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Environment Magazine September/October 2008


July-August 2012

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Sculpting Solutions: Art–Science Collaborations in Sustainability

Crisscrossed by highways, dotted with brownfields, and largely cut off from the river that named it, the Bronx in New York City remains, despite everything, a picture of human resilience. Beginning in 2010, artist Lillian Ball and local youth organization Rocking the Boat seized upon an opportunity to give the community a piece of its river back, planting a stormwater mitigation project that also serves as a public park. Nearly 800 miles to the west, in a neighborhood in Chicago's South Side, a similar phenomenon unfolded last summer: Artist, Frances Whitehead of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, teamed with the City of Chicago and students at Chicago State University to plant a bioremediation project at an abandoned filling station lot.

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Mrill Ingram is an associate researcher with a joint U.S. National Science Foundation/U.K. Arts & Humanities Research Council project investigating art–science collaboration. Her research interests include ecological restoration, human–microbial networks, participatory research, and alternative agriculture. She is currently co-authoring a book for MIT Press with Raul Lejano and Helen Ingram on the role of narrative in environmental networks.

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