While the local food movement encourages us to shop within a hundred-mile radius, at Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage, we have the opportunity to produce hundred-yard food. If we wanted to, we could plant raspberry ‘sharing’ bushes between neighbors yards, spiral herbs outside our kitchen doors, alternate apple and peach trees along the driveway, and dangle grapes and kiwi from the Common House trellis. And if knowing your farmer is key to food security, being your own farmer (even for just a blueberry bush or apple tree) is even better, because then we know what it means to generate life, food and community.
For the past several years, Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais has been working with two dozen other families to found Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage. Now the prototype home for this self-developed, self-financed community on the coast of Maine has been declared 2011 Project of the Year by the US Green Building Council.
To coincide with Digital Humanities Week 2011, Joline Blais joins permaculture experts Julia and Charles Yelton, social media hackademic Craig Dietrich, Rural Maine Partners’ Claudia Lowd, and members of the Wabanaki community in hosting “Social Media and Sustainability” at LongGreenHouse, a clearinghouse for sustainable culture on the edge of the U-Me campus.
For the last several years, Still Water Co-Directors Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito have been working with 20 other families to found an ecovillage on the coast of Maine. Now Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage has won the National Resource Council of Maine’s 2011 People’s Choice Award “for exceptional efforts and tireless work to establish a model environmentally sustainable, affordable, multi-generational cohousing community.”
Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais plants the seeds of sustainable gardening at the Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage in midcoast Maine.
Waterfall Arts presents Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais talking about her work in ecology, the New Commons, and cross-cultural networking on Monday 26 April at 7pm.
On March 30, 2010, Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito present “Beyond Facebook: From Cliques to Kinship” as part of the University of Maine’s Women in the Curriculum and Women’s Studies Program.
Still Water has been awarded a Maine Water Resources Research Institute grant for a community-based ecological intervention that is creative and practical at the same time. The project takes place at LongGreenHouse, a site at the southern edge of the Orono campus dedicated to the intersection of old and new models of sustainability.
The initiative will take a core Permaculture design principle–”the problem is the solution”–and focus energy on transforming a current economic and ecological liability (stormwater run-off) into an educational and economic asset (collaborative ecological restoration and food production). In the process–via online documentation, social networking, and artists’ engagement–this LongGreenHouse project will raise public awareness of the effectiveness of collaborative and ecological designs.
The application received the highest score of relevance from all three of its reviewers, who noted:
“I have met with the investigators and am convinced that their work will be of the highest caliber. They are inventive and dedicated and have been inspirational to students and faculty on campus.”
“This proposal’s potential value to society is great–especially in an increasingly resource constrained world where current human behavior, technologies and development patterns are nearly completely unsustainable and in need of deep redesign….its integration of art, community and design engineers holds the potential to communicate the culture-shift necessary to move up-stream and eventually eliminate many of the toxic and organic sources of waste currently entering water ways.”
Still Water is pleased to announce the publication of 60: Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future, a landmark book on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of renowned art and design publishing house Thames & Hudson. Still Water co-directors Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito penned the new media section of this book, which profiles five of the most innovative creators on the planet today.
These visionaries take the lessons learned from experiments in online communities and apply them to real-world problems, whether making cities sustainable, holding corporations accountable, or re-imagining laws that govern the flow of information. Included among these innovators are Maine’s own Miigam’agan and gkisedtanamoogk, Wabanaki elders who are building bridges between their ancestors’ lifeways and the 21st century.
“Every now and again along comes a book that acts as a cultural bookmark … Thames & Hudson’s new doorstopper Sixty is just such a book” — Grafik Magazine
“A collection of incredible, truly inspiring work from all over the world.” — The Design Files.
“Showcases the most creative minds in fashion, architecture, photography, green technology and science.” — New Scientist
“Fascinating insights into global projects that may predict future directions are presented here in an informative and visually appealing format.” — Library Journal
A new University of Maine class in Life Art (NMD430/520) explores the boundaries of artistic collaboration by encouraging students to co-create with entire ecosystems of humans and other critters.
Life artists may :
- Crowd-source their artmaking with 10,000 earthworms.
- Get frogs to do their drawings for/with them.
- Create sculpture ‘for the birds’ so they can survive destroyed migratory paths across continents.
- Clone cruelty-free meat via the latest gene manipulation.
- Get Michelle Obama to “perform” their art piece.
- Plan an art opening with full course cross-species meals (eg for human and geese).
Student projects may draw from indigenous culture, digital culture, and/or permaculture, and will be featured in an exhibition at the end of the term. The course takes place at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, Maine and is organized by Joline Blais in collaboration with Waterfall Arts and Unity College.