Nature’s Spirit Speaks Through Art – June 2021 Theme Call

This Quarter’s Community Call featured two incredible Nature Artists, each tapping into World Gaia wisdom to share messages through their paintings. Introducing Luis Tamani and Jon Ching.

You can watch the video of the call on Bloom Vision, our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/_wkN0tcCPec Or read on for a summary.

Luis Tamani

https://www.luis-tamani.com/

Luis Tamani is a globally recognized visionary artist from the Amazon rainforest of Peru. Luis spent his childhood rising at dawn and helping his father carve dugout canoes by the riverside. Luis is the transmitter of visions, sharing messages of communion with the earth. He believes there is unlimited teaching that nature can offer us and that every human has a potential to develop a deeper relationship with these worlds.

Through a Spanish interpreter, Luis shared what he is learning through his art practice, and what he would like us to learn from his paintings.

“Life is short, but we still have the capacity to learn from nature in our lifetimes”.

The first painting Luis shared was the one that kicked off his understanding of the depth of the work his hands were creating.

“This painting opened my eyes to an ability to understand not just art as an artist, but be able to receive information from nature that is divine from God. We can all receive that information and understand it”.

elder female Shipibo healer with jaguars, moon, jungle and snakes
Guardianes by Luis Tamani

About a week after he completed this painting Luis went back to it, and noticed there was something different there. He said he had a super strange feeling like he was not really the one who painted it… like there were other artists involved.

“There was a vibration, a very distinct vibration that I felt about this painting. I discovered new things from this painting.”

It was also the first painting he took to a Transformational Festival – Boom in Portugal. This painting opened a lot of doors or portals, so it became a professional gateway of sorts, leading him to Burning Man and travelling internationally with his work and workshops.

Luis’ paintings usually begin with a lot of ideas that need to be filtered down. His ideas come sometimes from dreams and sometimes from plant ceremonies. Nature has a lot of organic aspects that Luis feels speaking through him in texture, colors – like eye colors, certain animals… He added that he feels one of the characteristics of his art is that it translates what nature is saying to us.

Shipibo healer with plants, geometry, and a snake
“Cuando las Plantas” Cantan by Luis Tamani

When posed the question “What does art know that science can’t?” Luis said that science and art have commonalities because both are practices that you undertake in your life. However, art has a more spiritual aspect. Art is more real, whereas science is searching for something concrete. Science seeks to help you understand with logic. A painting can touch you directly without the need of an explanation. The message gets into you, and it is immediate and ephemeral.

Luis says his message or voice as an artist is not necessarily promoting to take ayahuasca or to remove a sacred plant from the jungle where it lives. Instead, he wants to remind us that in every location where we live, every plant, every bug, every animal, has a song or an intelligence to share. His overall message is one of cherishing and protecting nature, and Luis invites everyone to hear secret call to protect nature and to become guardians of our natural world.

painting of an elder healer with eagle, tobacco, snakes, ayahuasca and other jungle animals
“Fluer de Tobacco” II by Luis Tamani

About “Fluer de Tobacco II”: The radiant flower is representative of the powerful medicine of tobacco, and the character is connecting to that medicine. The flower is transmitting sacred geometry and all the songs and histories and stories that it knows. You feel this knowledge when you smoke it.

painting with a man receiving a blessing from a bird, with horses, heaven, ayahuasca, and a boy
“Lost to Heaven” by Luis Tamani

About “Lost to Heaven”: A self-portrait about a day of Ceremony with friends. A blue bird from the rain forest called tsutsui came to Luis while he had been observing the moon. The song of the bird was brought inside him. It is an ancient song and it made something inside him younger, bringing him back to his youth and it changed something inside him. The horses are very forceful animals and in this painting, you are connecting with heaven and horses are sort of carriers. They are helping this beautiful vibration from heaven to arrive.

Jon Ching

http://jonchingart.com/

Jon Ching from Oahu, Hawaii, brings to the world a fusion of flora and fauna, and his unique style that he has dubbed “flauna”. Using oil paint as his medium, he creates hybrids that show the overlaps and mimicry between species, serving as a visual reminder of the interconnectedness of life forms on Earth.


The paintings that made Jon realize his work was not just for his own entertainment or practice, were painted around 2011 when he was living San Francisco. This was the time when lot of gentrification and change was transforming the city, moving from a free spirited, artistic community and being replaced by more tech centric work.

“These are the two pieces that started me on the path that I’m currently on, using animals and plants as a way to convey ideas that I have about society and our relationship with nature, which obviously dips into climate change and mass extinction and all of those that we’re trying to fight together.”

mother hawk feeding baby wolves in her nest built by fish. the second image is a crane being strangled by beautiful vines.
“Modern Convenience” and “Fresh Coat” by Jon Ching

Jon described the first piece, “Modern Convenience”, as conveying the idea of the tech kids coming into the city and having everything delivered via an app – their house is being built for them by fishes, even though it is a nest. In the second painting, “Fresh Coat”, the vines are feeding it, but also slowly, kind of strangling it and taking over. Jon says “On a real building or a tree, the vine looks really pretty, but the vines are actually suffocating the host. This painting conveys the idea that we are covering up something that is already beautiful with a monoculture.”

melting polar bear floating above the sea, and a lemur sitting on bleached coral
“Melting Point” and “Insatiable” by Jon Ching

Talking about the shift his work has taken, Jon says his work changed from wanting to paint the problem, shaming or forcing people to look at the destruction we are causing, to finding a way to help people remember that nature is beautiful. He wants to spark the love of nature and the natural world in others. This led him to finding connections in nature, the colors, shapes and patterns that mimic each other across nature, in the hope that others will have that connective understanding sparked in them also.

Jon is trying, in his newer works, to show the divine essence of nature.

“I’m trying to represent God, the idea of God, the divine, the spiritual through my ‘flauna’ creatures as a physical manifestation of God. So many Indigenous cultures saw and see God in nature. And if the rest of us can see God in nature as well, we have no choice but to protect it. If we can see that it is God, then we inherently have a love for it and an obligation to preserve it, protect it and worship it.”

Jon was also posed the question, “What does art know that science can’t? What are you accessing through art that we can access through science?”

“Like Luis was saying, I think art is a language and science is a way of understanding. I think they complement each other. I find science intriguing and inspiring. And oftentimes, I’m trying to convey ideas that science has shown us. I think that Indigenous cultures have figured those things out too. Science just likes to take credit for it because they found a way to measure it.

I think art can be a bridge, from what science has measured and discovered, translating that knowledge into an emotion or feeling.

This series of paintings has the theme of exploring what the natural world looks like, post-Anthropocene (the current ecological time that we are in). Humans have transformed the face of the planet and are now gone. This opens the door for a big boom of evolution where different species will adapt to the new world. To the left is Jon’s “Little Oracle”, the owl and the butterfly combining to give an ability to foresee this future. Watch this YouTube video where Jon talks more about this series.

When asked “Are there any daily practices that you do to bring messages through or anything you’d like to recommend people to hear nature more?” Jon said,

“Taking the time to look at things. As a painter, I spend hours and hours and hours looking at the little, tiny details, of coral, or of birds’ feathers, and that has given me so much appreciation for their form, and how perfect it is… Slow down and get your eyeballs up close to something like moss and see how complex it is… Modern life is very busy with a lot of distractions. So I think it requires more intention than it used to. But that’s the challenge. It is our attention which is being challenged.”

Inspiring love, hope and admiration for the unique beauty of our world is Jon’s ultimate goal. And he works to bring awareness to mass extinction and climate change.

“Ultimately, everything on this planet is connected, we’re all carbon based life forms, we all came from a single cell, you know, and so there’s, of course, this deep physical connection that we all share with every other living organism”

red and white striped guppy with red and white striped flowers, and to the right, a hummingbird sipping nectar from a flower that is also the tail of a guppy, in matching colors of purple, pink, and peach.
“Razzle Dazzle” and “Liminal” by Jon Ching
What Happens in Local Blooms?

What Happens in Local Blooms?

Today I gave a talk as part of MetaFest, a conference/hackathon/festival by MetaGame who are building tools for better human collaboration via Web 3 (crypto, blockchain etc). I tend to be more like the systems engineer for Bloom so I’m not always the best person to talk to about the amazing stuff happening in the local Blooms. Here’s a follow up with a few highlights about what’s going on in the local communities connecting together as Bloom Network:

Muda (seedling in Portuguese) is doing amazing local economy work connecting local organic farm baskets with supporting Black-owned businesses, with encouraging kids in the favelas to meditate, all kinds of things. https://bloomnetwork.org/rio-de-janeiro

In Baltimore they host a yearly festival teaching people all about mushrooms, and sharing art and music about them. They’re also doing a soil remediation citizen science project on a plot of land in Baltimore that has high lead content, using sunflowers to draw the lead out of the soil to be safely disposed of. https://bloomnetwork.org/bloom-baltimore – so they’re kind of an art/science/activism community. One of the neighbors just donated $5K for a mural to be painted there. There’s a deeper relationship building / relationship repair aspect to that project, collaborating across race division in Baltimore.

In Columbia Missouri the crew there is building a more meaningful, impact / do-stuff-together social scene so people can do positive action together and have deeper conversations than tend to happen in bars. They’re also helping kids plant plants and design art to go in an inner city school courtyard, to help them learn that they have autonomy to change their environment together.

The Diamante Bridge Collective in Costa Rica has a few folks here in MetaGame, and several people who work on Giveth – they’re also a local Bloom chapter, so they’re doing the dream hybrid IRL regional regeneration of natural ecosystems and healthy people, in tandem with digital economies.

In Portsmouth Virginia the crew there is a coalition of 12? groups doing things like making bike lanes, giving people free food boxes of living plants, painted by local artists for hybrid art/healthy food access. They’re also doing civic collaboration with the city, surveying people about what changes they want to see in the town.

In Vallejo, California the crew there started a teahouse that is a community center that hosts workshops, has a healing room people can book, and music nights, with exhibiting art covering pretty much every surface.

Near Kampala Uganda, the Bloom there is making financially viable large scale permaculture/agroforestry gardens that are women-led cooperatives, and they implemented permaculture training in the Ugandan school system, so kids are implementing the food practices in their homes and making more healthy organic food access and economic sovereignty to get away from aid dependence. They do education across Africa, their team is ridiculous and we talk for like hours when we get on the phone lol. We’re releasing a report about their approach in collaboration with a university from the Netherlands in the coming months.

There are so many stories…. the people who started the Decriminalize Nature movement met at a Bloom Bay Area event I produced. It’s hard to encapsulate the deep relationships that form simply through doing recurring events and decentralized coalition building in an area.

If you want to read blogs by the local chapters themselves, click on the photos on the Find-a-Bloom page: https://bloomnetwork.org/find-a-bloom/ – And if you’re interested in starting a local Bloom, email a short hello newlocalbloom@gmail.com to get a slideshow about what’s involved and see how to get started. You can join Bloom as a member here – caveat that we’re still in the process of formalizing our digital layer and how folks who aren’t yet part of a local Bloom collaborate and learn together.

Love and liberation!
Mage

Nudibranch Dance deferred to September!

Nudibranch Dance deferred to September!

A blog from Hannah, Community Support for Bloom Network.

Community Calls with Bloom Network in 2020 were an epic series of great topics and guests, ranging from Future Economies, Distributed Manufacturing & Bioregional Production, introduced people to the Decentralized Web and Bloom Network’s DAO and having conversations around “Flipping the Mainstream Narrative” – Alternatives to Climate Change. In 2021 we will continue to have interesting and brain-stretching calls, using our megaphone to teach people about different Regenerative topics.

Our call for February was to focus on the amazing world of Nudibranchs, and their unique place in the ocean’s systems. This call has the plan of taking some of the learnings from creating online experiences and online Burns and creating a more immersive experience that helps promote and lift up the Nudibranchs.

Doing Regenerative work on the side of life means that sometimes a whole bunch of road-blocks are thrown in the way of fulfilling unpaid work. For me, a double bout of illness and having to pack and move house have jumped in the way.  

Bloom Network has made the decision to postpone the The Nudibranch Experience until September. This will be a fun experience, deep diving into the Nudibranch world. On this call you can expect:

  • To buckle up for our simulated submarine ride as we journey through the ocean to the nudibranch habitat.
  • Learn about the nudibranch unique biology.
  • Design your own nudibranch.
  • Learn the nudibranch dance.
  • Find out what is going on in their ocean home.
  • Work out what you can do to help them and their ocean habitat.

We are sorry for the delay in this excellent adventure. If you want to sign up for the Nudibranch call you can do that here, with reminders of the call to be sent in August.

Our June 2021 Community Call is about Art and Nature (June 21, 2021 5-6:30pm EST) and you can sign up this on our Community Calls page here.

Bloom Network Development Blog

Bloom Network Development Blog

Hello there. I’m Magenta, and I’m working on some prototypes for Bloom Network’s next website. We’ve reached a point as a collective where we need more app-like functionality with our site, to encourage peer-to-peer resource sharing among Bloom members and the public at large.

To learn what I need to learn to move forward on this, I’m in the KERNEL Fellowship, an 8-week, invite-only program for top tech talent looking to build relationships, products, and companies in blockchain and Web 3. Bloom isn’t exactly a technology company, but we want to utilize Web 3 tools that support decentralized coordination.

The past week I’ve begun asking for support with how Bloom Network can incentivize participation in regenerative actions, in order to more fully resource folks on the ground doing high-leverage climate stabilization work (soil-to-soul), and also to provide visibility to philanthropic donors, who traditionally have a difficult time vetting decentralized grassroots networks.

I’ll spare you the gory details until we get farther along in sorting it out. But the people helping us think through it are phenomenal souls working on beautiful projects, and I want to give them a shout-out. Like everything with Bloom, our next steps are emerging from a collaborative process of relationship with values-aligned folks. The caliber, diversity, and integrity of people that tend to join Bloom continues to be inspiring.

By reading through some of the projects below, I hope you can start to imagine what’s going to happen when we pair Bloom Network’s on-the-ground utopian pragmatist action networks with the futuristic technology made possible by Web3’s decentralized architectures.

To me these folks feel like midwives helping Bloom’s economic model to emerge. Thank you!

Sebnem Rusitschka – member of the Token Engineering Commons, co-creator at DADA.art, and founder at Freeelio which is working on co-ownership of energy infrastructures.

John Manoochehri – founder Base2 and host of Last Meter Talks podcast: Discussions on the new built environment, sustainable housing, next generation workplaces, convivial cities, computational design, service integration, proptech, and more.

Harold Davis and Dezirae Johnson, authors of the Two Row Wampum Social Layer


Peth and Hammad from MetaGame: Players of MetaGame are on a quest to change the way people coordinate around solving problems & creating value.

Vivek Singh, COO at Gitcoin: A pathway for developers to work for the open internet. Build open source software, get paid, meet top talent & teams in crypto, and support public goods. Vivek is also a co-founder of the KERNEL fellowship.

We’re looking at running a structure similar to a micro version of KERNEL as an onboarding cohort with Bloom, so new members can start their journeys in community and get to know one another.

John Merrells, Aletheia Systems: a collaboration of people working across multiple disciplines to design and build new governance structures for systems.

Simona Pop, community strategy at Status.im and co-founder of Bounties Network. Bounties are a way for freelancers to pick up paid tasks from various web3 projects.

Flávia Macêdo and Luiz Hadad from Muda (Bloom Rio de Janeiro). “By receiving and accepting MUDAs, we are creating a chain of mutual collaboration and strengthening, and each transaction becomes a political act for monetary reform. Our community works through trust, care, justice, and freedom.” Flavia is also co-developing the Global Collective Intelligence Network (yes, yes she is!). The onboarding ritual is an embodied, relational process instead of a cold on-ramp to a technocratic world.

Francesco Renzi, SuperFluid – this is the Web3 membership payments tool we’ve been waiting for to be able to onboard Bloom members in crypto! We think it’s going to make it easier to program automated finance streams than going through an out-of-the-box DAO software.

William Schwab, Linum Labs and Ethereum cat herder. Linum Labs is a global team of developers, entrepreneurs, and change-makers passionate about empowering people through building decentralized systems and solutions to create real-world impact and a healthier society. 

Also big thank you to Andrej Berlin of Deep Work who taught me how to do user journey mapping and integrate that with prototyping, in 10 minutes!! He publishes examples of prototypes and processes on Medium, here.

For many years, thinking through the peer-to-peer architecture that Bloom Network needed took up 110% of my cognitive bandwidth. Now that we’re actually building it, Bloom is straight blowing my mind every day with the amazing people showing up and “grok”ing what we’re on about, and often joining in. I’m not quite ready to share prototypes, but if you want to read some of the deep thought that has gone into how we’re creating a DAO to help transfer resources and power to decentralized networks, you can read our whitepaper on bioregional governance.

And as always, if you want to support our great work, please make a donation or sign up as a member. If you are already on Ethereum, you can contribute to our Gitcoin grant which matches your donation 1-15x.

Love and liberation,
Mage

New Bloom

New Bloom

In January of 2021, we kicked off our Bloom in Columbia, Missouri with a virtual call over Google Meet.  I’m supposed to make this blog post about my Bloom kickoff, because it was a big deal ten years and also because I’ve been working all these years towards Bloom being a reality.  I know how important it is to do these writeups about the events but the truth is, being someone who can make these kinds of events a reality means it’s hard to find the time.

Historical Bloom

Ten years ago, we tried to have an Evolver spore in my town – a meetup group where we screened films, discussed topics and in general tried to evolve consciousness in our town.  I hadn’t taken into consideration where I was at in my life when I tried to pull it off.  I was the president of my neighborhood association, a full-time case manager at the Division of Workforce Development in the MO State Career Center, and a new mom growing a brick in my chest from stress, smoking and coffee.  In other words, I was nuts.

We pulled off events for about a year before I realized I couldn’t do it, I could not be an events organizer.  We put the project on hold and I worked as a volunteer for Bloom International on and off over the decade, trying to build something that would make the world a better place.  Fast-forward to this moment in time and I’m not a new mom anymore, I’m not the president of anything anymore, I’m not a smoker anymore, and with COVID raging we have a captive audience.  Time to try again.

Virtual Kickoff

We were careful about who we invited to the kickoff, only folks we believed could embody non-violent communication.  8 people showed up besides myself, and it felt like a transcendent moment.  There was a theme of people who had created events in the city over the years to fill a void they had in their own lives, a sort of “Do unto others” creed we shared.  It was nice to find each other in the same place.  I feel like it’s a team that can stay together – but the important part is that we came, we heard, we saw each other.  We know who’s in it to win it for the clean green machine our city will be.

Events have started materializing without much effort, so I am pleased.  Coming up is a Hike of Bards where we all dress the fool and walk down to the river to sing at sunset, each of us carrying an instrument or a candle.  We will sing to the river in hopes that our winds reach some corner of the Universe and conjure favor from the powers that be.  We’re also going to have a virtual poetry slam, with a focus on Earth-based work and a professing of love for our beautiful planet.  There’s a spring event with art and music at a local winery with a late fire at a venue that one of our organizers has access to.  We all agreed we all needed COVID-safe, family-friendly activities that didn’t revolve around getting hammered, and loved the idea of remaking the social scene in our town towards more socially-conscious ends.  

In Summation

By the end of the year, I plan to move away from this city where I spent a quarter century.  I can’t say what I think it’s given to me.  Aren’t we all supposed to plant a tree in whose shade we’ll never stand?  I’m not sure why it matters or that it does.  Certainly there is something beautiful about this place, something special about the people here.  

I’m praying to the river at the Hike of Bards that after I’m gone, the team we put together will keep the city blooming, always.

by Meg Rivers

Muda: experimenting other economies based on happiness and abundance :)

Muda: experimenting other economies based on happiness and abundance :)

Bloom Rio de Janeiro

Reposted from the original blog on Cambiatus’ Medium page: https://medium.com/cambiatus/muda-experimenting-other-economies-based-on-happiness-and-abundance-b31441f42f0d

By Luiz Hadad

My first Cambiatus post will share experiences participating at Muda Outras Economias, a Brazilian network with the purpose of experimenting other economies based on happiness and abundance. The Muda network uses the Cambiatus platform to create and maintain its own social currency: MUDA.

The word MUDA in Portuguese means “to change” when used as a verb “mudar”, but it also means “seedling”. MUDA was codesigned by artists, professors, hackers, surfers, cultural producers, and above all, dreamers. It’s a collective that promotes cultural activities and conscious actions. The seeds of change!

Source: Muda website

The movement started more than 20 years ago, and was initiated by activists, that participate on different initiatives such as: CASA — Cooperativa de Artistas Autônomos, Grupo Pedras de Teatro, Teatro de Anônimo, Anjos do Picadeiro — Encontro Internacional de Palhaços, UFRJ — Coordenação do Curso de Pós Graduação Artes da Cena, Centro de Tradições Egi Omin — Cultura Afro Brasileira, Cordão do Boitatá, Jataí, Saúva and Manifesta Capital.

Huge thanks to Saúva, a philanthropic organization that enables the network to operate, funding the team that works to maintain and engage the community and many of the cultural projects mentioned above.

MUDA reinforces the values of trust, freedom, justice, and care. By using MUDAs, our community recognizes the value generated by collective actions, establishes trades, and collaborates towards common objectives.

The social currency was launched in December 2019, and it was based on few agreements, including that 1 MUDA is equal to 1 Real. This was a decision to facilitate exchanges between members. Since MUDA is not exchangeable by FIAT money (Reais, Brazilian national currency), members know in advance that they will have to use their tokens inside the network. Today we have more than 750 members, from towns all across Brazil, but most of the community is based in Rio de Janeiro, where the movement began.

To earn MUDAs, members can either perform one of the conscious actions listed in the muda.cambiatus.io website or participate in a crowdfunding campaign, led by one of MUDA’s partners.

Among others, examples of conscious actions that can be claimed in the platform are:

  • meditating 20 minutes | 20 MUDA
  • a day without eating meat | 10 MUDA
  • planting a three | 100 MUDA
  • reading a book | 20 MUDA
  • a day of volunteer work | 100 MUDA
  • collaborating with donations to selected projects | 1 MUDA for every 1 Real donated.

These actions are approved by a group of network initiators. The approval policy is: we trust that our community members actually did the actions they claim. If they claim and action that they didn’t perform, it’s up to them and their karma. If there is any suspicious activity, like a person claiming the same action many times, someone from the MUDA team reaches out to the member and tries to understand the case 🙂

Also, this group of network initiators decides any changes regarding what actions are rewarded and by how many MUDA. In the future, the decision-making process will evolve to a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), to elect custodians, and improve its governance model. For now, members trust the network initiators and their decisions — based on their track record and great intentions.

Community engagement is growing organically. Today, more than 1,600 actions were performed and 60,000 MUDAs are in circulation. By now, around 300 purchases were done through the community marketplace.

In the MUDA shop, one can find many different products and services offered: building a website, books, dance and English lessons, reiki therapy, online tarot reading, financial consultancy, startup mentorship, and organic food baskets that you can get delivered to your home in selected cities (Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte).

So far our journey has been great, despite the challenges that COVID-19 imposed on the MUDA community during this year. In times of crisis, people look for alternatives, and MUDA is flourishing in this context.

In my next post, I’ll talk about MUDA’s initiatives and partnerships, that use crowdfunding campaigns, online festivals, and other tools to engage our community into experimenting other economies based on happiness and abundance.

By Luiz Hadad

Original Post on Medium, and for following Luiz there: https://medium.com/cambiatus/muda-experimenting-other-economies-based-on-happiness-and-abundance-b31441f42f0d