The Soil Factory

Exploring Art, Science and Sustainability

Calendar 2024

This Week at the Soil Factory: 

 
Tuesday May 21, Darkroom Cyanotypes 7-9PM
More work with these beautiful blue and white prints
 
Wednesday May 22, Darkroom Exploits 7-9PM
Analog Black and White photos
 
Thursday May 23, Creative Thursday 10:30-12:30
Last week to join in with art for kiddos and their caregivers

MEMORIAL WEEKEND/IMMEMORIAL TRADITIONS at the Soil Factory including:
 
Friday May 24, 10 am – Saturday May 25, 12:12 pm PORTRAIT PAINTING MARATHON
Get your portrait painted
 
Sunday May 26, 4 pm – 5 pm BOOMERANG demo and workshop
Learn something new!
 
Sunday, May 26 SUNSET TANGO
Dance the night away!
5-6PM Beginner lesson -taught by Alina Achenbach-Schill
6-7PM Potluck dinner – join the Tango community
7-8PM The Tango Experience – Practica – Barnaby Ruhe
8PM   Milonga – Community Dance Party
 
Monday, May 27, ANIMAL GAME – Seek and Befriend Your Shamanic Power Animal 1-4PM Summon your animal powers
 
For more info on any of these events, see the SF Newsletter.
 
 
 
This Week at the Soil Factory:

Tuesday-Wednesday May 14-15, Monty Hamm’s installation is up: Mycelium Madness
Fungi sculptures at the Soil Factory
 
Tuesday May 14, Darkroom Cyanotypes and other hybrids 7PM
Focus on specific techniques in the darkroom

Wednesday May 15, Darkroom Exploits 7-9PM
Basic black and white photography

Thursday May 16, Creative Thursdays 10:30-12:30
Kiddos and parents exploring art in nature

Friday May 17, Pizza and Pyrolysis 5:30PM
Learn about pyrolysis and try out our renovated pizza oven

Friday May 17, Food Forest 5:30PM
Planning and planting of berries and bushes

Saturday May 18, Zine Workshop 1:30-4PM
Hands on making of your very own zine

Sunday May 19, Make Mends Meet 10:30-1PM
Mending our clothes and ourselves

Sunday May 19, Whole Hog Roast 4:30PM
Third annual Hog Roast party–food for everyone (non-meat options too)!
 
Monday May 20, De/Critique Group 5-7PM
Feedback group for your artistic creations
 

This Week at the Soil Factory:

Tuesday May 7, Speculative Futures for Cornell Land, 5:30PM

A Cornell class in design shares their creative ideas for reminagining the land holdings of Cornell, inspired from research, historical texts and local partners. Dinner after.

Wednesday May 8, More Darkroom Fun 7-9PM

Black and white photography and cyanotype fun continues. No experience necessary.

Thursday May 9, Creative Thursdays with Debora Faccion, 10:30-12:30

Kiddos and caregivers explore the fun of art through nature and discovery.

Friday May 10, Co-working and Cocktails 10-6:30

Bring your work and share space, place and coffee, tea and after hours beverages with your SF community.

Friday May 10 Food Forest Planning and Prep 5:30PM with potluck after

Continue planning and start prepping and planting.

Saturday, May 11, Soil Factory Clean Up, 1-5PM, pizza party after

Join in to help us clean up the Soil Factory inside and out! We’ll fire up the pizza oven afterwards.

Sunday, May 12, Clothing Swap and Trinket Trade 1-5PM 

Bring what you’re bored with…pick out something new to you!

Sunday, May 12, Road Ecology, 1-5PM

Learn about our local wildlife and their vulnerabilities. Bring a tshirt or something to silkscreen on.

For more details, see this week’s SF Newsletter.

This week at the Soil Factory:

Tuesday, April 30, Artist Residency Meeting 6PM
For anyone interested in being involved in running the Art Residency Program at the SF

Wednesday, May 1, Parallel Passages Art Exhibition Opening 6-8PM
Student projects explore animation and video installations, electronic sound objects, kinetic sculptures and Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences. Bring your mobile device and headphones to best experience some of the pieces.

Thursday, May 2, Creative Thursdays with Debora Faccion, 10:30-12:30 

Exploration of art with children 0-12 and their caregivers for discovery of new media and techniques.

Saturday, May 4, Music at the SF hosted by Travis Johns, 8PM
One of those weird music shows we host here from time to time. Three great musical artists.

Sunday, May 5, Work Party on the Greenhouse, 9-3
Come mix, mingle, and help build a greenhouse…

Sunday, May 5, Make Mends Meet, 10:30-1
Mending, stitching, sewing together. No skill needed!

Sunday, May 5, Climate Fiction Writing Group, 3-5PM
Read, write and talk about Climate Fiction (Cli Fi)

Sunday, May 5, Wing Fling, 6PM
Join in for a wander to look at and draw insects; potluck dinner together!

Tuesday, May 7, Speculative Futures, 5:30PM
Listen to new thoughts about Cornell land by a student group studying speculative futures. See their ideas. Stay for dinner!

For more info on any of these events, see the Soil Factory Newsletter!

March 20, (Wednesday) 7:00pm Thinking B&W photography — The basics of developing a roll of film. The developers and fixers are now here and ready for use!

For those potential visual luminaries who refuse to let the art of Black and White analog photography and other alternative photographic methods fade into oblivion under the onslaught of digital throw away culture and half second attention spans, Here’s your opportunity! The Soil Factory community darkroom continues it’s series of photography and image exploration.

The chemistry is here now and hopefully last week everyone had a chance to practice loading film onto the spools using the changing bag.  If not, there’s plenty of time to continue to master your technique.  These sessions are open to everyone curious enough to delve into the mysteries of the alternative photographic universe… 

This workshop is offered at no charge except for the cost of materials (Approximately $2.50 per film canister) Bring an exposed roll of Black and white film to develop. For those who don’t have an old film camera or rolls of B&W film, The Soil Factory has a few loaners and invites those people interested in exploring to come ask questions, and learn more.

Future workshops will delve into the mysteries of creating images using classic photographic enlargers, those behemoths that both inspired and challenged generations of darkroom enthusiasts. Cyanotypes, salt prints, van dyke prints and other alternative techniques including caffenol (essentially developing film with cheap instant coffee and orange juice) and other interesting combinations. Let’s explore some possibilities.  Please contact neil@askpearl.com to make sure enough room and materials are available for the event.

 

Debora Faccion Grodzki is incorporating into her studio practice to be at the SF warehouse every Thursday morning — most of the time with children!

She writes:
“…My little intervention today was also to invite whoever wants to talk through their thoughts about creative projects — how to structure it theoretically, find art historical references, etc — to feel free to meet me at the warehouse on Thursdays too! I have a few years of experience mentoring artists this way, and I would love to chat with folks at the SF. Again, I plan to be there every Thursday morning, usually between 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM, so it will be easy to find me. Anyone who is a parent/ caregiver and would like to meet me there with their children, please email me in advance so I know their age and can plan accordingly. Or show up to invent something together on the spot! Everyone is an artist, too, and everything I do is art (I write more about this in my artist statement), so we can figure anything out together at The Soil Factory.”

March 22 (Friday),  8:00pm Claude and Ola Aldous, Marilyn Borer Bor, Multifungi, & Vaux Flores
Our resident electronic music maven Travis Johns has invited some friends from the Adirondacks to come by and treat us to their explorative mix of musical talent. Joining us tonight will also be visual & performance artist Marilyn Borer Bor whose work explores her Mayan heritage, directly addressing racism, patriarchy, colonialism, identity, etc. through print, video, performance, photography, installation and artifact, often going to such extremes as literally changing her name as well as encasing herself in concrete. Paulina Velazquez Solís will be performing live animation and sound, and Travis himself will be taking some video synthesis hardware for a spin? We’re in for an exciting evening!

The Storied Maple: Community Storytelling Around a Maple Sap Boil

Due to Rain, this event has been moved to Sunday March 24, 1pm – 4pm 

March 23 (Saturday), 4pm – 6pm Rural Futurists with Ojok Okello and Jacob Fox

Community builder and rural futurist Ojok Okello, the organizer of the Okere City Community Development project in Uganda, will sit down with Jacob Fox, a local regenerative systems expert from Geneva NY to discuss the topic of Rural Futurism. Ojok is doing fabulous work on this concept in Uganda and has agreed to share his experiences with us.  

What can we learn from Ojok’s Okere City Project, and what is the relevance of this kind of thinking and approach to upstate NY? Come and hear more from these visionaries.  

March 23 (Saturday) 6:00pm – 8:00pm Community Potluck

Come and enjoy good food and conversation
 to wrap up Saturday’s activities. Meet new and interesting people, and reconnect with old friends. Bring a dish to pass with your food of choice, though food made with the 3 sisters in mind (corn, beans or squash) would be particularly apropos for the occasion. Each of our community meals leads to interesting new ideas,  nascent projects, and captivating discussions. Come and enjoy what The Soil Factory is all about!
 
And if we’re lucky, John Walsh will bring his homemade cacophone; a really unique instrument and everyone gets to play a part
The Storied Maple: Community Storytelling Around a Maple Sap Boil
 
SUNDAY, MARCH 24, 2024
1:00 – 4:00 PM
The Soil Factory
 
 
Join our durational storytelling session over boiling pots of maple sap on a spring afternoon. While boiling down the sap around a fire together, storytellers with a range of backgrounds and experiences will share their connection to the Maple tree and the forest. Members of the public are invited to join in with their own maple stories and to learn about the process of creating maple syrup. As we stir the pot together, we will boil down ideas and sap, creating syrup by the end of the day for all to enjoy.
 
Honoring our deep and ongoing connection to land, invited storytellers include local indigenous leaders, tree researchers, artists, historians, maple farmers, food scientists and more. Participating storytellers include:
Anna Davidson
Mike DeMunn (Onödowáʼga)
Josh Dolan
Emma Gutierrez
Stephen Henhawk (Gayogo̱hó:nǫˀ)
Kelly Presutti
Michelle Seneca (Gayogo̱hó:nǫˀ)
Gabe Smith
Alina Stelick

Past Events

March 16 (Saturday) 5:00pm; Artist Talk — Matthew Fenn and Weeds in Winter;

Matthew Fenn explores environmental transitions and plant resilience outside of the Northeast growing season.  

Matthew explains:
“During this past November and December, I collected the remains of common agricultural weeds from meadows around Ithaca and used these as templates for making cyanotypes- an alternative form of photography with historical ties to plant classification and taxonomy.  In capturing ghostly images of what’s left behind from these plants in the “off season,” my hope is to document some of the species- especially those often overlooked or undesired- that contribute every year to the character of our regional landscape.  Furthermore, I want to reflect upon how these plant communities may fluctuate and adapt to a changed environment in the years to come.”

Matthew’s work will be displayed at TSF through March 23.

 

Debora Faccion Grodzki is incorporating into her studio practice to be at the SF warehouse every Thursday morning — most of the time with children!

She writes:
“I spent some time this morning at the warehouse thinking through ideas, and I created a little poster and added a couple of books to the display that currently shows what Johannes brought about Black Mountain College. I plan to leave my poster there for one or two weeks. However, my little intervention today was also to invite whoever wants to talk through their thoughts about creative projects — how to structure it theoretically, find art historical references, etc — to feel free to meet me at the warehouse on Thursdays too! I have a few years of experience mentoring artists this way, and I would love to chat with folks at the SF. Again, I plan to be there every Thursday morning, usually between 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM, so it will be easy to find me. Anyone who is a parent/ caregiver and would like to meet me there with their children, please email me in advance so I know their age and can plan accordingly. Or show up to invent something together on the spot! Everyone is an artist, too, and everything I do is art (I write more about this in my artist statement), so we can figure anything out together at The Soil Factory.”

March 8-15th   Curator Milan Taylor and artists Mia Brown-Seguin, Tim Green, Eli Newell, and Bradley Verhelle have installed their exhibition in The Soil Factory warehouse. In Small Things Forgotten will be on view with a reception and artist talk March 15th (Friday) 6:00pm – 8:00pm.

In Small Things Forgotten is an exploration of art and archaeology through elements of the natural world and how humans mold them. The multidisciplinary exhibition encourages audience participation with many of the displays and invites questions about scale, influence, and care. Featuring work from Cornell students in fine arts, soil sciences, archaeology, and environmental science programs.

March 11th-16th The Soil Factory welcomes our next Artist-in-Residence, Maria Mironova, who says: “Hello, I’m Masha. I mainly work with photography and alternative photographic processes. I am interested in fragmenting certain images to expose a larger picture, one that is hiding in separate pieces of film.” She’ll be  discovering what fragmented images may lurk in the warehouse and beyond!

February 24th (Saturday) 4pm – 6pm: Artist in Residence Debora Faccion Grodzki will present I Bring You Flowers, an exhibition to conclude her residency at The Soil Factory.

From our artist in residence Debora Faccion Grodzki

This week, I’ll be meeting every day with folks who scheduled with me, and everyone is welcome to help me spread as much casein paint as possible on a large canvas that I’ll be placing inside the warehouse. On Thursday, in particular, I’ll meet with Marisa Mandabach, who, like me, is an art historian + painter + mother of a little one living in Ithaca. Marisa proposes that we do a 45-minute workshop about baroque European “forest floor” paintings. She wrote: “Flourishing in the second half of the seventeenth century, such images offered viewers a transgressive glimpse into nature’s secrets: the murky, steamy, mossy world of the understory. This reflected the new visual culture of microscopy, which revealed the life forces hidden in materia, a whole universe in a handful of mud. In a world where the “artist” had been defined as an essentially masculine figure—heroically infusing dead materials with life—forest floor paintings also represented an alternative, more maternal model of artistry aligned with the creativity of mother nature. The genre was taken up by many women painters whose works we will discuss.” After her workshop, if there is interest, I can lead an intuitive drawing session to experiment with creating images of plants that go beyond the botanical or the microscopic “figurative.”

Marisa and I will meet on Thursday February 15 from 10:30 AM – 12 PM, and we hope other folks can meet with us, too. Please let me know if you are available that day and time and if you would feel like joining us!  

Saturday, February 17th, between 4 and 6 PM, another local mother, Stephany Item, will lead an Embodiment Movement Session. Please bring a yoga mat if you have one. We will welcome children of every age with their caregivers! There is one artwork to do collectively during this session, and the canvas will continue to be available for some free painting, too! Also, a few local mothers who are visual artists will bring their work to show at the event

February 18 (Sunday), from 1 – 4pm

Make Mends Meet – this week is gathering at a different time, combined with the Ithaca Barter Market into one huge event!

February 18 (Sunday), from 1 – 4pm; The Ithaca Barter Market & Make Mends Meet

Lots of  music, broom making, Make Mends Meet, embroidery, and low-tek mushroom cultivation. This is one day you don’t want to miss!

TSF member Allison Desario is hosting a barter market at The Soil Factory and everyone is invited!  She explains;

The Barter Market is a place where we can build community connections while divesting from the monetary system. It’s a cross between a farmers market, an artists market, and a skill share gathering where trading items, talent, food, medicine, etc. is more valuable than cash. Cash offers won’t be turned away but this is a chance to figure out what you can offer as a community member! Part of the goal for organizing these is an opportunity for people to continue bartering outside of the market, as well.

Some examples? Trading childcare for a haircut, gutter cleaning for clothes tailoring, massage sessions for a vegetable csa, or any other ideas you might have. Skill share workshop presenters and musicians are offering their wisdom and talent throughout the day, we also want to make sure they get barter offers for their time! If this sounds intriguing, come to The Soil Factory with your goods, your skills, and an open mind. We’ll have some kids toys for the little ones.

This week, we wind down from a busy autumn. We’ll have one last movie night for this year, celebrating the season in classic form. Our feature film this Friday December 8th at 8pm will be the original Thin Man starring Myrna Loy, William Powell and Asta the wonder dog. This 1934 film features a mystery, and the unbeatable dialog and repartee between the two stars.

December 4 (Monday), 9:30am: Miyawaki Forest Planning & Goal Session

We’re planning a Miyawaki Forest right here at The Soil Factory along with our friends at Trees Up Tompkins (TUT).

Today we’re coordinating joint goals and objectives and creating our work plan. Everyone is invited to come and take part.   

Do these forests actually sequester enough carbon to be part of a global solution? 

Let’s do some planting and research the possibilities!

Miyawaki forests grow 10x faster, are 30x denser and contain 100x more biodiversity. Since they’re quick to establish, maintenance-free after the first two-to-three years, and can be created on sites as small as 3 sq meters.

December 3 (Sunday) 2:00pm Watch Football (soccer) with Fellow Fans on the big screen at The Soil Factory.
This week it’ll be Liverpool vs. Fulham.  Surely chips and drinks will make an appearance, but feel free to bring your own refreshments to share and enjoy as well. Experience the camaraderie and excitement of watching the match on our big screen.

December 3 (Sunday),  10:30 -1:30pm Make Mends Meet with Kathrin Achenbach

“It’s getting chilly outside, time to get our winter clothes ready. Bring sweaters, shirts, socks and whatever else needs some creative mending and prepare yourself for the cold. We’ll have tea and cookies and basic mending supplies. The space will be funky and warm. If you have any yarn or wool scraps from leftover projects, they would make a welcome addition to our mending kits”.

Last one of the year. Make Mends Meet will continue in January.

December 2 (Saturday), 2pm – 5pm Basket Weaving with invasive plants workshop. 

Come learn about different methods of basketweaving using invasive plants gathered from the local area.

December 2 (Saturday), 12pm – 4pm Clothing Swap

September’s Clothing Swap was a huge success, this one may be even bigger! Bring your unwanted clothes and find new favorites…

And please stay for the invasive plants basketweaving workshop below. 

This event has been rescheduled for March 2, 2024

Artist Ashley Teamer will give an artist talk followed by a DJ set. Ashley grew up in New Orleans, LA and Lake Providence, LA. Her collages explore the relationships between the body, nature, space, and time. As an artist and DJ she uses sound to creatively intervene with indoor and outdoor architecture revealing the malleability of our built environment.

Thursday, November 30, 5:30-7:30, Our Unnatural Home: Alfred Aboagye, Sara Abouchaaoua, Ingrid Comella, Maya Cruz, Elena Gonzalez, Roxy Moore, and Lauren Song present their art projects as part of the course Environment & Sustainability, taught by Kelly Presutti and Johannes Lehmann, in an exhibition at the Soil Factory. Light refreshments provided, as well as lots of fun and conversation.

Come join us at the Soil Factory on Sunday, November 26 at 2pm to spend some quality time together and watch a soccer (football, really) match. Let’s end the long weekend with some fun and conversation as we watch two underdogs of the English Premier League, Nottingham Forest and Brighton, go head-to-head in this 13th week of an exciting season.

(Note that this match is actually taking place on November 25, we’ll be watching a replay)

 
Surely chips and drinks will make an appearance, but feel free to bring your own refreshments to share and enjoy as well.

November 18, (Saturday) 5-7pm:
Potluck with Artist-in-Residence Nance Klehm!

Join Nance on her return visit to the Soil Factory for an informal chat over dinner.  Learn more about Nance’s ongoing projects in the complex intersections of the theory and practice of land politics and soil health over vegan lasagna, salad, a dessert, and wine — that’s what we’re bringing, but please do bring a dish or beverage to share!  All are welcome!

November 17 (Friday) 8pm Friday Night Movie: Chinatown (1974) (2h 11m) Directed by Roman Polanski starring Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson. If you’ve never seen it, here’s your opportunity.

Unforgettable film noir. Charles Champlin of the LA Times writes;In its total recapturing of a past, in its plot, its vivid characterizations, its carefully calculated and accelerating pace, its whole demonstration of a medium mastered, Chinatown reminds you again that motion pictures are larger, not smaller than life.

November 11 (Saturday) at 1pm: Hoe cakes, Sorghum syrup, and Pyrolysis
A winning combination!

Come by The Soil Factory this Saturday at 1pm to fire up the kontiki to make some biochar and eat “hoe cakes” smothered in sorghum syrup, (based on an old family recipe from Ben Boynton’s grandfather’s grandfather, who was a cook back in the Civil War). Local sorghum syrup moguls Carl Batt and Lou Hom will talk about sorghum, an up and coming crop, and discuss their syrup production methods. 

November 10 (Friday) 8pm: Movie Night: Sovereign Soil (91 minutes) a 2019 documentary directed by Dave Curtis.
SYNOPSIS: (from JustWatch.com)
Built on a layer of frozen earth, Dawson City, Yukon, Canada has subarctic winters where temperatures routinely drop below −40°C. Meet the four season food producers who engage in small-scale agriculture, and those who support their back-to-the-land movement. These resilient unassuming farmers have carved out small patches of fertile soil, in an otherwise unforgiving expanse of isolated wilderness, to make a living and a life.

November 9 (Thursday) at 5:30pm: We take the visit of Bram Govaerts (Director General of CIMMYT) as an excuse to organize an intriguing event to probe the role of the performing arts in agricultural development. Climate change, global markets, and industry can create situations that lead to migration and food insecurity. Sarah K. Chalmers and Debra Ann Castillo are designing an evening of performances and conversations together with Johannes Lehmann, imagining a cross-cutting movement to build bridges to address some of the greatest challenges of our time.
There will be free dinner and free drinks!

November 4 (Saturday) at 11:30am: Raised bed setup.
We received another 100 strawbales at The Soil Factory.  You’re invited to come help set up the rest of the bale-based raised beds on Saturday if you’re so inclined – We’ll be out there starting at 11:30 am.  If you have any bags of leaves or similar for filling the beds, that would also be much appreciated!

November 8 (Wednesday Morning) at 9:30am: Miyawaki Forest Confab. Following our in-depth tour of Jonathan Bates’ Miyawaki forest project at Longspoon Farm, it’s now time to get serious about starting one of our own. In partnership with Trees Over Tompkins we’re meeting at The Soil Factory to select an onsite location for the experimental forest (please wear boots). One of our primary interests is to measure the project’s carbon offsetting potential (if any), and at what point during the process it reaches carbon neutral. Everyone is invited to take part in this groundbreaking research.

October 29th (Sunday) 4-6pm End of Season Marshy Garden Celebration
Ash and Brandon are extending an invitation:

Come join us as we take a moment to appreciate the tremendous growth, exciting sightings, work, love and support that occurred in the garden this year.

Some light refreshments will be served, but if you can, supplement with your own beverages and please bring your own cup.

Last year’s celebration was interrupted by the appearance of a massive roaring combine that proceeded to process the adjacent corn field.  Let’s hope that it’s a little less nerve-jarring and more eco-sensitive this year.

October 26 (Thursday) 4:30 – 6pm offsite at Buffalo Books: Story House Mending Circle 
October 29 (Sunday) 10:30 – 1pm at The Soil Factory: Make Mends Meet

From Kathrin Achenbach:
“Do you have a favorite sweater or other clothing item that has seen better days? Have moths feasted on your sweaters over the years? Do your toes get cold because your socks have holes? Are there any scarves, hats and accessories, shirts, jeans or other clothes in the back of your closet that you would wear if only they didn’t have holes, or ripped seams or a big spill from a dinner long ago?

Come and join us at our first mending circle in town in collaboration with the fabulous folks at Story House Ithaca. Come to Buffalo Books, browse a little and then join the menders in the back room. No supplies? No problem! We have everything to get you starting. Just bring yourself and an item to mend.

Have never mended anything in your life or even threaded a needle? You are not the only one and it’s never too late to learn something new. Everyone is welcome and no prior knowledge is needed.

Mending is good for you and good for the planet!
Can’t finish everything on Thursday?

Come again to our biweekly gathering on Sunday, this time at The Soil Factory. Have lots of things to mend? Come to both!

Can’t wait to see you there!

Thursday, Oct 26, 4:30pm – 6pm
Buffalo Books
215 Cayuga Street (next to Greenstar Oasis)

Sunday, October 29, 10:30am – 1pm 
The Soil Factory October 29 (Sunday) 10:30-1pm Make Mends M
eet

October 27 (Friday) at 5:30pm: Nnenna Okore visits The Soil Factory for a panel discussion (stay tuned for details)

Nnenna Okore‘s work broadly focuses on ecological concerns that are specifically related to waste, carbon emission, and energy consumption. Using plant-based materials (in particular, food scraps and food waste), she creates bioplastic which is made into large sculptural forms and art installations. (from her webpage)

Nnenna is visiting Cornell University and the Johnson Museum for various lectures this week, and agreed to be part of a session at The Soil Factory. Since 2005, she is on the faculty of the Art Department at North Park University, Chicago.

October 25th (Wednesday), 9:30am: Field trip to explore an existing Miyawaki Forest in Brooktondale.

Miyawaki forests grow 10x faster, are 30 x denser and contain 100x more biodiversity. Since they’re quick to establish, maintenance-free after the first two-to-three years, and can be created on sites as small as 3 sq m (from Sugi website above.)

Looking forward to having you visit. Come to 2137 Slaterville Road in Brooktondale. If using a mapping app you can also search for Longspoon Farm.

On October 21st (Saturday) 1-4pm Bring your work gloves and join Soil Factory members, Mitch Glass, Rebecca Nelson and Johannes Lehmann as we reimagine and build a circular bionutrient experimental garden using hay bales and other assorted area detritusThere’s nothing like a flourishing circular garden to evoke the cycle of life.

October 20th (Friday) 8pm: Friday night movie Pelo Malo, a film by Mariana Rondón.  A rare look at race relations in Latin America.
Venezuela/Peru/Germany, 2013, (93 min).  Another multiple film festival award winner.

From IMDb…
“A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother.”
 
From Tom Long of the Detroit News:
There’s a sense of being trapped that permeates “Bad Hair” – trapped in your own flesh, trapped in circumstances, trapped in the family you’re born into.”

On Sunday October 15 from 5-7pm We’re organizing a community conversation to advance the consensus and strategy around the idea of transforming our municipal biosolids into biochar.  Snacks and beverages will be supplied!

Thermochemical transformation (pyrolysis) of biosolids is expected to lead to a number of benefits:

  • Elimination of organic pollutants (hormones, pharma, PFAS, etc.) as well as pathogens and odor
  • Carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reductions (methane and nitrous oxide)
  • Volume and mass reduction by more than 90% – cost reduction for transport
  • From waste to value:  biochar is a valuable soil amendment and/or sponge to soak up and immobilize pollutants
  • Biosolids biochar can be used for soaking up PFAS

The hope is that the biochar produced from our excreta can be used as a Brita filter to remove PFAS at source (landfill leachate before transport).  This could save a lot of money over time, but will take some doing to get it started.

We’re looking to bring together people with interest and influence around this proposition.  This includes people from the technical side (WWTP and Cornell people), the political side (people representing the city, town and state), civil society reps, community members, etc. We hope to work together to make our community a leader in managing wastes in a way that creates value and reduces environmental hazards.

Sunday October 15,  10am – 1pm Make Mends Meet
If your sweater would benefit from some colorful pockets and/or patches, come this Sunday. You can also add some stitches to the Mandala community project which will be on display. Thank you all for coming out and making the Mandala Open House such a great and welcoming experience. And, as always, bring any garment or project and come stitch at The Soil Factory. The heat (and tea kettle) will be on.

On Saturday October 14th
You are invited to become a member of the Ithaca Department of Arts and Futures.

In the Year 2030, the city of Ithaca is thriving. Both the environmentalist and arts communities are celebrating the progress they have made over the past seven years and how they have worked together to achieve their goals. They join together to create: The Ithaca Department of Arts and Futures.

However, the Assistant Manager of Cross-Temporal Communications and Secretary of Joy and Play are concerned when they look back at the city’s recent past. In 2023, the culture at large seemed pessimistic about the future. So, they decide to time travel to the past to plan a marvelous event: a sharing of the projects already underway, a creative visioning of the futures to come, and most importantly, a… dance party featuring Motherwort.

 

Friday October 13, 8-10:30pm Movie Night;  Special screening of The Territory…
Watch the inspiring documentary by young Ithaca filmmakers, then stick around for an informal discussion.

In recognition of Indigenous People’s Day, Story House Ithaca and The Soil Factory present “The Territory,” a powerful Sundance and Peabody Award-winning documentary from the Brazilian Amazon directed by Ithaca native Alex Pritz and produced by fellow Ithacan Will Miller (who happens to be the son of Story House co-director Jonathan Miller and Soil Factory co-founder Rebecca Nelson.)  
 
The Territory tells the story of the Uru-eu-wau-wau people, fewer than 200 strong, and their energetic youth-led effort to keep land invaders at bay during the term of President Jair Bolsonaro. Their poor landless adversaries are also given plenty of time to explain their motivations. The film is gorgeously shot and unfolds like a fictional feature, with strong characters and deeply moving moments captured on camera

TSF is excited to be part of the Mandala Open House Celebration at Ithaca College on Sunday October 8th. If you want to move your hands and learn a few easy stitches, come to The Soil Factory between 10am and 12pm and participate in stitching a textile mandala.

Then join us at 2pm at IC’s Park Business School and watch the Tibetan monks use their creativity and concentration to construct a sacred sand mandala. Kathrin Achenbach will be downstairs in the lower level atrium to continue to stitch and grow the textile mandala. The rhythmic movement of the hands can quiet the mind and done with company, always lead to laughter and stories. Come for any, or the whole part. No sewing skills needed. Everyone is welcome.

Remember last year’s community dinner where foods were grouped by color?  Here’s a new iteration!  A salivating new community event!

Saturday October 7th 3 – 6 pm

Community Potluck Tasting
“SEEKING SALIVATION: Sweet/Salty/Sour”

Please bring a sweet, salty, and/or sour topping for rice. Rice provided.
Mix. Match. Taste. Share.

Sweet toppings: duck sauce, sweet relish, agave nectar, honey mustard, raisins, molasses, dates, beets, mango, coconut…

Salty toppings: chopped peanuts, anchovies, crispy spinach, olives, gravy, kimchi, capers, bacon, soy sauce, miso paste, seaweed….

Sour toppings: sauerkraut, lemon sauce, yogurt dressing, rhubarb sauce, pickled veggies, sour cream, tomatillo sauce, kumquats, sorrel…

“LIKABLE/LICKABLE WORKS of ART”
Create your own spicy artwork.
Organized by Jessica Peery, creative educator
and founder/director of “Rainbow Brain”

Materials provided.
Families welcome.

Also…We have a special event scheduled during this emerging tongue adventure…

Blindfold Tasting:  Decommissioning Sight for Reconditioning Taste
Organized by current artists in residence Nathaniel Hendrickson and Pietro Varrasso.

It’s just one more reason to drop everything this Saturday and come experience The Soil Factory.

Contact Linda Weintraub (linda@artnowpublications.com) if you would like to explore this theme by exhibiting or performing.

October 7, (Saturday) 11am – 3pm Fall Clothing Swap
Mark your calendar for an epic clothing swap. Last spring’s event was an incredible success. This year we’ll do even better. Bring unwanted or damaged clothes/fabric and find new favorites. There’s something for everyone! We’ll even fire up the cob oven for pizza.
Friday Oct. 6. from 4:30 – 5:30pm
 
Artists in Residence Pietro Varrasso and Nathaniel Hendrickson will be hosting a laboratory in collective movement, sound and video creation in the landscape this week, please join us.
 
Please bring comfortable clothes for hiking and active movement. All are welcome.
 
 

October 5,  (Thursday) 5-8pm — One Night Only Earth Expressions, An Art Exhibition 
See work by Cornell students in Earth Projects, a traveling field course fusing art, ecology, culture, and sustainability taught by Anna Davidson.
For One Night Only…  Don’t miss this event! It’s unique and promises to be special!

October 1 – 8 Artist Nathaniel Hendrickson, returns to The Soil Factory Residency for the week with director and actor Pietro Varrasso to reimagine The Soil Factory residency environment. Be sure to stop by and say hello.

October 1st (Sunday) between 10am-12:45pm Kathrin Achenbach will host another Make Mends Meet. It’s getting chilly outside, time to get our winter clothes ready. Bring sweaters, shirts, socks and whatever else needs some creative mending and prepare yourself for the cold. We’ll have tea and cookies and basic mending supplies. The space will be funky and warm. If you have any yarn or wool scraps from leftover projects, they would make a welcome addition to our mending kits

September 22, (Friday) 8pm, Friday Movie Night: Tonight we’ll feature The Wind Will Carry Us (1999) (1 hr 58 min) Iranian film directed by Abbas Kiarostami. Landscapes and mystery, an engineer arrives from Tehran to rural Iran and becomes fascinated with the people of the village where he stays and works.

Sunday, September 17, 10am to 12:30pm
Make Mends Meet 
continues to meet in fall every other Sunday with good company, tea and cookies. We also have fabulous clothes to “seed” another clothing swap this fall. Come this Sunday to make, mend and plan with us.

If you don’t have an item to mend but would like some creative company and/or feedback on a project, your presence will make a difference in our explorations.

No prior mending knowledge necessary.

Friday, Sept 15, 7pm: Join Donna Oblongata for a preview of her upcoming Philly Fringe performance, THE VAN GOGH SHOGH!

A little bit karaoke, a little bit sip n’ paint, and a little bit Sotheby’s. Expect a bunch of moving projections of beautiful paintings by a tortured Dutchman. Come experience the Real Van Gogh Immersive Experience. Free show. Bring cash.

Note: this show isn’t suitable for kids or dogs… apologies!

Donna Oblongata is a multidisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia (and former art-in-residence at The Soil Factory). Her work has been seen around the world, in fields, warehouses, squats, community centers, music festivals, art galleries, and 200 seat theaters. For more info: www.donnaoblongata.com

IG: @Donna Oblongata


September 8 (Friday) 8:00pm (2hrs 28 min)

Continuing our theme of alternative worlds (Neptune Frost, Brazil, The Hole), we present Christopher Nolan’s classic film: Inception (2010) as a counterweight to his current hit Oppenheimer, and as a further exploration of the concept of dream sharing which we first examined last year through the Hungarian film On Body and Soul. 
 
From Rotten Tomatoes; “Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.

Has it aged better than most modern day films? Let’s have some fun and see! Popcorn provided.

September 7 (Thursday) at 6pm The Death of Soil Humus

Johannes Lehmann will lead a discussion on the emergent scholarship that soil humus and humification does actually not exist. But what does?

The history of humanity is intricately linked with soil, creation stories as much as the development of civilizations across the world. Johannes will give us his view on the story and some x-ray spectroscopy thrown in for good measure. Bring tissues for when you feel emotional about the demise of humus.

And let’s eat some soil together (or some other things…; including wine made with different organic amendments on different soils,- let’s do some wine tasting!)

September 3 (Sunday) 10am – 1pm Make Mends Meet

Kathrin Achenbach reports that:
“Mending has been very much on my mind over the summer, so I’ve started
‘mending’ books for this year’s upcoming Banned Books Week 2023.
Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada states: ‘Our 2023 Banned Books Week theme – ‘Let Freedom Read’ – captures what’s at stake for our democracy: that the safety of our right to speak and think freely is directly in proportion to our right
to read.’

I’d also love to think with you together about a larger vision of
mending, as a social art practice that takes care of people and the
environment in a creative way.

Come this Sunday 9/3 to The Soil Factory between 10am and 1pm. Bring
an item to mend, something else you are working on or… nothing at all.
As always, your presence will make all the difference. Everyone is
welcome and no prior knowledge needed.”

August 26 (Saturday) 1pm – 4pm Artists Gym; a unique way to create a connection between creativity and the environment-  Here’s how they describe it:

Story House Ithaca and OJI:SDA’ Sustainable Indigenous Futures are pleased to present Artist Gym, an innovative workshop that uses arts-based exercises to inspire creative connection. Led by theater artist Sarah Plotkin and photographer Tahila Mintz, we’ll move, create visual art, improvise, and write in a fun, supportive environment. Everyone is welcome!

Tahila is an Indigenous Yaqui and Jewish woman and founder and executive director of OJI:SDA’ Sustainable Indigenous Futures. She works across multiple platforms and organizations to amplify the voices of Indigenous people and the natural world. Sarah founded Artist Gym and has run dozens of sessions in New York and Boston. Last November, she facilitated the first-ever Artist Gym in Ithaca.

This session explores reflection and connection. How do we clear the mind and center ourselves as we move through transitions? What is the role of light, water, and other elements in our experience of self-reflection and community connection?”

August 25 Friday Night Movie at 8:30pm, The Hole. We ran out of time a few weeks ago so we’re trying again: Taiwanese director Ming-liang Tsai’s prescient love story from 1998, The Hole. A man (Kang-sheng Lee) and a woman (Kuei-Mei Yang) live in quarantine from a virus whose victims display strange symptoms.

Lee Hutton from Film Inquiry describes the film ;”With its flashes of humor and music, The Hole is a disturbingly timely depiction of humanity in crisis as well as a reminder that there are always places to find light if you squint hard enough through the gloom.”

August 25 (Friday) 4pm – 8pm Pyrolysis! CharMania! — time to fire up the TSF kon-tiki and make some biochar. Join Rebecca Nelson as she goes to work recycling years of her lab’s corn experiments and take an opportunity to learn more about the amazing properties and uses of this carbon sequestering material, and how to create it.

August 20, (Sunday) anytime between 10am and 12:30pm Make Mends Meet

Join a group of makers and menders for sharing stories, mending, sewing or knitting. Bring an item that needs some care or an unfinished project/idea for some feedback. No need to bring supplies. We have needles, thread and fabric scraps, a couple of sewing machines and tea.

No prior knowledge needed, everyone is welcome!

August 19th (Saturday) from 9:45 am – 10:45 The Soil Factory will be hosting the start of Ithaca’s Pollinator Garden Tour.

From their announcement:

“The Marshy Garden is a living, restorative, and scalable art form. The project’s principal objective is to increase flora + fauna biodiversity through growing, planting, and caring for native plants. Through the work, we can attract both generalist and host-specific insect, bird, and mammal species, providing them with sustenance, shelter, and nesting sites. Through our design vision and native plant installation, what was once a monoculture turf lawn and debris dumping ground, is now transforming into an ecological oasis and experimental site for local restoration. To learn more check out our instagram @marshygarden_bzzzzz or at The Soil Factory website: www.soilfactory.org

Accessibility: We have aimed to make Marshy Garden as accessible as possible. There are no steps within the garden space. The land undulates, but much of it is level. Folks who cannot travel far distances can park adjacent to the site entrance. Walkways have been maintained to be at least 3 feet wide so that they are ADA compliant. There will be outdoor furniture for people to rest or sit at. Supporting signage in the garden will be in a large, contrasting font.”

August 18 (Friday)  8:30 pm, The Soil Factory presents the epic Sokurov film,  Russian Ark.  

From the Kanopy write-up;
“Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov (THE SUN) broke boundaries with his dreamlike vision of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, RUSSIAN ARK. It’s the first feature-length narrative film shot in a single take (on digital video, using a specially designed disc instead of tape). RUSSIAN ARK is shot from the point-of-view of an unseen narrator, as he explores the museum and travels through Russian history. The audience sees through his eyes as he witnesses Peter the Great (Maksim Sergeyev) abusing one of his generals; Catherine the Great (Maria Kuznetsova) desperately searching for a bathroom; and, in the grand finale, the sumptuous Great Royal Ball of 1913. The narrator is eventually joined by a sarcastic and eccentric 19th century French Marquis (Sergey Dreiden), who travels with him throughout the huge grounds, encountering various historical figures and viewing the legendary artworks on display. While the narrator only interacts with the Marquis (he seems to be invisible to all the other inhabitants), the Marquis occasionally interacts with visitors and former residents of the museum. The film was obviously shot in one day, but the cast and crew rehearsed for months to time their movements precisely with the flow of the camera while capturing the complex narrative, with elaborate costumes from different periods, and several trips out to the exterior of the museum. Tilman Buttner, the director of photography, was responsible for capturing it all in one single Steadicam shot.

(1 hour 39 minutes)”

August 17 (Thursday) 6pm  “Tending Ostreidae: Serenades for Settling” Artist Talk and Demo

“This week we welcome Stephanie Rothenberg, Suzanne Thorpe  and Silvia Ruzanka for the next residency.will discuss and present the first iteration of their ongoing work, Tending Ostreidae: Serenades for Settling (Version 1) They have been working with our sound artist Travis Johns implementing the work done in collaboration with the Center for Embodied Autonomy and Robotics  of U of Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and UB Department of Art

Tending Ostreidae: Serenades for Settling (Version 1) is a multimedia installation focused on the listening body of the heroic oyster. A water filter, sea level mitigator and food source, the oyster is a vital member of our ecosystem. Recently research has established that oysters sense safe settlement habitats through sound. Researchers have also discovered that they are sensitive to loud sounds at certain pitches, which potentially disturbs their reproductive process. 

Our talk will detail the acoustic sensibilities of oysters and discuss how our research has identified acoustic intrusions at reef restoration sites in NYC’s Harbor. In addition we will introduce our multimedia installation, and address how we combine field recordings, generative data, animations and robotic oysters to speculatively emulate an oyster’s habitat and impacts of human noise disruptions in NYC’s waterways. Finally participants will be invited to experience the installation, and contemplate how the artwork animates critical questions, such as: how do we listen for safe harbors, and what do they sound like? Can we amplify new ways to tend to the more-than-human-world and listen for how it tends to us? Can listening with oysters guide us to a politics of mutual tending and a healthier ecosystem? 

August 12, (Saturday) 9:00 a.m.  SCYTHING WORKSHOP AND KNOWLEDGE SHARE with Ben Altman

Gas-powered lawn and garden equipment emits around 27 million tons of pollutants each year in the US – a major portion of nonroad gasoline emissions. Two-stroke engines are an important source of VOCs and criteria pollutants (EPA study). Scything, by contrast, is quiet, meditative, good exercise, and non-polluting. Come and learn all about the use and care of the European lightweight scythe, or bring your own scythe and share your experience. Size and strength are not needed – Ben was taught to scythe by an eight-year-old.  Do bring work gloves, please. Maybe we’ll form a SF scythe team!

August 9, (Wednesday) 7:30pm, join Film Night at The Soil Factory for a screening of  the Afrofuturist film Neptune Frost!  This 2021 science fiction romantic musical film co-directed by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman follows the relationship between Neptune and Matalusa, coltan miners whose love leads a hacker collective: Transgressive revolutionaries in a dazzlingly inventive drama from Anisia Uzeyman and musician Saul Williams, set in an alternate Burundi”…!  *Note: We’re holding Film Night earlier in the week than usual, because it’s such a perfect counterpoint to Mauricio’s exhibition.  Come early for the artwork and to meet the artist; stay and watch a glorious film under the sunsetting sky.

August 5th – 9th, join Mauricio Esquivel (El Salvador/NYC) for two events sharing his work. From 3-6 pm, we will have a hang-out body art party “Invisible” hosted by his alter ego Postropical, and from 5-8 pm come and see the Ithaca version of the installation “Mantenerse Humano” that has been growing during his residency influenced by the grounds and landscapes of The Soil Factory. Come by for one or both events! BYOB, we will have some light snacks and drinks.

“Mantenerse Humano” will open to the public on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 from 6-8 pm

////
El Sabado 5 de Agosto, acompañen a Mauricio Esquivel (El Salvador/NYC) para dos eventos donde compartirá su trabajo. De 3-6 pm “Invisible” una fiesta de BodyArt con su alter ego Postropical y de 5-8pm pasen a ver la instalación “Mantenerse Humano” en su versión hecha en Ithaca, con la influencia de materiales y del espacio durante su estancia en el Soil Factory. Vengan a uno o ambos eventos! BYOB tendremos algo de snacks y bebidas para compartir.

“Mantenerse Humano” estará abierto al público el Martes 8 y Miércoles 9 de 6-8 pm.

August 6, (Sunday) Make Mends Meet continues this and every other Sunday for the summer between 10am and 1pm.

Between inside and outside come for a little bit or stay for the whole time.

July 30th (Sunday) at 11am; Neil Schill invites those curious about creating cyanotypes on fabric to bring an extra “light colored t-shirt” and their creativity as we scrounge The Soil Factory environment for interesting materials and then paint with light.

Also on July 28th at 8:30pm we take note of the hubbub surrounding Barbie and take a look at the other side…time for a double-feature! our first movie this week will feature Todd Haynes’ Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, followed by Taiwanese director Ming-liang Tsai’s prescient love story from 1998, The Hole. A man (Kang-sheng Lee) and a woman (Kuei-Mei Yang) live in quarantine from a virus whose victims display strange symptoms.

Lee Hutton from Film Inquiry describes the film ;”With its flashes of humor and music, The Hole is a disturbingly timely depiction of humanity in crisis as well as a reminder that there are always places to find light if you squint hard enough through the gloom.”

July 28th (Friday) 7:30pm; The Soil Factory will host a presentation featuring recent time-based media by Buffalo-based artist Jason Livingston. Landfill Backfill consists of a 35mm slide performance which co-authors a missing friend’s story via uncanny correspondence, a transmission from Vermonter goat-gods, and a ritual for this summer’s hazy wildfire suns. The evening explores a composted landscape of discarded electronics to sketch a topology of ecological desire. This world wired by animals and heat, by tech lust and busted dreams, by pink goo, by you, what shall we do?

July 26th, (Wednesday) 9pm: Supporting women’s soccer, we’re showing the World Cup game USA against The Netherlands at The Soil Factory (for those of you who do not know soccer or rather football in the rest of the world, this is happening at the moment in Australia and New Zealand). With inspiration from our friends of the Wajukuu collective in Nairobi and always trying out new activities, we are interested to see who in the Soil Factory community would be interested in watching international sports.

July 25th (Tuesday) at 6 pm Mauricio Esquivel artist from El Salvador based in NYC will hold an open studio for his artist in residency.

He’ll share some context on the ongoing collective project “Mantenerse Humano” to spark conversation about our post-pandemic time and the importance of preserving natural ecosystems and their relationship with the overexploitation of natural resources.

Mauricio will show a brief introduction of what he and his team will be working on during the next two years of “Mantenerse Humano” which highlights the themes of identity and the environment. Join us on Tuesday at 6pm (tonight) to get a glimpse of the stage of this iteration in Ithaca!

In the next few days, Mauricio will continue to work on this project and his practice at The Soil Factory, so feel free to reach out or just pop in to hang out, have a drink, and chat while the project keeps on changing.

July 17, (Monday) at 7:00pm Feminist environmental artist Betsy Damon will recount her role helping to establish Ithaca as a center for feminist/lesbian activism in the late 1970’s, and her distinguished art career centered around the themes of feminism and ecological activism.

Great opportunity to learn and talk with one of the original innovators.

July 14, (Friday) 8:30pm; Friday Night Movie: Koyaanisqatsi (1982) 86 minutes- with a riveting soundtrack by Phillip Glass

“Drawing its title from the Hopi word meaning “life out of balance,” this renowned documentary reveals how humanity has grown apart from nature. Featuring extensive footage of natural landscapes and elemental forces, the film gives way to many scenes of modern civilization and technology. Given its lack of narration and dialogue, the production makes its points solely through imagery and music, with many scenes either slowed down or sped up for dramatic effect.”

July 14 (Friday) 7:30pm Artist in Residence Max Fertik will present his latest project using our very own TSF Knotweed, which is growing in prodigious quantities. Come by and see what he’s up to and stay for The Friday Movie Night special. (see above).

July 10 – 17  Maxwell Fertik is our TSF Artist-in-Residence.

Max plans to explore and evaluate the surrounding environment in terms of plants and former pollutants of the area and create and display a series of biocomposite “screens” made from <introduced species> pulp mixed with cornstarch and water. The entire week, will be spent performing the repeated ritual of harvesting, soaking, and processing pulp as the screens of composite are drying which any and all visitors are welcome to take part in.

Maxwell Fertik is an American artist and designer whose work deals with environmental degradation and material ecologies of the post-industrial age. With a design practice informed by a background in sculpture, Max’s work seeks to constantly question the boundaries of art, design and social interaction.

July 10th – 17th performer and environmental artist Adam Shulman will be living and absorbing The Soil Factory experience creating new ideas and cogitating extensions of and from his existing work. He promises an interesting event during his stay.

July 9, (Sunday) Make Mends Meet continues this and every other Sunday for the summer between 10am and 1pm.

Between inside and outside come for a little bit or stay for the whole time.

July 5 – 8  (Wednesday – Saturday) The Soil Factory is hosting the Image Text Workshop. The Marshy Garden and the outdoor laboratory are open, but the warehouse and artist residency buildings are reserved specifically for their use. 

June 23, (Friday) starting at 4pm It’s summer party time! Mark your calendars… we are celebrating National Pollinator Week in the Marshy Garden (thank you Brandon Hoak and Ash Ferlito) along with the opening of our new exhibition, Running with Scissors, a special visual collaboration and conversation between abstract artist Melissa Zarem and photographer Elise Nicol. Now, add to this music from the incomparable duo of Fritz Horstmann (banjo, guitar, vocals and Michael Beggs (trumpet, slide guitar).

Alvaro Azcárraga, the current artist-in-residence, is presenting his installation, “RESIDENT FOREIGNERS,” featuring the introduced plant species growing on the Soil Factory grounds. He will provide homemade tamales filled with ‘quelites’ (edible weeds), along with samples of the interviews he has been conducting with local folks who are also ‘resident foreigners’. He is recording their cultural associations with introduced botanicals.

These quelites were plucked from The Soil Factory grounds!!!

Alvaro Azcárraga is a Mexican artist and researcher who works with plant-like organisms with a focus on the history of scientific colonialism. With a background in Molecular and Cellular Biology, he looks at how the micro relates to the human and beyond.

This is one summer extravaganza not to be missed!

Running with Scissors poster design by Evan Okun

June 23, (Friday) This week’s Friday Night Movie at 8:30pm is Fantastic Fungi by Louie Schwartzberg: Fantastical story featuring mycelium as the nerve center of the earth. It’s a bit kitschy but features incredible rarely seen time lapse photography, which makes for worthwhile viewing. Plus, the added bonus of an “out there” crazy hypothesis. Food for thought!

June 25, (Sunday) Make Mends Meet continues this and every other Sunday for the summer between 10am and 1pm.

Between inside and outside come for a little bit or stay for the whole time

June 17, (Saturday) 3 -5pm; RESIDENT FOREIGNERS
Alvaro Azcárraga celebrates our local living botanicals and the human narratives they continue to inspire. The installation enables visitors to visualize biological/cultural links by raising the ground at our feet to the level of our eyes.

TAMALADA (tamale-making/eating reception).
3 – 5 pm. Saturday, June 17

Meet the artist.  
Taste his tamales.  
Learn new and old ways to fold corn husks into tamale bundles.
Azcárraga’s tamales are stuffed with quelites.  
Quelite is a Nahuatl word for weedy tender herbs that grow spontaneously  around a garden. They are traditionally used as an additional food source.  These quelites were plucked from The Soil Factory grounds!!!

Alvaro Azcárraga is a Mexican artist and researcher who works with plant-like organisms with a focus on the history of scientific colonialism. With a background in Molecular and Cellular Biology, he looks at how the micro relates to the human and beyond.

June 16, 8:30pm Friday Night Movie: About Elly from Academy Award winner Asghar Farhadi 2015 (1 hr 58 min) A powerful yet understated psychological drama about Iranian life, society and relationships. Excellent performances all around. A film not to be missed. 
 
From Youtube;
“From the Academy Award winning director of A SEPARATION and the Academy Award nominated THE SALESMAN comes this mesmerizing thriller about a young woman’s mysterious disappearance. With the return of their close friend Ahmad from Germany, a group of old college pals decide to reunite for a weekend outing by the Caspian Sea. The fun starts right away as they catch on to the plan of Sepideh, who has brought along Elly, her daughter’s kindergarten teacher, in hopes of setting her up with recently divorced Ahmad. But seemingly trivial lies, which start accumulating from the moment the group arrives at the seashore, come back to haunt them when one afternoon Elly suddenly vanishes. Her disappearance sets in motion a series of deceptions and revelations that threaten to shatter everything they hold dear.”

On June 9th at 8:30pm, our Friday night movie series continues this week with a Studio Ghibli classic:
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984). This world building film explores the humans vs nature theme, but with a more optimistic ending.  From collider.com; “The film is set in the far future, where the air has become so toxic that humans are forced to wear face masks,” (sounds like present day Ithaca) “and live in isolated cities to protect themselves from giant mutant insects. The titular Nausicaä is a princess who sets out to stop a militaristic faction from resurrecting an ancient living weapon to reinforce humanity’s dominance over nature.” This film has a special resonance given the otherworldly smoke and haze filled sky we are experiencing this week.

June 10 (Saturday); TSF is hosting a pizza party. We could use a few hands to help rearrange our less used spaces and create places for new and interesting activities. Come and hang out with us. Everyone is invited… Drop in anytime after 12pm, refreshments start at 4.

 

June 11, (Sunday) 10am -1pm Make Mends Meet; Our favorite mender, Kathrin Achenbach is once again offering excellent conversation, care and enticing techniques to help repair and modify your wardrobe while keeping fast fashion consumerism at bay. You would be surprised at all the practical and artistic possibilities a needle and some thread afford.

Afterwards, 
June 11, (Sunday) 1-1:30pm; Come and stretch with Kati Lustyik
There will be a 30-minute “Head & Shoulders, Knees and Toes” gentle stretching workshop for those who want to gently move parts of their body: strengthening knees, loosening ankles, shoulders, neck, hips or lower back, etc. Great for people who sit or drive a lot, feel stiff, also for gardeners, bikers, hikers, screen watchers, and those under stress, etc.

Swing by any time, between 1:00-1:30 pm, even 10 minutes can make a difference.
Bring something to sit on (towel, yoga mat, blanket, we can provide chairs), no prior experience or special outfit needed.
All ages welcome.
Location: outside (or if raining inside TSF)
Kati is a (Certified yoga instructor). 

June 2 at 7pm
June 3 at 7pm
June 4 at 2pm

Civic Ensemble presents: Fertile Grounds, a community-based play Written by Katie Ka Vang
Directed by Carley Robinson

Pay-what-you-can-tickets – reserve here: https://civicensemble.ticketleap.com/fertile-grounds/

Join us for a powerful new play inspired by stories of local community members that centered loss, grief, healing, and connection.  This world premiere invites the audience onto a BIPOC farming cooperative to explore the relationship of grief, community, and wellness. Fertile Grounds shares stories of land stewards, healers, and people in our community seeking meaningful avenues for healing and health. Community members star in the cast: Yumi Asakura, Sherron Brown, Sabetha Hersini, Della Keahna, Misko Keahna Uran, Antonisha Owens, Felicia Whatley, and Francine Wilson Jasper; and are supported by a powerful production team, including: Kassandra Melendez-Ramirez and Yusef Scott-Wetherbee (Stage Management), Carrell Johnson (costumes), RJ Lavine (props), Megan Omohundro (choreography), Nate Richardson (sound), and Jason Simms (scenic).

Location for weekend 1:
The Soil Factory,
142 Ithaca Beer Drive,
Ithaca, NY 14850

June 2 at 7pm
June 3 at 7pm
June 4 at 2pm

Location for weekend 2: Community School of Music & Arts, 330 E. State St., Ithaca

June 9 at 7pm
June 10 at 7pm*
June 11 at 5pm

*Civic Ensemble is proud to offer a BIPOC Community Night for Fertile Grounds on June 10. While no one will be turned away, we encourage you to join us in creating intentional space for BIPOC community members whose experiences are centered in the show.

May 26 (Friday) 8:30pm; Last Days in Havana (Últimos días en La Habana) 93 minutes, written and directed by Fernando Pérez, Cuba. From Rotten Tomatoes: “Neighbors from Havana, Cuba, lean on their friendship in a city on the verge of substantial change.” Join us for the movie, snacks and great conversation!

Kathrin Achenbach is offering ‘Make Mends Meet’ this Sunday May 28 between 10 and 12:30pm. Join her effort at valuing and caring for what we have, and reducing the waste stream! And take the opportunity to learn a new stitch or two.

May 19 (Friday) 8:30p Friday Movie Night;    Leviathan 
Another incredible film from Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Laboratory. A thrilling, immersive documentary that takes you deep inside the dangerous world of commercial fishing. Set aboard a hulking fishing vessel as it navigates the treacherous waves off the New England coast; the very waters that once inspired Moby Dick; the film captures the harsh, unforgiving world of the fishermen in starkly haunting, yet beautiful detail. Employing an arsenal of cameras that pass freely from film crew to ship crew, and swoop from below sea level to astonishing bird’s-eye views, LEVIATHAN is unlike anything you have ever seen; a purely visceral, cinematic experience. 

May 15 (Monday) 5:30 – 7:30p Time & Space Exhibition
Exhibition with students from Paulina Velázquez’s course Time & Space at the Art Department at Cornell, present works exploring video installation, interactivity, and creative electronics

Student work by: Edward Conte, Kaitlin Ganshaw, Hanul Gu, Daniel Halstead, Jackson Hardin, Sofi ging Jovanovska, Willem Schreiber, Olivia Wen

The full exhibition will be up for one night only open to the public from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

May 14 (Sunday) 10a – 1:30p: Make Mends Meet – Our bi-weekly mending session featuring master mender Kathrin Achenbach. Bring a project to work on, and enjoy conversation, and an opportunity to work with your hands. 

May 12 (Friday) 8p until… Friday Movie Nightand if the weather agrees, we’ll view a movie on the outside walls of The Soil Factory building. This week’s film is  L’Intrus (The Intruder)  directed by French director Clair Denis in 2004. A deeply layered dream-like film about a loner who recovering from a heart transplant travels to Tahiti to reconnect with his son.

May 11 (Thursday) 6 – 7p Human Composting Presentation
: There are many ways to approach it… but here is one of the more interesting ecological solutions. Learn more about this natural approach at The Soil Factory warehouse!

Also May 11 (Thursday) 5:30p until maybe 7ish: Brainstorming session on upcoming projects, exhibitions and programs. Lots of interesting possibilities… weigh-in and get involved.  As a community organization, with a horizontal structure everyone has an equal voice.   What would you like to see and do? The possibilities are endless.

May 10th (Wednesday) 12 noon to 3pm Clothes swap at The Soil Factory: Come bring any unwanted clothes or items and take whatever you want! Perfect way to update your wardrobe and greet the change of seasons. Any leftover items will be donated. Thank you Nicole & Ollie for making this happen!

May 7 (Sunday) 10:00a – 1:00p Circular Jean Pots Workshop

Reuse and soil science come together at a workshop led by Rebecca Nelson and Wendy Skinner from SewGreen Ithaca to make planters from worn-out denim jeans. You can sew a jeans pot to fill with your own potting soil, or take home a mixture of wheat straw, soil, and biochar. As a group, we can also make pots to add to the Soil Factory’s research garden. Wendy will demonstrate how to use a sewing machine to make the pots, and Rebecca will share information about circular soil and its significance in world agriculture.

May 6th (Saturday), 5:55 am – 8:11 pm: Chasing the Sun, A performance festival from Sunrise to Sunset. 

Emilio Rojas invites all to a unique event at The Soil Factory this Saturday. Chasing the Sun integrates four renowned performance artists and the work of six incredible students.  From the event description;

Chasing The Sun is the final performance of the class Reclaiming My Time taught by visiting critic Emilio Rojas at Cornell University in the School of Art, Architecture and Planning.  This course interrogates the theory and practice of duration, endurance and meditation in body-based performance and contemporary art.

Students attempted to push the limits of their bodies through time, space, site-specificity, texts, repetition and gesture. Asking themselves: what does it mean to slow down in this age of accelerations? How do we prepare our bodies physically, mentally and spiritually to have the discipline to engage in durational works that question the way we perceive ourselves and the passage of time and reality?

The festival received a small grant from the Cornell Council of the Arts to invite four renowned performance artists to create new durational performances from sunrise to sunset to be presented in conjunction with the final projects of the students. The four performance artists are Katiushko Melo (US) Arantxa Araujo (Mexico) Carol Montealegre (Columbia) and Lital Dotan (Israel). The idea of the festival is that the students will get to perform alongside these four artists, and the Cornell and Ithaca community are able to experience new work by both students and well-known performance artists simultaneously.” Students performing their own work include: Adam Shulman, Isa Goico, Isabel Padilla Bonelli, Julia Hale, Kate Thorpe, and Rio Chavez.

Fascinating explorations, great artists, a collaborative event not to be missed. Stop by anytime during the performance! 

April 30th, (Sunday) 10am – 12:30pm: Come rebel against Fast Fashion and throw-away culture at the next Make Mends Meet with mender Kathrin Achenbach and many wonderful people. Look all those beautiful mends from our last gathering.

April 28th (Friday) 8:00pm;  Friday Movie Night:  another densely packed experimental movie, recommended by slow film aficionado Dan Torop.

Robert Gardner’s Forest of Bliss (1978): 
A film without voiceover commentary, involves the viewer in an intense encounter with daily life in Benares, India’s most holy city, from one sunrise to the next. It looks at specifics, and but also opens itself to larger concerns such as the eternal cycles and metamorphoses of water, earth, flesh wood and fire, wind and the spirit.
Sounds like a perfect choice for The Soil Factory. Thanks Dan!

It’s an earth day celebration at TSF this Saturday April 22nd at 4:00pm led by the younger members of The Soil Factory community:
Kid lead activity:
Celebration on Earth day
Making seed bombs with clay (and playing with clay)
Bring clothes that can get dirty
We will have lemonade and snacks to share, if you can bring snacks to share
For kids of all ages and their adults.


If you want, bring a toy or game you want to donate to start our toy library. We want to make The Soil Factory activities more inclusive of all ages.

Many meetings are centered around a lot of adult talking and having toys around will help engage the younger ones and make it more inclusive for parents to bring their kids to these activities and participate.

Soil Factory member Ben Altman has sent an invitation to the TSF community for a spectacular earth day event:

I’m pleased to invite you to the beautiful land where I live in Danby, NYancestral Gayogohó:nǫˀ land – for a free outdoor poetry reading by Hodinǫhsǫ́:nih (Haudenosaunee) poets. The event will be on Saturday, April 22 at 1:30 p.mThe poets are: Kenzie Allen, (Oneida); Monty Campbell, Gayogohó:nǫˀ (Cayuga); Leah Shenandoah, Onyo’ta:aká: (Oneida); and Kahsenniyo Kick, (Mohawk).

Stewards for 13,000 years of lands from the Hudson Valley to Niagara and from Lake Ontario to northern Pennsylvania, Hodinǫhsǫ́:nih people were violently and fraudulently displaced and dispersed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Despite two hundred years of genocidal suppression, they are resilient. These writers are conflicted, messy, modern, mixed – very much of the present but also deeply connected to their cultures and lands. They will present a range of voices including a special treat, a-capella singing by Leah Shenandoah, daughter of the late Grammy-awarded Joanne Shenandoah. I hope you will join me and them to celebrate Hodinǫhsǫ́:nih people – vibrant, living, and totally contemporary – on the lands that have nurtured them since the last Ice Age.

Please send him a quick email if you think you might like to come; he’ll respond with the details.

April 21, (Friday) 8:00pm  It’s Earth Day Weekend and what better time than tonight to Kiss the Ground, our Friday Movie Night, screened on the outside walls of The Soil Factory.

Narrated and featuring Woody Harrelson, Kiss the Ground is an inspiring and groundbreaking film that reveals the first viable solution to our climate crisis.

kissthegroundmovie.com.

Enjoy Friday evening’s balmy weather and join us for popcorn and a film!

April 16th, (Sunday) 10am – 12:30pm: Come rebel against Fast Fashion and throw-away culture at the next Make Mends Meet with mender Kathrin Achenbach and many wonderful people. The first hour will be for practicing new stitches and at the end of the session, you’ll know how to mend using the stitches on the lower left. 

Bring an item of clothing to mend or just hang out and enjoy the conversation and satisfaction that comes from saving a special item of clothing from a landfill.

Every time we mend, we take care of our possessions, ourselves, and our planet.

This event, and most Soil Factory events are Free and open to all.

April 14th, (Friday) 7:30pm, Friday Movie Night.  We’ll celebrate the changing seasons, with the silent film classic “In Spring” (1929) by Mikhail Kaufman.  

This Soviet Ukraine silent experimental documentary directed by Mikhail Kaufman, was made in accordance with the ideas of the avant-garde Soviet filmmakers collective KinoksIn Spring is a love sonnet to the city of Kiev and new awakenings as winter fades.  New camera angles, and ground breaking techniques are demonstrated in this film that until it’s recent rediscovery in a museum archive, was considered lost forever. It is also closely related to “Man With a Movie Camera” the silent film of the same year produced by his brother Dziga Vertov which we viewed previously.  There are two wildly separate soundtrack versions to choose from and on Friday, we’ll let the audience decide.

Maybe, weather permitting, we’ll move the whole event outdoors, celebrate spring and show the film on the outside walls of The Soil Factory.  

April 2nd, (Sunday) 10am – 1pm: Here’s your opportunity to help mend the social fabric…  come to Make Mends Meet  another community session with serial mender Kathrin Achenbach. The first hour will be for learning some useful and special stitches. Bring an item of clothing to mend or just hang out and enjoy the conversation and the satisfaction that comes from saving a special item of clothing from the dump.  This week’s session will morph into a Papermaking workshop with Nathaniel Hendrickson at 1pm.  Curious about how paper is created? Here’s your opportunity to understand and play with the process. 

Remember, these events are free and open to all

March 31st (Friday) 7:30pm: Movie night. This week ’s selection: Le Coquille et le clergyman (The Seashell and the Clergyman) from 1928 (Restored Full Movie) 40 minutes.

It’s the very first Surrealist film, written by Antonin Artaud, and directed by Germaine Dulac, with an amazing sound score.  Artist in residence Nathaniel Hendrickson might also show, Exister, a recent film they made with friends that resonates nicely with the aforementioned.  Stop by and enjoy an evening of good conversation, and unusual movies that you’ll probably never see anywhere else on a big screen.

On March 25th, The Soil Factory will present Pagao Club: Sonia Rivera’s installation exploring burlap patchwork as a crossfade of self conflict.  Rivera considers what it means to apply self to material through stitching and spray paint; taking ties from her urban upbringing and weaving them into this elongated collection of an agricultural textile.  All are welcome at a public reception on Saturday, March 25th from 4-6pm. This exhibition will remain on view until Friday, April 14th.

And now for something completely different as we bid adieu to our winter snow series!

March 24, (Friday) 7:30pm: Movie night featuring “3,000 years of Longing Directed by George Miller —remember (Mad Max?) — An intriguing selection from Soil Factory member Cecelia Lawless, “this is really a tender tale that brings landscapes and longing together with science and art.  A potential lovely harbinger for a Friday viewing after the first day of spring?  Thoughtful, maybe ambiguous and a treatise on the joy of narration.  (How can you go wrong with Tilda Swinton?).” Come and join us for an evening of movie and popcorn! 

March 19th (Sunday) 10am – 1pm  Make, Mends, Meet


Earlier this month, enthusiastic menders gathered for the Soil Factory’s first ever Make Mends Meet event. Great things happen when people sit together and work with their hands while sharing stories or simply working quietly. Everybody walked away with either a clothing item whose life was extended with beautiful stitchery, or another project that made progress.

So…we’re doing it again!
During the first hour this Sunday, we’ll expand our stitch vocabulary with easy to learn stitches and explore the anatomy of fabric and holes. Soil Factory member and iconoclast Kathrin Achenbach loves the fact that in mending there are only a few basic principles, all of them easy to learn. The rebels amongst you will appreciate that there are very few rules and endless possibilities!

March 18th (Saturday) 3:00pm

Guests include:
ELENA SNIEZEK & EMILY PUTHOFF: Solitary bee habitat as public art and pollinator garden.

MICHAEL ASBILL: The role of bio char for urban populations in urban environments.
AMANDA HEIDEL: Cold weather cold frame mushroom-growing experiment.
TESSA GRUNDON: Befriending the uninvited botanical squatters that occupy neglected urban spaces.

What a line-up! Enjoy this opportunity to meet and talk with these ground-breaking artists in a relaxed setting!

March 17th (Friday) 8:00pm 

Friday movie night and the Winter Snow Series continues with Force MajeureCecelia Lawless will introduce this in-depth look at how the human instinct for self preservation forces split-second decisions resulting in a reevaluation of loyalties and relationships. It’s a dark comedy, don’t miss this one!

March 5th (Sunday), 10am – noon:

Kathrin Achenbach
 will be kicking off a new group activity; Make Mends Meet.

Bring a damaged clothing item that could use some TLC and explore how to mend and repair garments, fabric and other items that need to be rescued. Mending and darning supplies along with coffee/tea and cookies will be provided. 

No prior knowledge needed.

Kathrin has been stitching and mending for years and will be sharing her many resources including a small but cool collection of books on stitching, embroidery and mending (some of them in Japanese, but that’s all part of the fun). Time to keep damaged clothes from the landfill.

If you don’t have anything to mend… bring any project and join us for Sunday coffee and conversation“.

March 4th (Saturday), at noon:
 
Our second attempt at a fiftieth anniversary reenactment of Joan Jonas’s Songdelay will be an inevitable triumph of human will, ingenuity, and technology.  All are welcome to participate and celebrate!

Friday, February 17, 7pm

The cold weather (??!!) film series continues with My Winnepeg!  A 2007 “docu-fantasy” by Guy Maddin, the film’s unconventional style “skates along an icy edge between dreams and lucidity, fact and fiction, cinema and psychotherapy” in emphatic, glorious monochrome.

Friday, February 10, 7pm (rescheduled from Feb. 3)
 
The snow film series continues with Nine Muses:
Director Akomfrah weaves archival footage of African immigrants working in factories, crossing the street, holding their children, living their everyday lives, with intertitles describing the Muses referred to in Homer’s epic. Also mixed into this tapestry are scenes shot by Akomfrah of faceless figures in heavy snow coats either standing on large ships crossing large expanses of water or merely occupying vast landscapes of ice. The soundtrack, an equally dense affair, ups the existential ante with spoken-word readings of passages from various works—by Dante, Joyce, Milton, Neitzsche, Shakespeare, and Eliot, among many others—that have been gracefully mixed with a dreamy score (another collection of desperate references) that’s about equal parts sorrowful, joyous and terrifying. The Nine Muses could’ve been a bravura and rigorous display of erudition and editorial showmanship that’s all structure and portent, but this film, which Akomfrah has said he’s wanted to make for 20 years, has an obsessive power.
Slant Magazine
 
This film cannot be summed up in a few words, even if those words were “wild” and “disparate”.
Tuesday, February 7 from 7:30pm-9pm
 
Story House Ithaca brings their first Presentation Night at TSF, hosted and organized by Omar Shehata!  Come celebrate the joy of learning at this evening of short talks by non-experts!
Thursday, Feb 2 at 7pm
 
A planning session for the upcoming and highly anticipated second attempt at a reenactment of Songdelay (1973) by Joan Jonas. Jonas choreographed a theater of space, movement, and sound for a “cast” including Gordon Matta-Clark, with the urban landscape of New York in a featured role. Come for the particular poetry of repeatedly gesturing at the 50 year anniversary of an immensely particular artwork; stay for an impromptu game night (ferocious cribbage, perhaps).

 

January 20, 2023 (Friday) at 7pm

Our beloved film series is back: join us for some winter fun!  We will be showing Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001) — the first film in Canada to be directed and acted in the Inuit language, Inukitut. If we have little snow in Ithaca, let us bring it to us through cinema. This is a stunning, and slow, film based on oral legend and set in the ancient past. Some consider it the greatest Canadian film of all times.

 

January 22nd, 2023 (Sunday), 4:30-6pm

This week is a last chance to take in the exhibition currently on view.  Please join us for the closing of Get Soft!

Chloe Mako will lead a small workshop on how to weave a God’s Eye and Julia Trehan will present a short artist talk at 5:30pm.

Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 1pm

Join us to participate in a 50th anniversary re-performance of Joan Jonas’s Songdelay.

We will work off of Jonas’s performance script, as well as memories (or a reviewing) of the filmed version. We will make plans and do tests. All towards making a video recording of a Songdelay at the Soil Factory, the site of which boasts a field as performing area reminiscent of Jonas’s “ten-block grid of city streets bounding vacant lots and leveled buildings”. Wood blocks, mirror, and a hoop will be provided. Be dressed for the outdoors!