The Greater New York Smudge Cleanse 

A public art project wafted through the streets of New York City. The world's largest sage smudge stick ritualistically cleansed negativity at four different sites in fall 2008. This public art project applied the ancient practice of smudging bad energies to contemporary challenges including environmental pollution in Greenpoint and Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn; gentrification driving queer communities out of Manhattan's West Village; and pre-election anxiety/U.S. economic imperialism on the steps of Federal Hall. Each event included a procession followed by a gathering with food and community organizations, activists, and performers. Smudging is an ancient practice of cleansing space with smoke from bundled and burned herbs. It is thought that the sage smoke attaches to bad energies and releases it into another space where it will be regenerated into positive energy. The world's largest sage smudge stick was built in New Mexico, where sage grows plentifully. It is 10 feet long—an ironically "Supersized" version to combat negativity in contemporary times.

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