Some thoughts from Stockholm on art in public spaces:
Theatre Materials: What is theatre made of?
Eleanor Margolies, editor
published by Centre for Excellence in Training for Theatre/Central School of Speech and Drama (CETT)
Artists, engineers and architects look at the raw materials of theatre in Theatre Materials: What is theatre made of?. An illustrated collection of essays, edited by Eleanor Margolies, it delves into the matter of performance, from portable theatres to street arts, the physics of materials to low-energy lighting, mirror neurons to acrobatics.
Eleanor Margolies writes ‘Theatre artists are experts in materials: the costume maker records how different textiles respond to dyes, the prop maker seeks out compounds and techniques developed for boat-building and aeronautics, the director and actor study the body. But these forms of knowledge, which combine tactile experience with thought and imagination, are too rarely articulated outside the workshop’.
The second edition of the CSPA Quarterly is now open for submissions. This issue will focus on international eco-policy, policy’s effect on the arts, and the arts’ effect on policy. The issue will feature news and events from COP15, the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December. Articles from all nations are welcome!
The publication will explore sustainable arts practices in all genres (performance, visual art & installation, music, and film/video), and will view sustainability in the arts through environmentalism, economic stability, and cultural infrastructure. The periodical will provide a formal terrain for discussion, and will evaluate diverse points of views.
Please send your essays, photos, and articles to: Miranda@SustainablePractice.org
The deadline for consideration is December 22, 2009.
Monday 16 November 2009 was a date to remember : the first official kick-off meeting for the Future Arcola theatre was held, appropriately, in the current Arcola bar!
After two years of meetings and relationship building on all fronts, the show is finally on the road… and now we have three weeks to present our plans for taking the project to RIBA stage B, i.e. feasibility design stage. A presentation on Future Arcola is going to be made at City Hall on December 15th.
I am working with fellow Sustainability Consultant Mariane Jang, and Arcola’s Sustainability Projects Manager Rachel Carless, to develop a robust Sustainability Appraisal Framework (SAF) that will provide the performance framework for managing the sustainability of the project.
As part of the SAF we will:
Arcola has proved itself to be a groundbreaking theatre, not only showcasing world-class productions but also leading the way in engaging with the public through the Arcola Energy incubator, Arcola Youth & Community programmes and Green Sundays. The next step in the sustainability story will be to set some challenging targets so that Future Arcola can realistically hope to be the most sustainable theatre in the world.
Congratulations to Leyla, Mehmet and Ben for all their hard work to get us to the starting blocks.
Researchers at the University of Salford are building a sound map of the UK as part of a study into how sounds in our everyday environment affect how people feel about their environment.
For Sound Around You, researchers are calling for people to use their mobile phones or another audio recording device to record 10- to 15-second clips from different sound environments, or soundscapes.
The information on the project website is biased towards urban environments, but there is nothing exclusive about where the sounds may be recorded. Sound Around You aims to raise awareness of the influences of soundscapes.
People can then upload those recordings onto a virtual map, along with their opinions of the sounds and why they chose to record them. Recordings and responses will be analysed by acoustic scientists and findings will be reported on the Sound Around You website.
The twelve regional winners of Artists Taking the Lead, the major art commissions for the Cultural Olympiad part of the London 2012 Olympics, were announced on 22 October.
Although the winners are more strongly based in installation, sculpture and visual arts, several do have performance and participation elements as well as an environmental sensibility. Those winners include:
by Owl Project, based on a concept by Ed Carter.
It has been over 20 years since I was in New Mexico. When I considered why this was, I realized that most of the places I’ve traveled to for art events in the US have been where CAA, AAM, or AFTA conferences usually take place, like Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, and New York City. I guess a city needs to have at least 1,500 contiguous hotel rooms adjacent to a conference center to host a large conference, which Albuquerque does not have (yet). In general, most people travel to Santa Fe to see the opera, go to galleries and in the last decade to visit Site Santa Fe, an international contemporary art biennial that began in 1995. This is a town that boasts over 250 galleries with under 150,000 residents! With so much focus on the arts, it seems like there should be more of an “art world” presence. Even Lucy Lippard, Nancy Holt, and Bruce Nauman call New Mexico home (out of approximately 1 million people in the entire state). And, it is the home to Walter De Maria’s The Lightening Field.
Last spring I was invited to give a lecture in November at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque by Bill Gilbert, artist, professor and founder of The Land Arts of the American West program (2000). I had seen a call for artists for a LAND/ART New Mexico project in fall 2008 and was curious who all was involved. When the program was formally announced and I saw that they had organized multiple events, exhibitions, site-specific installations, lectures, and plans for a publication, I was very impressed with the scale and proud to be included. The program began in May and will wrap up in November. Over 25 organizations in New Mexico have participated with 516 Arts, Suzanne Barge – Project Coordinator, taking the lead. Formally titled Land Art: Art Nature Community, a collaborative exploration of land-based art in New Mexico, the program has exhibited work by international artists including the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Patrick Dougherty, Andrea Polli (the new Director of the Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media (IFDM) Program at UNM), Eve Andrée Laramée, Erika Blumenfeld and important art and ecology artists from New Mexico including Basia Irland, William Gilbert, and Catherine Harris (recently appointed Art & Ecology professor at UNM). The list of guest speakers included Rebecca Solnit, Nancy Holt, David Abrams, and a performance and discussion with Laurie Anderson, just to name a few. The program was a herculean effort and is to be commended. I would highly suggest getting a copy of the culminating LAND/ART New Mexico book due out in December including an essay by Lucy Lippard. And, add to that list the recently published book Land Arts of the American West documenting the program of the same name by William Gilbert and Chris Taylor.
One of the highlights of my trip was going to The Lightening Field (TLF). It was on my list of things to do for many years and seemed the right time to do it being in New Mexico for the Land Art program. When I arrived into Albuquerque Airport there was a fresh layer of snow on the ground. Driving to TLF from Albuquerque takes about three hours, south and west towards the Arizona border. In the small town of Quemado you sign in at the DIA Foundation office. Here you leave your car and Robert Weathers, TLF manager, drives you out into the middle of nowhere to a WPA era cabin about 45 minutes away. After checking out the rustic chic accommodations (great sheets/towels and Hudson Bay blankets), and getting to know my cabin mates (Stevie Famulari, Assistant Professor at NDSU and environmental artists, and Paul Socolow, a Bay Area de-employed Land Art aficionado), we three ventured out into the field to take a look. This was Stevie’s second trip to TLF and she was well versed how to experience the work. About an hour before sunset she prompted us to get outside (it was around 30 degrees, expecting to drop below 20 at night). As we walked out into the poles the sunlight was shining bright on the stainless steel tips which were not as tall as I had imagine and lighter and more flexible than I would have thought. The rounded tips looked so sculptural and rocketship like. It took a while to get it, but walking inside of the field of poles is when you feel like it is an artwork, not looking at it from the distance like it is an object. It expands the longer you walk inside the poles, it seems to gain another row and another row as the darkness sets in and the setting sun reflects on the poles. We were walking in mud and snow, which was building up on our shoes while noticing rabbit holes and horses hoof prints along the way. It was a full moon, the sky was clear, although hard to see the poles after the sun had set. In the morning as the sun comes up the poles to the west are most visible, in reverse of last night where the eastern portion of the field was most visible at sunset. TLF was installed September – October in 1977. In fact October 31st, the next morning after staying over night was the 32nd anniversary of TLF and the last day of the season for staying over night until next April.
Stainless steel tubing
400 poles, 220 feet apart
5,280 East/West & 3,303 feet North/South
Tallest pole is 26.72 feet, average height is 20.62 feet
A few of the tallest poles have been replaced due to high winds
Each mile long row contains 25 poles
Total weight 38,000 lbs
In 1974 there was a test field in Northern Arizona (later owned by Virginia Dwan and donated to Dia unassembled in 1996). There were 35 stainless tell poles with pointed tips each 18 feet tall and 200 feet apart. The land was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine. It resided there from 1974-76, then was moved.
Robert Weathers has been the caretaker since 1980
The National Wildlife Federation is releasing a report today that documents more than 160 student-led projects in sustainability and offers tips on how to start similar projects on campuses across the country.
Julian Keniry, director of the Campus Ecology program at the federation, said that the examples in the report document what many have observed about the current sustainability movement: There is unprecedented student interest in sustainability issues that has given rise to a diverse set of activities.
Ms. Keniry also said interest in sustainability cuts across some geographic and political demographics. “We have been impressed by the breadth of involvement,” she said. “They are schools small and large, state, public, and private.”
RSA sets up Arts for COP15 network
The RSA Arts & Ecology Centre has set up the web-based network, Arts For COP15, for artists and arts professionals who are producing work in the run up to and during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 09.
It is designed as a site to