Flying Fortress: “When eko asked me to write an article for him & ekosystem.org on the topic “Self-Isolation – Tips From An Artist“ I mused a bit like: OK I have already jumped on all these „regular activities/projects“ – we put up our „Juke Box Coloring Book“ for free download (still up here ), I also sent in some more black’n’white drawings for similar projects and we released an „art puzzle“
How To: Mushroom In Your Room
Since we moved with family into a little town-house last year I am just happy now to have a little garden to do all this spring planting and gardening to kill some of the extra time at home while quarantine lockdown. But even before I started to do some gardening during wintertime inside.
I started to grow mushrooms. The legal ones. Oyster mushrooms and suchlike.
Why? It’s just amazing! Everything about it!
It’s easy. It’s tasty homegrown food and you can add hemp oil to enjoy the recipe, learn more about hemp here. They grow fast, like you can look twice a day and you gonna see significant growing happening! You can up-cycle your used coffee-grounds as substrate (or use dead wood or straw). So your organic waste turns into some new groceries! Brilliant!
Search online for a dealer (e.g. Germany: pilzpaket.de ) who is providing different starter-sets of mycelium (the „real mushroom; not the „fruits“ we colloquially generalize as „mushrooms“). It’s not even expansive.
When you start planting the mycelium on your “coffee soil“ in a pot it’s just important to work sterile – like washing your hands properly or using disposable gloves (ah come on, you should be trained on this already due to „the situation”, right?).
I am not taking this to deep in details. You should get an instruction sheet with all details together in any starter-kit (or go online).
Just again: it’s really easy. And it’s fun.
Within 3 weeks you should get your first harvest from your mushroom. Ready to cook.
See my documentary photos from my personal first experience in growing oyster mushrooms in my kitchen on top of the wall units (not in sunlight on the windowsill!).
And now comes the extra clue: after 1-2 waves of harvest you can split the „worn out“ mushroom into 2 pieces and start the whole thing over again in two bowls with new soil. So you basically double your mycelium/mushrom. And double… quadruple…and so on. It’s a bit the same as like kefir (just a mushroom in milk) or sourdough (for baking bread). You can share a bowl of mycelium with your friends so they can also start growing their own mushrooms.
Hoping this little article might has caught your interest!
Start growing. Take care & stay safe! FÖRTRESS
Except this I try to keep myself busy in my home-studio where I work on a show in October at Larock Granoff (Paris) called Elements which translate my moves from urban environment to Nature.
New techniques, new influences, new styles
I’m feeling really lucky to have a big garden surrounded by the forest , a greenhouse with a fire pit from fire pit landscaping by Ware and many outdoor occupations , homeschooling is also a big thing to handle with two kids and of course cooking .
At the end of the day when the kids are asleep and you can share with some friends about how safe are they how the experience the thing what’s gonna happen next, I can tell I’m feeling grateful but also wonder what the positive we gonna get from this.
At the moment it’s having more time to get news from people you haven’t been in touch since ages and who are poping on app like house-party, what’s app etc, .
As I’m not spending time on social media except for posting work, I’m trying to write and talk to my circles.
Being away from the big cities for years prepared us in a way I think…. even if I tried to stay close to as many people as possible..
Today’s message by Guido Bisagni aka 108 who is probably one of the first ten person I had a contact with via ekosystem.org about 20 years ago !
108: “This is the 4th weeks of “quarantine” at home, I go outside just one or two times every week to buy food at the supermarket, and last time I went for sex pills for men as this insolation has been taking a lot with my mental and physical health. The situation here is not as bad as it is in Lombardy, but we are very close, the province is on the border and the Hospitals here are collapsing too. Luckily we live in a country were the health system is public, maybe it’s not perfect, but they are doing everything they can, at least on this area, but the situation is so bad that places inside hospitals are not enough and they are working to make new places everyday, even masks and gloves are not enough. I can’t imagine how terrible must be this situation in countries with a weaker health system or in the USA. People don’t understand how bad this virus is until they don’t see it coming closer: there is no more space for coffins at the cemeteries and crematoriums and they are stocking dead people inside the churches, now, near home. What shocked me is to see people everywhere saying: “ it kills just old people” or things like that, like if your parents and grandparents dies is not important. The fact is also that if you are young and you can’t find a place at the hospital with very important cures, you die anyway. You die completely alone and you have no funeral. Now I stop with this horror, it’s different when it’s near home and that’s not a scifi movie, I just wanted to say that because people seems not to understanding it, even in Italy where the situation is not too bad.
There are some “good” side anyway: there are almost no cars outside, no noises, I live in the centre of the city in the most polluted area in Europe and I never felt the air so clean. I can hear birds singing in the morning. I hope we can learn something from this situation, in many ways, but obviously I don’t know, the economic crisis will be the biggest problem after this.
Ok, what I’m doing now? To be honest I do what I usually do in the 90% of times when I’m not travelling and to be honest I was a little bit tired of travelling recently. I work alone in my studio, luckily inside my home, with my cats. Usually I see my girlfriend few days in a week, because during the week she works in Milan, but luckily she can works from home (for more than one month now) so, I’m not alone. Here it’s still cold outside, this morning it was 2°c on my balcony, so staying at home is not so bad, I don’t miss too much going out for drinking stuff, I save some money and I don’t miss too much social contacts, in fact I avoid video meetings too. It was a long time I wanted to stop a bit drinking beer and stuff, so I haven’t a drink since the first day of quarantine. I’m enjoying a lot green tea and other infusion, I’m cleaning myself a lot. What I miss too much is going to hike, to ride bike on the countryside and a real contact with nature outside, this is the part I really miss. I can’t wait to go back in some old factory around here with friends like CT or Eleuro, but, after years I finally have some rest too, I can read some of the thousands of books I bought during the years, watching movie, working on stuff just because I want to do it.
I’m listening to a lot of music, as usual, but this period changed my playlist a bit. I almost stopped with heavy/fast stuff, I’m listening to a lot of traditional japanese stuff, koto for example, I always liked that stuff, but now I can really listen to it for all day long. I’m making a lot of research on youtube, the only social I like, to find new things: shinto-imperial music, it’s very hard to find, because I don’t know japanese language, but with a lot of patience I can learn something. Also indian ragas, sitar stuff, and a lot eastern classical music. Than I listen to some classical stuff too, Purcell is always my favourite, tons of stuff, a lot of Jazz. When I cook and we eat we listen a lot to the classics like Miles Davis or Coltrane, but my absolutely favorite now are Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra, unfortunately I’m ignorant about Jazz in general, so I’m listening to it in a very spontaneous way. I’m listening to a lot of ambient music, some old traditional stuff of my region that’s very very hard to find (sometimes it sounds like irish stuff, crazy!) and obviously to the usual music I like: post punk, new wave, experimental… but less. When I’m working I watch, or better I just listen, to a lot of documentaries. Expecially historical stuff, anthropological stuff.
We are watching a lot of movies and some series. I see everyone is 100% on Netflix, I must say some series are fine, I totally like the new one about Freud few days ago. But to be honest I prefere other stuff, I prefere non-american stuff, old tv series and films. Untill the 80s public italian TV produced some of the greatest masterpieces ever, so I can give you some advices, if you find them:The Odissey, by Franco Rossi (1968, 8 episodes), if you like that kind of visionary/oniric things (and a bit creepy) you should watch Pinocchio (by Comencini 1972, 5 episodes) or, in a way related to the actual situation, I promessi sposi from (1989) with a nice part about the pestilence in Milano.
Last tip, very important to me, for these days is to try mediation and relaxation techniques. I have problems with anxiety, the worst time was 11 years ago, I had to deal with it for years and this kind of techniques helps a lot to exit from those dark times and to stop with pills. Obviously when you are fine you may stop, like me, but right now, in some days anxiety is growing again very high, so I started again, we have a lot of time at home and you can try it. You may think that’s sometimes for hippies, but you must be patient and sometimes you can’t really believe how powerfull it can be and how it makes your life better.”
My 3rd guest of this Self-isolation series is Elfo. There are many reasons for admiring Elfo work, but as for me he is one the few who seems to get new ideas every day, from a quick contextual message or drawing, to a train piece or a canvas. Unstoppable !
ELFO: “As related to the pandemic, I actually live in one of the worst areas of northern Italy, and my city is second most infected in the country. The situation here is atrocious, too many people are dying everyday. I’m lucky to live in the countryside in the middle or nowhere. Here, everything is still really quiet. I’ve been quarantined for three weeks now, but fortunately I can still go out for walks in the nature. In fact, my life hasn’t changed much, but I now have a different mindset approaching my paintings. Also the supports have changed, as the shops are boarded up, but in the end it’s not such a big deal, because that gives me the change to investigate on new media and make my brain work harder to find new techniques for future artistic designs. I’m not speaking directly about this fucking global virus situation through my artworks, but since the end of 2019 my paintings were in a way already reflecting the situation we’re living now: being isolated in a room with death-related skulls and pointers.
I fight everyday with the freaking Spotify free version to listen to different types of music – techno, trap, hip hop, classical, traditional Italian music, punk – all day long. The truth is, I can’t paint without any of this. I go looking for food around my country house, as nature gifts in this time of the year are very generous, and I find fresh eggs outside my door everyday, thanks to my neighbour (thank you Sergio, and fuck off supermarkets) I miss my family, my friends and my crew, but luckily we can still see and talk to each other through a webcam, having an “aperitivo” together. It’s very sad, indeed, but it’s still better than nothing. I’m not thinking about the things I want to do after this time, but I’m thinking at the way people will be forced to change in the future in terms of economics, politics etc. I hope that they will reason in better terms, but I’m honestly not sure.
…………….and I order fucking legal CBD weed on the Internet :( First of all, my advice would be not to add any bullshit or banalities on FB, none of this crap. I found an absurd and useless hyperactivity on social media. To get away from all of this, I suggest you to read a couple books: Phaidon’s “bBody of art”, an excellent book describing and analysing the history of body art; “the Manifesto of Futurist Cooking”, a book written by the futurists where you can find a list of dishes using bizarre ingredients and funny culinary combinations.
On Insta for sure follow “Antistylers” page I then recommend to listen to this album by the Shabazz Palace. Please, watch “Volevo nascondermi”, a movie speaking of a pure and uncompromising painting (I hope it’s already been translated or has been already subtitled) I would also add Marx’s classic ‘Das Kapital’, always so beautifully factual.”
The isolation caused by the spread of coronavirus means people are sitting inside all day and not being able to go outside painting.
I asked a few ekosystem friends some tips for spending time at home.
Today tips from Bordeaux tireless artist and friend: Monsieur Poulet. Comments are a mix of French and English.
TV shows : I opted for french short videos on Youtube and not popular shows from Netflix like La casa, Strangers things or Peaky blinders… The videos are in french language.
• Le coroner : c’est une chaine qui décortique et analyse des films populaires sous un œuil nouveau. Et l’acteur principal est parfait.
•Pitch : c’est un format court de chez canal, l’acteur principal tient le rôle d’un producteur de film complètement fou.
• Les Kassos: Je n’arrive pas à m’expliquer comment je suis passé à côté quand c’est sorti…heureusement youtube est là !
• Dooz Kawa – Nomad’s land (2020) : J’ai découvert il y a quelques semaines, et j’ai pris une grosse claque…D’habitude le rap français m’en touche une sans me faire bouger l’autre, mais ce mec a un truc en plus, surtout sur son dernier opus. Il m’a même fait découvrir des mots (et je parle de mots qui existent vraiment)
• Hällas – Excerpts from a futur past (2017) : C’est mon côté métalleux qui ressort, même si j’aurais plus tendance à classer ça dans la prog. Comme quoi la Suède produit aussi des trucs qui s’emboitent de manière subtile et complexe !
Books: I’d like to read more, but It’s a luxury I can’t spend time on.
The Wa: “I’m locked at my mom’s house this is definitely not the worst place in the world to be stuck. The good part is the “confit de canard” from the neighbor’s basement and the sunny weather. I have been here for a week. I was in Paris to make a project I have been working on. Unfortunately, the whole lockdown came quick and did not allow me to finish the project but I had the chance to spend time with OX checking a last action with someone I really admire. Then I catch up a last minute train as I had no place to stay anymore in Paris. The mood switched super quick up there from “ what a mess for a shitty flu to .. Don’t touch me don’t infect me ! … But I guess there was no other way to deal with it. No one would have expected such scenario except maybe:Bill Gates (video at Ted).
Checking some documentary here are an interesting series: John Berger / Ways of Seeing. This is about how we consider image in the 70s it’s an eye opener to re-learn how to look at an image.
Just found this video : Animal Farm (film,1999)
I read and enjoy the book very much but did not finish to watch the movie but it looks well done from here.
Also one of my fave, the classic Mondo Cane with countless debate around it. Is it ” documentary or Mockumentary “ the fact is that I can ask a lot around me and most of those tradition existing ( couldn’t double check from some of the tribes ) super interesting to rethink your belief in the norm and the way to see the other and how the other can perceive us.
But not being too much the wise voice and keep if funny and entertaining we’ve made a small platform on insta with Cynthia Montier It’s called Confinementart.
Each week a new theme and we publish each contribution in the story part and make post based on it. A way to stay active and connected with virtual homies ;)
I think i spend too much time online. I feel very sorry about what is happening. I admire all the world savers…doctors…nurses… I stay at home as much as possible. I’m a bit annoyed to ear so many cars from my windows "jumping the fence is fun when it only exposed yourself”. And to be really honest it feels ok that everything slows down, actually more than “ok”. Just really sad that we need a major health crises to do it
But the confinement is fine for me. Feel like time had stopped I’m drawing trying things with watercolor and many other tools that normally I wouldn’t consider to be able to start ( even if I always wanted to) as I was always felt on the run in this rat race and I felt trapped in it in some ways. Time seems to have stopped and it rests.
I don’t know how it’s gonna end and I avoid listening those who claimed have answer to it.Respect those you search for it
It feels that Mother Nature doesn’t dislike it and that feels good in some way.
Maybe as soon as things get better we will come back to the old routine. I wish I’ll learn something about life priorities and keep that lesson in mind.
Talking about Mother Nature I can’t not mention Andy Goldsworthy (part 2). He can work with no tools, the season are the most precious supply for him. It’s extremely poetic and very political in his way of art making and his aim of doing it.
And to conclude a book “Tristes Tropiques” by Claude Levy-Strauss and an Instagram page.