Ruderal Ecologies: Grounds for Change
April 13 – April 15 EDT
This event was free and open to the public, with donations encouraged to build the NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center.
This symposium marks the last weekend for our NATURE Lab crowdfunding campaign: help us build a center for community science, bioart and environmental justice, right here on our block in North Troy! The Sanctuary needs your support! Register and donate to find out more about how you can help us make this citizen science center a reality.Ruderal Ecologies is a weekend-long symposium to commence Earth Week. Art, urban ecology, and social justice activities focus on living in urban environments shaped by stress. “Ruderal ecologies” are formed by hardy and adaptive organisms and grassroots activist communities that grow out of the ruins of urban wastelands.Hosted by The Sanctuary for Independent Media’s NATURE Lab, the symposium involves thinkers and activists from ecology, public health, urban planning, environmental science, environmental justice, permaculture, the arts, and science and technology studies. Together participants look for growth and resilience in polluted but biodiverse environments, asking:
- How can we identify underserved marginalized communities to build engaged, diverse networks, on grounds considered “wastelands”?
- What forms of life flourish amid the ruins of ruderal ecologies?
- What happens when we include “nonhuman” forms of life–including plants and animals–in our thinking about human flourishing?
For more information on our diverse set of Symposium presenters:
Friday, April 13 – Day 1
7pm Opening Keynote: Decolonizing the Anthropocene | Heather Davis
Davis, drawing on work with co-author Zoe Todd, brings radical feminist and indigenous perspectives to the geological term, the Anthropocene, tracing colonialist origins and contemporary geographies.
8pm Jayohcee| Hip Hop Performance by a First Nations Mohawk Warrior from the Akwesasne Mohawk Reserve | Jayohcee
8:30pm Art Auction | NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center Crowdfunding Campaign
Dance with Plants Party | LRT/Location Responsive Theme!Ruderal and domesticated plants generate electronic music via bio-feedback sensors mixed to the beats and loops of electronic musician LRT. Join our NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center celebration, featuring an Art Auction with works exhibited in the Sanctuary’s Underground Gallery over the past decade. Hit the floor and dance with the plants, in a bio-art party with LRT/Location Responsive Theme!
Saturday, April 14 – Day 2
9:30-10:00am Coffee / Welcome
10:00-11:15am Morning Panel: Plants, People, Health, Risk | Mae-ling Lokko, David Seiter, Gail Wittwer-Laird & Xiaobo Xue
Diverse networks interconnect as professionals from architecture and public health sectors discuss the implications that modern landscape designs have on wildlife and the future of the human species.
Ecoremediation vs. Toxisphere | Scott Kellogg
Ecoremediation is a framework for looking at environmental contamination through a complex, whole systems lens, combining an environmental justice analysis of the “toxisphere” with simple and affordable bioremediation techniques. In this hands-on workshop, we will build familiarity with our ecoremediation allies: microbes, fungi, plants, insects, and worms.
Art in the Anthropocene:
Radical Care Practices | Andrea Haenggi, Ellie Irons, Catherine Grau
Agents of the Environmental Performance Agency lead a gleaning workshop on the streets around the urban environmental campus, considering the informal public waste stream as offering, resource, and burden.
Watershed, Sewershed, Seedshed | Julia Cavicchi, Anne Pfeifenberger, Olivia Golden
In this multidisciplinary workshop, we will consider the aquatic ecologies of post-industrial Troy from multiple perspectives, including watershed-scale interconnectivities, troubled sewer infrastructure inheritances, and possibilities for mitigation and adaptation. The workshop will conclude with a collaborative mapping project to invite reflections on the many unseen river crossings we make every day.
Art in the Anthropocene:
Plant Sensibilities: Tools for Many Kinds of Selves | Lucia Monge
In this workshop we will explore relationships to plants through the use of (speculative/prosthetic/por qué no/what if) tools to observe the thinking and action that emerge from attention to other ways of being.
3:30-5:00pm Afternoon Panel: Soil, Remediation, Regulation, Design | Moderated by Angelyn Chandler, featuring Tatiana Choulika, Kaja Kühl, Leila Nadir & Seeta Sistla
5:15-6:15pm Closing Keynote: Grounding Environmental Justice in the Capital Region | Aaron Mair
April 15, Sunday – Day 3
11:00am-2:00pm Bio-mapping Brunch: Ruderal Resource Mapping | Azuré Keahi & Oliver Kellhammer
A potluck brunch is followed by a bio-mapping workshop in which we walk our North Troy neighborhood to observe and note our ever changing biodiverse urban ecologies. Using a combination of bio-blitzing and community cartography, participants will explore assigned areas to map and highlight post-industrial resources to inspire grassroots, environmental stewardship.
Sponsors: Ruderal Ecologies is hosted by folks from NATURE LAB; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Vasudha Living and Learning Community and the Vollmer Fries Fund; the Department of Science and Technology Studies and the Thomas Phelan Endowed Chair in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; the Department of the Arts; Skidmore College; and RADIX Ecological Center.
For information, please contact:
Kathy High, email: [email protected] and phone: 518-209-6209
Ellie Irons, email: [email protected] and phone: 909-702-1584
Branda Miller, email: [email protected] and phone: 518-229-0441