I'm an artist and a printmaker, and I try to keep it a secret, but I'm an environmentalist, too. At least recently "going green" is cool, so I'm less ashamed than usual to admit this.
So anyway, I've had this magnum opus of an idea brewing in my head for a few years now, and my gut is telling me its time to start hatching some eggs, so to speak.
So here goes (skip to the end for an outline, if you're in a hurry):
Its no secret that the United States prides itself in gluttonous over-abundance, wasteful spending, and never having to worry if there's enough to go around. Part of being an American is knowing you can go to your local Super Wal-Mart 24/7 and get anything you want, provided you've got the cash or credit.
Its also no secret that this life-style, this unalienable right that we all believe in, puts trillions of tons of CO2 and other toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, causes trillions of tons of toxic chemicals to be dumped on our soil, in our rivers and oceans, and in our food, and results in trillions of tons of waste, biodegradable or not, being buried in our countryside and jettisoned to sea.
Some of you true blooded patriots out there might say, "What's wrong with that?"
Nothing, really, if you don't care that your grandchildren stand to be the last generation of the human race.
Let's be clear for a second: It's not the planet I'm worried about. The planet will do just fine. Mother Earth will simply tire of us to the point were she employs some super typhoon, or super earthquake, or super volcano, or super awful anything, really, and kill us all off. A few millennia will go by, and the the algae and ferns will grow back, and life will continue, without us to eff it up.
So what do I plan to do about it? Why I'm a wasting all your time here with this granola-apocalyptic dribble?
I'm going to make an art project, naturally.
I'm going to make a map of the United States, well, a few maps, and they won't look like anything you're ever seen before, that is before you saw the image I uploaded onto this page.
I'm going to make maps of the United States that don't involve political boarders or natural landmarks (well maybe some natural stuff, I don't know yet).
The maps are going to include things like the interstate system (pictured), the electric transmission grid, flows of waste management, the food industry, et cetera and so forth. The map is going to look at what the United States has developed as its infrastructure, the systems that we all rely on to live the lives we do. The goal in doing this is to point out how wasteful it all is: how redundant all the garbage truck routes are, why its easier to drive your car across country (or truck your beef or corn) than to take a train at a fraction of the energy-cost, why the powers that be don't believe in wind power actually making a dent on our national energy usage.
I'm going to use our infrastructure to point out everything that we're doing wrong. And when you hang it up on your wall, it's going to look totally cool. You're friends will come over and say, "What is that?!" and you'll be able to say, "That's what wrong with America."
I'm going to map the alternative, the solution. I'm going to map what the country's infrastructure COULD look like, in a situation where all our shining happy faces can all get along, where we support local food and we don't ship it around the country six times before we eat it, where we recycle and compost and keep most of our garbage out of the land fills and the ocean, where we don't rely on petro-chemicals to be American.
Maybe someone will listen? Hopefully its not too late? Honestly, I don't really know what, then.
Ideally, all Americans would collectively say together, "Let's fix it, " and we'd all pick up our shovels and pick axes and cordless drills and build a system that supported itself, that could sustain us all, ideally.
So what do I need Kickstarter for? Money, duh.
I need the money for research mostly, and the rest for supplies.
The first leg of my journey is complete. I drew a map of the interstate system. I bough a $20 rand McNally, scanned the lower 48, laced them all together into one mega-map, fried a few hard drives in the process, and drew the layer that stands alone as the interstate system. It took a long time, but its done and it looks awesome.
The second leg of my journey is to map the energy transmission grid, a majorly wasteful and failing second layer of our national infrastructure. The trouble is is that Rand McNally doesn't sell that map, and the people that do want a lot more than $20 for it. $500 plus shipping, actually.
So the first $500 I raise is going to buy that map. The rest of the money will go towards the other research that I'll have to do. I sense a long stint at the Library of Congress. My cousin lives in DC, so I can stay with him, but I'll need a train ticket and some lunch money, and supplies and stuff.
You get the idea, right?
Then when I've got a lot of the layers together, and I can step back and say, "Wow, this country really sucks," I'm going to start printing the posters. And these aren't going to be any regular poster you buy at Super Wal-Mart for $7.88, these are going to be fine art posters, hand printed and published by me, the artist. Most likely silkscreens, but a possible combo of techniques. Limited edition, signed by the artist, archival, the real deal.
So I need money for the paper and the ink and the really big screens and stuff.
And since I'm going to edition the poster, meaning make more than one, I'll make a lot so all of you who pledge enough to pay for the piece of paper and the shipping will get one.
Cool, right? I really hope you think its cool.
OUTLINE: 1. The USA is OBESE, not just physically, but culturally. 2. The human race as is will likely die out sooner than later. 3. We have a system that promotes our obesity. 4. We've got to change EVERYTHING if we want to stand a chance. 5. I'm going to make some pretty posters (maps) that are going to show what's wrong and what to do about it. 6. I need money for research to draw my maps. 7. I need money for supplies to make the actual posters. 8. If you support me, you'll get one.
- (89 days)