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.

Weedy Dance

A video project documenting some improvisational movement in the urban weeds garden created by Daniel Wirtheim and featuring EPA Agents andrea haenggi, Catherine Grau and Christopher Kennedy.

Making Time for Soil

“…testing soil as “tasting soil,” treating soil as family, notions of immersing into soil and comingling with its substance, speak of sensorial involvements with a soil that is not conceived as separate.” – Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds by María Puig de la Bellacasa, p. 197-98

This month’s collective weed improvisation jam explored urban soil as a platform for movement research and weedy agency. Special guest Moira Williams shared a little bit about her practice and reflected on a past project called DIRT Shirt/EXCHANGE where Williams germinated Hairy Vetch seeds in her armpit as a means to address contaminated soil in a Brownfield site in Brooklyn. Moira guided us through a collaborative score to embody what it means to be soil, to be in soil, and to make soil. We explored the urban weeds garden and dug a hole to investigate the soil’s texture and quality. The event ended with an open movement jam.

Embodied Mapping with NYU Students

Nick Mirzoeff’s Media and Environment students from NYU visited the EPA this week. Together we explored embodied mapping strategies to better understand our relationship to urban weeds and multispecies entanglements! Shown above is a full body transect to begin measuring the amount of impervious surface area in the garden.

Maintenance as Care at the Environmental Performance Agency

The EPA was recently featured in Issue 5 of Culture Push’s online journal Push/Pull edited by Linnea Ryshke! In our piece, “Maintenance as Care at the Environmental Performance Agency”, EPA Agent’s Andrea Haenggi, Christopher Kennedy, Catherine Grau and Ellie Irons explore the politics of pest management and rat-human relations at our urban weeds garden in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

To read the full article click here

 

EPA Summit!


Please join us for the first EPA Summit!

When: September 23rd, 9:30am – 5:30pm
Where: EPA Headquarters at 1067 Pacific Street, Brooklyn, NY

The EPA Summit is cross-disciplinary gathering bringing together artists, thinkers, scientists and others in the fields of urban ecology, art, dance, movement and performance to explore the possibility of embodied research, and the value of urban weeds as collaborators, guides and mentors.

The Summit is a public day-long event rain or shine. We invite you for the duration of the gathering, but if you cannot dedicate the whole day, RSVP either for the morning or the afternoon.

RSVP REQUIRED: TO REGISTER CLICK HERE
Suggested Donation of $20/person

Any questions please contact: environmentalperformanceagency@gmail.com

SCHEDULE

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
WELCOME with Fresh Foraged Chicory Coffee

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
EMERGENCY WEEDY RESILIENCE KIT: The Weeds Welcome You
Catherine Grau

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
INTRODUCTIONS
Welcoming remarks by EPA artist collective

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM
URBAN WEEDS GUIDE TO BORDER CROSSING
Chris Kennedy

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
POOR BUT SEXY (Activist) LUNCH
guided by Catherine Grau
with special guests Darryl Montgomery-Hell, Moira Williams, Johann Diedrick and Thomas Choinacky

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
RADICAL CARE SITTING: Guerilla Encounters with Weedy Islands
andrea haenggi

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
NEXT EPOCH SEED LIBRARY: Time Capsule for Pacific Street Futures
Anne Percoco + Ellie Irons

5:00 PM- 5:30pm
GROUP REFLECTION
End remarks by all participants

*Several sessions involve actions out in the streets and are not suitable to casual drop-in mid way. Thank you for being considerate!