Upwell was a 3.5 year $2M experiment to research and practice the ethics and efficacy of NSA-style online conversation monitoring on social issues, in this case the online conversation about the ocean. Upwell is my largest undertaking to date, and an an in-depth daily practice of mass attention. Collaborators included full-time staff, funders, and a group pf more than 1400 online ocean influencers.

1. Upwell: Business card (3.3" x 2.17" Digital print, 4 color process, 2012)

Upwell is most commonly described by me as an online public relations agency with one client. The ocean is our client.

We handed out these cards for three years, and I still love seeing the reaction. People don't believe this project is real, but the business card makes that impossible narrative more convincing.

2. Upwell: Pennant for The Ocean  (10" x 20", Wool felt, fabric glue, 2011)

In the earliest concept stages, I imagined rallying the outspoken ocean lovers online to save their beloved briny depths. What if the forces of nature had fan clubs? Our pennant embodies that concept.

3. Upwell: Photo of 2013 strategic planning meeting (performance, 2013)

When the ocean is your client, client meetings usually can't happen in an office meeting. As we processed the first year of representing the ocean's brand online and looked to the future, we took the strategic planning process to the client's office.

4. Upwell: The Lunch Benefit (Local seasonal food, cooked by me weekly, 2-10 guests per lunch, per week 2012-2014)

With a staff of 2-7, keeping the work concrete was important to me. This was especially challenging as it occurred for a distant client, the ocean, and on digital channels The Lunch Benefit was developed by me as a physical, sensory demonstration of gratitude and humility to the staff and community as we undertook this challenging work.

5. Upwell: When Sharks Attack, Jump Into the Water | PDF13 HD
Presentation for of the conversation monitoring and intervention work of Upwell. The audience here is a thousand opinion makers, political practitioners, technologists, and journalists who are exploring how technology and wired citizens are changing politics, governance, and civil society.

6. Upwell: Office signage (7' x 3', Cut cardstock, masking tape, bookshelf, 2014)
At Upwell, the ocean's PR agency, I lead a creative framing process each quarter to document a both a values focus and a product focus. For Summer 2014, one of our working values was "Take it outside." This signage served as a daily reminder to create that habit in the office.




The Ocean (funded by Waitt Foundation, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Packard Foundation, Vulcan Inc, Greenpeace, Open Society Foundation, The Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation, Campbell


Founder & Executive Director