Sunday, April 15, 2012

a mandala for the goddess

i left the garden yesterday with the sobering feeling that it will be gone soon

it was perhaps the most successful and beautiful of all events we ever put together (thank you Sara). everything worked perfectly, thanks to the months of devotion, hard work and generosity of everyone involved in the garden project: residents, guests, friends, and Ash's guiding vision

it is hard to see it go, especially when we are ending on such a high note. but i'm not left with a sense of loss but instead with a sense of exhilaration. in tibetan buddhist tradition (of which i'm not a follower), there is a ritual called the sand mandala. monks gather around for a very long period and draw a symbolic circular sand picture. when the picture is finished, the sand is swept and poured into moving water, to return it to nature

during the last few months, we drew a giant warehouse painting, colored with the life stories of over 100 people that visited from dozens of countries, contributing and donating their creativity and work to the space. these contributions were driven, among others, by the natural desire of human beings to be part of a purposeful meaningful space, where beauty, art, music and conversations intertwine every day. a desire, i'd argue, to step out of the concrete boxes we live in every day and to let out what these boxes won't allow us to: our songs, our colors, our sights and dreams for a better world

as we wash away the life from the warehouse and return it to the goddess, we will also be making a statement on how nothing lasts forever. this being both the shepherd street garden and the concrete boxes it questioned while it existed

so here's cleaning this one and start drawing the next


Saturday, January 7, 2012

shepherd st garden customs

the first thing i did when i moved in was to find a bike. luckily, the bower and reverse garbage have heaps of spare parts. the first bike i restored was the middle one, a front + rear suspension mountain bike with a funny kid's bike handlebar. it's my cycling to work bike.

soon after, one of our guests eileen showed up with another old bike, a kid's pink fixed gear bike. we fixed it up nicely and now it has been restored with some mountain bike parts, perfectly useable and with a higher handlebar making it possible for short adults to use it too

two weeks ago i found a rusted old frame and decided to go full hipster and make my first fixed gear bike (in native hipsterese, "fixie"). turned out great, and everyone loves the rusted green paint job

overall, the all bikes and parts together cost me about $50. not a bad deal for free city touring

now that we got a welder for the house, expect crazier designs from our customs bike shed. featured in the pic is my smug smile for our three successful bike restorations

engineering report over, live long and prosper

Saturday, December 24, 2011

list of documentaries screened at the party

during the party we screened two documentaries. here is the information for further reading. the first one was screened during the afternoon (sorry for the poor sound and early cutoff. we'll try to have a better sound setup next time). the second series was left on loop all night.

What Would Jesus Buy?


An examination of the commercialization of Christmas in America while following Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse (the end of humankind from consumerism, over-consumption and the fires of eternal debt.) The film also delves into issues such as the role sweatshops play in America's mass consumerism and Big-Box Culture. From the humble beginnings of preaching at his portable pulpit on New York City subways, to having a congregation of thousands - Bill Talen (aka Rev. Billy) has become the leader of not just a church, but a national movement.

7 Billion Others

From the website: 

In 2003, after The Earth seen from the Sky,
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, with Sybille d’Orgeval and Baptiste Rouget-Luchaire, launched the project “6 Billion Others”.
5,000 interviews were filmed in 75 countries by 6 directors who went in search of the Others.

From a Brazilian fisherman to a Chinese shopkeeper, from a German performer to an Afghan farmer, all answered the same questions about their fears, dreams, ordeals, hopes:

  What have you learnt from your parents? What do you want to pass on to your children? What difficult circumstances have you been through? What does love mean to you?

Forty or so questions that help us to find out what separates and what unites us. 

Questions played (looped not necessarily in this sequence):

thank you everyone for participating!