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secret summer of double existence in a big ocean of plants and poison


When people ask me what I do, I usually only tell them half of the story…that I´m an artist and make installations with plants and architecture…but I haven´t really had much time for that lately… because I have been working a job job. This summer I have been working as a garden warehouse assistant and cashier. That means that like many of my creative type friends, I have to have a side job in order to pay off student loans and eat food. What does this do to how we identify ourselves out in the world? Living two separate lives…as a cashier, barista, teacher etc. to support our studio time. So, I have decided to stop being ashamed of my failure to exist as an artist alone and share my reality.

A little info about where I´m working…The store is a corporate chain and I knew this when I filled out the application, I made a conscious choice. I just wanted for once to walk in, do my thing unnoticed, get my paycheck and leave, knowing everything else was organized like a well oiled machine. But after a very short while, I realized it wasn´t going to go as I had planned at all. Everything about working for a corporate giant goes against my years of training as a pretentious dissident…I find myself ranting to anyone who will listen about how they sell deadly poisonous Monsanto products (not one mention of the word organic in the store), they do not compost when they throw away their plants (which are so very many because they don´t pay us to keep them alive so much as to stock and sell)…and the “head office” is watching every action, every detail of every- thing- we- do. My hopes of coming to work and doing my thing unnoticed is very much impossible. As a side note: I´m also allergic to whatever the hell kind of herbicide/pesticide/growth hormone they spray on these poor leaves and flowers in the greenhouse before delivering them to us. It makes my arms itch like a demon.

Living as an artist with an MFA is not romantic, it is real. And the reality is that most of us cannot support ourselves by selling our work, don´t know how to manage the business side of the deal, or maybe don´t want to sell it in the first place, and that leads to a double life. I think we owe it to ourselves to respect our creativity and actually find a way to make a living from that alone. For some of you its selling out, but for me, selling out is spending all my waking hours walking towards a dead end. I decided to go back to school this fall and learn how to use my creative skills to support myself. This hadn´t even occurred to me when I got my MFA. The most important thing to me then was self-expression. Food and bills were an afterthought. The MFA grad school machine is pumping out professional artists at a rate that cannot be sustained and needs to be reeled in. Maybe some of us should never have chosen this path in the first place, maybe we needed better economic or organizational guidance, and maybe we just need a better socialized support system that invests more in creativity than guns. I don´t have an ultimate solution. But I think its worth talking about. I don´t regret the paths I´ve taken, I hope they have made me a wiser, more well-rounded person.

You may disagree with my point of view and have a different experience of post grad living. You may even be an artist that believes in a completely different non-monetary system outside the system, one based more on exchange, or some other nuanced community anti-system-system. I support your choices, and I have lived among you. But I think we do ourselves a disservice by ignoring that even the anti-establishment serves a purpose in capitalist society. For those of us who are currently somewhere in the grid, my reality is very common. I welcome a debate on the subject. I want something else for myself and my future family and this is my story. And until the day comes that I can live a unified life,  its a summer of double existence in the big ocean of plants and poison.


After the California Summer

Topographic concept model of Strawberry Canyon, Berkeley

This summer was amazing! I spent June-August in Berkeley attending the Center for Environmental Design summer intensive program in the Landscape Architecture In[LAND] program. And it was intense! I learned so much and will apply to several graduate schools this fall to focus ANSR works more on land use and design.

Here are some of the results from the many projects I did regarding land use and sustainability in Berkeley.

coming up this summer

We are taking a trip to visit lots of old friends in the Bay Area and attend the Summer Institute in Environmental Design, UC Berkeley,  [IN}Land (Landscape Architecture). Its the beginning of something very fruitful and so exciting!

Skepticism in the new world

I participated in the project Dream Hamar, an interactive redesign of the town square by Ecosistema Urbano in Hamar, Norway. The project has been met with skepticism,fear and anger… here are my two cents…FUTURHAMARBOKA pp 89-97, the book published by EU about their project.

and an article published about the project can be found in BILLEDKUNST magazine.

ITS NOT OVER YET KIDS!! they haven’t built anything yet, excited to see what will happen.

demolition in Kristiansand

Me and many others stood in silence and awe and took pictures as they demo’d this building on Markens Gate.

ANSR has been invited to exhibit in Screaming From the Trees, Landscapes and Viewpoints at Sørlandets Kunst Museet in Kristiansand, Norway this summer…and ANSR has also received its first grant from Cultiva Ekspress for the Container Project.

Yay! Good things are happening!

Studio works says Hello and Hei!


Welcome to ANSR studio works first posting! We have been procucing new models for proposals that are due very soon! 3 separate projects are being worked on…more to come later!

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