Last year Transit Antenna, a 7-person “mobile living experiment,” camped out at Joe Nelson Icet’s Last Organic Outpost, did a little farming, and painted the giant “FARMART” mural at the top of the adjacent Comet rice mill. The group, which travels the country on a city bus converted to run on waste vegetable oil, documented its visit — which included a stint in the Art Car Parade — in a series of website posts.
And not long after the rambling group left its urban campground, Transit Antenna’s Seth Gadsden posted this half-hour documentary the group put together about goings-on at the Emile St. farm and its Fifth Ward neighborhood. An HD version is also available.
More local color: a few excerpts from visit reports written by Transit Antenna’s Jamie Self:
Transit Antenna was the farm’s first overnight guests. A constant breeze kept us cool at night when we would sit at the picnic tables and talk and watch the stray dogs wander in and out of the fence. We had plenty of water, Kentridge loved the compost piles, and Taylor played in the sand. We harvested fresh veggies for our meals. However, in the daytime, the bus felt like a microwave. And our having a pile of manure as our next door neighbor, many flies invited themselves into our kitchen and greeted us in the morning on our bed sheets. Lousy guests for sure, but it’s been said that family make the worst guests.
The farm at night is usually peaceful, but living in the Fifth Ward down the street from a crack house has its disadvantages. We have heard gunshots almost every night we’ve been here. At first we heard single shots in the distance, but then we heard several shots right outside the farm. The following night we heard them again, and the night after, we heard more, except this time, we saw a guy run down the street firing his hand cannon into the air. The bus has always felt like home to me, but at that moment, it felt like a Ford Pinto.
- Emile Street [Vimeo]
- Farming and Raving in the Fifth Ward [Transit Antenna]
- Waiting for Hurricane Holyshit [Transit Antenna]
- Welcome to Transit Antenna! [Transit Antenna]
Photo: Transit Antenna