January 26 2011
Listen: For our second installment of Reggie Baylor's week of hidden gems in Milwaukee's creative community, we traded roles. A tour guide/tourist swap! Rather than Reggie shedding light on a nook, I returned the favor and introduced Reggie to one of my favorite crannies.
I picked him up in the Third Ward at his Marshall Building gallery and without telling him where we were headed, drove him across Walker's Point just over the KK River into Bay View. I parked on a fairly nondescript street with a few anonymous looking industrial buildings lining both sides. Maybe he was playing along, but Reggie really seemed to be in the dark about our destination.
So what was the point of all this shrouding and secrecy? Essentially, I wanted to document his authentic first reactions as he interacted with an amazing set of surroundings, as my first trip to this place profoundly effected me. And which hidden gem have I been framing in such vague terms thus far? It was...
Sweet Water Organics! During last fall's Make A Difference campaign, I got my first taste of Sweet Water in the form of a tour from Emmanuel Pratt as well as a composting lesson from Jim Godsil. As I stood in the space for the first time, my thoughts were tugged in every direction. The concept is so simple, but the systems become quite complex. Here's the thing -- farming is normally a two-dimensional endeavor, so by adding a new dimension to the mix, one's thoughts and ideas have a brand new lattice to explore! It's like a jungle gym for the mind.
With hopes that Reggie would be similarly challenged to think by this factory turned urban farm, I turned on a mic and documented his first steps into this new world:
Sweet Water is definitely a massively sensory experience – sounds, smells, sights, textures, tastes – and we smashed everything into sound. To enrich your experience a bit, I've included a few of the photos I took from my trip below. Enjoy!