FERTILE DREAMS 1
Lake Merritt 1882
Oakland Public Library
Sth and Clay Streets Oakland 1900
Oakland went from wild land to farm land to sky scraper illogic in but 120 years
How do we transform our city into a wild garden where food, shelter, beauty and dreams are cultivated?
How is Oakland a bastion of resilience amidst the inundations of a changing climate?
Ohlone Elder circa 1900
Oakland Public Library
We are currently building a body of work that engages with food, practical action and time travel, using Dream Farm as laboratory and workshop. We know that the project will include making ritual, sculpture, discourse, and sharing food with these questions:
Our street and every vista from our windows is full of skyscrapers, built to support the crumbling tech world and rapacious appetite of capital. What are more fertile dreams for this place? From the ground up where can we imagine into?
As we pivot between the drought, flood and other inundations of a changing climate how do we draw from past, present, and future to imagine and build life supporting structures that meet changing conditions?
How do we honor elders, trees and deep roots? In Oakland, aka land of Oaks, oak trees were once a central food source for the Huichun Ohlone on whose land we reside; Oak trees remained when settlers took this land and turned Oakland into farms on the edges of bay marshes. How do we reject colonialism, honor elders, re-build and re-learn?
Now we are far from the production of food; just buying healthy food close by is often a challenge. How do we connect to land we can not touch?
How do we make an invocation and a meal? Why does a table running down the middle of the street seem so enticing?
Under duress can do we draw on a history of transformation towards the common good ?
The Back ground of this Project
Oakland went from Indigenous wild land to farm land to beautified constructed city to motor city to sky scraper illogic in but 150 years., a mili-second in human time. We are both looking back ward to illuminate the past and looking forward to imagine a future.
This particular project is in the DNA of Dream Fram Commons. Three artists, Ann Schnake, Stacey Goodman and Robert Gomez Hernandez, imagined and built this space almost exactly 5 years ago: DREAMs as big world spirit forces& garden variety ideas of transformation; FARM as grounded productivity and actual greening; the COMMONS, a collaborative flow, community, the block, the neighborhood, the world. As Ann as held the space and Stacey and over 100 artists and future thinkers have come in and out, we have centered ecologic instability, on a global and neighborhood level, as central to our production of visual works and our understanding of this moment. Some of our process for arriving here has been to bring artists and neighborhood together over many meals and conversations. We are producing the next iterations of this dialogue now with a particular interest in the Agripocene or how humans have transformed the planet through the act of growing food, changing how we use and relate to land, domesticate plants and animals, shape our cities and how we live together. Stacey and Ann are currently working with Amy Francescini an and the Alternative Art School. joining the field of practices emerging with fertile dreams landscape wide