The Soil Factory

Exploring Interactions Between
Social, Arts and Scientific Networks


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.

Past Events

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.

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!


December 22 (Thursday) at 7pm, Deep in the Dark — Join Dan Torop & Anna Ialeggio in The Soil Factory darkroom on this, the darkest day of the year and experiment developing old film with expired chemicals. Bring your film! And a snack, if you want to take a chemical-free break. Black and white cookies may be served.


December 11, 2022 (Sunday) 5-7pm, with performances at 6pm

GET SOFT at The Soil Factory
A group exhibition of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate artists working in soft sculpture and performance at Cornell University, organized by Leeza Meksin. 
Shelby Johnson 
Annamariah Knox 
Chloe Mako 
Erin Miller 
Mel Miller 
Havily Nwakuche
Isabel Padilla Bonelli 
Kat Roberts 
Alexis Torres 
Julia Trahan 
JQ Yang

December 10 (Saturday) arrive 5:30pm,  Environmental Film Screening: Please join us for a screening of final films from the Environmental Film Production course of the Performing and Media Arts Department at Cornell! Student short films range in form and content, exploring ecological questions. At 5:30 we will have snacks and the screening will begin at 6pm. 

Student filmmakers include Kwame Kwakwa, Shuqian Lyu, Yichong Qiu, Javier Ramirez, Wulfgar Ramsey, Alexa Richardson, and Courtney Shore. Their films explore environmental topics through a range of techniques and perspectives.

Thursday December 8, 5:30pm, Glass Factory: 

Remember the glass sculpture on the stage? Join us on a Soil Factory excursion to visit of Rob Scavuzzo’s glass factory ( this evening, where he made the one at The Soil Factory and many other fascinating glass sculptures. Rob has fired up his kilns for the first time in a while and will also demonstrate glass making while we are there (and maybe a holiday gift…), including material stress testing for the nerds among you. The address is 215 Burdge Hill Rd, Newfield, 5 minutes from The Soil Factory (you have to enter from Burdge Hill Rd, GoogleMaps may send you on a hike…).

December 4 (Sunday) at 3pm: COMMUNI-TEA PARTY
Artists Annamariah Knox and Linda Weintraub invite you to the closing of their highly successful Soil Factory exhibition. Thaw out and warm up with healthful teas from winter trees: taste bark, leaves, roots, branches, flowers. Your role is to Select. Blend. Steep. Sip. and Share. Please bring-your-own tea cup and spoon, and don’t forget to engage with the interactive artworks. Questions? Contact

December 2 (Friday) 6:00pm: An evening of earth-sensory shorts

Works by Julie NathanielszThe BodyCartography Project, and others were interwoven with Burrows: Four Short Films, newly released collaborative pieces by Margot Lystra and Howard Ryan.

Kids were welcome. Pizza was made!

Margot screening

During the month of November, Artists Linda Weintraub and Annamariah Knox displayed a wonderful set of interactive art exhibits:

TUNE-UP/TURN ON: WELCOME to MY WOODS, Linda invited us to join her in venturing into the domain of personal, sensual interactions with compost, sap, pollen, feathers, bark, rock, bone, and innumerable other forms of matter that account for the wonders of the woods.

RELEASE / RELIEF: STAGED FEELINGS, Annamariah created opportunities to embody, express, and release intense, pent-up emotions through interactive sculptural pieces.

KICK the CAIRN & HIT the HAY where the two artists collaborated on a pair of body-activating, emotion-releasing installations.

Their exhibits were at The Soil Factory through much of the month of November.

November 29 (Tuesday) 6:30pm: Dylan Gauthier was in town and for a conversation and panel discussion about alternative/independent spaces. He was joined by a group of Soil Factory regulars. Dylan Gauthier is an artist, curator, designer and educator whose practice investigates relationships between ecology, architecture, landscape, pedagogy, collaboration, and social change. Gauthier is a founder of the boatbuilding and publishing collective Mare Liberum  and of the Sunview Luncheonette, a co-op for art, politics, and poetics in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

November 28 (Monday) 7pm: Winter planning meetingeveryone was invited to suggest and work on ideas and projects for the next few months.

November 18 (Friday) 7:00pm, audience potluck short film extravaganza. Everyone was encouraged to suggest a short film that they enjoyed.  If you missed it, or want a second look, Here are some of the shorts screened:
Opus II (1921) by Walter Ruttmann,  
Barouk June_1 by Lebanese filmmaker Nesrine Khodr  
Lastfall, also by Nesrine Khodr  
Upperground Show by Helen Hill  
Weapon Of Choice by Fatboy Slim directed by Spike Jonze 
Wild Tales (the first segment)  directed by Argentine filmmaker Damián Szifron 

November 17 (Thursday) 5:30 – 7pm Panel and Community Conversation with Nance Klehm, social ecologist based on a farm near Chicago, and Kwesi Joseph , Urban Garden Specialist based in Brooklyn, joined by Rebecca Nelson and Johannes Lehmann on a panel to discuss community engagement with The Soil Factory as a possible testing ground, drawing on Nance’s and Kwesi’s broad experience. Nance Klehm’s work and being lies at the complex intersections of the theory and practice of land politics and soil health. She seeks to embody the mundane magic of relationships built with land and place, to empower people to know and honor the complexities of social ecology, and to bridge the gaps between the folk hero day-to-day of skinned-knuckle activism, and the theoretical practices of the academy, gallery, or studio. Kwesi is the Urban Gardens Specialist in the metro NYC area. He is, and has been the Compost Manager at the Hattie Carthan Community Garden in Brooklyn. He also has been engaged in educational programs at the gardens and is a STEAM educator.

November 12 (Saturday) 8:00pm: The Soil Factory is pleased to present an evening of animated notation featuring the talents of Gudmundur Steinn Gunnarsson from Reykjavik, Iceland alongside Ryan Ross Smith, Assistant Professor of Music at SUNY Broome. Prepare yourself for a very interesting soundscape and unique experience.

November 11 (Friday) 7:00pm, Movie Night: America Street (2020) by Idrissou Mora-Kpai, who will be present at the screening. On America Street in Charleston’s East Side neighborhood, Joe is the owner of a small corner store, the heart of an old but slowly disappearing black community. Almost half of all African-Americans trace their origins back to Charleston, a city that is still haunted by its slave owning past. In the face of the multiple challenges that African Americans face, Joe is determined to stay hopeful and to resist losing his neighborhood to the rising forces of gentrification.
The film captures three months of Joe’s daily struggles in 2015 set against the backdrop of racist violence in the city, from the killing of Walter Scott by a police officer to the Emanuel Church massacre by a young white supremacist.

November 10 (Thursday) 5:30 – 7:00pm: During our regular Thursday get-together Krisztina Mosdossy from Canada will be joining us. Krisztina is a soil ecologist and Ph.D. Candidate at McGill University with a particular interest in the circular bionutrient economy.

She enjoys discussing the power of reconnecting with land through valuing our bodies and reframing the narrative that humans hinder Earth’s health with one that highlights humans as part of Earth’s cycles. Everyone is invited to these Thursday conversations, please come down and meet her.

November 4 (Friday) 7pm: This evening, a group of (mostly) anthropologists are visiting the Soil Factory as part of a workshop on gleaning and the ethics of remainders. They’ll be hanging out from around 7 onward, and everyone is invited to come meet them and talk about foraging, gathering, deconstruction, waste, and more! 

October 28 (Friday) 7-ish  Movie Night at The Soil Factory: This week we’ll show a few moth themed shorts (in honor of the Pollinator Party) along with the Argentinean film Bolivia for a further exploration of South American cinema and social structure.

7 Spectacular Moths in Slow Motion by AntLab (5:37)
Take-off flight sequences of seven different moths are captured at 6,000 fps. All the moths in this video were collected and filmed in Cornish, NH between July 12 – 16. All moths were released after filming.

Moth by Alison Shulnik, 2019 (3:15)
An animated short film made from hundreds of gouache paintings over 14 months. A moth, or maybe many, mutates through several different forms throughout the course of painter, filmmaker, and ceramist Allison Schulnik‘s 2019 short film MOTH. The work is somewhat haunting in its painted portrayal of a constantly evolving subject. It transforms into larvae, serpents, other brightly colored moths, and a human to the song Gnossienne No. 1 by Erik Satie, performed by Nedelle Torrisi. The film was inspired by a moth that hit Schulnik’s window, and is described as “wandering through the primal emotions of birth, motherhood, body, nature, metamorphosis, and dance.”

Mothlight by Stan Brakhage, 1963 (3:25)
An experimental film made without a camera. The artist collected moth wings, flower petals, and grasses which were pressed between strips of splicing tape to create the film.

Bolivia by Israel Adrián Caetano, 2001 (1h 15m) Rendered jobless by the American war on drugs in his native Bolivia, Freddy (Freddy Flores) crosses the border to Argentina, where he gets a job as a short-order cook in a restaurant run by Enrique (Enrique Liporace), who is by turns cruel and compassionate. Scraping by on his meager wages, Freddy witnesses the casual racism of his customers, who regard other South Americans as inferior. His only friend is Rosa (Rosa Sanchez), a waitress from Paraguay who is also there illegally.
Maria Garcia of Film Journal International describes the movie as a “Starkly beautiful debut feature exploring the human face of Latin America’s economic crisis”. 


October 28 (Friday) 3-7pm Pollinator Party at the Marshy Garden: After a year of raising and planting thousands of native perennials Brandon Hoak (Busy Bee Ecological Designs) and Ash Ferlito have been working for almost a full year to convert a lawn to a marshy meadow at The Soil Factory. They successfully raised thousands, YES!- thousands, of native perennials- grasses, flowering plants, and sedges from seed obtained from the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society seed bank and some transplants from friends and local nurseries. The transfer of all the babies to the site is complete and now, it’s party time– Pollinator Party. 

Time to gather so they can show the site, share plans for the future, and get feedback to help shape those goals. They also hope to connect people in our communities with common interests, adjacent interests, and/or curiosities. 

There will be some things to drink, a bit of food, tours of the site, and activities. Please, BRING YOUR OWN T-SHIRT, or garment of some kind, for a Marshy Garden silkscreen design. This is dangerously close to Halloween- so if it gives you a buzzzzzz, please, feel free to come costumed.

October 22 (Saturday), 2-5 pm, Kids Workshop: Join the group of families at The Soil Factory for an afternoon of kids stuff; since Halloween is coming along, costume-crafting (and art-station creating), with a potential segue into pizza dinner and a conversation with kiddos re: what kinds of things they might like to do/make happen at the Soil Factory.

October 22 (Saturday), 5 pm, Down Time: Down Time is a durational performance (work in progress) in which a group of performers creates a self-sustaining, cyclical, sympoetic system. Sympoeisis, a term developed by Donna Haraway, describes how a group of entities (human and nonhuman), grows and transforms through interdependence. The sympoetic system developed in Down Time sustains itself through interdependence, but also through surveillance, tracking, mimesis, and the mediation and transformation of images, processes that, though forming the basis of digital connectivity, profoundly shape our material world.

Choreographed by Lucy Kerr in collaboration with the performers
Performed by Kristen DeLillo, Nina Kuntz, Stacy Collado, Melani Di Guzman, Lucy Kerr

October 20-23: Performance workshop, Lucy Kerr (Le Moyne College, Syracuse); Lucy is a filmmaker, video/performance artist, and educator. Her work investigates gender, media, labor, power, and the importance of interdependence and the ethics of care. Lucy and her team will stay at the residence, just stop by!

October 21 (Friday) 2:30-4:30PM: join Joey Gates from the Dish Truck for the beginning of a community conversation on how we can bring sustainability to our collective parties and begin creating regenerative outputs instead of trash.

October 21 (Friday), come at 7pm, mingle and movie Starts around 7:30/8pm: A movie night with Jessica Bardsley, environmental filmmaker; Jessica will share some of her films; more information at and

October 14 (Friday) around 7:30, Movie Night – Enjoy lively conversation, snacks and fresh air as we continue our series of outdoor movie nights projected on the textured exterior walls of The Soil Factory.  This week, we’ll  premier the 3 minute edited result of Monday’s Devised Cinema Lab Workshop. Then, a short film by the conceptual filmmaker Stan Brakhage that compliments the collective efforts of our amateur cinematographers, followed by our featured movie, La ciénaga, (The Swamp) the debut film from Argentinian Director Lucrecia Martel.  La ciénaga takes a focused look at “domestic dissatisfaction”.   The New York Times critic Stephen Holden writes, “The steamy ambiance in which the characters fester is a metaphor for creeping social decay…La ciénaga perspires from the screen, it creates a vision of social malaise that feels paradoxically familiar and new.”

October 10 (Monday) 3 pm: Open Call: Devised Cinema Lab – toward an ad hoc collective movie making with artist Nathan Henrickson. Have you ever wanted to make a movie but never had the motivation or desire to write a script, assemble a team, or secure the funds to finance your vision? No need! Let’s get our hands dirty. Curb the grandiose and heroic storylines, sift through our half-baked ideas, personal poetry, insecurities and reservations, let’s make a vulnerable heart-felt movie together with whatever tools, scraps and weeds we find lying around. Bring your ideas, your knowledge, your point of view, your friends, and a cell phone camera. If we’re lucky we’ll stumble over an insight or two along the way.

October 11 (Tuesday) 5 pm – Twilight: “Walk in the Woods” An experiment in enhanced perception with Nathan Henrickson.

October 7-16 (Friday): Earth Projects, Traveling immersive art and environment class is installing their exhibition. Reception on Thursday October 13, 6-9pm.

October 6 (Thursday), 5-7pm: A Soil Factory pizza night with parallel discussion and activity brainstorming about how circularity can be imagined. [shuttle provides for Cornell students at 4:45 departing Minns Garden on Tower Rd]

September 29 (Thursday), 5-7pm: Decarbonizing Our Cities: Climate Now Podcast/Livestream (organized by Luis Aguirre-Torres)

5:00–5:45 PM pizza and music
6:00–7:30 PM panel and discussion

In 2021, the City of Ithaca announced its plan to decarbonize all of its buildings by 2030, making it the first city in the United States working to become 100% carbon-neutral. Come learn more about the plan and help tell Ithaca’s story to the rest of the world. 
Organized by Climate Now and hosted by The Soil Factory, this community event brings together local leaders to discuss what it will take for the City of Ithaca to decarbonize equitably and bring the city’s net emissions down to zero. It will be recorded and edited into a podcast for a global audience. 
Dr. Luis Aguirre-Torres, City of Ithaca 
Dr. Neha Khanna, Binghamton University and Cornell University 
Rebecca Evans, City of Ithaca 
Dr. Aigbokhan Aloja Airewele, Green Energy Workforce Training Center
Moderator: James Lawler, Climate Now 

This event is the first in a three-part series, in partnership with The Future of Small Cities Institute, which dive into Ithaca’s strategies to transform energy and society and to create a blueprint for cities across the United States.

Earlier Past Events:

April 11 (Monday) 5-7pm: Pyrolysis at the Ithaca Area Waste Water Treatment Plant, an update and discussion about next steps, organized by Rebecca Nelson and Luis Aguirre-Torres

April 12-23: Artist-in-Residence Alek Slon and Architect-in-Residence Magda Pios (if you want to meet them, please contact the host Kati Lustyik) [Alek will introduce himself at 4:30 on April 14; Alek and Magda plan to give a presentation on April 21]

April 14 (Thursday) 4:30-6:30pm: Local Landscapes for Climate Mitigation, public health, food security, accessible nature, and green jobs; the third workshop in a workshop series organized by Jamie Vanucchi; flyer and detailed information here.

April 15 (Friday) 7:30pm, Movie Night: El abrazo de la serpiente (2015)  (Embrace of the Serpent), by Columbian director Ciro Guerra; shot almost entirely in black and white, the film follows two journeys made thirty years apart by the indigenous shaman Karamakate in the Colombian Amazonian jungle, one with Theo, a German ethnographer, and the other with Evan, an American botanist, both of whom are searching for the rare plant yakruna. It was inspired by the travel diaries of Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes, and dedicated to lost Amazonian cultures.

April 16 (Saturday) 11-4pm: Ecological Sanitation Design Competition (contact Rebecca Nelson or Abigail Collins); with award ceremony at 4pm; information here

April 21 (Thursday) 5:00pm: Artist-in-Residence Alek Slon and Architect-in-Residence Magda Pios give a presentation

April 22 (Friday) 7:30pm, Movie Night: La casa del lobo (animated 2018; The Wolf House), by directors Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León, who tell the story of Maria, a young woman who takes refuge in a house in southern Chile after escaping from a German colony.

April 28 (Thursday) 8:00pm: Ithaca Underground presents I-R, Tacet(i) Duo, Amok & OK an evening of riveting compositions and electronics from Detroit, Thailand, & Ithaca. Full details and booking here.

April 29 (Friday) 7:30pm, Movie Night: Distancia de rescate (2021), by director Claudia Llosa based on the novel by Samanta Schweblin. A young woman lies dying far from home. A boy sits beside her. She is not his mother. He is not her child. Together, they tell the haunting story of broken souls, toxins, looming environmental and spiritual catastrophes, and the ties that bind a parent to a child.

May 1 (Sunday) afternoon (core time 3-5pm): In the spirit of labor day, some of us are preparing the ground for our pizza oven making workshop (planned for May 7), we will be shoveling sand, nailing boards together and many more fun things. You should find us at The Soil Factory in the afternoon.

May 1 (Sunday) 7:00pm: Ithaca Underground presents an evening of harsh noise, industrial power electronics & tectonic meditation drone, with Prayer Rope, Compactor, Retribution Body, & Food Pill.

Full details and booking here.

May 4 (Wednesday) 7:00pm: Experimental music by Kevin Cheli/Seth Andrew Davis (improvised music), Jen Kutler/Quintan Ana Wikswo (performing “Black Powder”), Travis Johns (solo bass), Hannah Thomas/Elizabeth Mahood (oboe/harp arrangement of Debussy’s “Reverie”). Kevin is based in Ithaca,; Seth co-runs the Extemporaneous Music Society and Mother Brain Records in Kansas City, MO:

May 6 (Friday) 6:00-9:00pm: Exhibition Reception; the exhibition is up April 27-May 12 (contact Anna Davidson for more information or visits outside normal open hours)

May 7 (Saturday) 11:00am-5:00pm: Pizza Oven Making Workshop, come and join us at The Soil Factory as we build our very own clay pizza oven with Matteo Lundgren (

May 7 (Saturday) come at 7:30pm, event starts at 8:00pmOther Fantasies for Extinction, A Listening Party, by artist and writer Rachel Garber Cole and composer and audio producer Michael Simonelli, is a deeply researched experimental audio soundscape that meditates on Deep Time, past mass extinctions, and what it feels like to live on a rapidly warming planet. Come dream with us through 3.5 billion years of history. The 25 minute sound piece will be followed by a talk back with artists and audience. (image by Madeleine Boucher)

May 9 (Monday) 5:00pm: O, Longelica! is a participatory performance, collective re-imagining, and folk song sing-along, by Cecilia Lu with Joe Hoffman, ED Plowe, Marc Liu, and Zach Lee. In a fictionalized future gathering space, descendants of people who survived an apocalyptic flood piece together fragments of memory from life during that time. Together, through discussion and song, we interpret and make meaning from a key primary text — a journal from an herbalist relative who lived through the Flood Times. Outdoor in good weather, indoor in bad weather (contact Dean Erdmann for more information)

May 12 (Thursday) 7:00pm, artist talk by HaeAhn Woo Kwon: De-privatizing Dirt and Desire, HaeAhn Woo Kwon is a visual artist (visiting artist at the residency), whose practice transforms and combines everyday materials. Her recent research focuses on how shame around filth and waste is constructed via patriarchal ideology, instrumentalized and internalized to exert control over the other, predominantly women’s bodies and their biological functions. Kwon will discuss academic and artistic works that inform her practice, especially in relation to her recent collaborative installation at Franz Kaka Gallery in Toronto. (hosted by Dean Erdmann)

Amy Lam and HaeAhn Woo Kwon, Pink Outfit (shower base), dry-erase marker on fiberglass shower base

May 13 (Friday) 8:00pm, Movie Night (May is our movie month of the bizarre and funny): Gwoemul  (The Host) by director Bong Joon Ho (who also did Parasite), Korean movie from 2006; careless American military personnel dump chemicals into South Korea’s Han River. Several years later, a creature emerges from the tainted waters and sinks its ravenous jaws into local residents. When the creature abducts their daughter (Go Ah-sung), a vendor (Song Kang-ho) and his family decide that they are the only ones who can save her. (suggested by Pierre)

May 19 (Thursday) 7-9pm, Exhibition Opening: My Best Self, by Sabrina Haertig-Gonzalez; the exhibition is up May 19 to June 8

May 20 (Friday) 8:00pm, Movie Night (May is our movie month of the bizarre and funny): Liza, the Fox-Fair (2015), by Hungarian director Károly Ujj Mészáros, the film tells the story set in 1970s ‘Csudapest’ of a lonely nurse who visits a Mekk Burger restaurant to find romance, upon reading about it in a Japanese romance novel. Liza’s only friend, Tomy Tani, the ghost of a Japanese pop singer from the 1950s, is jealous and turns her into a fox-fairy, a demon from Japanese mythology. According to the legend, men who fall in love with a fox-fairy die soon afterwards. (suggested by Johannes and Neil)

May 21 (Saturday) 4:30pm onwards: BIG PARTY and “LET US EAT the COLORS of NATURE’S SPECTRUM”  The Soil Factory is planning an Un-Talent Show with sit-down dinner for all and all kinds of activities,- bring your ideas; arrive at 4:30 to set up, dinner at 5pm and UnTalent Show starting after dinner. Bring a colorful dish to honor the sumptuous colors of our foods, and the roles of sun, soil, rain, microorganisms, decaying matter, minerals and enzymes that craft the hues and tones that sustain and gratify us (Linda is sending out instructions). This is followed by an Un-Talent Show (get in touch with Anna Ialeggio on UnTalent Show and with Linda Weintraub on dinner) download flyer

May 25 and 26 (Wednesday and Thursday) 12-5pm: Installation of the art project Cosmic Cucumber Carousel, a  proposal to grow cucumbers on Mars in form of an opera, by Brooklyn-based artist Daniel Bozhkov (Hunter College); come by and help install a community cucumber patch at The Soil Factory; contact Margaret Ball

May 26 (Thursday) 6:30pm: Presentation and artist talk by Daniel Bozhkov (Hunter College)),- Daniel will give a presentation on his work, followed by comments from soil scientist Johannes Lehmann, astroecologist and soil scientist Morgan Irons, and community member and soil developer Margaret Ball.

May 27 (Friday) 8:00pm, Movie Night (May is our movie month of the bizarre and funny; now outside in the summer): On Body and Soul (2017), by Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi, the film tells the story of a slaughterhouse director and the newly appointed meat quality inspector who discover they can communicate with each other through their dreams, leading to an unlikely romance. (suggested by Patty and Neil)

June tbd (Thursday) 4:30-6:30pm: Local Landscapes for Climate Mitigation, public health, food security, accessible nature, and green jobs; the fourth workshop in a workshop series organized by Jamie Vanucchi; flyer and detailed information here. please check back for dates

June 6-July 26, Artist-in-residence: Abigail Collins will stay at The Soil Factory, say hi to her when you pop in.

June (postponed): Concert, Ithaca Electrozone,; organized by E

July 28 (Thursday) 5:30pm: Soil Factory get together for social, planning, and chatting.

July 29 (Friday) 9:00pm: The film this Friday July 29th at 9pm is a fascinating 2012 Colombian film,  William Vega’s: La sirga, — haunting, beautiful visuals around a core of an unseen threat lurking… just over the horizon. Maybe even more relevant today, 10 years later.

August 3 (Wednesday) 6:30 – 8pm: Johannes is firing up our Soil Factory Pizza Oven for use between 6:30 – 8pm. Bring your own dough and fixings and make use of our community built cob oven.

August 3 (Wednesday) 8:30 pm: Abigail Raphael Collins (our current artist in residence) will share some information on her current work in progress, a video about queer director Dorothy Arzner who worked at the transition from silent to sound film in the 1920s/30s. Abigail will also screen video works by four other artists who explore sound and silence in moving image, including Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Christine Sun Kim, and Boudry/Lorenz.

August 11 (Thursday) 5-7pm: “Summer Studio”, a visioning exercise about what an undisciplinary summer school at The Soil Factory could look like. Provocateurs are invited to make some opening statements, everyone welcome to contribute. The provisional notes and outcome are posted here


August 12 (Friday) 9:00pm (come at 8:30 and have a chat), Movie Night:  Movie Potluck – bring an art movie or a scene from a movie or a short to share with everyone (either on your laptop or streaming or on a memory stick,- whatever works); we ended up watching:

The Swimmer, (Cecelia’s pick)
Szel, 1996 by Marcell Iványi (Neil’s pick)
The Meaning of Life, 2005 by Don Hertzfeldt (Kevin’s pick)
Les Indes Galantes, 2017 by Clement Cogitore (Johannes’ pick)
Mothlight, 1963 by Stan Brakhage; and an hommage (Patty’s pick)
CHUNKATHALON 2003, 2003 by Noah Albert, Dan Frazier, Brian Yazzie (Dan’s pick) found here: (pt. 1), 
This was a great event and we plan to do one each month or so!

August 15 (Monday) 6:30pm: Cecilia Hermansson is visiting The Soil Factory from the Rural Economic and Agricultural Society of Sweden and giving a presentation on “Experiences from creating a standard for carbon sinks with biochar”; more information about her work at (in Swedish)

August 18-27: Nsukka School – The Next Generation of Innovation: The Nsukka School describes artists that are associated with the University of Nigeria at Nsukka, who used uli—a form of body and mural decorative painting indigenous to the Igbo culture of Nigeria—in their work. The works shown here are from the 1980s and early 90s where a significant shift occurred towards more abstraction and a distinct departure from the original uli, a second revolution brought about by  students of Uche Okeke.

August 18 (Thursday) 5-7pm: Amanda Simson (Cooper Union) is visiting and giving a talk on her work around art, climate, biochar, engineering; she organized Cooper Climate Week, and organized an art&science exhibition this past Spring. (Amanda will be staying for a few days in the Soil Factory residency, pop in and say hello!)

August 19 (Friday) 9:00pm (come at 8:30 and have a chat), Movie Night: The Swimmer, 1968, with Burt Lancaster; well-off ad man Ned Merrill (Burt Lancaster) is visiting a friend when he notices the abundance of backyard pools that populate their upscale suburb. Ned suddenly decides that he’d like to travel the eight miles back to his own home by simply swimming across every pool in town. Soon, Ned’s journey becomes harrowing; at each house, he is somehow confronted with a reminder of his romantic, domestic and economic failures, until a final visit with an old flame (Janice Rule) leaves him devastated (RT). (suggested by Cecelia, it follows last weeks short The Swimmer!); here a write-up of the book by John Cheever in the New Yorker.

August 26 (Friday) 9:00pm (come at 8:30 and have a chat), Movie Night:

This week’s feature (hat-tip Dan Torop) is a return to slow cinema. Manakamana (2013), directed by Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez of the Sensory Ethnography Lab, is a documentary set in Nepal. It is comprised of a series of long takes of pilgrims on a cable car which ascends to the Manakamana Temple.
Here’s an overview blurb from
“Pilgrims make an ancient journey in a state-of-the-art cable car. Their rides unfold in real-time, highlighting interactions with one another, the landscape, and this strange new mode of conveyance. Through these encounters, the film opens a surprising window onto contemporary Nepali lives, propelled along by the country’s idiosyncratic modernization.”
Come by for conversation plus at 8:30pm. Film should start around 9:00pm.

August 27 (Saturday) 12 noon: To prepare for an active fall calendar we are hosting a general clean-up at the Soil Factory warehouse and environs.  We can use all the help we can get, and free snacks will be provided.  All are invited!

August 28 (Sunday) 8pm: Performance and Exhibition (until September 4): Extra special treat. Come see Italian fire sculptor and contemporary artist Paolo Buggiani and video artist Cinzia Sarto as they take over the Soil Factory– both inside and out. Videos shown are listed here:

Buggiani Video Archive 1979-2019
la nuvola in testa
Quasi temporale 2014

September 1 (Thursday), 5-7pm: Cosmic Cucumber Carousel by Daniel Bozhkov; Daniel is giving an update on his project that has kept the soil factory busy with growing cucumbers.

September 8 (Thursday), 5-7pm: Circular BioNutrient Economy Book Launch, Reading, Performance and Exhibition; the publications from the workshop in October 2021 are printed and we will do a celebratory launch with reading and singing (yes, there is music outside)

September 10 and 11 (Saturday and Sunday), starts at noon, goes to noon: ScienceStudio & ArtLab – The Soil Factory celebrates community with hanging out together over a weekend. Put up your tent on the lawn, organize a nightwalk, mothing, pottery, building infrastructure and any activity you want to share. This is for everyone who is interested in interdisciplinarity, creativity, community building and sustainable development, no matter where you live and work.

September 16 (Friday) 8:00pm, Movie Night: Movie night returns to the exterior walls of the warehouse with Wim Wenders‘ award winning Wings of Desire.  Here’s your opportunity to see Peter Falk (of Columbo fame) in a very different fantasy. Trailer here

(Hat-tip to Patty Keller). Bring warm clothing and enjoy some popcorn!

September 18, (Sunday) 5-7pm Join artist Leslie Rogers to help prepare a performance that will happen atop a floating quilt, which will be stuffed with milkweed floss. The floss (that fluffy stuff inside the seed pod) is extremely buoyant and was foraged during WWII to make life vests for soldiers. Machines developed to separate the floss from the pods and seeds have been lost to history, but we’ll look at some recent prototypes and go at it ourselves. Last week, a group gathered at the Soil Factory to hear a bit about the project and forage for milkweed pods, which are now hanging to dry on display in onion sacks at the Soil Factory.

On Sunday the 18th, we’ll learn more about how one man with military funding attempted to become the milkweed baron of North America, the ways in which he was undermined by nature, and explore ways to handle and process milkweed pods (or just play with it) on a much smaller scale and for a much sillier reason.

September 20 (Tuesday) 6-7:30pm “Singing the Landscape“, an outdoor workshop led by artist Fritz Horstman, will engage participants in aspects of Deep Listening (drawing on Pauline Oliveros), Conduction (drawing on Butch Morris), and Horstman’s own practice of using the voice to evoke the landscape. No prior experience or training is necessary. You need only to bring your ears, your voice, and a willingness to participate. This 90 minute workshop will involve walking, standing, and sitting. Wear attire suitable for the outdoors. The artist will lead participants in methods of listening and vocalizing and together make an improvised composition.  Here’s an example of past singing.

September 23 (Thursday), 5-7pm: Patrick Costello is with us this week,- maybe he can share some thoughts and recent projects with us that evening.