ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS) + VIRGINIA RIVER HEALERS (VRH)
6.6.16 - 6.28.16
On May 6 2016 through May 28 2016 SEDIMENT presents Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) + Virginia River Healers (VRH), an exhibition of the work of the two artist collectives from across the country. Issues of public land management in the west alongside private corporate PR tactics in the east form the foundations by which each collective has initiated projects to amplify awareness of what goes on out there. (Is there really an out there ?) Through imaginative and performative tactics generated by each group, the exhibition explores the potential for artists to be powerful cultural agents in interpreting the systems that shape our world, and the values that people hold for the future of our planet.
An Environmental Impact Statement is required documentation that the government must collect to show potential impact on the environment before development occurs. This process has been increasingly dismantled by industry and removed from public involvement.
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is an artist collective based in Portland, OR that derives its name from this required documentation. EIS seeks to redefine the form, scope and potential impact of an environmental impact statement through artist research and response. EIS has created spaces for expression and conversation around ecological, social and political issues central to public land management on Mt. Hood. The project also questions the role of the artist in the debate of managing public lands.
Given the current state of deregulation in the state of Virginia, and the absence of sufficient Environmental Protection Agency testing it is up to citizens to determine corporate misconduct. Virginia River Healers is a civil disobedient environmental group based in Richmond, VA. The Healers use science, prayer, and group tactics to help equip local communities and Virginia citizens with the knowledge, instruments, and professional support to monitor local waterways and industrial wastelands.
A lecture series and catalog will accompany the exhibition.
Opening reception on May 6th from 6-9pm.
Organized by Kim Zitzow with Lisa Schonberg (EIS) and Tom Burkett (VRH)
Lisa Schonberg + Anthony Brisson
Virginia Marting + Tim Brock
“The best kind of art serves as an unexpected disruption, a proactive agent, a conduit of cultural transformation. Seen through the eyes of an artist, the activity of a canvasser becomes a rich generative form. Patterns begin to emerge: rhythms, poetry, stories, shapes, artifacts. Suddenly, canvass turf becomes a “canvas” on which new possibilities might be explored or even realized. “
- From Art of the Canvass by Gary Wiseman
The symposium includes presentations by artists, activists and scholars who are investigating capital’s production of nature; methods and strategies of collective groups, materials and militias championing creative and community-based solutions to fight environmental injustice; and a federal science organization that is acting as a cultural funding body.
Molly Fair will present on behalf of the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative about their collaborations working with organizers on the frontlines of the climate and environmental justice movements. She will present on past and recent projects including Justseeds and Culture/Strike's most recent collaborative print portfolio, We Are The Storm, a collection of graphics calling attention to powerful work of grassroots groups that are championing creative and community-based solutions to combat climate change, and resisting industrial fossil fuel projects, such as the Tar Sands projects, the Keystone pipeline, fracking operations, destructive mining practices, and the transporting and burning of toxic fuels. The featured artworks bring voices from communities most impacted by global warming and destructive environmental practices to the forefront of the climate change discussion.
"With members working from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Justseeds operates both as a unified collaboration of like-minded artists and as a loose collection of creative individuals with unique viewpoints and working methods. We believe in the transformative power of personal expression in concert with collective action. To this end, we produce collective portfolios, contribute graphics to grassroots struggles for justice, work collaboratively both in- and outside the co-op, build large sculptural installations in galleries, and wheatpaste on the streets—all while offering each other daily support as allies and friends."
Molly Fair is an librarian, organizer and multi-disciplinary artist. Her work with Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative has been exhibited internationally, everywhere from activist centers to museums. Her work has been published in Firebrands: Portraits From the Americas (Microcosm, 2010), Celebrate People’s History: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution (Feminist Press, 2011), and World War III Illustrated.
Gary Wiseman will discuss his experience as an artist who has worked embedded in various environmental organizations. He will be joined by Emily Bosanquet from Portland, OR via Skype to discuss her role as the founder of the Art + Science Initiative at Pacific Northwest College of Art as well as her involvement as Principal Investigator for the National Oceanic and Fisheries Association (NOAA) - a federal science organization commissioning works of art from PNCA students - a federal science organization that is acting as a cultural funding body. Why are they doing this?
Gary Wiseman is an expanded practitioner who investigates the areas in which art intersects with other things. Wiseman is currently investigating transgenerational traumatic transfer, circularity, complex systems, patterns, and change.
Wiseman has performed and exhibited at Flux Factory (NYC), The 2007 PICA TBA festival, The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Gallery, Milepost 5, Reed College Arts Week, Gallery Homeland, Appendix Project Space, Open Engagement, PNCA, Nuit Blanche (Canada), The Housatonic Museum of Art (CT), and the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Wiseman co-founded Place Gallery with Gabe Flores in 2010. Place was located on the third floor of a vacant urban mall in downtown Portland, OR. In 2005 Wiseman co-founded and directed the art collective Kitchen Sink PDX with Alicia Eggert. Wiseman has held residencies at Milepost 5, Flux Factory, Signal Fire, Bark: Defenders of the Mount Hood National Forest, and Columbia Riverkeeper. He has received awards from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Gallery Homeland, PICA, Open Engagement, the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Gallery, Signal Fire, Vancouver School of the Arts and Academics, and the Lemelson Foundation.
Emily Bosanquet is an interdisciplinary scientist, integrating economics, law and public policy into the field of environmental science. Bosanquet has worked for Greenpeace, the Environmental Protection Agency as an independent researcher, and in community-supported natural resource management with non-profit groups in Southeast Asia. She has also worked as a geologist for the Geological Survey of Western Australia and for the Chilean National Copper Company in South America.
Thesis work includes creating mitigation strategies for the Casmalia Wetland, commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as a six-week fieldwork project mapping the geology of the Lennard River Gorge, Northwest Australia. Awards include the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation International Affairs Internship and the Bren Academic Fellowship. Bosanquet is also a contributing author of the Participatory Rural Appraisal for Community Forest Management Tools and Techniques, Asia Forest Network, and a contributing geologist on three map publications, GSWA.
Bosanquet teaches a variety of undergraduate science classes and also critical pedagogy in the MFA Print Media department. She is the PNCA representative to the Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability for AICAD and is Principal Investigator for a five-year grant with NOAA Fisheries and founder of the Art + Science Initiative at PNCA.
Jesse Goldstein will discuss the The Rare Earth Catalog, and what it means to “reckon with the anthropocene.” The Rare Earth Catalog presents shortinvestigations of capital’s unfortunate production of nature – from extraction, enclosure, and pollution to solar panels, science fiction and climate denial. It also surveys some of the methods and strategies that groups are using to fight environmental injustice in this new era of accelerating climate disaster. Discussion to follow.
Jesse Goldstein is an assistant professor of sociology at VCU. His research looks critically and theoretically at aspects of the green economy, from biomimicry and human-nature relations, to the techno-fetish of mainstream environmentalism. He has recently collaborated on the publication of the Rare Earth Catalog: Tools For Reckoning with the Anthropocene, and is currently working on a book titled Planetary Improvement: Cleantech and the New Green Spirit of Capitalism. He is a former member of the artist studio and collective Space 1026 (Philadelphia, PA), and still makes art, occasionally.
Tom Burkett will present on behalf of the Healers on role of collective materials and collective militias in a capitalist state of energy monopolies and environmental precariousness.
The Virginia River Healers are a community born militia that incite targeted civil disobedience and entertain an alternative to laissez faire environmentalism. The VRH responds to regional environmental disasters by gathering and testing water and substrate samples from oil spills, train derailments, and toxic discharges. Collective materials are gathered in circumstances where citizens contemplate the safety of their drinking water and the placement of their communities. Virginia is a densely tangled and loosely regulated network of railroads, waterways, and coal ash landfills. The VRH presents the breakdown of policy that regulates this network and provides public access to the toxic materials that dispossess individuals and disenfranchise communities.
In 2013 and 2014 The VRH produced public coal ash analyses by obtaining sample material directly from Dominion Power’s property. The VRH has presented speeches to the Environmental Protection Agency during hearings on The Clean Power Plan and presented data and speeches to The Virginia Department of Energy Quality during hearings on the state's implementation of The Clean Power Plan.
WILDCRAFTED CHARCOAL INK MAKING WORKSHOP
A hands-on charcoal ink production workshop with Gary Wiseman, an artist in the EIS + VRH exhibition at SEDIMENT. Come learn Wiseman's techniques. Make a batch of ink. Make a drawing. Take home the ink we make together. Discover new applications and develop your own techniques.
During his time as the inaugural Signal Fire Tinderbox Artist in Residence, Gary Wiseman developed a unique technique of collecting, refining, preparing, and using a wildcrafted charcoal ink/paint hybrid. Wiseman initially used his ink to paint maps of the specific burned areas from which he collected the raw charcoal.
to be released in fall/winter 2016