In November of 2021, the R.A.W. enjoyed a residency as the first fellow of the University of Oregon’s Center for Art Research/Knight Campus Project Incubator program. This residency took place inside the sparkling new Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, located on the banks of the old Millrace waterway across from the Urban Farm and the Millrace studio complex in Eugene. This program offers Oregon artists the opportunity to connect with the cutting-edge technical-scientific resources available at the Knight Campus, alongside artistic and scholarly nodes in the broader UO community.
This CFAR Project Incubator (CPI) presents compelling new directions for the R.A.W., which has always been grounded in messy, mostly DIY modes and methods. For the initial proposal, I put forth the idea of engaging Knight Campus expertise and resources to engineer a system to provide solar power for the R.A.W. PostLibrary, perhaps to run a video display (I was vaguely thinking of screening videos at night for passing wildlife, inspired by the neighbors’ trail-cam images of bobcats, mountain lions, and black bear, to name a few). But then a conversation with CFAR director Brian Gillis raised the specter of alternative-alternative power: what might some options be beyond solar? In considering this question – perhaps even while mucking out Aliass’s stall, where I tend to do my best thinking – the ultimate source of R.A.W. power presented itself as the perfect answer: the R.A.W. PostLibrary must be powered by manure compost.
So began an ongoing quest to transform the hot microbial processes of manure composting into a modest source of power for the R.A.W. PostLibrary. With technical and material support from the brilliant engineers in the UO Technical Sciences Administration and Knight Campus (Geordi Helmick, Jeffrey Garman, and Clifford Dax), engineering and fabrication are underway for an experimental compost-power system using thermoelectric-generating (TEG) components that *might* eventually generate a small amount of voltage through temperature differential between hot ass compost and cold flowing water from the R.A.W. pulping pond. I say “might” because many aspects of this system have yet to be determined–first and foremost being the question of whether I can get the R.A.W. compost hot enough to make a difference.
Many other technical and conceptual questions have yet to find solutions in this developing R.A.W. compost-power system. One of which is: assuming this system can generate and harness significant voltage (likely we’re talking between 3>5v, a big assumption at this stage), in what ways will the PostLibrary put that power to work?
This question has many rich possibilities for the R.A.W. PostLibrary. Needless to say, given the tendencies of R.A.W. processes to be slow as mud, it is one that we are more than happy to quietly ruminate on for some time to come. But stay tuned, because when and if this voltage does flow, you just might be privy to (cue up MonsterTruck Rally announcer’s voice) an awesome display of R.A.W. power . . . .
Excited here about a recent feature by William Kherbek on The Unnaming of Aliass in Berlin Art Link: The Bioerotic Universe: An Interview with Karin Bolender.
The R.A.W. is honored to be featured in the latest from the Morethanhuman Matters series of interviews with scholars, artists, and others engaging in more-than-human realms of study and practice. The series is presented by the wonderful anthropologist, Sophie Chao, on her morethanhumanworlds site. This interview touches on the recent publication of The Unnaming of Aliass by 3Ecologies/punctum books and on other new/ongoing projects, including the R.A.W. PostLibrary.
The R.A.W. and She-Haw are thrilled to have a little video called “She-Haw Rope Tricks” included as a part of an ecosex series called “Imagine the Earth is Your Lover,” curated by Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle and hosted by The One Minutes. The series premiered live at the Reykyavik Film Festival in September 2020 and then online worldwide in October 2020.
Here’s the trailer:
23 artists and filmmakers visualize their mad, passionate and fierce love for the Earth. They shift the metaphor from ‘Earth as Mother’ to ‘Earth as Lover’ in order to create a more mutual and sustainable relationship with the Earth. The videos were sent in from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Malta, Mexico, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.
Annie Sprinkle was a sex worker who was a pivotal player in the 1980’s sex positive feminist movement. In 2008, she got together with Beth Stephens and they came out as ecosexual. They aim to make the environmental movement more sexy, fun and diverse through art projects. Their work has been shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Venice Biennale, and Documenta.
Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens
PornProcess (Aurore Morillon)
Graham Bell Tornado
Joseph Kramer & Scarlot Harlot
Maria the Korean Bride
K-Haw and L-Haw
Sura Hertzberg & Hailey Jelaire
Lina Bravo & Rowena Buur
Muza de la Luz
Nicolás Dumit, Estévez Raful Espejo, Anna Recasens and Laia Solé
Misha de Ridder
Every two months, The One Minutes Foundation puts out a new series of 60- second films that investigate how we perceive and engage with moving image. Museums and cultural organizations around the world subscribe to the series.
Beginning on the bright morning/evening of August 31 and ending in smoky darkness on September 10, the R.A.W. was honored to take part in an exchange across time zones/oceans through a series of workshops at Kultivator in Sweden. These workshops were part of Explorations of Now — a collaboration of Kultivator, the Institute for Future Studies, and Cullberg.
The premise of the R.A.W. Mirror Shots exchange for Explorations of Now is a play on Wild-West sharpshooter Annie Oakley’s famous mirror-shot trick, in which she would take aim at a target behind her back using a handheld mirror. Standing in the moment, in the ashes of the past and present looking forward and backward at the same time, this trick aims to seek paths toward making better futures for all earthly lives. Through recorded voices, handwritten messages, and some still and video images, the R.A.W. made reflections in the here-and-now of the workshops at Kultivator as they unfolded, each over several days. See the Kultivator/Explorations of Now site and this wonderful video document for more on the workshops and the project:
As part of the marvelous Multispecies Storytelling exhibition and conference that took place in Vaxjo, Sweden, Kultivator and the R.A.W. collaborated in a project that invited aspiring multispecies storytellers to join us in a dusty, transoceanic co-elaboration of m<other tongue culturing amidst meshes of entangled companions, both seemingly familiar and wildly unknown. Beginning with a round-table gathering at Kultivator in Dyestad in the days before the conference, we came together in the barn for a multispecies meal and sharing of m<other tongue cultures with the farm’s resident horses, cows, human and canine visitors, and untold others in that lofty inclusive space. We then brought the assemblage of this gathering to Linneaus University in Vaxjo, where participants were invited to track and contribute to the growth of these particular m<other tongue cultures across various media–including embroidery along the lines of a beautiful tablecloth made by Kultivator.
This round-table collaboration explores different aesthetic and material ways of tracing untold (indeed, untellable) stories, as we cultivate unique attentive spaces for often-excluded and/or subvisible companions–not only big warm mammalian storytelling bodies but also the vital nameless spaces-between that brim with significant exchanges.
The R.A.W. is thrilled and grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with Kultivator and all who took part in this wondrous gathering in the barn. More on this to come!
– a collaboration between The Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, Linnæus University and Växjö Konsthall. The project is generously supported by The Seed Box, Linköping University.
I am excited and honored to participate as both artist and a keynote presenter–alongside the venerable Vinciane Despret, Adam Dickinson, and Eben Kirksey–in an upcoming conference and exhibition called Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practice in Vaxjo, Sweden in January 2019. For full details concerning this innovative conference, go here.
On July 19th, the R.A.W. was beyond thrilled to welcome world-renowned performance artists and ecosexual revolutionaries Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle for the Philomath, Oregon premiere of their magical new film about the pleasures and perils of living and loving on a watery planet . . . .
With a poetic blend of curiosity, humor, sensuality and concern, this film chronicles the pleasures and politics of H2O from an ecosexual perspective. Travel around with Annie, a former sex worker, Beth, a professor, and their dog Butch, in their E.A.R.T.H. Lab mobile unit, as they explore water in the Golden State. Ecosexuality shifts the metaphor “Earth as Mother” to “Earth as Lover” to create a more reciprocal and empathetic relationship with the natural world. Along the way, Annie and Beth interact with a diverse range of folks including performance artists, biologists, water treatment plant workers, scholars and others, climaxing in a shocking event that reaffirms the power of water, life and love. See the trailer here!
Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle have been partners and collaborators for sixteen fertile years. Annie was an internationally-known performance artist touring one-woman shows about her life in sex and as a feminist post porn pioneer. Beth was a feisty punk rocker dyke turned interdisciplinary artist and professor at UCSC, exploring themes of gender, queerness and feminism. In 2008, Beth and Annie married the Earth and came out as ecosexuals. Their “Ecosex Manifesto” launched a movement and they officially added the E to GLBTQI-E. Their award-winning documentary film about coal mining, Goodbye Gauley Mountain—An Ecosexual Love Story, is available on Netflix & iTunes (see trailer here). Currently they are working on a book about their work, “Assuming the Ecosexual Position,” for University of Minnesota Press. Their visual art, films and performances were presented at the world’s biggest best art event, Documenta 14, in 2016-2017. Their next film is about environmental art and artists. These girls have gone green and are dirty and proud.
On Thursday, July 19th, the Ecosexuals made their first-ever appearance in Philomath, Oregon. Intrepid art adventurers from local and regional places gathered for a screening of the new film at the historic Marys River Grange Hall, near the banks of Mary’s River amid forested Coast Range foothills and fertile farmlands. We had the intense pleasure of basking in the presence of the artists, along with videographer Jordan Freeman, who has spent many years documenting the unfolding controversies surrounding coal mining throughout Appalachia. His award-winning films, including Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story and Blood on the Mountain, have played at festivals around the world.
Massive thanks to Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, and to Jordan Freeman, and to all of the lovely folks, old friends and new, who came out to Philomath to share this special evening with these singularly life- and love-affirming artists in the old Marys River Grange hall.