“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.”
“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…”
Read full article here!
Lovely article on #TreeSpeech by Mel Kozakciewicz, posted on Jersey City Independent
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.”
Carol Devine participated in this Svalbard cleanup and organized an on-ship art exhibition for participants. I was honored to have Indra’s Cloud included and to be part of this important conversation. She wrote about her experience as well as the show.
Article in Untapped Cities by Jeff Reuben, featuring the Next Epoch Seed Library in Chance Ecologies.
GYRE: Our Plastic Ocean is now on view at the USC Fisher Museum of Art in Los Angeles through November 21st!
USC Fisher Museum of Art:
Write-Up by Allison Meier on Hyperallergic, Sept. 1, 2015: