Hot water

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Solar showers are high on our wish list as part of the new kitchen and bathroom area in the encampment. In order to try some preliminary tests with solar hot water we temporarily repurposed one of the composting toilets as a test shower. To do this we connected four sections of 50′ black garden hose together, then we connected that to a shower-head, last we added in mixers to control the hot/cold ratio of the water – and walla… a shower!

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Reports from our lone resident were that the shower was warm in the mild November weather –but not long lasting and hot.  I’m not sure if a long hot shower is even possible with a solar shower in November (average temps are in the low 50’s in the day), but it would be good to know if using the black hose is a better or worse strategy then using a black water tank.  Anyone out there have any good answers for this?

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Marcus’s Poop

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Among the new amenities currently underway at the Wagon Station encampment are composting toilets. Being total novices to the world of composting, we thought we’d start with simple toilets that use five gallon buckets to collect the poop, then composting it in an official composting area closer to the future vegetable garden. The toilet enclosures were actually a lot of fun to make – we started out with a minimal plan and a pile of wood, but turned out pretty stylish!

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The composting bins were conceptualized by Ari (and built once by dry stacking) and then remade with mortar by David Baker.  Later on they will get a coat of white paint.  According to the Humaneur Handbook, the “compost” should age for a year before we use it – hence the two sided bins.  Cement block was used for the bins in order to keep out rodents (later lids will be added) and to keep moisture and humidity in.

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Since all this happened in November, which is fairly late in the season, the only humanure guinea pig left living in the wash area was Marcus, our month long resident of the Magasin 3 Wagon Station.  By the time that Marcus traveled on he had left us a five-gallon bucket filled with pure goodness – stay posted for the results!
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A Letter From The Island

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I got a really great letter the other day from Katharine Ball – the 2001 Resident on the Indianapolis Island, a work commissioned last year by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Katharine made a grey water system right under the sink inside the island.  And she is a really intense, honest and thought provoking writer  You can read Katharine’s letter her here – and then check out the rest of her blog…

Wagon Station Update

IMG_6363While the billboards were being painted in the clean space, and Lay of my Land” was being fabricated in the center sculpture studio, there was yet another work simultaneously coming together in the studio’s “flex” space… where seven customized Wagon Stations, recently extracted from the land A-Z West, were assembled to prepare them for a journey to Stockholm, Sweden.  And as soon as that group left the studio  TK and Ernie began work on seven brand new units.  These will be  positioned out in the desert later this month, when Tova, our first Swedish resident, comes to stay in one for a month as part of the Magasin 3 project.
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More Studio Catchup

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IMG_6905Part two of studio catchup features of “Lay of My Land” – a new sculpture for my September show at Regen Projects.  It’s a sculpture of A-Z West, split up into sections representing the individual parcels that has been painstakingly acquired and added together to create a seemingly united whole.   When the frame arrived from Chuck’s place up in Baldy it was BIG.  So big, that it caught all of us off-guard, but fortunately the new studio swallowed it up perfectly.

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IMG_7062Dan came down from Portland for a social visit and ended up making rocks, and Jim came out from New York and made models, and Neal and Erin came out from LA with endless heavy dusty bags of hydrocal stuffed in their cars. And somehow in the end it all came together.  Now, believe it or not, as I post this I’m actually now sitting in Stockholm where we are now making other variation of this sculpture for a show at Magasine 3 (that opens next week!)  but that part comes later….

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Full On Everything

IMG_7020 If there is one reality that I’ve had to resign to, it is that whenever things are absolutely and totally full on in the studio, my ability to keep the log totally grinds to a halt.  So now, coming out of six weeks of total action on every  front,  there are a bunch of photos to post.

IMG_7077In the “clean” space I’ve been working like crazy on a few more billboards:  two text works “Blissful Productivity” and “Epic Meaning”  (the color of Epic Meaning is a lot better then it appears in the photo) and a landscape image based on a photo I took from the top of the hill behind my house.

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