February 7, 2009

Michele Brody: Mike Droske

More shopping spots:

Ewing irrigation may have some inline drip irrigation tubing.
So may Lowe's.


For irrigation pumps, if Ewing doesn't work, Grainger may have more of a selection, and their staff can help us calculate what gph we may need.

Branch: 362
1408 W. Villa Maria Rd
Bryan, TX 77801
Phone: (979) 821-0100
Fax: (979) 821-0102
Branch Hours:
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Monday - Friday)

Michele Brody: Briana Morrison

Here is a map of nearby fabric shops, the Producer's Co-Op, and Home Depot:


Michele Brody : Chris Gassaway

some happenings...

the final site is the bridge connecting B/C and A buildings.  

the seed posts will be divided into three groups: high-tech, mid-tech, low-tech.
the idea is that each post will incorporate variations in ideas/materials/systems.  michele will post the different variations later.  

high-tech: four or five seed-posts on a closed system 

mid-tech: one seed-post that is a median between the high-tech and low-tech that is more applicable to the new york area

low-tech: one seed-post that has two goals, low cost and low maintenance. this seed post will focus on using found materials and also use a water-capture system to limit watering needs.

as of now i am focusing on the low-tech seed-post. 

Michele Brody: workshop contact list

You can find the contact list for this workshop on the VIZA 629 reference page.

February 6, 2009

Michele Brody-Saturday, Feb 7

I plan to be up on the 4th floor by 10 am on Saturday. I would love to meet with who ever is free to come by to discuss some of the technical issues for the seed posts, and to go out and decide on an outdoor installation site. Then I would like to take a pre-shopping trip in the afternoon after lunch to decide what we need to get started with and how it all fits into our budget.

Any near by fabric shops?

Also can anyone tell me how I can visit the Botanic garden?

thanks for all the swimming info, and tonight was fun downtown, the streets were not too full, but the restaurants were busy.

AiR Student Assignments: Michele Brody

Here's the list so far. Let me know in the comments if you need me to edit anything.

Chris G: Seed Post Fabrication
Barrett D: Seed Post Construction
Ricardo S: Seed Post Fabrication/Construction
Trent P: Seed Post Fabrication and Hydroponics/Irrigation
Michael D: Plant Materials and Hydroponics/Irrigation
Brianna M: Plant Materials for Seed Posts, Irrigation?
Michael W: Post construction and Hydroponics/Irrigation
Brad A: Water distribution/construction
Charum M: Seed Post Growing Medium
Kate S: Paper preservation
Cory A: Water Headdress
Kristina W: Water Headdress and Glass
Miguel C: Geothermal Staff and Headdress
Ting F:
Teresa M: Site Analysis - Search

Michele Brody: Mike Droske

Native grasses for New York:

Michele Brody: Ricardo Solar

Ok here are a few ideas in response to alternative materials to the lace.

First of all Michele suggested fiber glass or acrylic. I am not sure about the acrylic but I believe the fiber glass could deteriorate with the sun and may be difficult to cut patterns out of it. Moreover, I think it would be very difficult to make this material look nice as it would probably have to be painted.

In my opinion a material such as wood would be the most eco friendly and nice looking. Similar to how wine barrels are mad we could make a long barrel of wood. We could easily print the patterns out and transfer them to the wood to cut with a router.

Another idea I was thinking was using copper. Copper can be bought in thin sheets and I believe would acquire an interesting patina over time.

In regards to the felt used in Patrick Blanc’s projects I am almost sure it is part of his own patented invention. However I am wondering how hard it could be to make a substitute. According to Blank’s website all you need to grow plants is water, soil is only something for the roots to attach to and retain water.

Michele Brody: Miguel Zarate

Roy Staab

Roy Staab is an internationally known artist who has made a variety of sculptures throughout Europe, America and Japan.

Aftertide Meridian, August 14, 1998

From the Bauhaus base of art, the geometric sculptures of Roy F. Staab embrace the land as both inspiration and provider of natural materials. These environmental site sculptures are created to be in harmony with the earth and relate to the site by their shape and size. The kinds of materials used are indigenous to the region and come from the site itself. Mr. Staab has used grasses, reeds, weeds, saplings, rice straw, bamboo, and sea weed to construct his sculptures.


Refractive Pearls, 1998, Micox Bay, NY.

He projects the ephemeral of life in his work and prefers the forces of nature to enhance and dismantle it. Staab's sculptures are intended to heighten our awareness of the process of nature.

Tongued Mandala, June 1996, Tateyama, Japan..

Here is a clip of Roy Staab making “Skog Ring”, an environmental forest sculpture:


I have also found a clip from the movie “Under California” by Mexican filmmaker Carlos Bolado that shows an example of this style of environmental art, start watching at 0:54:



1. Youtube:



2. Journals.org:


3. Greenmuseum.org:


4. Bilhenrygallery.com:


- Miguel Zárate

Michele Brody: Bradley Angell

Alan Sonfist

Time Landscape of New York City (1965 - present)

Alan Sonfist was born in New York on March 26, 1946. He studied at the Art Students League in New York in 1963, then at Western Illinois University at Macomb, Illinois, from 1964 to 1967 and at the Pratt Institute in New York during the summers of 1965 and 1966. The artist received his MFA from Hunter College, New York, in 1969.

Earth Monument to New York (1979)
Described as "the ultimate purist of the Earthworks movement" and one of the early pioneers of eco-art, Alan Sonfist has dedicated much of his life to the restoration and celebration of native ecosystems throughout the world. Since the late 1960's he has worked with city parks, major museums, botanical gardens and art galleries to create large scale outdoor projects that recreate natural landscapes as well as indoor pieces which highlight displaced local ecosystems.

Time Landscape (2005)
Alan Sonfist (Official Website), http://www.alansonfist.com/, Last Viewed: February 6, 2009.
Alan Sonfist, http://www.greenmuseum.org/content/artist_index/artist_id-129.html, Last Viewed: February 6, 2009.
Exhibitions and Artists - Down the Garden Path: the Artist's Garden After Modernism, http://www.queensmuseum.org/exhibitions/downthegarden.htm, Lat Viewed: February 6, 2009.
International Paintings and Sculpture: Earth Monument to New York, http://nga.gov.au/International/Catalogue/Detail.cfm?ViewID=1&MnuID=2&GalID=1&SubViewID=5&IRN=15073&BioArtistIRN=11669&Print=True, Last Viewed: February 6, 2009.

Michele Brody: Bradley Angell

Andrea Polli

Recieving Art History degree from John Hopkins in 1989, and then an MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992, Andrea Polli now lives in New York City and acts as an Associate Professor Electronic Arts at the University of New Mexico as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media at Hunter College.

Andrea Polli’s electronic media works explore global systems and human experience. She often collaborates with atmospheric and climate scientists. Recent works include a series of sonifications of projected climate change in Central Park and real-time multi-channel sonifications and visualizations of Arctic weather changes and urban air quality.

In Heartbeat of the City, Polli has used the process of sonification to convey the projected increases in the number of days NYC experiences 90+ degree days in the summer due to global warming.

Heat and the Heartbeat of the City (2004)

Airlight Taipei is a system to translate Taipei EPA pollution data into sound in real time. The result is a rhythmic pulse that transforms throughout the day. A projected real-time image of a Taipei highway is also transformed by the sound of the air around it, and fades in and out of view like airlight.

Airlight Taipei

Andrea Polli (Official Website), http://www.andreapolli.com/, Last Visited: February 4, 2009.

SPWS Guest Lecture 10/19/08: Andrea Polli, Ground Truth, http://spweatherstation.net/?p=85, Last Visited: February 4, 2009.

Heat and the Heartbeat of the City, http://turbulence.org/Works/heat/, Last Visited: February 2, 2009.

Michele Brody: Bradley Angell

Agnes Denes

Denes says, "We must create a new language, consider a transitory state of new illusions and layers of validity, and accept the possibility that there may be no language to describe ultimate reality, beyond the language of visions." She is interested in the invisible becoming visible and has completed a series of extremely close-up photographs.

Pascal's Perfect Probability Pyramid and the People Paradox—The Pradicament (1980)

Denes was one of the first artists to be involved with the relationship of science to art, and was also a pioneer of ecological art. One of the first artists to initiate the environmental art movement, her work involves ecological, cultural and social issues, and is often monumental in scale.

Denes has written four books and holds a doctorate in fine arts (educated at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University in New York City). She lectures extensively at universities in the U.S. and abroad and participates in global conferences. Among her numerous awards are the Watson Transdisciplinary Art Award from Carnegie Mellon University (1999); the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (1998); the Eugene McDermott Achievement Award from M.LT. (1990); four National Endowment Fellowships and four NYSCA grants; and the DAAD Fellowship from Berlin.

Wheatfield—A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan (1982)

Agnes Denes, Projects for Public Spaces: October 16, 2003 - January 4, 2004, http://www.marquette.edu/haggerty/exhibitions/denes.html, Last Visited February 4, 2009.

Agnes Denes: Projects for Public Spaces: February 14 - May 2, 2004, http://tfaoi.com/aa/4aa/4aa292.htm, Last Visited: February 4, 2009.

Agnes Denes (1938 - ), http://www.askart.com/askart/d/agnes_denes/agnes_denes.aspx, Last visited: February 4, 2009.

Agnes Denes: Projects for Public Spaces, http://chelseaartmuseum.org/exhibits/2004/agnesdenes/gallery/AgnesDenes_images9.html, Last visited: February 4, 2009.

Michele Brody: Miguel Zarate


I checked again the possibility of using dry ice with a friend of mine who is a chemist and he adviced me to use dry ice to create water smoke. It will be safe as long as you manipulate it using gloves and not with your bare hands. Also the ice must be mixed water only using open containers, never seal them!

I believe that using dry ice is a solution for creating a light head dress and will be far cheapier than buy mechanical devices.

The materials we need would be:

-An open container that fits inside the head dress
-Dry ice (we can get it for 1 dollar a pound on this web page: http://www.adryice.com/index_files/page0005.htm

I have found a nice video on youtube of people using dry ice in an open cooler:




February 5, 2009

Michele Brody: Briana Morrison

I really like Trent's irrigation diagram. Circulating the water and utilizing gravity as much as possible is a good solution for keeping water moving through the system. Nutrients could be added at the reservoir, and it wouldn't be difficult to flush the pipes if there was a clog, etc.

A note about some of the grasses suggested by Home Depot: St. Augustine is a major water hog, and definitely not something sustainable. Because the holes in lace are rather small, has anyone given consideration to some Texas native vines?
  • Morning Glory (Convolvulus equitans) is a native with low water requirements and beautiful flowers. Propagated by seed, the tendrils could easily fit through the holes in lace and the vine would continue to grow along the outside. The flowers would be a great accent against the lace.
  • Clematis (Clematis drummondii) might another option. It often grows over man-made objects like fences, which lends some meaning to the idea of bringing nature where there was none before. Another native with low water requirements, it's very tolerant of heat and cold and can be propagated by seed.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin has a great website with a searchable, native plants database: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/. If we decide to look at other plants, that's one of the best places to start. Michele, you can find plants for New York there, too!

Dr. Novak in the HORT Dept. gave me a contact to ask about using greenhouse space to speed the germination of our seeds. I've e-mailed her and will hopefully hear back soon.

Some of the LAND kids help me out here, but I don't think there'd be too much problem with mold in the plants or medium? With the thin amount of medium and the exposure to air, the soil drying out might be more of an issue? Mold in the irrigation system could be a concern.

Michele Brody: Teresa Moran

While doing more artist research , I kept thinking about the following:

We are constantly surrounded by things. Certain things provoke certain feelings within us. Some, not so much. What begins to happen often is that we lose sensitivity. And we lose sensitivity because it becomes familiar. ‘It’ can be your surroundings, your home, things, etc. What you know and the things which you frequently experience become somewhat taken for granted.

The artist Anne Wilson brings ‘it’ to your attention. And she questions its importance. She makes you wonder what ‘it’ means to you. How did you perceive it for the first time? How did it affect you?

In an Inquiry About Hair she asks:
-What does it mean to cut your hair?
-How does it feel to cut your hair?
People responded:
Aime, USA
“If you're a white woman in the USA, your hair is a precious symbol of beauty. Males constantly tell me I ought to grow my hair out again because I was so beautiful before. My reply usually is that I am still beautiful and I will always be beautiful whether I have hair or not.
One year and 10 days ago I shaved my head. Everyone stared at me, as though I was a freak, or a goddess (it depends on your perspective I suppose). Shaving my head was a protest of the White American beauty standards that seep into the fragile minds of all who live in this country, regardless of age, race, class, sexual orientation, etc. I didn't want to keep reaching for the "all American dream" of beauty and agelessness. I wanted to shout "I am beautiful with a naked head!" and that the mold women are expected to fit can be disrupted, altered, chipped away at -- one hair at a time maybe.
I am a woman and I am beautiful always."

Anonymous, USA
Hair Then and Hair Now.....
"As a seventh grader in the late 60's my hair was beyond shoulder length, straight and naturally white-blond. I guess my parents were considered "progressive", because none of my friends were permitted to have hair that long and the stigma associated with it (Vietnam-era) was pretty strong. It also gave me a powerful sexual signal - adolescent male, long locks, coming of sexual maturity, etc. It didn't matter whether I was surfing, riding a bicycle or walking along with the wind blowing across my face and through my hair - the signal was the same - I'm counterculture, I'm attractive, I'm sexually capable, I'm fucking with androgyny (which in those days wasn't as diluted as it is now) and... I'm in your face. I never knew just what sort of signal I sent until I found it easy to attract girls (in actuality, the confidence it gave me and that which I projected probably played a greater role than the hair itself) and one time in a men's restroom in Hawaii near the Pearl Harbor Monument. Standing there, penis in hand (and pissing), this WWII veteran stepped up next to me at the urinal, looked at me and said "you long yellow haired puke, well I thought you were a girl!". Needless to say, it was a profound event for a 14 year old - - the male to male confrontational sexuality issue notwithstanding. I wore my hair like that through high school, and then cut it short right after graduation before a trip to Europe and college. I can still remember the day I got it cut...... watching the locks fall to the floor, feeling the cold air on the back of my neck. Hard to admit, but I felt less tall, less strong and noticed that those mannerisms and postures I had adopted because of my hair (flinging it back over my shoulders, running my fingers through it, even the way I walked, etc.) were lost. Feeling a little more self conscious than ever before, I experienced having to redevelop a kind of "attitude" that was enshrouded by my hair. Through this I also re-learned how to project an appearance, but maintain an inner persona that could be completely dissimilar.
I still have my high school graduation photo - I even used it in a lecture I gave about two years ago, just to surprise the audience that the clean cut physician they know now looked and acted "that" way in the past. So I guess I'm still using my hair - both in its past long length and present shorter version to the original psychological intent from years ago. I guess some things, unlike photos of one's hair, never change. "

This project she did really exited me because what she is doing is raising awareness of things. With the pageant, I believe the goal is the same.

Teresa Moran

Michele Brody: Miguel Zarate


I have been thinking about what to use for the natural energy elements for the head dresses, especially the ones for the spirit of fire, which can spout smoke to infer geo-thermal energy

Some answers:

1. At first I thought that the best solution would be to use dry ice, but I think it might could pose a risk to the person wearing the head dress –it’s quite unstable- . I don’t give completely up this idea yet, so if anyone knows of a certain safe way to use dry ice….

2. So, let’s go for FOG MACHINES. These are certain devices commonly used at parties, concerts which are reasonably affordable. The only problem is you get one small and light enough to put on someone’s head. Here are some economic examples:

a. This is the cheapest one I found in the internet: $24.99 plus shippping
Its dimensions are : 8.5"H x 6"W x 6"D Weight: 5 lbs, so I think it is too heavy, but maybe Michele could be interested in it.

b. I found another one which is amazingly tiny, light (650 grams) and has small dimensions
(L=244 x W=52 x H=54 mm), but it is too expensive, over $1000!

c. Too expensive? Let’s build our own tiny smoke machine! Here is a link for a guide:


Here is the model:


Miguel Zarate

Michele Brody : Trent Pruett

Water Circulation and Recycling:

I've been trying to come up with solutions for recycling our water and aerating it for the seed posts.  Dealing with efficiency and pricing is the tricky part.  I have been clicking around online to find some options for alternative energy. Once I found something that looked promising, I then realized it was a work in progress and isn't for consumer use yet.  So the best I could come up with was solar.  Although solar doesn't come without a hefty price, I was able to find a couple of solar pumps for our irrigation system that weren't terribly expensive:

Though they're not very powerful, purchasing a couple of them to give it the extra power it needs would probably be more efficient than buying one big expensive powerful one.  Click here for the site.

Now this can get pricy if we're going to have multiple seed posts, however I came up with a rough concept for an irrigation system that does not require multiple pumps for each post.  This is just a rough idea and it wouldn't be a big deal if it was thrown out the window or completely revised:

For a PDF, click here.
(better quality)

Aeration Solution:

The next task I tried to tackle was a cheap solution for aerating the water.  This was a little more difficult to research as most aerators are expensive, but I did find some cheap solar powered oxygenators that, according to the internet, aerate like an aerator.  Hope I'm not mistaken.  Click here to see details.
The post I just sent, which should be beneath this post, is information about the shops and cutting machines.  You don't have read any of it unless you plan on using any of the machines or shops. I tagged it under information if you ever need to get to it.

Shop and Cutting Machine Information

Architecture Ranch:
If you ever have a need to work at the Architecture Ranch, please read their policies.  Click here to view them.

If you have something that needs to be cut with the CNC router or the plasma cutter for VIZA 629, I would be more than happy to take your files(s) and have them cut for you so you don't have to go through the hassle of going through the safety training.

The CNC router is a machine that uses various sized drill bits to cut shapes and holes out of wood or plastic.  The pictures below show it working along with a couple of projects.
(I will be sure to provide larger pictures at another time)

The plasma cutter is a machine that cuts shapes and holes out of metal.  The pictures below show how it works. As you can see in the picture of the cut out star, there is about a 1/4" cut line that should be taken into account when designing, so you may not be able to get very fine detail.

The Woodshop:
The Woodshop in Langford bldg. B is also available, as long as you pass the safety training course (about 45 minutes), which is a lot less time consuming than the training that must be taken out at the Ranch.  However you do not have to go through the training to have something cut on the laser cutter in the woodshop office.

Laser Cutter Setup Instructions:
(These instructions assume you're using AutoCAD, but as long as you can export a file as a .dwg you can use whatever you want.  If you are using AutoCAD download this template to help you setup your file.)
Note: The table is 32"x 18" so that is the max size of material the laser cutter will cut.
*Make an outline with the same dimensions as your material
*Place what you want to cut/engrave inside the outline leaving at least a 1/4" margin on the edges
*Make your cut lines blue and your engrave lines yellow. (It would be wise to put them on separate layers too, though this is not necessary)
*Set the lineweight for everything to 0.00mm)
*Save your file as a .dwg file.

CNC Router and Plasma Cutter Setup Instructions:
Note: Both machines can cut a 4'x8' sheet of material
*You need to draw an exterior dimension the size of your stock material around your cutout shapes.
*Do NOT use splines anywhere in your drawing.
*All of the cutout shapes should be no less than 1 inch from all other shapes and the border.
*All enclosed shapes need to be a single polyline.
*The exterior material outline should be vertically facing (portrait) and the bottom left corner should be set to (0, 0).
*For the CNC router, the file should be saved as a 2007 .dwg file.
*For the plasma cutter, the file should be saved as a 2004 .dxf file.

Michele Brody : Charul Mehta

Information on seeds, mold and mildew.

I checked in Home depot and and asked them for native plants seeds that we could use.I spoke to the person who takes care of the garden section(Heather) and she suggested using
-Bermuda grass(which is the regular grass that is grown in lawns)
-St.Augustine grass
- Johnson grass(which grows about 5/6 feet tall.
- blue ribbon
I also asked about any method to prevent mold and mild dew on plants seeds and she suggested using a regular hand wash soap or 'insectocido soap'(from garden safe) that is available at Home depot. She also said that one way would be to water the seeds every other day and not everyday.

I went to the Horticulture garden on Tuesday and although there was nobody in the offices there, I spoke to a TA who was talking a class there. I asked him about the stuff that we needed and got the following inputs from him-
- to prevent mold, mildew he suggest using a fungicide(powder form) that is available in Walmart called 'captan'.
- one option he suggested was dipping the seed in hot wax and then immediately in chilled water in a way that the whole seed doesnt get covered with it. One more thing he said was dipping the seed in nail varnish. I dont do not know how effective these two options are but we need to check with a professional on it.

I also found this website which sells bulbs that are native to southern Texas. The owner of this company is an Aggie from the horticulture department. Maybe we could contact him to give us information.
Southern Bulbs specializes in rare and tough bulbs. Chris Wiesinger, the Bulb Hunter, (and team) are known for rescuing bulbs for the southern gardener. Many of these rare and heirloom bulbs are in very limited quantity. Southern Bulbs provides an extensive range of flower bulbs, heirloom bulbs and Texas bulbs to gardeners across the southern U.S. and other warm climates.

Charul Mehta.

February 4, 2009

Michele Brody: C. Arcak

As I was looking for solutions for the "Water" spirit I came across these solar powered fountain heads. Depending on size, if you want a battery back-up etc...some of the prices may be out of our range and the whole contraption may be a bit bulky for a head dress. That said, if we can rig the solar panel to the back of the wearer we can design a "bowl" head dress to hold the fountain, the water and recirculate the water for the spray effect. Keep in mind these are meant for small ponds and/or outdoor fountains that do not move, but I think it is a start. There will be considerations of weight for the wearer and the spilling of the water. If this is not the direction we want to go there is always the camelbak idea. With the "camelbak" the wearer will have control over when and where the water will emerge, but we will need to figure out how to reverse the flow.
This is one example of the fountain, pump, and solar panel...

The camelbak

We don't necessarily need to go out and purchase a camelbak, but we can work off the idea.

Tying this into what Mike was talking about with the re-circulation for the seed posts, the solar powered fountain heads with pump may be a consideration for the recirculation of water sans the fountain itself.

C. Arcak

Michele Brody

I really like what Mike has found so far, what I am beginning to imagine is that instead of packing in a loose soil mixture, what if we designed the posts as an inner structure of little shelves or stacked pots with openings at the bottom, to hold bunches of seeds or plants that can then be directed to grow out of the lace?

do you think we could invite the professor from the Horticulture department that you spoke to to the class, or set up a time for me to meet with him?

Can we order what ever seeds you think would work best for these and other of my types of applications ahead of time?

And has anyone found any native seeds for the Hudson River region of New York City?

see you soon.

Michele Brody : Charul Mehta

Other Artists

An important aspect of this artist's practice involves nurturing ethnobotanica, including native and heirloom plants maintained by “plant life-support systems”. Grow lights, plant misters, and other environmental controls are powered by sustainable,  renewable energy systems, such as solar and wind power duplicatenatural environments in artificial but essentially “green” habitats.

There's this project she's doing in Houston on the Bayou which could maybe help us.

Buffalo Bayou project,Houston.

Garden for the Third Coast: Buffalo Bayou Plants Project is the first phase of a larger scheme to reintroduce and repopulate Houston's Buffalo Bayou with (once-plentiful) native plants. An ecosystem specific art project, the Bayou Plants Project showcases ecologically significant plants, grown organically from seed by the artist, which are indigenous to the city’s bayous. . The project offered first-hand visual and sensory experiences of the bayou’s intriguing plant life and the extraordinary natural environments they help build and sustain. 

The website shows plants like Pitcher Plant, Spotted Beebalm, Yellow Cowlily, Fragrant waterlily, Rattlesnake Master, and Turk's cap as plants which I believe are native to Houston.

Charul Mehta.

February 3, 2009

Michele Brody: Mike Droske

Hi Michele- I'm looking forward to working with you in a few days!

I was just following up on Ricardo's post on vertical plant walls.

I've just gotten in touch with Matt Kent, a professor in the Hort department who's a hydroponics expert. He forwarded me this schematic for one we could possibly make from items we could get here:


I don't know how much time we have to experiment with the basic seed post design, but we could probably accommodate larger plants and maybe a larger-scale lace pattern if we used an array of plastic holders (plastic electrical enclosures at home depot? Cheap plastic pots? Scavenged plastic plant trays? maybe something even simpler and cheaper...any ideas?) radiating from the post.

We could also experiment with inter-post options (arches, plants spilling down the posts to ground level, etc.) by using some kind of plastic scaffold.

Michele, I see from your plans that the water doesn't recirculate in your system and relies on daily manual draining. If we could automate it more, it could be a more sustainable system.

Matt also talked with me about a lot of options as far as nutrient solutions and hydroponic systems are concerned.
http://hydro-gardens.com/10822.htm is a supplier of premixed fertilizer solutions, sold in boxes of 2 25lb bags. (free shipping).

Seeds could possibly be held against the felt layer of the post with germination paper. This is available at seedpaper.com, in stock at 30"x40", or in custom sizes. We could wrap the posts with these to hold the seeds in place until they germinate. Or we could experiment with paper towels.

Matt also informed me that perlite breaks down and eventually becomes an algae-ridden mess. He said that pumice would be a better long term solution.

The hydroponic reservoirs must be light-tight, or else algae will take over the water. As Michael mentioned in his post on hydroponics, the water must be aerated somehow. An aquarium air stone and pump are cheap, easy solutions, but the air stone's lifetime is short. If we're aiming at more permanent installations, we need to find another solution.

One final subject and then I'll stop: here are two great seed sources for native TX seed:

If we order soon, we can use them for this project.

Notes From Michele Brody

Hi There,

Just wanted to post a little note to let you know that I have been following your blog, and am really excited to come down and work with you. One thing I noticed was your interest in the upcoming Pageant I will be working on, so I thought I would send some images of the pieces that I have designed already, but need some technical help in constructing some of the natural energy elements for the head dresses and staffs such as a solar panel, wind and water turbines, and most of all some kind of contraption that can spout smoke to infer geo-thermal energy.

I am looking forward to hearing and sharing your ideas to see how we can pack in as much research and production into my week with you. I am bringing down some of the lace that I have used already as a working sample as well. I am also looking forward to being in a warmer climate for a little bit as it is snowing here right now.

February 2, 2009

Michele Brody: Katie Smither

Other environmental artists:

Jackie Brookner
The majority of her work seems to be progressive, trying to inspire action and awareness about the environment and its well being rather than just using it as a medium.  Her 'biosculptures' incorporate natural life processes (such as aerating ponds or providing an environment for plant growth) and often include molded sculptures of human hands, feet, sometimes tongues.  Some of the sculptures that work to eradicate previous pollution or damage remind me of Mel Chin's pieces (Revival Field specifically).  Unlike artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Brookner uses industrial materials such as concrete, etc. to make the pieces which then have positive impact.  My favorite was Of Earth and Cotton.

Roy Staab
Uses strictly organic/found on site type materials.  More like Goldsworthy (I kind of compare everyone to him, he's my favorite earth artist...so far) in that he is using the natural materials to create an image or experience in space, on earth, or on water, rather than creating an environmental impact...he's making with the environment.  Staab makes drawing/graphic pieces on water and earth that present an image to be observed.  His work in the air, which I think I like most, surrounds the viewer and creates not only something to be seen but interacted with and affected by.  

I emailed Michele Brody and am waiting to hear back on a more specific direction for the garments.  To recap, they could be interpreted in many different ways (mythologically, religiously/spiritually, scientifically, environmentally, effectively, etc.) and then there is the elusive issue of representing an element/invisible idea in cloth.  And not only cloth, but a garment for covering the body.

Still hoping to find some more info on how to deal with seed post and the conversations of felt, irrigation, materials, etc.  See ya'll soon,

Katie Smither