June 15, 2014

PDX 2014 week 1 report

I’m in PDX this month in residence at an awesome tiny home, through Ann Chen’s good graces and her project NDOI (Nomadic Dept of the Interior); Ann also cofounded Phats Valley Residency in Cape Cod. This house is a handmade cabin, in the middle of NE PDX. Its chief resident is a cat named Miriam.

I’m spending the rest of June setting up things for July-August.
At that time, I hope we’ll be testing designs, doing some public events (including food, drinks, walks, kayaking and talks), growing mycelium to test forms and density, and getting the clay cup and tea plan organized.

I’m still looking for a cube-truck sized piece of riverside land to do this all on, just a 2 month loan….


1. Carrying a dirty shovel on public buses and into Safeway is a great conversation starter, ranging from toxic clay to Brooklyn weaponry to “Are you alright?”

2-11. Dug 40 lbs of clay up by Linnton, with PNCA MFA CD colleagues Alicia Navarette and Emilie Skytta (thanks Alicia for documenting!!!). Finding the site required some remembering, but it’s a nice exposed bank of relatively elastic clay, and clean of debris and vegetation.

12,13. I  broke it up into small pieces to dry out in the PNCA Ceramics studio. I’ll condition it next week.

14. A bowl made of mycelium from ecovative. Made by TLAAG, my Sampan Super Chai design partners.

15. Pea flowers (edible) that I am freezing. Planning a big dinner end of the month at Cyril’s PDX, with their chef Marie Mourou, and the generosity of proprietors Sasha and Michael, who run in tandem Clay Pigeon Winery. They — and their output/progeny/love fare — are delicious.



This is a recording from Linnton today, on the way to the clay banks on the Willamette. We walked from the train tracks where we parked the car, past a foul former something (electric grid hub, cleaning pools?), past some young-looking wetlands scrub, and past the landmark radio towers. Huge beasties, with delicate birdsong all around.

+ + +

Other things that happened:
Oliver Kellhammer and I skype-planned some public engagement actions for late July. He’ll be coming from work with Kathy High in Troy, doing brownfields work with NATURE lab. Ethnoecologist Kimberlee Chambers will be joining us in thinking through food. Consider: nature walks, specimen collection, umwelts, picnics, kayaks, bioremediation superstars, design charrettes.

Here are some titles:

Otter (or Osprey) Umwelt
The Jacob von Uexküll Memorial Picnic Kayak
With Oliver Kellhammer and Kimberlee Chambers

The Mighty Mouse Botanical Scavenger Hunt
in the Willamette Cove
with Oliver Kellhammer

Working with Non Human Helpers
Design charrette on using remediating materials in Sampan Super Chai

More to come on this soon.