Friday, February 25, 2011

...A New Visual Code

BioFuels Meets ICAR: World Collide
Multiple shots were taken to capture the moment.
Students: Engagement, Understanding = Collaboration
2011 CU TEACH-IN   Shoot, shoot and shoot.  Regardless the technical availability, an increase in meaningful photographic documentation has not. The stark record of subject matter and composition rarely holds interest.  The mechanical adjustments of pose, lighting and framing conveys an unauthentic moment.  While, my travel photos have content,  the idea: a mere backdrop for my moment is disturbing.  In short, I am frustrated by the gulf between my photography and my reality.

Photo series transition Speaker to Listener
Compositional balance transmits a connection & equity 
Previous to the digital age, this "shoot, shoot, shoot " strategy for photographic success was a deal killer.  The camera: expensive, the film: expensive, the processing: expensive: Photography was for the people with very deep pockets.  The photographic equivalent of the "Gutenberg Shift", digital photography and web based photo sharing leveled the technology playing field accessibly.

 "Photography has the capacity to provide images of man & his environment that are both works of art & moments in history". 
Cornell Capa

Camera angles and textures create interest, but... 
Most (of my) photographic technical faux pas added to the "canned" snapshot group studies does not satisfy my visual appetite. The new digital visual recording and "visual code" merits further exploration. As image consumption increases, so must the contextual evaluation of subject matter. Perhaps, the complexities of life are incapable of conveyance through a single image.
...human responses to objects create meaning

While the sustainability community meets on regular basis, human interactions and responses remain "invisible".  The expressions of the attendees and the interactions holds the most visual potential. I have found that photography rarely captures and conveys the emotion or experience  without some artistic intervention.  

Photography like sustainability is a process.  Good guidance and strategics make for successful efforts.  Without the inclusion of the human element, the composition holds a fleeting interest.

Thanks for the tips Pat.

* All photos were taken at the Clemson University Environmental Teach In held 
on tuesday February 22, 2011.  This event has been held for the past 4 years 
under several different names - the event evolution has mirrored the CU
 sustainability evolution. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

McDonalds & Greenpeace?

Ask a Sustainability Community Member or anyone else for that matter about their sincere perception of the McDonalds Corporation.  Then stand far, far back for the response. What comes to mind immediately is not social responsibility, animal welfare, recycling, energy conservation, composting.  We remain shocked by the film images of the documentary Super Size Me, docu-drama of Fast Food Nation and volumes of waste associated with the fast food industry.

Following the Sustainability Community, braced for the worst I entered the McDonalds Global Web Sites.  McDonalds promotional landing page the expected feature - A Big Juicy Specialty Hamburger, Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus to be precise.  The delicious burger set back on a backdrop colored warm and dripping BBQ colored sauce with bold yellow text lettering. Colors suggest the familiar, juxaposed the unexpected and exciting.  I am emotionally attached this burger experience.  Through my passion and emotions, pathos communicates I will have an uncommon experience with this burger.

Friday, February 11, 2011

49137 or LEIGH-MIXD

Life choices can take on different approaches.  
Three approaches, I have observed 3 ways people choose  to go...with it, against it or lead it.  You see it in life everywhere - in the Jones' neighborhood, salmon in the river, in Tahrir Square Egypt and on a racetrack - all are valid paths for the future.
IN THE GRID - February 11, 2011
Our lives are incredibly finite and evolutionary at a very tiny scale.  Endless capacities verse finite expectations.  Voting used to be a process.  Now we vote through our dollars.  There is a sense that we are shifting from a monetary based economy to a conceptual economy.  We adapt to survive and with it so does our world.  People choose to live the way they live.  Either consciously or not, our choices shape the world.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Earth Day 2011 April 22

By hosting Clemson’s 2011 Earth Day, SEA seeks to continue the raise 
community awareness of environmental issues while providing the campus 
community access to local artisans whose products and services are geared toward environmental awareness and education.  
SEA Earth Day Event Mission Statement

Earth Day Kickoff at Hendricks Center Lobby
April 22nd, 1970, the first Earth Day was held.  The event is considered to be the birth of the modern conservation movement.  The unprecedented event was powered by the emerging political consciousness  and led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Water, Clean Air and the Endangered Species Acts.  Powered by the emerging grassroots activism, the event was originally designed to be a 'national teach-in for the environment".

Earth Day established a great story or muthos. The tumultuous 70's transitioned ideal into the actual.  The initial grassroots efforts remain.  Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) are hosting the second annual event on Clemson Campus.  This group has committed to actively raise environmental awareness in the Clemson University community.  The group offshoots from the original Earth Day and remains committed to the origins while contributing to the contemporary experience.  The making or techne of the event in the planning stages, welcomes community feedback.

Friday, February 4, 2011



I venture to say that only the top 1% of 3% of the United State "live" here.  This population is not very well documented or understood.  Most of the time, it is ignored or discounted.  The community has come to a consensus that our world revolves around an idea that "an education grounded in a broad and deep research base offers a compelling invitation to lifelong learning".  In my world, learning is not finite and there is no end to education.

We are for better or worse optimistic about the future.  While we recognize that we are the "other'.  Ecotopians are concerned about the affect of the lesser environmentally literate population may have on world.  The community is concerned that  the greater populous does not understand environmental basics which effects their ability to understand the broad scale issues.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jumping Together...

E.O. Wilson : Google Worthy!
Hirsch's description of cultural literacy "to possess the basic information needed to thrive in the modern world' statement implies an endowment of power.  Hirsch's statements fueled responses equally controversial.  My dissatisfaction with all of the explanations regarding cultural literacy led to a further exploration. While observing the Sustainability Community in action, an understanding of the groups message was revealed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A New Day...Recycling Day!

Internationally Recognized Symbol
 Designated for Recyclable Materials
Recycling: Wednesday 8:25A.M. Check!

Presently, I am the only one in my apartment complex choosing to recycle. Remembering garbage day has always been a pain - smell and mess, not to mention the ooze from the inevitably leaky bag. You-all know what I am talking about!

Desk side window, see the, Leigh, run!  I dash to the curbside to meet my Recycling Engineer!  Mitchell has been working the route for 5 years.  Mitchell smiled when I asked about his route.  Multitasking, sorting and smiling with pride, he told me that he has seen pickup of recyclables steadily increase!  Mitchell's route originally ran till 11a.m.; Now, he's on the clock til 1p.m.  Mitchell's job is the next phase in 'Greening" our Clemson community.

The CU Sustainability Community Students for Environmental Action (SEA) are conducting the Annual Cooper Library Trash Audit.  See you 8a.m. till 10a.m. on the Cooper Library Bridge.  SEA's effort will show how many recyclables end up in the regular trash cycle.

'Round here, Garbage Day has been officially replaced with Recycling Day! 
Weekly Bag Count: 7


Perviously, my involvements encompassed a few historic cutting edge technology groups.  Opportunities for experience have informed my career path through television production and large-scaled live events.  When accepting professional positions or projects, I chose to go with the exciting and experiential verses the stable and steady paying.  Why?  I enjoy the challenge of emergent technologies and experiences.  I have been of the opinion - Extreme conditions create circumstances that promote the greatest potentials.  For this reason, my associations remain common thematically – High Touch and High Tech. 

More recently, I initially experienced the real power of online communities through course work here at Clemson University.  In Spring 2009 during the 2nd Annual Cross Cultural Interdisciplinary International Urban Design Studio (LARCH 352), I met an incredible group of students design professionals from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.  During this experience, my new Egyptian friends “helped” create my Facebook page so we could keep in touch.  Through Facebook social media, we shared and continue to share our lives with each other.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reduce, Reuse & RECYCLE

First Time Recycling Efforts: 14 plastic bags!
Recycling is the key component in waste reduction.  It is the first thing that comes to mind when we think about the environment.  By processing our waste, we "prepare" to prevent the over consumption of natural resources. 

The sustainability community embraces the idea “if reduction or reuse is not an option, recycling is your final option to waste”. This belief has become a meme; a meme is a concept or set of beliefs that is transmitted from an individual, group through writing, speech or in this case the ritual of recycling. 

The community recognizes the value of recycling: It ultimately lowers greenhouse gas emissions by reusing resource materials.  Virgin materials require more energy to process.  Dependent up the material type, energy saving can range from 5% to 95% by using recycled materials.