Public Harvest Of
Xempoalxochitl / Marigolds
Saturday, January 31, 2009 @ Noon

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Farmlab Public Salon
Newton & Helen Mayer Harrison
Friday, January 30, 2009 @ Noon

"Four Works on the Culture of Extraction"

About the Salon
Considering the contemporary condition that they describe as the Culture of Extraction, the Harrisons present four of their projects: the Serpentine Lattice, the Endangered Meadows of Europe, Green Heart of Holland, and Greenhouse Britain.


About the Salon Participants

"There is a gentle beauty in their work, and much charisma in the otherworldly maps and text panels that are poetic and personal rather than dryly official. The exhibition is, of course, a call to action, but it is foremost a lyrical meditation on what ecological disaster and collective recovery might one day look like."
Elizabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, 2008

Among the leading pioneers of the eco-art movement, the collaborative team of Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison have worked for almost forty years with biologists, ecologists and urban planners to initiate collaborative dialogues to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development.

The Harrison's concept of art embraces a breathtaking range of disciplines. They are historians, diplomats, ecologists, investigators, emissaries and art activists. Their work involves proposing solutions and involves not only public discussion, but extensive mapping and documentation of these proposals in an art context.

Past projects have focused on watershed restoration, urban renewal, agriculture and forestry issues among others. The Harrisons visionary projects have often led to changes in governmental policy and have expanded dialogue around previously unexplored issues leading to practical implementations throughout the United States and Europe.

"Our work begins when we perceive an anomaly in the environment that is the result of opposing beliefs or contradictory metaphors. Moments when reality no longer appears seamless and the cost of belief has become outrageous offer the opportunity to create new spaces - first in the mind and thereafter in everyday life."

Further information about the Harrisons:

Image: A vision for the Green Heart of Holland, Installation at Gouda. Image courtesy the Harrisons

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Farmlab Public Salon
Fiamma Montemezolo + Rene Peralta + Bill Kelley, Jr
+ Friends
Friday, March 6, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

Here is Tijuana

About the Salon
Here is Tijuana was co-authored by the Italian Anthropologist Fiamma Montezemolo, Philosopher/writer Heriberto Yepez and Architect Rene Peralta, who fused their disciplines and ideologies in an effort to document and rediscover the ubiquitous and unfathomable quality of the city’s urban representation. As the work of three editors, Here is Tijuana is the combination of three distinct research projects that culminated in a book whose intention is not to abridge or resolve Tijuana‘s apparent chaos, but to engage the powers that act upon it and render its socio-cultural and urban form(s). The book represents the effort of a multidisciplinary look at cities and geographies. The material presented here is taken from a diverse range of sources, including Mexican and United States government reports; newspaper editorials; travel guides; architectural criticism; market research statistics; homeland security bulletins; tourism and convention literature; the Rotary Club of Tijuana; Yahoo News; and contemporary literature. The ethnographic element of the study enriches the architect’s view of the city and involves the culture as part of the urban development process of our San Diego –Tijuana region in the 21st century.

About the Salon Presenters
Educated at the New School of Architecture in San Diego and at the Architectural Association in London. A native of Tijuana, has taught architecture and urban design at Universidad Iberoamericana in Tijuana, was visiting faculty at UCLA in 2005, visiting critic at University of Colorado, Denver and Boulder campus in 2006, visiting professor at Washington University, St. Louis in summer 2008 and is currently a full time faculty member at Woodbury University School of Architecture in San Diego.

Rene’s work in the last few years has been directed toward the research of social and cultural forms of the urban border between the cities of Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California. Projects range from online web reports and texts, publishing books and writing collaborations, as well as participating in museum exhibitions and leading an architecture design practice in Tijuana. He has published texts in the US, Mexico, Cuba and Italy and France and lectured at UCLA, USC, North Carolina State University, Harvard University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo among others. His research work includes World View: a web based report on architecture and urbanism for The Architectural League of New York and is co-author of the book Here is Tijuana. His work has been exhibited in the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Casa Mexico in the Mexican Embassy in Washington DC, the 2007 Schenzhen Architecture and Urbanism Biennale in China, and invited as lecturer and essayist in the 2008 California Biennale.


Currently a Visiting Scholar at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Cultural Studies at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, México. Fiamma received her Ph.D. from the Orientale University in Naples, Italy. She is the author of two ethnographies Faceless, Ethnicity and Gender in the Zapatist Movement and My history not yours! Chicanos/as Identity: between representation and self representation and most recently co-authored Here is Tijuana, a Visual Ethnography (Black Dog Publishing, 2006, London) with Rene Peralta and Heriberto Yepez. Fiamma has numerous national and international publications with Aztlán: Journal of Chicano Studies (UCLA), Third Text (UK), Revista de Antropología Social (Madrid University), La Ventana, Guadalajara University, Letras Libres (Mexico), Avatar, Journal of Anthropology and Communication, Meltemi (Italy). She has an essay in the catalog of the 2005 edition of the bi-national, public art event Insite05. During her stay at the CSRC she is conducting archival and ethnographic research for her new research project on the rapport between art practice, ethnicity and violence and she is completing a new book for Duke Press on contemporary Tijuana co-edited with Josh Kuhn (USC).

Image via



Farmlab Public Salon
Joel Reynolds
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

"Whales, Dolphins, Sonar, and the U.S. Navy"

About the Salon

Winter v NRDC was the name of the recent controversial U.S. Supreme Court case that challenged the U.S. Navy's use of sonar off the coast of southern California. At this Salon, Joel Reynolds of the Natural Resources Defense Council (the "NRDC" in the court case name) will discuss the outcome of the case, the reasoning and the science behind the NRDC's arguments, and perhaps hypothesize about what 2009 may bring regarding the matter.

From a Joel Reynolds blog post the week prior to the arguments:
"As I wrote about previously, NRDC challenged the Navy's refusal to comply with federal environmental laws when using mid-frequency active sonar during fourteen long-planned exercises in southern California. There is no question that sonar injures and kills whales and dolphins. The Navy admitted as much in its official "Environmental Assessment" of the exercises, estimating that the exercises would significantly disturb or injure an estimated 170,000 marine mammals, including causing permanent injury to more than 450 whales and temporary hearing impairment in at least 8,000 whales.

"Nonetheless, in planning its exercises, the Navy refused to adopt common-sense measures to protect marine mammals from the effects of its dangerous sonar technology. The Navy's failures led both the district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to conclude that the Navy had violated federal environmental laws. To remedy the Navy's violations, while still allowing the Navy to effectively train, the district court required the Navy to adopt additional safeguards protecting whales and other marine mammals."

About the Salon Speaker

Joel Reynolds is the Director of National Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Urban Program, the Marine Mammal Protection and So. California Ecosystem projects.

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Designer / Developer
For Web + Print
(Los Angeles)

The Metabolic Studio (Farmlab + Chora + AMI) is seeking a collaborator who's into: Information as art, technology as art, big conceptual ideas, and when the time comes, hitting deadlines.

Things we like include: Cabinets of wonder, antiquarian books, scientific journals, hypertext, mind-mapping (flow charts as well as brain scans), the work of Gordon Matta-Clark, Manuel Castells, Edward Tufte, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, seed vaults, bees, lightning, social sculpture, general experimentation, and people who know things that we don't.

Know someone who might be interested? Then please pass along our contact info to them, or ask them to contact us via:

info [at] farmlab [dot] org

Please include "Web/Print" in the subject field.

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Farmlab Public Salon
Dr. Marcus Eriksen & Anna Cummins
Friday, January 16, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

"Synthetic Sea, Synthetic Me"

About the Salon

Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation discuss the issue of plastic debris fouling our oceans, entering our food chain, and ultimately winding up on our dinner plates. They will discuss their recent project to build JUNK, a raft from 15,000 bottles that sailed to Hawaii this past summer, and their upcoming voyage JUNKride, cycling from Vancouver to Tijuana to raise awareness about plastic marine debris. Learn how the rapid accumulation of plastic debris is impacting our global oceans, and what we can do to stop the plastic plague.

About the Salon Participants

Marcus Eriksen received his Ph.D. in Science Education from University of Southern California in 2003, months before embarking on a 2000-mile journey down the Mississippi River on a raft made from plastic bottles. Years earlier, Marcus had worked for several zoos and museums, founding his own company, Mission Science, in 1997, visiting hundreds of California schools lecturing on geology and paleontology. Mission Science also includes a summer field course for teachers to join him excavating dinosaurs in Wyoming, which he still does today. He also hosts "Commando Weather," a series of public service announcements about the science of weather, for the Weather Channel. He is also the Director of Research and Education for the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, studying and lecturing about the plague of plastic debris in our watersheds and in the ocean. In 2006, he won the H. David Nahai Water Quality Award in Education, presented by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board for his work with students to build an ocean-going raft from plastic bottles. In 2005, Marcus created Watershed Wonders, an educational video series packaged with curriculum materials for Junior and Senior High Schools. Episodes include "Bottle Rocket down the Mississippi River", "Coastal Wetlands and the Journey of Fluke", and "Cola Kayak and the Los Angeles River." Marcus recently published his first book, titled "My River Home" (Beacon Press, 2007) chronicling his experience as a marine in the 1991 Gulf War and his 5-month journey down the Mississippi River.

His latest adventure sent him rafting across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii on JUNK, a vessel floating on 15,000 plastic bottles, 30 sailboat masts lashed to form a deck, and a Cessina airplane fuselage as a cabin. The journey, 2,600 miles in 88 days, brought attention to the work of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the issue of plastic trash filling the world's oceans. On his next adventure, Marcus and his wife, will bicycle from Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico to lecture about achieving a culture of sustainability.

Anna Cummins has over 10 years of experience in environmental non-profit work, education, writing, and campaign development. She has worked in marine conservation, coastal watershed management, international environmental policy, and high school ecology instruction. She received her undergraduate in History from Stanford University, and her Masters in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

In 2001, Anna received a fellowship from the Sustainable Communities Leadership Program, to for Santa Cruz based non-profit Save Our Shores, coordinating bilingual outreach education and community relations. At Save Our Shores, Anna came across The Algalita Marine Research Foundation's work on plastic marine debris. She later joined Algalita's 2004 research voyage to Guadalupe Island, to collect evidence of plastic ingestion by Laysan Albatross. In 2005, Anna returned to Los Angeles, to teach ecology and organic cooking at New Roads School, coordinate Green Living Workshops for Sustainable Works, and found the Bring Your Own campaign. In 2007 she joined the Algalita Marine Research Foundation as education adviser, and spent a month on board the foundation's 6th research trip to the North Pacific Gyre.

Anna has published a number of articles and chapters on environmental themes, including a regular columns for the Santa Monica Mirror and Worldchanging Los Angeles, 2 chapters in "Proceed With Passion: Engaging Students in Meaningful Education" (Red Hen Press), and numerous sustainability-themed blogs. She is currently continuing her work on plastics education with Algalita and Bring Your Own.

Image courtesy Anna Cummins

The Public Salon Series takes place Fridays @ Noon at 1745 N. Spring Street #4, Los Angeles, CA 90012. A complimentary buffet lunch is served, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also open for viewing and purchasing through February 13, 2009: Chora Prints 2008: New Political Posters From TJ2LA



Classes -- Upcoming + Past

February 7 & 8: Sat 9am-5pm, Sunday 10am-5pm
March 7 & 8: Sat 9am-5pm, Sunday 10am-5pm

6th Annual Los Angeles Permaculture Design Course

A Certificate Course for Homeowners, Land Managers & Design Professionals,

This course has something for everyone...

This training includes the most inspiring examples of sustainable land use and human ingenuity from around the world.

Part III: Community & Green Business... EcoVillage Design and Community Celebration.

Learn how to apply Permaculture's principles-the indicators of sustainability-to the design of healthy regenerative businesses and communities...

For more information or to register see

Taking Place at Farmlab -- Not Sponsored by Farmlab

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