Artist and educator Hugh Pocock sent us some very interesting information today. First, he has a solo show at the Contemporary Museum from May 22 through August 16, 2009. My 7-year-old son would adore the show’s title: "MY FOOD — MY POOP ." It’s a brilliant premise: Hugh weighed all the food and drink he took in and the waste he put out over the course of 63 days. Determining these weights and then calculating the differences between them would represent an approximate measurement of each day’s energy production.
He also kept a daily diary of his interactions, thoughts, and activities throughout the project. Entries comment on the importance of the sun for all sources of energy, the role of fossil fuel usage in his daily life, and his body’s continuous cycle of energy transfer. It opened up questions like, "where does the energy go after it leaves my body?" I plan to go to the exhibit and report further. The thought that we contain sunlight reminded me of "Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight ," by Thom Hartmann. One of the first points he makes is that we are all made out of sunlight. "Everything you see alive around you is there because a plant somewhere was able to capture sunlight and store it."
Speaking of plants, Hugh is also teaching an urban farming course this summer at various locations throughout Baltimore. One of them is Participation Park , a 1/3-acre urban farm that was founded by artists in winter, 2007. Artists, being such hands-on people anyway, seem well-disposed to thoughtful engagement in such a deeply hopeful enterprise. The course’s blog currently has a lengthy piece with 10 things learned about compost, with gems like this: "Contrary to popular belief, just leaving waste in a big stupid pile does not magically transform it into dirt."
Three cheers for Hugh’s leadership in waking us up and making us more aware.