Category Archives: FInal

Five Thoughts

Recycling: Since hearing Dianne speak for one of our classes, I have become much more cognizant of how I recycle, whether I’m at home or in public. I make sure that my recyclables are clean before sorting them. If I can’t find a recycling bin for my paper materials in public, I’ll wait until I find one or just keep them in my backpack until I reach home and can place them in the recycling. I really believe that educating people on the importance of recycling will get them to start thinking about climate change in a way that they can personally and easily address.

Air: I often take for granted the air we breathe. When we learned that the EPA might be disbanded, I realize that I also take many government-mandated environmental initiatives, such as the Clear Air Act, for granted. The only way we can ensure a clean world is if we champion organizations that are protecting the environment and promote brands that are using eco-friendly materials and ethical manufacturing processes. The things we speak for and pay for really matter. My goal is to reuse as much as I can and support sustainable causes.

Pollution: I was shocked to hear that there were once fires on the Hudson because of all the chemicals in the river. It was fascinating to hear about The River Project and inspiring to learn that the water quality has improved drastically since then. It’s easy to forget the amazing biodiversity in the river right next to us. I also didn’t know that drainage during rainfall goes directly into the river, so I have decided to avoid showering or using large amounts of water while it’s raining.

Idling: Something that will always stay with me is the understanding of idling in New York City. It makes me relieved that I have no need for a car at the moment, because the guilt of producing such emissions is now just disturbing to me. When I see so many cars on the road, I think of all the pollution being added to the atmosphere. I’m interested in learning about ways large cities encourage more environmentally-friendly modes of transportation, like cycling.

Government: Garth Lenz emphasizes the limitations of the government in enacting laws that protect the environment and highlights the importance of the people in pushing for change. I haven’t believed so much in the impact of the public until this year, and now I really believe that this generation has the heaviest responsibility to encourage sustainable living.

A Stage in Squalor by Caroline Keegan

As a young actor, I grew up hearing “all the world’s a stage.”  The quote comes from Shakespeare, but it gets thrown around pretty casually. Recently I’ve been thinking, if the world is the stage then what does that make me? One of its players? Or just a voyeur?

As I thought about this assignment over the last week, I paid careful attention to when I was a player, and when I was a voyeur. Often I would see things happening around me and not stop to change them– either because I was in a rush or I was scared I would be stepping out of line. Below are some examples.

Camera
iPhone 7
Focal Length
3.99mm
Aperture
f/1.8
Exposure
1/12s
ISO
100

 

 

 

 

Camera

 

iPhone 7

 

 

 

Focal Length

 

3.99mm

 

 

 

Aperture

 

f/1.8

 

 

 

Exposure

 

1/12s

 

 

 

ISO

 

100

 

 

 

Take Out Tragedy

Here is a take out bag I picked up on Sunday night. Not only was it filled with extraneous plastic cutlery and napkins, but it came with two, TWO sets up plastic bags.

 

 

 

 

Camera

 

iPhone 5s

 

 

 

Focal Length

 

4.15mm

 

 

 

Aperture

 

f/2.2

 

 

 

Exposure

 

1/30s

 

 

 

ISO

 

40

 

 

 

Big Bus Blues

The M57 and the M31 MTA stops are right outside my apartment, but recently I’ve noticed the M31 has been idling when traffic is good to stay on schedule.

Camera
iPhone 7
Focal Length
3.99mm
Aperture
f/1.8
Exposure
1/523s
ISO
20

 

 

 

 

Camera

 

iPhone 7

 

 

 

Focal Length

 

3.99mm

 

 

 

Aperture

 

f/1.8

 

 

 

Exposure

 

1/523s

 

 

 

ISO

 

20

 

 

 

Trash Tolerance

Displacement of recycled materials because there wasn’t a public recycling bin for FOUR BLOCKS. (Believe me, I looked.)

As you can see, there were a of issues I noticed in just one week, but I became frustrated with myself for not doing anything to change them, or at least educate my community about changing them. I got frustrated enough with this to work up some courage, and the payoff felt good.

This morning I was in midtown on 8th Ave between 34th and 35th streets. (Or what I like to call the armpit of Manhattan). The avenue is usually packed bumper to bumper on either side of buses, utility trucks, vans, and private cars idling. So I said something… to four cars! And they all turned off their engines!!! It was easy. Here is a picture of some of them.

 

 

 

 

Camera

 

iPhone 7

 

 

 

Focal Length

 

3.99mm

 

 

 

Aperture

 

f/1.8

 

 

 

Exposure

 

1/209s

 

 

 

ISO

 

20

 

 

 

Idle Idiots

I even recorded an audio clip of asking one of them to turn off their engine, which they did immediately without any protest.

It felt pretty empowering to use my rights as a citizen, and has encouraged me to remain as active a player as I can. We really do have the power to change things.

If the Earth is our stage, then we’ve got some major “playing” to do.

 

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 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)

“Embracing All Kinds of Nature”

Since my last update, I have changed a piece I previously made, and created a few new garments. Below are pictures I took of the clothes on a friend of mine. I tried to start to think about how we may want to frame the pieces through photography. And now that I have seen them on someone, I can begin to create an idea of styling or how each piece might connect to a larger scene. Some of the fabric used was found in a recycling container at Parsons, and some of the other fabric was left over from previous projects and costumes. I have not been finishing the edges on most of the pieces because I like having an allusion to the idea of incomplete, or unsolved. I believe this quality is echoed in the state of our environment and the choices we now get to make.


I listened to a podcast recently that has shaped my idea of what is occurring to our planet and what role we play in the destruction, preservation, and reshaping of the natural earth, animal species, and plant diversity. I came across the podcast while listening to the TED Radio Hour sponsored by National Public Radio. The topic: Age of the Anthropocene, or a new geological age, defined by humans and their unprecedented impact on Earth. It is broken down into six segments answering, “What’s The Anthropocene? How Do We Embrace All Kinds Of Nature? Are We Headed Into Another Mass Extinction? How Can Dinosaurs Help Us Understand Our Own Species?” and “Can We Preserve Seed Diversity For The Future?” The topics discussed were varied and allowed me to question the environment in ways beyond how we usually approach our consumption crisis. The podcast balances hope and concern well as well as addresses topics we may not know about and deepens topics we may know well.
In this new light, I continue with my final project, thinking of ways to deepen its impact and meaning. Finding out where I can express concern and where we can find hope and activism in the project. Alex and I are in talks right now about how to frame the garments and I know the ideas that have stuck with me must be interwoven. Especially, what I have gained from the segment Emma Marris did on embracing all kinds of nature. Marris brings us back to being a child and experiencing the wonders of life beyond us through the lens of raising her own children. The ideas that the younger generations will hold of the environment will inevitably be different from ours. But, it is still our responsibility to foster a care within them for the same thing we have loved, and lost in some cases. She brought light to something I too often lose sight of, nature in an urban setting. I know that at the very least, this is something that will come through in my final project.

Midterm/Final Update-bio fabrics

Right before I left for Thanksgiving break on the 17th (11 days ago), I set up a container for the kombucha SCOBY to grow.  Following these directions, I doubled the recipe placed some cheese cloth over top and called it a day.  The next morning it looked no different from when I had first brewed the concoction and I was a bit worried that I had missed a step or killed the SCOBY with too hot of a mixture, but upon returning after 10 days, the fabric mat has definitely begun to grow and made quite a bit of progress.  Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of how it looked when I first set it to culture, but imagine a container full of green tea colored liquid and 2 little raw chicken cutlets floating inside.  It’s now progressed to be about an inch thick and it looks pretty disgusting, but surprisingly the vinegar smell is not as strong as I thought it would be.  Mine is seeming to be a bit lumpy or uneven and I’m not quite sure if that is normal or not–more research to be done and more time to let it culture.  I may start a second batch if I can find a proper container and place.

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In other news, while I was home in San Diego I started to take photos of the clothes I created last year for the Gallatin Fashion Show (if you are in Gallatin and are interested in participating, apply here for this year’s show, the theme is Fashion and Power).  The theme was technology and my collection was based on the evolution of a star rooted in sustainability using mostly up-cycled materials.  I didn’t have all the pieces with me, but I wanted the photos to be a juxtaposition of nature and man superimposing the manmade clothing into elements of nature to emphasis the relationship between the two as they coexist while also highlighting the difference and effects of manmade items on the environment.  The photos were taken on 35mm and have yet to be developed, but here are a few I took on my phone as a preview.

Updated Pieces

I wanted to post an update on my sustainable style midterm project. So far, I have been working off of the idea of upcycling old garments into new pieces, as well as creating original garments out of scrap materials leftover from previous projects. I have created a new pair of jeans from an old, oversized pair. The pants were originally black coated denim, but through wear became a charcoal color. I dip-bleached the color out of the bottom to get the two-tone effect. I then altered the fit through two seams running up the front of the legs. The design of the pants, was inspired by the imagery I found in my visual research of the large pools of wastewater created through the process of fracking.

This process also inspired the top that I have paired with these pants. I have created a shirt in four panels, using the grain lines to create converging lines in a downward formation. The fabric and construction plays into the ideas of the geological formations, gas, oil, and ground water, which are interrupted in the process of fracking.

I wanted to allude to the process of fracking as outlined by the EPA, which consists of 5 stages. The stages are as listed: Water Acquisition, Chemical Mixing, Well Injection, Flowback and Produced Water, and Wastewater Treatment and Waste Disposal. I believe this look beings to explore the ideas of fracking and the damage that it does to the environment. By connecting this form of consumerism of fossil fuels to the consumerism of fashion, I hope to begin a conversation about sustainability.

 

I cannot wait to see how Alex will frame these garments with his photography.

A Note on Process

With my compiled and expanded research, I sat down to brainstorm how my concept of merging environmental image and clothing might manifest in the made garments. I envisioned upcycling denim, using recycled and leftover fabrics, and adding in unconventional materials in order to create these looks. They will mirror aspects of the environmental imagery they renderings are imposed on through color, silhouette, texture, or material. I have begun to find old garments that I will be using as well as excess materials I have found to recycle. I am curious to explore the deconstruction and reconstruction aspects of this process and how they may tie to relate to our connection to the environment. Pictured below are my initial ideas.

Final Project Update

Imagine your commute to work or school today. Picture those ads you saw everywhere: on the subway, plastered on construction walls, practically anywhere you are in New York City you can see an advertisement for something.

Have you ever purchased something because of an ad? Do those ads generally catch your attention?

Well here is our final project: the anti-advertisement advertisement. Instead of perpetuating our constant value of consumption and consumerism, these ads aren’t trying to sell you anything; rather, they’re trying to remind you and educate you of the potential dangers of such material based industries such as the fashion industry.

Highlighting injustices from the industry, from environmental destruction such as air pollution to animal rights to water contamination, these anti-consumerist fashion advertisements serve to educate the public consumer and urge them to rethink the products they buy.

My brother Joey and I are working together for the midterm. Our focus is on sustainable fashion, so our project will be an unconventional look at advertising. We will be creating 4-7 false advertisements of companies that are failing to practice sustainable manufacturing. This means that the companies are not regulating their effects on the environment or on the people making the clothing. We will be keeping the same aesthetics, branding, and logo design of each advertisement, but changing the name to reflect these unsustainable companies.

A lot of our inspiration came from the documentary The True Cost, which details multiple facets of the global fashion industry, from cotton farming and Monsanto’s seeds to outsourced production to consumerism. We were also inspired by CR Fashion Book‘s pseudo-advertisement “fantasy” campaign, and played with extending fake advertisements to make more of a political statement about the current state of the destructive fashion industry.

This week, Joey and I began taking pictures for our satirical advertisements. We chose the companies that we want to base our advertisements on and changed the names to signify aspects in which the companies are unsustainable and harm the earth.

We have created a calendar for when we will take each photo and travel to the different locations. We are also using the Gallatin computer lab to access Photoshop, experiment with lighting, saturation, and hue, and design the ads.

The first photo was taken in the East Village. We waited for perfect cloudy weather, scoured around for the perfect setting, set up the camera, got in costume, and took plenty of photos and poses. While we got many weird looks on the street, we figured we’re in New York— everybody does weird things.

We don’t want to give too much away, but here’s a sneak peek of some of the unedited shots we got.

Next week we plan on visiting the Bronx Botanical Gardens.

SEEGREENNYC- Final Update

GClogoSEEGREENNYC is an experimental viewing experience aiming to bring awareness to environmental issues in New York City. Through a dedicated VR viewer such as Google Cardboard or the web browser, New Yorkers can learn about areas in their home that are threatened by pollution or are in the process of recovery, as well as how one can get involved in making our city more green.

INSPIRATION
As I have mentioned previously, the inspiration of my final project is personal, despite the objective nature of the project. I grew up in New York City, where there isn’t much opportunity to connect with the outdoors, and when I started meeting people from all over the world in college, I realized that those from cultures that emphasized a greater connection to the land (such as the Western United States) were more in tune with environmental issues. Around the same time, I developed a love for the outdoors myself, and I started studying in NYU’s Environmental Studies department to learn more. I was surprised by how little my fellow native New Yorkers and I knew about global and local environmental issues, despite having attended a rigorous high school rooted in math and science, and I realized that the first step in fostering a care for the environment is through building an awareness for what the environment even entails.

flowchart

As a visual artist, I knew I wanted my final project to rely on images to convey information, and I started brainstorming for a method of delivery. At first, I was considering making a photo book documenting places in New York City that related to some sort of environmental problem or solution. However, when Peter told us that we were to impact at least 10 people with our projects, I realized that a digital medium would be best suited for widespread sharing of information. I decided to choose virtual reality (VR) for the challenge of working with a new medium, as well as for the ability of VR to plant a viewer in a specific environment, which I thought would help to cement the information I was to convey.

RESEARCH
My research for this project was twofold: (1) I had to figure out what information I wanted to share, and (2) how I would technically accomplish this.

I tackled the first problem by thinking about what I already knew versus what I didn’t. I had previously written about two Superfund sites in New York, Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal, and definitely wanted to include these in my project. This also led me to discover that there is an additional Superfund site here that I didn’t know about–the Wolff-Alport Chemical Company site in Ridgewood. I was also introduced to the research of NYU Professor George Thurston in my environmental systems science class the previous semester, and wanted to further research the issue of air pollution in the South Bronx.

At this point, my list looked pretty negative, and I wanted to find some instances in which environmental issues were being attended to. I learned about how the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is part of an initiative by the National Park Service (NPS) to bring the outdoors to urban dwellers, which I thought was a nice story to parallel my own. I also wanted to raise awareness of how connected we actually are to our environment even if it doesn’t appear so, and researched how we get our drinking water in New York City. This brought me to the New Croton Water Filtration Plant project in the Moshulu Golf Course, and I was also pleasantly surprised to learn about how the project is an example of how clever architecture can be used to incorporate useful but otherwise obtrusive structures into our limited landscape.

I also wanted to visit the Freshkills Park in Staten Island and NYC’s largest green roof at Javits Center, but unfortunately, both of these places are under construction and I was not able to secure access.

Google Cardboard Kit by D-scope Pro

As for the technical side of the project, I quickly decided that Google Cardboard would be the best option because of how cheap and easy it is for a viewer to buy one, as opposed to a higher-end device like Oculus Rift. The original Google Cardboard was actually sold out when I was beginning my project, so I settled for the D-Scope Pro Viewer, which only cost me $17. I then needed a way to photograph photospheres (essentially 360° panoramas) that I would view using Cardboard, and found out that the Google Street View app is an easy way to both record and view these panoramas! Street View also gives the creator of the photosphere the option to publish to Street View, which is also linked to Google Maps, and I knew that it would make sharing the project much easier.

PROCESS

Stereoscopic view of a small residential area on a corner on 132nd Street in the South Bronx
Stereoscopic view of a small residential area on 132nd Street in the South Bronx.

My process involved physically getting to each location, photographing it with Street View, and getting all of the visuals plus short write-ups up on a website that I coded for easy sharing. I also wanted the panoramas to be accessible to those without VR viewers, so I used a script called WebVR to embed them for web viewing.

CHALLENGES
Aside from not being able to photograph Freshkills Park and Javits Center’s greenroof, I struggled with the limitations of the Street View photosphere stitcher. The app does not recommend photographing things in close proximity to the camera due to optical distortions, but this was impossible to avoid in the city, and I ended up getting glitches in the panoramas. In the future, I would like to experiment with more specialized camera equipment, as well as with 360° video (with audio!) to make the experiences even more realistic. I would also like to work more with people that are impacted by these problems or are involved with the solutions and incorporated more personal anecdotes on the webpages.

IMPACT
I published all 6 of my photospheres to Street View exactly one week ago. Rather than publishing as I finished them, I wanted to wait until they were all done so I could compare views between locations. The view counts to my profile as well as to each photosphere are as follows:

views copy

I was really surprised that I had over 800 views to my profile and a total of 1,273 views across the 6 photospheres! However, I was aware that those who accessed my project only through Street View were not able to see the project in its entirety, so I also brought it to the gym that I climb at and shared my work with some people there.

Climbers at Brooklyn Boulders look at SEEGREENNYC
Climbers at Brooklyn Boulders look at SEEGREENNYC.

Overall, I had a lot of fun creating this project! I learned a lot by researching these locations, figuring out the technical blips of Street View, and trying to find the best way to code a website that would best display the information. I do hope to continue with this project in some way, and look forward to sharing it with more people.