I found the topic of weeds very interesting because to begin with, how do we even categorize weeds? What is the difference between how we classify weeds in the US in comparison to how others classify them? I wanted to share this link I found that talks about the various use of plants found in the Amazon rainforest. In fact, 25% of the plants in the Amazon rainforest have medicinal purposes including Lapacho which has been proven to have anti-cancer properties and is useful for treating cancer, alleviating pain, chemotherapy and shrinking cancer cells.
In yesterday’s lecture, many students presented on their midterm proposal blogs, Alvaro discussed some of his work, and Professor Vesna discussed her project on dust. This blog does not serve as a comprehensive summary of everything that was discussed in class. Rather, this class discusses some thoughts I had during some of the presentations. Hopefully some of the material written below will be useful additional ideas for people with relevant blogs.
I’ve been reading up on Monsanto recently out of interest and have come across some links that would be helpful for anyone interested in reading a bit more about them.
Avian Flu being cross-species
Brings up idea of how cats and tigers have now been diagnosed with coronavirus but not dogs
Kamila’s blog of biophilia
So, since I presented today, I thought I'd just add some of the notes I took from class.
I want to look further into hair as an object of both disgust and desire. As Professor Vesna mentioned, it's disgusting in the sense that we often throw it away and have this uncomfortable feeling when it's in or near our food.
With regard to biophilia:
If my memory serves correctly, Ngoc was planning to take the midterm project in a direction tangential to the conspiracy theories, but while listening to the presentation, I recalled a friend linking me to some conspiracy articles about COVID-19 originating in the United States. Also, in the face of the article Harrison linked in the chat about how unlikely it was for the virus to have originated in a lab, these articles are just a bit outdated.
In class today, Cydney discussed her extra credit blogs, the second one being based on a talk by Val Curtis in February at the London School of Hygiene. Cydney writes that "The problem is that Africa and Asia are especially bad, where 24% don’t have basic sanitation or a decent toilet, and 12% of people still defecate in the open. Handwashing is even worse - 19% of people wash their hands with soap when they need to, and only 3% wash hands after toilet in Ghana and Madagascar.
Washing Hands during COVID-19
Disgust and Desire: Changing Hygiene and Sanitation Behaviour - GHLS
Some of the topics we have discussed in the class thus far has been Eco Materialism, biomimicry, environmentalism, and how these relate to the COVID 19 pandemic. In Linda Weintraub’s book What's Next? Eco Materialism and Contemporary Art, she defines Eco Materialism as "regain(ing) kinship between the physicality of human bodies with the physicality of the planet" (Weintraub, Introduction).
After going through the midterm proposals the three that interested me the most were Anne’s cookbook about the over consumption of meat, Lucky’s non-toxic paint, and Jose’s mushroom book and garden. All of these projects had some sort of food element to them which I liked and they all involved the use of mycelium which I find to be a fascinating medium.
By: Jose Zeferino