A random benefit from last month’s earthquake in Napa Valley? Water. Lots of it. Seems all that shaking in the earth opened up fissures in the rocks that have allowed massive deposits of groundwater to reach the surface, turning once parched land into pockets of green. At one creek north of Vallejo, an estimated 200,000 gallons of water are flowing daily down the tiny waterway into the bay. Like all good earthly things though, the surplus is bound to stop. As one hydrogeologist said: “There is only so much water in there. As the water table lowers, the water flow diminishes. It’s like a bank account. You’ve just reached into the bank account and borrowed some money, but the spending spree will eventually end.”
‘Yarn bomber’ turned underwater activist, Olek, is wanted by Mexican environmental authorities after she crocheted over sculptures at the environmentally protected Cancun Underwater Museum, resulting in the possible deaths of marine life growing on the subaqueous works of art. While Olek explained that her stunt was performed “to bring awareness to the state of the world’s oceans and promote the preservation of #marinelife” she herself became part of the problem. As noted by the museum director “believe it or not, there is a lot of marine life growing, incrusted in the sculpture, and we gather that this has killed it.”
In a buzzworthy move… all of the proceeds from the sale of these ‘Disappearing Bees’ print boxers from druthers go to support the ‘Pollinator Partnership,’ which is the “largest organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems.”
By grafting together branches from various stone fruit trees, Syracuse University art professor and artist Sam Van Aken has, over the course of 9 years, created a unique tree that produces over 40 different types of stone fruits including heirloom peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds.
In the charming countryside of gaseous Turkmenistan sits a fiery crater that was created 40 years ago upon the collapse and subsequent burning of a Soviet gas-drilling rig. No one had dared to enter the inferno until 2013, when extreme adventurer George Kourounis rapelled in. This is his story
“Since the 1970’s Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC. His forest has transformed what was once a barren wasteland, into a lush oasis.”
Erm… on second thought, maybe it wasn’t the smartest idea to scale this rock face without any support or climbing gear. But hey, at least I brought my cell phone! Watch the rescue of this hiker stranded on a cliff by the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team, below.
This summer, with the help of Project Pressure and you, Danish Photographer Peter Funch will travel to Washington State’s Mt. Baker for a project that blends both art and science. By recreating famous pictures and postcards from the often photographed mountain, Funch will be documenting climate change and illustrating glacial movement through contemporary photography. Here, we talk to Peter about Expedition: Mt. Baker.
How did this project come about?
It started in 2010 when I was on a job in Greenland. I had to take several low altitude flights over glaciers. It was amazingly beautiful, but underneath my awe was the wrenching notion that these monuments of ice are so fragile – that they may one day flood everything I once knew. This paradoxical feeling led me to photograph them as much as I could and is now driving me to Mt. Baker.
I met the founder, Klaus Thymann, in London over a decade ago. We Danes tend to stick together so it wasn’t long after I moved to London that I met Klaus. We remained friends and kept in touch after I moved to Brooklyn. I heard about it through him and saw it gain momentum with articles by the BBC, the Guardian, and NASA by supporting Project Pressure with scientific data.
What type of work will you be producing?
I will be producing two types of work: one is scientific and the other is artistic. For the scientific work we need to replicate different points of view around the glacier from historical photographs. We chose Mt. Baker because it has a very long and rich history of photographic documentation. These replicated photographs of the glaciers are linked with GPS coordinates so people can go back and reshoot the image again and again. These images form what we call a “comparative timeline”, which is what we use to see how the glaciers will change over time. The more data points, or photographs, we can put in the timeline the more accurately we can extrapolate climatic predictions. This is why this work is invaluable to climatological research… and everyone for that matter.
The other part of the project is for me to create artwork that hopefully gives a more relatable perspective on Climate Change. It didn’t make sense for me to replicate some photographs, pack my bags, and leave. I am an artist and this subject deeply affects me. So not all the images I take will be for research. These images will be based on the collected references such as postcards and the work of Ansel Adams, which I will more or less recreate, but for the purpose of evocative visuals and inspiring a narrative in the viewer. In tandem, I will also be creating RGB Tricolor separation images to evoke changes over time: trees growing, landscapes changing, and, of course, glacial retreat.
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