WILD PLANTS, QUEER LANDSCAPES; SEEDborder CrossWALK in Crown Heights

Weed Walk Sun 19 Nov 2017 12.00PM-2.00PM Meeting location in front of St. Matthew's Church at 1123 Eastern Pkwy, please RSVP: vlc@newschool.edu.
4 train to Utica Ave

Additional WEED WALKS:
A ballast weed walk at the Western Railyards
A ballast weed walk at Atlantic Basin / Red Hook
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As part of the Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016-2018 and as an extension of the exhibition Maria Thereza Alves, Seeds of Change: New York—A Botany of Colonization, WILD PLANTS, QUEER LANDSCAPES explores the connection between Maria Thereza Alves' work and the New York City landscape. This walk is led by artists Andrea Haenggi and Ellie Irons in partnership with the Vera List Center's Horticultural Advisor, Marisa Prefer.

Volunteer plants penetrate ruderal landscapes, thriving under the harsh conditions of poor soil and post-industrial waste. These spontaneous plants blanket spaces of transition by creeping into slivers of dirt, emerging year after year, far from their places of origin. Wild plants are often coded as threatening, labeled "weeds" or "invasive" but are also opportunists. They are doing the work of queering the urban landscape.

Join artists Andrea Haenggi and Ellie Irons of the Environmental Performance Agency for a for a 1 mile walk from the Utica Ave train stop, to the Weeksville Heritage Center. We are looking out for and collecting seeds from many of the ballast flora featured in Maria Theresa Alves' Seeds of Change. On this multi-sensory exploration of the seed scape in and around the historic Weeksville Heritage Center grounds in Crown Heights, seeing with our feet and touching with our eyes, we let the autumn landscape guide us through past and present. We seek out the seeds of spontaneous urban plants, following them from sidewalk cracks and alleyways to the carefully cultivated grounds at the Weeksville Heritage Center.

Andrea Haenggi (CH/USA) is a Brooklyn-based artist, choreographer, dancer, educator and radical care sitter. Haenggi is known for mixing disciplines and modes of making. The last view years, she is in search for another kind of theater, an "ethno-choreo-botan-ography" to explore the notion of colonialism, feminism, ecology, migration, labor and care for a world beyond humans. Spontaneous urban weeds are her mentors, collaborators and performers. In 2013, Haenggi turned her new rented studio in Crown Heights, a former auto-repair garage with a 1900 Sq Ft vacant lot, an increasingly gentrified neighborhood in Brooklyn, into a socially and ecologically engaged research and performance space. This 5 -year art project "1067 PacificPeople" grow into the co-founding of the collaborative project Environmental Performance Agency in 2017. Haenggi's work have been presented in numerous theaters, galleries and public spaces around the world, including Queens Museum, Dance Theater Workshop and MASS MoCA in North Adams; and internationally at the Society for Performing Arts in Lagos, Nigeria. As an educator, she is on the faculty of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York. Haenggi holds a MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute/Plymouth University UK and is a Swiss Canton Solothurn Dance Price 2008 recipient.

Ellie Irons is an artist and educator based in Brooklyn and Troy, New York. She works in a variety of media, from video to workshops to gardening, to reveal how human and nonhuman lives intertwine with other earth systems. For the past five years her work and research have revolved around spontaneous urban plants, including the co-founding of two ongoing collaborative projects, the Next Epoch Seed Library and the Environmental Performance Agency. Her solo and collaborative work has been part of recent group exhibitions exploring contemporary environmental issues, including Social Ecologies, Emergent Ecologies, and the ongoing Chance Ecologies series. Her recent writing has appeared in Temporary Art Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Landscape Architecture Futures and on the blog Inhabiting the Anthropocene. She is a 2015 NYFA Fellowship recipient, a 2015 Turbulence Commission grantee and a 2017 Asian Cultural Council Fellow. She received her BA from Scripps College in Los Angeles, where she studied studio art and environmental science, followed by an MFA in painting and drawing from Hunter College. After teaching at CUNY and Brown University for several years, she is now pursuing a practice-based PhD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her PhD research focuses on the intersection of socially engaged art and ecology fieldwork in the form of "public fieldwork", a method of collaborative artistic practice designed to decenter the human and provoke engagement with the biological and cultural implications of weedy habitats and lifeforms.

Marisa Prefer is a trans-disciplinary educator, urban ecologist and amateur herbalist who can often be found covered in soil. Marisa works to translate knowledge within plant communities to human terms, through experiential pedagogies and cultivating ecosystems for urban resilience. Part of their work involves bringing to light the marginalized interstitial space between human and plant binaries while building energy around healing bodies. Prefer serves as the Programs Manager for floating food forest, Swale as well as the Landscape Curator at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and is the Horticultural Advisor for Maria Thereza Alves, Seeds of Change: New York—A Botany of Colonization. Marisa has previously helped to run the Children's Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and also makes work as part of the collective non/studio.

The Environmental Performance Agency (EPA) is an artist collective founded in 2017 and named in response to the proposed defunding of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Appropriating the acronym EPA, the collective's primary goal is to shift thinking around the terms environment, performance, and agency – using artistic, social, and embodied / kinesthetic practices to advocate for the agency of all living performers co-creating our environment, specifically through the lens of spontaneous urban plants, native or migrant. Current EPA Agents include Catherine Grau, andrea haenggi, Ellie Irons, Christopher Kennedy, and the spontaneous urban plants of 1067 Pacific Street, Brooklyn.

Hyperallergic is the exclusive media sponsor for the International Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016-2018.


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