INQUEST.US – Territorial investigations conducted by PETER FEND in collaboration with WWF :)
“The Lawrence of Arabia of the art world.”
Raised in Ohio and Upstate New York, won art and history prizes as child, continues to work in both Art and History. Turned down two Ivy League colleges to choose between University of Chicago and Carleton College, in Minnesota: chose Carleton. (1.) Graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum laude, first in major (English; with History), Rhodes-Scholar nominee, (2.) hence confident that could decide on graduate school later… traveled throughout North America, realizing that ecology would be top challenge of our time. Manual work: building ski lifts in Colorado, pushing a hand-truck in the Fulton Fish Market, digging irrigation ditches, concrete and stone work. Cross-country, track and soccer athlete. Can speak publicly and write in French and German; street knowledge of Italian. Spent more adult life outside the U.S. than in, but affirm the Constitution and the Monroe Doctrine.
In first attempt to launch a career, prior to an undecided grad school, go to Washington, DC and try out an arranged job at the World Bank; shocked by the pre-20th century aesthetics for organizing territory and defining separable tasks; meet an artist, realize value of Earth Art, Conceptual Art, Field-Theory Painting, Structuralist Film; use Lewitt drawings for an economic analysis in big antitrust case that concludes, with Physiocratic theory, that no interest can be due to the Government on overpayment for goods. Visit many grad schools, find no niche with any; top GRE scores only give reason to not choose. Symposium at Johns Hopkins SAIS inspires mapping of regional-sea basins, based on UNEP Regional Seas Program.
New York: picture research for books on history of technology; see seminal role of visual art, prior to invention. Re-affirm conclusion from 1969 that as means of production determine social relations (Marx), and as social values determine what shall be done (Weber), the aesthetic values, or conspicuous consumption, determines what shall be produced (Veblen). To effect technological and social change, advance cutting-edge Art.
Making a last attempt to conform, with applications to top law schools (people offered to pay me to go), I write instead, “Agriculture Ends, Art Takes Over.” This, followed by “Evolution Mediation” and a letter to Dennis Oppenheim on his return to “the wild,” introduces me to the NY art world. Am nicknamed “Dr.Fang,” run with deerskin and javelin to extol hunting-fishing-gathering as against farming; get noticed by Gordon Matta-Clark, who asks me to scout out technologies, e.g., balloons and bridge engineering, for what would be an entirely-new architecture. Impassioned by lectures of Vincent Scully on “Garden & Fortress: The Shape of France,” I draw out a sequence of earthworks by DeMaria, Nauman, Oppenheim, Smithson, Heizer, within paradigms of Schneemann, Edelson and Horn, led by the “Chief of the Hunters” Joseph Beuys, within rules and territorial limits defined by Duchamp, for an entirely new use of terrain. The drawings, “Earth Net: An Economic System,” appear at Caltech’s Baxter Art Museum. Similar views now in books like “Water: A Natural History,” saying that North America needs 80 million buffalo, 250 million beaver, billions of prairie dogs, and 25 million alligators. A University of Minnesota study concluded that 400 million humans here could live well on a native-American economy, with mostly hunting-fishing-gathering and only small-plot (or urban) farming. These are my central aims.
Unable to get a gallery (only Susan Gibson, wife of John, was interested), enter community making artist-run shows, and cable-TV shows and events, of Collaborative Projects (1977-1983); there any earthworks or architecture ideas rejected as passé or technocratic. Only the basin mapping was encouraged: it seemed “political.”
Studio at The Clocktower, Institute for Art and Urban Resources (PS 1). Queenssites. Megastructures with Matta-Clark.
Team up with a spinoff from Collaborative Projects called The Offices of Fend, Fitzgibbon, Holzer, Nadin, Prince & Winters. Shows in LA, reconnect with Dr. Wheeler North, macroalgae-industry pioneer. Ocean-basin schemes video-recorded by Robert Polidori in DC, NY. Peter Nadin Gallery: AROOM DEFIN EDNOT BYITS WALLS BUTBY APUMP.
Curate “PUBLIC POLICY: Architecture Propositions.” Lower-East-Side/Jamaica Bay scheme, Real Estate Show (invited to show scheme for Ruhr w/ Beuys et al.). Megastructures for Manhattan, Times Square Show (ejected from show; one other artist was thrown out: Basquiat). Found Ocean Earth Construction and Development Corporation. Decide to start with satellite monitoring, form “Space Force” with Taro Suzuki, Eve Vaterlaus, Joan Waltemath, Wolfgang Staehle, Bill Dolson, Coleen Fitzgibbon, all inspired by biggest shareholder, Paul Sharits. Peter Nadin Gallery: WORLD SPACE, basin installation, contexted by Lawrence Weiner, Dan Graham, Louise Lawler, Peter Nadin. Jonathan Crary writes “Peter Fend’s Global Architecture” for Village Voice Art Annual, gets fired, goes into academia, but is also shareholder in Ocean Earth.
In “New York / New Wave”, PS 1. In “Artists’ TV”, Artforum. First Ocean Earth contract, with Darlington Fabrics, for stretch-fabric as architectural material, to cancel windload; collaboration with Eve Vaterlaus; first tests in South Bronx schoolyard.
“Art of the State,” The Kitchen. “Global Survey,” Chase Manhattan Plaza. Leads to satellite-monitoring for TV: Falklands (NBC/BBC), Beirut invasion routes (CBS). Proposal for Iraq, BOMB. Caribbean Continuum, from Recife to Hatteras, responding to request by head of North America Office, UNEP; appears in 57th Street.
Ocean Earth is world pioneer in civil-grade satellite observation of news sites, distributing through most world TV networks, publishing in world press (International Herald Tribune, L’Express, Observer, Sunday Times, London Times, Kayhan Times, New Scientist, Die Weltwoche, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Vrij Nederland, European Space Agency Earth Observation Quarterly, IEEE Spectrum, Variety, Paris Match). What we discovered was usually the opposite of what The New York Times reported, so we went to United Nations Office of Undersecretaries-General for Special Political Affairs. Commissioned report for closed-door workshop of Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress, 1986. Work mostly in Europe. With scandal at UN (press conference sponsored by TASS and Voice of America at UN Correspondents Association), re-enter art world, take part in shows curated by Collins & Milazzo (e.g., John Gibson).
Documenta asked to show Ocean Earth, but only as two people, known German artist Ingo Guenther and Peter Fend. I said No. We must account for the entire coalescence of artists’ initiatives. Guenther went ahead. I worked until 2000 chiefly to correct the record. I was driven largely by anger at the German art history machine, and the German secret police, which Guenther said “interlocked.” My flags in 1992 were just part of the battle.
Yield to entreaties, since 1984, by Colin Deland: join American Fine Arts. First show about Gulf, called “Body”: reviews by Jutta Koetther and Isabel Graw rejected by art magazines. Throughout Europe: featured in Kunstrai, Amsterdam, asked to join Joep van Lieshout in Rotterdam studio, but face three trials from satellite experience (now forbidden), two in NY (both dropped eventually, one on national security grounds), one in Germany (leading to gag order on UN scandal). OE contract with Dennis Oppenheim for co-copyright in construction/realization of his designs and models. Repercussions of UN scandal: inquiries by Swedish Government. At least: low-resolution satellite-data observation of microalgae bloom in North Sea, exploding around Denmark and Sweden within 24 hours.
Second show with American Fine Arts (will show with them, until after De Land’s death in 2004, more than anyone else). Publish two scientific papers at “Global Monitoring and Assessments: Towards the 21st Century,” sponsored by UN Environment Program and FAO, Venice, Italy. Chernobyl findings confirmed by UK scientist in London Times and Oxford University Press; am called “expert” by reporter who is now Media Director for the UN Environment Program. Start 2-year collaboration with Dr. Alfonso Maria Liquori, Institute for Theoretical Biology, Venice. Focus on algae industry in Adriatic.
Ocean Earth shows: Tanja Grunert and Esther Schipper, Cologne; Anne de Villepoix, Paris; Le Case d’Arte, Milan; Ryszard Varisella (Achenbach), Frankfurt. Produce interior of café for Hopital Ephemere, Paris; studio three years. First book of writings, in German, published by Daniel Buchholz. “Kleine Fragen”, Galerie Nagel, Cologne: leads to chapter in “Das RAS Phantom,” exposing German government RAF scams. Thus began a campaign of discrediting Klaus Kinkel.
News Room New York (American Fine Arts) and AMSTERDAM (Museum Fodor). Often described as the most important art event of the year.
News Room Frankfurt – Hans Ulrich Obrist proposes a manual; I say No.
Second UN press conference, attended by Dennis Oppenheim and Colin Deland, sponsored by Turkey, regarding “positive” program of Ocean Earth in Gulf using earthworks sold by Oppenheim to Iran; hostile reaction by Iran diplomats; debacle. Run-in with German authorities; told by US to stay away, but Documenta invitation changes this. Travels to Belgrade, with architect Kevin Gannon; negotiations with ecological-architecture firm CEP, for Tivat Bay, Montenegro.
News Room Stockholm – The most successful, with the smallest budget; brought in the Foreign Ministry. Included Daniel Birnbaum.
Documenta. Flags for Documenta Halle, replacing official flags with basin-flags of EU, Germany, Asia, Americas, Southern Hemisphere. Later, add Switzerland (1994)4, China (2008-9), World (1999). Second shows at Tanja Grunert, Esther Schipper, Le Case d’Arte. Collectors say that they won’t buy anymore from galleries if I am represented. Baltic/North Sea plans at Museum Louisiana lead to 2-year series of eco-art shows throughout Europe, including Littoral. “Site Simulator” of Tivat Bay amidst Adriatic Basin as “unity.” Publish, in Paris, on Yugoslavia break-up as required by West against non-aligned movement.
NEWS ROOM COPENHAGEN – The worst; Gulf imagery blocked; too soft.
Start research on Giant Algae System and ocean industry, based on shows in Paris, sponsored by FRAC Poitou-Charentes. With IFREMER and naval architect Marc Lombard, La Rochelle (now known for his America-Cup winning racing yacht design). Ocean Earth retrospective at Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, curated by Peter Weibel. Aperto, Venice Biennale: “Oil-Free Corridor” from Iceland to Yemen. Curated by Thomas Locher; also, curating from Nicholas Bourriaud.
NEWS ROOM PARIS, with Galerie des Archives and Jerome Sans.
“Ocean Earth: FOR A WORLD WHICH WORKS”, Oktagon Verlag, Stuttgart, published by P. Weibel.5 “World Spiral” at Global Forum, Manchester; meet Heidi Mardon (NZ), who ends up being the ONE person who ACTS on the OE need for a site for the Giant Algae System Clean Air Rig/Cities Architecture Rig. Earthworks models for North Africa, EU and Gulf responsive to request by Algerian Ambassador to France in 1985, to try making structures seen in Iran-Iraq war zone be used to restore the savannah in what is now Sahara: Galerie Metropol (now Kargl), Vienna. A follow-up show of earthworks at Marc Jancou Gallery, London: half the works are removed as too provocative; I renounce show in Art Monthly; reviewers attack megalomania when I follow through on concerns about Three Gorges Dam asserted by US State Department, World Bank and the Wall Street Journal, and about the Aswan Dam voiced by journalist-friend Adel Darwish. Contract with Rob Scholte on G.A.S. and Global Spiral, ends with car bomb that severs his legs.5 Fright dents Iceland deal with Inga Svala Thorsdottir.
NEWS ROOM COLOGNE: Rhine floods.
Curate “Mapping: A Response to MoMA,” which earns a more favorable NY Times review than the original MoMA show: American Fine Arts. Residencies in Sydney, Moscow, Genoa, San Sebastian3, Bregenz. Aperto “On Board”, curated by Jerome Sans: Venice Lagoon scheme.
Residencies/shows in Copenhagen, Tokyo. Convey biogas practice to Superflex; get GASCAR much advanced by Lombard, but Tokyo Metropolitan Government says they cannot authorize “reality.” “Chernobyl Solutions” (correcting removal of work by Marc Jancou in London, 1994),Steffany Martz, NY; news reports in Belarus, Ukraine, US
Antarctica-centered world map (basis for Global Feed; consolidating all basin maps with Lambert projection), sponsored by Kenny Schachter with Lombard/Fried. Beuys’ Fat Corner explained: 12-stage sequence from four water molecules, added four factorial times, to yield pentane, or paraffin; methane central; at Momenta Art. Publish “New Architecture from Gordon Matta-Clark” in “Drawings of Gordon Matta-Clark,” Generali Foundation, Vienna. Later in Spanish, pubished in Salamanca. Make “United Nations flag” for Fluxnews, Liege.
Grant-funded work in Serbia/Montenegro, yields contract with Institute of Marine Biology, Kotor and CEP, Belgrade. Exhibit this and Wellington Harbour project organized by architect Heidi Mardon with ecologist Adrienne Livingston. At American Fine Arts, “Chase Scene,” attempt to raise $800,000 for both projects: total collapse, in part due to US-gov’t intervention to prohibit anything specific about former Yugoslavia; more due to anti-stock certicate stance of Colin DeLand. A deeply-disappointed Mardon starts Enviroschools. Recover from setbacks with a burst of anger at the oil companies: a giant Exxon-style sign amidst the Chelsea Exxon station, advertising their main product, “Global Warming.” Multiple sales ensue—okay for revenue, terrible for the intention of public address.
NEWS ROOM GRAZ. Steirischer Herbst. Publish in Der Standard.
Team effort with Bill Meyer, Christine Cobb, Julia Fischer and architects such as John Voss and David Cook, called “Rapid Response”, leads to elaborate designs for post-petroleum gas stations, of “RAPID” brand, with methane, methanol, ethanol, hydrogen and electricity: AFA. Lead review, Art in America. Effort collapses due to misuse of term “architect” by a team member. “China Basin Plans,” earthworks in “Ecologies,” Smart Museum, University of Chicago, produced with research and fabrication stay; much-more thorough vindication of what started with Marc Jancou Gallery. Leads to invitation by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for 2-year research stay in Indiana with $2 million from Lilly Foundation, for waterplant-to-biogas schemes and micro-hydro designs, as researched in U. of Chicago. Offer intercepted by Richard Haut of Exxon/Halliburton, now expert on “environmentally-safe oil drilling”, notably in the Arctic. Offer cancelled abruptly; stunned, produce Americas scenario in Chelsea. Publish Ocean Earth brochure, initiated by Jack Pierson.
NEWS ROOM NEW YORK (near UN). Mark Lombardi made his one map work, of weapons dispersed throughout Iraq. He worked himself into a frenzy, became obsessed, and committed suicide soon afterwards.
Venezuela Consulate, excited by my writing (to the NY Times) that their nation-centric cultural policy is similar to that of John Dewey and the Whitney Museum, invites a large-scale version of the Americas.7 Detailed analysis of Venezuela and South America began with request for mapping from Wolfgang Staehle. Studio at World Trade Center secured for this, following through on the 1983 NY State Sea-Grant Institute conference for U.S.-China cooperation on post-petroleum, sea-plant based energy industry. Ocean Earth achieves first production of biogas from freshwater and saltwater plants, in Exe Estuary, shown at Spacex. At same time, studio pulverized. Post WTC scenarios for renewable energy, conducted in seawater, shown at Stroom, The Hague. Outdoor earthwork test sites surveyed in Harper Dry Lake, California, funded by Center for Land Use Interpretation. Proposals snag on bureaucratic hurdles, e.g., artists’ names and how I could exercise a co-copyright deal Ocean Earth with Dennis Oppenheim.
Drawing for New Museum show of WTC-studio artists, showing parallel of NY/NJ/CT/PA with Iraq/Kuwait/Iran/Saudi Arabia, and thus pre-viewing what would happen in 2003, an invasion of Iraq from Camps Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, is rejected, but becomes basis for invitations to show in Oekonomien der Zeit (Cologne, Berlin, Zurich), then Kunsthalle Wien, then two shows at Palais de Tokyo (in both cases, the entrance/theme installation). Entrance installation also at Ars Electronica, Linz; mass media wonder why we can’t make flame from waterplants more substantially. First attempt, Ireland.
Dublin City Council amply funds public art: attempt to produce flame with macroalgae stymied by what comes to be characteristic response of scientific institution to proposal from artist—to turn it into a scientific paper, under them. End up with some tests of algae harvest methods, chiefly near Galway, and with billboard campaign. In group show, Banquete, at ZKM Karlsruhe, Barcelona, Madrid. Galerie Marta Cervera, aiming with shows to fund outdoor earthwork projects (but in black sands of Lanzarote?)
Art-Science Grant, Arts Council England, Arts & Humanities Research Board. University of Plymouth and other oceanography centers in Plymouth. Intend broad array of co-copyright Ocean Earth / Plymouth Marine Sciences Partnership projects. Access to sites very difficult; most harvest procedures prohibited; produce videotape showing how peasant methods in Ireland are sustainable, whereas scientists’ clear-cutting of plots is not. End up with GLOBAL FEED, a 15-sector parallel-basin regional-sea monitoring program for Earth. Comparative displays of NY Bight, Bristol and English Channels. Produce enough for data-supplier (in DC) to offer one year global coverage for only $100,000. We would need $1 million. Invited to show with ZKM (“Making Things Public”) and International Center of Photography Triennal, but budget too costly. Deep disagreements over scientific authority and copyright, e.g., who publishes in “Science”.
No solution with Guggenheim Fellowship (2006) on the rift; pays to maintain but not develop Global Feed, as amount is too small. At Apex Art, show Ocean Earth engineering scheme for Jamaica Bay in the satellite-monitored context of NY Bight, which flows to Antarctica. Corporate structure (including architect Sara Peschel and artist/model-maker Eve Vaterlaus) not strong enough for follow-through. Results presented at:
Spacex, Exeter. Solo. Ocean Earth: REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING, presented also to the annual conference of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Followed up by presentation at annual conference of Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, London. Most praise was for Jamaica Bay scheme.
Liverpool Biennial. With focus on Irish Sea, display of Global Feed.
Wonderful: Visions of the Near Future, curated by Claire Cumberledge. Arnolfini, Bristol; Cornerhouse, Manchester; Magma, near Sheffield. Sequence for conversion of wastes to keratins, e.g., feathers, to be diffused in marshes for uptake through wild-animal food chains.
Berlin: three-year visa (first of two). Parallel Projekte: proposals for U.S. State Department. Galerie Nagel. Usual response: I should run for President. Numerous group shows, with project money, in Germany (Weimar ACC, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Cronach, Kunsthalle Wolfsburg). On last, Green Party boss sees work, asks for collaboration; several meetings, no result. Launch residency/project space at Kunstlerhaus Rieseberg, near Braunschweig. In Akademie der Kuenste, one of two artists (other is Dan Graham) on the work of Gordon Matta-Clark; book appears 2012, includes Fend split-structure drawings extrapolating from what Mark Wigley calls the greatest architecture work of the latter 20th century: “Splitting.” One structure, a balloon-suspended bridge, first proposed for Berlin’s royal-palace site, published but never exhibited as “quatsch”; the scheme is taken seriously by a major balloon company (and Pentagon contractor) in the UK, which would do feasibility study for 1K GBP.
Comprehensive river-basin energy supply schemes, with waterplants and with Poncelet-curve waterwheel, presented in “Gletscherdaemmerung,” an art-science conference in Munich. Book ensues. Conference at Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Research.
NEWS ROOM WARSAW. Organized through Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich.
Macroalgae industry scouting, first with Galerie fuer Landschaftskunst, Hamburg. Investigate much of Elbe, including Beuys’ attempted Marsch-aktion sites. Concentrate on stretch from Cuxhaven 20 km SE; video-record lesson (already seen with peasants in western Ireland) that one best avoids lifting algae from water; stay in sea. Solution: use submarines to harvest, process, methanize and liquefy. Moss Maritime, builder of LNG ships in Norway, likes idea, will work for contract and fee. Nagel dismisses it as “quatsch.” All ideas re-presented and re-investigated with Macrocystis in Wellington Harbour under label of Ocean Earth, with Eve Vaterlaus and Peter Fend, following up on 1994-9 initiatives of Heidi Mardon, for “Towards a Balanced Earth”, or “Kick the Carbon Habit,” for World Environment Day, at National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa, Wellington, in presence of Director and Media Director of UN Environment Program. Thorough plans for algae-to-gas industry in hydrometric areas of NZ. Show slated for six other cities worldwide, abruptly canceled. We investigate, as very similar ideas are now being pioneered, with cover story in “Science,” with firm founded in curator’s city in.. 2007, named, in a manner similar to the architecture reasoning in our brochure: Bio Architecture Lab. But they would produce ethanol to be additive to refined oil, not methane for direct use in localities, as we propose. BAL has “strategic relation” with Statoil, a firm much served by the man blocking our 2000 energy grant, Richard Haut
Energy from waterplants scheme published by German pavilion to the Venice Architecture Biennial. Commissioned later to investigate Qattara Depression, Egypt, a scheme first in Berlin in 1916.
BEACH PARTY. At Gmuer, Berlin, produce answer to Green Party interest, with a Beach Party division of election-year countries into hydrometric areas: USA, NZ, Romania, Chile, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast. As may be expected, crises… As for Chile, an invitation to show the localities plans in Madrid (with Marta Cervera) is blocked by a visit from a government.8 Skate park models developed too, based on public-project invitation for Isar by Munich.
NEWS ROOM LONDON. Not labeled as such, but functions as such. Trapezoidal football-field overlays for Europe, Africa, Arabian Peninsula, East Asia, Korea, Americas, Arctic Basin, at Unit 2, London. Art Monthly reviewer says “the role of art in discussions of such gravity… must be called into question.”
In response to big-budget request by European Capital of Culture Ruhr for an eco-project, propose and practice elements of “industrial rowing” to collect freshwater plants in impounded waters (a big problem worldwide) and convert to biogas, mostly methane. Use 5,000 Euro fee and spend another 20,000 Euro: produce flame with non-ligneous waterlilies and ligneous Elodea and Ceratophyllum. Figure out devices for efficient manual harvest, and manual stirring of fermenters. Collaborate with fermentation engineers in Berlin and New Zealand. Develop similar scheme for canals of Holland, starting in Hoofdorp following group show there. Ruhr scheme collapses during Fall 2009, when German national-science research institute, Fraunhofer, declares that it should do all the work as their “Technik”, meaning they get 100% IP. No access to sites every granted. Fend goes once anyway, having Ruhr videographer produce a DVD proving how easily waterplants can be harvested, and the videographer is fired. With this collapse, scientists in NZ decide to cancel collaboration and find $100,000 of national-research funds for, as the newspaper says, “an ideal PhD based on previous work with the American firm Ocean Earth.” The work was covered by a 10-year contract. US Embassy says I should file an “IP property theft” claim with the US State Department. They do not say this for Germany; there, the Fraunhofer called for TWO new PhDs based on the commissioned Ruhr proposal of the artist. Meantime, talks about further funding from a big-finance man in London, for between 500,000 and 2 million Euro, initiated by host/curator Massimiliano Scuderi, Pescara/Milan. As guest of Heidi Mardon, had attempted to base Ocean Earth in New Zealand. Produced much research (with “gas flame results), lost nearly all to scientific institutes and gov’t foundations. Similar experience, at least of blockage by scientists, with comprehensive river-energy scheme for Lech, commissioned by Kunsthaus Kaufbeuren. How IS one “scientifically qualified” to proceed with an idea, even when they ask the artist to “consult”?
Summit on Public-Policy Art, Creative Time. New York. “Headed” the presentations regarding global warming.
SITUATION ROOM NEW ZEALAND (a pro-active version of News Room): sponsored by Hamilton City Council, displaying part of Global Feed.
To tell the story and regain credibility, including our own intellectual property, produce these politically-timed exhibitions:
Ricchezze d’Italia, Galeria Cesare Manzo, Pescara. Complete hydrometric areas for Italy. Detailed proposals for earthworks in former Gulf of Triton, west of Gulf of Gabes extending into Algeria, and in the Qattara Depression and Cyrenaica, Libya. River-energy schemes for Nile. Response to works in MAXXI in Rome, follow through on show at Wunderkammern, Rome in 2009.
MERZ BARN, Lake District, UK. First international artist in residency at Kurt Schwitters’ final retreat/studio. Twitter file, commissioned by Littoral, but being published by lawyer in Genoa, Italy. Analysis of oil-imperialism in Libya and nuclear-disaster in Fukushima. Author may be “Cittadine Americano,” anonymous, with title “MERZ ZWEI”.
NEWS ROOM GLOBAL MILANO, Nowhere Gallery, Milan. Three-month continuous project, with focus on Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins. Specific site proposals for battlefields of World War II, notably El Alemain, Mareth and Stalingrad, are developed and sold. On-site tests with rapid harvesting of waterplants in the canals of Milan; invent “rotary pentagon” design; commended by Italian Navy association. Research commenced with residencies in Liege and Brussels, Belgium, published in Flux-News. Invited to submit plans for NEWS ROOM at 2015 Milan world’s fair, by Milan culture boss (and Documenta veteran) Stefano Boeri. Catalog and site tests co-produced with Le Case d’Arte.
DEAD SEA REVIVAL. Proposal for multi-channel canals connecting Wadi el Sirhan with Zarqa River, and one or both of Red Sea and Mediterranean (at Haifa) to the Jordan River, to raise level of Dead Sea, between 15 and 40 meters. Presented at Festarch, Perugia. Invited by Boeri.
White Box, NY. ARAB SPRINGS / ATLANTIC WEALTH: A TRADING ROOM. OCEAN EARTH presents investible projects for execution and risk-taking, hence “trading,” in North Africa, Dead Sea Basin and two sides of the Atlantic (NY and Morocco). A response to the OWS protests: let the art-world assume responsibility for economic growth. Rockefeller Foundation arranges formal interview about Jamaica Bay scheme. Presents a work of Dennis Oppenheim and shows its applicability.
Peter Fend, “Ueber die Grenze”, MAY NOT BE SEEN OR READ OR DONE. Essex Street, NY. A compendium of unshown, unread or unallowed projects, with questions on the boundaries of art. Or, what happens when you follow through on your published ideas and they go beyond the four walls?
Commissioned to produce large-scale exhibition at Art and Gallery, Milan, for now touted as a competitive comparison of similar-sized Italy and New Zealand, on who has more ecological practice?
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA PROBABLY DID MORE THAN ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL, EXCEPT PERHAPS CHURCHILL, TO SECURE A BRITISH VICTORY IN WORLD WAR ONE—THE VICTORY BEING CONTROL OF THE PERSIAN/ARABIAN-GULF OIL FIELDS. THIS CONTROL BY THE BRITISH EMPIRE REMAINS A CENTRAL HISTORICAL CONDITION. FEND AIMS TO CHANGE THAT CONDITION.
1. If the US were not in a war in Vietnam, which I could not fathom (I do now), I might very well have applied to the U.S. Naval Academy. I think naval geoppolitics and saltwater-cycle ecology continuously. Hence the interest in forming a “well-regulated militia” of artists processing satellite data and alerting the public. Hence the U.S. citizen sense of duty. (During the 1970 nationwide campus strike about Cambodia/Vietnam, I was asked by Carleton faculty to be one of four people entrusted with curriculum on strike issues. I was the youngest. And the courses I proposed were much more relativistic about “non-violence” or “protest.”)
2. They did not like my answer to the interview question, Can we denounce Cecil Rhodes for his racism? I said, given what people thought was scientific knowledge at the time, No.
3. At Arteleku, I attempted to persuade Catherine David of the bird-flyway project, with Kassel as a point along the migratory route from Ghana/Nigeria to the North Cape, and with different artists conducting earthworks or observation projects along the route. She thought it was too scientific. Separately, Kasper Koenig said I was “trying to take over Documenta” and denounced this expansion of an artist’s reach.
4. Galerie Nicola von Senger. The flag was produced for a show curated at the Zurich water-treatment plant by Hans Ulrich Obrist. The city government liked it and bought it, as emblem of Swiss responsibility.
5. In the same year, novelist Walter Grond published a fictional version of my life, in my name, with “Absolut Homer.” This led to inquiries from curators, Did I really parachute into Libya during a war? (Maybe, to keep up the plot, I must.)
6. The Amsterdam police, whom I met thrice, told me what they believed happened, but said it must be confidential. One could prove their point with a test costing 100,000, but then what? The case will never be “solved.”
7. Hugo Chavez was asked by me, What are you doing about post-petroleum industry?, and he said, Venezuela works with Cuba and Brazil on that. But I wonder, given what they publicized in, for example, the Venice Architecture Biennial, are they not quite happy with the ever-greater size of their estimated mineral oil & gas reserves? Work in Cuba is limited, it seems, to sugar-cane and solar.
8. The interception involved a US man meeting Cervera and me at the Gmuer Gallery at 10 PM, as we had arranged by cellphone, and saying that it would not be in US interests to show a Chile scheme in Madrid. We therefore wonder about how a company founded in 2007 in the US has very-similar geopolitical scope, in both Norway and Chile, and professes to do Macrocystis harvesting for biofuel (not methane, as we recommend) under the banner of “architecture.” We had responded to an invitation for a proposal for biogas from macrolgae from a top aide to Chile’s President Pinera. The sender, Heidi Mardon, has received zero response. Instead, we see an entirely other company doing such work. We notice, too, that all our filings for work in Chile, Norway, New Zealand, etc. with macroalgae had been disclosed to a curatorial organization represented, at least in bankruptcy, by the oil-company law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Their San Francisco office has custody of all materials filed by us with the curator of the show in Wellington, NZ. We investigate, being familiar with scientist’s desire to appropriate ideas from what is labeled as art.
9. In 2012, Karl Lagerfeld advertised that global cities for high fashion were NY, Milan, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Madrid, Mexico City, Tokyo. NEWS ROOM has been in all but two of these cities, those speaking Spanish. Can NEWS ROOM strike a deal with Lagerfeld