Poverty and Hunger - Minneapolis Goal #1
The visual aspect of this presentation was pleasing. The booklet was put together nicely and each group member seemed interested in their personal topics of discussion. I as interested to find out that the rate of poverty and hunger has been rising in the suburbs. I'm sure that people aren't just migrating, but that hunger and poverty in common now both to lower and middle class citizens. This epitomizes our economy at the moment, decreasing at an uncanny rate. Families that are paying off student loans or mortgage debt, or even gasoline prices are spending too much money and not making the increase due to our constant minimum wage and increasing taxes. Will poverty and hunger prevail?
I had hoped that this group would've spoken about the national food crisis, and our uses for corn as gasoline and what that could do to our own food supply. I was disappointed to hear that the impoverished people were merely addicts, gamblers, drug abusers. This isn't true. This is a slice of the pie chart, that in an ignorant world we go on believing that the man freezing on the corner was "probably a crack-head". We have such belief that our government will hold it's big net made out of 100 dollar bills and catch us if we fall short or go bankrupt because we belong to the middle class. This caste system doesn't work. Our government doesn't work that way. We are in an economic crisis right now!
Their solution reminds me of Dubai, however, I agree with the fact that it should be environmentally sustainable. Perhaps they should build a theme park on the roof to attract tourists?
This groups presentation was both informative and well put together. I enjoyed that they exemplified irrigation systems from the past and present with other cultures. Being that this topic was similar to my own group, I was interested in what we did not include in our presentation. I was interested in hearing Joseph's factual presentation of Sisters of Camelot, and how he is involved in a group that dumpster dives for fresh foods that are perfectly fine to eat, and drives his car using oil waste from restuarants. I have worked at a resturaunt in Minneapolis that sent all of their food waste to an organic pig farm. At the end of the night, we would take the fresh bread and distribute it to costumers in the resturaunt. I have also worked for catering companies, that discard 75% of the food prepared, and cannot give an ounce to shelters or recycling, or even a compost due to legality. THIS should be illegal! (see food crisis above).
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On my search for inspiration, I traveled through the recommended magazine and blog websites. The first visit was CYMK magazine. After staring at the homepage for 3 minutes, I was literally exhausted. Overwhelmed with advertisements, contests, free stuff, quizzes, subscriptions. I felt as if I was visiting Cosmopolitan magazine due to the extra crap surrounding the importance of the artists. Excess, and less access. The point of representing and introducing artist and fresh designers felt almost as if it were a facade or ploy to try to weedle them into their magazine, as if dangling a lovely piece of chocolate in front of a four year old. Win! Win! Win! It seems to scream. Be the best! I was immediatly taken from the joy of viewing these amazing designers to the thought of America. "The biggest, the best." Come on folks. Aren't designers supposed to be sophisticated, well-traveled (not exactly literally), well-educated professionals? I take it back, it isn't a Cosmopolitan magazine. It is a CosmoGirl! the "middle school" versian. . . the missing link to being a silly student to an adult. Escape.
Skipping to the next few websites. . .
I was quite impressed with Graphis Magazine. The use of negative space was aesthetically pleasing, and the design was sophisticated and creative as well. The right hand access bars were simple, but held more information once the curser was drawn across them. The images were beautiful, and the information was straightforward.
I was also quite impressed with Core 77's blog entry website. The information was well presented, and I found some of the blogs very interesting. Saul Robbin's blog about pyschotherapist's chairs from their patients perspective's was really cool. . .
In conclusion, my voyage became clear as I derived a cumulative of ideas from these websites to create my presentation. I am satisfied with simplicity and a professional degree, which are straightforward and to the point.
Each morning I wake up to the light peering in through the blinds of my bay window. The cat claws at my wooden door, making it tremble and I steadily ease myself from the pillow. I reach up gladly with two arms, not even amounting to one qaurter of the length of the ceiling. This exudes an unconcious awareness of body and space. The wood floor creaks as I make my way down to feed Pete. The house that I live in is a duplex, built in 1910 with a dollhouse-like quality. My landlord, Jeff, has upholstered the entire house himself, by hand. He has installed beautiful woodwork, including a fireplace and book shelves in the parlor room. He has managed to make each room different, but all connect in a similar way. Most of the rooms have 1930's vintage floral paper, colored teal, mahogony, and burnt yellow. My roommates room has padded light blue walls. The bathroom, in which I have dubbed the 'Mermaid' room, is bright turquoise with stained glassed flower windows, a van Gogh shower curtain, and a teal telephone hanging perfectly above the toilet.
Although the heating is high in the winter, and we've had speculation of spirits (that has been cleared, there are none), this house is not a house, but a home. I feel that it is my sanctuary, and that the work in design and construction has been respected so thoroughly that the phenomena has a tremendously classy atmosphere. The hand-made wood shelves, fire place, and floral upholstry create a classy vibe in the parlor room. During the cold winter evenings I feel I should be sipping bandy and smoking cigarettes until the wee hours of dawn. Perhaps this feeling comes from an evolutionary descent 70 years before I moved in. In the summer, light bursts through the enormous windows and the house gleams with energy. I feel that I take care of it better than Pete, at times. I love this house so much, letting it go will be very difficult. However, I have learned a few design techniques that I would like to borrow from Jeff. I feel that this house represents what I like, who I am, and I am proud of it. I am comfortable and inspired by my habitat.
This house is located on Cathedral Hill in Saint Paul, just down the street from F. Scott Fitzgerald's old building. This area is beautiful. I lived in Europe last year, and culture shock didn't seem as horrible when landing upon this neighborhood. It is quiet, well maintained, and well designed. I feel an eclectic presence in the air as I walk to my bus stop to head to campus.
I walk past a convenient store. Sqaure. Bland. Modern. I can recall being in Holland, and being told not to go to Rotterdam. "It's ugly." The woman told me. "Everything was built after the city was bombed, and everything looks like tinker toys compared to Amsterdam or Utrecht." I, being fascinated with the second world war, decided to go anyway. She was right. The tragedy is horrific, yes. Especially because it happened so fast, and architects and designers had to be fast thinking in order to create an environment for humans to live. Pathetically, this city reminded my of America. Fast. Bland. Cheap. More. More more more more more! Hurry! The people are getting bigger, so our buildings need to be bigger and built faster and uglier! Hurry!
The uniqueness of each building throughout Minneapolis is something that I do have to appreciate, compared to surrounding suburbs which are mostly chalk full of these mondane buildings. I must appreciate the beautiful downtown library, full of windows to absorb solar energy. I must appreciate the Wiesman Art Museum as I ride past it, showing a hint of reflection from the river off of its mirror paneling.
As I arrive to the Katherine G. Nash Gallery or Regis building, I enter rooms with massive windows and tall ceilings. The creative energy flows throughout the rooms, leaving me more at ease. The bright light quality fills my body with warmth and an unexplained caffine high, minus the coffee. My spatial sense is at a high, and therefore so am I.
I work best in this environment, with more mobility, as opposed to a dim, cosy space.
I have to agree that it is human nature for human's to domesticate the natural world. I also believe that we cn coencide with it, using and reusing materials and being "better" to our environment. We have, just like any other animal, have created a habitat to live in, and we lead ourselves into which we feel comfortable, safe, creative, powerful, cozy, warm, cool, etc. There are places in which I feel uncomfortable. Wal-mart. The MOA. Port-a-potties. Therefore, I avoid those territories, just as a cat avoids water. It's my nature.
Earlier this afternoon, I was reading about environmental artist quarters. These quarters are similar to any type of artist or musician's loft, but all are completely efficient in all aspects of the building. The go by the the Green Building guidelines, and create spaces for artists to work including wet and dry studios, kiln space, dance studios, practice spaces, and a small library area. I believe that being emersed in an area like this would be quite beneficial to any artist, and everyone in the building would have to be a keen advocate for environmental sustainability. I.E., strongly agree with minimal driving, wasting water, and food. Must maintain recycling and support organic businesses. Perhaps I have began to imagine a little.
I am a fledgling artist, and I am very opinionated about recycling. These opinions have turned me into a saver, and I have accumulated lots of junk, because I believe that everything can be re-used. Thus far, I have taken to a few small projects within the couple of months and recycling christmas wrapping paper, cardboard, and other simple media. I have combined this with some of the junk that i have found that cannot in any form be recycled. Some can be re-used, yes. I have taken these small pieces to create environmental situations, things, and places. I hope that my message runs a bit more clear in my photos.
I would love to keep expanding my ideas on recycling, re-using, and making more of an effort to support our environment as well as be active with my artwork.
I will be volunteering at Augsburg/Fairview inner city school system on Mondays, assisting and tutoring 11-12 graders in math. Last Monday was my first day. I sat through the lecture of parabolas and concavity, which lasted about a half hour, and then was there to help students afterward. Since school is out at 3, many of the students left and didn't stay for extra help. I was able to sit with one student, Muhamed, who was not there for the duration of class time, but is struggling very much in the class. I worked with him for about 15 minutes before he had to leave and catch his bus. Although I didn't feel like I drilled the information into him concrete, I spoke to the director afterwards, who told me that Muhamed was excited about doing some extra work. I am hoping that I can work with him each week in order to help him get a good grade on his final exam! I was happy to hear of this, because he explained to me that he hates math, and isn't very good at it. I remember tutoring 6th graders in math a few years ago, and how gruling it was for them because they didn't want to feel silly by asking questions and getting help. I think it is beneficial to have someone younger, someone other than the teacher to walk things through with them. They seem a little more comfortable that there won't be judgement and that there isn't a past history of me knowing grades or class attendance or class ability. I hope that more students will ask me for assistance in the future.
It was difficult seeing their learning environment, and how it differed greatly from my own experiences in high school. I think that the environment helps a lot, and when things are casual and improper, I feel there is an essence that isn't captured to complete the fact that it is a learning environment.
As we sit at our computers, in our cars, buses, class rooms, movie theaters, restaurants, and living rooms, the thought of nature can easily be erased from our surroundings and thought process in general. In the city, we are placed in what has been structured to perfection, which is a wonder of what the human brain and machinary, for that matter, is capable of. The buildings that we walk past each day have been uniquely structured by architects. The city is overwhelmed with a series of hard graphics and conjestion, pollution, and distraction, taking us away from the single tree or lonely set of flowers tucked away behind an overwhelmingly large marble sign. The flow of energy is cold and raw. There seems to be a deprivation of humanistic and organic qualities transfering a unique sense of originality and natural quality of life. The energy is still there, bouncing its frequencies off of one building to the next, sending emotions and frusteration awry. In a more natural setting, for instance a park, forest, preserve, or garden, there is a sense of peaceful energy, still kinetic, fueling from habitat to mammal and recycling itself in constant motion. Andy Goldsworthy captures this energy flow, holds it for a brief moment to manipulate it, and releases it in multiple directions. His art is beautifully justified in every sense of matter. He has worked on establishing a corolation between natural found objects and man made objects, transforming the lateral with a touch of organic beauty. At first glance, the projects are dissatisfying, until the rest of his artwork is revealed. For example, the outline of sheep's wool over the stone wall in the marshes of Scotland; the delicately placed dandelions surrounding a building, skimming the outer trim. The rock garden outside of a gray concrete building, creating substance and form. The combination of Goldsworthy's art with a concrete form establish a flow of energy that hasn't been seen or felt before, creating a flow that has been untangible, and shifts the human eye and mind on a track toward a good vibration. James Lovelock, an environmentalist, scientist, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has created a theory called the Gaia theory, stating his premonition (with scientific justification) of how our world will eventually crumble due to lack of giving back to the environment. In his theory, he states that everything has been put onto this earth for a transaction of energy and movement. For example, white daisies reflect light, cooling the planet. Lovelock states that we as human beings, aren't giving back to the environment creating our own ultimate annihilation. We have an overpowering sense of compsitory elements that are creating more waste and negativity which disrupts natural energy flow. Andy Goldsworthy is opposing this popular movement by secluding and restricting himself to taking what is beautiful and unseen, and elaborating it to create a stream of euphoria both to the planet and the human eye.