clean livin’ (ongoing, 2006)

Clean Livin - Nance KlehmClean Livin - Nance Klehm

lemonade from lemons
Clean Livin’ is an autonomous living system that formally and conceptually engages notions of sustainability, industrial military legacy, and myths of the frontier. Clean Livin’ also reacts to previous examples of communal living and recent experimental environments such as Biosphere II. The facility allows participating artists and researchers to live on a remote location of America’s largest WWII airbase. Re-inhabiting the abandoned site was accomplished with the use of “sustainable/soft” technologies. Electricity is supplied to the site by a 700-watt solar system. Water is imported 55 gallons per 6-mile trip via a 4-wheeled, two-person bicycle which hauls it from the nearest available source. The water is held in an elevated tank where it is pressurized by gravity and solar heated. Human and food wastes are composted for future agricultural use. Wastewater is collected and processed by a grey-water system for re-use on plant-life or rendered drinkable with solar distillation. Clean Livin’ is a site where the human carbon footprint can be temporarily reduced, where conscious use of resources and the body’s own metabolic energy alter the normal expectations daily living.

“The project enables a broader audience to go to South Base and experience one of the most interesting and stark landscapes in America. Because it is located off the grid on the edge of a landscape void, the project is also about autonomy, isolation, making do with a bare minimum, making something from next to nothing and exploring the basement of one’s will…I see the project as about starting over from the ruins of the military, about the birth of the atomic age, and the possibility of global Armageddon. It’s about making lemonade from lemons.” -Matt Coolidge, CLUI Director

The Clean Livin’ biosystems that she has designed use decomposition, filtration and fermentation to transform post-consumer materials generated onsite (solid and liquid human waste, grey water from sinks and shower, food, cardboard and paper) as well as waste materials gathered offsite (casino food waste and grass clippings, horse manure from stables, spent coffee grounds) into biologically rich soil. The resulting waste-sponge systems sustain or aid: a habitat of native species of plants, digestion of the high salinity of the indigenous soils and the capturing, storing and using of precipitation.

“It is always on the most deterritorialized element reterritorialization takes place.” -Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus