'From The Ground Up' is a project Nick Tobier is working on with a group of students from the Univerity of Michigan. They are living and working in the city, building an orchard and constructing an outdoor classroom with EarthWorks Urban Farm and working through the radical food and community networks in the city of Detroit.
"Easy access to easy food is what we as a nation leave to Detroit and to so many of our inner cities. The cumulative effects of this are manifold--from childhood obesity, to lack of choice, from the loss of a connection to culturally significant foods to an abrogation of the bond between people and place.
Walk a few blocks parallel to the major streets in Detroit and a potential solution to these concerns is visible. Through hard work, residents of many Detroit neighborhoods are answering their concerns through gardens. Breaking rough ground to plant delicate seeds is an act that requires nourishment and nurturing. The fruits (or vegetables) of this willingness to wrestle something fantastic and vital out of what has been left to decay is a creative act that, like other art forms, is often relegated or isolated as a luxury, while in fact it is central to culture ... "
For the Garage festival 09 Free Soil have conducted a site specific research project investigating the environment of the Baltic Sea.
We created an alternative archive of political and historical events that have occurred in the Baltic Sea region, especially Stralsund and linked these with the sea’s responses. The impact of Industrialisation, population growth and political changes has resulted in climatic and environmental changes recorded in the sea. Nature retaliates by creating new forms, one of the most significant being the spread and growth of toxic Blue Green Algae or “phytoplankton”
Images: wooden sewerage pipe from Stralsund. &
Portrait of William Lindley the designer of the first sewerage system in Stralsund, algae on paper.