Friday, May 22, 2009


The Birdhouse is going to Bonnaroo to set up and run an interactive (and greenish) art space. Here is a picture of our intended site. We will be stationed at a "pod" with a medic, "pod ambassadors", a mist tent, and various other amenities.

Our project involves setting up various modular bamboo walls as well as a shed roof clad in aluminum can shingles. The bamboo walls will provide shade and help delineate our space and the shed roof will be the home of our sewing team. Our sewers will be at work piecing together scraps of clothing and fabric donated by Bonnaroo patrons and a local Goodwill.

We've spent the last couple days finding fabric to print and harvesting bamboo from various stands around Knoxville. Bamboo is well-suited to the South East and incredibly invasive. Most people are happy to have it removed from their property. Joan (pictured above) tells me that bamboo comes out of the ground as wide as it will ever be and in the first season grows to be as tall as it will ever be. All growth following that first season increases the thickness of the bamboo's interior walls. It is an amazing plant. Caleb (at right) and Joan found a source of bamboo 4" in diameter. These will make up the foundation of our fence pieces.

We've tentatively decided to use this design, where vertical pieces are tied on opposite sides of stout lateral pieces. We may split some of our vertical pieces for economy and aesthetics. I know so little about structures and am totally geeking out. This stuff speaks to my childhood dreams of tree houses and hidden shelters. Ah, summer.

Most likely, our site will not look like the one above (which comes from the Japanese Gardens in Portland, OR and was taken by lao_ren on flickr). There will be no moss. There will be rows and rows of people car camping and doing drugs. It might look more like this...minus the apocalyptic clouds and plus bamboo walls and sewn banners. We'll see.

Photo by kloppster on flickr.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Family and History

My brothers and myself near a Banksy piece in NOLA. Lincoln + shopping cart = Katrina reference. The city is rich and rotting: ferns and moss grow on anything porous and still. The climate of New Olreans feels like a deity or character of the city. Is this part of why we name hurricanes?

It is good to get out of town. Good to return.

More photos here.