4/16: Ebb of a Spring Tide
Ebb of a Spring Tide is a collection of original salt photographs of moon sculptures at spring tide. The photographs are encased in salt from New York's East River and sealed. Interested in viewing images? Please sign up for Mary's mailing list or inquire with Caroline at Robert Mann Gallery
So happy to be working at Kino Saito in Verplanck, NY for six weeks!
The Bridge by Octavio Paz
Between now and now,
between I am and you are,
the word bridge.
you enter yourself:
the world connects
and closes like a ring.
From one bank to another,
there is always
a body stretched:
I'll sleep beneath its arches.
I've been creating out of a 5000 sq. ft. historic warehouse in Glacier National Park for the past six months.
After living ascetically for bouts of time including living on the Waterpod and growing up without much, I bundled the objects I had been carrying with me into seven large boulders, making sense of a monumental flow of goods through my life. In NYC the collaborative monument of waste and discarded objects are seen on sidewalks daily, sometimes in piles tall enough I can’t see beyond them. That work changed my life in many ways. Since then I’ve worked with ascetic communities all over the US, and some people have given me meaningful objects to tell stories with... I still wonder what is less absurd, bundling the objects in my temporary possession to point to my own consumption, or the sheer volume of objects added to landfills everyday?
Measuring glacier change
Glaciers gain mass through snowfall and lose mass through melting and sublimation (when water evaporates directly from solid ice). Glaciers that terminate in a lake or the ocean also lose mass through iceberg calving. Those that end in the ocean are called tidewater glaciers, and they have more complex cycles of advance and retreat than glaciers that terminate on land, at least on annual and decades-long time scales. Even in a stable climate, such glaciers can experience periods of rapid retreat that are more influenced by seafloor topography and ocean circulation at their terminus than recent climate conditions. (climate.gov ) Global climate has changed rapidly with an average increase of 1.5°F over the past 100 years. While this number may seem insignificant, noticeable changes have occurred in the glaciers in the park. In 1850, glaciers numbered around 150. By 1966, the number dropped to 50 named and unnamed glaciers. As of 2009, 26 glaciers remained. (USGS 2010). Melt runoff from glaciers in mountain environments provides more than 50% of the world’s fresh water supply. Populations downstream depend on this dwindling source not just for drinking water, but also as a means of dilution of pollutants generated at lower elevations. As climate warms, less snow and more rain falls in winter. Spring runoff is happening earlier, leaving less water for the drier months, possibly causing some streams to become intermittent, impacting stream ecology. Data were not available for Grinnell Glacier for 1900. However, interpolation, a means of estimating a value within a given set of data, can be used to get an estimate of the area for that year. Extrapolated data finds zero ice at Grinnell Glacier in 2039. Glaciers are no longer considered glaciers when their area diminishes to 25 acres. -Judy McLirath, USF Tampa
Climate Change: Artists Respond, Baruch College
Brooklyn Public Library: NYC Water Futures
Last month I was able to work in the Nevada desert at the Montello Foundation with writer and curator Sara Reisman. It was in midst of fierce storms and completely off-grid. I've rarely seen such starry skies.
Riverside Reading Room is a small view shed hosting plants that reflect New York’s fossil record from periods of climate change. Now that we are facing 420 ppm of CO2, will more radical forms of assisted plant transmigration be necessary? Reclaimed wood with lines from Hilda Reyes and ee cummings poetry grounded me this spring, so I burned them into the frame alongside Barry Lopez prose. It was part of Regrowth Riverside, an exhibition that is closing now but lives on in the imaginations of many of the folks we met in Riverside Park this summer! Thanks to Karin Bravin and Riverside Park in Manhattan and the community for sharing reflections, concerns, ideas, actions, plants, and music this summer. And Jason Chan, as well as Surf Point in Maine for the time and space to research and build.
Free Rivers: The State of Dam Removal in the U.S.
Removing dams has tremendous benefits for river health, public safety and climate resilience, according to “Free Rivers: The State of Dam Removal in the U.S.,” a report released today by American Rivers. American Rivers just released this report about dam removal in the United States in 2021
Climate Change: Artists Respond, Baruch College
In 2013 I bundled almost all of the objects in my possession into large icons that illustrated my consumption...
and also the collective project of the landfill
Displaying the objects bundled together iconified them, and told a story of global trade routes, destruction, use and useless objects. I used these bundles in performances, pulling them through New York City and across sites connected to international shipping and distribution in order to tell a story about interconnectedness, excess, access, and overreach. As people have been mailing me their objects for nine years, I've been continuing these rituals.
We launched Watershed Core in Prospect Park Brooklyn, the sculptural component of Public Water last week! Public Water shares histories of NYC’s drinking water, the enormous expenses and also the strengths of a system that almost 9 million people depend on everyday, what steps have been take to begin to be more equitable, and what we can do to help steward it.
Ecotopian Library has been my current research room, and has seen a few different iterations. Here, it's installed in a formal exhibition space at the Museum London in Ontario in 2021
Riverside Reading Room is a small viewshed hosting plants that reflect New York’s fossil record from periods of climate change. Now that we are facing 420 ppm of CO2, will more radical forms of assisted plant transmigration be necessary? Reclaimed wood with lines from Hilda Reyes and ee cummings poetry grounded me this spring, so I burned them into the frame alongside Barry Lopez prose. It was part of Regrowth Riverside, an exhibition that is closing now but lives on in the imaginations of many of the folks we met in Riverside Park this summer! Thanks to Karin Bravin and Riverside Park in Manhattan and the community for sharing reflections, concerns, ideas, actions, plants, and music this summer. And Jason Chan, as well as Surf Point in Maine for the time and space to research and build.
Day five of three weeks as an artist in residence at Surf Point Foundation in York, ME where I’m trying to make things fit into boxes, and at first didn’t realize how personal this work would become but now I’m emotional. York lost power and phone service this week due to a wind storm. Working alone couldn’t be more intense. Grateful for this time and place.
Early in 2020, I was invited to work at the Surf Point Foundation in York, ME. The time here changed my life and I couldn't be more grateful!
Day five of three weeks as an artist in residence at Surf Point Foundation in York, ME where I’m trying to make things fit into boxes, and at first didn’t realize how personal this work would become but now I’m emotional. York lost power and phone service this week due to a wind storm. Working alone couldn’t be more intense.
Most immediately, photography to me is a record of a moment that has been able to enter a physical realm; a construction, fiction, fabrication, or truth, it represents what was (seen or unseen). It's a memory of, and an elemental story. I need it as it is a lens with which I can create worlds. Upon closer examination, photography connects me to the complexities and contradictions of life largely removed from the supply chains that make it up: full of toxicities that I usually do not readily see but may feel the aftermath of, the health impacts of, and the connection it has to mapping, colonization, militarization, and security. The medium slides precariously in and out of ethical arguments for and against: it at once can illuminate social injustices while simultaneously exaggerating them. (-What Is Photography?)
I'm full time in Dumbo Brooklyn in a photography studio making new still lives.
In 2018 and 2019, Swale was my mobile, public studio. I mapped the energy grid, photographed still lives, made dyes and inks from plants, and met so many wonderful people from around the world. It took 23 hours of projector and computer use to trace the drawing onto the wall for a commission at the Ace Hotel in NY.
This drawing maps the complex and decentralized production system for New York City’s electrical energy inputs. These connections and circuitous routes are continually changing as world markets and political situations fluctuate. The drawing references the impermanence of a chalkboard to imply the energy economy’s fluctuations: based on markets, policy, and votes. This drawing just touches on the global supply chain of the physical equipment carrying energy in these systems. Iron Ore is mined worldwide, and other common minerals or rare earths are mined wherever it’s most affordable to mine at the time. Currently, minerals used in battery technology to retain excess in power systems are being extracted plentifully from Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Most of the energy that New Yorkers use comes from natural gas or petroleum. 1/3rd is obtained from nuclear sources, and about 20% is obtained from the 180 hydroelectric facilities in and around the state. Wind generates 2% of the city’s energy, while solar and renewables like biomass generate about 2%. Coal generates less than 1%. As I write this, New York City is setting new standards for buildings: by 2024, buildings will be required to meet emissions limits or face expensive fines.
New York State’s Clean Energy Standard was revised this year to require 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. The US Energy Information Administration claims 29% of New York’s in-state generation at both large- and small-scale facilities comes from renewable sources. Distilling and abstracting through mapping has been essential to the way many people see and make sense of impact in a complex, plural world.
Stormy Weather opened at Museum Arnhem in the Netherlands
What Happens After? opened at BRIC. Download the fold-out interview here
Robert Mann Gallery opening: Proud studio moment when the work makes its way to a public. People sent me these pictures after the opening. It meant a lot to me that new friends and old could celebrate this exhibition with me.
In 2018, I was invited to spend three weeks at the Rauschenberg Foundation and documented phosphate mining.
“River Lesson: Living in a port city whose very existence has been changed and shaped by the course of a river, I’ve learned to listen to the water’s lessons. Sitting at the water’s edge, I’m reminded of the thousands of tributaries that crisscross the U.S., making their way to this rolling mass of water now flowing through the heart of New Orleans and into the Gulf of Mexico. All these streams and rivers making their way back to the source, to the goal, to the collective vision of the sea. In building our movements, we learn this: we come from different places across the country and world, we face different obstacles, paths, twists, and turnsâ€”some of us reshaping the very rocks beneath us, some of us moving the rocks with our combined strength, and some of us going around them when they can’t be moved and finding another path to our desired goal. I’ve learned that those of us with the same dreams can find each other, and in finding each other, we can learn to move together, to build together, to shape the world together, to flow together, and maybe, just maybeâ€¦together we can reach the sea.”-Desiree Evans
There is no sovereignty without food sovereignty – John Mohawk, Six Nations Elder
1. A Violent Economic Order:
From the supply chain to the landfill, if our systems of production, trade, and consumption use the social and ecological space of others, it is a form of violence.
(Art and) A Nonviolent Economic Order:
Make all works of art without participating in economies of violence. Boycott companies that participate in slave labor, or militia-managed extraction. Build informal, cross-border supply chains within interdependent networks.
2. A Violent Political Order:
Since supplying social services interferes with the military industrial power structure, military spending in the U.S. will continue to dominate and define the political order, and the US will continue making war in perpetuity.
(Art and) A Nonviolent Political Order:
Imagine and realize the replacement of war economies and dominant strategies that oppress. Strengthen an understanding that a military approach fuels arms races, human rights abuses, and weakens economically hallowed-out States. Use social power to transform multinational governing bodies like the *U.N. to be fair.
3. A Violent Education:
The business of education and compartmentalized forms of learning best serves the people we work for, and those that they work for. With steady erosion of job security, it leaves us dependent while increasing their control.
(Art and) A Nonviolent Education:
Share underrepresented histories. Expand school curriculums and individual classes to include mutual education around nonviolence training towards active compassion. Flip the so-called script.
4. A violent ecological order:
As increased desertification, land degradation, and water privatization continue to fuel wars through droughts, famine, and resulting forced migration, investors trade in weather derivatives and reinsurance, profiting from ecological disasters.
(Art and) A Nonviolent Ecological Order:
Work towards worlds where humans serve as caretakers rather than private owners. Help to recognize the reciprocity of commons and indigenous rights to land stewardship, while protecting it from being sold off. Help to disempower the word "own."
5. A Violent Social Order:
Collective traumas are known to change our collective sense of what is possible.
(Art and) A Nonviolent Social Order:
Reset the dial by working together on utopian projects. Be a transgressor and an empathic lover. Remember that we have bigger battles to fight than those we may want to fight against each other.
6. Working Towards a Nonviolent Art.
How can we dedicate ourselves to living nonviolently, today? This is not an ambitious question, it's an essential one. In art and life, create flexible and inclusive schemes for living that encompass respect, non-hierarchy, nonviolence, and tolerance. Art making is powerful; and nonviolent art is a duty. 2015 (excerpt)
This Manifesto proclaims that art and utopian thought can cultivate systemic social change. Art can transform people's perceptions about value, and collective art forms can reframe predominant ideologies.