Wedding to the Earth

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In the redwood trees of Santa Cruz, California, on May 17, 2008, 350 guests witnessed our Green Wedding #4. Our bridal parties and twenty six performance artists wowed the crowd. We made our vows to the Earth, officiated by Guillermo Gomez Pena as our High Aztec Priest. We asked for no material gifts, but invited people to help us co-create the wedding. One hundred and seventy people volunteered and helped to make it happen (see program). It was a dream artist wedding. Here are some of the photos by Lydia Daniller and Danielle Barnett.


WE, ELIZABETH M. STEPHENS & ANNIE SPRINKLE, HAVE DEDICATED OURSELVES TO DOING ART PROJECTS THAT GENERATE, CELEBRATE, AND GLORIFY LOVE. This is the ‘Love Art Laboratory,‘ and our response to the violence of war. the intolerance of the anti-gay rights movement. and the excessive fear and greed in our culture. Inspired by Linda M. Montano’s 14 Years of Living Art, we made the Love Art Lab a seven year project, and each year is devoted to a different theme and color. Each year we have a big wedding. Now in our fourth year, we will have our fourth wedding on May 17th, 2008. This year we will take vows to love and cherish the Earth.

WHY VOWS TO THE EARTH, AND WHY NOW? A wise woman told us a story. “People often think of the Earth as ‘Mother Earth.‘ But today the Earth is so battered, abused, exploited; polluted, blown up and ripped apart, that she can’t handle the burden of being a ‘mother’any more. It would be better to think of the Earth as a ‘lover’ because we take care of our lovers instead of expecting them to take care of us.”

YES, YES, THE EARTH IS OUR LOVER! With her abundant sensual delights, breathtaking beauty, her delicious scents, tastes, and occasional temper tantrums. She’s magical, mysterious, curvaceous, exciting. and unpredictable. We love to nestle in her woods, walk barefoot on her soft skin. circulate erotic energy with her, float in her luscious waters. She’s a fantastic lover and we simply can’t live without her. It‘s so painful to watch her suffer—to witness the unbelievable pollution of her oceans, her mountaintops brutally sliced off, deadly chemicals and piles of electronic waste dumped all over her, her premature global warming. the pollution of her air, the holocaust of her trees… need we go on?

WE ARE INSPIRED BY PEOPLE THAT WE KNOW WHO ARE ACTIVELY LOVING THE EARTH, such as the pioneers of environmental art. Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison. We are honored that they will do our wedding homily. We are inspired by the work of artist and activist Guillermo Gomez-Pena, who will be so generous as to facilitate our vows. Educators Julia Butterfly, Kutira, Bell Hooks, and Kaytea Petro—a former student studying sustainable business—are all teaching us new ways to love our Earth. We are also inspired by the eco-porn activists of fud<

SO ON MAY 17TH WE WILL VOW TO LOVE, HONOR AND CHERISH THE EARTH UNTIL DEATH DO US PART. We will enter into a deeper. more committed relationship with her. and celebrate our love. We will vow to make more of an effort to be biodegradable, sustainable, spend more time cleaning the beach, drive less—walk more. and we will promise to install a grey water system in our house. We are beginning work on a new theater proiect about our jowney into the environmental movement, to help educate ourselves and the public about how to have a more healthy relationship with our Earth. We will vow to help make the environmental movement more fun and sexy. We invite our wedding guests who are ready to make some vows to the Earth, to do so, along with us.

ULTIMATELY WE HOPE TO DO OUR PART TO LEAVE OUR LOVER EARTH IN A NICE AFTERGLOW for future generations so that they too may experience all of the pleasures, excitement and satisfactions that we have experienced with her in our lifetimes. We hope you will join us.



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