Here's a piece hot off the Oprah magazine printing presses.
You know, I know, this project needs to be in the ocean! Please keep the positive thoughts and I look forward to sharing a great film with you in the next few days. Watch your inboxes! I'll send links for a private online screening of a movie about MUSA.
Last week marked the 3rd year anniversary of waiting for permits. I woke up feeling a bit anxious. I went to yoga to, well, do yoga, and see if I could figure what was the way to celebrate needing to get something done for 3 years. Honestly, I shed a few tears on the yoga matte to be real about the moments of grasping and letting go. But it passed quickly, so I called the Mexican Consulate here in NYC again determined to speak with the head of the cultural department. We set up a meeting for this week. There are some great new relationships building around this project and I feel so happy about that for when we do install.
I admit, I stay calm most the time about it as I reach out to people and places daily. I visualize installation every day for about 20 minutes, and things are happening. Lots of good things.
As I said, I have a movie to give to you all in the next few days, so please keep your eyes open for info about how to watch Angel Azul. It's a beautiful film about MUSA and Jason's artwork, and the piece you all so generously kickstarted 3 years ago makes a few cameos at Puerto Cancun. Watching it at the premier in DC back in March, I felt great to be a part of something that is so important and always unfolding - environmental health and inter-species relationships with the arts and sciences collaborating for the ocean.
Thomas Goreau and Paul Sanchez-Navarro are both in the movie making a strong case for sewage water treatment (yes!!) And seeing all those people and places from when I was there in 2011, it was a personal internal reunion.
Paul is a serious ecological leader in Mexico. Director of the Centro Ecologico Akumal for 10 years, he's now moving onto new environmental roles. He will talk with Jaime, National Marine Park Director, this week. I hope to have some news. The new executive director of MUSA, Gena Bezanilla, is adding some efforts as well...and more, there are more connections and actions going on to complete what we started.
So, back to writing a budget for a Creative Capital Grant for a multimedia exhibit correlating coral health and human heath: Respire -The Coral Corollary.
Stay tuned for Angel Azul! Colleen
Welcome the Year of the Horse!
A big year for travel, and all you oxes working so hard in 2014, it will pay off. Watch out, Rats, not to get under any hooves. And as a Pig myself, I'm glad I didn't know 2013 was supposed to be horrible for me because it was great in so many ways.
Here's the final little animation. If you want to share it directly, here's the link.
Tuesday, January 28th, was TEDxSpence, a youth event in Manhattan. An inspiring day of talks and workshops with super girls at the school. Below is the 3rd version of Reef re-FORMed in New York. I wanted to capture the improvisational sculptural installation, so tried low-tech time-lapse for the first time with iStopMotion on an iPad. The 7-9th graders opted for 6 second intervals. Here's what happened in a couple hours~
Can also be watched here with music on YouTube; a little rhythm goes a long way.
News about Mexico is getting exciting. Logistics are landing. Stay tuned!
Gracias, Colleen and the Living Sea Sculpture team
Happy New Year, dear Kickstarter backers!! We are now 14. That odd pubescent year of the sophomore.
News- We received sponsorship to add webcams to the sculpture in Cancun. Thrilling!!
We plan to install a tilt/pan/zoom camera and a static, wide angle camera so that people can watch the coral refuge evolve from anywhere in the world. Are you wondering: "Is a coralcam more interesting than a surveillance camera at the mini mart?" Hell Yes!
We love that we'll being able to bring livestreaming video and still photos of the Living Sea Sculpture to those of you who will never snorkel in Punta Nizuc. We're dreaming of how to add interactive online aspects, and how to incorporate footage and feeds into a multimedia installation… but first, our team is developing how to provide a crisp, beautiful image streaming globally.
This is the beginning of an exciting partnership with Jennifer Indovina and her company, Tenrehte.
What about the permit?! Do I have an overabundance of patience? (I'm going to keep calling it persistence.) It has been revised by both the government and Club Med since I visited Cancun in October. That's good news. It's a holiday there now, so I will be calling the government (CONANP) lawyer on January 7th to welcome him back to his office, aka "inquire about the permit."
Some of you know I have worked as a freelance armaturist, maker of posable puppet skeletons, for stop-motion animation. Well, since we are ALL ready to see corals colonizing on this DNA sculpture, I made a short stop-motion on Christmas to wish you health, happiness, and coral cultivation in 2014. Just as I was about to share it now, a super friend and musician, Usman Riaz, offered to create sound or music for it…Stay-tuned for it later this month!
Again and always, thank you for your continuing support and good wishes to see this coral refuge come to life. The delay has allowed for some new partnerships to emerge, and every day I consider what is in my control, what actions can I take to get this steel in seawater. Strong partnerships and an incredible team is what this project takes, so that is my focus in 2014.
Cheers to you, dreams coming true, and vitality! Colleen
It was perfect weather with calm, fluid progress. So happy to say!
Fernando Orozco, the lawyer for CONANP (National Commission of Natural Protected Areas) committed to having a revised draft by October 29th during my meeting with him, Jaime Gonzales, Marine Park Director for SEMARNAT (Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources), and the lawyer for Club Med (on the phone). Fernando is on video declaring his promise. Sounds serious (it is!) but we were all in good spirits moving forward.
Jaime's badass notebook clearly played a role in busting through the barriers.
Something I could not have planned if I tried was the coinciding visit of Club Med's Director of Operations for Latin America. We had two meetings and were able to clear any concerns in person about installation once and for all. CHEERS!! Again, I have video of him delineating how he imagines what we imagined--the cables and the installation over the Federal Zone that has been conceded to Club Med. He is one of two people in the world who can sign the contracts for Club Med, and it is rare that he is on location there. Lucky!
It really was joyful to see the light in everyone's face when whatever it was that was causing worry lifted. Whether it was "How will the cable go? Who will sue who?..." being there, watching the tension melt when people focused on asking the right questions and facing the answers that were there ALL along, was danceworthy. Any blocks that may have still lingered in me subconsciously were collaboratively dissolved. (I did dance on the beach to celebrate on my last night under the full moon).
David Dobbs' book, Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral, 2005, was my excellent travel companion. It mentions the ice age and glaciers quite a bit, which is echoed in recent emails and conversations about this contractual experience.
"Great! Congratulations on unjamming the glacier!"- Dr. Tom Goreau, President Global Coral Reef Alliance
"Hope the trip has worked out. Governments can move glacially at times, maybe all the time!"- Bill Harnisch
Don't be afraid of the rust! It will all be grown over with limestone, corals, marine organisms once electrified in the ocean. It was in good shape under a tarp.
The MUSA visitor center is now open in the Kukulcan Mall. They've done a beautiful job.
This little boy in time-out is contemplating corals growing
Seems like some kind of tribunal.
Whole lots of praying for installation going on!