Creative Ecologies & Collaborations

Acequia

Teahouse in the Tetouan medina, Morocco
Tea house | Tetouan medina, Morocco

2022: Green Olive Arts | Tetouan, Morocco

This residency provided the platform to explore roots of Acequias. Having adapted systems that originated in Persia four thousand years ago, Moroccans built sequias throughout the Atlas and Rif Mountains. Upon establishment of alAndalus on the Iberian Peninsula in the 9th century, they built the same systems as part of their farm networks. When the Spanish pushed Andalusians back into Northwestern Africa, they recognized the benefit of flood irrigation to amplify the water tower effect of dry steppe ecologies in cultivating the desert, so kept the systems in place. Eventually, Spanish pioneers carried these ideas to the Americas and installed or broadened indigenous systems though the Andes, Patagonia, Mexico and the desert Southwest.

Water is Life
Beyond the ecological benefits flood irrigation brings to dryland ecologies, Acequias are valuable in their social structure. It is believed that water is sacred and may not be owned, but shared across the community. The people who use the water tend the water. As we face dangers of water privatization, looking towards social structures that maintain essential resource of water in the commons with provide the space to maintain functioning foodsheds that widen wildlife corridors through deserts. Acequias are a time tested solution to mitigate the desertification caused by climate change.

The Distillery, TAOS New Mexico

The Taos Distillery is an historic adobe which housed a bootleg operation during prohibition. The moonshine supplied the speakeasy in the back of the Taos Inn run by Vincente Mares, who tended this land at that time. We think of it now as a place for the distillation of ideas and restorative acts as we explore how to cultivate the desert through a combination of ancient practices and emergent technologies. SEED to table, hugelCULTURE, Acequias, and native plant restoration are all themes that have been explored on this platform. We host storytellers who explore our relationship with the land. Storytellers from across disciplines are invited to apply for a residency to learn from the ancient ways of cultivating dry ecologies and share ideas on how to reverse desertification, promote restoration and amplify efforts that have demonstrated success.

The Taos Distillery
View of the Taos Distillery kitchen from the Casita patio: the upper deck has views of Taos mountain.

SEED :: Disperse

Kachinawe

SEED Barn | Maine

Platform for socially engaged & ecology based artworks
*Demonstration gardens
*Living seed library
*Fine art installations
*Sensorium
*Localvore feasts
*& artist residencies.

The SEED Barn was constructed in 1835 by shipbuilder, John Cheever near the first settler landing spot in the area. Europeans recognized potential for hydro-power provided by the tidal falls into and out of the salt pond.

The grounds are located in Mulatamicuwon, the Passamaquoddy name for ‘the place where water flows and sticks to the sand’ in reference to the nearby reversing falls.

MAINE fieldworks

Bagaduce Watershed

After restoration of the fish ladder structure was completed in 2018, we began the process of a community centered restoration of native plants that grow along the land water interface of Maine’s river and lake-shores. Learn how to participate in ongoing stewardship needs & take a guided tour the watershed with the online map.

Mowing to Support Wildlife

A midsummer afternoon at the Tapley Farm in Brooksville explores how mowing practices can support wildlife in Maine’s meadows. In collaboration with the Open Air Arts Initiative and the Tent Project, we gathered to consider how to tend meadow spaces in ways that do not disrupt ecology during the height of the summer. Featuring an artist talk by Carol Gregor about the history of sacred geometry and how it has informed her creative process as an architect. Participants are invited to walk through the meadow to the Tapley Farm Labyrinth to meditate on our relationship with the land in an open meadow context. Explorations and observations of the wet meadow ecology led to conversations on maintaining meadows to provide food and forage with our non-human neighbors and helped us understand how to discover and develop our own relationships with these outdoor spaces.

Ongoing projects: Maps

Bagaduce Watershed
Collaborative map offering guidance on how to tend restored fish passages that support shared resources offered by the sea.

Surry Forest
Interactive map exploring the many layered forest restoration of a tract of heavily forested land.

Furth Wildlife Sancturary
With a focus on the way non-human species MOVE through the landscape, this interactive map invites the public to get OUTSIDE and create in nature!
A series of virtual prompts offers ideas on how to recognize then translate movement through creative acts.

Plant Mobilities

Colonial Medicine Chests & Tea Gardens at the Pendleton House

The SEED Barn was crafted by boat builder, John Cheever in 1835. Here it is seen with a schooner under construction in mulatamicuwon, now known as Conary Cove
Blue Hill Falls, Maine

SEED :: Haiti

An ongoing collaboration since the 2013 Ghetto Biennial cultivating food sovereignty, sacred/medicinal plant relationships and re-wilding efforts.

‘Lambi-peau‘, symbol of freedom painted in jardin Katelyn Alexis during the 2017 Ghetto biennial. The shells were installed as circles around new plantings of Moringa trees.

.debris.

.debris. is an international, collaborative project created as a response to the issues surrounding single use plastic. The work reflects the literal problem of plastic in marine environments while offering a symbolic representation of the chemical body burdens carried by wildlife and humans alike. In presenting these issues, we are asked to consider misplaced notions of “disposability” calling in to question consumer driven waste which has devalued what is in fact a very important material.

.debris. installed at the Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark during the 10th anniversary of the Cosmobilities conference,
Networked Urban Mobilities