Friday, December 24, 2010

Human Flora

In researching my next focus for textile patterns, I came across the Human Microbiome Project.

I have been reading how our human cells are outnumbered by bacterial cells in our bodies by 10 to 1. We are in essence scaffolding for a zoo of bacteria... such an interesting filter through which to examine our identity as organisms.

Here is an interesting Youtube video on the HMP project:

I enjoy following Australian artist, Jonathan McCabe's generative pattern work on both Flickr and Spoonflower, the most recent of which has a very cellular and bacterial reference.

I will be exploring creating a textile series, Human Flora, that reflects on various facets of our relationship with the organisms we host.

Of course, I knew that there would be art already out there exploring these themes. I especially liked this one using petri dishes and images of bacteria to form a human body: installation: designed by Julia Lohmann with the help of Prof Michael Wilson and Dr Derren Ready, UCL Eastman Dental Institute, University College London. Photos by Lee Mauire.

And finally, here is an amazing image contest by the Wellcome Image Trust

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

San Jose Bans Plastic Bags!

San Jose has today banned plastic carry out bags in grocery stores. The ban will take effect in 2012. I was surprised to read this development in a San Jose Mercury News Article. I have used plastic bags in my art and it amazed me a few years ago when I visited a local creek to collect trash for projects and saw many nests of plastic bags tangled in the water and surrounding bushes. This ban is a wonderful development for our more of this urban tumbleweed! I will be nice to no longer see empty bags blow up against fences and drifting along the streets.

I have met an entrepreneur who is the son of a plastic bag manufacture. This son now has a business selling the eco friendly Japanese cloth wrappers called furoshiki through His furoshiki are a lovely collection of local and Japanese designs.

Anyway, musing on plastic bags and am grateful that they will be a thing of the past. I do have a purse somewhere made of woven together Safeway plastic bags. It was made by a friend of my grandma in Hawaii. Such hobbies utilizing this waste will move onto other medium, I suppose.

At any rate, good news today on the plastic bag ban!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Well, I just launched my Kickstarter project to raise funds for student created community street banners. Here is the link:

It seems that such crowd fundraising may be a good alternative to the traditional grant route. A few days ago the Wall Street Journal wrote an article, Tapping the Crowds for Funds, about this growing way of fundraising and the article mentioned Kickstarter.