FAS: Lining the Wild Bee

This workshop will focus on the borderlands between human cultural activity and the natural world. Drawing on my 40 years of project work in this field, the emphasis will be a return to first principles of direct experience in contrast to more abstract experiences of representation. Through projects, readings, and several Saturday field trips, the class will explore the boundaries between the wild and the cultivated, the feral and the domesticated - those boundaries between the two worlds. Special emphasis will be given to an examination of the historical crafting and engineering of the landscape and waterways of the San Francisco Bay Area. The early projects will include tracking wild honeybees in the woods to find that one tree in 10,000 holding a different life. Field trips will include the Model of the Bay, the Headlands, the Camera Obscura, the Delta region, and the Underground Gardens of Baldassare Forestiere. Gary Synder, Rebecca Solnit, and Anne Dillard's'writings, along with Andrei Tarkovsky's film Solaris will be among the works we will review. The history of the decoy along with the evolution of the cabinets of wonder and curiosity to the contemporary natural history museums will be examined. Twelve students maximum.