"Taking Part: A Workshop Approach to Collective Creativity" 1975

“Taking Part: A Workshop Approach to Collective Creativity” 1974

…is the awesome 1974 book by my heroes Lawrence and Anna Halprin, with Jim Burns and Paul Baum, which I can’t believe I am just discovering now – as I prepare for a series of workshops at home in LA and in Northern California produced by the Graham Foundation in conjunction with their soon-to-open exhibition “Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971” – a long overdue survey of this important work that is so relevant to the ways that many of us are working today…and much more on this very soon.

In the late 1960s, American landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and avant-garde dance pioneer Anna Halprin organized a series of experimental, cross-disciplinary workshops in San Francisco and along the coast of northern California that brought dancers, architects, environmental designers, artists, and others together in a process designed to facilitate collaboration and group creativity through new approaches to environmental awareness.

Held over the course of several weeks, the Halprin workshops took place between the urban context of San Francisco; the dance deck and surrounding wooded areas of the Halprins’ Kentfield home in Marin County (Lawrence Halprin and William Wurster, 1951-54); and the Halprins’ cabin (Charles Moore, Lawrence Halprin, and William Turnbull, 1965-66) at Sea Ranch—a coastal community for which Lawrence Halprin designed the master plan (1962-67). From movement sessions on the Halprins’ dance deck, blindfolded awareness walks through the landscape, collective building projects using driftwood, and choreographed journeys diagramming everyday use and experience of urban plazas, parks, and rail cars, participants engaged in a series of multi-sensory activities in alternating environments according to loosely-structured, written guidelines in the form of open “scores.”

– from the Graham Foundation

By Fritz Haeg on September 9, 2014 | books
Tags: , ,

On August 27th, 2014, ‘SUNDOWN STOCK & EXCHANGE’…

Sundown Stock & Exchange at For Your Art

Sundown Stock & Exchange at For Your Art

…presented by The Los Angeles Seminary for Embodied and Civic Arts is coming up this Labor Day weekend at For Your Art!

Sundown Stock & Exchange 
at For Your Art,  6020 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
Labor Day weekend: Friday August 29th: 7pm – 9pm and Saturday August 30th – Monday September 1st: 12pm – 5pm

The Los Angeles Seminary for Embodied and Civic Arts and its extended community present Sundown Stock & Exchange. This Labor Day weekend marketplace explores the social, economic, creative, and communal nature of work. Participants and visitors pause, perform, and posture actions that reveal embodied relations to labor and production. Work is offered for barter, exchange, negotiation and sale. Visitors are also encouraged to bring personal belongings and valuables to exchange. Programming includes street sales, artist advisory services, in-house production, screenings and more. 

Curated and organized by Reid Ulrich. Contributors & Participants: Amanny Ahmad, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Mark Allen, Maura Brewer, Danielle Bustillo, Joey Cannizzaro, Carey Chiaia, Alexis Disselkoen, Zackary Drucker, Lauren Elder, EARL GRAVY, Maya Gingery, Paige Gratland, Fritz Haeg, Matt Merkel Hess, Hesse Press, Bettina Hubby, Iko Iko, Helena Keeffe, Los Angeles Museum of Art, Emily Marchand, Ian Markell, Metonym, Public Fiction, Anna Ruetinger, Justin Stadel, Thank You For Coming, Reid Ulrich, Rosten Woo, Lucas Wrench, and Mimi Zeiger. 

Special events and activities:

All Weekend
EARL GRAVY’s artist recruitment service, #SOLOshow@, will work with interested parties to develop virtual solo exhibits in some of America’s most revered art institutions

7pm – 9pm, Service, “Supply + Demand” by Emily Marchand and Carey Chiaia
7pm – 9pm, Activity, “Gifts of Return” by Alexis Disselkoen.

12pm – 5pm, Street Sale, “Honest Abe and the Working Class One”
2:30pm – 4pm, Screening, “Women On The Land: Creating Conscious Community,” Carmen Goodyear & Laurie York, 57 min.

12pm – 5pm, Street Sale, “Honest Abe and the Working Class One”
1pm – 2pm, Movement Exercise, “The Body as Presence. Dance is Labor.” by Maya Gingery
2pm – 5pm, Service, Fritz Haeg will be accepting donations of fiber to knit into personalized triangular kerchiefs in exchange for something of equal value.

1pm – 3pm, Advisory, Mark Allen of Machine Project conducts free 15 minute advisories on curatorial strategies, emailing, tailoring, and starting your own art space.

For more information:
The Los Angeles Seminary for Embodied and Civic Arts
For Your Art

On August 12th, 2014, THE SECOND SEASON…

The Schoenherrs, Edible Estate #15, season two

The Schoenherrs, Edible Estate #15, season two

…of Edible Estate Regional Prototype Garden #15: Twin Cities at Chez Schoenherr in Woodbury, Minnesota commissioned by the Walker Art Center seems to be as active, fecund, fertile, loved, lived-in, tended, and edible as ever – which I learned from intrepid journalist Kim Palmer’s (who has been hot on the Edible Estates beat since the open call in February 2013)  Star Tribune story today…and some highlights:

A talent scout tried to recruit the Schoenherrs’ young-adult kids for a proposed reality show (they didn’t bite). Mom Catherine was surprised when she stopped at a garden center, started to introduce herself to the clerk, and was told, “I know who you are.”

They supplemented that with about 1,000 plants they started from seed in March under grow lights in their basement. “They [the seedlings] covered the whole ping-pong table and a couple other tables,” said Catherine. The basement was so lit up that “I was worried someone would think we were growing pot.”

Sometimes the Schoenherrs don’t even know where their produce is going. “Once John said we hadn’t gotten many strawberries, and a neighbor said, ‘Yeah, you did.’ ”

Even the smallest neighbors lend a hand in the garden. Elsasser, who operates the home-based Little Helpers Child Care, has incorporated the Schoenherrs’ “Children’s Garden” into her summer schedule. The kids help weed and harvest and make pesto for their lunch… Gardening time is one of the highlights of our week. The school-age children said the thing they were looking forward to most was the garden. “One little girl loves carrots so much we can hardly get the dirt washed off.”



Seminary lunch on August 2nd with special guests Alice Waters, Peter Sellars, Christina Kim and Sean Starowitz

Seminary lunch on August 2nd with special guests Alice Waters, Peter Sellars, Christina Kim and Sean Starowitz

…which has been meeting weekly at my place since June 1st is now almost wrapping up, and since it’s been a pretty intimate environment we haven’t been doing any live-tweeting, hash-tagging, or photo-posting, but I can report that we’ve had an amazing stream of special guests join us for guided conversation over lunch in the garden, including (in chronological order) Jeanne van HeeswijkLaurie PeakeOwen GriffithsLisa Anne AuerbachAnne BrayMark AllenA.L. SteinerKimberli MeyerLauren MacklerBenjamin BallJulia MeltzerStuart ComerDavid WilsonJennifer Allora and Guillermo CalzadillaAlice KonitzIrene TsatsosColleen Jaurretche and David Kipen (Libros Schmibros), Emi FontanaRobby HerbstJohn BurtleJen Delos ReyesZackary DruckerRhys ErnstBettina HubbyRosten WooHedi El Kholti, Alison Hirsch, Maya Gingery, Hans Ulrich ObristAlice WatersPeter SellarsChristina KimSean Starowitz, Rita GonzalezFelicia Filer, (and coming in the last 2 weeks) Liz GlynnLuke Fischbeck , Sarah Rara , Matt Merkel HessCharles GainesGere Kavanaugh, and Barbara Bestor.

On July 29th, 2014, ‘YESTERDAY IS VERY URGENT!’…


July 29th Instagram post-it

…is my post-it note from yesterday’s Brutally Early Club here in L.A. with Hans Ulrich Obrist, for his instagram campaign to save handwriting.


site #44 owners Jennifer & Timothy at the end of the season

site #44 owners Jennifer & Timothy at the end of the season

…is the title of the story written by Wildflowering L.A. site #44 owner Jennifer Mandel, just posted on Zócalo Public Square

A few weeks ago, a guy from Wildflowering LA came to take away the sign; we had him take one last picture of us with it in our scraggly and faun-colored yard. We were sad to see it go. The few flowers that are still blooming miraculously from the scorched earth are proof that native plants can hold their own in this dry climate.”

On July 3rd, 2014, MAKE A RUG…

The Art Assignment video, featuring  Helio Oiticica's Parangolés

The Art Assignment video, featuring a cute animated story about Helio Oiticica’s Parangolés

…after watching the latest The PBS Art Assignment video – with author/vlogger John Green and curator Sarah Urist Green – featuring my assignment to make your own thick, heavy, soft, cushy, inviting crocheted rug just like the Domestic Integrities rug that’s been traveling around for the past few years – also a great opportunity to share the story of Hélio Oiticica’s parangolés which has been a revelatory inspiration (or inspiring revelation?).

On May 29th, 2014, WFLA ON MOCA TV…

Wildflowering L.A. video by MOCA TV

Wildflowering L.A. video by MOCA TV

…with a video going live today which was shot in part at site #22, the nearly one acre flagship site at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden buzzing with wildlife. (and Wildflowering.org for all of the project details)


On May 28th, NEW STORIES…

WFLA on Off-Ramp

WFLA on Off-Ramp

…about Wildflowering L.A. – check them out at KCET’s ArtboundPolicyMic, and on KPCC’s Off-Ramp – plus the recorded conversations from our April 26-27 event.


Leif, Gautam, Luke, Felix, Ben, Travis, Keenan, Owen, and David looking like they just wandered out of the Mendocino woods

Leif, Gautam, Luke, Felix, Ben, Travis, Keenan, Owen, and David looking like they just wandered out of the Mendocino woods

…(Hélio Oiticica’s made-up word for his pieces, which is what I am calling my interlocking triangular knitted wearable sculptures – combo cape/caftan/scarf/shawl/vestment/wrap to be worn in public formations, mostly by tribes of guys) consisted of ten friends wrangled before the closing ceremony on the museum terrace at sunset last night, staged to be shot by Bay Area photographer Terri Loewenthal.


three Edible Schoolyard students occupy the center of their installation

three Edible Schoolyard students occupy the center of their installation

…on the rug (at The Berkeley Art Museum show ‘The Possible’) now around 30 feet in diameter, features over 20 pedestals thoughtfully arranged with this mornings fresh harvests by Edible Schoolyard eighth graders (plus two massive xylophones of scavenged wood by San Diego artist friend Keenan Hartsten), goodbye Berkeley and goodbye rug – not sure where you’re headed next…


the lesson today is Beets! and an Edible Schoolyard harvest ready for the museum

the lesson today is Beets! and an Edible Schoolyard harvest ready for the museum

…(the brilliant brain child of friend Alice Waters which feels like a real life utopia of free-range students) is where I am this afternoon with a class of seventh graders to gather harvests to  display on pedestals on the Domestic Integrities rug for the closing ceremony tonight – and they are taking it very seriously, though true to some cliches, as a few of the boys head right for the axes while a couple of the girls spent the hour arranging individual petals and seeds.


a moment in a movement activity on the rug

a moment in a movement activity on the rug

…with a few friends and a few brave and enthusiastic passers-by – where we make a living sculpture, taking turns coming out of it and responding with new positions – is a fun final activity (we lasted an hour, but I could really do all day long) on the rug before it is given a final installation by some Edible Schoolyard eighth graders with harvests from their gardens tomorrow for the closing.


a massive pedestal at The Possible with a curated selection of things made during the show

a massive pedestal at The Possible with a curated selection of things made during the show

…closing ceremonies this Friday of the hard-to-describe, village-like, amorphous, ephemeral, makerly, living/breathing show that has been evolving at the Berkeley Art Museum over the past four months, and soon to head north from home in LA to organize some final activities and installations on the Domestic Integrities rug.

On May 20th, 2014, BALES OF STRAW…

straw and hay bales piled high at the feed and seed

straw and hay bales piled high at the feed and seed 

…a favored source of garden bed and pathway mulch, is procured this afternoon from the nearby Glendale horsey feed and seed shop, prompted by some wilty annual veg plants suffering in the recent summer-like 100 degree temps.


Wildflowering L.A. show, April 26-27, 2014

Wildflowering L.A. show, April 26-27, 2014

…to those who made the culminating Wildflowering L.A. show/event last weekend possible…

Genny Arnold and Lili Singer (Theodore Payne Foundation) / Michelle Matthews and Veronica Franco (The Shed) /  Leigh Adams, Erin Harkey, Joshua Link, Tom McKenzie, Brooke Sauer, Andy Wilcox, Richard Schulhof (director, The Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Gardens)  / the volunteers Carolyn Gray Anderson, Noe Gaytan, Sara Abed, Ernesto Perez, Jeremy Jarrin, Alex Castellon, Siobhan Feehan, Josh Stone, Jamie Shi, Kate Gilbert, Jamie McAndrews, Claudia Borgna, Veronica Franco, Maya Gingery, and Kate Parsons / Jenn Su (Thank You For Coming) /  Roman Jaster (graphic design, posters and website) / Knowhow Shop (sign fabrication) /  Isabel Avila (photography) / Kristy Baltezore and Gabie Strong (KCHUNG) / Shamim Momin, Samantha Frank, Maryam Hosseinzadeh, and Laura Hyatt (LAND) / the support of the James Irvine Foundation.

On April 25th, 2014, A WILDFLOWERING L.A. VIDEO…


2014-04-25pomona-videojust posted today by Cal Poly Pomona Department of Landscape Architecture student Alejandro Castellon features some cool time-lapse images of site # 37 in their school courtyard, and will be included in our two-day show opening tomorrow.


2014-04-18-final-posters…spring show/events next weekend, April 26 & 27, for which I’ll be taping out a massive 40′ x 70′ freeway map of LA county, upon which the 50 sites will be marked by fresh wildflower cuttings – ideally brought by the owners themselves on Saturday – so that visitors will be able to take a mini wildflower tour…


A culminating exhibition of Fritz Haeg’s Wildflowering L.A. project, commissioned and organized by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) will take place on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27, 2014 at THE SHED (1355 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena, 91103) Pasadena’s emerging space for urban agriculture, planning, permaculture, and land use by La Loma Development Company.  

2014-04-18-WFLAThe installation will feature flower cuttings and photos fresh from the project sites presented on a vast Los Angeles County map, along with project archives, artist-designed posters, educational activities for all ages, conversations with experts including representatives from the Theodore Payne Foundation and project participants, a live broadcast by KCHUNG, music by Pawing at the Ceiling, seasonal refreshments by Thank You For Coming, and more.  Check the project’s website, www.wildflowering.org, for  ongoing project updatesbackground informationwildflower resources, the map of all 50 sites, and streaming #wildfloweringla updates from Twitter and Instagram.
+ Large-scale map installation by Fritz Haeg to visually depict the expanse of the 50 Wildflowering L.A. sites across Los Angeles County with clippings from project participants, projections of site photos, archival materials, and artist-designed posters for ongoing viewing
+ Receptions at 4:30pm daily-Educational/family activities from 12pm-5pm for kids (but great for all ages and adults) including sensory stations, flower pressing, seed treasures, printmaking, exquisite corpse, a somatic creative movement class with Maya Gingery, and more
+ Music by Pawing at the Ceiling (Roman Jaster and Nicole Jaffe) on Saturday from 1-1:30pm
+ Conversations at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm daily with experts, including representatives from the Theodore Payne Foundation and project participants
Saturday, April 26th
  • 2pm: Andy Wilcox, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Cal Poly Pomona, Sites #37: Cal Poly Pomona and #38: York Blvd.
  • 3pm: Richard Schulhof, Director, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Site #22: LA Arboretum
  • 4pm: Leigh Adams, Sites #13: Westridge School, #14: Pasadena Casting Pond, and #22: LA Arboretum

Sunday, April 27th

  • 2pm: Joan M. Leong, Professor, Biological Sciences Graduate Program, Cal Poly Pomona  Pollinators Study
  • 3pm: Joshua Link, Landscape Architect, Ecotone Studios, Site #47: Eagle Rock Post Office
  • 4pm: Genny Arnold, Seed Program Manager, Theodore Payne Foundation, Site #21


the last Edible Estate (#15: Woodbury) in the April 2014 issue of National Geographic

the last Edible Estate (#15: Woodbury) in the April 2014 issue of National Geographic

…in April is a special thrill, since it was the journal that entered our home every month when I was growing up, and shaped my idea of the world.


Site #37: Cal Poly College of Environmental Design (photo: Isabel Avila)

In November 2013 owners of of 50 selected sites across Los Angeles county were prescribed one of four custom wildflower seed mixes based on their location. Participants were responsible for sowing, watering, weeding, and occasionally hunting gophers. Over the past few weeks we have been receiving reports from these Wildflowering L.A. sites. The first accounts of flowers came in early February, but with our early spring Southern California heat and sun kicking in, we have many sites experiencing their first waves of dramatic blooms. This will continue in secessional waves through June with various species coming up, flowering, and then receding as others take the stage.

Site #44: 478 E. Avenue 28, Lincoln Heights (photo: Isabel Avila)

On January 17th, 2014, our governor Jerry Brown declared a “drought state of emergency” in California. And while the orchards and fields that feed us are drying up in the Central Valley, our green lawns and flowing fountains down here in Los Angeles make it seem like everything is just fine. Perhaps the Wildflowering L.A. project might have been easier during a rainy El Niño year when our wildflowers really pop and Angelenos make the pilgrimage out to the flowing poppy fields of the Antelope Valley. Though it’s been a challenge, this drought period seems like the most appropriate and provocative time for us to really pay attention to the land we live on, to what really grows here, along with the whys, whens, and hows.

Site #27: 4237 Eagle Rock Boulevard

Participants have been sending their ‘bloom ratings,’ estimates of when their wildflower site might peak, some current snapshots, and general anecdotes about their experiences with the project. I have been compiling this information and adding it to our ‘map’ page, which will continue to be updated through June. Around that time the plants will start to dry up and set seed. Participants will be encouraged to let this cycle play out, allowing the meadows to gradually turn golden brown and broadcast seed for the next season.

Site #17: 1150 W. Grovecenter Street, Covina (photo: Isabel Avila)

From March to June 2014 you can take a tour to view the sites with the best displays which include homes, churches, schools, botanic gardens, public parks, vacant lots, and even a U.S. post office. All of the sites are visible from streets and public paths (but should not be entered). A prominent carved wood sign, inspired by state and federal park signage, identifies each site which range in size from 500 to 2000 square feet.

Wildflowering L.A. map / Bloom Ratings: Red = Excellent / Yellow = Good / Blue = Low to None

To help plan your tour, start on our interactive map page, and then download this PDF list of the most active sites organized by geographic region. And for the energetic cyclist crowd in North East L.A. – where there is an especially heavy concentration of sites – a special map for touring on two wheels has been created. Share your text and photo blooming updates with the Twitter and Instagram hashtag #wildfloweringLA, which will post directly to this webpage, where you can also see what people are finding at other sites across town.

Site #44: 478 E. Avenue 28, Lincoln Heights (photo: Isabel Avila)

Future Wildflowering L.A. programs include an installation/exhibition about the project presented April 26-27, 2014 at The Shed (1355 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena 91103) hosted by La Loma Development; a late-June seed-sharing event; and a fall release event for a booklet telling the story of selected participating sites with before and after photos.

Site #28: 3847 DuRay Place, Baldwin Hills (photo: Isabel Avila)

Wildflowering L.A. sites were selected from an open call based on public visibility and distribution across the County. Owners of selected sites are given free native wildflower seed mixes at workshops in partnership with the Theodore Payne Foundation. Soil preparation, seeding, and wildflower tending were demonstrated, and one of four custom wildflower seed mixes was prescribed – Coastal, Flatlands, Hillside, and Roadside – inspired by Reyner Banham’s 1971 book, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies.

Site #25 – 2821 West View Street, West Adams (photo; Ryan Benoit, The Horticult)

For more information visit the ‘about’ and ‘resources’ pages of the website. And posted yesterday at The Horticult is a great tour of various project sites by Chantal Aida Gordon, Field of Dreams: ‘Wildflowering L.A.’ Turns Urban Sprawl Into Native, Magical Meadows.

Special shout-outs to Roman Jaster for the graphic design and website; the boys at the Knowhow Shop for the sign fabrication (and super idea of burning them, instead of staining them black); Isabel Avila for the official before and after photos; Lili Singer and Genny Arnold at the Theodore Payne Foundation for their support/expertise/enthusiasm; the ladies at LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division), Samantha Frank, Laura Hyatt, Maryam Hosseinzadeh, and especially Shamim Momin.

#40 – Carthay Center Elementary School, 6351 W. Olympic Boulevard (photo: Ryan Benoit, The Horticult)

Wildflowering L.A. is a native wildflower seed sowing initiative throughout Los Angeles County by artist Fritz Haeg. It is presented by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) in partnership with the Theodore Payne Foundation and supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

Phacelia tanacetifolia (Lacy Phacelia) from the Roadside and Hillside mixes (photo: Isabel Avila)



Animal Estates