EPA Meets EPA: Department of Weedy Affairs

This spring the EPA goes to Washington DC where we’ll be partnering with Transformer to launch a new artwork — The Department of Weedy Affairs, a speculative proposition which imagines a governmental agency that is beyond human. This new EPA office opens May 5, offering visitors an opportunity to engage and learn from spontaneous urban plants (aka weeds) through a toolkit of radical care practices and embodied science. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, we invite the public to submit a comment to the US Environmental Protection Agency using a web platform, OnBehalfOf.life. At the end of the show, the EPA collective will lead a public march to deliver the collection of comments, desires and demands on behalf of the weeds to the US EPA on the National Mall. The EPA meets the EPA.

WORKSHOPS + PERFORMANCES:
MAY 5, 2018 | 3 – 8pm
Department of Weedy Affairs: Opening Reception
Transformer, 1404 P Street, NW Washington, DC
Featuring a live performance by andrea haenggi, Teaching a Human the Urban Weeds Alphabet (created with 26 urban weeds). Live engagements at 3pm, 5pm and 7pm

MAY 20, 2018 | 2 – 5pm
Crack The Patriarchy: Moving, thinking and feeling with plants that break through cracks in asphalt
Led by EPA artists Catherine Grau and Andrea Haenggi
Meeting Point: Transformer, 1404 P Street, NW Washington, DC

JUNE 9, 2018 | 2 – 4:30pm
Weedy Resistance: A Weedy Walking Tour on the National Mall
Led by EPA Agents Ellie Irons and Christopher Kennedy
Meeting Point: Constitution Avenue NW and 12th Street NW, Washington DC

JUNE 15, 2018 | 2pm
EPA Meets EPA: A public walk to the US EPA Headquarters
Meeting Point: Transformer, 1404 P Street, NW Washington, DC

fertilizing fire circle

DECEMBER 1, 2017 | 5pm – 12am @ EPA Headquarters 1067 Pacific Street, Brooklyn

We invite you to join EPA collective’s night of embodied storytelling for decolonizing, healing and belonging within a multi-species future. Celebrate the final transformation of our rented garage and lot turned urban weeds ecosystem.**

Break the pavement. Practice primitive fire-starting. Whisper and listen to the flames to fertilize relationships with urban land. Bitch and dance to acknowledge the agency of urban weeds. Counter monoculture! Burn it down! Touch stillness. See time.

Beginning at dusk and continuing until midnight, the environment will be transformed into Soft-Precarious Openings by EPA artists Catherine Grau, Andrea Haenggi, Christopher Kennedy, Ellie Irons, and participating artists and storytellers: Carrie Ahern, Tara Daino, Nancye Good (fire bow drill teacher), Simone Johnson, Holes in the Walls Collective: Julia Meeks & Dhira Rauch, Cooper Miller, Robert Neuwirth, Lissette Olivares, Iele Paloumpis, Marýa Wethers (firekeeper), and Moira Williams, and nourishing bites and warming drinks inspired by recipe-stories from the neighbors on our block.

Registration is required. Please RSVP
Suggested donation $15
Detailed schedule TBA

+++ Stay the full 7hrs to get fully fertilized for the next epoch!! +++

** In 2013, artist Andrea Haenggi and writer Robert Neuwirth signed a 5-year lease for 1067 Pacific Street, a former auto-repair garage with a 1900 Sq Ft vacant lot in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, with the intent:

  • to find LOVE in this contaminated urban feral landscape
  • if you enter the LAND of 1067 Pacific Street, you shape the artwork
  • the PLACE, 1067 Pacific Street, is the artwork itself
  • the artwork is the studio for Haenggi’s movement-based artist PRACTICE
  • to find an aesthetic in rawness and LABOR
  • in search of AGENCY for nonhuman life forms
  • to question VALUE in all its economic and philosophic meanings

The socially and ecologically engaged research and performance artwork, with its many public encounters, grew into the co-founding of the collaborative project Environmental Performance Agency (EPA) in March 2017. On January 22, 2018 we must surrender the key.

Mapping the US EPA: Sensing the Bureaucracy, Who Has Agency?


This weekend the EPA hosted a research-a-thon to better understand and sense the federal environmental bureaucracy, the US EPA*.

Since US EPA administrator Scott Pruitt took office in 2017, a number of environmental regulations and policies have been overturned, rolled back, or are in a period of limbo. With a further “re-organization” of the US EPA already underway, what implications does this have for human health and the environment?

Collectively we began to review the US EPA’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan and map how the US EPA operates both locally and nationally. Together we discovered that the the US EPA** is accepting public comments until October 31, 2017 on the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, which redefines their mission for the next four years. We feel the strategic plan does not adequately ensure the “protection” of human health and the environment.

With the help of EPA** Agents and friends, we developed a resource that invites you to submit a comment on behalf of a nonhuman species called onbehalfof.life

We encourage you to share this tool with your networks, on social media, and through conversation with friends, colleagues and family. 

In a time of extinction we need to make space for more life.

*US EPA = United States Environmental Protection Agency
**EPA = Environmental Performance Agency (No affiliation with the US EPA)

Asphalt Rupture: Breaking Through

Last week at the EPA we dug deep. And broke through some asphalt in the urban weeds garden.

The action was partly inspired by an improv movement workshop that we organized this summer called CRACK the Patriarchy — where we traced the cracks in the asphalt and starting to think about our own bodies as a radicle that can get into all the openings where weeds push through. The movement and conversation from the workshop got us thinking about notions of value, comfort/discomfort, maintenance, emotional labor, healing and care, cultivation and gender.

It was quite satisfying to break through. The asphalt is actually really spongey and malleable when you get down an inch or so. Almost like a thick cake or membrane. When the soil was exposed we placed our hands on the surface together and speculated on what seeds will take root. The square of asphalt was placed on each EPA agents chest to feel the literal weight of the ground on our bodies. We’ll keep you posted on any developments.