Category: jetsonorama

climate change and bird migration

full-barn-2

If one were to google “…what is the impact of climate change on bird migration,” one of the first links that comes up is a page by World Migratory Bird Day 2007.    It seems this organization formed in 2007 to bring light to the issue of climate change on bird migration, had their day then dissolved.  However, they created a fact page with 5 immediate changes to migratory birds as a result of climate change.  One of the first things they identify is this…

“One of the major effects of climate change is the loss of habitats. The habitats migratory birds depend on are in danger to change and to disappear due to increasing temperatures, flooding or desertification. Coastal wetland areas that migrating birds use for nesting and foraging are an example. During their migration, birds rely on these areas to provide food and resting places. There they can refuel and repose before continuing their long journeys. Rising sea levels due to climate change cause the flooding of these habitats and they are lost for birds and other animals. Without these stop-over places, the birds have insufficient reserves to continue and have difficulties completing their journeys.”

This past winter I was invited by 516 Arts in Albuquerque to collaborate with an experimental dance troupe.  Our setting for this collaboration would be the only urban bird sanctuary in the southwest, Valle de Oro in Albuquerque.  I was invited to do an installation on the front of an old milk barn where part of a dance performance would be held.

milk-barn

milk-storage-tank

Upon seeing the old milk storage tank I got excited about installing there as well.  I met with the dancers twice – once in April and later in June to photograph them.  I’d wanted my focus for the piece that I created to be climate change related but I wasn’t sure in what way.  Choosing from hundreds of frames of the dancers I was struck by a series of movements performed as a duet.  For me, the three images I chose from the duet are a visual metaphor of our relationship with nature.

kelsey-brian-left-side

In the first panel one questions whether the humans are defending themselves from the birds, shielding their eyes from the too bright sun in the intense heat to better see what’s overhead.  The relationship between humans and nature is uncertain and to some degree unsettling.

kelsey-brian-right-side

Panel 2 suggests that with time and observation a dialog may form.  Communication may occur.

 

milk-tank

And in panel 3 there’s resolution and synchronicity. Although it’s a simplistic view of our dynamic relationship with nature it suggests that through observation over time we develop a better understanding of our connection to nature and the need to preserve it by addressing the root causes of climate change.

 

ensemble-in-front-of-barn

 

Installation
me-installing-1

me-installing-2

brian-passing-first-wall-at-night

brian-capturing-a-sunset

Shout out to Brian Gonnella, my assistant from Pittsburgh, PA for 6 weeks.  He’s seen above capturing one of Albuquerque’s magical sunsets.

up highway 64 towards the entrance of the south rim (at thomasina’s stand)

monica-1

 

jc-+-monica

 

jc-(outside)

It had been a  couple years since I last spent any time with Marley and her mom, Sina in their spot near the Little Colorado River Gorge.  I had a leftover screen print that was one of the posters used to promote the 2014 People’s Climate March (printed by Justseeds artist, Jesse Purcell).  Although Sina wasn’t there, Marley was there with a full crew.  Thanks for a fun hang!

jetsonorama

I called a fellow physician in Tuba City about a month ago to get his guidance.  I had a patient coming down off a several week binge who was open to inpatient rehab.  Despite my being here 28 plus years I wanted to confirm with my friend who has been working on the rez 30 years that despite there being high rates of drug and alcohol use on the reservation there’s still no treatment facilities.  I was hoping the resources had appeared miraculously under my radar.  Sadly, he confirmed that we’ve got new jails in Tuba City and Kayenta to temporarily detain people for public intoxication but no rehabilitation centers. Yet, the Navajo nation and indigenous people in general have one of the highest suicide rates in the country which often occurs under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. It’s a problem that’s been well documented.

“The game of life is hard to play.

I’m going to lose it anyway.

The losing card I’ll someday lay.

So this is all I have to say…

That suicide is painless.

It brings on many changes.

And I can take or leave it if I please.”

MASH theme song by Johnny Mandel

 

Case in point.  I’ve know Josie since shortly after I arrived in 1987.  I’ve taken care of her in her pregnancies, am watching her kids grow up and was with her on that hot, windy day in June of 1994 when she walked down the aisle for the first time, her father at her side while her sister secured her dress.

Josey-Watson's-wedding-(June-94)

When I went to her in 2011 with the idea of photographing her infant daughter JC for a campaign to raise awareness on CO2 emissions she and her husband Hank were there for me.

jc-looking-up-(b+w)

Her oldest son Kordell attended high school in Tuba City.  He competed against my son Jamaal who attended school in Page. Josie and I talked often about how our boys were doing.  She told me that Kordell enjoyed competing against Jamaal who made him play harder, play his best.

Talking with Josie now a year after Kordell shot himself at age 16 it sounds like she could see it coming.  Despite their best efforts Kordell didn’t heed his parents interventions.  Though the reservation is dry, drugs and alcohol are plentiful.  Now it’s Josie’s mission to raise awareness regarding drug and alcohol use while trying to get the tribe to build a rehabilitation center. She realizes the problem is multifaceted – that the education system needs a robust overhaul, after school programs need to be created and sustained, youth centers are needed and meaningful work is missing on the reservation where the unemployment rate hovers around 50%.  Despite the odds she feels it’s what she’s being called to do.  She doesn’t want Kordell’s death to be in vain though 2 other suicides occurred in the family shortly after Kordell’s.  Yet she remains positive.

jc-on-horseback

 

girls-on-horseback

 

1. jc-getting-her-hair-braided

 

2. josey-breastfeeding

 

3.--hands

 

4.--my-girl-jc

 

7.--family-3

 

5.--family-1

 

6.--family-2

There’s work to be done; the struggle continues.  Stay tuned…

free your mind…

New stickers and screen prints.

 

owen-holding-his-sticker

Owen, now 11, holding a sticker of himself with his brother Aidan in the background getting a snowball ready for his noggin.

 

owen-throwing-snowball

 

family-portrait-(dogs-+-cat)

 

owen-at-little-colorado-overlook-(no-text,-sepia)

 

stephanie i am the change (revised blue) 5 inches

 

jc with coal cloud (4 inches)
step-on-jr's-house

Individual stickers are $3.00 each or buy 2 for $5.00.  Contact me at jetsonorama@gmail.com if interested.

 

step-holding-step-on-jr's-house

Stephanie rocking the screen print of her image on JR’s former house outside Tuba City.

 

police-line-(toren)

For backstories + ordering info head over to http://www.jetsonorama.net and look for the “shop” tab.

Peace.

people’s climate march commemorative screen print

people's-climate-march-(monica!-screenprint-3)

people's-climate-march-(monica!-screenprint-2)

people's-climate-march-(monica!-screenprint-1)
people's-climate-march-(monica!)

in anticipation of the world climate summit (this december in paris) you can show the painted desert project some love by getting a one color, hand pulled (by the good people at ocelot print shop in detroit) commemorative screen print on 19 x 25 archival paper.  they’re a limited edition of fifty, signed, stamped + numbered for $50.  if interested, hit me at jetsonorama@gmail.com.

peace.

don’t ski the pee

klee-+-princess-1

klee-+-princess-2

rayann wanland

photo by raeann wanland

 

debbie leavittphoto by debbie leavitt

the arizona snowbowl (the ski resort in flagstaff making snow from reclaimed waste water while desecrating a site considered sacred to 13 local tribes), is expanding.  in 2012 i connected with local artists and activists asking them what they thought of the initial proposal to make snow from waste water.  their responses were written on their faces, photographed and 2 murals were made in downtown flagstaff.  with the news of the recent expansion, i returned to the sagacious words of diné musician, activist and filmmaker, klee benally and his wife, princess – “what we do the mountain, we do to ourselves.” thanks to everybody who stopped by and gave me love today.  it’s always appreciated.

%d bloggers like this: