Pedagogy of the Plants

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Medusa Head Cases

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Tillandsia caput-medusae and Baby

Tillandsia caput-medusae Planter

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Lofton Monsters

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Lofton Monster #1

Lofton Monster #3

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 28, 2015 at 11:08 am

Vintage Piano

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Inside the Dusty Piano 1

 

Inside the Dusty Piano 2

 

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 20, 2014 at 12:37 am

Hensonesque Visual Trickery

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Dora Canal Face 4
 
Dora Canal Face 3
 
Dora Canal Faces
 
Dora Canal Face 2
 
Dora Canal Face 1

Written by Cameron Brooks

March 11, 2014 at 10:37 am

2014 Terrarium

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Terrarium

The South Fork Broad River raged after Friday’s deluge. At dusk, a thick fog settled on the water and submerged rock outcrops (usually dotted with families and hikers) below Watson Mill’s covered bridge. The moss above grew on a slick granite slab along the bank. Click here for more from the historic area.

The glass container was a gift from a student, so the first terrarium of 2014 (inspected by Mogwai) will enjoy a spot in the window of our classroom. More moss terrariums are here.

Written by Cameron Brooks

January 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

Scull Shoals’ Mirrors

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Written by Cameron Brooks

November 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Mindful of the Falls

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Fall Branch Falls Stone Stack

 

Fall Branch Falls Stone Art

 

Fall Branch Falls Natural Art

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 14, 2013 at 9:44 am

Puppetista

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Written by Cameron Brooks

November 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm

“Deer trail becomes Indian trail becomes county road becomes interstate.”

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General Orders No. 9 is a title as peculiar as the smoking rabbit staring back from the top shelf of new releases at Vision Video.  The lone copy has neither synopsis, nor cast list.  One of three young clerks says he’s seen it, and recommends watching under the influence of cough syrup.  Below the kid’s ironic Dali ‘stache comes a vague description, “…really, really, really long shots of a river, and some kind of an environmental message.”  He doesn’t have to say another word.

In a 2011 interview with Filmmaker Magazine, Robert Pearsons succinctly describes the award-winning General Orders No. 9 as “a balance of visuals, voice and music.”  The Middle Georgia native never went to film school, and his haunting debut was 11 years in the making.

According to the film’s website, it’s “an experimental documentary that contemplates the signs of loss and change in the American South as potent metaphors of personal and collective destiny.”

Metaphysical cartography inspired by mappae mundi mixes with juxtaposed shots of urban blight and bucolic rural landscapes, inciting difficult questions, while roads and highways sweep over land like a cancer.

Pearson’s influences include, among others, the writings of William Bartram, and storied film directors Herzog, Tarkovsky, and David Lynch.  William Davidson’s soft-spoken narration in a deep drawl morphs from historical accounts of early colonization over animated county maps, to trance-like ruminations on human dominion over the natural world.  View the official trailer here.

Mindful of the Ocoee

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Around 3:30, the Ocoee recedes over the course of a couple hours as the Tennessee Valley Authority’s dam no. 3 diverts millions of gallons of water from a four mile stretch engineered in 1996 for “the world’s first Olympic whitewater event on a natural river” (USDA Forest Service).  This isn’t what they had in mind.

Nostalgic Light Play

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Illuminated surfers are captured mid-carve during an evening bike ride through wooded paths in the old neighborhood.

The following quote comes from the BABEL Working Group’s blog.

To become adult in our culture (which for most of us means to become compliantly productive) is . . . to be increasingly disabled for the kinds of humorous and dire, purposeful play that creates geometries of attention revelatory of silences in the terrifying tenses that elude official grammars.

-Joan Retallack, The Poethical Wager

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Displaced Pairing

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The small dendritic heap’s former home was a sandy path winding through pirate, French Huguenot, and Confederate soldier graves in the Oak Grove Cemetery.

In our classroom, kids can’t resist the urge to touch and squeeze succulent leaves.  Now and then I’ll get a worried glance from a curious student who accidentally bumped leaf from stem, but the experience becomes favorably memorable when they discover a displaced life slowly taking root from a harmless accident.

Click here for more posts featuring Spanish moss and other peculiar epiphytes.

Written by Cameron Brooks

June 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Anonymous Sage Advice

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Written by Cameron Brooks

March 15, 2012 at 8:16 pm

2012 Miniature Space Odyssey

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Slinkachu meets Arthur C. Clarke in this (belated) DIY Valentines Day gift.

“Monoliths are fictional advanced machines built by an unseen extraterrestrial species that appear in Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series of novels and films. During the series, three monoliths are discovered in the solar system by humans and it is revealed that thousands if not more were created throughout the solar system, although none are seen. The subsequent response of the characters to their discovery drives the plot of the series. It also influences the fictional history of the series, particularly by encouraging humankind to progress with technological development and space travel.

The first monolith appears in the beginning of the story, set in prehistoric times. It is discovered by a group of hominids, and somehow triggers a considerable shift in evolution, starting with the ability to use tools.” (read more on Wikipedia)

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 25, 2012 at 8:26 am

4 Moss Terrarium

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Tiger’s Eye Terrarium

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Cubic Moss Terrarium

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The reflective mica suggests a pool of water.

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Mini Moss Terrarium

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Mica, Moss, Tiny Ghosts, and Ground Lava

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The second batch of terrariums is small but curious.  Bottom-up, the layers include stones from the South Fork River near Watson Mill State Park, activated charcoal (to absorb toxins, filter air and water, and stem the growth of mold/mildew), Pacific Northwest sphagnum moss, soil from the backyard, and Hawaiian black sand. The moss was harvested from rock outcrops near Watson Mill.

According to gastateparks.org, “Watson Mill State Park contains the longest covered bridge in the state, spanning 229 feet across the South Fork River. Built in 1885 by Washington (W.W.) King, son of freed slave and famous covered-bridge builder Horace King, the bridge is supported by a town lattice truss system held firmly together with wooden pins.  At one time, Georgia had more than 200 covered bridges; today, less than 20 remain.”

Students love touching the resident succulents in the window, so there’s never a shortage of ghost and jade bits sprouting desperate stolons seeking water.

The shard of mica was pulled from a red clay hillside in Winterville.

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Moss Terrariums

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This first go at moss terrariums follows a tutorial by a Brooklyn based terrarium store.  Inspired, I hiked along a stretch of railroad that runs through Whitehall Forest, harvesting verdant rugs, small chunks of pink and greyscale granite,  and parched epiphytic aliens.

The simple tutorial fails to include instructions and tips for anyone interested in creating lasting enclosed microenvironments.  After a week, the apothecary terrarium above is growing a white, moldy beard from the sphagnum layer.  While troubleshooting, I discovered some comprehensive websites dedicated to the natural art beyond home decor trends.  These are the best so far:

The Fern and Mossery

The Terrarium Man

The next batch will include a layer of activated charcoal to absorb any toxins, cleanse the water as it travels up and down, and (hopefully) stem mold growth.

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm