December 15, 2011

Margin of Error

This is the first in a series of original music videos created using songs from The Great Immensity. This video features “Margin of Error” with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman. The statistics in the song were all reported by the New York Times.



December 14, 2011

L.A. Urban Rangers

When many people (including Angelenos) think of L.A., they think of smog and unending stretches of traffic.  But one playful group of artist-environmentalists wants to open its neighbors’ eyes to the natural wonders of the City of Angels.

How do they do it?

The Los Angeles Urban Rangers develop guided hikes, campfire talks, field kits, and other interpretive tools to spark creative explorations of everyday habitats, in our home megalopolis and beyond.

Join their mailing list, check out their toolbox, or take a peek at their field site projects and find out about how easy it is to engage with some pretty amazing nature in Los Angeles.

December 14, 2011

My spiritual cousins, The Birdwatchers

This sounds like a pretty neat group art exhibit about observing nature.  It’s called “The Birdwatchers.”  Opened not too long ago in some fancy gallery in New York City.  It’s gonna be going on until January 22nd.

On display. Makes you think.

First off, did you know that people who’re bird watchers actually call themselves “Birders”?  Well, they do.  Insider jargon, I guess.

The equivalent doesn’t really work for ship spotting, because then I’d be calling myself a “shipper,” which really just reminds me of a FedEx label.  Not much romance in that.

Anyhoo, I liked something they said about their art show:

Artists have always used nature, as subjects of inspiration or objects of manipulation. Art that engages nature can establish connections to a wide range of scientific, historical and philosophical concepts. Advances in biological and telecommunication technology make our interference with natural systems both sophisticated and substantial, modifying the way we look at and represent nature. It is human nature to compare, describe, and sort in order to form our own explanations of the world. We strive to acquire better understanding, prognostication, and control of our surroundings. But is there a purpose to observation if action is not taken?

Interesting points.

That said, I wish somebody would make an art exhibit called “Ship Spotters.”  Maybe they could serve some nice piping hot Sanka and make everybody wear slippers as they walked around.

I can dream…




December 6, 2011


We are so pleased to have Edward Morris, co-founder of The Canary Project, as the next interviewee in our Skype Interview Series. The Canary Project is an organization dedicated to producing art and media that deepen public understanding of human-induced climate change and energizing commitment to solutions. Originally founded in 2006 as a project to photograph landscapes throughout the world where scientists are studying the impacts of climate change, The Canary Project has since supported diverse projects involving more than 30 artists, designers, writers, educators and scientists. Their focus is on cultivating research-intensive projects that contribute to knowledge building and are able to communicate that knowledge in a way that both respects complexity and inspires respect for life.

They do a wide variety of work from gallery shows to installations in science centers. Green Patriot Posters is a messaging campaign centered on posters that encourage all U.S. citizens to take part in building a sustainable economy. They have commissioned posters from design leaders, and developed an on-line community for sharing and voting on original designs. In the interview, Edward Morris has some incredible insights into time, the importance of art that addresses these issues, and the necessity of science in informing this art. Plus, hear about how he came to start The Canary Project after working as a private investigator!

Click the link below to read more about their many amazing projects, to see some of the posters and art, and to see how you can get involved!





Interview conducted by Alix Lambert. Alix Lambert is an artist, author and filmmaker. She is an Associate Artist of The Civilians and is conducting this ongoing series of interviews for The Great Immensity. Please click HERE for more of her interviews in this series!

November 27, 2011

Field Notes on Science and Nature

We love taking notes.  And we love to sketch and muse upon what we see in the field.

So when we heard about this beautiful book featuring the observations, artistry, and notes of scientists out in the field, we were thrilled:

The publisher, Harvard University Press, says:

Field Notes on Science and Nature allows readers to peer over the shoulders and into the notebooks of a dozen eminent field workers, to study firsthand their observational methods, materials, and fleeting impressions [...] Covering disciplines as diverse as ornithology, entomology, ecology, paleontology, anthropology, botany, and animal behavior, Field Notes offers specific examples that professional naturalists can emulate to fine-tune their own field methods, along with practical advice that amateur naturalists and students can use to document their adventures.

Hear, hear!  And to this we add: One doesn’t need to be a scientist or naturalist in order to record thoughts, objects, images, and learnings from life.  All you have to be is curious.

And do have pen and paper handy…

  • Featured Video

    No matching videos
    "The Next Forever" is a song from The Great Immensity. The footage was taken on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal by videographer David Ford. Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman.
    Click here to comment!