Monday, June 28, 2010

Evolver Boston... wandersings in text.

A while back I decided to start coordinating with Evolver to bring Boston a regional Evolver event on a monthly basis. For a while this was great. I ‘rented’ space for a few hours on a donation basis at the local union/socialist/anarchist shared loft space. A few of the events drew 30-40 people, but then numbers started to drop after a while, now we get maybe 6 if we are lucky. After a while, I started to question what it was good for if not many people chose to show up for the events. I also questioned if the amount of money for transportation, parking, snacks and picking up the rest of the donation for the rental space was worth it. A recent estimate made it seem as if I was spending 40-60 dollars per event. The great people I met, the Burners, the artists, poets, writers, activists, college students, shamans, and creative neo-pagans have certainly enriched my life.

Always my efforts were tied to presenting ideas that could “turn on” (not necessarily sexually, but more in regards to activating life) someone through the ETHOS and content covered by Evolver… Joseph Campbell discusses my method best in “Fire in the Mind” when discussing his students and Sarah Lawrence where he would talk and present new ideas constantly and encourage excitement and exploration when he saw it. Realistically in an exoteric context, this may be as good as it gets…. Or maybe it could get better with multiple learning paths…. exploration and record keeping will fill this content area with good knowledge. Maybe this is why we want to call the events Spores, many attempts at expansion, until it spreads, unifies and expands, as is the case in Mycology.

The whole notion behind Evolver as I see it is to help bridge the gap between artist, spiritual and activist communities. It is similar to coalition building, but with no specific goals other than willing the transformation from scary society on a bullet train towards Armageddon, to a society based on principals of justice, enlightened self-interest, and evolution. The goal with Evolver for me was to help ideas incubate with people, so that they eventually would connect with the thing that they wanted to contribute to society. I could see that this happened some, and it was heartening, but something was lacking, and I’m not sure what that was.

At this point, I still have a strong calling to coordinate Evolver events, and will continue to put them together for a while. Brian George, a frequent contributor to Reality Sandwich (a website related to Evolver) has given me a number of ideas that should help grow the group over time. We are thinking about having a sort of brief open mic format where members can on a first come first serve basis speak on whatever subject is coming up for them at the time. This will take some adaptation on my part to help facilitate this shift, as our old format was quite different.

Themes I personally will be encouraging and design events around are philosophy, spirituality, environmentalism, transition movements, the fortean (Is the fortean the new theology or just a freak show?) and perhaps the Psychedelic (primarily as it related to Holotropic Breathwork). In the future I’ll expand to a sort of holistic vision, covering more optimal diets, yoga, energy work, and so much more. Its been a little longer than a year so far that Evolver Boston has been in effect… Lets see where it goes from here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Peak Everything? Time for a transition

The Earth is showing signs and our science giving us data that clearly indicates human survival on the earth necessitates that we (collective speak here) willingly impose limits on expansion/growth to allow others to have access to necessary resources in the future. Peak Everything (video) is now a reality, along with its good friend anthropogenic climate change. The global economy is based on never ending expansion, and due to peak oil, water (video), and resources, humanity is faced with tough and dire questions.

How do we go forward from this? I think re-localization through the model of Transition Towns is one of the most positive ideas that is being acted on around the world to make real change.

In the summer of 2009, I wanted to get some training on the model. I did some email magic and Tina Clarke (a long time activist) came to Boston to give a weekend workshop called 'Training for Transition'. Here I got to meet plenty of people who were also looking at this data, and wanted to take some sort of action. This workshop gave hope.

The model (oodles of details here) empowers local social movements from the bottom up. It is a permaculture based model for re-localization. People start small, and empower each other to do what they want to do on the very local scale. The closer to home the better. Great results have been had so far, and there are more transition initiatives happening every day.

Personally I haven't started or been involved with a movement yet, primarily based on not knowing where I want to reside. In the near future, I may get the ball rolling locally in New Hampshire, but maybe my efforts will exist more on the internet side (other than my gardening at home).

Tina Clarke and I are working to start a website titled Transition Together. It is named after project that is currently active in UK neighborhoods. The aim is to have people work in small clusters to become more resilient, self reliant and community oriented. This is achieved by sharing crops, gardening tools, and machinery. I have a bunch of media (podcast photos and videos) begging to get on the site, and soon it will be. If you are interested and have any questions on the project, feel free to ask.

Treehugger on Peak Everything

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Film Project.

Starting April 7th, I am making my way across the country to document permaculture sites, and people doing transition town work across the country.
The two spots I hope to visit at this point are CRMPI in Colorado, and The EcoVillage Training Center in Tennessee. The folks in Boulder who are doing transition work are heavily active in transition, so if time permits, I will visit with them and document their work.
For the film I am planning to showcase American permaculture leaders, their gardens, and their thoughts on the state of permaculture in 2010. It is also a primary objective to take footage of mature or maturing permaculture gardens.
The reason for putting this film together is to show that permaculture is exciting and works in our modern world. In order for permaculture to become more mainstream, videos and various types of media need to pervade the mindscape of mass culture. Making films is one positive way to do this.
I am very excited for this project to get rolling! More news when I have some.