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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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12losangeles Redesigning Blais ipp illThis week Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito join forces for a series of presentations at USC organized by Craig Dietrich, Still Water Senior Researcher and co-creator of Scalar.

The week culminates on Friday 2 March at the School of Cinematic Arts with Redesigning Reality, a hands-on session in hacking the “scripts” that govern us to make everyday life more sustaining and sustainable.

Workshop participants redesign their favorite foods and Web sites, looking to nature as a model for the victual and virtual.

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