Friday, December 31, 2010


a matter of highest importance, collage on paper, 5 x 3.5 inches

The challenge of getting this project done to meet the deadline of January 1, 2011 has been accomplished, with just hours to spare. There was a great deal of thinking about how I would interpret the idea of the budget of phosphorus. I discussed with my other artist friends the possibility of doing a book and gathered suggestions. There was even some talk of doing a flash animation, but in the end, when I seriously had to think about the time frame, I opted for collage, and I am happy I did.

"p" pee, collage on paper, 5 x 3.5 inches

After meeting and emailing with my scientist collaborators, Elizabeth Cook, Rebecca Hale and David Iwaniec, about the order of how phosphorus flows through the city, I set out to illustrate the process. There are eight collages in the series (aptly named MINDING YOUR "P"s), each representing a different aspect of the role of phosphorus (P). In a very simplistic manner, this is how it works:

1. P is mined from the earth
2. P is used as fertilizer in agriculture
3. agriculture grows and contains P
4. P gets consumed
5. P gets eliminated in urine
6. P goes through the water recycling process
7. if P gets recycled properly it can be reused and reintroduced in the irrigation system as fertilizer on the farms again
8. if P does not get recycled, it will go to the lakes and streams, thus causing an abundance of algae growth that eventually will kill off plants and animals.

This was a fascinating project to work on and I enjoyed the help and collaboration of the scientists at ASU's School of Life Sciences (SOLS) for the Sustainable Phosphorus (P) Summit: phosphorus, food, and our future.

You can view all of the images on flickr. This is a juried show, so wish me luck.

Work will be displayed at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ, in conjuction with the "Sustainable Phosphorus (P) Summit: phosphorus, food, and our future" on February 5, 2011. The exhibition will also be displayed at the Step Gallery at ASU from February 14-18th, 2011


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  2. and some exciting coverage in the examiner: