“We shall thus prevent our guardians being brought up among representations [music, sculpture, poetry, architecture] of what is evil, and so day by day and little by little, by grazing widely as it were in an unhealthy pasture, insensibly doing themselves a cumulative psychological damage that is very serious. We must look for artists and craftsman capable of perceiving the real nature of what is beautiful, and then our young men [and women], living as it were in a healthy climate, will benefit because all of the works of art they see and hear influence them for good, like the breezes from some healthy country, insensibly leading them from earliest childhood into close sympathy and conformity with beauty and reason…”
Not much to say after reading this, but a lot of doing needs to occur.
A significant condition to Remote Studio is that we are constantly moving, and out-of-doors most of the time. If you are joining us for Remote Studio to ensure that our discussions and your time to create are always at your fingertips bring the following items with you…
The Moleskine Notebook and Sketchbooks are great for carrying around, and they can help you establish a format for documenting life-long creative practice. You can find these at most paper stores, and even Barnes and Noble is carrying most of them. So, no excuses about not being able to find them.
Bring one of these notebooks for taking notes and journaling look for this notebook, its about 5.5″ x 9″ and is a hardback. They are hardback, and come in different colors if black is not your thing.
Also, you will have time – and opportunity – to draw or paint while we are out. Please pick up one of these great notebooks:
They are called a soft bound “sketch album,” un-lined and is a horizontal format with perforated pages if you want to take them out to send home.
Also, bring one of the three options for drawing or painting with, and don’t worry if you don’t know how to use them. You can learn while you are here.
This small set of oil pastels is great to travel with. This particular set is available online from Cheap Joe’s. But I am sure you can find some at an art store near you. Word of warning, Michaels is NOT AN ART STORE. DO NOT BUY your pastels there because the quality is poor.
Water Color Set
Water Colors in a small plastic box that are not in Tube format, but instead the hard pancake that you add water to. And don’t forget to bring a few paint brushes.
Or you could bring a small (12 or so) set of colored pencils with you.
Over the years of sleeping in the backcountry I have learned what provides for the best sleep. First, to be exhausted provides for a good night sleep, and not so much worry about the squirrel running around outside your tent in the middle of the night. Sleeping next to a creek is great, too. The running water lulls you to sleep.
A tent appropriate to the conditions is also helpful. The conditions could be anything from waking up with 6 inches of snow on top of your tent, or balmy summer weather that only requires a fly or no tent – as long at there are NO mosquitoes.
What you sleep in plays a part- is it super cold and you need to sleep in everything you brought ? Or warm enough and you can get by with just your shorts?
But the two most important is the sleeping pad and the sleeping bag. So here are some guidelines to consider before you invest in what you hope will provide fora great night sleep.
First, do not think you are going to get away cheap on the bag. Unless you can borrow a good bag one from someone, its gonna cost you. If the bag you are looking at looks like this, you definitely need to re-think your sleeping bag assumptions for the back country:
Just for visual reference your sleeping bag for the backcountry should “look” more like one of these:
These sleeping bags are lighter weight, more fitted to your body so that your body needs to generate less energy to heat the space of the bag, which keeps you warmer in the night. Sleeping bags are rated for the temperature you will be sleeping in, so think about the temperature lows in the mountains, or look them up on the web if you don’t know. You can expect 20’s, could be colder or a bit warmer. You can boost your warmth by wearing more clothes while sleeping. My bag for late spring/early summer backpacking is a 10 degree bag. It keeps me toasty in June. To learn more about the type of sleeping bag you should be looking for take a look at the following links. And note, that when they describe the best bags they distinguish between the car camping sleeping bag and a backcountry bag. To be warm in your tents in the Rocky Mountains you will want to have a back county bag…
Another reason I am warm when I sleep in the backcountry is because of the sleeping pad. The sleeping pad is not only a good cushion for sleeping on, but the type of “cushioning” provides insulation between yourself and the cold earth. Think about it this way, your body is warmer than the Earth at this time of year, so the cold ground just sucks the body warmth right out of you. Your body is jus like a building, without good insulation between you and the outside, your body warmth just escapes….
I do not recommend this type:
If it rolls or folds, it is a solid material. They are bulky, hard to pack and less insulative.
Instead, consider one that looks like this:
These hold air in them, which provides greater insulation value, flexes more with your body and is much smaller when packing. This brand show, Alps is good, but there are many others, and they come in lots of colors. If you can afford one that supports the full length of your body that is best because your feet won’t be cold in the middle of the night.
This image gives you a good understanding of the difference in scale between a folding or rolled piece of foam and the pad that can be inflated on-site.
Consider warmth and comfort, not just in sleeping , but for the miles you will be hauling all the gear into the backcountry camp up into the mountains. The important point it that you will be hiking “UP” in altitude – and big difference from walking with heavy gear on flat ground….
Yes. I know! Its cold out there. Don’t be bashful, maybe put some shoes on first and join us in making your contribution to Earthly Instructable: Winter Edition.
This is a creative challenge from Lori Ryker, founder of Artemis institute and Anna Taugher of IAMACOLLECTION.
Anna and I have teamed up to create a challenge to get you to collaborate with nature and get your creative juices flowing this winter. We hope you will join us in the first installment of Earthly Instractable: an online community challenge.
At the core of our existence is the desire to create and make. Regardless of scale we create everyday. The act of creation, which is activity combined with positive intention, can be as simple as setting the table for breakfastor baking a cake, and as complex as architecture or composing a symphony. All of these creative acts provide a connection for who and how we are in the world. They set-up, set-aside, negotiate, and connect us to the world we live in.
To take the opportunity to respond to the world from our own point of view provides the time for contemplation, interaction, and experience with the pure joy of nature.
We have been wondering what would come about if many, many, people were to take a bit of time in nature and spend it in contemplation and creation. This is our Challenge, take some time for yourself to “be” in nature, collaborate with and create something wonderful, wonderous!
Follow these simple steps for your semi-permanent creation:
Step 1: Walk some distance into a natural area, stop at a place you feel comfortable in.
Step 2: Gather material that is straight in nature.
Step 3: Place the material into a cylindrical to semi-spherical shape, finished scale is up to you.
Step 4: Intertwine, wind, and connect the material until it is stable in its final shape, adding material as needed. (don’t forget it’s winter, ice and snow can be a great material to use)
Step 5: Place yourself inside your structure, en-joy.
Have a photo made of you in your Winter Earthly Instructable and post to Instagram no later than midnight February 16 with the following hashtag #earthlyinstructable
AND THE WINNER IS !
A winner will be selected from the top three submissions based on likes and comments submitted by midnight February 16. The winner will receive the inspiring book My People’s Dreaming: An Aboriginal Elder Speaks on Life, Land, Spirit and Forgiveness, Written by Max Dulumunmun Harrison and Peter McConchie, provided by Artemis Institute.
The winner will be announced through Instagram, and also on : iamacollection.com, loriryker.com, and on Facebook as Artemis Institute.
On October 26 I wrote a post called “Beginning Practice” as a follow up to a small piece I wrote “Practicing” on September 26. Now comes the journey.
As I have been traveling to speak to students at universities these past few weeks I have been asking them a question Artemis Institute has been focused on since it’s first program in 1997. I ask them if they believe they have a specific journey in life. Almost all say “yes.” But the next question, ” do you know what that journey is?” Usually follows with their response of “no.” The “no” is the challenge for our future.
There is a big change of outlook occurring with this new generation of people who are of college age. No longer do they believe a degree at a university provides an unquestionable best trajectory for their lives, and certainly not a guarantee for happiness. Truths cannot be guaranteed by those guarding antiquated cultural models. The primary change I see ( as is evident by theses covers of current magazines) is that happiness and job is important, place is important to this generation. And journey is ultimately important. The journey is not just about the self, the journey for these folks includes interaction with community and environment. They want to make change happen. Change requires a clear mission, a practice for that mission, and commitment to take the journey.
The journey is the exploration of who and how we are in the world . There is no straight-line to the end game of success. That idealized trajectory is one of the biggest myths we have told ourselves since the Enlightenment. Interaction, cooperation, multiple considerations, multiple answers, and inclusion all lead us to a new form for being in the world beyond the myth.
How you understand the World has a lot to do with your personal mythology. A fact I didn’t think of specifically until I met Sambo Mockbee. He had many lessons to teach, more than just the necessity of architecture. One of these lessons was how his active imagination passed through his personal narrative, his own mythology that resulted in how he lived his life. Sambo, if you spoke to him much, would let you know, life all came down to the mother goddess.
From his vivid mythology I began to recognize my own. And I also recognized the importance and empowerment of living my mythology. From living our mythology our Truth comes alive. A few years after this recognition I came upon the need to mark the earth, to leave a name, a call to being. This call was the need to create notification for the non-profit I was founding. It did not take me long to determine it’s name: Artemis Institute.
Depending which era you rely on for the classical gods and goddesses, Artemis has a different role in the World. I choose the ancient and original responsibility she was given. Artemis, while she has expansive responsibilities, is the protector of the wilderness. She is not the Roman’s Diana, the protector of the Hunt, or those who are hunting. Artemis is deep in the woods, soft in the moss, hanging in the leaves, blue in the sky, watching for all the living creatures…remembering for us what today we forget and ignore: the need for the wild, the need to retain our own wildness. She is a protector, she is the magic that lies in our ancient memories of life before roads, buildings, and timekeeping. If we choose to honor and protect the wild, the wildness and the wild in ourselves – we are living the myth of Artemis. We are making real the magic of an idea of how to be in the world.
About six months ago I did something I have never done before. At least not without arm twisting and a grade attached. I started sketching out-of-doors regularly. I did this to explore a new medium and because my schedule is so chaotic I don’t have much time to work in the studio on mono-prints. The process also allowed me to develop work while I traveled.
I am almost finished with the first book. Which I am amazed to have achieved, it itself. And I am even enjoying the process and exploration, and the new medium.
Here is one of the sketches, made while I was teaching Quest, in Southern Utah.
I would love to know what you think. Send me a note.
In early April I visited Cloud Nine Farm near Wilsall, Montana for the first time. The ground was just thawing at this high-elevation farm that bases it’s growing techniques on Permaculture. Despite the fact that there was nothing sprouting green in the land that surrounds them, Allison and Seann, owners of Cloud Nine, were following their daily farm activities. In order to make Cloud Nine profitable the farm is a year round operation. Green houses, chicken and duck eggs, and micro-greens help extend the seasonal potential for the farm. Cloud Nine is an organic minded farm and in the past few months that we have been planning the Remote Studio project for them they have been working through the process for gaining full “organic farm” status. This status not only is a great personal goal it also assists their product commitment with the CSA they work with, Market Day Foods in Bozeman, Montana. As the organic reviewer told them, they have the most diverse farm requesting organic status she had ever seen. Which means that the farm had ultimately more paperwork and verifications to deal with , because their application for organic status extends beyond a mono-culture farm, and instead operated as a holistic entity. The holistic condition is representative of the permaculture farming that they have adopted. It is a best case operation that organic farms can reach toward. In May they gained their full organic status!
The concepts of permaculture farming are not so different than the architecture profession’s goals seeking to design their buildings to work with the environment of their buildings. Consideration of land, orientation, weather patterns, and best conditions for employing the “energy” and “productivity” of the place. While this may sound straight forward, its not simple. Certainly not simple if you are farming in the high elevations of Montana with land that had been previously overgrazed. And if you want to develop a closed-loop farm as Allison and Seann do, the challenges can be even greater. Closed-loop (just as in architecture) means that what you need you gain from your “ground” and what you produce in by-product stays on the land, and is not hauled away.
one of the hoop greenhouses growing micro-greens
seeding for the upcoming growing season
Artemis Institute is interested in supporting practices and experiences that recognize the relationship between nature and culture. With the Remote Studio program we focus our design/build project on community structures that assist this relationship. This year we are committing the Remote Studio project to Cloud Nine Farm because we believe that the food that they produce for our community helps ensure that we have healthy “connected to the land” choices. We are overly impressed with Cloud Nine and other such small organic farms who commit to find a way to grow healthy food, in less than simple environmental and economic circumstances. These young farmers work long hours, reinvest their meager profits in bettering their ground, seldom have time-off, and little financial opportunity to build the simple support structures we all imagine to be in place on farms. For these reasons, Remote Studio Summer 2014 students will be designing and building a multi-functional support structure that enables the farm to store their implements out of harsh conditions, hang their garlic and store their onions, better rinse their vegetables for market, and store their young plants in a more protected environment.
To achieve this new support structure Cloud Nine is providing the funds for all construction materials, and Artemis Institute/Remote Studio provides the design, construction management, drawings and construction of the structure for free. There is one more component that is on their list, but not in their budget: a refrigeration unit with a high-performing “cool-bot” that would allow them to extend the storage and delivery season of their products. We have estimated materials and technology for this portion of the structure at about $5,000 for Remote Studio to incorporate into the design and construction of the new structure. If supporting our developing American Organic Farmers seems like an important and necessary thing to do, then consider helping Artemis Institute build the new Refrigeration Unit for Cloud Nine Farm. Artemis Institute is a non-profit organization. Your donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. To make a donation click here.
Remote Studio students start designing the Cloud Nine structure June 16!
eggs and sunflower mico-greens from Cloud Nine Farm