Monday, June 07, 2021

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Justice is what love looks like in public. --Cornel West

Friday, July 17, 2020

“I’m a ground person, not a figure person.”

--Deborah Stratman

Saturday, January 18, 2020

"You've got to take your anger and make it beautiful, like Dr. J going to the hoop or like Duke Ellington."

--David Hammons

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Map of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta (1859)

Monday, February 25, 2019

As artists our job is to look where others don’t.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Georgia O'Keefe
Charles Sheeler
Romantic reverence for wild nature paradoxically disserved the natural world, idealizing nature to the point of obscuring much of its reality. When Romantic environmentalism did not own up to the ways that law and technology produce both the nature we encounter and the ways we encounter it, its ideal of pristine, wild nature grew narrower. This narrowing encouraged the Romantic habit of disregarding, even disdaining, places that do not meet high standards of sublimity and inspiration, segregating the natural world into a few cathedrals and vast tracts of profane land, with most of human life relegated to the profane regions.

--Jedediah Purdy

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Great Grey Owl Siting at Prairie Creek State Park, Humboldt County, CA (circa 2015)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

1848 illustration of the great Tule marsh of the Sacramento Valley
US Dept. of Agriculture Map of the State of California (1901) courtesy of the Prelinger Library

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

One of the things I find fascinating about California is that our state of 39 million people with its $2 trillion economy subsists largely on the bounty of five or six winter storms a year.

--Taryn Ravazzini

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I like invoking the native rhythm an image suggests, and then not allowing the viewer to have it. I want people to question the motivation behind shot lengths. Playing with temporal expectations is what is most indigenous to cinema. And maybe indigenous to other kinds of thinking, I don’t know. Where you’re forcing someone to stay longer or shorter with something than they expect. That’s what I love most about cinema – manipulating the temporal plane.

--Deborah Stratman

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The world is a mess. If you concentrate on a little bit of the world and you make a little composition, you’re effectively tidying it up. 

--Martin Creed

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Merced National Wildlife Refuge

The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

There is a familiar rhetorical trap that occurs around the subject of political art. Artists who's work is too imaginative, reckless, wild, and beautifully useless are accused of being complicit within the structure of the status quo. Their own imagination ends up at war with the demands of their social conscience. On the flipside, artists whose work is straightforward and political are generally accused of being too didactic and lacking critical complexity. Their critic's arguments tend to quickly show themselves as protectors of the art world and capitalist status quo. In the end, it appears to be a lose/lose situation and as such, it has turned off many an artist to the demands of being political.

What is to be done? Anything looked at in and of itself will eventually resolve itself in failure. One object/practice/person/idea can not encompass all the elements which comprise a socially conscious revolutionary movement. Quite clearly, the modernist conception of art as a separate aspect from daily life fails miserably and contemporary art has yet to take this lesson to heart. In isolation all things stand alone and are mute. It is through the rich diverse fabric of collective action that private expression gains meaning. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

What I realized, partly because I didn’t go to art school, but also by engaging in a lot of different audiences and communities, is that people within the arts tend to have an extremely inflated sense of their own importance in the world, and that most people don’t give a shit about “Art.” 

--Josh MacPhee

Thursday, January 28, 2016

"News stories don’t satisfy on a human level,” she said. “We know that Guantánamo is still open, but do we really know what that means? The idea is to experience an emotional understanding, so it’s not just an intellectual abstraction."

--Laura Poitras

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Art is itself a research practice, a way of investigating the world and ourselves. Art displays us to ourselves, and in a way makes us anew, by disrupting our habitual activities of doing and making.

--Alva Noë

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The relationship between the didactic and the arts has suffered immensely, and the gulf continues to grow: the socially engaged artist that wades into the waters of the didactic faces the wrath of an arts community that privileges rigidified codes of ambiguous aesthetics above all else.

--Nato Thompson

Thursday, July 23, 2015

That is the miracle of great socially committed art: It addresses our sources of deepest unease, helps us to confront what we cannot organize or explain by making all of it unforgettable. 

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Finally, art is--or should be--generous. But when working with place, artists can only give if they are receiving as well. The greatest challenges for artists lured by the local are to balance between making the information accessible and making it visually provocative as well; to fulfill themselves as well as their collaborators; to innovate not just for innovation's sake, not just for style's sake, nor to enhance their reputation or ego, but to bring a new degree of coherence and beauty to the lure of the local.

--Lucy Lippard

Thursday, January 08, 2015

A lecture about conservation initiatives on Humboldt Bay

Sunday, October 26, 2014

European Beach Grass Eradication, Humboldt Bay, CA

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Monday, July 07, 2014

Diagram of an aerobic trickling filter at a wastewater treatment plant

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Diagram of an anaerobic digester at a wastewater treatment plant

Monday, June 09, 2014

“I am suggesting that, for too many individuals in modern society, there is a feeling of being dominated, and that feelings of powerlessness are almost inescapable. I am also suggesting that such feelings can to a large degree be overcome through conscious endeavor on the part of individuals to keep themselves awake, to think about their condition in the world, to inquire into the forces that appear to dominate them, to interpret the experiences they are having day by day. Only as they learn to make sense of what is happening, can they feel themselves to be autonomous. Only then can they develop the sense of agency required for living a moral life.”

--Maxine Greene

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Action without a name, a who attached to it, is meaningless.
--Hannah Arendt

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Imitate, make it geometrical, intensify: That is not a bad three-part formula for the driving pulse of the arts as a whole.

--E.O. Wilson

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thus the project of imparting visibility to the very classes and peoples, the very spaces and sites, where history has remained nameless and without image and for whom cultural representation would in fact lead to an initiating constitution of historical identity could be one of the remaining functions of radical cultural practices, rather than an affirmation of past values and privileges now resurrected to reassert the vanishing basis of cultural legitimation defining Western societies. 

--Benjamin Buchloh

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Saturday, November 16, 2013

One of my favorite things about art/artists in the world today is that beyond any kind of label of "activist", a wide range of image makers and cultural producers are stepping up as artistic public intellectuals and taking a very active role in public discourse about complex themes that cannot be resolved by straight forward politics, science, social science or journalism. They are eschewing the marginality where most artists seem willing to wallow.
--Daniel Tucker

Friday, September 27, 2013

Breaching a 100-year old dike on Humboldt Bay to restore a long-lost wetland (September 26, 2013)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Experimenting with your own life is the most fundamental medium we have.

--Natalie Jeremijenko

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The only way in which we can bring our creative resources fully into play is by misjudging the nature of the task, by presenting it to ourselves as more routine, simple, undemanding of genuine creativity than it will turn out to be.

--Malcolm Gladwell

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013