Category Archives: Final Project

Environmental Issues I’m Now Aware Of – Yusuf Kapadia

This image represents the air pollution that I never seriously considered as a part of living in Manhattan. While this visible steam is only from New York City’s underground steam system, I see it as a reminder that there are countless other invisible pollutants that compose the air we breath as residents of NYC.
In the vein of air pollution in the city, I now constantly notice the exhaust from idling cars. I was previously unaware of how an idling car emits Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, particulate matter, etc. I now try not to idle vehicles that I’m driving, and if people are standing near an active exhaust pipe, I make an effort to tell them what they’re standing in.
I never realized that for something to be recyclable, it has to be clean and dry. I had been “recycling” food-soiled materials for as long as I can remember, which I now know can ruin a whole bag of recyclables. Recycling is something that I thought I knew before taking this class, so I’m glad that I can now correct my mistakes.
 
I had no idea what combined sewage overflows (CSOs) were before this class, nor did I realize that New York City relies on this type of waste water disposal during rain or snowfall. This is one of the environmental issues that I know I can have an individual impact on by reducing my water use on rainy days, but also by educating people I know. I am now reminded of CSOs whenever I see rain in the forecast, and I also want to find out how wastewater is handled in my hometown.
I think that it’s important to understand the context you are living in. This awareness could range fro knowing the level of air pollution in your city, to understanding which of your foods are genetically modified. However, grasping this context becomes nearly impossible when companies like DuPont produce poorly-researched chemicals that end up in your cookware as well as your air, water, and food. It is startling how omnipresent a chemical like DuPont’s compound C8 can become in the environment, because I know there are others that have not been revealed yet.

Big Yellow Taxi, revisited

Camera
iPhone 6s Plus
Focal Length
4.15mm
Aperture
f/2.2
Exposure
1/10s
ISO
80
Camera
iPhone 6s Plus
Focal Length
4.15mm
Aperture
f/2.2
Exposure
1/10s
ISO
80
Camera
iPhone 6s Plus
Focal Length
4.15mm
Aperture
f/2.2
Exposure
1/10s
ISO
80

Big Yellow Taxi, revisited. Eliah Eason (click image to view mov)

 

Camera
iPhone 6s Plus
Focal Length
4.15mm
Aperture
f/2.2
Exposure
1/10s
ISO
80
 Big Yellow Taxi, revisited. Eliah Eason (click to view mov)

After my last rehearsal for my piece, I was baffled by how much my project has changed.  However, after reflecting on the factors surrounding my piece’s progress, I realized that it is only fitting that it would shift this drastically. After all, my project’s focus has always been change– climate change that is.
I took this class because I have recently allowed myself to see the harm I’ve been casting on the climate, and I realized that my art making could make a tangible difference on the planet; I just need the tools to figure out how to best go about that.

Camera
iPhone 6s Plus
Focal Length
4.15mm
Aperture
f/2.2
Exposure
1/40s
ISO
800
My original form was a satire because I thought it would help communicate a topic that is so widely rejected by audiences. People hear the words climate change and most likely do one of two things: shut it out completely OR distance themselves from the issue altogether, sympathizing but not taking any responsibility. However, I was not completely attached to the script. There is something that Peter said in the very beginning that I didn’t really hear until a few weeks ago. He was talking about sharing personal stories and how that draws people in. I realized that keeping this script as fiction might make the class laugh, but it wouldn’t make the subject personal to them.
But I knew exactly what I had to do as soon as Garth Lenz mentioned Joni Mitchell and that she wrote the first environmental song. I love Joni Mitchell and the lyrics hit me on a visceral level across the board. I decided to write a poem sampling some of her lyrics from “Big Yellow Taxi“, layering fragments of my life in relationship to climate change and facts from my source material.
Of course my piece had to change because that’s what it is about, and I changed with it. I had to change because I understand my place in this environmental disaster, and I can’t call myself an activist without taking responsibility for my own part in this mess. We can all reduce our waste– But we first have to accept that it’s ours.
P.S. A Joni Mitchell piece with my poem’s text will be added shortly… Stay tuned for more.

Final Post

I emailed the record label of the song I used in my project, they haven’t responded but I feel a little better knowing that I at least asked.

I am so thankful for this class. I am thankful for the knowledge of this new topic that I now have a connection to. My parents are still talking about moving to Florida, and that urges me to get the word out about what it is we need to be doing to help the Arctic from melting.

One fact that scared me the most about this, is when I read the statics about how during the Polar nights the Ice relies on the low temperature to stay strong, and this winter the temperature will be just at freezing. This doesn’t allow for the ice to grow. It may even continue to melt in the winter.

I showed my project to different people and they were all very intrigued. Even though they did not the the specifics to the dance before watching, it struck up a conversation as to what it was I was trying to portray. Once I told them the story of the dance they wanted to see it again.

I love how this class meshes environmental issues with art. It is nice to find another way in which art can speak to people. I mean that is what art is suppose to do. And I think that it is important to create more art about this topic. Art gets people to talk and once people are aware, only then they will be able to change. After the showing on saturday I am going to put this video up on youtube, and Facebook with a caption, and some facts about what the dance is about. I hope this sparks something in someone. I hope that I continue to create pieces about environmental issues. I am more aware of how I live day to day, and I hope I can spread that to others.

Final Project/ Post

I had a wonderful time learning from interviews and filming my final project. Even though the video/audio is more of a first draft of sorts, I was still proud of the project and am looking forward to working on it further in the future. I wanted to focus on what the millennial generation can do in terms of taking care of the environment, and inspire other young people to take action. I do not know how clear that came across in this draft- I would like interview more people to get more perspectives and reshoot to make the visuals clearer at some point.

When I asked my professor about anthropocentrism, he elaborated on how humans need to find new ways of interacting with the environment and shifting our way of thinking- since there are over ten million species of organisms on the planet, it is silly to think that humans are the most important entity on the planet. Along with that, another friend I interviewed spoke about how his parents raised him to be environmentally- friendly, and care for his community as a whole. One of the most important pieces of knowledge I took away from the project was the need to think as a community- I don’t see drastic shifts in environmental policy unless people can come together as a community and think of the greater good.

I shared my project with a stranger in Washington Square Park, a younger mom sitting with her baby. After watching the project, she elaborated on her social and environmental fears for her daughter, especially after the election. She said that she hoped more young people would be inspired to make a difference for the environment, because it is and will become a more and more pressing issue as time passes. She thanked me for sharing my work with her.

Please find a few stills from the project below:

Final project post: bio fabrics/ sustainable fashion

Carbon Footprint of a cotton t-shirt

The Reformation: fast fashion brand modeled around sustainability and fair wages

Gallatin Fashion Show collection using all up-cycled fabrics

     

Full Final Project presentation here–> Green World final project (1)

The End… Final Posting

As I am wrapping up my project, I can surely say that I have accumulated a deeper belief and point of view on the importance of keeping our environment healthy, especially our New York City environment. As you all know, my project was focused on green space within urban environments. I focused on why they are necessary for our personal health and for the overall health of the city. I have always loved the outdoors and nature. That is what initially pointed me in this direction, but after spending a lot of time creating and investigating this topic and coming up with a final piece, I have a different relationship with the parks in our city. I have discovered that they are more than just a place for wildlife and trees to thrive, they are also a place for us to exercise, play and essentially escape. They hold so much importance.

Initially my idea for the project, was to interview several people about our green space and create a video montage of their responses. As I was in that process, I realized that it was turning out to not be the most creative or effective way to get the point across.

SO I kept the footage I took but instead of filling the video with interviews, I filled it with a mix of my voice, breath and music that I placed over the video clips. I wanted to find the more creative edge, to really capture the audience and catch them off guard. The video leaves space for the audience’s interpretation, but requires them to think introspectively and openly about what our inner city environment is doing to us. We call ourselves the Big Apple, but our red delicious is in fact rotting at the core. I took this idea and translated it by relating it to the body’s breath patterns.

The music I chose for the piece is from a site called “Epidemic Sound.” This site is created for video makers to choose from the music library provided. The songs are all 100% royalty free and content ID safe and cleared for all multimedia projects. The song is called “Nonchalance and Fabulance 2” created by Marc Torch. It is under the film category and sub category beautiful.

This was an exciting and grueling experience for me, since I am new to working with Adobe Premiere Pro 2015 and took this as an opportunity to challenge myself and create an artistic piece in a medium that was somewhat foreign to me.

Here is the finished piece…

 

One last update…

Cheers to what is (hopefully) the last update on my final project!

As of right now, I am still working hard to shoot one last time at either Pat LaFrieda or Gallaghers. I have still not had the best of luck but, again, am optimistic.

Last week, I went to Ronnybrook Dairy Farm to photograph some happy cows. That was truly one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I got to lay in a wide open field with massive animals and have them lay with me, sniff me, and lick me. I got to pet and cuddle with cows and even meet a calf that was born earlier that day. (pic below)

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Being able to be with these animals and have such a personal experience with them really hit home for me about why I am so passionate about animal rights and happy farms. It also reiterated how terrible factory farms truly are. I wish that everyone who is adamant about eating meat could share that experience that I had because I am confident that even the biggest meat eater could never even look at another steak and find it appealing after being up close and personal with such gentle, sweet, and beautiful creatures. I’ve attached a couple of my B edit shots below.

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Beyond that, I have an edit of 64 photos to choose from (wish me luck). Tomorrow, I am printing them all out very small (4×6) and will be sequencing them into the series on my wall at home- I will add photos to this post of that process as it happens tomorrow.

My plan for the final presentation is to have two large images (I already know which ones but I want it to be a surprise) that juxtapose one another side by side. I will then have my artist statement explaining my project followed by the rest of the series. Under specific images I will have facts about factory farming versus happy farming to clarify why happy farms are better. I will also have facts about the meat and dairy industries as a whole and why they are ultimately harmful to our environment. All of this will be accompanied by an audio clip which you can listen to here. It is a combination of sounds of the steakhouse kitchen and sounds of the happy farm. I will include a small explanation about the audio within the layout of my project as well.

Overall, I am really excited about this project and how it has turned out! I have some great shots that really speak to what I am trying to say about happy farms. I have met some amazing people and had some amazing experiences.

Check Up

A check up on my final project. I meet with my beautiful dancers on Saturday and we had an amazing recording session. I have some stills of the dance pictured below. The dancers were more than willing to jump in on this dance concept, and made it even better than I imagined it would be. I used scarves that were tied to the right arm and it worked perfectly. I’m very excited to see the final project, and to share it with others. I am trying to edit it before tomorrow so I can present the final project, but there have been some technical difficulties. We will see what happens.

Quick post

Just a quick little post…

This past week was very successful. I shot at Striphouse and Ronnybrook Farm. While I have a very strong body of work already, I am still trying to shoot at one more farm and another restaurant or meat industry. So far, I am having very little luck but I am optimistic and persistent!

If you want to see a few of my images, you can check them out here, on my Instagram.