Projects Archive - Daniel Fox

These projects are my creative outlets through which I manifest my work. They each represent different strategies with different objectives, but all are build around the values of humility, connectedness, care, respect, reciprocity, and personal growth.

WILD.ECO

W.I.L.D. (Wilderness Immersion for Leadership & Discovery) believes that immersion in nature is an important part of our development, especially during our early, formative years when it is so critical to discover who we are, develop strong self-esteem, begin to adopt leadership skills, challenge our physical well-being and acquire the capacity to live a balance life in a world dominated by technology.

Unfortunately many of today’s youth are immersed in a totally different reality. Living in front of the computer, the television omnipresent and socially connected via smartphones, they spend little time in nature and rarely disconnect from technology. If their lives exist on the “screen” now, it’s unrealistic to think they will have the desire to connect with the natural world as they mature. Yet, humans have always been connected with nature; 99.9% of our evolution comes from living in natural environments and our psychological underpinning is still entrenched in many ways with nature.

Aims
Knowing the importance of today’s youth in shaping the future, W.I.L.D.‘s initial effort is targeted on giving youth, especially under-privileged teens, the opportunity to experience first-hand the positive impact nature can have on their lives through wilderness immersion camps. This immersion is a powerful first step that can help trigger a desire to explore and discover the natural world and to begin to understand how experiencing the beauty and ultimate challenges inherent in nature can lead to enhancing their self-confidence and help them develop valuable leadership skills.

Quoting Fox: “When we go on weekend trips or week long trips, we all bring our lifestyle and habits with us. Which is normal. It takes about 2 weeks for a person to shed away these habits and start embracing the new environment. Immersion of more than 2 weeks allows a total disconnect. It is like learning a new language, the language of our natural world. And while it is possible to do it in small doses, there is nothing like total absorption in a new environment in order to properly learn about it, and how we are all indelibly connected to it, and it to us.”

Scholarship Recipients

2015

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Gavrielle Thompson & Kedyn Sierra

FEEL THE WILD

FEEL THE WILD is an intimate and powerful story about Nature and our relationship with it, told through stunning photography, captivating film making, and inspiring and thought provoking writing.

To feel is to connect, to experience. It is to perceive and become aware. Our bodies are created with an immense desire to experience the world around us. We are one giant ecosystem of senses living in a universe based on reciprocity. We experience personally and socially, internally and outerly, consciously and unconsciously, willingly and unwillingly.

To “Feel the Wild” is to connect with the wilderness – the untamed Nature, the untamed Us, the essence of Life, through all of our senses and experience everything it has to offer – the physical, the emotional, the philosophical, and the spiritual.

FEEL THE WILD is ultimately about learning who we are and our place on this planet, in the Universe. It is a journey of growth told through the lenses of humility, vulnerability, and perspective.

STOP BREATHE RELAX LISTEN

All this time alone in the wilderness, has led me to experience many epiphanies, moments where I felt that the veil of mystery on some of Life’s most precious secrets had disappeared. I have realized along the way that there was a certain pattern for those revelations to appear, a certain formula that seemed to work as a calling card for these insights to sneak up into my mind and reward me with a “eureka” moment. This pattern that I have observed has translated itself into one of my most powerful mantras – STOP BREATHE RELAX LISTEN.

These 4 words have transformed me and changed the way I experience life. They have helped me manage my way out of challenging and struggling situations. They have given me a way to connect with life, with the world, and with others. By following them, I have come to understand who I am and who we are, individually and collectively.

STOP BREATHE RELAX LISTEN is about creating a space for introspection, where people can find the answers they are looking for. It is about honoring and welcoming our path, finding peace with our journey on this planet and celebrating who we are as human. STOP and create our boundaries. BREATHE so that we can get a new perspective. RELAX and lets welcome clarity. LISTEN, not with our ears but with our hearts and minds so that together, united, we can become better humans, protecting and caring for this world, leading towards a bright and inspiring future.

Random Connectedness

RANDOM CONNECTEDNESS is an on-going photography project through which I illustrate the random connectivity of the human species.

I ask a person to choose a character of the alphabet with which they want to be photographed. With all the photos of people and letters, I combine the portraits and make words, sentences, paragraphs.

My goal is to have thousands of portraits/letters and present them in a “MANIFESTO OF HUMANITY” exhibit, all displayed on a HUGE mural.

I will also use my project to put a human face(s) on social issues and cultural realities our world is currently dealing with. More information on this will soon be revealed.

The letters are RED, because of the Chinese legend of the Red Thread of Fate. According to Chinese mythology, the Gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way.

In time, an Instagram account will feature daily portraits and “Word” campaigns. You can take the lead and follow the Instagram site by clicking here.

Recently, the project was used to feature the residents of Juneau and why they have chosen to live there. Read story THE SPIRIT OF JUNEAU here.

An embossed silicone wrist bracelets – #IAMCONNECTED will be given to each participant, solidifying the community, loyalty, participation and reach.

Here are some examples from RANDOM CONNECTEDNESS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill of Nature

Nature is more than a destination, more than a “place”. Nature is a mindset and a way of looking at the world. It is a teacher and a mentor. It is a set of values and principles on which one chooses to live accordingly, a framework for personal transformation. Nature is about reciprocity, balance and humility. It is a world of wonders, discoveries and wisdom.

Nature is Life – Life is Nature.

The Bill of Nature aims for our society to change its relationship with the natural world and view it in the same way we see Freedom and Democracy. As a value that needs to be honored and respected. Instead of seeing it as a commodity that needs to be managed and saved.

The Bill of Nature seeks to fuel a movement that guides and helps people understand how nature/life positively impact our human spirit. It wants to create a resilient and humble society. It is a celebration of who we are as a human species and our capacity to achieve, learn, adapt, and spiritually grow. It is a movement that values and nurtures the journey of life, one that is not afraid of challenges and change. It is a movement that honors time and human relationships. The Bill of Nature is a movement that uses the power of nature to Nurture, Awaken, Transform, Uplift, Restore & Elevate us. A power that ultimately makes us better people, guiding us towards our higher self.

This Bill sets the tone and direction on how citizens of this world want to move forward and into the future. This Bill is NOT about measuring or quantifying Nature or Life, but about creating a framework for our growth, a set of values that we prioritize culturally, and individually.

The Bill is be simple, clear and composed of keywords:

  • Humbleness NOT Righteousness
  • Better NOT Easier
  • Respect NOT Protect
  • Consciousness NOT Senseless
  • Reciprocity NOT Opportunistically
  • Community NOT Individuality
  • Slower NOT Faster
  • Local NOT Global
  • Accountability NOT Dishonesty
  • Long Term NOT Short Term
  • Forward NOT Backward
  • Optimism NOT Pessimism
  • Dynamic NOT Static
  • Evolution NOT Perfection

Minute of Nature

In our society we are constantly doing several things at the same time. We are talking to people while checking emails. We are scrolling our Facebook timeline while watching videos. We are cooking and watching television at the same time. And even when we watch television we are back on our phone doing something else. We are rarely truly in the moment, focused on one single thing.

The intended goal with the Minute of Nature is for you to do nothing but pause for 59 seconds. A little zen moment to give you the chance to breath and re-focus.

These Minutes of Nature that connect you to the places that made me Stop Breathe Relax Listen are raw un-edited nature video footage. They are about finding beauty and peace in the normality that surrounds us. They are not meant to be narrated over or edited with music.

So sit back, blow the video full screen, take your hands away from the keyboard, and just be in the moment, for 60 seconds.

Pause your day, breathe, and make your mind wander away.

DELETE DELETE DELETE

My friend is in front of me, her head stuck looking down. Her thumb has been scrolling endlessly over the glass of her smartphone for several minutes. Sometimes, she stops the motion and looks carefully at the thumbnails, then starts scrolling again. 

“It is somewhere, I know it is. Wait! Here it is! No! It is not this one” She anxiously says. 

Somewhere in her phone is the proof of a memory she so wishes to share with me. Buried amongst thousands of photos, there is a series of images that are supposed to explain the joy and excitement my friend is currently feeling. The moment is awkward. She is aware my patience is running low. She knows she has lost my attention. I am physically there, but my eyes are looking up, following a flock of birds passing by. My mind is running through a list of things I have to do, places I need to be. I feel bad because I am disrespecting her. But I also feel annoyed because I feel disrespected.

“Ah! There it is!” She jolts proudly. 

But within seconds, her face quickly unveils her sense of being overwhelmed. There are too many simile photos connected to this memory, too many images to choose from. She doesn’t know which one to show me. Powerless and defeated, she turns the phone over, trying to convince me how amazing it was and instructing me to swipe through. She quiets herself and her stare starts wandering. 

I am polite and fake a caring and positive reaction. Inside though, I am irritated. Why does she think I want to look at a bunch of look-a-like photos? Why is she given me the burden of sifting through “her” junk and create “her” storyline? I gave her my time and attention because I wanted to hear “her” tell me story. Now I have her phone in my hand and my friend has disappeared, sort of speak.

If a person doesn’t put the proper time in curating their images and crafting their memories, why should they deserve my time? Why should I listen to them? It is like if someone invited me over for dinner. Only to be received by showing me to the fridge where I can choose the food I want to prepare for myself. Why inviting me if you can’t even host me properly? 

The world of photography and storytelling has changed a lot since the days of film. Back then, the craft was expensive and time consuming. Every time you pressed the shutter, you were mindful of the outcome, both financially and in the amount of work needed. Space was also very limited. Film rolls contained at the maximum 36 photos and the amount of rolls one would or could carry was depending on the level of trouble you would want to go through. Once the pictures developed, they would be manually put, one by one, into an album. By doing this, by actively participating into the creative process and development of the narrative, people took ownership of the stories they wanted to tell. There was always a certain pride in opening an album and showing it to a friend or a family member. And for those friends or family, the experience was memorable and personal. These stories were crafted with time and commitment. Each photo placed with care and thoughtfully. The order far from being random, the creator of the album had set each photo with the intent of telling a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end.

Today, the picture is quite different!

Technology has conquered the limitations we once faced. But with this new reality came a world a new problems.

Our capacity to create without any limit has rendered us prisoners of our own creations. We don’t own our photos anymore, they own us.

When I am asked what is the best advice for doing photography, my answer is always the same – learn to DELETE first. As much as we are privileged, living with tools that give us so much freedom to experiment, that freedom quickly disappears if we are not able to delete the junk – and yes junk it is!

Learning to delete is to my opinion the greatest challenge and most necessary skill today’s photographers must develop. And since we are all photographers now (amateurs and professionals) that means that everyone should learn to delete.

Deleting photos is more than making room in your library, it is an empowering skill and a crucial tool in developing your craft. By deleting the ones you don’t like, you start to discover what you like. You start taking ownership of your photos. And with ownership comes pride. And with pride comes value. Instead of being passive, you become an active participant in the art of telling stories. Instead of letting the photos dictate your narrative, you create the narrative.

What is the value of our photos today? How much do we truly value the moments we try so hard to capture and record? Do we really honor those precious episodes by dumping our photos into a virtual cumulative album that has no narrative, no order, other than the dates they were taken. 

I believe that the great irony of our time is that our photos have become ephemeral, not because there existence is limited, but because their value have disappeared, despite of their existence. By taking so many photos and failing to keep only the good ones, we have lost the ownership of the moments we are precisely trying to own.

Deleting photos about not letting “things” define us. It is about being able to separate the excess from the meaningful. It is about existing in the moment, honoring and respecting the people we love, the places we cherish, and the times we want to remember.