Litter in the Wetlands

Litter in the Wetlands
Found trash, metallic wire, wood.

Statement for the piece
This piece is made of all the trash collected in the wetlands in Sunnyvale a few weeks ago. My collect was possible with the help of Jackie Davison, who works at the Environmental Services Department in Sunnyvale. I met with Jackie at school; she was giving a much needed presentation about the watershed in my children’s class. Our paths crossed many times since then.

The bay is stunningly beautiful but if one looks closer, some places are littered with lots of trash, most of it being plastic, which is a real problem because it does not biodegrade. Plastic is not recognized by the organisms that normally break organic matter down.

I moved to the bay area 5 years ago and since then I developed different works about water (videos, collages, drawings). I created participative installations about the ocean, and I mostly use materials that can be reused or recycled. Living in Sunnyvale, close to the bay, I am very interested in knowing this fragile eco-system. I took my family – and my students – on a tour of the water pollution plant to learn about how the water we use in homes, stores and businesses, is treated before going to the bay. I volunteer for annual coastal clean-ups of the bay.

I work with Montalvo Arts Center on arts integration programs for which I develop projects about water. This Spring I am teaching in Campbell “the Water Project” to classes of 2nd graders. The project proposes different art exercises about the watershed, the drought, the water cycle, our water consumption, the pollution of the oceans by the plastic.

Waterwheel e-book launch + World Water Day 2015

(Sip. Do Not Gulp. is page 391 – scroll down after opening the link)

Sip. Do Not Gulp, is part of the Waterwheel World Water Day Symposium 2014 e-book ‘Water Views: Caring and Daring’, which is launched for World Water Day 2015, March 22.

Science, art, ecology, community and youth respond to the theme: ‘Water Views: Caring and Daring.’ An astonishing number and variety of entries – 125 articles & 540 pages – makes this book a rich collection of ongoing work internationally, often with a local focus, on raising awareness and responding to water issues.
450 participants, from 34 countries across 5 continents, interacted with audience ‘live’ on the Internet & in 18 physical venues or ‘nodes’, through Waterwheel, an online platform dedicated to water. The Waterwheel World Water Day Symposium, held 17-23 March 2014, also integrated youth & inter-generational dialogue with the “Voice of the Future” strand.

Download E-book here.
Waterwheel website

L’eau C’est La Vie, a series inspired by water

L’Eau C’est la Vie, a series inspired by water.

For each piece:
collage: drawings on photos that I took on different beaches (Bay Area, France, Costa Rica).
8″x8″ or 12″x12″
mounted on wooden board

Species Encounter: Dive In! at GLOW a festival of Light, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

GLOW festival – Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Friday, October 17, 2014
From 7:00 to 10pm
705 Front Street | Santa Cruz | CA 95060
The MAH website page

Species Encounter: Dive In! is an interactive multimedia installation, which comprises a large shadow theater, a series of animal shapes and a video projection. The public is invited to move the shapes as the video is projected from behind the screen.

“Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in our oceans. Around the world, plastic pollution has become a growing plague, clogging our waterways, and damaging marine ecosystems. 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies. Most of what we eat, drink, or use in any way comes packaged in petroleum plastic- a material designed to last forever, yet used for products that we then throw away.
Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.”

The installation is an allegory for the plastic we consume ending up invading the seas and oceans, being absorbed and eaten by many different marine species and threatening them. In the installation, the animals shapes of fish (like lanternfish and opah), sea turtles (like leatherback sea turtle and hawksbill turtle) and marine mammals (like harbor seals, sperm whales, dolphins), are made of recyclable cardboard. The center of each shape is filled with recycled plastic packaging.

The installation was originally created by Michele Guieu and became a collaborative work with Drew Detweiler bringing the interactive video component to the project. The projection is generated from drawings and video footage combined together to create an ever changing underwater-scape.

What River Are You Made Of? Tuolumne Inside Out Art Exhibit

Show Runs: Sept 4 – October 3
Show Opening: Thursday, Sept 11, 6:30 – 9 pm.
Location: Capital One 360 Cafe—101 Post Street, San Francisco CA

This show brings you 20+ artists’ interpretations of our Tuolumne River, as well as the 411 on the river itself. The artists weave a story about the Tuolumne on the molecular, infrastructure and end use levels through their 2D, 3D, digital, and mixed media artwork.

While the Tuolumne River flows out of the tall peaks of the Sierra Nevada straight to the faucets of three million water users in the San Francisco Bay Area, many don’t know its name and relation to them. The Tuolumne River provides both water and electricity to Turlock, Modesto, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

What else lies hidden from our consciousness about this stunning river as it flows below Bay Area urban neighborhoods, enters our bodies, passes on into the landscape or sewers? What ripples does this river make below us, around us and inside of us? How does this river move through the Bay Area? How are we using it? And what does this life force need from us, to be purely available to us?

Dr. Elizabeth Dougherty, Founder and Director of Wholly H2O, curates this show.

Jorge Backman, Christina Bertea, Jackie Brookner, Charlie Brucker, Cat Chang
Dave Cherry, Brent Davis, Elizabeth Dougherty, Miles Epstein, Kristie Farquhar-Naeyaert, Larry Gonick, Lancelot Fraser, Chantel Greene, Michele Guieu, Jane Ingram Allen, Scott Kildall, Stacy Levy, Jeff Ray, Elizabeth Schowachert, Michael Tunk.

The videos I will be presenting in the show:

Sailing Through Sausalito
Sailing Through Sausalito
is collaborative video completed with two classes of third grade students in Sausalito. For a school year I was a video artist resident in Willow Creek Elementary school with the Sausalito Arts Foundation. The students worked on yearlong projects including all aspects of the curriculum. Sailing Through Sausalito is about the history of the San Francisco Bay through the study of 5 important boats. The students visited several times the construction site of a Tall Ship, a few yards from the school. The students learn how to storyboard, film and edit a video. The project is continuing during the 2014-2015 school year.

The idea for this one-minute video comes from something my mom told me when I was a child and that I never forgot. People who live where there is an abundance of water tend to not think that this is not the reality for a lot of people on this planet. When I lived in Senegal, I was amazed to very often see lines of women walking to get some clean water and take it back home. It is a sight I never forgot. Getting clean water is an every day problem for lots of people and it could even become a problem in the Western world – where we take clean water for granted. No water was wasted in the making of this video.
won “Best Environmental Short” – Bay Area Women in Film and Media (BAWIFM) Short Film Festival 2013.

Sip. Do Not Gulp.
A chef, two scientists and an Ohlone storyteller give their perspectives on the connection between food and water, in the context of the severe drought California is going through at this time.
– Andrea Blum, culinary artist – in Residence at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga
– Jay Famiglietti, Professor of Earth System Science and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine
– Ed Maurer, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering – in Santa Clara University
– Ann Marie Sayers, Ohlone Storyteller and Tribal Chair of Indian Canyon.
This video was part of the multi-media installation Sip. Do Not Gulp. at The de Saisset Museum, in Santa Clara, during the winter 2014

Water Cycle & Waterfall
Water has always been an important part of my life – I always lived closed to an ocean, a sea or a river. “I Remember” is a series of less than a minute videos of memories I have about water. The footage and photos were taken at different locations through the years.

Species Encounter: Dive in! at subZERO

SubZERO festival
San Jose, CA – South First Street – June 6 and 7 – from 6 pm to midnight
Interactive installation in collaboration with videographer Drew Detweiler.

I am interested in having people interact with the pieces I create and add their own elements in my installations. The energy between people is a key part of this installation. When people interact they create a unique scenario and bring the piece to life. Participative art is a much needed community anchor in the uncertain times we live in, as global environmental problems will eventually force us to unite and find solutions collectively. Water is my subject of choice, “Species Encounter: Dive in!” is about seas and oceans life and I hope the poetry of  the installation help people think more about those vital eco-systems.

Visitors are invited to play on a screen with shapes created for the project. Visitors can enjoy the installation from inside (making the shapes move) and/or from outside (watching).

This year for subZERO festival I teamed up with Drew Detweiler, interactive videographer, to take you into a moving ocean of light. Drew created a video projection generated from a series of drawings about water,”Water Dreams”, that I have made in the past months and which is on display at Kaleid Gallery in San Jose. The video is projected on the giant shadow theatre.

What will you encounter? You are invited to create your own species/object/hybrid or to use one designed for the project. Watch, interact, participate and play!

This installation is temporary and the material used is reusable. The shapes are made of cardboard and recycled plastic bottles. They can be re-used for another performance or new ones can be made and then recycled.

Species Encounter was first shown at subZERO festival in June 2013, then the installation  was part of the GLOW festival at the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz last Fall, was shown during the Innovation Summit at the Convention Center and at the Tech museum for a private event in San Jose in 2014.

Panel Discussion: Sip. Do Not Gulp. / Lush Lawns and Delicious Dinner: How California’s Habits are about to change.

Wednesday, February 26, 7 p.m, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA.

At a moment when California’s water situation is of heightened concern, and the interconnectedness of food and water is at the center of the discussion, four experts come together to share their thoughts on the State’s condition. Jackie Davison, Outreach Coordinator in the Environmental Services Department at the Water Pollution Control Plant in Sunnyvale; Masie Ganzler, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Bon Appetit Management Company; Ed Maurer, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering at Santa Clara University; and Joe Morris, Morris Grassfed Beef discuss the impact California’s water shortage has on a personal and local level, and offer their perspectives on what the State’s future might hold. Programmed in conjunction with Sip. Do Not Gulp., on view through March 16, this program speaks to artist Michele Guieu’s commitment to engaging the community through her work.

The de Saisset Museum
500 El Camino Real,
Santa Clara, CA 95050

Sip. Do Not Gulp – video

A chef, two scientists and an Ohlone storyteller give their perspectives on the connection between food and water, in the context of the severe drought California is going through at this time.
This video is part of that installation “Sip. Do Not Gulp.” at the de Saisset Museum in Santa Clara, California.

– Andrea Blum, culinary artist – in Residence at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga
– Jay Famiglietti, Professor of Earth System Science and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine
– Ed Maurer, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering – in Santa Clara University
– Ann Marie Sayers, Ohlone Storyteller and Tribal Chair of Indian Canyon

Sip. Do Not Gulp.
January 17 – March 16, 2014
De Saisset Museum
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 554-452

Link to the exhibition on the de Saisset website.