by Ann Corley Silverman
My wormy torso sits in the kitchen and I feed her scraps of my daily life while another universe of life inhabits her ”guts”. The micro-biome that inhabits our own guts are as essential to the self we navigate through the world as the worms are to this artwork.
I’m following an impulse to connect body and soil in a way that elevates ordinary dirt to the level of beauty and awe that is usually reserved for life forms above ground or far away in the celestial heavens.
Street Corner Composter by Rowin Snijder
Can worm composting become a community activity? Carpenter/artist Rowin Snijder is testing this concept out on a street corner in Amsterdam. He has designed and built a durable, oak cabinet that looks like an elevated planter box. Inside, it hides 2 vermicomposting compartments, into which neighbors can deposit their food scraps. When one side is filled, they use the adjacent section so the worms will follow the food scraps and move into it through a bamboo lattice that connects them. The finished compost can be harvested from the first bin while the second becomes full of worms that are being fed. And the composting process continues. Rowin says, “When a group of people take it upon themselves to take responsibility for their own trash, and work together, so much more happens than just making compost. It builds community, a connection with your surrounding, and is an inspiration for others to do so as well. The compost produced, can be used in gardens in the street or on rooftop gardens and balconies.” He has also designed a version for the balcony, which he sells in Amsterdam, but also offers the plans for free on the Le Compostier Facebook page for others who want to build it themselves. And there is a new, 2 square meter version that has space for worms and bees. The bees are invited in through a yellow-painted portal in the wood box, where they can find refuge in their own protected box inside. An intriguing cohabitation with worms, bees, plants and people on the street. I look forward to hearing more about this project as it develops. Visit the Le Compostier blog for more information.
The yellow painted hole invites bees in to share the space with the worms.
First album available now on Bandcamp
The Worms are a rock band sensation. Living worms are the musicians and superstars, captivating their audiences with their authentic movements through their compost medium. These multi-talented beings turn food waste into fertilizer while living inside instruments that amplify their actions, which is translated into music for human ears through technology and artistry.
The Worms’ producers, tour managers and technicians are:
Amy Youngs (Columbus OH, USA), Krzysztof Topolski (Gdańsk, PL)
Visit The Worms on Facebook.
Worm Cozies are designed to help humans feel more comfortable hosting worms in their homes. Based on the concept of appliance cozies, which were originally created as a way to hide the sight of garish machines inside the domestic space of the kitchen, these worm cozies similarly function as a softening interface that will help us get used to the idea of living with worm ecosystems.
Teddy Bear Worm Tamer
Worm Cozy Fuzzy Plant Stand
Composting worms are excellent co-habitants that can help us reduce our greenhouse gas output by eating waste paper and food scraps that would otherwise be sent to landfills, which generate methane. Local, in-home worms can transform domestic organic waste into a rich, nutritious fertilizer that can be fed to houseplants, food gardens, trees or lawns. Worm ecosystems are odor-free, silent and thrive in dark, moist places with food, so they will not want to leave their worm cozy. I understand that some people are squeamish about the idea of living with worms, which is why these cozies are designed to be friendly, fuzzy, and discrete.
Working Paper Shredder Worm Cozy
Worm Cozy Cook Pots
These pieces are on display in the Vermiculture Makers Club Exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky.
I’ve made instructions on how to make the plant stand cozy so you can build your own.
by Andrea Ross
Worm, your heart gallops like a five-legged horse on open range—
Why do you need so many hearts?
Heart-rent from grinding through cast-offs?
Unlucky in love?
5-hearted worm, like a 5-pointed star, a 5-fingered hand—
your castings form astral projections on deep cave walls of our past.
Worm, heart of the earth. Skin breathing, thin-skinned,
your skin breath inhales our shabby whispers.
–I have sliced too many with my shovel’s blade.
Visit Andrea’s blog, The Sought After
Have you ever observed an earthworm wriggling along a concrete surface and pondered what humans and earthworms share in common?
Despite having no eyes, ears, spine, or lungs, earthworms undertake a continual act of burial and renewal to reanimate the ground beneath our feet. Worm Man is an ongoing project featuring a human-sized earthworm suit and has been performed by Ryan Agnew since 2007 in a variety of settings such as a parking lot, auditorium, sheep pasture and town square. Slowly inching along the ground and gradually crawling to stand up again, Worm Man reflects dreamlike associations of mind and body, nature and culture.
Designed for urban agriculture, indoor and outdoor growing of herbs, leafy greens, house plants and ornamentals. Outdoors they are attached to rainwater barrels, collecting roof runoff and automatically watered with timers. The Cascading Growbags Vermiponic Wormbag uses live worms to convert organic compost into nutrients which are then fed back to the plants through the watering system. Using the Vermiponic Wormbag in this system allows the worms to create organic worm castings from your kitchen scraps, which then becomes worm tea in the rain-barrels. This nutrient rich water is then fed to the plants through the watering system which allows for fully organic growth of healthy food.
– more info and purchase info on Cascading Growbags site.
What happens when worms are engaged in the artmaking process?
By Ann Corley Silverman
~ We could not eat a cantaloupe without the work of the decomposers who make the soil on which the melon depends. ~ The cotton placemats depend on soils for the cotton plant to grow, and laborers for planting; plucking the seed fibers; spinning the thread; weaving the fabric; and designing and making the finished cutwork placemat. Setting the table: to provide all the things for a gathering of people to eat and drink together.
Breakfast with Cantaloupe is about setting tables. The cantaloupe was for the red wriggler composting worms. They love the juicy parts of the cantaloupe. They were happy with their placemat habitat and stayed until they had eaten all but the lacey part of the rind. I wanted that part. They were my reliable collaborators. Back to the worm bin they went, and I to my meditations about tables, food, and labor.
– Ann Corley Silverman
An exploration of external and internal anatomy, by Katherine Beigel
Ecologically indispensable, the earthworm is an intriguing organism both inside and out. With musculature and a digestive system that span its entire length, the earthworm’s activity in its environment contributes a slew of biogeochemical effects to the surrounding soils and local organisms. I took careful observations of its anatomical structures, particularly as they may relate to the worm’s physiology and behavior. Like many organisms that contribute to overall ecosystem health, the earthworm’s evolutionary lineage is intimately intertwined with its habitat. Understanding this valuable relationship allows humans to incorporate it into their own dwellings, overlapping the boundaries of modern human living with the natural world.
– Katherine Beigel