Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WANÅS, a farm and art park

Wanås is about 2.5 hours north of Karlskrona Sweden.  Its a gorgeous area that used to belong to Denmark, and now is back in the hands of the Swedes.  The curator that gave us a tour has been there since the 80's and has worked with amazing world-renowned artists, so it was so inspiring to hear her talk of the history the park and her experience.
This radiator is an art piece.  It heats up with the energy from milking the cows (the heat from the milk).  It is about global warming and the methane that comes from raising cows.  (Eat less meat y'all)
This is Maya Lin's sculpture from 2004...you can see the raise in the ground?  Its a large spiral spanning this grazing field for the cows.  Its best seen in arial view:)

This exhibit took up 4 floors of a barn!  Each floor was different, this was my favorite.  Ann Hamilton wrapped each column of the strucuture hundreds and hundreds of times with string. 
Arial art!
A swedish artists view of global warming.

She is peeing.
For real.
At the end of the day, everyone takes time to swing around...can you see my classmate Spud at the tip top?  

Car Cemetery

For anyone that has read The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, this car cemetery may take on an entirely new meaning; rather than just a dumping ground for broken down gas guzzlers. A man began this car cemetery, and now a photographer has helped secure funding so it can stay here for whomever is interested.  

Its fascinating how nature is reclaiming its own.


We arrived at this camp ground in the dark of night.  It was so dark & quiet, and the sky was so bright, it was so natural, but since I'm not used to nature and such darkness, I was quite scared!

Here is what I found when I woke up (a beautiful fog, that lifted late morning).

Gorgeous spider webs

Yuri brought her son Nau (my apologies, I need to check the spelling); this is some sparkler action at the bonfire.

Växjo Church

We stopped in a quaint church while in town.  

Växjo Kommun, the greenest city in Europe

This weekend I went on a little field trip to the city of Växjo, known as the greenest city in Europe.  Why they are called this is quite interesting, as it seems largely to do with the fascinating way their politicians agree across the board on sustainability issues.  They really take it seriously, and have been doing so for decades.

We got an overview of their city planning strategies and sustainability iniatives.  About 90% of the energy to heat their homes comes from biomass from the surrounding forestry industry (which replenishes itself quicker than it's consumed).  They rely on less than 5% of fossil fuels.  Below you see a picture of their power plant, fueled by biomass.  Notice how its on a beautiful lake.  They also have super terrific goals of becoming much less car dependant.  

One of the big breakthroughs for the area, has been the allowance of timber buildings over 2 stories.  Since wood burns so easily, they haven't been allowed to build with it for a long time.  However, because of their huge supply of this building material, they have begun to build with it again, and have adopted new fire safety codes.  See below some of their timber construction buildings!  

Oh yes, ice cream

We just wanted to share the new ice cream flavors we have been exploring, to help future students know which is best. Here is what we have tried so far:

Chocolate: OMG so good.  Huge chocolate chunks that melt in your mouth.  We both loved it.
Lion: Crystal's favorite!  Chocolate, carmel, peanut butter?  I don't know, but it's like heaven.
Peach Raspberry:  Wow, I don't like fruit ice cream, but I certainly ate all of Josh's.  He also loved it.  Love loved.
Vanilla (soy): eh, boring compared to all the other awesomeness...but was glad to find a non dairy option.
Dumle: Crystal liked the light butterscotch flavor, Josh thought it was disappointing.
After Eight: Crystal also liked (tasted like an Andes mint!), Josh extremely did not.  

Ordering tips:  If you order a scoop, it is actually 3 scoops of one flavor.  If you order 2 flavors (also known as scoops) you get 6 scoops!  If you order 3 flavors, you get 9 scoops!  See below for the 9 scoop extravaganza.  (Kiddie cones are sold for 12 kroner, I recommend this, as it is only 1 huge scoop)

Oh yes, the waffle cones are fresh made right then and there.  

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Game night!

We made friends with our upstairs neighbor Anna and her dog Uli (I will have to confirm the spelling later).  We made tacos that were half swedish (mushrooms, lettuce, corn, cucumbers, tomato and onion, taco sauce, (soy) meat) and half 'american' (rice, beans, salsa).  
This is Anna totally kicking our butts at Jenga.
Deep thought.

København pt.2 - design

I had the pleasure of meeting Kate's friend Erica of Steel Toe Studio's,  truly a fantastic artist and designer. My mind had been in the clouds for a few weeks, so when I met her and she got me into the Designboom show I was uber excited. Here are some highlights.  (and here is the rest)
This is kvadrat's clouds.  I've been in love with this installation concept forever and was so happy to see it in person.
I want horns on my bike now.  Josh is supposedly working on it for me.
What a cute resource reminder.  As you use paper towels, the little gopher and plant sink into the log.  Don't say bye-bye, just use less paper!  Ok, I'm usually not into these cutesy things, but I like this.
I think my friend Stephanie Bassos would love this.  Its wall paper you can pick off the wall to create patterns.  So cool.
Scrap play ground!
This is a fabulous student's indoor fireplace design.  At the bottom is a receptacle to burn alcohol, and when you light it, the interior is lined in brass which sparkles boldly.  So beautiful.

On to some window displays...
This dress is made of yarn, what a bold indian enchantress!
Mirrors on the floor of this window create an incredible gleam.
I love the street aspect of display as opposed to confining it to a window.  Cool Copenhagen, cool.

København pt.1

last weekend we went to copenhagen to visit our friends krys and kate. the train ride over took about three hours and we were able to see the sun set on the baltic.

the first thing you see when exiting the central train station is tivoli gardens.  the line literally wraps around the block on a friday night.

friends, new and not so new. familiarity in strange countries is an incredibly comforting feeling.

we saw great window art the next morning on our walk to get breakfast.
crazy naked african pygmy looking statue.
and a giant ear with tiny people cleaning it, i'm not even sure what that place was selling.

danish danishes, kind of a no-brainer.
a motorized street vending cart. it was going down a major street at the speed of a lawnmower.
interesting fact, apparently most hotdog/street food vendors are government subsidized. it's like the danish equivalent of welfare, and much easier to swallow.(heh)
this is the old danish stock exchange building. the spyre has four dragons atop it with their tails entwining upwards. they're supposed to represent the four scandinavian countries. it's also pretty tough.
stor gay al's stor gay bådtur
i'd call this picture beauty and the beast, but that really isn't fair to all the decent, honest beasts out there.
copenhagen likes their bikes.
crystal was philosophizing when she took this picture.
this was a picture hanging in the apartment we were staying in. it's just great.
train ride home. look at all those wind turbines, copenhagen is the leading country in wind energy production.