EPA: Environmental Performance Agency

“The Environmental Performance Agency (EPA) is an artist collective using artistic, social, and embodied practices to advocate for the agency of all living performers co-creating our environment, specifically through the lens of spontaneous urban plants, native or migrant.”

EPA Agents: Catherine Grau, Christopher Kennedy, Ellie Irons, Andrea Haenggi.
The plant pictured is Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Movement score at the EPA’s Urban Weeds Garden in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Summer 2017
EPA Agent Andrea Haenggi working on “Asphalt Cutouts for Staying with the Trouble” at GraftersXChange at Colgate University, April 2019.
“We offer Asphalt Cut-Outs as a small physical and sensual gesture for interacting with paved land that have suffered disturbance and accumulated toxicity. Carved out by hand with chisel and mallet, Asphalt Cut-Outs range from six to seventeen inches wide, and taking geometric or organic shapes, some referencing human or plant bodies. Removing the asphalt in this way allows for the “airing out” of the compacted soil below, that begins the process of, creating a small weedy island ecosystem in a sea of asphalt.”
Participants carrying out a movement score as part of the EPA’s Embodied Scientist Parkour, a project supported by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities Ecotopian Toolkit Fellowship
EPA Agents Catherine Grau, Andrea Haenggi and EPA guest agents Dot Armstrong and Ella Hillström at the Global Climate Strike in New York City, September 20, 2019
Fieldwork on a brownfield along the Hudson River in Troy, NY, as part of the EPA’s summer retreat, August 2019
EPA and Next Epoch Seed Library members participate in a “Deep Time Seed Burial for Pacific Street Futures” during the 2017 EPA Summit, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
The EPA in the “Department of Weedy Affairs” to advocate for a more-than-human world.
Story about: Mugwort Artemis, also known as evening primrose. This plant has roots that are known to be edible to humans, and were once used as a medical by indigenous tribes and birds like the seeds that grow from this plant.
This plant is known as the Wild Sweet Clover, and it is an Nitrogen fixing plant in the legume family, great for pollinators and for soil health, introduced to the US from Eurasia, it likes full sun, tolerant of compacted soil, and seeds can stay in the soil for decades and remain viable. The roots fix nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria.
This was the Mugwort Planting Andrea did in Washington DC. In the interview our class conducted, the EPA Agents discussed how this was one of their biggest and proudest achievements because they knew that their Agency would only be moving forward after such a project that was not granted to them but they took it upon themselves to plant Mugwort here.