2020 has brought big challenges to all of us. But have hope because OPPORTUNITY is the creative response to challenge.
Let’s prepare NOW for the great opportunities to come in 2021.
With optimism and pluck, Oika is launching Hope in the COVID Home Stretch. For the first quarter of 2021, this special course in ecological intelligence is offered at reduced rates.
This course is an opportunity for artists (and all creative people) to prepare for the cultural rebound on the other side of the pandemic.
We need to seize this opportunity now in order build the better world we all want to live in. If we don't, the powers that created this mess will.
The "Hope in the COVID Homestretch” Oika course unfolds in a self-paced format that includes:
For questions or more information, email Dr. Rich Blundell directly through the form at the bottom of this page.
The most friction-free way to introduce Oika is to release it directly into the living artmosphere
Oika is a traveling education program designed to empower artists and other cultural creatives to have positive impact and prosperity in the world we collectively create. We teach people how to participate in natural, ecological dynamics as personal and professional development. The curriculum draws equally on science and the Humanities.
Ecological intelligence refers to the field of communication generated by nature that also infuses human consciousness.
This course is designed to give all artists, media-makers, educators, communicators and cultural creatives access to deep ecological insights that they may not have gotten through formal education and training.
You will learn how ecological systems work and see how nature can amplify your creativity and infuse your practice. You will also gain new language, concepts and the confidence to talk about your work in a way that matters in the Anthropocene.
This course is less about aesthetics or artistic skills and more about developing your existing powers of attunement in conversation with nature.
Each month we announce informational "Campfire" calls that are an international mix of Oika course graduates and interested artists. We then accept participants from this ongoing stream of the Oika community during occasional "in-take" periods.
Once started, the Homestretch course an be completed in six weeks (or up to 3 months). Each participant joins 6 video calls that they select from a weekly schedule. Call dates and times vary and are listed on a course calendar. Each call holds up to 10 participants.
Video calls (aka "Campfire Circles") are exploratory and conversational and generally take a Q&A format in order to meet the needs of those who are attending the call.
Course content (Core Concepts, Elective Concepts and Story of Nature, etc) are delivered, on-demand through short videos. The real-world, practicals (Earth Stories) are self-directed throughout the course. Individual course progression is documented on a group or individual Oika Board (this is optional).
Lots of opportunities emerge from an Oika course. The Oika Campfire Circle (OCC) is the emergent creative community of the Oika project. Participants who complete an Oika Course are eligible to continue with the Oika creative community through Oika Campfire Circle.
Other opportunities include mini-grants, collaborative grant proposals, professional consulting and critique, group and solo exhibitions, or future work as an Oika Firekeeper, educator or artist (see below).
Artists who take the Oika Course, and exhibit meaningful synergies with the mission of Oika, are eligible, and may be invited to extend a creative trajectory into new, ecologically intelligent projects. The trajectory may unfold as follows:
There are two tiers of tuition for the course and one sponsored category (choose the category that works for you):
Those who graciously pay the higher tier allow for the inclusion of someone who cannot pay.
Each week we will explore concepts during regularly scheduled video calls & group email. Concepts are then converted into lived-experience through self-directed practices during the week. The first module is devoted to self-exploration. We examine the narratives we hold and live-by.
What is Ecological Intelligence?
Platform (getting set up on Trello)
The second module invites us into a new relationship with the places that make us. We will bring the concepts of the course into the local world and see how our places exhibit new communicative experiences. Through these experiences, we begin to belong to our places in new ways. We begin to understand how we are not simply in the world but how the world is in us.
PERSON Module Recap (read bio’s)
The PRACTICE module extends the PERSON and PLACE experiences into our creative processes. We also put these experiences to use in new communication practices and begin to explore founding new artistic projects.
The PROSPER module is when we begin to think about how we may create new sources of income and prosperity through our creative work. The efforts expended here will form the basis for continued flourishing of self and planet.
The PROGRESS modules are for refining and deeper exploration of ecological intelligence in thought and action.
PROSPER Module recap
Natural History wrap-up
PROSPER Module recap
Natural History wrap-up
Video calls are limited to 90-mins or less. Practice time is according to your schedule. How much time you spend on the practices is up to you but we recommend a minimum of 2-hrs per week. The more time spent in direct contact with nature, the better.
Ideas that highlight the connections between nature and humanity are seen within the learning experiences of the Oika program. I'm excited about incorporating this content not only into my own studio practice, but also into my teaching deliveries as an art and design professor. I'm excited about working with the Oika program in the near future.
-- Kat, Artist & Art Teacher
I loved learning how everything is interconnected and nothing is inconsequential. Also finding my own personal connection to nature and being more mindful of the "little things" in the universe- the simple moments of clarity and connection - James, Poet
I needed this to bring that connection back to place myself into the right direction again. belonging to this planet that we’re all disconnected from. It’s made me so motivated to push what I love to do further with a new purpose and new energy to my work. -- Cheryl, Artist
This experience really drove home to me the message that everything on earth, including humans, are all made from the same matter and energy. We are all one. -- Jill, Writer
The Oika experience made me feel connection, again, between my relationship with the earth and myself as a human. From this, I felt a new sense of creative purpose arise. One with a mission to share what I’ve learned with the world of busy individuals disconnected from our home. Perhaps a calm and connected state of mind and a form of self love. A new purpose to my creative work and how I can use that to share that with the world and allow them to know that they can have that connection too.
-- Chelsea, Artist
I'm more aware now about the idea of nature like something that I am part of, not only like something external to me. Also, I got the idea of nature as literally everything. -- John, Visual Artist
About the Instructor:
Dr. Rich Blundell is an ecologist working at the interface of science, art, nature and culture. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, philanthropic sources and won awards from Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival for his work in environmental media. He founded Oika as the philosophical basis for a school of art that restores art to its original function in shaping an ecological society.