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scalar-logoScalar is an online platform built by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (ANVC) centered at USC that facilitates the creation of media-rich scholarly publications. The software has only recently entered public beta, however versions have been operational since 2010 that have led to a number of works, many sponsored by scholarly organizations and academic presses. Last month’s public launch has garnered new attention to the platform, and this week PCMag marked Scalar as an Editors’ Choice along with a 4.5/5 star “excellent rating.”

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Figure 1. Vanessa Vobis, Crystal World (2008), Legion Arts-CSPS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
Figure 2. Vanessa Vobis, Mars Attacks Fragonard (2009), (106) Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Figure 3. Julian Epps, The Cave (2008), FreesePop, Bangor, Maine, USA

Still Water Fellow Vanessa Vobis has a history of combining installation art and ecology. In 2007 she filled sandwich bags with tap water and after a couple weeks they burst with algae growth under natural light. This discovery led to her MFA thesis show, Nitpickers, at Legion Arts-CSPS in 2008 (Figure 1) and gallery shows including Mars Attacks Fragonard at Grand Rapids’ (106) Gallery (Figure 2). Later in 2008 she taught the inaugural installation class at UMaine’s Intermedia graduate program, prompting a student show at Bangor’s historic Freeses Building featuring a community theme and materials including pancakes, wheatgrass, and projections inspired by bioluminescence (Figure 3).

After moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Vanessa is continuing to connect people and natural resources, helping found the volunteer corps LA Green Grounds, working as a gallery interpreter and Master Gardener at LA County’s Natural History Museum, and creating an edible and native garden in her South LA backyard. Vanessa’s activities were toured last week by Still Water co-founders Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito, in Los Angeles for an ecology-themed set of activities at nearby University of Southern California.

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In the digital art preservation field, we are in the middle of a crisis between contents versus containers. This is a crisis of substance, material substance opposing to conceptual/intentional substance of the artwork. What do we want? That all resources be directed towards to the preservation and storage of the original devices? Or, that each time it is exhibited, the artwork be constantly updated and adapted to new versions of hardware and software ? In other words, should we preserve the material (hardware/software) or the intent?

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Learn how to plant seedlings with Eliot Coleman’s soil blocks. Just bring seedling soil (low nitrogen, plenty of vermiculite, green sand, perlite and peat; Johnny’s 512 mix is ideal), and a flat tray to put the block on, and we’ll supply the seeds.

See how you can plant a flat of soil blocks that easily transplant into your garden. Just lift the block from the tray and plant in a small hole. The roots will be suspended at the edge of the soil (when they reach the air, they become latent, ready to pop out as soon as they hit your garden soil)

Snow has finally melted and LongGreenHouse has begun Spring Cleaning.

We’re clearing constrcution debris from deck construction, preparing for sealing the cedarwood, raking aand pruning, and getting our garden beds ready.

We’ll be planting spinach in the cold frame and lots of seedling in the greenhouse.

Tony, Debbie and Joline will be leading the seedling workshop for Wassookeag students and neighbors on Thurs April 9. Stop by to see what we’re doing, help plant, or trade seeds.

Stay tuned for our May 1-2 fruit tree and shrub workshop!