“A library of invasive weeds and survivors” by Enrique Gili, for Deutsche Welle
I’m currently the “featured artist” on JerseyArts.com!
Ellie Irons and Anne Percoco want you to rethink weeds. The artists run the Next Epoch Seed Library, a seed bank stocked with specimens from vacant lots, sidewalks, and superfund sites in the New York City area. The plants tend to get torn out or doused with herbicides—but they also help stabilize soil, suck up carbon, and keep cities cooler as the climate changes.
Wild city plants also help support pollinators like bees in urban areas—which is why the seed library is part of a new exhibit called Nectar: War upon the Bees at Pratt Manhattan Gallery.
“We’re trying to help validate and help people engage with these wild plants that are often called weeds," says Irons. "And to think about them as habitat, think about them as these really valuable parts of green infrastructure . . . that would also be beneficial for a whole suite of nonhumans, including bees.”
The Next Epoch Seed Library will be in residence at Wave Hill this January!
I met students at Jersey City MS #7 to talk about #TreeSpeech. They’ll soon be creating their own twitter accounts for nearby trees!
“I meet artist Anne Percoco outside a formidable-looking Jersey City high school, set among some of the busiest streets in the city. It’s an unlikely setting for the beginning of a nature walk, but finding wilderness amidst concrete and blaring car stereos is Percoco’s speciality.
She’s taking me to a favorite spot of hers — an abandoned commuter train line — to collect weed seeds for one of her current projects, the Next Epoch Seed Library. The project is a seed library for the Anthropocene: a collection of seeds that have proven their mettle by surviving in some of the harshest conditions humans can throw at them…”
Day of Action: Brooklyn Seed Freedom
Join us to align with the Global Movement for Seed Freedom on Swale, a first year floating food forest docked at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. We will gather in a day of action to share seeds, resources and practice seed saving methods to strengthen the seed network in the New York City bioregion. Featuring seeds saved from Swale, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Next Epoch Seed Library, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Old Stone House, Pioneer Works and YOU!
Bring seeds to share, and a few envelopes to harvest seeds into!
This event will launch an open-source seed library that will be based at Pioneer Works art center in Red Hook.
Swale is a collaborative floating food project built on a 130-foot by 40-foot floating platform that contains an edible forest garden. Functioning as both a sculpture and a tool, the Swale project provides free healthy food at the intersection of public art and service, reinforcing water as a commons and working towards a regenerative public food system.
Pioneer Works is a non-profit foundation in Red Hook, New York City that fosters multidisciplinary creativity in the arts and sciences.
Webpage with more details:
Chance Ecologies: Queens
A Community Partnership Exhibition Program at the Queens Museum
Curated by Catherine Grau and Nathan Kensinger
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, New York City Building
Opening reception: October 8, 2pm-4pm
Participatory workshops and public performances: October 16
Chance Ecologies Symposium: October 23
Closing Date: October 30
Image: Suzanne Anker, Twilight, 2016, courtesy of the artist. Photography: Raul Valverde
9 December 2016 – 11 February 2017
Pratt Manhattan Gallery
144 West 14th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10011 USA
The faster, bigger, cheaper approach to food that is slowly draining our planet’s resources and compromising our health has also attracted the attention of a large number of artists internationally. Merging their aesthetic and social practice, these artists could fit in the expanded field of the “aesthetic of engagement”.
Berta Sichel and Barbara Krulik (Bureau Phi Art Projects)
Suzanne Anker (USA)
Kelly Heaton (USA)
Marine Hugonnier (France)
Ellie Irons (USA)
Juan de Junco (Spain)
Lucia Madriz (Costa Rica/Germany)
Beth Moyses (Brazil)
Anne Percoco (USA)
Luis Fernando Ramirez Celis (Colombia)
Carlos Schwartz (Spain)
Read full article here!
Lovely article on #TreeSpeech by Mel Kozakciewicz, posted on Jersey City Independent
I’m working on a new project with Sustainable Jersey City. I am assigning twitter accounts to Jersey City trees, and inviting residents to tweet, in the first person, from the trees' perspectives. More info here:
Milcah Bassel interviewed Ellie Irons and I for Dime and Honey, a wonderful blog about studio practice, livelihood, relationships and making meaningful contributions to culture today.
Ellie was interviewed by Ben Valentine of Hyperallergic and talked extensively about our Next Epoch Seed Library installation at William Paterson. Learn about Ellie’s work & read the whole thing here -
“Living Together” writeup on notwhatitis.com by Tracy DiTolla.
NESL “looks into preserving invasive plants, and weeds, which are most likely to continue to thrive in an environment made up of predominantly GMO plants. Viewers can take and leave seeds that are stored in a house-shaped cabinet. There is also a couch, a coffee table made of repurposed cinder blocks, various reading materials…plant specimens…and a live butterfly flying around.”