Wilhelm (work in progress)

This is a sketch that has been stashed in my desk for time enough. It is a portrait of scientist Wilhelm Reich as a child, interspersed with the “Diagram depicting psychosomatic identity and antithesis” that he came up with in his later years. Reich was the pioneer of psychiatry, cloud-busting technology, and the science of orgone (life-force energy) collection and dispersal.

I am interested in portraying individuals with a sense of depth into their inner lives. There are personal symbols… things that people identify with or express, or else representations of personal evolutions as seen in images of child, adult and elder.  This and works of Reich to follow are an ode to him and his work to honor and validate the basic forces that inform our lives.

“Love, work and knowledge are teh well-springs of our life. They should also govern it.”*

* Reich, Wilhelm. The Function of the Orgasm. 1942, 1948 Orgone Institute Inc.

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A Piece for Nara Moto

The last few weeks have been a blur of activity and motion to complete the Sustainable Cup Challenge incubation phase with The DO School.

Just before I left NYC on a bus to Toronto, I got to sit with my Fellow, Nara Motoyama, for a bit and quickly finished her this piece that I started earlier in the day. It is permanent marker on a piece of wood that was left in our apartment.

Here is what Nara is up to with her venture in graphic design:

We Brazilians are usually proud of our country, and not only because of soccer but also because of the beautiful natural environment of Brazil. That’s why we have changed our attitudes about environmental issues. In 2012, 13% of the Brazilian population considers the environment the main problem in the country, that is more than double of 6 years ago, when this rate was 6%. People are getting more aware of the environmental problems that we face in our country, which means that consumers are taking more responsibility for the purchase of their products and services.

With this tendency spreading in the population, existing companies are willing to get greener and social businesses are growing a lot. Those businesses need not only sell their products, but also must be able to express their values to the consumer.

In this context, I believe design should be used to stimulate the discussion and innovation in this area. Design is a fundamental tool to set up more sustainable consumption systems in the country. Not only by helping the development of new products, but also by informing and educating the consumers.

As a designer, I will create a Design Consultancy to work with sustainable brands. I will help companies to identify how they can increase the value of their products by improving communication or finding innovative solutions that would help them become more sustainable. I want to target clients that provide a good social or environmental impact. According to their needs, I will work with their website, branding, social media and other graphic material. The goal will be to reach the consumer in a more effective way.”

To see and vote for the rest of The DO School Fellows’ ventures, check out: http://apply.thedoschool.org/vote/29235/

– Joseph Stodgel 5/7/14

The GOOD TO GO Coffee Cup Canvas Project in Dumbo, NY

As part of the DO School Sustainable Cup Challenge Fellowship here in Brooklyn, NY, my fellows and I organized the creation and dispersal of 13 coffee cup canvases to NYC based artists. I held on to 2 and contributed some artwork to the project as well.

The Cup Canvas Project arose as an artistic and community response to the dilemma of the millions of coffee cups disposed of daily in NYC. Normally, these cups landfilled up to 500 miles away or “downcycled” into inferior paper products. Our cup canvases demonstrate that wasted materials can become something wonderful.

A canvas is made by covering a wooden panel with 10 cups (a New Yorker’s weekly average). Together the 16 panels represent 2 seconds of cups disposed of in NYC.

Artworks such as these may not solve the severity of our wastefulness, but they provide a fresh way to see the issue and offer a platform for conversation about hyper-consumption and our disposable culture.

For more info on the Good To Go campaign and projects visit: www.goodtogocup.com

A Vision for the Greyton Green Park

Greyton Green Park fin sdsThis is a drawing that I made yesterday of the Greyton Green Park in South Africa. In 2012 my friends and I organized a festival at the local dumping site to raise awareness, confront wastefulness and offer a colorful alternative to detrimental waste mismanagement.

We built a stage, workshop space and composting toilet stalls from dumpsite materials and upcycled waste. Last year we built a market stall area, expanded the workshop area and stuccoed the walls of the toilet stalls. This year more constructions are being added, and the others are being renovated in time for the third Trash to Treasure Festival on April 12th.

Please contact me if you would like to get involved in this effort in any way, shape or form, and check out the website at trashtotreasurefest.org

– Joseph Stodgel 3/9/14