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Back to Nature 2.0
Still Water projects at Colgate, Cambridge Universities connect Permaculture and indigenous culture
LongGreenHouse

Last fall Permaculture students at Still Water's LongGreenHouse erected a greenhouse, coldframe, and swaled gardens. This term faculty and students are working with Native elders to explore the role ceremony plays in connecting people to the land. The results will be showcased in exhibitions and conferences at Colgate and Cambridge Universities that look at how indigenous hands can twist digital tools.

LongGreenHouseThe Still Water projects on view at these venues explore the connection between sustainable design and indigenous cultures. New Media assistant professor Joline Blais will present online and earth-based works developed with Still Water Research Fellows gkisedtanamoogk and Miigam'agan, elders from the Wampanoag and Mi'kmaq Nations respectively.

LongGreenHouseRFC (Request for Ceremony) is a call for individuals to re-connect to the land around them by inventing ceremonies to accompany moments from their daily lives. In a deliberate echo of the "Requests for Comments" that generated the protocols now governing today's Internet, RFC takes the form of an online community repository. In keeping with the project's focus on the earthly rather than the ethereal, Still Water's repository includes categories such as Home and Healing rather than Telnet and TCP.

Contributions to RFC to date include a ceremony devised by gradeschool kids for healing pruned trees, a birthday walk conducted by a Montessori teacher, and a tattoo ritual by a college student intent on warding off stereotypical body images. To expose relationships among these diverse ceremonies, RFC deploys a tag cloud based on ThoughtMesh, the software developed by Still Water co-director Jon Ippolito and USC Vectors Fellow Craig Dietrich.

LongGreenHouseRFC is a featured work in the exhibition Nature Version 2.0: Ecological Modernities and Digital Environmentalism at Colgate University from January 21 to February 16, 2008. This survey of artists who reinvent environmentalism for a digital age includes a two-day Environmental Art and New Media Technologies symposium on February 8.

LongGreenHouseRFC will also be a featured project at the conference Subversion, Conversion, Development: Public Interests in ICT at Cambridge University from 24-26 April 2008. Subversion, Conversion, Development explores why designers and developers of new technologies should be interested in producing objects that users can modify, redeploy or redevelop.

LongGreenHouseRFC is produced as part of Still Water's LongGreenHouse initiative, devoted to fostering ties between sustainable and indigenous cultures. Located on the edge of campus at 5 Chapel Street, LongGreenHouse is a  living/learning center based on the Wabanaki Longhouse model and permaculture design principles, and features a multi-age school, college student interns, and a team of hands-on advisors.

LongGreenHouseUnder the direction of Still Water Research Fellows Charles and Julia Yelton, U-Me students at LongGreenHouse worked this past fall with other community members to build a 24-foot four-season greenhouse, a ten-foot coldframe, 150 running feet of swaled gardens, and plans for a stream revitalization project in partnership with University Office of Stormwater Management.

LongGreenHouseFor more information, please contact Joline Blais via First Class.

Still Water is a research arm of U-Me's New Media Department devoted to studying and nurturing networked creativity.

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ABOVE: LongGreenHouse environs and participants, including gkisedtanamoogk, Joline Blais, Julia Yelton, Emily Markides, Debby Bell-Smith, and Charles Yelton.
 


Updated: 2008-02-12 by Jon Ippolito
Posted 2008-02-05 22:44:06 by Jon Ippolito
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