Michael Light: One Hundred Suns: Just before this issue (w&c #11) was wrapped up, I learned about Michael Light’s installation One Hundred Suns at the UC Berkeley campus: one hundred government photos of US nuclear tests from the years these were being conducted above ground. Printed on 3’ x 3’ squares of canvas and pegged into the ground, images of atomic fireballs stretched out for 345 feet along a walkway just north of UC’s main library. Because of the university’s unique relationship with the development of these weapons, the installation plays on a web of shadowy undertones, ... Nov 2, 2005, 20463 reads


Habitat Restoration: The alarm went off as programmed. Going downstairs for coffee, I peeked out the back door—the deck was dry. The possibility of heavy rain was forecast, which threatened to cancel our planned fieldwork at Muir Woods. With some apprehension, I drove to San Rafael. Our team of volunteers converged in the Dominican University parking lot and quietly gathered in a circle. Just having made it this far felt good—actually following through on a commitment to work at Muir Woods, rain or no rain. We would be helping with an environmental project and naturally we were ... Mar 6, 2008, 12278 reads


A Conversation with Sam Bower: Green Museum I met Sam Bower one afternoon by accident. I'd gone to join a couple of friends at an ongoing experiment in the gift economy [Karma Kitchen] at a restaurant in Berkeley (on Sundays at lunchtime, the restaurant is given over to a volunteer group.) Just a few days earlier, I'd heard about Sam, the founding director of When I got to the restaurant, a couple of men were standing outside near the door chatting. I stopped for a moment and soon learned that one of them was Sam Bower.      I always love these moments of synchronicity. ... Apr 27, 2009, 79983 reads


An Interview with Betsy Damon: Living Water I first heard about Betsy Damon from Sam Bower of Water is Damon's passionate subject. She was studying sacred springs in China when she began meeting individuals interested in water from many different angles. Amazingly, this eventually led to an invitation to review a major water project in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan. Due to her critique, the project was scrapped. Even more amazingly, Damon, in spite of not being affiliated with any institution or group, was asked to design a new project. And it was built! According to her it's the first ... Dec 25, 2009, 48909 reads


Art/Environment: The Story of the Brick: In the autumn of 2000, I left the collaborative sculpture studio known as Meadowsweet Dairy to begin work on, a new online museum of environmental art. I had been creating sculpture and large-scale outdoor installations with my colleagues at the Dairy since 1993. Based on our experience, we saw a need for some type of cultural infrastructure to support what we expected would be the central art movement of the 21st century: art that heals our relationship with the natural world.       We were convinced that an online museum, with its minimal ecological ... Mar 3, 2010, 16053 reads


Tree of the Art of the Mind: --Tom Weidlinger For several months I had been anticipating a meeting with Dorothy, my benefactress, in which I would present a funding proposal for a new project. Dorothy's family foundation had been supporting my work for nine years. I'd made six films with her sole support - a wonderful circumstance, compared to my pre-benefactress decades when I spent as much time raising money for films as I did actually making them. Though I worked hard and did my best to be worthy of this munificence, I sometimes felt guilty about my good fortune. But not so guilty as to prevent me from ... Jun 17, 2010, 40449 reads


Moringa Community: An Improbable Project: Using an Innovative Woodworking Technology to Build Hope in Rural Ghana The story of how a poor Ghanaian carpenter built an improbable friendship with an American  woodworker and how their shared values led to the birth of a vibrant organization dedicated to bringing the opportunity for a better life to rural West Africans.      An Unlikely Start Not only is friendship one of life's great treasures, but sometimes the least likely friendships are the most powerful. When Abubakar Abdulai (Abu), a poor Ghanaian carpenter, began emailing Jeffry Lohr in 2007, trying to find a way to attend Jeff's woodworking school in ... Aug 1, 2010, 13208 reads


David Tomb's New Work: falcon, David Tomb I first became aware of artist David Tomb thanks to his portraits some years ago. It was impossible not to recognize something special in them, even beyond the artist's formidable draftsmanship. In particular, the portraits of his favorite subject capture subtle states one recognizes immediately, most often subtle varieties of preoccupation with some unseen riddle—the state of having one's thoughts quietly elsewhere. Conveyed, too, is the strong sense that we, as viewers, look in on the subject caught unobserved in his pondering. These drawings ... Nov 21, 2010, 21901 reads


Music Outside the Music Box: Interview: Cheryl Leonard by Mary Stein, SF, October 15, 2010 photo - r. whittaker I first met Cheryl Leonard more than ten years ago when she joined the martial arts dojo I belonged to and began practicing aikido with us there.  She caught on to aikido quickly, and I soon learned that she was already an experienced rock climber, often leading weekend expeditions into the mountains.  A little later I learned that she was a musician and composer with an unusual interest in making music with pine cones, feathers, sea shells, bones or any other of the myriad objects she found on her excursions into nature. Since then ... Feb 23, 2011, 35486 reads


21 Day Hikes in the Umbra Region of the Vespertine: J.Kathleen White From the author's forward:   The trails of the Umbra Region of the Vespertine are not well marked. One of the pleasures of hiking in this region is the distressing uncertainty you struggle to subdue as you walk for hours with no sign, no affirmation that you are on the right trail until, finally, there it is... a magnificent cairn. Unfortunately, on many hikes you will go all day sighting only one of these glorious trail markers.       I have written this book to help the nervous traveler enjoy the special pleasures of hiking in the Umbra ... Feb 23, 2011, 23954 reads


A Day with the Langs: Judith Selby Lang & Richard Lang   It was a temperate day last March when the three of us journeyed to Kehoe Beach north of San Francisco to collect plastic washed up on the sands - a weekly pilgrimage for Judith and Richard Lang since 1999. Each outing is really a meditation and through this practice they have collected over two tons of plastic in eleven years.      We park at the entrance to Kehoe Beach and, with bags in hand, begin the quarter mile walk to the ocean. The beauty along the path is breathtaking, and all the while, Richard is sharing the local lore, and stopping ... Jun 13, 2011, 12499 reads


Conversation: Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee: Deep Water   Most of us in the west take clean water for granted. And generally we're equally asleep to the profound role water plays in our lives. In an interview with Sam Bower of [issue #18] I brought up the question of water. He mused, "If you think of what we are, I mean we're made up of cells and each little cell contains a drop of seawater. In some ways, all the little creatures that emerged from the seas found each other, bound together and found a way of collaborating and sharing the recipe over and over with helpful modifications, and here we are ... Jun 13, 2011, 52938 reads


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An Interview with Betsy Damon I first heard about Betsy Damon from Sam Bower of Water ... Read More 48909 views

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Say Grace I am deeply delighted to live on a planet that is so big and varied that I can ... Read More 13435 views


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Interview with Bill Douglass - Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected ... Read More 371657 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get ... Read More 327089 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman taught music at Holy Names University in Oakland, ... Read More 196989 views

The Dumpster       “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 162026 views