The Black Car Project!

February 11, 2009

Project is finished.

Thanks everyone who supported the project but the contract on the art piece has expired as of December 31, 2008 and the college would not consider an extension. It has been replaced by a functional parking spot and running, unsustainable vehicles. We also were not able to find a new location so the art project has been sent to the scrap yard. I'm not very happy about its ending but I do feel that the project was a major success. If this is your first time to this site please read past entries to find out what it was all about!

May 28, 2008

The mural.

We painted it the project to an environmental theme! The school allows graffiti only on one green dumpster so I've decided in order to keep people from painting random stuff all over it I am organizing quarterly mural paint jobs. That way students can express themselves and the art project can stay a part of campus life.

January 24, 2008

Saved till 2009!

The Black Car is staying on campus until 2009 thanks to the support of the Evergreen State College community! We are planning a series of projects around promoting the concepts behind the art work. The idea that sustainability means giving up your personal gas guzzler should come as no surprise yet most people ignore this fact. The Black Car makes ignorance less possible and challenges our community to begin the process of moving away from this primitive, resource inefficient form of transportation. We are looking for DIY revolutionaries who want to change their way of life and effect the lives of others by giving up their personal car in a public manner and pledging to not own one again until they are sustainable; if that ever happens. It is our goal to support two more similar projects this spring. If you would like to be one of them please e-mail us or leave a comment!

January 22, 2008

Save the Art!

Wednesday at 3PM the CLUC is voting on whether the black car will have an extension on its life here on campus. After less than a year the project may be forced to move to a location of uncertain whereabouts or to the landfill if no place can be found. This may happen despite the fact that it was built well enough to last as social commentary for many years to come.
Please show up at the meeting and show your support. The meeting is on the first floor of the Lab building near the Longhouse. Also check out the Cooper Point Journal for an article on the car.

January 18, 2008

Article in the Cooper Point Journal

Global warming is the elephant in the room that Americans for years have tried their best to avoid noticing. Despite the great skill we have at avoidance and distraction some problems just won’t go away. The science predicts a worldwide catastrophe of droughts, fires, erratic weather, extreme temperatures and strengthening storms. Most of us can recognize the chaotic weather patterns because we’ve seen it in our own lives. Yet what do we do about it?
The 1993 Isuzu Rodeo now covered in stucco and painted black in the Evergreen parking lot reminds students that climate change is dead serious. The black car was the product of three students creating global warming activism art last spring. The owner gave up his vehicle and pledged to never own a car again until they are sustainable, if that ever happens.
Its interpretation has been mostly left to the viewer. Is it against the war for oil? Is it marking the death count of young people on our nation’s highways? Or does it describe the end of an era, an era of over consumption, status symbols and pseudo independence as typified by the SUV? Whatever the viewer decides that is what it means and more.
At the end of February the black car is supposed to be towed away because of the agreement with Evergreen’s Campus Land Use Committee. The Black Car Collective is currently seeking an extension of the deadline but they have to prove that the art is relevant for students, staff and faculty. Please leave a comment on the website in support of the artwork.
Check out the Myspace group:

November 24, 2007

Alumni Magazine and Ecuador

The Black Car Collective made it into Evergreen Alumni Magazine! I am in Ecuador right now so I have no idea what it says however I am grateful for the exposure. Many people are commenting as well with a diversity of opinions some positive, some negative. I would like to respond to both by asking the people who comment to respond to the other comments they disagree with and e-mail me with specific questions. My e-mail is

Ecuador is an interesting example of car culture. Cars are very much wanted by the local population but are obviously expensive. They don´t have the education to reject cars for the negative social and environmental impacts. In Ecuador owning a car is a serious advantage in short term economic and social terms which is extremely important when minimum wage is $170 a month. Fortunately because cars are expensive buses go absolutely everywhere and often. Quito has several amazing Rapid Bus Transit and trolley systems as well as the surface bus transit. Outside of the main cities buses remain super abundant traveling down dirt roads to towns of all sizes. Of course if Ecuadorians weren´t priced out of owning cars then the bus system would surely die out.

I´ve heard that real consumption change will happen in the US when the price of crude will reach $250 per barrel. Unfortunately government subsidies of oil as well as exaggeration of oil reserves can prevent the gradual transition away from fossil fuels and instead force an eventual crash. This is of no concern for oil companies because short term profits are always better then long term stability of the nation and world.

Back to my myopic little project. Economically I would have been better off to just keep driving it. The next economically best option would be to sell it. My prospects for work diminished a great deal because of my smaller commuting area as well. Obviously this project makes no sense economically but honestly nothing economic makes any damn sense to me. Several things have improved in my life. I am healthier because I walk and bike more and am less likely to die in a car accident. I know my community better having explored every street and browsed many of the businesses. Beyond that I feel good mentally, which is so valuable in this crazy world.

I am incredibly wealthy in Ecuador. It makes me sick to think about. Tourism is a huge industry here along with shipping off raw goods. Every problem I see in Ecuador seems to be directly caused by globalization. I´m not worried about the future of Ecuador. They don´t have much of an infrastructure based on oil yet. They don´t have nuclear weapons. What they do have is a strong sense of community and family. They have an abundance and capacity for high food production. They have a great climate that will always support life.

What about the US? I am worried. The northwest could be ok but what about the southwest? What about imigration to the northwest? What about the nuclear submarine base or Hanford? What about no significant public transportation? Salmon? Are we doing enough? Are we working fast enough and hard enough?

No we aren´t.

September 4, 2007

Make your own art from a car!

The Black Car Project isn't complete. We are now looking for individuals who are willing to make their own climate change statement. We want one person from every school in the country to create their very own decommissioned "art car". The idea is instead of a functional art car we want a non-functional car that is a statement on global warming to pop up in parking lots across the country. The car can be stuccoed and painted black, it could also be turned into a garden or be the bottom of a wind turbine. The only request we make is that it is created in the spirit of the original piece, that the car is someone's personal vehicle, and that it is given up with the pledge of not owning another vehicle until they are sustainable: if that ever happens. We also would like you to promote the piece actively and encourage others to create there own! That is the only way we can reach others with this personal and important message. Plus the combined work will add to the value of the individual piece and build momentum to change our direction as a culture.