Staring at Goats

We are currently in day #2 of an experiment – a learning by doing that involves the importation of many horned, floppy eared, ruminant quadrupeds onto a vacant urban lot.  This experiment can be approached from various related perspectives: urban ecology, animal husbandry, biophilia, waste utilization, systems design and corporate landscape, urban agriculture, and for […]

Staring at Goats II: Deals, Code, Business

[scale of the endeavor: the urban meadow at the end of day two.  The herd of goats can be seen in the distant right hand corner] Staring at Goats, Part II (Introduction here, ongoing Flickr set here) We are intrigued by alternative forms of design practice.  By alternative we mean practices that veer outside the […]

Staring at Goats III: Biophilia and Archetypes

[a small fraction of the interactions we have seen and engaged in at the fenced edges of our 2 acre lot @ SE 10th and Belmont Ave, Portland OR] Biophilia: ‘love of life or living systems,’  the theory of an ‘instinctive bond between human beings and animals‘. We’re not sure about the accuracy of the […]

Staring at Goats IV: Time + Specificity

[view of day 9 of goats on Belmont (above and below).  We are currently in day 15] One of the questions I’ve been asked most while in the field with the goats is how long they are going to be there. This has turned out to be a hard question to answer with more accuracy […]

Staring at Goats V: Ruminant Urbanism

[Opportunities in the void: locations of vacant land (orange) in central Portland, OR.  The circled 2-acre lot is the location of the now complete Goats on Belmont experiment.  The unassisted, free-growing vegetation on this single field was able to sustain a variable-sized herd of goats for nearly four weeks.] Having completed our ‘work‘ at the […]

Staring at Goats VI (Version 2.0)

[Click the bottom image for a much larger view] As of yesterday, the Goats on Belmont project is now in its second trial run, merging urban ecology experimentation with land management strategy and urban event.  If you are wondering what we are talking about and/or missed our series of posts that ran concurrently with our […]

Staring at Goats VII: Feral and Very Urban

[Canadian Thistle, Cirsium arvense, up close (above) and in its urban habitat (below).  Along with Bull Thistle, this plant likely made its accidental introduction to North America from Eurasia and North Africa through contaminated seeds or hay.  Extremely difficult to eradicate, Canadian Thistle was one of the first plants listed on the U.S. Government’s noxious […]

Staring at Goats VIII: the In-situ Field Guide

[Anonymous text at the Belmont field, as we saw it just prior to the return of the goats.  We are fond of this sign’s shrewd use of materials consisting of a plastic 3 ring binder with the back ripped off and its binder clips retooled as clasps.  Delivered without punctuation, it has a wonderfully ambiguous […]

Staring at Goats IX: the Para-normal

[Lyn Cassady, former secret U.S. military psychic soldier (…or was he?) tests his interrogative prowess by attempting to stare a goat to death.  His successful attempt is authentically recorded by the video camera at his side.  We, as viewer, see this as filtered through memories created prior to Cassady’s transformative ‘Jedi’ training, in which his […]