Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Waribashi and compost

I don't know if you remember that the Japantown Center (shopping mall) did not have a recycling program in place because it was voluntary in 2005 while I was doing the Waribashi Project in San Francisco. Today, however, all businesses are required to compost by city law. I wonder what effect this will have on the businesses there, how easily they will find it to comply (and compost waribashi) now that it is the law. At the time of the project, chopsticks were going into the trash and smashed in one of their 3 trash compactors and headed straight for the landfill. Maybe this will change....

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Waribashi Project video online!

Hi Everyone!
A two-part video short of the the Waribashi Project is on and
The Guba version is larger. Part I is here. Part II is here. Part I is here. Part II is here.

This video was produced by Jake Richardson, an independent videographer who I worked with to make the video. This video mainly covers the 1999 Project in Japan and doesn't include the 2005 work. The 2005 project was featured on Pacific Fusion, a national TV magazine series about Asian Pacific Americans. I will try to get that blurb online in the near future.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bioneers Conference this weekend

I will be speaking at the Bioneers Conference in Marin this weekend during the Saturday Afternoon Sessions in a workshop entitled "Eco-Art Activists: making the Invisible Visible". Thanks to Susan Leibovitz Steinman and WEAD (Women's Environmental Artist Directory) for making my participation possible. Check out the Bioneers website for more info.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

TV Spot

Just to let you know, the Waribashi Project will be on Pacific Fusion TV, KRON 4, Sunday, January 8th at 12:30 PM.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Tool Fantasy

Its been a while. I have been trying to recover from chopstick madness. I know its been a few months. But washing all those chopsticks can take a lot out of a person. Here is a photo I chose to help cheer me up. I was in a Snap-on Tools truck that Indigo and I found during one of our roadtrips. Its like a fantasy drawing I might have given to Santa to describe what I wanted for Christmas when I was a little girl. Its so beautiful, don't you agree?

I have been playing a lot of music while I try to get my jones back for working in the art studio again. The music is great because it is so immediately gratifying. I don't agonize like I do in the studio agitated by art business. I am very grateful for and humbled by the music. It keeps coming around to help me live. Another thing I can do with sticks... I am "Charlotte Watsu" aka the drummer for LICK, an all women's Rolling Stones Tribute Band featuring Christina Michell, our Chick Jagger. Come check us out! The jpeg is my kickdrum head.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Change in the JA community?

After this project is over in Jtown, I think I will have to stay away from the neighborhood for a while. Yesterday, I popped into the center while they were having an event. What was on the food table? Lots of disposable chopsticks, styrofoam plates and no visible way way of disposing the chopsticks to the compost as I have been talking about the whole time. I was offered food and I pulled out my portable set. I can't force anyone to change, but you can imagine how frustrating it is after all the work, fundraising, artmaking, blah blah blah.

Lots of people have asked me what the response has been from restaurants. The restaurant staff in general have been supportive and in some cases very enthusiastic, but there is currently no system of recycling or composting in the mall. This is 2005! If you go to Japantown Center, you will notice that there are no places to put your beverage bottles and cans. That is because these are going directly into the landfill! The Japantown Center has three trash compactors in order to mash all the waste into their garbage bins - everything including, cardboard and all other recyclables is going into the landfill. The Golden Gate Disposal and Recycling Company did a garbage audit as a service to show the Japantown Center how much they could reduce waste and their costs. They found that by simply implementing recycling, they could save over 25% on their garbage bill! (which could be passed down to the businesses and their customers). Those savings could be applied to composting services for the enormous amounts of foodwaste generated from mall businesses. My sources say these improvements have fallen on dead ears.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to begin this project here, but I feel like I have been holding the reality of this project on my own. I think the Japanese American community's inertia on this and so many issues is enough to make this homegirl run screaming.

I leave for Spain next week for a much needed vacation.

Friday, October 21, 2005

TV crews, Dept. of Environment, kids etc...

Today was a very busy day at the gallery with people trying to see the show in the last few days. KRON4 and Pacific Fusion (Asian Pacific cable TV) were there. Thanks Karen and Antenor! Then staff from the Department of Environment came through. Then 18 little kids from Nihonmachi Little Friends. I told them an abbreviated version of The Lorax.

I feel sort of lucky to have made it through the day. I am growing increasingly more tired and less able to think. Barcelona is looking pretty good right now.

Meanwhile, the closing reception is tomorrow. The new catalog is out, fresh off the press and it looks beautiful. You can get it there for $15.

Also, thanks to for posting about the show!