Images For A New Activism: The Posters of Green Patriotism

During World War II the United States was able to mobilize industry and motivate its citizens in breathtaking speed. Factories were overhauled and consumption habits transformed. Strong, graphically compelling posters played a crucial role in the success of this campaign.

These posters presented the actions of individual citizens as vital for the nation and portrayed those who took part as attractive, dynamic American heroes.

Today a similar mobilization is required to address the crisis of global climate change and achieve energy independence. That’s why The Canary Project and its partners have launched Green Patriot Posters.

Green Patriot Posters is a communications campaign centered on posters that encourage all U.S. citizens to build a sustainable economy. These posters can be general (“We Can Do It!”) or can promote a specific sustainability action.

This quote is taken from the About section of the group Green Patriot Posters. The website allows you to browse the submitted posters, get inspired, and submit your own poster. The aesthetic bar appears very high, though they possess a wide array of styles. Above, the cover for their newly released book “Green Patriot Posters: Images For A New Activism” published by Metropolis Books in the US and Thames & Hudson in the UK. The group is also very proud of their methods of production.

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Interrupted Light: Luzinterruptus

Luzinterruptus is a Madrid-based light art intervention collective. They’ve done some really large-scale works in streets around the world, this project, Garden for a not too distant future, being one of their most recent.

From their site, “For this installation we used 110 transparent food packaging containers, inside which we put leaves and branches found in the trees in the area and lights of course. Afterwards, we placed them on a wall in an ugly square in the center of Madrid and there we left our form of fashionable vertical garden.”

The work critiques the arguably impractical value of vertical gardens in public spaces, with the collective stating, “… if we continue to eradicate it from public spaces or reducing it to inaccessible vertical faces, the only form of contact with nature will be in supermarket refrigerators, packaged with expiry dates.”

I suppose what I find most interesting about their work is the relentless necessity to encounter it at night — and that they insist on working in the context of outdoor space. According to an interview on UrbanArtCore, they head out nearly once a week to create an installation; here’s hoping summer gives us that kind of time.

Photos by Gustavo Sanabria.

[via Designboom]

Cyberpac’s Dissolving Bags

While browsing on Environmental Graffiti blog, I stumbled across a new product developed by Cyberpac. The new product line is aimed at drastically reducing consumer waste while providing basic products that most of us use on a nearly daily basis. This particular product, ‘Harmless-Dissolve‘, is a “readily biodegradable, water soluble polymer which completely biodegrades in a composting environment, in a dishwasher or in a washing machine. It has no harmful residues and will biodegrade into naturally occurring substances […] In the end the bag becomes carbon dioxide, water and biomass.”

There are a few more images after the jump…

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Kanner Architects’ Malibu 5

Malibu 5

I don’t want this to come off as an advertisement for Kanner Architects, but since I have an interest in architecture, I thought I’d share one of their projects. This project, entitled “Malibu 5,” is a home made from sustainable and recycled materials. Because of its roof-mounted solar panels, it’s also energy efficient! The home also makes use of concrete flooring’s ability to draw in heat during the day and release it at night. What’s more, the home takes advantage of  coastal breezes and, with its large windows, natural light.

Malibu 5

Part of the appeal for me is this gorgeous view of the ocean.

Malibu 5

If I had a list of the most pleasant places I’ve ever seen, this would be near the top.

Solutions in Deep Imagination

The Golden Institute for Energy in Colorado by Sascha Pohflepp

Sascha Pohflepp imagined a future predicated on the re-election of Jimmy Carter in 1980. In this future, there exists a think tank called, “The Golden Institute for Energy” based in Golden, Colarado, which imagines and invents new technologies to make the US the most energy-rich nation on the planet.

Capturing lightning, stealing back energy from off-ramps, and weather modification balloons are all imagined as feasible energy-generating technologies. The institute, or rather the idea of the institute, becomes a vehicle for creative and critical thought and invention, and it is more about that idea than the computer-generated images, scale models, or fake corporate videos that make Pohflepp’s project so interesting.

Rewriting and re-imagining something as huge as a national energy policy could certainly appear reckless or hopeless, but it should instead be read as hugely exciting and filled with potential. Inventing an entirely new trajectory for something so large (like say, the city of Windsor) could indeed facilitate a crucially important discussion: in the instance of Pohflepp’s project, how different would the world’s stance on climate change be if Carter had been re-elected; in the instance of imagining the future of Windsor, how bad will things get if nothing changes.

[via We Make Money Not Art]

BCL’s 1 Year Anniversary

a cake, courtesy of the Evernote blog

Today is the 1 year anniversary of the conversation I had with Danielle that sparked the idea for Broken City Lab. We had just finished eating dinner, I was doing the dishes, and we were talking about what protest means today, and  how to move beyond protest towards social change. Right after the conversation, I wrote a one-page description of what a concentrated effort to change things in the city incrementally through artistic practice might look like and titled it Broken City Lab.

It wasn’t until later on in the summer last year that a few of us got together as Broken City Lab, and we started to carve out, rewrite, rethink, and actually do the things that has made BCL what it is now. I just wanted to make a little note, even just for myself, about what was happening a year ago and what we’ve done since then. 

So, as an anniversary gift to you, here are some interesting things I’ve read and seen recently:

Detroit House: $100. Bold New Ideas for the City: Priceless.


Christian Robert-Tissot’s Nature Morte  (via vvork)

In Hard Times, Public Places are More Important Than Ever

Happy March 19th!

Austin Green Art

Green Bench

The recent season change reminds me of how much our temperature drops during the winter and how much our city changes aesthetically.  On that note, I was wondering how other “green art”-type groups deal with their surroundings.

I found a group call Austin Green Art from Austin, Texas which seems to focus on using existing materials (disposed or excessively produced) to make useful structures and raise awareness of environmental issues.  While this group is about as different from Broken City Lab – they seem to market to children quite a bit and require constant donations for operation – as it is similiar, it’s nice to see participation from a wide range of age groups in their documentation.

I found this “Green Bench” to be a great example of a project that could encorporate ideas such as: static visual art display (in the plastic cover), shelter, sustaining plant life, and potential solar energy production.  I’d like to see benches like this line a few of Windsor’s streets.