project leader
David K
336 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
(Park Slope and Greater Gowanus Neighborhood)
latest update rss
No updates yet.

the project

I am a fine-art photographer who has focused mostly on urban landscapes, or what I call cultural landscapes, places where people and the land interact in an iterative process. As we live today in the Anthropocene, the urban landscape is a keystone to a profound concern for our environment.

About a year ago, I was invited to participate in an exhibition at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, titled: Brooklyn Utopias: 2020.  For this exhibition, I proposed doing a study of the Brooklyn Grange, the largest urban rooftop soil farm in the United States.

That project was called The Machine in the Garden, a nod to the 1964 book by Leo Marx with the same title. This seminal text reviews how 19th century American literature considered American pastoral idealism as it is interrupted by industrialization. Marx examines writings by Thoreau, Melville, Hawthorne, Twain, and many others, and traces how the sudden appearance of a steam locomotive or a Mississippi River paddle boat crashed into the American pastoral utopian dream, and how those interruptions shifted our feelings about a nation where industrial utopianism became dominant.

At the Brooklyn Grange, the evolution described in The Machine in the Garden I found reversing. The machine is at home on the rooftop of an early 20th century industrial building and the farm with its greens is the intruder. 

I knew that with this initial project I had really only begun and I was thrilled this year to get a grant from Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) to help underwrite and motivate the extension of the research and the work on this project by visually exploring how green roofs in Brooklyn are impacting the contemporary urban fabric. As part of receiving a BAC grant, I’m obligated to raise additional matching funds.  Hence this iobi initiative.

the steps

I’m currently engaged in the first step:  Finding green roofs in Brooklyn and working to gain access to see and photograph them.

I will be making the photographs in the field at multiple locations throughout Brooklyn in June & July 2021.

Print making is a process which will happen simultaneous with production, but will need to be completed by September 2021.

The premier exhibition of this work will be a public presentation of a series of large photographic prints hung on the outdoor fencing surrounding the JJ Byrne Park managed by the Old Stone House at 336 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY. The pictures will be displayed for a three-to-four-week period in October/November 2021.  The 'opening' will be simultaneous with the Arts Gowanus Open Studio Event (10/16 & 10/17/2021).  There will be an 'artist's talk' and I'll be doing the best promotion I can do with whatever resources I can raise. 

Ideally, I will also create a self-publish book of the project simultaneous with this first showing.  The design work for this will begin in July.

The funding help is principally to underwrite the production of the large prints and the book.

why we're doing it

I don’t know about you, but I am profoundly concerned about the future of our environment. But, what can an artist do?

Green roofs are super-effective helpers.  They mitigate the heat island effect of our urban landscape, they absorb carbon dioxide and most importantly, help keep our water ways cleaner by mitigating waste-water runoff.  In New York City and other progressive municipalities around the world, green roofs or solar panels are required on the roofs of all newly constructed buildings. 

This project will bring down to the street level where we live an awareness of what is happening on some roofs in Brooklyn. 


The total budget for this project is $10,500.  Thankfully, a Brooklyn Arts Council grant is providing about 40% of this amount.  The remain $6,000 needs to be raised:

Artist Stipend:  $3,000

Making Prints: $3,000

Location Fees: $1,500

Book Design & Production: $1,000

Installation, Insurance, Travel and Miscellaneous Expense: $2,000

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $321
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  


Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • John Frater
  • Judy C.
  • Archie K.
  • Ruth D.