Sunday, October 17, 2010

Art Works

This TED talk by Natalie Jeremijenko is an excellent example of using art, specifically art that mimics the authority of preexisting institutions, to re-script cultural behaviors. Jeremijenko describes the environmental crisis as one of agency, and I will be adopting that language to describe what I hope the Urban Land Scouts can do: help create agency. I would like to see one of the Environmental Health Clinic's no-park installations in Knoxville-- perhaps on the newly reopened 100-block of Gay St. or at Turkey Creek? Maybe the KMA and Stanley's would like to sponsor one?


  1. Are the no-park installations all potted plants, or is the idea for them to grow into the pavement? In either case--what a great project for guerilla gardening!

    I completely agree with reclaiming agency; perhaps a more precise way of putting it is not a creation of agency (both in the case of ULS and Jeremijenko's project), but a reminder of agency. People are always doing things that announce a choice--they are, however, not always conscious of the choice (alienated) and the impact of actions. What I like about Urban Land Scouts is the intentional and gradual re-acquaintance with personal agency with respect to the environment and existence.

  2. I also wondered about how the noPARK plants were established. The image above is very clearly potted plants. It seems like you'd need some sort of substrate to keep the soil in place while the plants establish and in some cases (for example, larger plants) you need several inches of soil into which the plants can root. I wonder if they received permission to break up the asphalt? Not likely.

    Permaculture design has a plan in which curb cuts are used to funnel waste water into the median where it can perk through. Here's the only image I could find quickly:

    Thanks for your comments zemmely.