We worked with BARK to organize showings of these prints along the route of the proposed Palomar Pipeline, an atrocious boondoggle planned to transship Liquefied Natural Gas from the Oregon coast to the trunk line of the Madras Pipeline on the other side of the Cascade mountains. The proposed developments include terminals for the re-gasification of the highly pressurized gas, numerous river crossings (including some sub-surface and underground passages) as well as massively invasive new construction in zones of late-successional reserve that folks in the NW fought long to preserve in the face of industrial forestry. The LNG projects propose roads in newly roadless areas, habitat destruction in zones of primary habitat, and economic contempt in areas of economic depression.
Across the Pacific in Indonesia, natural gas extraction has caused massive environmental devastation, including the deluging of numerous villages on Java's north coast by a still-active mud volcano triggered by exploratory drilling for gas. The Taring Padi cooperative has been involved in several campaigns to bring relief to the people affected and to seek some kind of justice in the face of this catastrophe. The mining and deforestation that provide essential infrastructure for this kind of industrial development are other factors that Taring Padi focused on in their half of the work.
The three members of Justseeds who live in Portland (Alec Dunn, Roger Peet and Pete Yahnke) developed the idea for this project in the spring of 2009 and soon had BARK organizer Amy Harwood on board. Roger had visited Indonesia once previously and had developed a relationship with the Taring Padi cooperative, specifically with members Ucup and Tony. Amy had also visited the Taring Padi folks in Indonesia and participated in collaborative art activities with them. Together we came up with the idea for this project: two prints about the impact of LNG development on both sides of the Pacific, from the extractive beginning to the combustible end, with the intent to document all the destruction in between. Taring Padi were in from the get-go, sketches flew over the internet, and their image began to take shape. We here in Portland toured sites slated for destruction by the pipeline plans: a family-owned horse-rehabilitation center, a small organic farm, a pioneering permaculture project, and a family-owned vintner to get ideas and to learn the stories of the people who stood to lose everything.
Roger traveled to Indonesia in March of 2010 to visit with Taring Padi and participate in the printing (He also had the chance to produce a smaller collaborative print with TP members Ucup and Djoedy) and to bring the completed prints back to the US. In the rainy early spring months Roger, Pete, and Icky pored over the Taring Padi print and began to draw and carve their half of the project in a north Portland garage. Eventually they invited several groups of friends over to help print the block in the manner of Taring Padi: Ink the block, roll out a sheet of canvas, cover with newsprint, turn on the music and stomp the ink into the print. The prints debuted at a rally at the Northwest Natural shareholders meeting, drawing some surprised recognition from ardent opponents of the LNG projects who found themselves depicted in the big print.
The project was generously funded by a grant from RACC and Work for Art.