Parsons

  • Profile:

    Oliver Kellhammer is an artist, writer, and researcher who seeks, through his botanical interventions and social art practice, to demonstrate nature’s surprising ability to recover from damage. Recent work has focused on the psychosocial effects of climate change, decontaminating polluted soil, reintroducing prehistoric trees to landscapes impacted by industrial logging, and cataloging the biodiversity of brownfields. He is currently a lecturer in sustainable systems at Parsons in NYC.

    contact: kellhamo[at]newschool.edu | twitter =>okellhammer | archive: www.oliverk.org

    Degrees Held:

    University of British Columbia, (MFA  Creative Writing) 2009
    Bainbridge Island Graduate Institute, (Certificate in Sustainable Business) 2003
    Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Canada 1994-1995
    Ontario College of Art, (A.O.C.A. Photo/Electric) 1985

    Professional Affiliations:

    Tishman Environment and Design Center,  Permaculture Institute of North America, Dear Climate

    Recent Publications:

    • ’The Subjective Lives of Others', contributor, INTERALIA Magazine, September 2017
    • ’Dictionary of the Possible', contributor, SHIFTER Magazine, 22nd Issue, August 2016
    • 'Nodes and Networks’ contributor in SciArt Magazine, August 2016
    • ’Violent Reactions’, in PETROLEUM MANGA (edited and illustrated by Marina Zurkow), Punctum Publications, NYC, May 2014
    • ’Neo-Eocene’, in MAKING THE GEOLOGIC NOW (edited by Elizabeth Ellsworth + Jamie Kruse), Punctum Publications, NYC, Dec. 2012
    • ’Cottonwood Gardens-Oasis in Peril’, in VANCOUVER OBSERVER, Vancouver, Sept 20th 2012
    • ’Discovering Portland’s Organic Architecture’, in VANCOUVER OBSERVER, Vancouver, Dec 1st 2011
    • ’Grand Theft Auto: Vancouver Riots and the Deficit of the Real’, in VANCOUVER OBSERVER, Vancouver, July 11th, 2011
    • ’The Future of Vancouver’s Urban Landscape: Open Source City’, in VANCOUVER OBSERVER, Vancouver, May 31st 2011
    • ’Crush’, in DARWIN’S BASTARDS: ASTOUNDING TALES FROM TOMORROW, (edited by Zsuszi Gartner), Douglas and McIntyre, Vancouver, 2010 (short story previously nominated for the Canadian National Magazine Award in VANCOUVER REVIEW, Winter 2009)

    Performances And Appearances:

    exhibitions / interventions (select):

     

    2018:   'Plastivore' at 'Life at the Edges' exhibition, Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

    2018:   'Dear Climate' at 'Indicators' exhibition, Storm King, NY

    2017:   Neo-Eocene: Gingko spiral at Agrikultura, Malmö Sweden

    2016:   Dear Climate, collaborative installation with Una Chauduri, Marina Zurkow, Fritz Ertl at NYPL, mid-Manhattan branch, NY, New York

    2015:   'Seeing the Forest Through the Trees' group show @ Abandon Normal Devices, Grizedale Forest Visitors Centre, Hawkshead, Cumbria, UK

    2014:   Dear Climate, collaborative installation with Una Chauduri, Marina Zurkow, Fritz Ertl at 'Strange Weather' exhibition, Dublin Science Gallery, Dublin Ireland, also at 41 Main Street Windows, Brooklyn, NY  |  'Ecological Interventions,' two person show at Sanctuary for Independent Media, Troy, New York

    2010:   'other gardens' @ Mobile Media Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

    2009:   Neo-Eocene, collaboration with scientist Rupert Sheldrake, Cortes Island, BC (ongoing)

    Research Interests:

    I am interested in exploring the processes of ecological regeneration in the wake of human disturbance, either through passive field observation (what can I not do?) of biota recolonizing industrial wastelands or by actively engaging in the biological and socio-political processes that inform these landscapes by attempting to improve their relationships with each other. The latter approach often takes the form of what I call 'botanical interventions', whereby I employ horticultural techniques to mitigate problems between people and the landscape, enhancing both the sense of the place and its ecological carrying capacity, as well as addressing such problems as erosion, the availability of affordable and nutritious food and the frequent lack of agency low-income communities are allowed over the design of their urban spaces. My past projects include a community access bio-materials plantation, the reforestation of an eroded railway ravine where the vegetation is now protected as intellectual property, and working with squatters in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood to establish the country’s first public permaculture food forest and Asian ethnobotanical arboretum. My most recent investigations have focused on the speculative botany of climate change and the role of brownfield ecologies as refugia for biodiversity. My interventions, when I make them, are deliberately anti-monumental. As they integrate into the ecological and cultural communities that form around them, my role as the artist becomes increasingly obscured.

    Awards And Honors:

    Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Vancouver Parks Board Art and the Environment Initiative,  Vancouver Foundation, Vancouver Public Art Program, TEDC faculty grant

    Current Courses:

    Sustainable Systems

    Sustainable Systems (Spring 2020)

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