Festival of New Ideas May 7th

by Ken Greene

When the New Museum invited us to participate in their Festival of Ideas I knew I wanted to come up with something extra seedy for the street fest. I wanted to make it more than a seed sale and create a chance for city folks to get their hands into some good soil and then go forth and green up NYC.

So I called Gregg Moore, a sculptor and professor at Arcadia University to run an idea by him. I wanted to make "seed bombs" (balls of clay, compost, and seeds that are used as guerrilla gardening projectiles for seeding inaccessible vacant lots) but a friendlier more creative version. I also wanted more of a DIY approach than just selling pre-made seed balls. Gregg and I started working on transforming seed bombs into plantable sculptures. Gregg carved and cast and conceptualized and I'll be bringing the resulting prototypes for our make-your-own seed sculptures to the fest. We'll have seeds for sale and then you can make your own plantable seed sculpture with the seeds you bought right on the spot.

Molds for making seed sculptures. Molds for making seed sculptures.

We'll be doing this cooperatively with Annie Novak from Eagle Street Rooftop Farm. They'll have a map of the city where you can mark your garden or the vacant lot where you plan to plant your sculpture and watch it grow. Right next door will be Severine and a gaggle of Greenhorns sewing up a bicycle powered storm of young farmer power. We'll also have Art Packs and be featuring two artists. Ryan Cronin will have a farmy selection of his large scale paintings and Richard Stauffachere will be selling his seed pod shaped bud vases and other ceramic pieces.

You can see the map of the whole street fest here. See you there!