black holes, white lights. cuts in the sky, parting my skin. (PHOTOS)

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another place in between 

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upside down pyramid moon rising roots exposed

upside down pyramid moon rising roots exposed

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before / after  dec2012

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savior-killer-lover-mother  june2012

savior-killer-lover-mother  june2012

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love letter is a short film i made last month. the edited footage is 18 minutes long, documenting one day of activity last spring when i visited gangjeong maul; an activist group’s strategy against the construction of a naval base on jeju-island.  the audio is a compilation of 5 songs covered/re-record. i sing the 5 songs kareoke/noraebang style. 

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arrlokk in summer: 리슨투더시티

Arrlokk is a student in the Haja Hub Summer School. (Month long, holistic project based alternative summer school incorporating Seoul city and ‘sustainability’) We invited Listen to the City to give a tour for the students in the program.  She wrote about her experience of the tour below.


도시에서는 지형을 생각하지 않고 또 그 건물이 있던 자리 혹은 들어설 자리의 역사나 자연을 고려하지 않고 무조건 공사를 시작하는 모습을 볼 수 가 있다. 하지만 도시에서는 비단 건물들만이 건축의 대상이 아니다. 도시 속에 자연을 붙잡아 두기 위해 건축을 하곤 한다. 청계천은 생태도 없고 역사도 없는 인공 그 자체였던 건축물이었다. 하천을 최대한 자연 그대로 살리기 보다는 보기 좋게 지어놓은 것이다. 물은 본래 부자연스럽지 않은 것인데, 도시가 물을 다루는 태도는 최소 180억의 유지비까지 들이면서 무리하게 겉모습을 깨끗이 하는…

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gardening on the jennifersoft rooftop with students

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scouting locations for SUP at DOHA.  

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tiny tomato harvest…

for a first garden, planting in small styrofoam boxes during an ultra hot and ultra busy summer.. i gained a good experience. plants need a lot of love and time.  they need a patient heart and serious commitment.  active consideration.  

my setbacks:

-lack of communication between neighbor’s (who could give me good advice about how to grow in the city)

-landlady spraying pesticides on my plants (nooo!!!  my lettuce wound up tasting like chemicals.  I was sad.)

-hot summer, rooftop increases the heat, lack of shelter, protection from the hot sun,

-quick drying of soil - i started using old plastic bags to keep the moisture in

-difficult watering system (water bottles had to be carried up and down the stairs. 

-i only learned halfway through the season that plants shouldn’t be watered mid-day sue to shock to their system

-lack of space for roots (i should have planted only one plant per styrofoam box)

-catapillar problem.  baby lettuces were quickly eaten up.  i added a mesh net to protect them but it was too late.  the best lettuce of the season was mustard and chicory.  the arugula was eaten up too quickly.

-i couldn’t analyse the soil nutrients.  there are no test kits here.  although i could buy online i never took the initiative to.  i heard from many people that they don’t do that here (on the community gardening level)…  but i have seen so many really lovely gardens, so people must be checking their soil somehow.  i prefer this style of knowledge gathering from experienced people so i hope to do some extra research about that next season.

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utopia with bridget martin.

at the edges and even inside new songdo there are illegal farms made by the older community.  i visited bridget as she was doing research for a thesis project for obtaining her masters. she took me on a tour exploring the city and its periphery.  

looking at the images, you can see there are multiple entry points to hidden gardens where, if not for these old “grandmother’s’ and ‘grandfather’s”, land would remain un-used. 

if we imagine a timeline of these spaces:

1) people’s homes, small shacks, people living mostly self sufficiently, traditional older community, many of them fishermen.  homes border the sea.

2) the filling in of miles of land over 30+ years 

3) the demolition of homes and shacks and the relocation of communities to the new city in songdo. this is a process of urbanization. we can imagine that many of these people’s jobs changed from agricultural/rural to urban workers and laborers. this particular community would likely (but not necessarily) have acquired ultra-modern apartments (under the new digital songdo city concept) as part of the settlement of eviction of their space.  People can live more comfortably.  But transition results in a massive loss of land by the working class. 

4) the process of development. the land is sectioned off, sold, bought, and walled.  i believe bridget mentioned that a blockbuster movie theater complex will be built here (the location in the images).  the development was stalled so people started using the spaces for their garden’s and farms.

as i look at these photo’s i’m thinking a lot of things…  i’m thinking about urbanization and the potential loss of tradition and identity.  the older community in korea is used to living more self-sufficiently.  actually it is very interesting that korea’s population is (as i heard last) 83% urbanized…  but 4% of people actually live off the land (in comparison to the U.S. where 79% live in urban zones but only 1% of people live off the land despite that fact that people have more land and the country is much larger)   

i never feel sure if i should agree with stewart brand or not.  he describes the process of urbanization as better for the earth, in his book ‘whole earth discipline.’ basically, cities increase human population density in specific area’s protecting larger area’s of nature and biodiversity.  additionally in cities the population rate lowers… there are many that contest his views and i’m not yet sure what side of the fence i’m on myself.

i’m looking forward to bridget’s thesis and in the future i’ll be posting links to her articles. 

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utopia with bridget

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jennifersoft // preparing for the rooftop garden

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