Monday, October 31, 2011

TAPPED double screening

To close out the Ringling 10:10 Environmental Awareness events, the public is invited to the campus for a free screening of Tapped.

This award-winning documentary examines the role of the bottled water industry and its' effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.

Following the screenings of the film (first at 6:00pm, second at 8:00 pm) the Ringling 10:10 team will discuss its initiative to ban water bottles on campus.

Sunday, November 6 · 6:00pm - 11:00pm

Ringling College Academic Auditorium
2700 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL
Map Here

Saturday, October 22, 2011

One Drop Installation

Photo by Ted Weber

As part of AQUA WEEK's awareness campaign, Ringling 10:10 has done its first artistic manifestation on campus. With the support of the Student Government of Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) and New College of Florida, their students have collaborated with us in the collection of water bottles consumed on campus  for an entire month. We collected about 1,900 plastic bottles, including other bottled products (soft drinks, juices, iced tea, etc.). The idea was to show the impact such a simple product makes in when produced and consumed in a careless and oblivious way. On the night of October 9, 10:10 pm, Ringling students gathered around the main courtyard, with a dozen oversized trash bags filled with bottles and looked around them to see where they could set them up to cause the first impression of this project. So we start in the heart of our campus, in front of the main entrance of the north portion of the campus, in front of the student center, library and the president's office buildings. So this is how it started:

Photo by Ted Weber
Stage 1: settlement On the first night, the bottles were settled around the bed that surrounds one of the main sculptures in our campus, called "Portals to Everywhere". Our idea was to create a dialogue with the sculpture and our interpretation of it. The idea of portals to everywhere, the thinking that we can explore all things and ideas for the sake of it, was the predominant way of thinking in the past couple of decades. Our statement was: this is what your way of thinking has brought us. Exploring ideas such as manufactured demand, agreements of water ownership, and oh, water bottles! This inconsequential mentality is very profit oriented, it generated incredible amounts of unnecessary waste of all kinds. The irresponsible use of our resources impacted our environment in a way most of our ancestors would probably have never anticipated.

Photo by Elo Catalan

Stage 2: invasion Our first installation was popular among many students and faculty, but not very well received by our administration. It was considered disrespectful towards the artist of that sculpture, so we were mandated to remove the bottles immediately. So on the night of October 10 we literary removed them from the bed and threw them on the ground. We started stringing them together with nylon thread in order to keep them together as a mass and preventing them from spreading all over. This stage was called invasion for symbolizing our awareness campaign, removing the bottles from its confined space, to where it actually interfere with our pathways, becoming an inconvenience, as it is for millions of people on the other side of the planet, where plastic waste is disposed. One of the purposes of the project is to make students face the fact that once you get rid of a plastic bottle, they do not magically disappear, they go to places usually far from you, and that does not really allow us to see the accumulation of waste we produce on a daily basis, which is one of the most problematic things about our "trash": we are not aware of it.

Photo by Ted Weber
Stage 3: drift This stage is a reference to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, aka Plastic Island, a gigantic floating mass of plastic in the middle of the Pacific ocean, which is essentially the concentration of waste that is not disposed properly, that is mainly composed out of the number one residential pollutant from America: plastic bottles! On the night of October 11 we stringed about 300 bottles together to create this piece. We moved the bottles into a shape that was split into two major concentration of bottles. The entire shape was very fluid and reminded the movement of oil on water in movement. Its lower part was shaped as a water droplet, flowing into a narrow streamline of the bottom of the second concentration of what seemed like  a mass of plastic climbing over the trunk of a tree. It showed the presence of our waste in opposition to the manicured lawns of our campus, almost a man vs nature statement, showing how plastic waste impacts nature, except that this environment is entirely anthropogenic. Therefore it is an anthropogenic intervention on an anthropogenic environment, once again, trying to get people to think: what is this doing here?

Photo by Ted Weber
Stage 4: inertia Taking the same idea of bottles consuming a tree, pollution impacting nature. This time the bottles were purposefully scattered to create more visual pollution, drawing more attention to it before the audience gets too comfortable with the bottles' presence on campus.  The inertia aspect of it is referring to the mindless habit of purchasing bottled products. It is associated with the comfort and instant gratification. They are accessible and apparently cheap. But that's a mistake. With the research on the documentary TAPPED, we learned that water bottles are not only unsafe for your health, but also costs 2,000 times more than tapped water. 

Photo by Ted Weber
Stage 5: deterioration And here we arrive to our last stage, the one that justifies the installation's tittle: ONE DROP. Inspired by the One Drop Foundation, this drop shaped object hanging from an oak tree is meant to symbolize the drop of consciousness that we tried to raise with our campaign, trying to make people ask themselves whether or not they really needed plastic bottles. People lived for thousands of years without them, and they made it through just fine. Read our declaration to understand how bad water bottles really are. We ask you to support us by signing our petition and make our efforts validated :]

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Aqua Week Events

The week of Ringling 10:10 events upheld a consistent theme: water - its consumption, origins, export, and purification -- locally and globally. Based on audience reaction, this issue is largely unknown yet water enters every area of life.

For the kick-off night, students, teachers, and guest speakers engaged in a comprehensive discussion of water. Project coordinator, Ted Weber, started off the talks, reminding the audience, "The environment is our responsibility. It is a gift that we take for granted."

He then introduced Dr. Tim Rumage, professor of environmental studies at the Ringling College of Art and Design. Dr. Rumage covered the degree of water waste, and the fact that "water is invisible in our routine; we don't see water, we don't pay attention to it, but it represents an ongoing crises." Other speakers included Sarasota County's Theresa Connor and Suzanne Dameron, speaking on watersheds and water quality.

Before the screenings of Flow, the talks introduced the water bottle issue. Design was emphasized as both a problem and a solution. Professor Dr. Emily Hall shared statistics about water with the audience. We learned that Sarasota municipal water is tested 400 times a month, meanwhile water bottles remain unregulated (and avoid the FDA if possible). As mentioned in the documentaries, unsafe drinking water is the prime cause of death in the world.

The third event of the week, "Aqua Talk", featured a panel of RCAD, NCF, and USF faculty as well as Sarasota Environmental Specialists. The panelists included Jono Miller (an activist at New College), Robert Wright (Sarasota County), John Ryan (Sarasota County), and Alison Albee (City of Sarasota). First, each panelists introduced themselves. Each were from different backgrounds: business to eduction to profit, nonprofit, and government agencies - and yet they all agreed that water is an urgent issue. During the talk, students from liberal arts classes expressed their frustration about the lack of activism on campus around water. The message they left with was, "Be persistant and preservere. Follow up and take responsibility, and never take no as an answer without a conversation."

Later, we watched Blue Gold, a documentary about the economic-political implications of "water wars". The following discussion focused on water privatization as a global struggle that exploits people internationally. We learned that water contamination killing more people than war, Aids, and Malaria combined. The documentary left an impact on all who saw it.

"In every corner of the globe, we are polluting, diverting, pumping, and wasting our limited supply of fresh water at an expediential level as population and technology grows. The rampant overdevelopment of agriculture, housing and industry increase the demands for fresh water well beyond the finite supply, resulting in the desertification of the earth.

Corporate giants force developing countries to privatize their water supply for profit. Wall Street investors target desalination and mass bulk water export schemes. Corrupt governments use water for economic and political gain. Military control of water emerges and a new geo-political map and power structure forms, setting the stage for world water wars."

Although Aqua Week is over, the final Ringling 10:10 event will take place on November 6th at 7pm in the Ringling Academic Center Auditorium. There will be a screening of Tapped, following a discussion on why and how we plan to ban water bottles on campus. According to Ted Weber, "Every person who sits through this documentary will understand the importance of banning of water bottles from campuses, cities and entire nations! Show that you care for your health, your pocket, our economy and environment, sign this petition to support the ban on sales of water bottles at Ringling College of Art and Design, from here, we can expand to all campus in town and then the community at large!" To sign the petition click here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Problem

Freshwater is the most valuable resource to human survival. No person can live longer than a week without it, and yet it is widely wasted. The United States alone consumes over 3.9 trillion gallons of water per month. ( On average, an American uses 176 gallons of water per day compared to 5 gallons of water a day (or less) used by people in developing countries. (

Although corporations have the largest water footprint of all, their ability to waste water relies on the demand for wasteful products. For instance, there is a high demand for meat in the United States. A typical American family may eat beef products at every meal. Meanwhile, one pound of beef requires over 3,000 gallons of water to produce. ( (People who eat vegan diets have significantly smaller "footprints" in this case.)

The examples of overwhelming wastefulness tied to the American lifestyle are numerous. Nevertheless, we will focus on one brand of mindless waste: the plastic water bottle. Not only does consuming bottled water use excess resources (it takes 3 litres of water to produce 1 litre of bottled water), it contributes to C02 emissions. In one year, bottling water for American consumption produced more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide ( Not to mention, there are billions of plastic bottles filling the oceans and landfills every day. That said, this is a major problem with major consequences on the horizon.

As students at an internationally renowned college, we will raise environmental awareness on campus through a global initiative. The 10:10 Environmental Movement “inspires people and their organizations to cut their C02 emissions by 10% in a year”. ( The Ringling College of Art and Design will participate in 10:10 by hosting another environmental week. This time, the focus is water. During “Aqua Week”, there will be inter-college discussions about water, documentary screenings, and the unveiling of a recycled plastic art installation.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Poster & Logo Design Contest

Ringling 10:10 had the chance to collaborate with TypeClub, a RCAD student organization that brings graphic designers together to work with clients to simulate real world experiences. These designs were all made by freshmen, who showed a great deal of dedication and talent in this project. Have a look at some of them:

Design by Alexa Schara

Design by James Lennon

Design by Amalia Anne Fredericksen 

Design by Mindy Nguyen

Design by Colleen Drennan

Sunday, September 11, 2011

DROP IT Campaign

This year Ringling 10:10 is focusing on water. We are taking something small as the consumption of bottled water – ever present in many people's life – to show the impact it has in the environment. Ted Weber, president of the Student Government Association at Ringling College of Art and Design is partnering with Michael Long, president of the Student Alliance at New College of Florida. Both already started their campaigns to collect water bottles from their school communities for an entire month. These will be used for an installation piece to be innaugurated on the 10.10.11, in the Ulla Searing Student Center, Scott Plaza, at Ringling College of Art and Design. This will also be the launching of an entire week of presentations, movie nights and pannel discussions on the topic, providing students with ideas and inspiration to get involved in their communities to make a difference and work for sustainability in their campuses.

Design by Edyta Jaworek