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Artist Combines Handmade Stoves & Biomass in “StoveLab”


The artist John Osorio Buck is organizing people to make stoves. In his Stove Lab: A Collaborative Studio project, Buck wants to encourage new approaches to potential responses to emergency situations (e.g. life in Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which was a source of information for the project), ecological sustainability and ideas surrounding art and cultural production. Buck is no stranger to self-reliance and creative means of sustainable living, both ecologically and economically. He is one of the two artists responsible for the Boston Raft, a floating domicile/concept work about living in neighborhoods undergoing gentrification and commercialization.

Buck's desired outcome for StoveLab is the production and exploration of high efficiency stoves and alternative biomass fuels. The venture is collaborative - MassArt foundation students will be heavily involved - and Buck states on his website that there are as many participatory entry points to the project as conceptual. One might call it participatory design. On his website, Buck states that,

In many ways, this project borders on the established field of Applied Design, particularly in relation to the recent push for ecologically responsible design for Third World or environmentally precarious countries. Many places globally suffer from vast deforestation and limited fuel sources. High efficiency stoves can be a potential solution.

There may be a contradiction between the pragmatic approach that applied design must take towards preserving lives and the environment in underdeveloped countries, but Buck's wiki-method (i.e. public participation) of creating a solution will result in insights towards our own way of life here in the US. And who knows, maybe he'll happen upon something useful.

There will be a feast, or "food event," for the participants using their experimental cooking devices on March 2, 2010 from 6-8pm in the MassArt Courtyard.

The project will take place in MassArt's Brant Gallery on the 3rd Floor of the South Building from February 16 - March 18, 2010. Participants can work with Buck from 10am-6pm on 2/17-19 and 2/24-26.


About Author

Christian Holland is an aspiring New York City-based essayist who likes writing about how New York City isn't the center of the world. He was executive editor and founding contributor of Big, Red & Shiny, and sat on the publication's board for V2.

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