SEEDBED: A Soil Symposium


A Soil Symposium

April 26-27, 2018

Co-hosted by the E.A.R.T.H. Lab and the UCSC Farm & Garden and the Center for Agroecology & SustainableFood Systems (CASFS).

This interdisciplinary symposium on the state of soil will feature performances, interactive activities and pop up exhibitions of visual artworks in the glass cases at the Art Department and in the Barn. Panels will take place in the Cowell Ranch Hay Barn exploring a diverse range of topics from microbes to waste management, labor and farming; the magic of composting and soil science. Seedbed will explore how climate change and human industry have endangered our topsoils – rendering it deadly- as well as the amazing life sustaining potential of what we call “dirt.”


Everyone is welcome. Symposium is free. There are parking fees.  Audience members, please bring food, snacks, sunscreen, sun umbrellas and a little blanket, mat or pillow for sitting on the soil. 

Events take place near the Gate House of the Farm or at the COWELL HAY BARN. The first day will mainly be outside so please bring items mentioned above. It’s a big campus, be sure to Google map link here. Please bring your own meals, snacks and drinks if you are going to stay for lunch and dinner. Everything else you need to know is below, but if you have any additional questions, send an email to, and we’ll be happy to answer you.


Thursday April 26th, Outdoor Performance Art at the Farm. Cowell Hay Barn spoken word, a homily and a film screening during the evening.

Friday April 27th, Opening welcome by Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, Keynote by Fred Kirschenmann, Panels on Soil, Farming and Labor, Waste, Compost in the afternoon.


WHERE: All events are on the Farm near the Gate House and at the Cowell Hay Barn.

Thursday, April 26

UCSC Farm – Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
(click here for more info)

Time  Event
MORNING AND AFTERNOON: Outside near the Gatehouse at the farm
9:00-10:00 Meet & Greet: MUD PORRIDGE by Daniel Bernhard Cremer. Coffee, tea and nibbles will be served.
 10:00-10:15 Land Acknowledgement, Welcome & Introduction (s): 
SEEDBED: A PRIMER Annie Sprinkle (E.A.R.T.H. Lab artist), and Beth Stephens (artist, Director of the E.A.R.T.H. Lab and Chair of the Art Department).The Pollination Pod will be on view throughout the day.
10:15-10:45 Ritual Performance: OUR ANCESTORS IN THE SOIL
Dragonfly (aka Robin Laverne Wilson)




Karin Bolender and Bendito


Performance: SOIL BATHING

Maria Ramirez




We will have a few snacks and beverages, we suggest you bring some food for yourself too.



Dance: a dance in the dirt
by Keith Hennessy and Gerald Casel
2:45-3:45 Dance: SOIL TIMES; 3 dances 3 places
Kevin O’Connor (Irish-Sicilian), Ruth Douthwright (Canadian), Montana Summers (Oneida Nation), Avery Hall, Dorit Osher

Performance: BECOMING SOIL

 Caro Novella



Kristin Kawecki


Performance: The Sum of My Soil

Shawn Shafner


Spoken Word: A Triptych of Loss: tiny bag of dirt // 흙575 // intentional

Amy Mihyang Ginther



We will have a few snacks and beverages, but we suggest you bring some food for yourself.


Performance: Tu B’Shvat (The Birthday of the Trees)

Rabbi Sydney Mintz

9 pm


Directed by Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle, Produced with Keith Wilson. This documentary film explores the relationship of water with soil and waste and introduces the ecosexual gaze. 80 minutes. w/ Q&A with the directors/producers/cast.
Hot popcorn will be served

Friday, April 27

At UCSC Hay Barn

Time  Event
9:00-10:30 Meet & Greet
MUD PORRIDGE by Daniel Bernhard Cremer. Coffee, tea and nibbles will be served.The Pollination Pod will be on view throughout the day.


Frederick Kirschenmann
(Professor, President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and Organic Farmer)

12:00-1:30 Lunch is being hosted in part by the S-Lab 
by the Gopher Holes +Intros
We will have a few snacks and beverages, we suggest you bring some food for yourself.


Moderator: T.J. Demos
Participants: Melissa K. Nelson, Laurie Palmer, Kristina Lyons and Newton Harrison



Moderator: Frederich Kirschenmann
Participants: Elisa Oceguera, Jane Komori, Rick Flores, Dragonfly (aka Robin Laverne Wilson)



We will have a few snacks and beverages, but we suggest you bring some food for yourself.

Benedicte Farago sweeps floor during dinner



Moderator: Amy Franceschini
Participants: Shawn Shafner (aka the Puru), Christina Bertea, Bill Basquin, Leslie Green

Juniper Harrower


Hosted by Gia boi and Dragonfly 

Any and all attendees that want to can speak, perform, announce, or comment, for one minute. Those that want to participate will write down their names and they will be drawn one by one and called to come to the mic.



Linda M. Montano (virtual)

 10:45-11:00   Goodbyes 

Attention: During The Evening and throughout Friday there will be art on display in the Barn as well as in the Glass Cases at the Art Department. Artists exhibition are Joanne Baker, Barbara Benish, Christina Bertea, Juniper Harrower, Dulce Soledad Ibarra, Avital Meshi, Eliza Swan and Xiaowei Wang. Be sure to visit installations at Art Department mini galleries. 

Friday beginning at noon the Sustainability Lab (S-Lab) will hosting a project fair outside of the Barn near the Pollination Pod to demonstrate some of their great projects.


Keynote: Frederick Kirshenmann
A longtime national leader in sustainable agriculture, Dr. Frederick Kirschenmann is a distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, where he also teaches in the Department of Religion and Philosophy. Additionally, he oversees the management of his
family’s 1,800-acre farm in North Dakota, which was converted into a certified organic operation in 1976. Dr. Kirschenmann remains a distinguished proponent of the push for sustainable methods of agriculture, and received the James F. Beard Foundation Leadership award in 2011.

Joanne Barker
Joanne Barker is Lenape (a citizen of the Delaware Tribe of Indians). She is professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University. She edited Critically Sovereign: Indigenous Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (2017) and authored Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity (2011), both with Duke University Press. Her artwork is available at

Bill Basquin
works in partnership with others. His practice takes as its root his relationship with those around him and the changes that can occur in meaningful partnership over extended periods of time and with careful observation and interaction. He stresses locality: making for small audiences and with specific vocabulary that depend on the readings of a network of human and non-human alliances. He has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York; Documenta in Kassel, Germany; and the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. He lives and works in San Francisco, California.

Barbara Benish
Barbara Benish is an artist, curator, writer and farmer. She studied Ethnography & Art (University of, Hawai’i), Painting (MFA, Claremont Graduate University), and at the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm. She moved to Prague in 1993 as a Fulbright scholar and stayed. Her work has been shown at numerous institutions in Europe and the U.S., including P.S.1 Museum, the Getty Museum, the Stadtgeschichtliche Museen in Nurnberg, Germany, and the National Gallery in Prague. Benish is Founding Director of ArtMill in rural Bohemia. She has been an Advisor to the U.N., a Fellow at the Social Practice Arts Research Center , (UCSC) and co-author of Form, Art, & the Environment (Routledge, 2017). Benish teaches in Prague.

Christina Bertea
Christina is an eco artist, water activist, and union trained plumbing contractor. She loves to create artworks that spark curiosity and awareness about our relationship to water and our bodily produce. As a member of the Greywater Guerrillas she helped re-write an improved, more user-friendly greywater code for CA. With the now mainstream Greywater Action she teaches hands-on greywater and rainwater installation workshops and envisions we humans gracefully re-entering the nutrient cycle, offering what passes through our bodies back to the earth in the most delicious forms possible.

Karin Bolender
(aka K-Haw Hart, PhD) is an artist-researcher who seeks “untold” stories within muddy multispecies meshes. As principal investigator of the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.), she explores dirty words and tangled wisdoms of earthly bodies through performance, writing, video, and sound. In the company of she-asses Aliass and Passenger and a far-flung herd of collaborators, the R.A.W. cultivates interspecies forays like R.A.W. Assmilk Soap, the She-Haw Transhumance series, Gut Sounds Lullaby, and The Unnaming of Aliass.

Gerald Casel
Gerald Casel is an associate professor of dance at UCSC. His choreography provokes questions surrounding colonialism, cultural amnesia, whiteness and privilege, and the invisible/perceived/obvious structures of power in dance. As a teacher, he employs somatics as a way to amplify knowledge production through movement and by identifying and undoing coded systems of dance training that privilege Eurocentric canons and aesthetics. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he received an MFA from the UW-Milwaukee. Casel has danced for Michael Clark, Lar Lubovitch, and Stephen Petronio and was awarded a ‘Bessie’ – New York Dance and Performance Award for Sustained Achievement.

T.J. Demos
T.J. Demos is a cultural critic and professor of visual culture at University of California, Santa Cruz, and Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. He writes widely about contemporary art, global politics, and ecology, and is the author, most recently, of Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press, 2017) and Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016).

Daniel Bernhard Cremer/Gaiaboi
is working in performance art, as theatre director, ecosexual counselor, queer science-fiction writer & passionate witch. Daniel staged operas, co-created collectively written plays, and initiated participatory projects by and for children as well as grown-ups and ecosystems. His performative work has been shown at various theatres, including the Gorki theatre and HAU in Berlin, festivals like Berliner Theatertreffen, as well as museums like GAK Bremen, Berlinische Galerie and Schwules Museum* in Berlin. Daniel’s work focuses on healing through transgressive pleasure, expansion of sexual horizons and the abolishment of the ugly status quo through communal states of expanded awareness. In 2017 he took part in Annie Sprinkle’s and Beth Stephens’ Ecosexual Walking Tour at Documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany. Daniel’s most recent work, “Born to make you happy”, will be shown again in June at Mousonturm theatre in Frankfurt am Main.

Dragonfly aka Robin Laverne Wilson
Dragonfly is an auteur, raconteur, and benevolent provocateur. She is a Baptist deacon’s daughter turned radical deaconess with The Church of Stop Shopping, and continues sharing large and small stages with Reverend Billy–from opening for Neil Young to a featured set at Cabaret Voltaire and residency at Joe’s Pub. Her alter-identities include Miss Justice Jester, the flamboyant firebrand guerilla street and performance activist–and Helvetika Bold, the comic book social justice supershero brainchild of Gan Golan and Betsy Richards for The Opportunity Agenda. She has spoonfed provocative memoirs to the Red Umbrella Project’s Prose & Lore Anthology series and collaborated with political performance artists Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens. As Robin Laverne Wilson, she was a record-breaking candidate for senator of New York State on the Green Party ticket in 2016. Born in Detroit but raised in Texas, Dragonfly is the proud daughter of an Army combat medic/Korea/Vietnam veteran and a homemaker/domestic. She calls Brooklyn home but still unabashedly says “y’all” and “ain’t.”

Amy Franceschini
Amy is the founder of Futurefarmers, an international group of artists, activists, farmers and architects who work together to animate the possible within a particular time and place. Their work invites people to reimagine the environment and our place in it. Futurefarmers are the lead artists of Flatbread Society, a permanent public artwork in Oslo, Norway and their most recent project, Seed Journey, a floating school moving by sail between Oslo and Istanbul.
Amy has a photography from San Francisco State University, 1992 and an M.F.A. from Stanford University, 2002. Her work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Whitney Biennial in New York, MOMA, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Venice Architectural Biennale and she is the recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship and recipient of the 2017 Herb Alpert Award for Visual Arts.

Rick Flores
Rick Flores is the Steward of the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, which is a collaborative effort between the Arboretum and the AMTB to assist the tribe in the relearning of plant identification, ethnobotany, and traditional resource and environmental management practices, as well as educating students and the public about California Indian lifeways. In addition, he is a Research Associate for the Amah Mutsun Land Trust which uniquely merges conventional land trust approaches with indigenous knowledge, techniques, and ideals, and is committed to protecting and celebrating cultural resources through creating opportunities for the AMTB to engage in traditional ways across the landscapes of their ancestors.

Amy Mihyang Ginther
Amy is a transracial Korean American adoptee and is faculty in the UCSC Theater Arts Dept, specializing in voice, text, and acting. She has lived, taught, and performed in the US, UK, Argentina, Czech Republic, Ireland, Vietnam, and Korea. Amy’s recent award-winning solo show, Homeful, will be performed in NYC this fall.

Lesley Green
Lesley Green is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and founding director of Environmental Humanities South, a research centre at the University of Cape Town. Her current research focuses on race and the making of an environmental public in a time of climate change in South Africa, linking the critique of modernist thought with the work of postcolonial and decolonial thinkers. She is the editor of Contested Ecologies: Dialogues in the South on Nature and Knowledge (HSRC Press, 2013), co-author of Knowing the Day, Knowing the World: Engaging Amerindian Thought in Public Archaeology (Arizona University Press, 2013), and author of Rock | Water | Life: Essays from South Africa on Science and Decoloniality (Duke University Press, forthcoming 2018). She is currently on a Fulbright at the Science and Justice Research Center at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Newton Harrison
Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison (The Harrisons) have become legends in their own time. They are well-known pioneers of ecological art and environmental art. Ecological art, or eco-art as it is often called, is a distinctive area of contemporary art practice, a sub-category of environmental art that focuses on the biological interdependence in eco-systems. In order to understand eco-systems, to work with them as an artistic medium, and to create successful ecological and environmental interventions, the Harrisons have had to master environmental science. They also have had to conduct a great deal of their own original research at the intersections of art and science, generating outcomes that contribute to both fields. Their first work together was about Making Earth. When invited to do a work on endangered species, they contended that the most endangered species they knew was a living system, otherwise known as the topsoil.

Juniper Harrower 
Environmental Studies PhD Candidate, UCSC. Juniper researches the impacts of climate change on iconic Joshua trees and their symbiotic partners as both a scientist and an artist. Her ecology research focuses on the species interactions between Joshua trees, their soil fungi, and moth pollinators, to understand how these partnerships could change with climate. She further investigates these topics as a multimedia artist – creating animations, an online dating site for Joshua trees, and an experimental painted soil study – to highlight and explore the complexities of these relationships, and to share their incredible beauty.

Keith Hennessy
Keith Hennessy MFA, PhD is a dancer, writer, choreographer, activist, and ritualist. Raised in Canada, living in San Francisco since 1982, he tours internationally. Keith’s recent collaborators include Peaches, Meg Stuart, Scott Wells, Jassem Hindi, J Jha, Annie Danger, Gerald Casel, and Turbulence. Awards include Guggenheim, USArtist, Bessie, Sui Generis, and a few Izzies. Hennessy directs Circo Zero and was a member of Contraband, 1985-1994. Recent gigs include VAC Foundation (Moscow), Impulstanz (Vienna), L’Artère (Québec), Warsaw Flow, Blackwood (Toronto), Movement Research (NY), FRESH (SF), and the colleges San Diego State, UCB, UCR, St Mary’s, and Hollins.

Dulce Soledad Ibarra
Dulce Soledad Ibarra is an multi-disciplinary artist, curator, designer, and non-profit arts advocate with special interests in community and identity-emphasized arts and opportunity. As a practicing artist, Ibarra discusses issues of generational guilt and cultural identities in videos and installations, and recently has been inviting the public to partake in the dialogue via workshops and participatory work. Looking through queer Chicanx perspective, the work is fueled by emotional labor, persynal research and analyzation. Ibarra studied at California State University Long Beach and has shown at institutes such as Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Angels Gate Cultural Center, and the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University. Ibarra has written and researched for the exhibition catalog and provided assisted curation of Far-Sited: California International Sculpture Symposium (University Art Museum, 2015) and COASTAL/BORDER (Angels Gate Cultural Center, 2017).

Kristin Kawecki
Kristin is a first year PhD studying literature and the environment at UC Davis interested in bringing together studies of gender and sexuality and studies of the environment. As a seasoned yogi and yoga instructor, she enjoys examining how she thinks with her body and moves with her mind as she engages with the earth and all she encounters. She also dances with the earth through hiking, climbing, and playing with plants.

Jane Komori
Jane Komori is an activist, farmer, and PhD student in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California Santa Cruz. Informed by a professional farming practice, organizing in feminist and social justice communities, and literary and creative work, Jane pursues interdisciplinary research that is concerned with Japanese Canadian and American identity since their internment during the Second World War. Jane’s research investigates how Japanese North Americans have built and maintained cultural identity and spaces of home and belonging in spite of displacement through alternative food systems.

Kristina Lyons
Feminist, postcolonial and decolonial interfaces with science studies, environmental humanities, politics of ‘nature’ and ‘matter’, ethnographic theory, literary ethnography and ecopoetics, politics and the political in Latin America, socioecological justice, sociocultural anthropology. Professor of Feminist Studies and affiliated with the Science and Justice Research Center, Anthropology and Latin American and Latino Studies.

Rabbi Sydney Mintz
Rabbi Sydney Mintz was ordained in 1997 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. She is the founder of the award winning Late Shabbat Young Adult Program at Congregation Emanu-El where she has served as Rabbi since her ordination in 1997. She became a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem after completing her fellowship in 2004. Sydney currently serves on the National Board of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and as a Rabbinic Scholar for American Jewish World Service. She is a graduate of Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program and is a member of the US State Department’s Working Group on Religion and Social Justice. She led Team Emanu-El in the AIDS Lifecycle Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and is an avid ocean swimmer. In 2016, Rabbi Mintz became a Resident in the San Francisco Film Society’s Film House Residency program.

Avital Meshi
Avital Meshi is a new media artist, a biologist and an avatar. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Digital Art and New Media program at UCSC. Avital’s work aims to blur the lines between virtual-reality and real life. She explores ideas in regard to construction of identity, emerging cultures, role-playing and the influence of the virtual on the real.

Linda Mary Montano
I am a performance artist. I make art of time and life.  If there is something wrong with my life I make art about it. If there is something mysterious about  life I make art about it.  Having been raised in a very STRICT Roman Catholic traditional way and having been in a convent for two years, I borrow that pedagogy and there are hints of that methodology in all of my work although there is  often humor disguised as material for art-making.  This is a relief from what I consider intense suffering which is the foundation of my work.  Shop at  my website and blog and in my 5 books for more if you wish.

Melissa K. Nelson
Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D. (Anishinaabe/Turtle Mountain Chippewa) is an ecologist, writer, and Indigenous scholar-activist. She is an associate professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and president of the Cultural Conservancy, a native-led Indigenous rights organization. Melissa has been involved with the Indigenous food sovereignty movement for over 20 years. She co-manages an Organic Farm at the College of Marin and is a co-founder of the Slow Food Turtle Island Association. She is an earth diver and seed saver and just started the Native Seed Pod, a podcast polyculture. Melissa is the editor of and contributor to two books, Original Instructions (2008) and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (2018).

Caro Novella
Performer-researcher working at the intersection of dance, choreography, improvisation, body installation, visual poetry, and performance art and Interested in rehearsal as a mode of creation/research and arousal as a transfeminist activist practice. Originally from Barcelona and living between Mexico and California, she is currently finishing her dissertation in Performance Studies at UC Davis,, which explores rehearsal and the kind of ecologies that emerge from the collaboration of human and more-than-human bodies with oncological health fictions.

Elisa Oceguera
Elisa Oceguera is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cultural Studies Program at the University of California Davis. She investigates the role of care labor in sustaining queer sociality in farmworker communities. Her research interests include community-based methodologies, ethnic studies, autonomous marxism, queer and trans studies. She is a co-founder of Queer Qumbia, a queer and trans grassroots benefit dance party in the SF Bay Area.

A. Laurie Palmer
A. Laurie Palmer ’s place-based work takes form as sculpture, public projects, and writing, and she collaborates on strategic actions in the contexts of social and environmental justice. Her book In the Aura of a Hole: Exploring Sites of Material Extraction (2014) investigates what happens to places where materials are removed from the ground, and how these materials, once liberated, move between the earth and our bodies. She is currently researching the shapes and structures of underground oil shale formations and developing work on lichen that considers this slow, resistant, adaptive and collective organism as an anti-capitalist companion and climate change survivor. Palmer is a professor of art at UC Santa Cruz.

Damian Parr Ph.D.
Damian Parr is the Research and Education Coordinator at the University of California, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). He began organic mixed vegetable truck farming in high school (1989), was a UC Santa Cruz Apprentice in Ecological Horticulture in 1991, and an Environmental Studies-Agroecology undergraduate at UCSC in 2000. Damian completed a M.Sc. in International Agriculture Development (2003) and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Education at UC Davis in 2009. For much of his graduate work and Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010) at the UC Davis, Damian worked with colleagues at the Student Farm and Agricultural Sustainability Institute designing and implementing the new UC Davis Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems B.Sc. degree program. Beyond organic farming, his professional interests include, experiential and transformational learning, critical pedagogy, and participatory action research. Damian is a co-founder and Past-Chair of the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association.

Laura Parker
Laura Parker (born Denver, Colorado, 1947) is an American visual artist whose work tells stories and helps others make experiential connections to the land. Addressing themes of food, agriculture, and soil, she is best known for her interactive installations, drawings, paintings, and tapestries. Creating relationships between her work, gallery visitors, and the land created opportunities for discovery that are part of Parker’s social practice work. She lives and works in San Francisco and rural Sonoma County, California.

Maria Isabel Ramirez
Maria Isabel Ramirez is a Chicanx performing artist from East Los Angeles, California. She began performing at the age of 3, while yelling fruta! fruta! fruta! up and down the streets of down town Los Angeles. She’s performed with various art troupes like La Pocha Nostra, The Ecosexuals, and The Girls. As a modern day Chicanx, she challenges the current status quo through re-interpreting and re-shaping the perceptive relationship of being colored while living in America.

Irene Reti
is the director of the Regional History Project at the UCSC Library, which has been documenting the history of UCSC and of the Central Coast since 1963. She is the co-editor/project manager of Cultivating a Movement: An Oral History of Organic Farming and Sustainable Farming on California’s Central Coast: and of Out in the Redwoods: Documenting Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender History at the University of California, Santa Cruz 1965-2003:
Outside of UCSC, Reti is the publisher of HerBooks lesbian feminist press, which published many titles including Garden Variety Dykes: Lesbian Traditions in Gardening in 1994. She is also a writer and landscape photographer.

Shawn Shafner
Shawn Shafner is an artist, educator and activist. Creator of The People’s Own Organic Power Project (, he has catalyzed conversation about sustainable sanitation from the top of NYC’s largest wastewater treatment plant to the floor of the United Nations. Shawn’s solo show An Inconvenient Poop was a Time Out New York Critic’s Pick and won him the 2015 NY International Fringe Festival Award for Overall Excellence in Solo Performance. Other major POOP works include the feature documentary Flush, family musical Innie / Outie, and monthly episodes of SHHH: The Poopcast (aka Shit and Shame with Shawn). Shawn has presented his work across the country at higher education institutions including Columbia University, University of Alabama and the University of California at Santa Cruz, and has had the opportunity to talk shit with communities globally, including in Dubai, Edinburgh, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Jerusalem, Mexico City).

Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle
Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinke have been devoted to pollinating the ecosex movement through art, theory, practice and activism since 2004. They’ve produced numerous performance art works, symposiums, weddings to nature entities, workshops, walking tours, and art exhibits. Their award winning documentary, Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story played many film festivals and is on iTunes. Beth is an Art Professor and chair of the art department at UC Santa Cruz. Their new film is Water Makes Us Wet, is about the pleasures and politics of water. Last year they were in Documenta 14.They aim to make the environmental movement a little more sexy, fun and diverse.

Eliza Swann
is an interdisciplinary artist, intuitive, writer, educator, and community organizer based in Los Angeles and New York. Eliza received a BA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, trained in hypnotherapy at the Isis Centre in England, and received a Master’s degree in Fine Art from Central St. Martins in London. Eliza has exhibited her work internationally, most recently at the Women’s Center for Creative Work (Los Angeles), Elephant Gallery (Los Angeles), and the Art/Life Institute (Kingston, NY). Eliza has lectured at UCLA, the Hammer Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute,Central St Martins, CalArts, and is currently a Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute. She has contributed critical writing to BOMB, Arthur, Contemporary Art Review LA, and Perfect Wave Magazines. Eliza is also the founder of The Golden Dome School, a curatorial and educational platform that studies intersections of art, metaphysics and ecology.

Xiaowei Wang
Xiaowei Wang is an artist, engineer and technologist based in Oakland, CA. She uses art and storytelling to explain complex technical and data-rich concepts at the intersection of environmental data and open source technology. She has made a number of award-winning new media projects, including FLOAT Beijing, an air quality sensing kite project, which was an INDEX Design to Improve Life Finalist; and Where The Drones Strike platform, a LOVIE Awards Winner, produced with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Other work includes data visualization projects for the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and serving as a lead artist for The U.S. Department of State’s American Arts Incubator program. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including Beijing Design Week’s Advanced Computational Research exhibition and Haus der Kulturen Welt, Berlin.

The Soil Times Collective

Kevin O’Connor
Kevin O’Connor, MFA, is a multidisciplinary artist working as a choreographer, dancer, improviser, circus artist and installation artist. He is involved in a decade-long artistic collaboration with Ruth Douthwright and Billy Jack exploring un/settling participatory performances within watersheds in Ontario.  His attentional practices have recently been made different by working as a biodynamic cranial sacral practitioner and learning alongside Inuit hunting families on Baffin Island. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in Performance Studies where he is researching anatomies, body performance capacities and imaginations, environmental activism and unsettling practices, and community-based performances.
Ruth Douthwright
Ruth Douthwright is a dance artist and movement educator working with diverse populations. Influential studies and research: Axis Syllabus, Folk dance, Voice, Continuum,The Body Weather Farm and Noh Theatre. Ruth worked with Frey Faust ABCDC, L’Inattendue Compagnie , Dasein Dance Theatre, Patria Series with R. Murray Schafer and Dance Director of National Artist Program/ Canada Summer Games, FLUX London Dance Festival. Ongoing research and performance projects Ecological Bodying with Strange Strangers Collective Kevin O’Connor and Billy Douthwright. Ruth is currently working with the London Arts Council as a Dance Artist and Educator with ongoing programs at Museum London and Public School Board.
Montana Summers
Montana Summers is from the Oneida First Nation of the Thames. Montana had begun training in modern, jazz, and ballet classes offered at H.B. Beal Secondary School. After high school, Montana was then accepted into the Indigenous Dance Residency (2015) and KDT’s Summer Intensive (2016) where he trained in the exploration of indigenous and contemporary dance. Montana has also had the chance to work with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Santee Smith with other performances and projects like “The Honouring” (2015-17), “I Lost My Talk” (2016) and “The Mush Hole” (2016-18). Montana now focuses on teaching workshops and classes for all ages in his hometown London, Ontario.
Avery Hall
Avery Hall has been exploring her love for movement since she was six years old. She has been an artist-mentoree in residence with the London Arts council this past year with Montana and Ruth. She teaches dance classes in schools and leads community workshops, thanks to the support of the London Arts Council.
Dorit Osher
Dorit Osher is a choreographer, performer, teacher, facilitator, mentor and clinical social work/ psychotherapist. Dorit danced with companies in South Africa, Israel and as an independent artist in Europe and Canada. Living as an artist in London, Ontario she is involved with the London Arts Council and the current formation of The Open Space, a welcoming community arts hub.

The Gopher Holes

Madison Heying
Madison Heying is a Teaching Fellow and PhD candidate in Cultural Musicology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on electronic and experimental music. She is particularly interested in how technology shapes musical and compositional practices, and conversely, how musicians and composers craft, manipulate, utilize technology to suit their creative aims. Her dissertation explores these issues through a study of Carla Scaletti, the Kyma system, and the Kyma user community.

Yolande Harris
Yolande Harris is an artist and scholar exploring ideas of sonic consciousness and techno-intuition. Her projects consider techniques of navigation, expanding perception beyond the range of human senses, the technological mediation of underwater environments and our relationship to other species. She has presented her work internationally over the last twenty years, including the ICA London, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the House of World Cultures Berlin, and holds a PhD from Leiden University in ‘Sound, Environment and Sonic Consciousness’. Yolande was Assistant Professor in the Film/Animation/Video Department at Rhode Island School of Design, before moving to Santa Cruz where she is Affiliate Faculty with the Digital Arts and New Media MFA program and Lecturer in the Art Department at UCSC.

Kristin Erickson Galvin
Kristen E. Galvin is the Technical Coordinator for the Digital Arts and New Media program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts. She received her B.A. And M.F.A. Degrees in electronic music from Mills College. She performs, composes and records under the name Kevin Blechdom and in her band Blectum from Blechdom.

The E.A.R.T.H. Lab Team

Benedicte Farago
Benedicte is a French student of Art. She just graduated from a graphic design licence that she is currently pursuing at Bourges- Fine Art section. Transgression, Activism, Provocation, Sex, Pornography and Post-Porn production the subjects are directly linked to my work. She is currently doing an internship with Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle at the E.A.R.T.H. Lab.

Jordan Freeman
Jordan is an independent filmmaker who lives on a sailboat in San Pedro, CA. In 2005 he moved to the Coal River Valley in WV from Los Angeles and then spent a decade documenting the unfolding controversies surrounding coal mining throughout Appalachia. He was a primary videographer for the film Coal Country. He ws also a videographer and archivist for organizations such as Coal River Mountain Watch, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition documenting events for web release. He was the cinematographer for Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle’s Goodbye Gauley Mountain, and was the aerial cinematographer for Water Makes Us Wet. His most recent film is Blood on the Mountain.

Krya Jackson
Kyra Jackson is a third-year undergrad Art student at UC Santa Cruz. Her main focus of study is photography. She will be the official event photographer for Friday.

Joshua Tuthill
Joshua Tuthill’s work has focused on existential sub-conscious narratives with an emphasis on humankind’s interaction with the world around him/her. Recently it has been exhibited both nationally and internationally including Academy Award qualifying festivals such as the 24th Slamdance Film Festival, Park City, Utah, the 45th Athens International Film + Video Festival, Athens, OH 10th International Animated Film Festival Animator, Poznan, Poland, The 28th Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, Yubari, Japan, the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival, RI. His newest film, Black Dog, premiered at the 29th Message to Man International Film Festival in Saint-Petersburg, Russia and received the Jury’s Choice Award at the 37th Black Maria Film Festival, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Martabel Wasserman
Martabel Wasserman is a writer, artist, curator living in Santa Cruz. She has written about fierce pussy, the AIDS crisis, the aesthetics of solidarity and seashells. Curatorial projects include Fire in Her Belly, Hold Up, Coastal/Border and The Rebel Body. She was the founding editor of RECAPSmagazine from 2012-2014. She has shown visual art in Providence, Los Angeles and New York City.


Please bring your own meals, snacks and drinks if you are going to stay for lunch and dinner. There are cafes on campus but they are pretty far from the symposium. Check out this list of cafes on campus here. Coffee, tea and water will provided. Please bring your own cup to minimize waste.


There is a fee to park in the UCSC parking lot. Our beloved parking enforcement team is extremely vigilant. Please follow the link here to avoid an expensive ticket. Click here for maps.

Between 9am and 3pm purchase a parking permit from one of our attendants in the Barn Theater parking lot.

Parking at Barn Theater (lot 122) and Campus Facilities (lot 115/116) FREE after 5:00pm. Permit required otherwise.


We want you to be warm, comfortable, and cozy. Here are some places to stay:

Camping: The Redwood Resort has free camping for symposium participants and their close guests. This includes shower and restroom facilities. They’re great friends of Annie and Beth, and are co-sponsoring this event! Please keep in mind that they’re a 40 minute drive from UCSC. The map link is here. If you want to use this option, please contact Beth Stephens

You may also like Henry Cowell State Park. They don’t have a website, but the map link and phone number is here.

Hostels: There are lots of options here.

Hotels: A list of all hotels in Santa Cruz can be found here.

We love staying at The Ocean Pacific Lodge. They’re offering a 10% discount for our symposium, just mention that you’re going to UCSC when you book. We’ve had a great time there in the past, and it’s a nice mid-priced hotel. A google map is here. For a high end experience, we recommend the Dream Inn. Their location is right next to the ocean, with incredible views.

Special thanks to our collaborators friends and sponsors

Dean’s Fund for Excellence 

Thank you to the Ocean Pacific Lodge, UCSC catering, and India Joez, & UCSC’s ITS team.

Special thanks to our generous, amazing hosts: Nada Miljkovic, Kyle McKinley & Shelly Errington


Thanks to everyone who gave their time and resources to help us with this event:

Dean Solt, ARI, Center for Science and Justice, Center for Arts and Science, Feminist Studies

The UCSC American Indian Resource Center and the UCSC People of Color Sustainability Collective the S-Lab

the Redwood Resort and Amy’s.

All of the amazing UCSC staff.

Thanks UCSC catering, India Joez, and to My Mother’s Mole

Thanks to the Redwood Resort’s generous proprietors  Dan and Joe

Thanks again to Nada Miljkovic’s KZSC and Artists on Art.

Extra special kudos to Julie Rogge for the poster designs.

Thank you all for coming!

In order to print the poster and/or the schedule, right click and save linked file. Then you can print.