The Maine Wild Blueberry Museum spearheaded by Joline Blais exemplifies Still Water‘s commitment to nourishing local networks–in this case, both the ecological and economic sort.
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At the 2016 ESTIA conference, Still Water co-director and New Media professor Joline Blais used her keynote address to acknowledge a number of the most important practitioners who have contributed to her creative projects over the past decade.
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How can rural economies and ecologies benefit from wired citizens? Still Water Fellow Miigam’agan and co-director Joline Blais tackle the subject along with New Media colleague Bill Kuykendall at two conferences organized by Maine Rural Partners and Portland Maine Permaculture.
To coincide with Digital Humanities Week 2011, Joline Blais joins permaculture experts Julia and Charles Yelton, social media hackademic Craig Dietrich, Rural Maine Partners’ Claudia Lowd, and members of the Wabanaki community in hosting “Social Media and Sustainability” at LongGreenHouse, a clearinghouse for sustainable culture on the edge of the U-Me campus.
One of the coldest weeks of the year didn’t stop attenders of Aurono Borealis, an outdoor performance at LongGreenHouse this January. Intermedia MFA students in Joline Blais’s LifeArt class organized a “council of beings” that attracted a variety of faculty, students, and members of the Wabanaki community.
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This past year saw several prominent museums open their doors to public participation in ways they had never before, such as inviting visitors to submit works for exhibition or help determine curatorial selections. At the kickoff event for the Walker Art Center’s Open Field program on 3 June, Jon Ippolito contrasts three different models for the commons such institutions can choose from–a market, a zoo, or a tribe.
Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais plants the seeds of sustainable gardening at the Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage in midcoast Maine.
A new University of Maine class in Life Art (NMD430/520) explores the boundaries of artistic collaboration by encouraging students to co-create with entire ecosystems of humans and other critters.
Life artists may :
- Crowd-source their artmaking with 10,000 earthworms.
- Get frogs to do their drawings for/with them.
- Create sculpture ‘for the birds’ so they can survive destroyed migratory paths across continents.
- Clone cruelty-free meat via the latest gene manipulation.
- Get Michelle Obama to “perform” their art piece.
- Plan an art opening with full course cross-species meals (eg for human and geese).
Student projects may draw from indigenous culture, digital culture, and/or permaculture, and will be featured in an exhibition at the end of the term. The course takes place at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, Maine and is organized by Joline Blais in collaboration with Waterfall Arts and Unity College.
A landmark publication from renowned art-and-design publisher Thames & Hudson will examine the latest generation of innovators from art, architecture, design, and related fields. Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito have co-authored the new media section of the book.
Drawing on and extending themes from At the Edge of Art, Blais and Ippolito examine five artists and activists who bring strategies from the realm of electronic networks into action in the real world.
This highly produced volume is due to be published later this year, on the occasion of Thames & Hudson’s sixtieth anniversary.
Still Water’s living-learning center on Chapel Street, LongGreenHouse, has been exploring the intersection between Native culture and Permaculture with students from many walks of life. In July thirty students from the university’s Upward Bound program attended Joline Blais’ workshops on greenhouses and plant guilds.
Meanwhile kids from LongGreenHouse’s Wassookeag school have been busy too: in April they made dreamcatchers with Penobscot elder Charlene Francis; in July they visited the Black Bear Food Guild; in September they built a geodesic dome with Intermedia MFA student Bill Giordano. The BBFG’s July newsletter described the Wassookeag students as “intelligent, thoughtful, and incredibly enjoyable”; they “had a zeal for learning that was really amazing.”
More at http://wassookeag.org