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12 APRIL 2013

Guerrilla Gardening: Seed Bombs & Seed Balls

"I've been following guerrilla gardening on Twitter for quite some time, and have become familiar with the term 'seed bombing' as a result. It's an idea that's always appealed to me – it's a kind of eco–friendly, bee–friendly, slightly radical anti–vandalism activism – but it's just one of those things that I'd never pursued. ...

So how do they work? It's a simple process really – the seeds I bought are encased in a ball of peat–free compost, dried clay and chilli, which are hand–rolled in North London (yes, really, and no, it's not what you're thinking). The dried clay acts as a protective casing from common seed predators (such as ants, mice and birds). When enough rain permeates the clay, the seeds inside begin to germinate – helped along by the nutrients and minerals contained within the balls. So it's like a tiny self–sufficient seeding system. Maya [http://www.mayaproject.org/] have added chili powder to the mix to help to deter predators while the seed ball slowly degrades, and eventually the seeds sprout."

(Lucy Small, 5 April 2013)

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activismagriculture • anti-vandalism activism • ball • bee-friendly • chili • compost • DIY gardening • earthcare • eco-friendly • fairshare • gardening • germination • guerrilla gardeningguerrilla tacticsNative Americans • peat-free compost • peoplecare • permacultureplants • project MAYA • seed • seed balls • seed bomb • seed bombing • seed bombs • seeding system • self-sufficientsustainable society

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 JANUARY 2013

The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

"The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts is the country's [USA] leading museum for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native artists for local, national and international audiences. MoCNA is a venue for exhibitions of artists who merit, local, national and international recognition. The Museum belongs at the forefront of contemporary Native art presentation and strives to be flexible, foresighted and risk–taking in its exhibitions and programs."

(MoCNA)

Richard Glazer–Danay, Jan, 2012, "Shake, Rattle & Roll", Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, [http://www.iaia.edu/museum/exhibition/shake–rattle–roll/].

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1962 • American Indian • art museumartworkscontemporary art • contemporary Native artists • cultural appropriation • cultural discourse • cultural identitycultural interpretations • cultural programme • exhibiting artists • folk museumfostering discourse • IAIA • indigenous artIndigenous people • Institute of American Indian Arts • international audiences • MoCNA • museummuseum of contemporary culture • Museum of Contemporary Native Arts • National Collection of Contemporary Native Art • national cultural identitiesNative Americans • Native art • Native artists • New Mexico • North America • progressive work • sacred • Santa Fe

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 JUNE 2011

North American Progress: expansion as a spiritualised feminine figure

"George Crofutt, publisher of a fashionable western travel guide series, commissioned the creation of 'American Progress' by the Brooklyn resident, painter, and lithographer, John Gast. Crofutt reproduced the petite painting, done in 1872, as a color lithograph poster and also engraved the image in the guidebooks he published widely circulating the image. The painting depicts a sense of technological development's advancement upon the untamed land like the coming of an impenetrable, inevitable militia with one uncharacteristic exception––the company is led by a feminine figure.

In the wake of four years of Civil War, the creation of the promotional material of 'American Progress' portrays a spiritualized feminine that provides nurturing, protective guidance and fortitude for the extension of civilization over wilderness and the 'uncivilized,' the enigmatic, and the primal. Disembodied, the idealized feminine portrays the evolution of the split of spirit from daily life as well as the sanctified superiority of the immigrants above human beings who lived in harmony with the spirit of the land.

The dominating and centralized angelic being's paradoxical innocence and sensually alluring presence has the effect of distracting and softening the reality and the violence of this movement to 'win the west' where Native Americans depart the frame as non– natives stake claims in the form of prospectors, as settlers: farmers, homesteaders, and travelers. One of the popular artists of the times, Maynard Dixon speaks of the untruth of the romanticized representation of facts as he complained he was being paid to lie in his artwork and portrayals of life on the wild prairie (Dixon).

Fueled by an underlying desire to be free from tyrannical government and the prospect of a new life and livelihood in a world new to them, Euro–Americans manifested suffering and persecution similar to the very situation they sought to escape."

(Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism)

Fig.1 John Gast (1872). "American Progress", painting: oil

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1872 • American Progress (painting) • ARAS • Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism • artworkcivil war • civilising • colonial expansioncolonisationcolour lithographdivine destinydivine providenceexpansionism • farmers • feminine figure • George Crofutt • guidebook • homesteaders • ideologyIndigenous • John Gast • manifest destiny • Maynard Dixon • national park • Native AmericansnativesNorth Americanurturingpainterpainting • popular artist • poster • prairie • progresspromotional material • protective guidance • romantic sublimeromanticised • sanctified superiority • settlementspiritualsymbolismtechnological developmentterritoryThe West • travel guide series • travellers • uncivilised • untamed land • untamed wilderness • wildwilderness

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 APRIL 2010

If there is anywhere in the post-colonial world where two cultural worlds truly live an engaged life alongside each other, it's in New Zealand

"The 1840 Treaty of Waitangi which, in usual imperial style, seized sovereignty from the Maori and laid it at the feet of Queen Victoria did so on condition that their property rights and political and cultural integrity were respected. Needless to say in the generations that followed, this pact was respected more in the breach than the observance, but New Zealand history did follow its own extraordinary course.

In their first wars against violations of Waitangi the Maori effectively won the battle with the pakeha. Decimated by imported diseases for which they had no immunity, the Maori were expected, at the turn of the 20th Century to be on their way to extinction or extreme marginalisation like native Americans or Australian aborigines. Nothing of the sort has happened.

Today they constitute – by one count – almost 20% of the population and astonishingly a special tribunal created in the 1970s has been ruling on land claims dating back to the post–Waitangi years. Maori and the descendants of intermarriages that go back deep into the 19th Century, are to be found in every leading walk of life in the country.

Of course there have been serious problems of unequal social opportunity, of street gangs. But if there is anywhere in the post–colonial world where two cultural worlds truly live an engaged life alongside each other, it's in New Zealand."

(Simon Schama, 9 April 2010, BBC News)

Fig.1 Warwick Freeman, 1992. Tiki Face

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18401970s19th centuryAborigineAotearoa New ZealandAustralasiaAustralian AborigineCommonwealthcultural heritage • cultural integrity • diseaseextinction • gangs • historyIndigenous • intermarriage • land claims • MaorimarginalisationNative Americans • Newstralia • Pakeha • political integrity • postcolonial • Queen Victoria • settlement • social opportunity • sovereigntyTe Tiriti o Waitangitiki • tribuna

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 FEBRUARY 2009

The Significance of the Frontier in American History

"American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, furnish the forces dominating American character. The true point of view in the history of this nation is not the Atlantic Coast, it is the Great West. Even the slavery struggle, which is made so exclusive an object of attention by writers like Professor von Holst, occupies its important place in American history because of its relation to westward expansion.

In this advance, the frontier is the outer edge of the wave –– the meeting point between savagery and civilization. Much has been written about the frontier from the point of view of border warfare and the chase, but as a field for the serious study of the economist and the historian it has been neglected.

What is the frontier? It is not the European frontier –– a fortified boundary line running through dense populations. The most significant thing about it is that it lies at the hither edge of free land. In the census reports it is treated as the margin of that settlement which has a density of two or more to the square mile. The term is an elastic one, and for our purposes does not need sharp definition. We shall consider the whole frontier belt, including the Indian country and the outer margin of the 'settled area' of the census reports. This paper will make no attempt to treat the subject exhaustively; its aim is simply to call attention to the frontier as a fertile field for investigation, and to suggest some of the problems which arise in connection with it.

In the settlement of America we have to observe how European life entered the continent, and how America modified and developed that life and reacted on Europe. Our early history is the study of European germs developing in an American environment. Too exclusive attention has been paid by institutional students to the Germanic origins, too little to the American factors.

Now, the frontier is the line of most rapid and effective Americanization. The wilderness masters the colonist. It finds him a European in dress, industries, tools, modes of travel, and thought. It takes him from the railroad car and puts him in the birch canoe. It strips off the garments of civilization and arrays him in the hunting shirt and the moccasin. It puts him in the log cabin of the Cherokee and Iroquois and runs an Indian palisade around him. Before long he has gone to planting Indian corn and plowing with a sharp stick; he shouts the war cry and takes the scalp in orthodox Indian fashion. In short, at the frontier the environment is at first too strong for the man. He must accept the conditions which it furnishes or perish, and so he fits himself into the Indian clearings and follows the Indian trails."
(Frederick Jackson Turner, 1893)

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1893 • Americanization • becoming • Cherokee • civilization • colonisationconflictdemocracydivine destinydivine providence • expansion • expansionism • Frederick Jackson Turner • frontierfrontier mythideologyIndigenousIroquoisliminalmanifest destinymoral dignityNative Americans • personal enfranchisement • political ideologyprovidenceromantic sublimesettlementterritoryThe WestWesternwilderness

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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