Monthly Archives: May 2010

ashdenizen: representing the unrepresentable

In this guest post, Kellie Payne, reports on Bruno Latour's recent talk at the Tate.

The French sociologist Bruno Latour gave the keynote address at this month's Tate Britain’s symposium Beyond the Academy: Research as Exhibition. His address considered the environmental crisis as a particular challenge which would require natural history, art museums and academia to join forces. The challenge, he said, was that “climate change is currently unrepresentable”.

In an effort to address this, Latour has embarked on a number of projects. One is the School of Political Arts at the Sciences Po in Paris. The school, which will be formally launched this year, will bring together young professionals in the social sciences and arts to attempt to represent the political problem of climate change. Latour says the school will “not join science, art and politics together, but rather disassemble them first and, unfamiliar and renewed, take them up again afterwards, but differently.”

Latour is also working on establishing a new type of Biennale in Venice, which will incorporate social scientists into artistic production. By bringing together social scientists and artists, Latour wants to address these issues in new ways. He expressed interest in Avatar, calling it the first ‘Gaia’ film, beginning this task of rethinking the ecological crisis and exploring ways of making it representable.

His engagement with climate change includes his participation in the Nordic Exhibition of the year Rethink: Contemporary Art and Climate Change which was staged in Copenhagen during COP15. He contributed to the Rethink exhibition catalogue with the essay “It's Development, Stupid” Or: How To Modernize Modernization. It is a response to Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, Break Through – From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility. In this essay, Latour argues that the separation of the subjective from the real into dichotomies such as 'nature' and 'culture' must end. In order to begin to tackle the challenges we are facing, we must acknowledge just how closely human and nature are entwined. He has given a lecture on ‘Politics and Nature’ at the Rethink The Implicit venue at the Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art.

Latour spent most of his Tate talk discussing two of his previous exhibition projects which combined the talents of artists and social scientists. Both exhibits were produced with Peter Weibel at ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. The first, Iconoclash (2002), which brought together a team of curators, including Hans Ulrich Obrist from the Serpentine Gallery, examined how iconoclasts are represented in art, religion and science. The second, Making Things Public, partnered artists with social scientists to create individual exhibits. The exhibition was centred on a number of themes: Assembling or Disassembling; Which Cosmos for which Cosmopolitics; The Problem of Composition; From Objects to Things; From Laboratory to Public Proofs; The Great Pan is Dead!; Reshuffling Religious Assemblies; The Parliaments of Nature. The exhibition sought to materialise the concept of a ‘Parliament of Things’.

Latour conceptualised his exhibitions as thought experiments, but found the exhibitions themselves to be failures, saying that most of the individual projects within the exhibition failed as works of art. The books that accompanied the exhibitions, in particular, Making Things Public, a large book created after the exhibition, were more successful.

This was one of the themes that emerged from the day at Tate: whether certain exhibitions work better as books. Latour said that working on exhibitions has been one of the most interesting parts of his academic life. Exhibitions, he said, have a different rhythm and intensity of work and creating the ‘thing in the space’ adds to intellectual life. But creating an exhibition must be different to writing. When exhibitions merely illustrate a point, no gain is made.

Latour’s interests have now moved towards ecology and the role of the arts in representing our environmental challenges and the need for artists and social scientists to collaborate on these issues. He said he himself is writing a play on climate change.

Kellie Payne is a PhD student in the Geography department at the Open University researching culture and climate change.

via ashdenizen: representing the unrepresentable.

UK Gold Award: “And the winner is…”

Reprinted from PR Log: “Theatre Honoured with Top Award for Putting Environmental Issues Centre Stage” May 19, 2010

The Arcola Theatre in Hackney, East London has become the first theatre in the UK to achieve a Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Founded in 2000 the Arcola, in Arcola Street, London E8, is regarded as one of the leading arts venues in the UK. Now, it has become a leading light in the campaign to reduce London’s carbon emissions by 60 per cent before 2025 by investing in series of innovations and and an ongoing project to educate visitors on sustainability.

“We are trying to become the world’s first carbon neutral theatre.” said Dr Ben Todd, Executive Director with the Arcola Theatre in London.

“We are in a very old dilapidated building so we’ve done lots of work in house. That’s involved changing our suppliers, turning things off and putting in some fairly advanced technology for demonstrations.

“We are in fact the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered theatre and we’ve done some shows where we’ve run purely on hydrogen. Which in itself isn’t directly green but it helps to persuade lighting designers that they need to seriously cut the amount of lighting they use.

“We’ve managed to put on a theatre show here on five kilowatts which is about 70 per cent less than you would normally use,” said Dr Todd.

GTBS members are assessed on 145 separate measures by qualified advisers before being awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold grading, making it one of the most scrupulous green accreditation schemes in the world.

To achieve a Gold grading from GTBS members have to demonstrate a number of practical measures which have improved energy savings and promoted sustainability.

“The Gold Award for the Arcola is a strong catalyst in greening North East London, including Hackney and surrounding districts,” said Jon Proctor, Technical Director of the GTBS.

“The most progressive areas for the business relate to how they communicate the green message to the community. The theatre hosts monthly green Sundays which are popular and very well designed.

“The Arcola staff have taken a lead on Green tourism in the area having been an excellent advocate of the scheme through presentations and demonstrations and they continue to drive sustainable development through a mix of highly innovative projects such as LED lighting and hydrogen fuel cells as well as simpler products such as a vegetarian restaurant.

“There are still areas for further improvement but the business has tackled all the issues which can be tackled directly and remains an inspiration to the community and the whole industry. As the first theatre in the UK to gain a Gold Award we hope further promotions will follow.”

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Song of The Bird King | Ian Garrett speaks about Art and Eco-Justice

A little bit of a circular reference, but here is an article Executive Director Ian Garrett wrote for Susie Ibarra and Roberto Rodriguez’s Song of The Bird King Blog:

While attending the Arts Presenters APAP Conference in January, Roberto and I sat on a panel, The Tipping Point: Artists and Climate Change led by Graham Devlin. We were delighted to meet at the session Ian Garrett, Executive Director for The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts. He is based in LA and at CalArts University where he also teaches Sustainability in the Theatre Department and with interdisciplinary artists. It’s comforting and inspiring to hear and see the work of Ian Garrett and his active commitment to cultural and environmental sustainability. Garrett’s work challenges and engages in dialogue on these issues. Here he speaks about Art and Eco-Justice.   – Susie Ibarra

Giving Voice: Art and Eco-Justice

Ian Garrett

This past December, I traveled to Copenhagen for the fifteenth Conference of the Partners meeting, better known as COP15. I was there to serve as a witness to the artistic and creative responses to COP15. I was not looking to observe the UN Climate Change Conference itself; I felt this was easily accessible through remote media, and, in some ways, the less interesting event. While COP15 itself had far reaching implications for international governments, I felt my presence could serve to chronicle the other voices that were trying to be heard through less formal means. And, in the winter edition of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts Quarterly, I asserted that this creative sound — from the gallery exhibitions to the street-performance demonstrations — was the only collective, non-political voice. There is no political body that serves as the voice of the holistic sense of Planet Earth quite like those of artists.

Upon my return to California, I participated in the Arts in the One World Conference at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). In this past year, its fifth, the theme was guhahamuka, a Kiri Rwandan word that refers to the breathless attempt to articulate the inexpressible. And again I came to these thoughts of giving voice to that which can not speak for itself, and trying to communicate things which are nearly impossible to communicate. I continually come back to the necessity of art to fill this void. I see creativity as not just that oversoul of our celestial orb and home, but that which gives all people and things a chance to communicate with others without requiring political power or similar agenda-ed platform.

Invisible 5, a project by Amy Balkin, is a prime example of this type of work. Organized as a self-guided audio tour through the California Central Valley along US Interstate Highway 5, this project highlights ecological issues related to the history of this thoroughfare from Los Angeles to San Francisco. This additional layer of spatial encoding transforms the experience of transiting across a typically uneventful stretch of highway into a shocking story of rapid ecological disturbance, injustice, and racism. It reveals a hidden past, lending the inspiration for the project’s title.

My own motor-touring experience comes with a personal history of making this driving numerous times. My father was raised in the San Jose area, and my paternal grandparents were laid to rest there. I grew up traveling back and forth fairly frequently. My brother and sister in-law now live in Oakland, and my wife and I travel when we can to visit and see our little nephew. Were I not to have met Amy and heard her speak about this project, I perhaps never would think about the secrets just beyond the shoulder of the road as I barreled along this route. Without this piece, there would only be silence, and I would have traveled on, ignorant of the veiled violence.

In Balkin’s project, we are told of the duality of this region’s former riches. We hear about building up the area surrounding this new thoroughfare, the impact of oil, the creation of large agribusiness, industrial farming, toxic waste, and deadly fog. The stories are told by activists, residents, officials, and rangers. Without this compilation, though, one might never know the tales this land now holds. There are those who would prefer we weren’t paying attention; things are rarely hidden for the sake of being hidden.

From the largest gatherings of political powers on the future of global ecology to the environmental maladies laid at the feet of small rural communities that aren’t expected to say much, it is important that silence isn’t encouraged. There is no advocacy in silence. There is no remembering in silence. The small island nation of Tuvalu, who became a household name through advocacy at COP15, is about to vanish due to the rising seas, and uses its little might to assert that it doesn’t want to be forgotten while the larger nations jabber. This example is most compelling because it was the closest to a pure voice that exists in these political talks. It is not talking about the threat to its economy, but simply survival.

We could start to talk about any number of instances where advocacy is needed. The Bhopal incident in India was only recently revisited when Dow Chemical bought Union Carbide and had to answer questions about this tragedy. In order to appeal to developers, structurally sound public housing projects were closed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The list goes on in terms of injustice and ecology, and a lack of advocacy predicated on environmental grounds.

This is what makes Song of the Bird King so important. It is an effort to amplify the voices of those affected by the over-fishing, commercialization, and subsequent acidification of Lake Sebu in the Philippines. But it also shows use the problematized arena that art must step into. It is easier to talk about the negative environmental impact of an action. There are more metrics for the destruction of habitat and ecosystems than the cultural consequences; We can talk about sea levels rising. We can talking about the annual fish kill of a body of water. We can talk about the toxicity of particulates in the air. But we cannot empirically state the effects on a population and how this affects its culturally sustainability.

We live in a world where so many are culturally and geographically disconnected from their lands of origin that we rarely consider the importance of place to people. As Susie and Roberto’s documentary notes, only four percent of populations live indigenously. But we find it difficult to even understand the connection of people to their non-indigenous homes, like the farming communities of California’s Central Valley or those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. When a storm is coming, we ask, “Why don’t people just move out of the way?” without valuing a personal or a cultural attachment to place.

This is the root of ecojustice, providing fairness to a person’s or people’s habitat, and, while images of drowning polar bears are heartbreaking, helping us recognize our humanity in environmental issues. Balkin’s work highlights those we don’t see in an area we see as vacant — the “away” where we keep throwing everything. We forget about the tragedies like Bohpal that continue to affect lives discarded by corporations on the other side of the globe. Who knew about the small islands in the Pacific until their inhabitants spoke up? Tuvalu and others are merely tropically anomalies with little to exploit. And, in Song of the Bird King, Susie and Roberto have the vision to look at Lake Sebu, not just as environmental issue, but one of those rare places still connected to a culture and people.

Please check out Ian Garrett’s current projects at:

http://www.atsunset.net
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1539524181/get-at-sundown-to-the-edinburgh-fringe
https://sustainablepractice.org
http://connect.sustainablepractice.org
http://wiki.sustainablepractice.org

Song of The Bird King | Ian Garrett speaks about Art and Eco-Justice.

art not oil

Since 2004, Art Not Oil has aimed to encourage artists – and would-be artists – to create work that explores the damage that companies like BP and Shell are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage.

It is designed in part to paint a truer portrait of an oil company than the caring image manufactured by events such as the BP Portrait Award, Shell’s sponsorship of classic drama at the National Theatre, and other ‘cultural activities’ of the oil multinationals which also happen to divert public attention away from their actual activities. Climate chaos is set to have a catastrophic effect on all of us, while hitting the poorest hardest. The companies most responsible are profiting handsomely, yet they’re still welcome it seems in many of our most prestigious public galleries and museums.

info@artnotoil.org.uk

art not oil – About Us.

Leonardo On-Line: Global Warning Symposium / 01SJ Biennial

The GLOBAL WARNING Symposium is organized by ZER01: The Art and Technology Network, City of San Jose Public Art Program and CADRE Laboratory for New Media at San Jose State University in collaboration with LEONARDO/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, and with additional support from the Montalvo Arts Center.

The two-day symposium examines the interconnectedness of ideas and actions and the current relationships between art-making, science and ecology. A group of distinguished artists, scientists and policy-makers will present and examine case studies of collaborative environmental projects. A session highlighting environmental policy and an overview of activist environmental art will provide context for scientist-artist dialogues engaging active audience participation. Three teams selected to develop designs for the Climate Clock—a landmark public art project that incorporates Silicon Valley’s measurement, data management and communications technologies to aid the understanding of climate change—will present their work. Public policy, urban planning, sustainable design and civic cultural/economic development strategies serve as platforms for a look at how public art can stimulate community dialogue about these issues of critical importance.

Day 1 of the Global Warning Symposium will be sponsored by Leonardo/ISAST. Participants include: Meredith Tromble (Moderator), Stephen Schneider, Gail Wight, Karen Holl, Andrea Polli and Marisa Jahn.

2010 01SJ BIENNIAL OVERVIEW

The 01SJ Biennial is a multidisciplinary, international contemporary art festival that focuses on the intersection between art, technology and digital culture. The 3rd 01SJ Biennial will take place September 16–19, 2010 in venues throughout downtown San Jose, CA.

BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD

The theme of the 3rd 01SJ Biennial, “Build Your Own World,” is predicated on the notion that as artists, designers, engineers, architects, corporations and citizens we have the tools to (re)build the world—in both large and small ways. It is about how powerful ideas and innovative individuals from around the world can make a difference and come together to build a unique, citywide platform for creative solutions and public engagement. It is about the inspiration needed to build a world we want to live in and are able to live with.

Leonardo On-Line: Global Warning Symposium / 01SJ Biennial.

American Bird Conservancy Receives Grant From Leon Levy Foundation

The American Bird Conservancy has announced a three-year, $743,130 grant from the Leon Levy Foundation for a campaign to encourage the use of techniques designed to eliminate bird collisions with wind turbines and promote the selection of safe sites for wind farms.

The campaign will include a wide variety of advocacy and communications efforts, including the development of a grassroots support network based on collaborative approaches that ABC has successfully undertaken in the past; the fostering of new techniques for bird avoidance at wind farms; and the advancement of critical research in collaboration with universities. ABC also will recommend that wind projects temporarily cease their power generation during times when bird mortality risk is anticipated to be greatest; that no-development buffer zones be established around sensitive bird habitats; and that compensatory mitigation practices be adopted for any unavoidable bird or habitat losses due to turbines.

The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that some 19,000 square miles of land in the U.S. will be occupied by wind turbines by 2030 and that as many as one million birds a year could be killed if collision mortality rates stay at current levels. Some species will suffer additional impacts from habitat fragmentation, while other species could be killed outright.

“ABC supports the development of wind power as a valuable, non-polluting, renewable power source that can reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint in the U.S.,” said ABC president George Fenwick, “but it has to be done right, and it can be done right so large numbers of birds aren't needlessly sacrificed in the process.”

“American Bird Conservancy to Launch Campaign to Reduce Wind Turbine Risks to Birds — Supported by Three Quarters of a Million Dollar Grant From the Leon Levy Foundation.” American Bird Conservancy Press Release 5/10/10.

PND – News – American Bird Conservancy Receives Grant From Leon Levy Foundation.

Whitney Museum of American Art: Undercurrents: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art

THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2010  5–8 PM   Calendar event download icon

THE KITCHEN: 512 WEST 19TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10011

Please join us for the free opening reception of Undercurrents: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art, curated by the Whitney Independent Study Program’s 2010 Curatorial Fellows Anik Fournier, Michelle Lim, Amanda Parmer and Robert Wuilfe. This exhibition considers the concept of ethical cohabitation – how to negotiate our differences within our shared environment. Cohabitation implies power relations in flux; relations that seem at first harmonious can in fact be antagonistic. In this context, how does one choose to act? The exhibition includes projects by: Gina Badger, Amy Balkin, Rachel Berwick, Matthew Buckingham, ecoarttech, Pablo Helguera, Alfredo Jaar, Tatsuo Miyajima, Lize Mogel, Andrea Polli, Emily Roysdon, spurse and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Please note that Undercurrents does not take place at the Museum. The Kitchen is the primary site of the exhibition; additional sites include the High Line, the Little Red Lighthouse and the North River Waste Treatment Plant. Please consult individual calendar listings for details. All events are free and open to the public.

via Whitney Museum of American Art: Opening Reception: Undercurrents: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art.

ME’DI.ATE Announces Soundwave Festival ((4)) GREEN SOUND

Bay Area’s Most Innovative Festival Explores Environmental Performances and Works From June 6 to August 13 2010.

San Francisco USA (April 8, 2010) – ME’DI.ATE Art Group is excited to announce the return of the acclaimed Soundwave Festival this summer for its fourth season, entitled GREEN SOUND, exploring the natural world and environmental issues. Arguably the largest collection of artists and performances the Bay Area’s avant-sound scene has ever seen, Soundwave ((4)) GREEN SOUND will feature over 75 participating artists and musicians, in over 35 inspired performances, exhibits and talks, in 18 events over the span of 2 ½ months.

Full festival details at www.projectsoundwave.com. Infoline: 415.320.6685

The astonishing season will feature events in the most stunning environments around the Bay Area including Battery Townsley in the Marin Headlands, the de Young Museum, Civic Center Plaza, Yerba Buena Gardens, Sunday Streets in the Mission, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and a month-long residency at The Lab where ME’DI.ATE turns the gallery into an artist-imagined forest. The most eclectic array of artists will perform including Bay Area luminaries like sound artist Jim Haynes, improviser Cheryl Leonard, singer Odessa Chen, electroacoustic band BarnOwl, chamber ensemble REDSHIFT with composer Mason Bates, avant-jazz band The Drift, as well as, national and international artists such as Texas artist Alyce Santoro, Chicago artist Brett Ian Balogh, Japanese sound artist Takahiro Kawaguchi, Norwegian artist Elin Øyen Vister, French composer Géraud Bec, amongst others.

“These innovative artists will investigate environmental compositions, solar and wind-powered performances, interactive eco-systems, climate change and pollution, natural- and human-powered performances, sustainable productions, reinvention and recycling, real and imagined environments and creatures, endangered species, water, plantlife/animal life, and other artist imaginations,” says Alan So, ME’DI.ATE Director and Artistic Director of the Soundwave Festival. “Soundwave promises to astound audiences with the locations, productions, and artist ingenuity, while challenging people to refocus attention on the beauty and destruction of our world, its needs for survival and implications to our community.”

Soundwave ((4)) GREEN SOUND begins June 6th at the historic WWII site Battery Townsley in the Marin Headlands. ME’DI.ATE is collaborating with the National Park Service for two events at the Battery. Artists will perform without electrical power using only the extreme natural resonance of the structure to amplify sound in this stunning environment. Audiences are encouraged to ‘buspool’ to the remote site leaving from The Lab gallery in San Francisco. “The battery today represents many things to many people – from national defense to the preservation of these former Army lands as a National Recreation Area,” says John Martini, Historical Consultant of Battery Townsley. “The historians and volunteers of Battery Townsley are excited to have artists explore the historic structure in new ways, and make it accessible to a new and diverse audience.”

From the resonances of bunkers, GREEN SOUND takes you to the resonances inside the majestic St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on June 12th featuring over a dozen vocalists and musicians. June continues with special free events in San Francisco at Yerba Buena Gardens June 13th featuring the Bay Area Sound Ecology, a sonic art installation/performance at Civic Center Plaza June 17th and a bicycle-powered music stage at the city’s Sunday Streets in the Mission District June 20th in collaboration with Rock the Bike.

July’s events start on July 2nd with special performances featuring experimental cello/violin duo Myrmyr at the spectacular de Young Museum, the first of two events here. “The de Young is very pleased to be collaborating with ME’DI.ATE Art Group for their Soundwave Festival ((4)) GREEN SOUND on this site-specific concert inspired by James Turrell’s “Three Gems,” says Renee Baldocchi, de Young’s Public Programs Director. “This experimental project is part of Cultural Encounters, which encourages artists to respond to the de Young’s collections and building.”

July 9th opens ME’DI.ATE Art Group’s most ambitious project ever. ME’DI.ATE will present a month-long exhibition entitled “The Illuminated Forest” at The Lab, San Francisco’s premier experimental art space. ME’DI.ATE Art Group is creating an artist-imagined natural world inside the gallery walls with environmental artist works and an immersive multi-media interactive exhibit and performance installation by Agnes Szelag, Jorge Bachmann, Ben Bracken, Alan So, Suzanne Husky, Jessica Resmond, Sam Easterson, Vaughn Bell, Alyce Santoro, and Reenie Charrière. Every Friday and Saturday night during the exhibition run, the Forest will host experiential performances inside the installation by some of the most compelling artists and musicians. “The Lab eagerly anticipates ME’DI.ATE’s residency here for Soundwave,” says Eilish Cullen, Executive Director of The Lab. “Our mission is to support the experimental and the daring, and ME’DI.ATE’s work continues to push those boundaries of presentation and performance.” The exhibition closes August 7th.

August 1st sees the second event at the gorgeous site of Battery Townsley and the festival concludes with a special GREEN SOUND ‘Cultural Encounters: Friday Nights at the de Young’ on August 13th.

Full Calendar of Events with list of participating artists availablehere. Extended descriptions are available at the festival website:www.projectsoundwave.com. Press Images available atwww.projectsoundwave.com/press. Ticketed events will be at affordable rates between $10 and $15 available online starting May 3rd at www.projectsoundwave.com/buy-tickets/. RSVP to free events atrsvp@me-di-ate.net

Soundwave Festival ((4)): GREEN SOUND gratefully acknowledges support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Black Rock Arts Foundation, Japan Foundation, SF Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum, Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, Meet the Composer MetLife Creative Connections, The M-Line, The Lab, the de Young Museum, National Park Service, Rock the Bike, Yerba Buena Art and Events, and many individual donors and volunteers.

About the Soundwave Festival
ME’DI.ATE’s Soundwave Festival is San Francisco’s premier experiential arts festival held every two years over the span of two months over the summer. Bringing together sound purveyors from across the sonic spectrum (from sound art to experimental to classical to popular music), Soundwave presents experiential performances and activities that challenge the way audiences see and hear sound and music. Each season investigates a new idea through sound that incites diverse artists and musicians to create work that explores the season’s theme in new and innovative directions. Led by Artistic Director Alan So, Soundwave has completed three incredible seasons: 2004’s Free Sound, 2006’s Surround Sound and 2008’s Move Sound. Soundwave has established itself as one of the most anticipated events in the San Francisco Bay Area avant-sound scene and a growing reputation in the global sound and art communities. Among its accolades, Soundwave won Best ’07 Award and called a ‘Future Classic’ by San Francisco Magazine, ‘Inspired’ by 7×7, ‘Unique and participatory’ by SF Chronicle, ‘Magical and deeply personal’ by SF Weekly, featured on numerous local and international radio programs including the BBC (UK), CBC (Canada), NPR (New York), KPFA (Berkeley), KUSF (San Francisco), as well as an in-depth feature on the PBS-KQED television program SPARK* with an accompanying experimental music Educator’s Guide.www.projectsoundwave.com

About ME’DI.ATE Art Group
ME’DI.ATE is a volunteer-driven, San Francisco-based non-profit arts group. Founded in 1998, our mission is to develop innovative exhibitions, products and live events that challenge perspectives and inspire new and unique experiences within ourselves and the world around us; present diverse artists, mediums and places to exchange ideas and collaborate; connect new and diverse audiences to experimental arts and visions; and provide an innovative forum and an essential voice for progressive ideas to be seen, heard and explored critically, imaginatively and without limitation. ME’DI.ATE showcases emerging and established local artists, as well as national and international artists, to bring innovative ideas and perspectives to Bay Area audiences. For more information about us, please visit our websitewww.me-di-ate.net.

ME’DI.ATE Art Group – ME’DI.ATE Announces Soundwave Festival ((4)) GREEN SOUND.

Mary Jo Aagerstoun: Art from recycled objects and materials is not EcoArt

Today I received word of yet another use of the term “EcoArt” to describe artworks made partially or wholly of recycled materials. Because this is becoming a serious detriment to SFEAP's efforts to educate the South Florida public about what EcoArt is, I wanted to remind SFEAP supporters on FB and elsewhere of how SFEAP does define this work (from our website www.sfeap.org)

” practices… inspired by the precepts of Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture” and [which] address environmental problems with creative combinations of conceptual art, process art, connective aesthetics, participatory and socially engaged practices, phenomenological and eco-philosophies, direct democracy processes and other social/aesthetic forms and techniques.

SFEAP seeks nothing less than development of a large contingent of ecoartists committed to staying in South Florida and who are, or wish to become, master cross-disciplinary learners and social system choreographers, skilled at drawing into the collaborative creation of ecoart stakeholders from grass roots community organizations, scientific institutions, public policy agencies and pioneering philanthropic entities. SFEAP will dedicate itself to development and promotion of the best ecoart projects: those that engage and mobilize community while employing, enhancing and melding techniques, knowledge and wisdom from landscape architecture, environmental biology and chemistry, planning and engineering and many other disciplines, and collaborating with their practitioners, while drawing from the deep roots of art history and the broadest lexicon of aesthetic methods.”

While art works that include or are made wholly of recycled materials can be interesting objects and demonstrate how art does not have to be made of new materials, SFEAP, Inc. does not include such work in our definition of EcoArt. We see EcoArt as having an active role in environmental amelioration, and which must include direct community engagement and collaboration with scientists and environmental experts. SFEAP is dedicated to bringing many Florida based artists into EcoArt practice. This is the primary mission of the organization. We currently have our pilot community EcoArt education and artist apprenticeship well underway in Martin County. The apprentice EcoArtists there have just installed their first EcoArt work at the Florida Oceanographic Society. A video about the apprentices and this first project can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6a4VQznh8Ua

Please feel free to cut and paste this definition into an email to anyone in South Florida who is using the term EcoArt in relation to art that uses recycled objects or materials.

Thanks. MJ Aagerstoun

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