FOR AFTER you share your black and white image: Coloring implements
Make a list of ten things that made you stop and think.Â
What made you feel connected to our CommUNITY?Â Â Â
Make your paper into a square.Â It does not matter if you are starting with a GIANT page or a tiny page, once itâ€™s a square we can do PIXEL Magic and shrink it to link up with everyone elseâ€™s tiles.
Mark the midpoints on the sides of the square by matching corners and pinching JUST the edge of the paper.Â (You can fold across, but then you will have the creases visible. If you are a very young person, it might be easier to pinch, anyway.)
Mark with a pencil where those creases are.Â These are how your machine will match up with other FOOLmoon CommUNITY membersâ€™ machines.Â Â
Look back at your list, and choose TWO things that you think would be FOOLishly fun together and draw them into your square so that pieces of them touch those midpoints.Â Â
How do they relate? What can you imagine and invent?
You can use pencil and then outline with marker later.Â
You can use mechanical elements like gears or levers or buttons
In a couple of weeks, we will provide instructions to repurpose a cereal box to turn these black and white drawings into a color-it yourself tile puzzle, and are hoping for some other fun re-mix ideas!
Color your machine if you want.Â Make another! Thereâ€™s no limit!Â Â
Check out our machines as we build on instagram, or check back for curated tiles on Facebook!
This post about making something â€œOut of the Ordinaryâ€ is the first of several I will be doing in collaboration with WonderFool Productions as a part of their new initiative, FOOLmoon CommUNITY in which they will enable creative engagement with WonderFool artists both as a response to the current physical isolation, and to deepen and extend their community impact throughout the year.
Under the circumstances we do not assume anyone has any one material at home, so everything we imagine for you will have multiple materials suggestions so that you can trulyÂ make something literally out of ordinary things, you already have at home.
This week, we are truly appreciating our artists and the ways that our virtual platform has created CommUNITY, so here is a project made from ordinary materials that will bring back a little extraordinary GLOW!
You can take materials you have around your house to create your own mini luminary with abstract images created with Crayon and Marker; Re-purposed magazines that create imaginary scenes that pop; or build draw your own scene on regular paper and bring it to life with a flashlight.Â Â
Creating a joyful image
What is out of the ordinary for you right now?
What did you see this week that you joy?
What story matters to you?
As you read the instructions below, full of technical information, hold on to these questions. Imagine what these things look and feel like. Think about what colors they might be, how they sound, and how to break down the story into snapshots.
The technical bits are here to give your ideas some legs, but it doesnâ€™t matter if you have all the materials or if your folds are perfectly straight. What you want to express is the most important.Â
Could be plain printer paper with crayon, marker, or watercolor
…A page from an old magazine that inspires you (collage post creation to add interest)…
…Baking parchment colored with crayons
Works on most light surfaces
Flows and blends very well on parchment paper.
Wax is hydrophobic, so you can use watercolor or marker on top of it and it will show through.
Works best on copy paper, but some markers may be alright on magazines. Not recommended on parchment paper
Can be used like watercolor if you want to do wax resist. Just use a paper towel or brush to gently brush across it with a small amount of water, or mist it with a spray bottle.
Only good on printer paper, but donâ€™t use too much water.
Glue (for collage on finished luminaries if you want more details)
Other sticky stuff like staples or tape (for lantern version).
Folding Version 1: Origami Box
This version looks more complicated because there are more steps to follow. However, the kinds of folds that you are doing are easier, so this one is the easier version.
Recommended for young people who have not yet attained the age of 7 or 8. FOOLish fun for people of any age.
Recommended for printer paper or magazine page.
Fold first, then unfold so you know where the main image should go on the paper unless youâ€™re going to go totally abstract.
Fold Hotdog style (vertical, longways in half).Â Â
Use your rectangular paper.Â Printer Paper size or similar rectangle.Â It can be a scrap, but it works best with something that is close to A4 or Letter in proportion.
Close the cupboard doors:
Fold the two sides so that the whole side goes into the middle, a move called closing the cupboard doors in Origami circles.Â Â
Open the whole paper up flat.
Fold Hamburger style (Horizontal shortways in half)
Close those cupboard doors, itâ€™s a wider cabinet this time.Â DO NOT OPEN this time.
You will see that there are four lines that cut through the cupboard doors like they were window panes in a French door.Â The top and bottom fold lines are where we are looking right now. Taking the paper up to the bottom fold line on the right side, make a triangle by matching the folded edge to the window pane fold line.Â Â
Do that to all four corners.Â DO NOT UNFOLD
You will see that you have a kind of irregular octagon now.Â In the middle where the cupboard doors are folded there is a bit of paper sticking out just past the triangles you just made.Â Using the triangles as a guide, fold that back.Â Â
Hereâ€™s the magic part: You can now reach inside the pockets you created by folding back that flap of paper, and pop up your box, carefully reaching inside each corner and pinching along the edge of the triangle to make it stand up.Â Â
If we were just learning the box youâ€™d be done unless you wanted to make a second one as the cover to keep something in. BUT since this is a Faux Luminary, youâ€™re not done yet. Notice where the bottom (top) of the box is, and fold it flat again. This is where you can color your scene. Unfold the box and draw whatever you want inside that rectangle, with whatever materials you want.
Folding Version 2: Accordion Lanterns
Easy, but easier with experience and strong hand eye coordination, so recommended for young people from 7 or 8 years old and up.
Best with parchment paper or printer paper, because magazine paper cracks easily with its coating. Experienced folders can do magazine paper, but if you havenâ€™t done this before, it is recommended that you use printer paper for your first one.
Draw and decorate your paper first, then fold.Â
Accordion your paper, so that the outside folds are mountain folds. There are tips for how to do this evenly in the instruction video.
2. Crease the whole accordion with a marker or round scissor handle.Â
3. Fold the top and bottom third of the accordion into a pleasing angle, think the way a capital C curves, and crease as hard as you can.Â Â
4. Open the â€œCâ€ curves up, so the accordion is a line again.
5. Flip the accordion over and re-crease the folds you just made so they are very strong and deep.Â Â
6. Open the c curves and open the accordion flat-ish.Â Â
7. Lay it so that the accordion zig zags look like stairs or ladder lines going away from you and begin reversing the folds that are on the side of your dominant hand.Â I am right handed so I started with my right hand on the bottom fold and carefully followed the crease lines all the way to the top.
8. Do the same process on the other side of the ladder.
9. When you are done, the accordion will be reconstructed, and your c curve will be there flat, but inside out
10. Pop the middle of the curve back to flat, but not the c curves.Â This will create an arched semi circle like the picture
11. You can staple or tape the ends together so it stays fully curved.
While natural systems and cities are symbiotic everywhere, there are huge equity gaps across the globe. Higher income areas have more access to open space, and foliage and are therefore more likely to have active and noisy animal populations. There have been many articles about this through the years. One of the most memorable for me was in 2012, on a blog called PerSquareMile titled, “Income inequality as seen from Space. It was during the time when Google Maps was becoming more detailed and people outside the research community were just starting to think about this and the author, Tim de Chant, collected anecdotal information about many cities and their open space which he shared in the second link above.
When I started this project last fall, and even when I sent the germ of it to FossilFOOLs I was not thinking that it would come to life during a global pandemic, but it turns out, the decrease in human activity in cities has drawn attention to how animals are influenced by human action in urban ecology. I heard a piece on New England Public Radio via the NPR app this morning about hearing different and more birdsongs now that there is less traffic on the roads due to quarantine measures so that even in dense urban centers, people can hear more natural noises.
Wildlife biologist Paige Warren of the UMass Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation has reviewed research on how human-generated sounds impact animal communications. She talked about the challenge different kinds of birds normally face when they sing near the rumble of cars. “If you have a high-pitched, ‘tweety tweet tweet’ sound, then it might get through better than if you have a low-pitched kind of sound,” Warren said, imitating the call of a dove. “So if you’re a dove, it might be harder to get your message through the traffic. And then when there’s less traffic, it might be easier to be a dove.”
Nancy Eve Cohen, NEPR, March 31, 2020
To create the sound in my video, I raised the treble to accent the birdsongs that I was hearing, and raised the bass to accent the traffic rumbles and whooshes. It is true that the middle range of sounds is not as audible, and with the sheer volume of those other sounds, even on the unedited audio recording, it would have been hard to distinguish sounds closer to the pitch of the traffic noise.
The audio track was created before the shutdown began in Boston, as I was getting into my car for the morning commute, with many other motorists flying by on the Jamaicaway less than a football field away from me. Now, even at the height of rush hour, there are gaps in the roar and sputter, and fewer planes rumbling above.
Yesterday on my short walk, I jaywalked across the Jamaicaway into Olmsted Park at a place where that would normally be unadvisable. As I meandered into the trees, I heard at least five different types of birds in the middle of the afternoon, fighting, calling, chasing each other. There was even a red-headed woodpecker high in a tree on the border with Brookline. Right now, I hear wind in the trees, two mourning doves calling to each other, groups of starlings, a robin, a jay, a house wren, and a distant redwing blackbird from the park.
In this fraught time of self-isolation, I feel privileged to be in a place where I have a backyard to look into and a park nearby. Even growing up in an economically disadvantaged area I was embedded in the City of Ann Arbor, it was surrounded by natural areas, and so I was privileged to have orientation to wide open spaces, and still be able to navigate many advantages of life in a thriving college town.
However, many economically disadvantaged urban communities have a lack of space devoted to sustaining accessible natural systems. Torn down houses in formerly “blighted” areas of Detroit, for example, may contain natural systems, but they have largely been left to hazard, filling up with invasive weeds, foragers, and pests instead of being re-planted with native plants and trees that might attract a more sustainable ecology.
Urban and natural spaces are permeable to one another all around the world, and human participation in natural systems is intrinsic.
We are part of nature, and hearing less traffic and more birds right now sounds out loud and clear both how interconnected we are, and how deeply our noise and pollution affects our ecology. These new commentaries about birds and silence and breezes make me hopeful that more communities will prioritize investment in creating cities that are sustainable by both human and ecological measures.
It has been inspiring to do online workshops: I can hear and see what others have been creating.
It has given me a peek out windows here and around the world. Even though I’m in Boston, since everyone is working online, it was easier to connect with two former students in Michigan. After teaching online, I then did a teaching-artist oriented workshop with two colleagues in Illinois and Sri Lanka. Observations from all the participants from their windows or wishes included sheep, school buses, monkeys, cobras, cars, trees, and more birds.
This project was originally created inside a portable tent cinema full of transparencies with the idea that I would bring this project around the world, packed into a market tent. I do hope to bring the project around the world in a tent.
Or if you want to participate in with a slightly less complicated story just send me a photo of the view out your window and tell me what you hear or make a recording of the sounds.
The collected works that you share will be used to create another clip in this series, possibly “Lullaby for Empty Cities.” The next work already in progress will most likely be titled “Fugue for The Cathedral of M-14“
You can email your submissions to me, comment on this post with your photos, or tag anything you make with these tags on instagram or twitter so I can find them: #FOOLmoonreimagined #foolishsongs20
For FossilFOOLs, I created a work of arts-based research about how city-dwellers access nature combining digital animation and found sounds to highlight the ways that nature is affected by and yet still permeates urban areas. Inspired by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, I combined a recording of the sounds in my backyardâ€“ both human and naturalâ€“ with instrumental and vocal tracks to create a re-mix of narrative sounds. Rautavaara is known for his symphony to biodiversity, Cantus Arctics, in which he composed a rich multi-layered work that is built around recordings he made of birds in arctic region of Finland.
Originally, the work was to be presented with an active call for participation, people would have created shadow puppets to interact with the installation of the video on a multi-layered tent full of transparencies.
The original inspiration, collecting the ways that nature permeates the lives of my fellow city-dwellers still holds, and I have translated it to a virtual call for participation:
You can MAKE YOUR OWN shadow-puppet machine and share your story!
First, do some research
When you go out today for an appropriately spaced walk, bring a piece of paper or a notebook with you.
Look at the plants and animals that are around you, and spend some time looking at a few that you feel drawn to.
STOP, LISTEN for 3 whole minutes: Write what you hear using onomatopoeia: some letters that you think will make the best impression of what you hear where you are.
It doesn’t have to be sounds from the thing that you are interested in. Just any sounds you hear, practice saying them outlaid.
For example the plane going over my building right now says “GURURURURURURUOOOOOOOSHSHSHSh!” and the birds say “CRRRRpppptCCrrpt-shwooooot.”
THEN: Draw all the shapes you think the plant or animal you are interested in has in it. Don’t try to draw the thing, just draw the shapes.
FINALLY: try to draw the thing, using the shapes you just drew. Since we are making shadow puppets later, don’t worry about the details, just get the outside shape of the thing.
When you get home, think of a story about the things you drew.
What are the relationships between those things?
How does the sound relate?
Then go home and make your spinner:
Re-used plastic bottl- cap
Drill or something sharp to poke with
Paper Plate, or re-used cardboard
Re-used plastic Forks, or popsicle sticks
Paperclips for attachments and hooks
Yarn if you want your puppets to dangle more
Re-used cardboard for puppet
Tape, Glue, other sticky stuff
Drawing stuff like markers
Make the spinner
1. Poke a hole in the bottle cap, using a drill. If you don’t have a drill, you can probably use a nail and a hammer, or some other sharp thing combined with a heavy thing. For this part, you need to have a friend or a grown-up around just to be safe.
2. Stick the chopstick into the hole in the bottle cap. Put a dot of glue or tape under the bottle cap inside the lid so that it stays where it is.
If you use a hot glue gun, remember that the silver part and the glue are hot, so you should not touch those.
4. Take out the plate and mark the center by folding in half and pinching the middle to make an X.
5. Poke a hole through the X using a pencil or scissors, spin them around to make the hole nice and big so it spins easily. This might also need a grown up or friend to be safe.
6. Glue or tape your spokes, which are the popsicle sticks or forks to the edge of your plate so they stick out like a sun. You can use cardboard scraps if you don’t have popsicle sticks or forks to recycle.
7. If you are using cardboard or popsicle sticks, you can tape or glue a paper clip to the end of your spokes so that you have something to hook your puppets onto.
Make the puppets
Take out your research drawings.
Look at the shapes and the way you put them together to draw your image. You will use this to decide how to cut the cardboard for your puppet
Draw the shapes you want to use for your animal or plant onto the cardboard. I like to use old TV dinner packages for this. It’s relatively soft, and not so hard to cut with scissors.
Cut them out.
If you want multiples, you can fold the cardboard, like making gingerbread people, or snowflakes to get multiples of the same shape.
You can cut them with scissors or a knife. If you use a knife, please make sure you have a friend or a grown-up to help with this, just to be safe.
Tape or glue them together.
Tape or glue them to a paperclip. You may have to bend the paperclip to make a hook for your spokes.
Hang your puppets onto the spinner.
To assemble your story, think about the order you put them in
If you have birds, for example, different wing positions could indicate progress.
If you have flowers and Bees, you could put two flowers and one bee, or lots of flowers, some empty spokes, and then a bee.
Participate in FOOL Moon Re-imagined
To participate, post photos, videos, stories and more to the FOOL Moon Re-imagined Facebook page.
You can go with your grown-up or friends to find things that make noise in your kitchen, pots, pans, jars of rice, and create a sound response to what you heard. A wok makes a nice resounding noise, some sticks from outside might make nice snaps or scrunches.
Combine those with the onomatopoeia you created in your notes, to create a few seconds of sound to make while you take a short movie of your shadow puppet story.
Film your puppets, with the flashlight and your spinner on the wall, like in the photo. Use the hashtag #foolishsongs20 when you upload, or just put it onto the FOOLMoon Reimagined Facebook group.
Make noises like the ones you wrote down! Tell your story in a short video or write it down with some pictures of the shadows you make!
Here’s some ideas for how to start:
I picked ________ because…
________ are important because…
_______ and _______ do ________ together because…
I plan to make a compilation video of all the submissions that everyone creates, so if you want to be included, drop me a line in the comments here, or send me an email to the letter “A” at Allida dot com. If you do not give me express permission, your documentary words, photos, and videos will not be included in our final collective story.
About this project:
Climate change is an issue that directly impacts equity, and environmental justice world wide. Wealthy nations and communities have the resources to anticipate and act on behalf not only of themselves, but of the rest of the planet, but too often they ignore the urgency of the issue because it is inconvenient to the bottom line. In this moment, with a pandemic influencing the globe, it is clearer than ever that our mutual fates are intertwined, and that collective action is necessary, not just to prevent harm to the vulnerable, but to create beauty and connection for all.
“When I started out in the office here, I remembered the love I felt when my grandparents would read to me, and I thought, I want every Finnish child to feel that love and support while they learn.”
Irmeli Halinen, retired Head of Curriculum and Development, Finland
Yes an artist, my Finnish cultural heritage influences my understanding of getting by by making do. My mother and grandmother taught me how to re-use everything from cutting down clothes and creating rag-rugs, to darning socks and coming up with inventive ways to use old plastic bags. I have always worked with re-purposed and re-cycled materials both because of these habits, and because the impact of seeing everyday objects in new forms raises awareness of our cultural associations. Iâ€™ve re-purposed construction materials to create wearables and decorative home objects.
It almost made me cry, because my grandparentsâ€“ both the Finnish ones and the othersâ€“ used to read to me and were all strong advocates for empathetic supportive education as central to civic agency. Their model has inspired me as an educator and an artist to cut through my own identity and privilege to find common ground with people across cultural, class, race, and disability. It makes me passionate about elevating the voices and ideas of the communities I have served as an artist and and educator.
In my work, I endeavor to love every student, and hear what they have to say because we are all one, and the multiple points of crisis our world is facing right now makes that clearer than ever.
The unexpected places in which surprises happen are the places where invention happens. Whatever plans I made, the process of creating and performing forced me to push my limits. Those limits left space for the air to pass, and for others to enter and share in the learning.
This performance did not have a title when I started, it began with the feeling of transience and tension that exists in cities between constructed and natural space. I loved Chicago in many ways, but things moved so quickly, especially for me: I worked full time and went to art school part time, trying to afford space and time for myself to breathe was extremely challenging.
In response to that feeling of continual fatigue, my stream of making turned meditative. I did drawings, beading, knitting, manual work that I could carry and which made me stop to breathe.
These small works, however, did not solve the feeling of being stuck in close quarters: a too small apartment, the space between people on a bus, the low-ceilinged platforms of the Red and Blue lines, and no benches or welcoming areas to stop and contemplate the beautiful tall buildings and open spaces.
Out of this feeling of claustrophobia, arose a desire to create a sacred space, created through and set aside for the things that I value. So this performance had four goals:
Creation of an artifact that illustrates or leaves traces in time or space
Consideration of sacred or meditative space as internal or external
Connection to pattern, repetition, but valuing biomimetic or organic
Consciousness of processes for growth
To leave traces of the process of meditation, I designed a structure that could be sewn sequentially, one tube after another like beads. The finished product would be a 5/8 icosahedron. To pull in natural and biomimetic forms, I then wove fabric in and out in a meditative way to create a cocoon-like structure. This was all done with a rhythm and in silence, considering, meditating and creating at once.
Putting all of this together, the dome created a space for contemplation shared with others. The process, artifact, pattern and form being inspired were combination of human and natural forms, and they created an interior space in open air. I chose the spot, on top of the airshafts surrounded by wildflowers because they epitomized for me the tension between natural and urban that I felt in Chicago, and felt like a generative location.
The surprising moments in the process, where the poles fell through the grating, and when the whole structure blew over, illustrate for me something that I have since taken on as key to my practice: There is no such thing as a mistake in art, only a new opportunity to create something new. As you click through the gallery you can read my thoughts on the artwork at the time.