Why I'm Filling NYC With Street Art That Grows

Over ten years ago, I began bringing a little life to empty places on the streets of New York City. The built environment has always drawn a clear dividing line between itself and its counterpart, the natural environment. My public street art projects actively engage in the helping erase those lines. Using the city as a canvas to recreate otherwise anonymous spaces and working with plants or other natural and ephemeral materials accentuates the energy of the work (and the city) itself.

For my street art installations the reaction of pedestrians is also very important—how do people receive the works? Do they feel compelled to stop and look? Leave them untouched, take care of them or vandalize them? This juxtaposition brings to mind the comparison to graffiti, but by utilizing conceptual eco-relevant materials, these artwork installations become infused with social meaning. Green guerrilla tactics bring a sense of earth, art, environment, and the unexpected to the city viewer.

It is with this “urban greenery” that I intend to reflect on the cycle of life, advocating sustainable living and artful participation in the metamorphosis of an urban visual culture.

I'm also exploring the diversity and intricate connections between nature and the inorganic world created by man. Often sheathed in steel, glass, pavement and stone, the installations provide an unavoidable contrast to their surroundings. My installations, animated and playful, call to mind a more familiar, environmentally-friendly state breaking down cold urban norms.

Since public art has social functions, I think it’s important to let the art play a prominent role in public spaces, because the clear relation between the people and their environment is one of the most tangible signs of a mentally healthy state. I would like my art pieces to become “instruments” and catalysts in this process, not in the applied but integrated way of everyday life.

My actions contain the critical view of our attitude towards living in and with nature as well as my passion for it.

Transferring my public sculptural installations from street to gallery highlights the notion that fine art, no longer limited to the white box, can embrace a new art-viewing opportunities, while underscoring a widely held understanding that street art is no longer limited to outdoor spaces. My site-specific installations are inspired by Japanese Zen gardens and informed by the space’s environs, whether organic or man-made.

This post is part of the GOOD community's 50 Building Blocks of Citizenship—weekly steps to being an active, engaged global citizen. This week: Plant a Guerrilla Garden. Follow along and join the conversation at and on Twitter at #goodcitizen.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet