Saturday, November 28, 2015
The day after Thanksgiving, to shake off the effects of overeating the typical yummy foods of the feast, I went into my dormant backyard garden and opened the bags of organic garden soil that I left on my three garden patches a few days ago. I spread them all over the leaf-covered plots and sowed my shade-friendly wildflower seed mix (I usually purchase it from American Meadows). I realized the plants need to be shade friendly after my white mulberry tree that I got from Arbor Day Foundation grew amazingly large almost overnight. I had another bag of scented wild flower seeds, which I sowed in the patio containers, by the street. Although I reserved most of my containers for growing veggies, the ones near the street are too prone to be infested by traffic pollutants.
It is amazing how running my hands through the bare soil, raking it, and the simple act of sowing seeds brings so much peace and a funny sense of fulfillment. Must be the archaic regions of the brain – so many generations of agricultural people must have left their imprint on the rewards systems of the brain. Maybe my seasonal tendency to start knitting and working with yarn come fall is related to the same mechanism.
And speaking of seasonal: affective disorder is on the table again, no surprise for a sun worshipper like myself. Nothing tea and dinner parties with friends cannot handle…
P.S. Due to the changing climate, my garden is not entirely dormant. I still have some mustard greens and nasturtium leaves growing in containers – so delicious in sandwiches!
Sunday, January 25, 2015
There will come a time when humans will be able to access and copy the memory data stored as proteins in our brains. Even if consciousness would not be preserved, our “story” will.
There will come a time when landfills will be mined for raw materials, by machines controlled by other machines, other machines will sort them, while yet other machines will reuse those materials for the benefit of humankind.
There will come a time when humans will be able to set up giant, planetary scale “primordial soup” laboratories to create new life forms, after performing simulations using dedicated super computers. For that, of course they will have to live for eons. To do that, they will use their stored genetic information to repair their aging DNA as needed. And (to come full circle), because any natural brain has limited data storage capacity, they will store their accumulated memories in microchip “zip drives” or even a “God” cloud…
Now, to brag a little, about fifteen years ago I predicted that there will come a day when TV will merge with the Internet. I was not blogging back then, and the “unfortunate” interlocutor was my brother Horatiu, who is know a very appreciated programming engineer, living and working in Vienna, Austria, for a company that collaborates with NASA. He looked at me a little skeptical, a little intrigued, a little pensive. I also told him that I would miss the feeling of watching a show knowing that so many others are watching it at the same time. Now I know that feeling is replaced by the satisfaction of watching Internet-streamed shows recommended by my friends and vice versa, and temporality is irrelevant.
And temporality will become more and more irrelevant.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Tinsel and glitter
Dissimulating irrational fears
Nurturing shallow suns
And memories of light
As I gradually let go
Of Cartesian rules and rigors,
I dive towards
The heart of the winter,
Dancing with chaos
Daring the darkness
For yet another proof
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Sustainable JC is launching a new project, under the generous umbrella of the Good Food Now! initiative, involving Jersey City’s community gardens. A first step encourages existent community garden patrons to create a free account on Farming Concrete and use the provided data collection tool called Barn for logging garden data. Most of the city’s community gardens are already listed.
This is how the current distribution of community gardens look like, after listing them on Farming Concrete:
Why is it important to monitor and keep accurate track of community garden parameters? Just like in any successful enterprise, measureable indicators make it much easier to manage and improve the gardens’ efficiency and impact, increasing their benefits to the community. We all know that there are not nearly enough community gardens in our city to address the problem of community access to fresh and healty food (the issue of “food security”). Thus, it becomes increasingly important to sustainably maximize the benefits of the existing ones.
Contamination with airborne pollutants such as lead and chromium, as well as the presence of brownfields, are well known chronic environmental problems of Jersey City. What this project aims, upon monitoring, centralizing and compiling these parameters, is to create (and eventually extend) a comprehensive community garden network of our city, initiate exchanges (know-how, seeds, success stories etc.) and hopefully a “quantitative platform” compelling enough to get funding that will initiate and support a city-wide community garden sustainable landscape design improvement project, aimed to maximize productivity and sustainability, while mitigating and reducing urban contamination. A website of this particular project is currently under construction.
If you have any questions or requests for more technical details about this project or the online tool, please feel free to contact the project leader.
Saturday, August 02, 2014
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
(Didascalia: Muted steps align following
Diurnal spectra that
Scatter thousands of scarabs
Over the uncertainty of noon)
From dawns I have been searching
For the Glimpse of the Unmovable Axis -
- my eyes are prowled by waterfalls – and
I hold between my palms and my mouth
The ball of yarn wound up
Since I have been exiting
A M A Z E
Other than that I am building
Perfect stretches of land.
Monday, May 19, 2014
Sunday, March 02, 2014
to the temptation
of building a silence
of the perfect vitreous body
Shadowed only by
The mist of thought
Is my artisan ego
The only thing
I still share with you
Is the guilt
of killing the wish
to shatter it
Once the first sound
Friday, October 25, 2013
Sustainable JC is excited to announce the launch of their Rain Garden +ART campaign!
As some of you may know, Jersey City has an aging sewer system. Because of the current condition of the system, overflows during rainstorms release sewage tainted storm water into rivers and the urban landscape. Because of these overflows, Jersey City has been levied with an EPA Consent Decree for violations of the Federal Clean Water Act.
We at SJC believe that more green infrastructure in Jersey City will alleviate this issue substantially and lower the estimated $54 million dollar tab to repair our sewer system by at least 50%. We also believe that we can educate and engage neighborhoods across the city about this community health issue through the Arts, and so have launched a citywide Rain Garden + ART campaign.
Rain gardens are a low-cost green infrastructure method that allow rainwater and snowmelt to be collected and seep naturally into the ground. They divert water away from sewers and thereby reduce the load and the amount of sewage released into the environment. In order to demonstrate their positive effects not only on the environment but also in the social realm by bringing community groups together, SJC has chosen an initial demonstration site of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
In addition to providing an excellent cost-saving measure for the city, the gardens will provide beautification with native plants and companion art installations located in and around the site. Through our collaboration with community arts organizations, individual artists, the NJ Tree Foundation and our host site partners, SJC aims to show how connecting social, environmental and economic impacts can transform Jersey City into a more sustainable place to live and work.
In order to fund and install these gardens, SJC has partnered with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ Tree Foundation and the New York City based crowd-resourcing site, ioby.org. As a community-based organization, our goal is to integrate the community into the fundraising and implementation process as much as possible. The Dodge Foundation has generously awarded SJC with a grant to finance half of the project but we still need to raise the other half. We invite you to support us in this campaign and spread the word!
For more information and to donate, our ioby site can be accessed at: https://www.ioby.org/project/sjcs-rain-gardens-art-campaign.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
The bands are TBA - Rising Tide Capital surprise. Chef Rick and his fabulous staff will prepare their usual locally sourced food and drinks. There will be the regular artists talk, with presentations and exhibitions.
ARTfest! is about celebrating the entrepreneur in every artist; many tables will feature RTC's Business Academy Graduates.
Among SJC's visual artists of this edition are Beverly Harris, multimedia artist, who will demonstrate Suminagashi, the Japanese style of marbling; Ibou Ndoye, artist and music-maker, who will demonstrate how to make music with everyday objects; Jazz Amos, master mask-maker will exhibit along with Jordan de Liso, SJC's Eco-Artist in residence, who will display his sculptures made from found and upcycled materials.
The spoken word section will feature Hope Guirantes, SJC's poet in residence.
There will be tabling by community groups, vendors and SJC's education partners.
Sustainable JC thanks their past and present sponsors.
Thursday, July 04, 2013
Not going anywhere but working in my studio, as usual during holidays. This time I work on a design sketch for the next Pro Arts Eat-Up Party. The details of my submission are here, on the PRO ARTS website. This would be my first garden art installation, so I am a bit nervous. Last night I took one of the nightscape backgrounds that were lying around in my studio for a long time and I drew something that would resemble what I had in mind for my open air museum lanterns. I must admit I was inspired by the whimsical artworks of Katherine Dunn and her wonderful Apifera farm, but also by Diana Trout, who left a gracious comment on my studio blog, after I reblogged one of her posts. I own both Katherine’s and Diana’s books, which kept me inspired and happy.
The design sketch is still in the making.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Thursday, February 07, 2013
2013 has brought a few notable changes for me. But first: somehow I overlooked blogging about a few important events at the end of last year. (God, I must hate writing for quite a while now! :D ). I curated an art show at Cafe Sole, here in Chilltown. Their website didn't exist back then, it is still under construction now. I met a few new fab friends at an art opening in Manhattan, Kay Erickson's Calcutta Rescue benefit at Centerpoint Gallery.
In January, the Green Drinks + ART events series resumed, with its mix of sustainability projects showcase, eco-jeopardy, jazz and art. I sold a few prints of my Wasteland Alchemy collection, with 50% going to SJC. The January edition jazz concert featured guitarist Adam Lomeo. Which brings me to the discovery of this month's edition: the SJC event in February will feature saxophonist Tom Tallitsch!
Take a listen here, on his Youtube channel. Enjoy! And don't miss this, if in the area!
Alina S. Tarmu
- Licensed and experienced as a nature scientist, I am also a published writer and a graphic artist, curently living in the metropolitan New York area, where I am involved in music production and cultural events. I support sustainability, life-long education and the conservation of the world's natural and cultural heritage.