Jacob Gabriel

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For other people with the same name, see Daniel Johnson (disambiguation).
Jacob Gabriel
Born Daniel Lorenz Johnson
(1974-05-24) May 24, 1974 (age 42)
Seattle, Washington, US
Education University of Washington, Vancouver Film School
Occupation New media arts
Organization Body Freedom Collaborative, World Naked Bike Ride, World Naked Bike Ride Seattle, World Naked Gardening Day, Naked Pumpkin Run, Gardens Everywhere Bike Parade
Known for permaculture, cycling and public lands nudity activism.
Movement permaculture, social nudity, raw veganism

Jacob Daniel Ekblad Gabriel (birthname Daniel Lorenz Johnson) born on May 24, 1974, is an American artist, filmmaker, activist, permaculturist, community organizer and writer who has worked for the advancement of various causes through interdisciplinary, collaborative projects involving grassroots politics, media art and popular culture. He is best known for advocating for and organizing social nudity events on public lands. By 2013 his involvement in clothing-optional projects significantly diminished as spiritual issues took the forefront in his life.


Gabriel graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1992, Bellevue Community College (now Bellevue College), The Vancouver Film School in 1998 with a certificate degree in 3D Animation and Digital Effects as well as The University of Washington in 2000 with a B.F.A. degree in Fine Art (Photography) and Art (Interdisciplinary Visual Arts). At the UW he was active in the Laboratory for Animation Arts (LA2), Studio for Media Arts Research and Technologies Laboratory (SMART), Center for Advanced Research Technology in the Arts and Humanities (CARTAH) and the School of Music Computer Center (SMCC), programs which were later merged into the The Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) program. There he studied with Shawn Brixey, Paul Berger, Ron Carraher, Richard Karpen, David H. Salesin, Barbara Mones and Cassidy Curtis.

During his time in college he became interested in international politics and participating in the National Model United Nations in 1994 as a representative of Libya in the Human Rights Council in Manhattan and at the United Nations. Later he became a Co-coordinator of the Amnesty International Group 94[1] at the University of Washington. In addition to living in Seattle and Vancouver (1997–1998) he also lived in North Hollywood, Los Angeles for about a year in 2000.


After learning about clothing-optional activities on public lands and reading about The Freedom to be Yourself (TFTBY) campaign he briefly joined that campaign. In late 2001 and May 2, 2002 he received some brief publicity with activist Terri Sue Webb after two short public urban nude TFTBY protests with her in Portland and Bend, Oregon. At that time Gabriel became critical of the clothes free movement for failing to activate enough interest and advances in public lands advocacy.

In 2001 he co-founded The Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC) with Mark Storey. In 2003, Jacob Gabriel helped organize World Naked Bike Ride events globally with Conrad Schmidt and other ride organizers that began to come forward. World Naked Bike Ride Seattle was organized in 2003 and launched in June 2004. Projects sometimes hinted at a political agenda beyond the advertised scope of projects and projects. In 2005 he founded The Organic Living Party, a short-lived progressive political party based on the German Lebensreform movement. The party, together with the Work Less Party USA hosted the World Naked Bike Ride Seattle, co-founded by Gabriel and Schmidt. Gabriel shut down the political party as his political interest waned after weighing biblical spiritual beliefs against his earlier political beliefs.

He organized the first World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) event with Mark Storey in 2004, with the first annual event held in 2005.

In 2006, Gabriel founded Naked Pumpkin Run Seattle with the help of his friend Josh whom he knew from his college years living together in the University District.

In 2009, Gabriel earned his Permaculture Design Certificate and was involved in a student project known at the Jefferson Park Food Forest, which later developed into the Beacon Food Forest.

In 2007 and 2009 respectively he founded Hemp Ride and in 2009 co-founded the Gardens Everywhere Bike Parade with permaculture activist Kelda Miller,[2] two affiliated WNBR events designed as stand-alone events. 2009 was the only year in which Hemp Ride actually went through the Seattle Hempfest event.[3]

On July 29, 2006, he ran the entire length of the 5K UnitedHealthcare Torchlight Run at Seafair (celebrating its 30th anniversary) in Seattle wearing only bodypaint, socks and shoes in an attempt to encourage others to participate in a creatively adorned manner and to jumpstart a related event called the Jaybird Run.

In Spring of 2008, with the help of free beach advocates from around North America, Gabriel help organize a community effort to lobby[4] the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners[5] to put pressure on the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation to look at the issue of creating more opportunities for clothing-optional recreation in Seattle. The plan was called "Citywide Clothing-optional Recreation Plan" and was presented to the Board of Park Commissioners on Thursday, May 8, 2008.[6] This also involved collaborative efforts with the Naturist Action Committee[7] to organize a grassroots effort to lobby during the Seattle Parks and Recreation Strategic Action Plan public input process, which resulted in 22 pages of positive support published in the "Seattle Parks and Recreation Strategic Action Plan - Summary of Public Feedback - Phase 2: Public Comment Report"[8]

In November 2008, Seattle Parks and Recreation attempted to propose a rule change banning nudity in all Seattle Parks & Recreation areas, with the exception of indoor rentals at City pools. Jacob led a collaborative effort with the help of the Naturist Action Committee[9] to successfully defeat the proposal in the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners meeting on November 13, 2008.[10][11] The Board not only rejected the proposed ban but also asked the Parks Department to look into creating areas for clothing-optional recreation on Seattle beaches, which was widely seen as a significant move in favor of and in lieu of the lobbying efforts of local skinny dippers and sunbathers.

On February 27, 2009 Gabriel was involved in an auto-pedestrian accident in the Seattle Chinatown-International District. The elderly woman who was struck by Gabriel later died. Gabriel was cited for inattentive driving and fined. Gabriel was on his way to "Bicycling: A Sustainable Choice", a presentation by Niels Tørsløv—Director, Traffic Department Technical and Environmental Administration for the City of Copenhagen at Seattle Central Library's Microsoft Auditorium.[12] Around the same time Cascade Bicycle Club was pushing for increased penalties for breaking traffic laws relating to accidents with vulnerable users with their support of Washington SB 5838.[13]


  • Gardens Everywhere Bike Parade, 2009. Directed, edited. Premiered at Thrive Cafe on September 9, 2009 for a fundraising event which had an introduction to raw food and a private screening of the film. Film remains unreleased due to unsecured music licensing.
  • Naked In-Sight, (2004) Edited film that was directed by Mark Storey from several films shot by Charles MacFarland. Premiered in Seattle at the 2004 Naked Freedom Film Festival at the 911 Media Arts Center.
  • Le Grimpeur Loufoque et ses Petits Assistants, 1998. Directed. In Cantonese with French subtitles. Premiered at Vancouver Film School, Vancouver, BC.
  • Fish Schtick, 2006, University of Washington. Limited involvement involved material texturing. An animated short produced by teams of undergraduates from Art and Computer Science & Engineering in Associate Professor David Salesin's "Computer Animation" course. Screened at the Seattle International Film Festival in May 1997.
  • The Art of Survival, 1998, University of Washington. Short animated film. Directed by Cassidy Curtis. Limited involvement involved character animation for one shot, editing and compositing the credit sequence and was a teaching assistance for this student film project which won the audience award for Best CG Animation at Anima Mundi 1999 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Amnesty International Group 94, University of Washington". Students.washington.edu. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  2. ^ "Community | Naked Bike Riders make a scene in the name of permaculture". Ravenna Nation. Archived from the original on October 14, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  3. ^ Guzman, Monica (August 17, 2009). "Why were there naked cyclists at Hempfest?". Blog.seattlepi.com. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  4. ^ "Skinnydippers make new push for nude beaches". Blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  5. ^ "Seattle Parks & Recreation: Board of Park Commissioners". Seattle.gov. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  6. ^ "Seattle Board of Park Commissioners - Meeting Minutes - May 8, 2008" (PDF). Seattle Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  7. ^ "WA Seattle 04-28-08". Naturistaction.org. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  8. ^ "SAP Public Report 2.3 FD.doc" (PDF). Seattle Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  9. ^ "WA Seattle 11-14-08". Naturistaction.org. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  10. ^ "Seattle Board of Park Commissioners - Meeting Minutes - November 13, 2008" (PDF). Seattle Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  11. ^ "Seattle Channel Video Player". Seattlechannel.org. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  12. ^ "Bicycling: A Sustainable Choice with Niels Tørsløv - Northeast Seattle Neighbors' Sustainability Network". Sustainable Northeast Seattle. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  13. ^ "Protect Vulnerable Roadway Users: Support SB 5838" (PDF). Cascade Bicycle Club. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 

Further reading[edit]

Gabriel's involvement in various media events is documented at WNBR Seattle's coverage page [1].

External links[edit]