farmlab Public Salon
Amy Balkin
Friday, November 7, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission

On the Ground

About The Salon
How does does the history of land apportionment and toxic waste dump siting in California relate to climate change and emissions trading? Join Amy Balkin for a discussion about land, art, climate, and justice as they relate to her projects Invisible-5, Public Smog, and This is the Public Domain.

Amy is a collaborator on Invisible-5, an environmental justice audio tour along the Interstate 5 corridor between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Working together with Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Pond: Art, Activism, and Ideas, and artists Kim Stringfellow and Tim Halbur, the collaborators created a tour of 23 stops, each a site of geopolitical struggle on the route. These conflicts are articulated by a range of citizen-activists whose health and lives have been altered by historic and current race and class inequity in the siting and distribution of polluting land uses in California. You can download the project at

She will also discuss two ongoing attempts to initiate public parks – Public Smog, an atmospheric clean-air park that fluctuates in location and scale, and This is the Public Domain, is an attempt to open a permanent global commons near Tehachapi, CA. Activities to create Public Smog have included purchasing and retiring emission offsets in regulated emissions markets, making them inaccessible to polluting industries, and an attempt to submit the atmosphere for inscription on the World Heritage List.

About The Presenter
San Francisco-based artist Amy Balkin’s practice combines cross-disciplinary research and social critique, exploring how people create, interact with, and impact the social and material landscapes we inhabit.

Her projects often involve multidisciplinary collaborations with artists, activists, scientists, and others, in works that increasingly consider spatial and environmental justice, including This is the Public Domain (2001+), Public Smog (2004+), and the audio tour collaboration Invisible-5 (2006). Her most recent work is Sell us your Liberty, or we’ll Subcontract your Death (2008), a series of large-format rubbings taken from architectural signage of San Francisco Bay Area entities engaged in the local production of war.

In 2007 she traveled to the Arctic with Cape Farewell, a UK-based project to bring artists and scientists together to enhance public awareness of climate change.

Photo: (Top) Courtesy Amy Balkin

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