Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures

Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures

Welcome to the Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures (FRIEC), a place to imagine and build cities that nurture humanity’s relationships with urban nature, through art and creative, cross-culture, cross-discipline collaboration.

Exhibitions

Enjoy our latest exhibitions, featuring virtual and physical artistic collaborations across all borders.

NYC Urban Field Station—Who Takes Care of New York?

Welcome! This interactive exhibition–originally mounted at the Queens Museum in 2019–highlights the stories, geographies, and impacts of diverse civic stewards across New York through art, maps, and storytelling. This is the Gallery Space’s “front door” and we are asking for…
Experience

Emilio Fantin—Dreams of Trees

Welcome to an exhibition and workshop that asks: how do we re-member what once rooted us in our own being and in the mutual being of the world around us? Fantin helps highlight a universal consciousness, and a relationship that…
Experience

Katrine Claassens—Love Letters to the Muted World

Welcome to an exhibition of paintings, musings, and written interventions that has us consider climate change, urban birds, and the ‘ecologically messy world’ that we inhabit. All that, and a love letter. This is the Gallery Space’s “front door” and…
Experience

Current Opportunities

FEBRUARY 22-26, 2021

THE NATURE OF CITIES FESTIVAL!

Join us for this once-in-a-lifetime global gathering, featuring:

70 artists working in
33 different countries along with over
300 interdisciplinary talks and sessions

Roundtables

A series involving artists and creative practitioners from around the world, exploring relationships with the elements of nature in cities.

Recent Essays

Essays from individuals of many disciplines, revealing the roots of ecological wellness in cities and cultures.

What the Garden Belongs To: Sensorial Listening in Urban Space

On Emily Street between 7th and 8th in Philadelphia lies the Growing Home community gardens—two discrete plots of land separated by an assortment of old and new construction rowhomes that are the architectural hallmark of the neighborhood. Chainlink fences separate…
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Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2019

Today’s post celebrates some of the highlights from TNOC writing in 2019. These contributions—originating around the world—were one or more of widely read, offering novel points of view, and/or somehow disruptive in a useful way. All 1000+ TNOC essays and roundtables are…
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City as Nature Festival, Osaka, Japan

Co-sponsored by The Nature of Cities and FRIEC, the inaugural City as Nature Festival took place from 11-22 October 2019 in Osaka, Japan. Featuring interactive, place-based art, workshops, concerts, walks, talks, and storytelling events, the festival aimed at cultivating our…
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A City Designed by Trees

Awake a few hours earlier than necessary, we are on bicycles heading through urban infill, in a part of town that used to be Osaka Bay. Moving inland, we pass through a few old shopping arcades, and several dozen close-knit…
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LEAF Episodes

Every third Wednesday, three artists from the FRIEC collective share their work in a themed discussion.

Reviews & Reactions

Surveying diverse ecological arts practices in cities and cultures around the world.

My Past, Present, and Future: A Review of Ecological Mediations

The sciences meet the arts in the poetic renderings of Dr. Karan Aggarwala’s 2010 collection, Ecological Mediations(Xlibris). An optometrist by training, Dr. Aggarwala’s poetic view of the world reflects years of science met with a holistic ecological view of the…
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Nature in Korea’s Capital: The Magic Stops at the Car Bridge

A review of Min Joung-Ki, an exhibition of large-scale urban nature paintings at Kukje Gallery in Seoul, South Korea. Founded in 1982, Kukje Gallery is one of Korea’s most prolific exhibitors of international contemporary artists. Indeed, the institution is more…
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French Landscape Painters and the Nature of Paris

A review of Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Moscow, an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Art in Osaka, Japan. If we learn anything from an exhibition such as “Masterpieces of French…
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Half-Earth Cities

In Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, published in 2016, E. O. Wilson made a reasoned and impassioned call for making our human future fit within the boundaries of just half a planet, with the other half given over to…
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What is FRIEC?

We are a place for radical imagination
about what cities could be,
where artists and practitioners of all backgrounds
can come together to:

collaborate with each other,
cities, and nature

challenge the framework
of established knowledge

allow new ideas for sustaining cities
across disciplines, species, and ways of knowing

imagine collaborative movements for livable,
resilient, healthy, poetic cities and regions
in partnership with nature

More Arts Essays

More arts related essays and writings, revealing the roots of ecological wellness in cities and cultures.

We Had Forgotten That We Are Ecological Beings

It’s afternoon in the middle of the work-week, and our local park is filled with people as if it were a holiday. There are little kids wildly chasing pigeons, and slightly bigger kids carefully stalking beady-eyed herons. There are teenagers…
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Who Takes Care of New York?

Civic leaders and community members regularly put time and energy into caring and advocating for the environment. We call these acts of care stewardship. Beyond improving green and blue spaces, stewardship can also lead to other types of civic action.…
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SALT: Restoration + Recreation = Water in California

It is late June and we are up to our knees floating a small tent sculpture in a containment pond filled with a thick green milkshake-like goo. A combination of duck week and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), this overgrowth or bloom…
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