Thursday, December 17, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Please join me this Tuesday at 9pm on channel 19 for the premiere broadcast of The Colony Farm Orchard, a video essay I recently produced on a 54 acre piece of property many people don’t even know about.
The video is the first part in a series examining major issues surrounding Western Michigan University’s intentions to expand the Business, Technology and Research Park onto the Colony Farm Orchard. Part 1 explores the tumultuous history of the property, previous attempts to develop it, and an earlier attempt to remove the restrictions on the land. Interviews with representatives from Western Michigan University, the Asylum Lake Preservation Association, and the Oakland Drive/Winchell Neighborhood Association, as well as former State Senator Jack Welborn and current State Representative Robert Jones, shed light on the inner workings behind this controversial, community debate.
I’m producing the video independently and calling it an “Environmental Report”. Part II is in the works and will address the intrinsic character of the land as well as the implications of development.
See the attached flyer for repeat broadcast information.
Enjoy the show! And go visit the Orchard!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Over the past two years I’ve been photographing the land and wildlife in the Old Colony Orchard, across the street from Asylum Lake Preserve, sandwiched between Drake Road and US 131.
My fascination rests in the decay, ruin and regeneration of the property, both ecologically and archeologically, and particularly the way wildlife adapts and even thrives in this environment. I've always seen the orchard as the orphaned child of Asylum Lake Preserve, separated at birth by Drake Road and an unclear future.
The title for this body of work is “Asylum in Ruins”, a double entendre that plays on the idea of asylums, both human and animal, in a state of decay or neglect, as well as the capacity for wildlife (and humans) to find asylum or sanctuary in the ruins of old and discarded properties.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
If you’ve seen ANIMALS AMONG US, you’re aware that Kleinstuck Preserve served as my baptism into the urban wild. Well, I can’t overstate the significance of finding that little apartment at the end of Stearns Avenue. It was literally and metaphorically the end of the road for me - it was where the city, an urban mentality, and really an older self subsided, and an environmental consciousness emerged.
I could slip out my back door at odd hours, even routine hours, in full camouflage, and sidestep the rest of the city (and avoid the likely misperceptions of poacher or god knows what). I could even stay right at home and wildlife would come to me; deer meandering outside my kitchen window, sometimes grazing no more than 5 feet away - all because I was living in the shadows of the preserve. It was especially hard for me not to become more intrigued with the wild. I guess it’s like living next to Lake Michigan: it’s pretty hard not getting wet.
Well, after renting at 2007 Stearns for nearly 9 years (I told myself I would move in 2007), I was ready to build some equity and become the lord of my own land. The idea of owning my own property was exhilirating. I dreamed of acreage and trees, and fields, and more trees (in a later post I’ll talk about the idea of “owning” a tree). The idea of setting up a treestand in my own tree, without the fears of theft, lawsuits or nosy onlookers was pretty much akin to heaven on earth. The challenge though was to find a place that was as good as, if not better than, my little slice of heaven next to Kleinstuck. I would have to either find a house on it’s own micro preserve, big enough to create the feeling--and if necessary, illusion--that I was out in the wilderness, or find a place, like Stearns Avenue, that was adjacent to some serious and substantial wilderness; wilderness that was not in immediate jeopardy of being developed.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
At the heart of ANIMALS AMONG US was Kleinstuck Preserve, and finding that "little apartment" at the end of Stearns Avenue, right next to Kleinstuck, was the beginning of a great journey for me. As they say: "location, location, location".
Well, websites and blogs are the perfect rest stops for television super-highways (we've all seen the movies or TV shows where the ending credits roll by like race cars). I'd like to take this time to recognize every person and every animal who contributed to the making of the film: