Monthly Archives: July 2009

i wanna jam with you

Fourth Annual Jam with the Fallen Fruit Collective
Sunday, August 2 – 10am to 1pm

at Machine Project

This year Fallen Fruit has also sent out a National Call for a Summer of Public Fruit Jams, encouraging people everywhere to get together and organize their own collective jam sessions. Their hope is to inspire a national movement of public jamming. For instructions contact: Matias Viegener, Fallen Fruit @ (323) 788-1479.

Go to EcoArtSpace

APInews: Porta Hedge in D.C. + Cross-country Tour

This summer, artist Justin Shull has been touring the U.S. in his Porta Hedge, a mobile artificial hedge with an exterior of recycled artificial Christmas trees. The interior conceals a remote observation system and satellite Internet uplink, mobile solar electric power, observation/escape hatch, bird camera, swings, chalkboards and Porta-Potti. Smudge Studio describes it as a “critical vehicle” that “seems to question icons of environmentalism. The design mobilizes, after all, a number elements that are popularly associated with ‘sustainability’ or ‘green design.’ But it does so in ways that don’t quite add up.” See a cross-country tour map and blog on the project Web site. There’s a second Porta Hedge “Backyard Naturalist Study” installed at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., part “Flora: Growing Inspirations.”

via APInews: Porta Hedge in D.C. + Cross-country Tour .

Video | Feral trade cafe: buying a narrative with your coffee.

Feral Trade Cafe, London from RSA Arts & Ecology on Vimeo.
A Flip camera video.

It’s interesting to see how the best media art moved on from the idea of creating networks in the virtual world, to seeing how those networks could affect the real world. Early net communities were full of idealism; how far does that ability to change the way we interact with each other spill over into the physical?

Earlier this year I talked to Amy Francheschini about the way ideas from her art practice asFuturefarmers informed the creation of Victory Gardens 2008+ in San Francisco. On Friday I dropped into North London’s HTTP Gallery, where media artists/gallerists Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett have created the Feral Trade Cafe implemeting artist Kate Rich’s Feral Tradenetwork in their gallery space.

The cafe is sourced by real personal trade networks – artists bringing back Turkish Delight from Montenegro or discovering a source of honey in Rotherhithe. By using virtual space to record each trade route, every item you consume in the cafe comes with a  narrative. the bland, impersonal act of trade can suddenly come alive with stories, showing us how the items we buy under the normal rules of trade disconnect us from the world in which we live.

Read Ruth Catlow discussing Catlow and Garrett’s we won’t fly for art at the RSA Arts & Ecology Centre.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

AFLA’s 2009 Design Green Call for Entries and Scholarship


From the Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles: As Renzo Piano suggests, sustainability is the 21st century order for architecture and the built environment-and when exceptional design is seamlessly integrated with new high performance standards for conservation and sustainable building practices are implemented, innovative and sophisticated solutions are the result. This evolution of form is coming of age and changing the landscape one space, one home, and one building at a time. The Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles (AFLA) mission recognizes this metamorphosis of design integrated with the language of sustainability and a spirit of environmental justice. AFLA recognizes both LEED and the Living Building Challenge (LBC) as measures of best practice sustainable design and sees a need to recognize design elegance in that context. The Design/Green Awards were created by the AFLA to honor exceptional design of LEED and LBC projects in Southern California. As with the judging of last year’s entries, this year’s jury will include internationally recognized architects, engineers, and designers.

To download an application form go to http://www.afla.us/cfe.html

Go to EcoArtSpace

Bill Viola videos God

Like Brian Sewell at a Jeff Koons show, BBC Radio 4’s John Humphrys seemed baffled by the idea of Bill Viola creating a video installation altarpiece for St Paul’s cathedral when he interviewed him a couple of weeks ago.

It’s interesting, in this secular age, that art keeps its privileged position to engage with the spiritual. Religion makes the British twitchy. Increasingly, we’re more at ease with Richard Dawkins’ shouty there-is-no-God-and-anyone-who-suggests-there-is-is-an-idiot line. I am a nullifidian to the bone, but 10,000 years and more of human culture suggests Pascal’s  God Shaped Hole may well exist, as some neuroscientists seem to be saying, and this uncertainty is territory that art has always been perfectly at ease in.

Art has always represented the shape religion takes but at the moment it appears we’re not too sure what that shape is. The Romantic-era  God, glimpsed in the sublime of the perfect landscape has taken a hike, gasping for breath. The foot-stamping God of vengence is making a come-back, true, but here is plenty of space for art to build a new God.

Bill Viola’s installation should be complete by 2011.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

A Rebel Without A Car Productions Green Production | StubDog // Events

A nice nod to friends of the the CSPA Enci and Stephen Box on their sustainable film making!

“I would like to believe that because I’m starting it out right I will have it better and easier.” says Enci Box, actress, co-founder of Rebel Without A Car Productions and the green-minded first-time director of a short film “At What Price?” The project is one of the very first film productions that apply the rules of the Code of Best Practices in Sustainable Filmmaking in the production process. “I don’t believe in purchasing offsets because I think that is bull!”,” says Enci. “Everybody who has money can pretend to be green by paying other people off and that, to me, is bribery. It doesn’t do the community or the planet any good.”

via A Rebel Without A Car Productions Green Production | StubDog // Events.

Bloggerscircle: why we need a plastic bag tax

bloggers-circleRob Greenland at The Social Business blog wrote, a couple of days ago:

It’s in the news today that supermarkets just missed their target of 50% reduction in plastic bag use (they got to 48%).  I’m not a big fan of supermarkets but I think on this one they need to be congratulated.  Remember the reaction against proposals to tax plastic bags, and how, many believed, people would never change their habits.

Far too many bags are still used but a 48% reduction is a massive improvement.  If businesses and the public can get their act together on this issue, what other seemingly impossible environmental problems might we solve?  It may also suggest that it’s better tonudge people into doing the right thing (like the clever question the checkout assistant was trained to ask), rather than taxing them into behavioural change.

50% sounds great, doesn’t it?

But in Ireland the introduction of a plastic bag tax in 2002 cut the use of plastic bags immediately by 90%, and created millions of Euros in government revenues which were pledged for use in environmental projects. Cutting ours by 50% is nothing to be proud of in comparison to that figure, especially as much of that 50% is people like Rob, me, and you, dear reader. The remaining 50% are inevitably going to be much harder to reach. Even with Tesco offering the carrot of Nectar card points for every bag reused, this is still too slow. It’s time to get out the sticks.

Like it or not, taxation is the most effective behaviour change lever government has. As Anthony Giddens suggests is in The Politics of Climate Change these are levers we’re going to have to use, and not be afraid of using. But the revenue used from these taxes must be used creatively and positively if we’re going to trust the system. Denmark’s carbon taxes, introduced in the 90s, have created an absolute fall in Co2 emissions from that country not only because they disincentivise carbon use, but because the revenue created by the fed directly back into subsidising energy-saving measures.

This post is part of a collaborative  initiative at bloggerscircle.net

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Friends of the Earth Show: Act Now Don’t be Bio-Fuelled

Produced by Arcola theatre as part of Friends of the Earth’s Summer of Action on Biofuels.

The 10 minute street performance addresses the complex issues surrounding the use of biofuels.

The playful but uncompromising piece demonstrates that biofuels are a false solution to climate change.

In the performance we meet:

  • A politician looking for a quick fix to climate change.
  • A business man looking for easy money.
  • A farmer who will pay the price for their misguided actions.

Taking to the streets

Arcola will be performing their street theatre around London and also in Brighton during the summer.

Director: Phil Ormrod

Cast: Jed Hancock-Brainerd, Daniel Millar and Sean McConaghey

Performance dates:

  • 2-3 Aug: Innocent Village Fete, Regents Park
  • 8 Aug: Barge – Paddington, Camden
  • 9 Aug: Islington Green
  • 15 Aug: Canary Wharf
  • 16 Aug: Brighton beach
  • 22 Aug: Soho Square
  • 23 Aug: Leicester Square
  • 29 Aug: Golden Square
  • 30 Aug: Sloane Square
  • 5 Sept: Victoria Embankment Gardens
  • 6 Sept: Soho GardensArcola Theatre

Go to Arcola Energy