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Sound artist Viv Corringham invites local people in communities around the world to take her on “Shadow Walks” through their neighborhood. She records the conversations. Later she retraces the person’s walk on her own and “sings the walk” through vocal improvisations, and records her singing. These recordings are edited together to make the final sound piece. “Broken Land” from her CD “Walking” is the result of my taking her on a walk along the Gowanus Canal.
I found this free newspaper on the seat of the subway. With nosogeography (the connection btwn disease and geography) in mind, I couldn’t stop wondering why one borough of this city is punished so much more harshly than another by our environmental condition. In this hard-hitting piece, journalist Gabriele Steinhauser tells us about the disposal of waste in the South Bronx and its horrific effects on the daily lives of adults and children.
Abecedarium:NYC co-director Lynne Sachs floats down the Gowanus Canal with environmental visionary Ludger Balan, head of the Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy on Earth Day, April 21, 2008. Ludger talks about the impact of the Gowanus waters on our community in terms of the chemical presence in our ecosystem. It’s scary to think about and exciting to know there are people like this who are trying to change the environmental status quo.
For more info on the Urban Divers: www.urbandivers.org
Nosogeography is not a happy word. I’ve been trying to avoid shooting video for this word for weeks, not knowing when I would be able to face the daunting reality of filming a neighborhood where disease or the rumor of disease floats invisibly and silently through the air and the water. I have decided to focus on the largest environmental disaster in the history of New York City, the accidental spilling of 22 million gallons to oil in the Newton Creeek, a small waterway which serves as the dividing line between Brooklyn and Queens. By chance, I meet another experimental filmmaker, Scott Nyerges, who lives in Greenpoint, the closest residential neighborhood to the site of the spill. We agree to take a field trip to photograph . As we stand along the smelly, filth banks of the Newtown Creek, Scott recounts the daunting environmental disaster that occurred here in 1950 and is just beginning to be cleaned up.
Today I took a guided tour of Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island as part of Open House New York (OHNY). This 14 acre parcel of land is the site of the ruins of the James Renwick, Jr. Smallpox Hospital (1856) and the Strecker Laboratory (1892).