Landscape Archive

  • Pristine beauty, danger, and wild risk make Whitewater River Rafting on the Middle Fork of the American River a must-face-death for paddlers. Despite a healthy Sierra Nevada snowpack, this free-flowing river stretch brings up questions of  water sustainability and the zombie Auburn Dam proposal, among others. Why is dam removal an important movement? And what about the folly of plans to build 3,700 new not-so-clean hydroelectric dams across the world?

    On Wild Rivers, Hydroelectric Dams, and Whitewater Rafting the American

    Pristine beauty, danger, and wild risk make Whitewater River Rafting on the Middle Fork of the American River a must-face-death for paddlers. Despite a healthy Sierra Nevada snowpack, this free-flowing river stretch brings up questions of water sustainability and the zombie Auburn Dam proposal, among others. Why is dam removal an important movement? And what about the folly of plans to build 3,700 new not-so-clean hydroelectric dams across the world?

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  • Field Guides to the Wild intrigue Naomi Pitcairn, sharing her adventures in scientific documentation of the wonders of nature, in this case the botanical wealth of the American Tropics.

    Field Guide to Adventures in Tropical Botany

    Field Guides to the Wild intrigue Naomi Pitcairn, sharing her adventures in scientific documentation of the wonders of nature, in this case the botanical wealth of the American Tropics.

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  • The film 'Corazón Vaquero: The Heart of the Cowboy', documents the rural "Californios," raising livestock in the way of their Spanish ancestors in the Southern Baja California mountains. Facing tourism development, road building, and cultural changes, the isolated ranchos still persist with their self-sustaining subsistence-based way of life.

    Corazón Vaquero: Last of the Californio Cowboys of Baja California

    The film 'Corazón Vaquero: The Heart of the Cowboy', documents the rural "Californios," raising livestock in the way of their Spanish ancestors in the Southern Baja California mountains. Facing tourism development, road building, and cultural changes, the isolated ranchos still persist with their self-sustaining subsistence-based way of life.

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  • From a failed attempt to peddle influence to save an upside-down real estate venture, to a spectacularly autocratic design, Zaha Hadid's 666 Fifth Avenue captures the Trumpian moment, in all it's bejeweled phallic grandeur that the Bible's Revelations warned us about.

    A Marked Beast: Trump’s Son-In-Law’s 666 Fifth Avenue

    From a failed attempt to peddle influence to save an upside-down real estate venture, to a spectacularly autocratic design, Zaha Hadid's 666 Fifth Avenue captures the Trumpian moment, in all it's bejeweled phallic grandeur that the Bible's Revelations warned us about.

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  • Surrounded by volcanoes, coffee plantations, and picturesque villages, the once-ruined former colonial capital, Antigua Guatemala, remains the most charming city in the Republic, a vibrant and somewhat overly commodified mix of Ladino-Spanish, Kaqchikel-Maya, and multinational Gringo cultures coming together.

    Volcanoes Loom Over Vibrant Colors of Antigua Guatemala

    Surrounded by volcanoes, coffee plantations, and picturesque villages, the once-ruined former colonial capital, Antigua Guatemala, remains the most charming city in the Republic, a vibrant and somewhat overly commodified mix of Ladino-Spanish, Kaqchikel-Maya, and multinational Gringo cultures coming together.

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  • At one time billed as the Moon Goddess and Andy Warhol It-Girl, singer Nico's dark, avant-garde music and deep, hypnotic voice were first heard in the Velvet Underground. She continued to work sporadically as a solo artist after leaving the Velvets, though a longtime heroin addiction and methadone dependency sidetracked her career. Check out the documentary on her life, Nico:Icon.

    Nico, Warhol Muse, from the Dark Side of the Street

    At one time billed as the Moon Goddess and Andy Warhol It-Girl, singer Nico's dark, avant-garde music and deep, hypnotic voice were first heard in the Velvet Underground. She continued to work sporadically as a solo artist after leaving the Velvets, though a longtime heroin addiction and methadone dependency sidetracked her career. Check out the documentary on her life, Nico:Icon.

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  • Morro Bay, the bounty of sea, dune, bay, and estuary ebb and flow against the sacred Nine Volcanic Sisters, the rocky Morros. Small town charm coexists with protected parkland and one of the few remaining functioning wetland estuaries in overpopulated California, a direct counterpoint to its channelized and endlessly pumped and polluted waterways. The landscape invites migrating birds and tourists, fosters endangered plants and animals, and allows fish populations to thrive.

    Morro Bay Estuary and Its Nine Volcanic Sisters

    Morro Bay, the bounty of sea, dune, bay, and estuary ebb and flow against the sacred Nine Volcanic Sisters, the rocky Morros. Small town charm coexists with protected parkland and one of the few remaining functioning wetland estuaries in overpopulated California, a direct counterpoint to its channelized and endlessly pumped and polluted waterways. The landscape invites migrating birds and tourists, fosters endangered plants and animals, and allows fish populations to thrive.

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  • In San Francisco, the Mission District has celebrated Day of the Dead every year in since the early 70’s with altars in Garfield Park, serving as a community graveyard for the night and through art, music, other live performances and a walking procession. With the neighborhood in transition from rapid gentrification, will this vibrant culture rite continue? Yes, for now... Photos by Jack Eidt from 2015.

    Is Day of the Dead Culture in SF’s Mission Endangered?

    In San Francisco, the Mission District has celebrated Day of the Dead every year in since the early 70’s with altars in Garfield Park, serving as a community graveyard for the night and through art, music, other live performances and a walking procession. With the neighborhood in transition from rapid gentrification, will this vibrant culture rite continue? Yes, for now... Photos by Jack Eidt from 2015.

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  • Can re-purposed shipping containers become the next inexpensive, quick to construct, green building solution for affordable housing? Danish "starchitect" Bjarke Ingels, as well as a recent Orange County, California, project, assert yes to all of the above, but there are limitations.

    Shipping Containers as Sustainable, Affordable Housing?

    Can re-purposed shipping containers become the next inexpensive, quick to construct, green building solution for affordable housing? Danish "starchitect" Bjarke Ingels, as well as a recent Orange County, California, project, assert yes to all of the above, but there are limitations.

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  • Salvador Dalí and filmmaker José Montes-Baquer, in honor of underappreciated Surrealist Poet Raymond Roussel, shot a fake documentary of an non-expedition to Mongolia in search of gigantic mythic hallucinogenic mushrooms.

    Art of Collective Madness in Salvador Dalí’s ‘Impressions’

    Salvador Dalí and filmmaker José Montes-Baquer, in honor of underappreciated Surrealist Poet Raymond Roussel, shot a fake documentary of an non-expedition to Mongolia in search of gigantic mythic hallucinogenic mushrooms.

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  • Psychonaut ethnobotanist Terence McKenna captures the journey along a ghostly trail into the Colombian Amazon Forest, the descent of the Rio Putumayo, and his stumbling upon the "starborn magic mushroom," activated by psilocybin. Watch Peter Bergmann's experimental documentary.

    The Devil’s Paradise of Terence McKenna’s ‘True Hallucinations’

    Psychonaut ethnobotanist Terence McKenna captures the journey along a ghostly trail into the Colombian Amazon Forest, the descent of the Rio Putumayo, and his stumbling upon the "starborn magic mushroom," activated by psilocybin. Watch Peter Bergmann's experimental documentary.

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  • Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians and policy makers. A 2012 documentary unveiled the many witting and unwitting villains, including urban poverty, public policy enforced racial segregation, and urban disinvestment in favor of the White Suburban Dream.

    Pruitt Igoe Myth: The Death of 20th Century US City

    Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians and policy makers. A 2012 documentary unveiled the many witting and unwitting villains, including urban poverty, public policy enforced racial segregation, and urban disinvestment in favor of the White Suburban Dream.

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  • Welcome to the Anthropocene age, where humans have transmogrified the planet, its oceans and atmosphere, caused mass extinctions and wholesale contamination that will remain for millennia. Beyond the politicians and scientists, the way forward remains in the hands of writers, artists, and designers taking inspiration from wild earth in a movement called Geo-Fauvism.

    Geo-Fauvism and Anthropocene: Altered Planet, Wild Literature

    Welcome to the Anthropocene age, where humans have transmogrified the planet, its oceans and atmosphere, caused mass extinctions and wholesale contamination that will remain for millennia. Beyond the politicians and scientists, the way forward remains in the hands of writers, artists, and designers taking inspiration from wild earth in a movement called Geo-Fauvism.

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  • On a recent visit with the Outdoor Writers Association of California to the Sierra Nevada town of Auburn, the dark and light of the gold rush history sparkles its brick-faced brilliance in a stroll through Old Town.

    Old Town Auburn, Portrait of a Gold Rush Town

    On a recent visit with the Outdoor Writers Association of California to the Sierra Nevada town of Auburn, the dark and light of the gold rush history sparkles its brick-faced brilliance in a stroll through Old Town.

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  • Sound, video, and fury presented on the passing of Richard Lyons, also known as Pastor Dick, co-founder of culture-jamming avant garde music collective Negativland, the third member to die in the last year.

    Appropriating the Media Barrage with Negativland

    Sound, video, and fury presented on the passing of Richard Lyons, also known as Pastor Dick, co-founder of culture-jamming avant garde music collective Negativland, the third member to die in the last year.

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  • Ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called "Embrace of the Serpent." In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.

    “Embrace of the Serpent” Film: Journey of Healing and Ethnobotany

    Ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called "Embrace of the Serpent." In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.

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  • Composer/Trumpeter Jon Hassell proposes that Western music (and culture), must simultaneously look forward with technology and innovative forms, while cultivating a relationship to the rich multiplicity of the earth's tribal musics.

    Digital Meets Tribal in Fourth World “Possible Musics”

    Composer/Trumpeter Jon Hassell proposes that Western music (and culture), must simultaneously look forward with technology and innovative forms, while cultivating a relationship to the rich multiplicity of the earth's tribal musics.

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  • Postcommodity is a collective of American Indian artists from different backgrounds and mediums, combining to create giant musical instrument installations, video, sound and sculpture. Their Repellent Fence installation floated Scare-Eye Bird Repellent balloons over the border between Arizona and Sonora.

    Postcommodity’s ‘Repellent Fence’ Land Art Spans the U.S. Border

    Postcommodity is a collective of American Indian artists from different backgrounds and mediums, combining to create giant musical instrument installations, video, sound and sculpture. Their Repellent Fence installation floated Scare-Eye Bird Repellent balloons over the border between Arizona and Sonora.

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  • Los Angeles comes alive this November and December, sponsored by SoCal 350 Climate Action, in calling for global climate agreements at the upcoming UN conference in Paris. This includes the Global Climate March (Nov 29) at L.A. City Hall, the Vision L.A. Climate Action Arts Festival (Nov 30 to Dec 11), the California Nurses Association Climate Convergence (Dec 3) at Pershing Square and Building Blocks Against Climate Change (Dec 12) along Wilshire Blvd.

    Vision LA Climate Action Arts Fest: The Road Through Paris

    Los Angeles comes alive this November and December, sponsored by SoCal 350 Climate Action, in calling for global climate agreements at the upcoming UN conference in Paris. This includes the Global Climate March (Nov 29) at L.A. City Hall, the Vision L.A. Climate Action Arts Festival (Nov 30 to Dec 11), the California Nurses Association Climate Convergence (Dec 3) at Pershing Square and Building Blocks Against Climate Change (Dec 12) along Wilshire Blvd.

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  • Alexis Slutzky tells the story of a September 2015 pilgrimage through California's Owens Valley, called Walking Water. This first phase of a much longer journey began at Mono Lake and ended 180 miles south at Owens Dry Lake. For 100 years, Los Angeles has piped water from there over 300 miles further south to sustain the city, draining ancient lakes and groundwater, destroying natural water systems. In the fourth year of an historic drought, Walking Water seeks to create a new narrative regarding this life-giving resource, investigating our common and often conflicting needs, and learning how to live within our means.

    Walking Water: Eastern Sierra Pilgrimage of Healing the Drought

    Alexis Slutzky tells the story of a September 2015 pilgrimage through California's Owens Valley, called Walking Water. This first phase of a much longer journey began at Mono Lake and ended 180 miles south at Owens Dry Lake. For 100 years, Los Angeles has piped water from there over 300 miles further south to sustain the city, draining ancient lakes and groundwater, destroying natural water systems. In the fourth year of an historic drought, Walking Water seeks to create a new narrative regarding this life-giving resource, investigating our common and often conflicting needs, and learning how to live within our means.

    Continue Reading...

  • Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains has year-round outdoor attractions, including skiing, hiking, boating, and fishing. Yet long before the resorts, the area was called Yuhaviat, or "Pine Place" by the original inhabitants, the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, with their sacred site of snow quartz called the Eye of God.

    Eye of God: Big Bear’s Sacred Site of Creation

    Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains has year-round outdoor attractions, including skiing, hiking, boating, and fishing. Yet long before the resorts, the area was called Yuhaviat, or "Pine Place" by the original inhabitants, the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, with their sacred site of snow quartz called the Eye of God.

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  • Do today’s elite lack the patience and culture for classical music? Or is it a matter of cultural dominance of the popular, the fame producing, and capital revenue streams which have sacrificed painstaking complex creation? John Halle opines.

    Is Classical Music, and the Desire for Rebellion, Dead?

    Do today’s elite lack the patience and culture for classical music? Or is it a matter of cultural dominance of the popular, the fame producing, and capital revenue streams which have sacrificed painstaking complex creation? John Halle opines.

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  • "City planning has been way too pragmatic for a long time." So says Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, who creates artistic environments that break down the industrial expanse of cities with faux-natural elements, hot sun, waterfalls, rivers, and take over the senses of their spectators.

    Public Art and the Psyche: Olafur Eliasson on Cities

    "City planning has been way too pragmatic for a long time." So says Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, who creates artistic environments that break down the industrial expanse of cities with faux-natural elements, hot sun, waterfalls, rivers, and take over the senses of their spectators.

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  • This is the first post in a series where I present the case for Geo-Fauvism, a growing movement of wild earth inspiration in art, literature, music and design. Taking off from the early 20th Century French art "Fauvists" or "Wild Beasts," these cross-disciplinary creations respond to and react against the collapse of global environmental systems, the destruction of indigenous earth-based societies, and a narrowing of cultural opportunities in the mainstream corporatized media. Geo-Fauvists create to reconnect with the wild and heal humanity's rift with the landscape, building a new community based on integration with the ecosystem.

    Geo-Fauvism: Waking to the Wild Earth Through Visual Art

    This is the first post in a series where I present the case for Geo-Fauvism, a growing movement of wild earth inspiration in art, literature, music and design. Taking off from the early 20th Century French art "Fauvists" or "Wild Beasts," these cross-disciplinary creations respond to and react against the collapse of global environmental systems, the destruction of indigenous earth-based societies, and a narrowing of cultural opportunities in the mainstream corporatized media. Geo-Fauvists create to reconnect with the wild and heal humanity's rift with the landscape, building a new community based on integration with the ecosystem.

    Continue Reading...

  • The prefab Active House B10 prototype in Stuttgart can be built in a day, but its implications will be felt for years. Taking the passive house net zero concept one step further, this fully recyclable tiny house actively generates enough power for multiple properties through its rooftop photovoltaics.

    German Prefab House Generates Twice its Own Energy

    The prefab Active House B10 prototype in Stuttgart can be built in a day, but its implications will be felt for years. Taking the passive house net zero concept one step further, this fully recyclable tiny house actively generates enough power for multiple properties through its rooftop photovoltaics.

    Continue Reading...