a walk to forge dam


peak district, apart the national forest





evanston community arboretum




post bikram


missing home madly


woodland garden, columbia college, 11th and wabash, chicago


liatris spicata, geranium maculatum, verbena bonariensis, geum triflorum




ben hogan community garden, 3031 west walnut street, chicago


proposed garden for 26th place and federal street, chicago








ty: fuckingboring.blogspot.com
re: my academic experience thus far


September 25, 2009

Justin Crosby (images above) / Martine Syms
Synopis of events, written by the artists.

One day, I realized that everywhere I went, there was a TV -- the grocery store, my workout gym, the bank, my church, the airport, repair shops, doctors offices, and many rooms of my own home. My family room had even been renamed the TV room. Where could I go to escape it?

I decided to do something about it. I let myself be vulnerable to the critically-acclaimed television sit-com. I surrendered to the concept, the characters, and the storyline and opened of myself to the possibility of being taken advantage of.

Its called "my commercial break broke". It consists of 5 short videos of tv shows that i filmed. Alt Alf, a cooking show, a commercial, the news, etc.


Incantations in Migration of Summer's Wonderlust and Landscape, curated by Emily Schroeder, at Maxon Mills (Ground Floor) during the Wassaic Project Summer Festival, more information : here

Greg Stimac
Conrad Ventur
Hisham Bharoocha
Sarah Morgan
Martine Syms
Terry Swafford
JD Walsh
Garth Freeman
Joe DeNardo
Nick Lesley
Lydia Moyer
Dawn Blackman
Janusz Welin and James Campbell
Ben Wolf
Denise Kupferschmidt


camping available, accessible by Metro North Harlem Line

7/28 : The Wassaic Project profile published in the New York Times, read it : here

Image : Greg Stimac, untitled (pursuit study), 2008, still


Natural scenery furnishes the contrasting element to the artificiality of the city. All of us should often run away from the works of men’s hands and back into the wilds, where mind and body are restored to a normal condition, and we are enable to take up the burden of life in our crowded streets and endless stretches of buildings with renewed vigor and hopefulness. (Burnham, Bennett, & Moore, Plan of Chicago, p. 53)


Installation View, 2009
Ruffin Gallery, University of Virginia


Normal Projects is moving to Pilsen.

Please join us on June 26th for the closing of the exhibition by Sarah Morgan and Ben Wolf with Jon Bocksel. The closing will take place from 6-9p with a book sale taking place in the space as well.

For more information, please check normalprojects.info


Normal Projects is pleased to present works by Luke Dowd and Lydia Moyer. Emblematic of the small viewing space and intimate display of artworks, this exhibition will display only one work from each artist.

Researching landscapes, in environmental and social contextual histories, Lydia Moyer has created video work describing the visceral American landscape. Mountain Loop (remix) was made as response to industrial processes. Moyer is head of New Media at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and a recent fellow of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship Program. Her work has been screened in Hong Kong, Romania, Iceland, and Australia.

Luke Dowd’s recent work sharpens the impression of his subject matter as a diamond is cut to lead light to the heart of the stone. Dowd stipulates, it is just the “formation of the lines of gems as an organising principle for abstract collages using watercolor and spray paint.”

In an early project, Did dinosaurs have rainbows too and if so could they see them?, Dowd gestured toward evolution, design and the subjectivity of value. Recent exhibitions include Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York; Galerie Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt; HOTEL, London. Dowd will be having a solo exhibition at Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago in April 2009. He lives and works in London.

Normal Projects is an independent apartment gallery exhibiting work on paper and video by emerging and established contemporary artists. This exhibition will be on view from March 20th through April 18th, 2009 by appointment only. Finnisage with artist, Luke Dowd, is April 18th from 2-4p. For further information, please email Emily Schroeder at normalprojects@gmail.com or ring 917 312-8889.



I am a current Urban Planning & Policy graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I would like to venture back East and continue graduate studies providing a foundation in planning attributed to more ecological and progressive environmental and landscape perspectives. We, and our architectural framework, exist at a time when communities are codifying what will be preserved more prevalently than before. We implicitly participate and mold historical accounts of land usage, particularly with green space. Our everyday experiences, exploring the vitality and necessity of green spaces becomes variable; this is where my further exploration in urban planning lies.

I have found Chicago a hard transition. Its city recycling program is faltering with citywide initiative (finally) rolling out in 2011, knowingly that residential recycling practice has been in place for almost 20 years elsewhere. Chicago certainly has encompassed economic development and job retention programs have been of success comparatively to nearby industrial cities such as Detroit. Intention and focus within my education in environmental practices leans more toward conservation and ecology and less toward community growth and development.

And there are many positive and educational experiences that I have gained from the Chicagoland area. I am participating in the Midewin Tall Grass Prairie Charrette with fellow graduate students, local government agency representatives, including Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and Forest Service staff. The prairie is a remarkable cultural heritage site for the Midwest. With the Burnham Legacy centennial upcoming, the prairie is a particular focus for the city of Chicago.

Starting in 2005, my earlier painting practice led me to the early planning books by Jane Jacobs and landscape writings by Anne Whitson Spirn. Visions of city life infused with a new, rich landscape led me through the next few years further into researching urban planning and ecology. I "started over" in the Science Library at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden reading publications on environmental politics and conservation theories written in the early half of the twentieth century. I created abstracts for implementation into library databases for scientific research. This exposure to early histories of the American forest and its landscapes has furthered my interest in urban studies.

Focusing now on contemporary practices in urban life and new landscape environments, I aim to continue to utilize what I have learned from New York City and Chicago to focus further on the design attributes of land preservation and positive effects from urban planning. Coalescing and nurturing both extremes and definably looking for Utopian green urban environments, I would like to encounter history, ecology, design, and land use.




nov 7 - dec 20, 2008
Hisham Akira Bharoocha / Conrad Ventur

Work by Hisham Bharoocha and Conrad Ventur comprise the second in a series of quarterly exhibitions at Normal Projects. Bharoocha and Ventur have both previously exhibited in various tonalities site-specific installations and small works on paper. What they share in their materiality, they expand on in their narratives.

Ventur approaches the exterior, the performative image of Johnny Cash or Marlene Dietrich or Tammy Wynette. Here Ventur utilizes Marlene Dietrich's iconographic performance of Pete Seger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone?. Recontextualizing and re-screening the piece gives the viewer an opportunity to investigate Ventur's established practice within video and photography. Originally exhibited in a larger installation, the video piece will be displayed on a flat screen panel within the exhibition space, giving back to the television quality of such a character as Dietrich. Ventur, a graduate of Goldsmith's College of Art in London, recently exhibited in Athens, Amersterdam, London, and New York.

Bharoocha's installations often encounter performative aspects and also the landscape. "It can be about when one is meditating, dreaming, day dreaming," say Bharoocha, implying despite the urbane, the quiet is implicit. Sound and landscape, then, exist as two inescapable and relational aspects of Bharoocha's work relating back toward selfintrospection. This codifies as a necessary and spiritual balance within Bharoocha. The visual elements exchange this communication of sound wave and silence. Bharoocha received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has exhibited internationally, with a recent solo exhibition (2007), Feel the Light, at De Vleeshal, Middelburg, The Netherlands.

Normal Projects exhibits work on paper and video by emerging and established contemporary artists. This exhibition will be on view from November 7th - December 20th, 2008. There will be a reception from 6-9p on November 21st in association with Bridgeport Art District. For more information, please email Emily Schroeder at normalprojects@gmail.com or ring
917 312-8889.
forthcoming : Dawn Blackman / Devlin Shea (January 2009)


i've been thinking about this more and more within my education


im proud to be apart of the midewin tall grass prairie charette,
linking Chicago to its environmental and historical reference to the land.


I interviewed Luke Dowd over a series of emails,
a long friendship instilled though an ocean between us,
always good conversation.


garfield park conservatory, chicago


2008 chicago garden list
most sourced from natural gardens in st. charles, IL

hydrangea quercifolia
cimicifuga racemosa
eupatorium purpureum
rudbeckia triloba (a favorite right now)
rudbeckia subtomentosa
heliopsis helianthoides
dicentra exima
anemone hupehensis
alchemilla mollis
monarda sp.
convallaria majalis var. montana
hosta sp.
coreopsis sp.
echinacea purpurea (and a variety of cultivars)

i specifically chose a majority of native plants, and when i could, prairie native plants. illinois once had more than 22 million acres of native prairie habitat. today, there is only about 2000 acres of this naturally occurring native habitat remaining.


if one were to ask me where and how i would like to live,
something like this dreams to mind
i might just be completely content with some seed catalogs and a nice view
with, of course, good friends


DIA beacon ny


just a summer's night in chicago
Radical Passengers, members of GOLDEN BIRTHDAY, ryan and adam