connection to our less complex ancestors is imbedded in our bodies and brains. But humans are not merely archives of evolutionary history. We have also evolved life-styles that resemble a grand experiment in expanding capacities to remember the past, to analyze the present, to anticipate the future, and to manage the materials that realize these conceptualizations in the physical environment.
The history of strategies humans have devised to provide for their sustenance range from prying out roots with a stick, to excavating millions of cubic feet of earth with giant bucket-wheel excavators. The vast majority of the entries in this diverse accounting of material interactions have either been motivated by self-interest or undertaken to benefit other humans. Such anthropocentrism has been the cultural norm since pre-history. Self-interest, as a driving force, is not unique to the human species. Nor is it necessarily objectionable. Self-interest is a biological imperative shared by humans, lions, dandelions, and every other form of life. Lions are not venal and greedy when they devour their prey. Likewise, dandelions are not intrusive and imperious when their seeds float on breezes and flutter down on a well-tended lawn. However, humanity’s self-interest seems to earn the adjectives ‘venal’, ‘greedy’, ‘intrusive’, and ‘imperious’ by exceeding its survival needs. The checks and balances of entire eco systems have been thrown out of whack by the unique abilities of people to surpass their biological imperatives.
An all-consuming self-interest is not unique to the human species; it is a biological imperative shared by humans, lions, dandelions, and all other forms of life. However, humanity’s self-interest violates biology’s checks and balances whenever we exploit our unique and ever-increasing ability to exceed our biological imperatives. This story begins approximately 12,000 years ago when humans first developed agriculture, cities, architecture, labor specialization, bread baking, beer brewing, personal property, slavery, governance, trade, barter, war, and more. Since then, interactions with the physical environment have been heading, at an ever-accelerating rate, toward ever bigger, faster, stronger, further, and bolder interfaces.
If success of a species is measured in terms of control over conditions of the environment to secure our needs, we are an extremely successful species. But if disruptions to the lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere are taken into consideration, humanity’s controlling activities resemble hubris more than success. The current environmental movement is founded on the belief that responsibility for the well-being of the non-living environment, dissimilar species, and less fortunate humans is a corollary to the expansion of our powers.