Author Archives: Robin Nagle

Sneak Peak this Sunday, October 2

Posted by Max Liboiron It’s that time of year again. The team at Freshkills Park is hosting the second annual Sneak Peak on Staten Island this coming Sunday, October 2. For last year’s inaugural Peak, the organizers expected more or less 800 people, but instead nearly 2,000 turned out for a day of walking, canoeing, […]
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“Going Green but Getting Nowhere” — from the New York Times

Gernot Wagner, an economist with the Environmental Defense Fund, argues in this New York Times Op-Ed that our individual efforts to recycle, use less water, or replace plastic bags with cloth sacks are merely token gestures. “The changes necessary are so large and profound that they are beyond the reach of individual action,” he writes. […]
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CFP: Definitions of Power: Units, Ideas, and Images in the History of Energy

The Energy History Project at the Joint Center for History and Economics is soliciting paper proposals for its upcoming workshop on *November 18th, 2011 at Harvard University.* This workshop is part of an ongoing series of events on the global and comparative history of energy. The workshop seeks to explore changes in the depiction, understanding, […]
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Materials Flows in Cities: A Talk by Samantha MacBride

Wednesday, May 11 • 12:00 to 2:00 • 20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor • New York City Samantha MacBride has written eloquently and in-depth about the networks and relationships that keep an international flow of materials moving across the globe, particularly as these pertain to waste. In this talk, she focuses on the connection between […]
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Discarded Architecture, Intentions, Pasts

This is a quick post to share two remarkable photo essays. One looks at North Brother Island, while the second considers Admiral’s Row. Both are long-abandoned spaces in New York City. The images bring to mind Tim Edensor‘s work about how meanings are imagined, inscribed, forgotten, rewritten, and reclaimed in such haunted places. (Edensor’s themes […]
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A Question of Focus?

On April 7, the New York Academy of Sciences hosted a panel discussion called “Trash Talk: Options for Converting Our Solid Waste to Energy.” Nickolas Themelis of the Earth Engineering Center at Columbia University spoke about the many benefits of waste-to-energy, or WTE technologies. David Demme, with a company called SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure, […]
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Discard Politics: How to Hijack a Moment of Hope

Tuesday, March 22, marked the tenth anniversary of the closing of Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island (this piece from the New York Times describes the day the landfill closed). Its transformation into a park is well under way, but the scale of the project — 2200 acres across four massive hills — means that […]
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Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life

The Wellcome Collection in London, part of the Wellcome Trust, opens an exhibit this Thursday, March 24, that explores changing attitudes toward dirt and cleanliness from the seventeenth century to the mid-21st. The show is built around specific examples in six different places — Delft, London, Glasgow, Dresden, New Delhi, and New York. It runs […]
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CFP: The Life of New Materials | April 1 deadline

[via H-Urban] Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society Hagley Museum & Library Wilmington, Delaware Paper proposals are invited for a conference on November 17 and 18, 2011 that will explore the lives of the new materials that have made possible many of the technological advances of our age. Whether based on plant, […]
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Creative Reuse in NYC

Material for the Arts in New York has been an inspiration and catalyst for creative reuse across more than three decades. A collaboration between the city’s Departments of Cultural Affairs and Sanitation,* MFTA connects unwanted stuff with eager arts and education organizations. Under the savvy leadership of Harriet Taub, objects that would otherwise become part […]
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