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From cobbled back streets and scrap metal yards, to quiet back streets and flower strewn homes

Yesterday (9/15) and today were quite a whirlwind. If you remember, I said on Thursday that I was pretty knackered, well the business continues and I am really kooky tired this evening which means I may ramble worse in this post than I did at the Conflux Festival Panel.

I started Friday morning with a flat tire on my bike, but did make it out to 58th Street in Sunset Park industrial area to draw the chalk line in front of semi trucks, down cobbled streets and past abandoned industrial sites. I really enjoyed walking around the industrial area - with the tall hulking buildings, the sound of the machinery echoing from inside. There is even a building that is creating some sticky sweet smelling product. Friday evening I attended the preview of Susannah Sayler’s striking photographs of our environment in transition. She photographs the effects of climate change as well as the solutions. I am a big fan of adding the solutions into the project. Her images are the catalyst for the Canary Project.

This morning was an early start. I had to finish getting the images together for the panel and get out to do some chalking before heading to the Festival. I drew the line around the Gowanus Canal and had the sheer joy of walking around the area bounded by Sackett, Union, Bond and Nevins. The area has still an old charm to it sprinkled with beautiful old buildings that seem to have been carefully cared for. The Canal itself is certainly still smelly and dirty looking (there’s still a lot of industry around it) but there is a lot of wildlife thriving there as well.

The line cuts through a lot of industrial and quite toxic areas - including a massive scrap yard. It also cuts right through the Whole Foodssite (also a toxic clean up site), so I hope they are considering flood planning, especially if they really are going to put in a huge amount of parking spaces instead of a porous green space with lots of bike parking. (Is my bias showing?)

In the early afternoon I biked (in quite strong wind) over to the Conflux Festival to join a panel put together by Eyebeam regarding their Eco-visualization Challenge. I was really honored to be asked to be a part of the panel and had put together some great things to talk about in relation to the challenge and public intervention projects: simple graphic statement, soundbite scientific information, action oriented, the power of community building etc. etc. I was pretty tired and spoke after Amanda McDonald Crowley, Tiffany Holmes, Michael Mandiberg and Brooke Singer, all who do amazing things and had really great presentations, so my talk was a little distracted and rambling. I promise to have myself better put together for the Conference on Social Theory Politics and the Arts (I do much better with Q&A!), it is October 11-13.

So now I am back home blogging about it all and hopefully resting up for a great day in Red Hook tomorrow - if you can, come out and have a taco and a walk around!

I also should mention that I have been speaking with my friend Nathan about the closing party (he’s hosting it at the Old American Can Factory) and he has had some great ideas to make it more of an event - so definitely put the date on your calendar: October 7!

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