Field Notes

Carbon Farm

Working on a project at BU in the Department of Earth and the Environment where I am an artist in residence. Sarabeth Buckley, a PhD student with Nathan Phillips, is planting a rooftop spinach garden fed by CO2 from the building vents. Growing food from the hot air of academia. Prelim results from last years […]

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Benthic scale

I’d love to find out more about macroinvertebrates in water quality monitoring – a biological parameter, biosensor, indicator species (?), “A well-balanced and functioning biological community is one of the best indicators of a healthy stream, capable of providing vital ecosystem services. Benthic macroinvertebrates (bottom-dwelling organisms including aquatic insects, crayfish, clams, snails, and worms) are […]

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hydrosocial networks

mouth . pee. body . shower . glass . ice . food . puddle . tap . hose . sprinkler . fountain . bath . rain barrel . rain . snow . mist . fog . creek . lake . etc. it all ends up in the river

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Current Project

Civic Engagement: Pipeline Resistance

Pipeline Resistance is a civic engagement pilot project connecting MassArt first year students with a Boston-based activist group, Mothers Out Front, and an area ecologist, Nathan Phillips, BU Department of Earth and the Environment.  Together they will investigate the problems of natural gas pipelines in an urban context, particularly focusing on the many gas leaks in our aging infrastructure.  Based on Nathan Phillips data from a methane sensor driven through every street in Boston, which mapped all the leaks in the city, students will observe, record, and create portraits of leak sites in Boston.  

“Mothers Out Front has been working to accelerate the shift from dirty to clean energy, by pushing decision-makers to fix gas leaks, stop building new natural gas infrastructure, and increase clean energy requirements. In 2017, Mothers Out Front and its allies (the Gas Leaks Allies) worked collaboratively with the three largest gas utilities in Massachusetts, identifying a more effective methodology for identifying the biggest gas leaks or “super-emitters” – the 7% of leaks that emit 50% of the methane – so that they could be prioritized for repair. This methodology involves measuring the spatial footprint of gas leaks, which turns out to be a good way to identify the largest-volume leaks.

Students will create sound and video projects that communicate the problem, activist engagement, and proposed solutions.  These projects will range from documentary to poetic creative responses.  A final exhibition of work will be held at MassArt in April 2018.

Additional collaborators include DIana Lempel, Practice Space, Cambridge, and Maria Molteni, an interdisciplinary Boston-based artist.

This work is supported in part by The Boston Civic Media Consortium and MassArt’s Sustainability Initiative.



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Area activism


Exhibition: DeNatured

de-natured January 18 – February 14, 2018 Reception: Thursday, January 18, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Artist Talk: Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. DORRANCE H. HAMILTON GALLERY, Salve Regina University Newport, RI The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of de-natured, a group exhibition organized by Mara Metcalf […]

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Pirate Radio Harbor: a sense of place in 3 acts with Deb Todd Wheeler Using pirate radio transmission and storytelling, Pirate Radio Harbor: a sense of place in 3 acts asks participants to examine perceptions of the landscape underfoot in 3 ways: its past, it’s present, and it’s possible future. Lets dig into stories from […]

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Northern Spark

My first Northern Spark and what a great night.  Hundreds of conversations with Minneapolitans about their water, agriculture, lawns, swimming, unknown contaminants, urban infrastructure, art, data visualization, science, citizen science, etc.  Here are a phone snaps, but we’re going to upload some great images to a new project page soon!  About the project Thanks so Steve […]

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