Posts tagged ‘ProvFlux’

Container gardening-or-Yoohoo, UAU

090428uauThe UAU (that’s Urban Agricultural Unit) recently moved to a new home on the grounds of Wolcott Eco-Office on Wolcott Street in Providence. Part large-scale recycling effort and part science fair project, the UAU is a mobile greenhouse constructed from a discarded shipping container. You may remember it from its appearances at ProvFlux or from its long-time residency at the Steelyard.

090428uau-interior1Plans are forming for the growing season at UAU’s new home. Perhaps some hops climbing up its corrugated metal walls and some native landscaping plants and some veggies and herbs growing inside.  Word is that its hydroponic set-up allows you to grow basil from a seed to a plant the size of a kindergartner in four weeks.

I get a kick out of the fact that this giant shipping container–duly labeled, see below–is now the ultimate container garden.


If you would like to learn more about the UAU or would like to be part of the team that is planning its rebirth, contact Anna or stop by the Urban Ag Spring Start Party that’s part two of the Green Zones event on May 5.  Thanks to the UAU crew for helping out with posters, posting, music, and more.


April 28, 2009 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

Disaster plan: Garden!

mit_armadilloRISD’s Office of Public Engagement is opening a new exhibit on Tricks of the Eye: History and Memory in Today’s Shifting Social Landscape. The exhibit “highlights recent projects by contemporary artists that explore innovative ways of navigating today’s shifting social landscape.” The exhibit runs March 5 – April 3 at 169 Weybosset St., Providence. Opening is Thurs., March 5 from 6-8pm.

One of the featured projects is the MIT FEMA Trailer Project: Timeline and Armadillo. The Armadillo was a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Trailer that was intended to house families in the Gulf Coast displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. MIT students worked with artist Jae Rhim Lee to transform the unit into a Composting Station and Vertical Garden. MIT is running two contests to encourage additional trailer transformations and the chance to win the Armadillo.

Meanwhile, across town at the Steel Yard, Providence people are thinking about how to resuscitate the Urban Agricultural Unit–a mobile greenhouse fabricated from a discarded shipping container. This project was featured at ProvFlux a couple years ago.

When soil is toxic, when people are suddenly in need…roll in a mobile garden!

March 4, 2009 at 7:51 am 2 comments

Why is there a velvet rope in the parking lot?

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the ProvFlux event at Firehouse 13 yesterday. I presented Green Zone. Miche Marcellot of Seven Arrows Herb Farm displayed photos from Sacred Gardens–the book he and his wife Judy wrote on a collection of very personal gardens. And Morag Rose of the Loiterers’ Resistance Movement talked about her collaborative’s psychogeographic projects in Manchester, England and some of the revolting Big-Brother responses to their work from city officials and quasi-public downtown enterprises. For example: don’t lead walking tours where people are encouraged to look up at buildings, because they might injure themselves, and you will be liable.

Because Green Zone is located at the edge of a parking lot, I used Firehouse’s velvet ropes to mark off a space for people to gather and eat veg. I got a kick out of the absurd DON’T TOUCH spectacle that was momentarily created–kind of the opposite of a hands-on, mouth-on, nose-on garden. At one point when we were hanging outside, I realized that Mystro had introduced yet another iron butterfly to the garden!

It was great to organize my thoughts, to share GZ with friends and meet new people, and to pick up some new leads to check out. There will be more events connected with Green Zone. Stay tuned for more info on a Happy Hour later in September, and a garden forum next spring…

August 10, 2008 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

Phoenix on ProvFlux

Greg Cook has a ProvFlux preview (including Green Zone!) in this week’s Providence Phoenix.

Take his advice: “Everything is free and open to anyone who would like to participate. But as of press time earlier this week, the lineup of participants, times, and even locations was still in flux. If that’s your cup of tea, ProvFlux can be liberating. ‘We’re allowing for any sort of spontaneous event to happen and embracing such things. We like the plan B,’ an organizer, Meredith Younger, tells me. But it’s also the kind of elusive freewheeling event that you can spend a lot of time looking for, schedule in hand (see:, and still miss altogether.”

Keep an eye on the schedule for updates, or just keep your eyes open for flying water balloons, roving psychogeographers, granny-cart drag races, and the like. INCOMING!

August 6, 2008 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

Coming attractions: Provflux V

ProvFlux V is starting up on Thursday, and Green Zone is part of the program.

From their website: “Part carnival and part conference, ProvFlux brings together artists, theorists, urban adventurers and the general public to share their visions of what the city can be, and to take action to make it a reality.” The 2008 ProvFlux marks the fifth yearly event created by PIPS (Providence Initiative for Psychogeographic Studies). I’ve participated a couple of times, most recently as part of the Seven Hills Errant Pioneers Association (SHErPA).

ProvFlux is an amazing opportunity to meet creative people inventing new ways of experiencing places…Providence and beyond. Some of the past participants include Fritz Haeg (a.k.a. Edible Estates), the Institute for Infinitely Small Things, and Anna Shapiro. I loved it when the ProvFluxers staged a viral invasion of the Congress for New Urbanism happy hour in 2006. Side by each, everyone was drawing maps on tabletops, and only half were in on the joke.

Though there are no New Urbanists to rumble with this year, the schedule looks good. There will be parties, lectures, a clothing-optional bike ride, a yoga-in, a kickball bout, and an invasion of Block Island. Firehouse 13 will be one of the ProvFlux headquarters, so stop by to visit Green Zone anytime or join me there for talks and presentations on Saturday, Aug. 6, starting at 3pm. Viva el flux!

August 3, 2008 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

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