Pacific Northwest

Sustainability in Oregon Film & Media

Grimm_biodiesel_web-280In Oregon, the Annual Governor’s Meeting on Film and Video was recently held in Portland, which is quickly becoming a hub of media activity thanks to the dedicated efforts of independent filmmakers, the success of Laika Animation Studio films like Coraline and ParaNorman, and current television productions GrimmPortlandia, and Leverage (which has just finished shooting on its final season).

According to the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, the average amount spent on production in Oregon each year has risen from $7 million to $100 million. This amount is expected to surpass $120 million next year as tax credits and other incentives draw production away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles to the relatively more laid back atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest.

With this change, the Office of Film and Television has gone out of its way to promote sustainable production practices and has included a link to a Green Production Guide on their website. At the meeting, Oregon’s First Lady Cylvia Hayes took the stage and delivered a well-received presentation on Grimm‘s efforts to use blended biodiesel for their fleet, Leverage‘s use of sustainably harvested wood for set construction, and Portlandia‘s decision to hire a “master recycler” to oversee on-set sustainability. Though the state still has a long way to go to make productions carbon neutral, these initial steps are very encouraging as Oregon seeks to promote itself as a new destination for green film and video production.

Artist Stacy Levy unveils “Straw Garden”

This post comes to you from Green Public Art
Stacy Levy's Straw GardenAs a sculptor, Stacy Levy uses art as a vehicle for translating the patterns and processes of the natural world into the language of human understanding. Her projects are designed so that the site tells the ecological story of itself. Meshing the clarity of maps and diagrams, and the accessibility of science with the visceral sense of the site, Levy tries to create an instant wonder and understanding for the viewer.

Straw Garden is a six month project at the Seattle Center in Seattle, WA. The piece is made of erosion control wattles, in the shape of a baroque garden that spools out into a watershed form; all planted in native species of perennials and shrubs. At the end of the exhibition and the growing season, the garden will be divided and delivered to other landscapes in need of restoration and erosion control.

Straw Garden uses modern landscape restoration materials in a baroque garden configuration. The symmetrical parterre are based on Le Notre’s design for Versailles. The straw wattles are most commonly used for sedimentation control while the coir (coconut fiber) wattles are used for erosion control, on slopes and stream banks. The baroque garden relied on two views, from within the garden and from high above in the manor house. This new garden also has multiple vantages: the lawn, and the elevated views from the monorail and space needle. This temporary work will have a second life as a plant source for landscapes that need restoration and native plant diversity. In several years the wattles will biodegrade, while the native perennials continue to take root and thrive.

Straw Garden is part of The Next Fifty Seattle Center 2012, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, exploring critical issues affecting the Pacific Northwest and the world, and creating synergies that inspire a shared future vision.

Rebecca Ansert, founder of Green Public Art, is an art consultant who specializes in artist solicitation, artist selection, and public art project management for both private and public agencies. She is a graduate of the master’s degree program in Public Art Studies at the University of Southern California and has a unique interest in how art can demonstrate green processes or utilize green design theories and techniques in LEED certified buildings.

Green Public Art is a Los Angeles-based consultancy that was founded in 2009 in an effort to advance the conversation of public art’s role in green building. The consultancy specializes in public art project development and management, artist solicitation and selection, creative community involvement and knowledge of LEED building requirements. Green Public Art also works with emerging and mid-career studio artists to demystify the public art process. The consultancy acts as a resource for artists to receive one-on-one consultation before, during, and after applying for a public art project.
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