A program of The Nature of Cities (a 501(c)3 public charity), the Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures is a global platform for urban ecological art that nurtures humanity’s cultural relationships with nature. We produce place-based multi-sensory storytelling including essays, poetry, books, and films, and collaborative actions and exhibitions including exhibitions, residencies, and transdiciplinary public forums. All of our work aims to inspire direct ecological actions in local landscapes.
What We Do
FRIEC stories engage various mediums to unveil creative actions for ecological wellness happening in cities and cultures across the world.
Writers from diverse disciplines and backgrounds build place-based narratives that promote the power of the individual creative spirit, and further our collective understanding of the myriad cultural bonds that weave together our human families with each other and with nature in cities.Read More
Actions & Exhibitions
FRIEC partners with organizations to produce artist-led interdisciplinary actions, exhibitions, residencies, and interventions in local urban landscapes.
Our actions and exhibitions engage citizens, and catalyze actions to regenerate, remediate and re-vitalize the life forms, resources, and ecology of urban spaces, their hinterlands, and the wider ecological systems in which they exist.
Enable transformative ‘culture-changing’ artists and creative practitioners of all kinds to collaborate with a diverse professional community of urban changemakers, and with the wider public.
Propel a movement for transdiciplinary, resilient, sustainable, healthy, livable, and just cities that function in partnership with nature.
How we Work
Working together as a global, community-engaged platform, we nurture humanity’s sacred cultural relationships with urban nature. Informed by contemporary and traditional cultures, we combine place-based storytelling with direct actions and events in local landscapes, to further our collective understanding of the myriad cultural bonds that weave together our human families with each other and with nature in cities.
Initiating Cross-Discipline Collaboration
We facilitate acts of collaboration between artists and non-artists to explore transdisciplinary ideas and place based narratives to help bring cities and nature closer.
Building Artful & Poetic Cities
Our work helps individuals and communities realize new structures for collaborative movements for livable, resilient, healthy, poetic cities and regions that work in partnership with the nature of which they are a part.
Cultivating Relationships with Nature
We participate in the change of people’s relationship to nature and to place in cities through ecological art, storytelling, and collaborative actions across disciplines, allowing citizens to become active characters in the story of nature of their city.
Growing New Knowledge
Challenging the framework of established knowledge, we allow new ideas for sustaining cities to be generated across disciplines, species, and ways of knowing.
FRIEC began in 2019 as “FRIEK,” an arts platform instigated by TNOC arts editors Patrick M. Lydon and Carmen Bouyer, and accomplice Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, as part of The Nature of Cities Summit in Paris, France. With backing from TNOC and the Musagetes Foundation, and involving a broad spectrum of artists, FRIEK launched a series of radical exhibits, spaces, talks, workshops, and happenings that challenged the framework of established knowledge within an academic conference. We continue this work today, with the support and advocacy of TNOC director David Maddox, and associate director M’Lisa Colbert.
The FRIEC Manifesto
FRIEC is the Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures
FRIEC is transformative
FRIEC is respectful
FRIEC is freaky
FRIEC is healing
FRIEC is ritualistic
FRIEC is scientific
FRIEC is multi sensorial
FRIEC is multidisciplinary
FRIEC is collaborative
FRIEC is experimental
FRIEC is playful
FRIEC is urban and nature in constant flux and discourse
FRIEC connects with the nature of cities
FRIEC produces direct actions & narratives through artistic/creative methodologies
FRIEC values situated knowledge and place-based approaches
FRIEC creates sensorial experiences for participants to engage with
FRIEC engages with more emotional/non discursive channels
FRIEC opens plural ways of perception and understanding
FRIEC facilitates a multi species approach
FRIEC assures reciprocity with the more-than-human world
FRIEC allows for transdisciplinarity and collaboration between artists and non-artists
FRIEC creates works that are non toxic, non polluting for the environment
FRIEC cultivates functional relationships between people, cities, and nature
FRIEC is the leaves of a thousand year-old tree
FRIEC offers an outlet for scientists and artists and practitioners to do beautiful things together
FRIEC is the time and place where standing in the city center is also standing in the field
FRIEC is an engagement in collaborative, creative placemaking for all beings
FRIEC is an attempt to model a meaningful learning setting
FRIEK is a decentralized learning platform
FRIEC is an invitation to activate affective, poetic, symbolic and physical channels of knowledge
FRIEC turns on your awareness muscle
FRIEC is dance, vision, imagination, invention, writing, reading, painting, arguing, disagreeing, playing, feeling
FRIEC is a community
FRIEC is an ephemeral archive of collaborative methodologies for non-human rebellion
FRIEC is a worlding experiment
FRIEC is a constellation of artistic practices in-dialogue-with.
To contact us, please write to arts [at] thenatureofcities.com