The Environmental Performance Agency (EPA) is an artist collective founded in 2017 and named in response to the defunding of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Appropriating the acronym EPA, the collective’s primary goal is to shift thinking around the terms environment, performance, and agency – using artistic social practices to advocate for the agency of all living performers co-creating our environment, specifically through the lens of spontaneous urban plants, native or migrant.
The EPA’s inaugural project Urban Weeds Community Garden is conceived as a predominantly self-governing plant community, that is explored in dialogue with the local human population to encourage new forms of bio-cultural remediation*, in turn cultivating empathy, stewardship and new ideas of urban ecology. The EPA is currently headquartered at 1067 PacificPeople, an experimental art space in Crown Heights, Brooklyn that has been maintaining a wild-growing garden on its 2500 sq-ft lot. The urgency to create a sanctuary for these weedy species parallels the rapid gentrification of the neighborhood. 1067 Pacific Street is directly implicated as the area is undergoing a process of rezoning from commercial (primarily informal auto-body shops and car wash businesses) to residential.
This artist collective was founded by Carrie Ahern, Catherine Grau, Andrea Haenggi, Ellie Irons, Christopher Kennedy, and the spontaneous urban plants of 1067 Pacific Street