SeluSeries + Kinetic Fiction Labs
Organized by: Bronte Velez
It is time for a creative r|evolution and we have to invest in the decolonization of our children’s imaginations!
I hope this message finds you ever-well and warm! I have just recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University with a B.A. in my independently designed major, "The Arts, Identity, and Community Building" with highest honors on my senior thesis “wading: kinetic fiction as an anatomy for transitional design” which I have attached a link to peruse through if you are interested in reading it! The text was totally biodegradable in design and each page could be planted and produce a bouquet of wildflowers! Pages of the thesis have now been planted all over the world. Since having graduated, I have done lots of beautiful traveling and started a design lab with my creative partner called rhizobloom. We are working on some fantastic projects and look forward to sharing them with you!
I am currently headed to be in residence with Fresh Press Agri-Paper Research Laboratory at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to design plantable books that are a part of a theory I have created called kinetic fiction. The definition of kinetic, in a work of art, means that the work of art requires movement for its effect. My concept for kinetic fiction is that the story requires action from the reader for its effect and gives the reader, in its design, the tools to bring it to life.
I am developing paper created from invasive plant species’ fibers that will hold endangered heirloom seeds in its pages. The pages + ink are biodegradable & the entire work can again be planted. The invasive will decompose while the endangered will be reinvigorated. As a practice of decolonization, this work can transform the landscape but also the imagination & can later be used for educational, recreational, commercial, or restorative purposes.
As a Spiritual Ecology fellow, Davis Peace Projects grant recipient, and the first artist-in-residence with VOX Teen Communications and Atlanta Word Works, I will be working on kinetic fiction labs in the city of Atlanta with my students wherein we will make this plantable paper together to seed their visions of the future for themselves and the city. Through design and creative placemaking labs they will learn how to create actual, sustainable plans to materialize their dreams (i.e. necessary actors, timeline, budget, environmental deficits, environmental impact, fundraising, etc.) We will work as a cohort to tackle issues throughout the city of Atlanta through creative interventions while feeding the city through our dreams as the stories and plans will literally hold organic seeds in their pages. We will then create multimedia farms that are filled with stories that will soon be food alongside planted sounds, videos, and music for a digital garden experience.
I am collaborating with Green Impact Campaign for the series to design a city-wide “kilowatt smackdown”, which I have also attached a link for, where my students are trained through an app to give energy audits to small local businesses of color, assist them with reducing their energy impact, and help them with transitioning to renewable energy while also showing them how this transition can help them save money. Students will simultaneously utilize speculative design to imagine a metaphysical kilowatt smackdown for the city in which we find creative ways to measure the energy exhausted by way of systemic oppression and quantify how environmental racism impacts us through food injustice, redlining, climate change, gentrification, transportation immobility, and poor public health. Through these metaphysical energy audits, we will transform our environments of persistent-traumatic stress into creative hubs of renewed energy, in all its forms.
My most pressing concern is archiving and sustainably funding this beautiful, critical work. I am an aspiring filmmaker and work in an array of mediums from design to experimental video to dance to acting to writing to publishing to teaching. I have attached a link to my experimental video work, all shot on an iPhone and edited by myself. I am now looking to urgently purchase a professional camera in order to ensure this work is properly and professionally documented so that we can get more funding and support and so that others can learn from our process and do this work in their own cities.
If there is any seed funding you can give to help me in this process to purchase a DSLR camera and fund portions of this project (I am additionally applying for more grants and fellowships), I would be so grateful. I believe in this work with all of myself and all my money I am making is going right back into developing these projects for the city. I am giving everything I have into what I believe in. Anything you can give, even if it is the gift of a sacred prayer, will be appreciated.
If you have any further questions about the work I am doing or want to get involved, please feel free to ask. If you would like a full budget report for how this money will be used, please inquire. I am absolutely transparent about this process.
Those who donate will also receive a personal thank you on our plantable paper!!!
sending you love, strength, and sustained joy!
link to my CV, thesis, and video work: https://www.are.na/harrison-pickering/rhizobloom
link to my fellowships and grants: http://www.spiritualecologyfellowship.org/2016-fellows/
link to Green Impact Campaign Atlanta: http://greenimpactcampaign.org/kilowattsmackdown/atlanta/