Eden in Iraq Presentation at Arizona State University, Feb 9, 2017
Below is the video of the talk I gave last week at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University about the Eden in Iraq Project.
A link to watch the Q&A session: https://vimeo.com/204211258
Our team member Sander Van Der Leeuw introduces the talk and leads the discussion.
Most interesting are the questions asked during the discussion and some of Sander’s responses. Most rewarding to me was the response by the audience to the scale of the project and that 5 acres per 7500 people to recycle waste was to them very reasonable. I had been worrying about the size and cost and amount of people benefiting.
Sander pointed out elegantly the benefit of a project that comes from the ground up with locals and local materials used rather than imposed from the outside.
The Arizona State University Museum of Art is interested in taking the exhibition we will present in Singapore next October. (More about this soon).
My adjunct position at the School of Sustainability was renewed indefinitely and they are happy to have our project brought under their umbrella as well.
We’ve finished the Business Plan and fund-raising efforts are beginning.
I had a Skype meeting with the Program director from UNESCO in Iraq on Monday to acquaint them with the project and to consider any future planning we might do together.
I will return to Singapore on March 6th. Essays are now completed for my book and exhibition at the University of New Mexico Fine Art Museum. Eden Turned on its Side and Iraq images are almost completed. Alan Weisman, author of The World Without US and Countdown has written a fine essay about the Garden of Eden from an environmental and social perspective and curator Dr. Shawn Michelle Smith from the Chicago Art Institute has written a great piece relating the issues in my work to the age of the Anthropocene.
The book will be ready in time for the Singapore exhibition.
There was an amazing essay by Dexter Filkins about the Mosul dam breaking and flooding Northern Iraq in last months New Yorker that was heavily on my mind. Instead a pipe froze in my house flooding it from end to end. So by day I’ve moved 45 years of art work to Albuquerque and by night kept writing. My best friend, Ciel Bergman, died just after the flood and another close friend, a next door neighbor, has had a recurrence of her cancer with not good news. So flanked by water and death in the desert here in New Mexico, the idea of Eden in Iraq has kept me going.