Monthly Archives: July 2010

Green News from Vital Theatre Company « Mo`olelo Blog

Mo’olelo just received a letter from the Education Director of Vital Theatre Company in New York(www.vitaltheatre.org), informing us how they made use of Mo`olelo’s Green Theatre Choices Toolkit.  Here’s what she wrote:

“My Theater Company Vital Theatre Company partners with many at-risk schools in NYC. One of the schools, Fordham High School for the Arts in the West Bronx was asked to apply for capital funding through the Bronx Borough President to allow for upgrades for their arts facilities, which are in desperate needs of upgrades so that the student can be competitive with more privileged schools. The only caveat was that our proposal had to be “green”. I used your Toolkit as support grant materials to indicate the kind of choices we could make while doing our upgrades in the Department of Education buildings. I spent quite a bit of time researching “green theatre choices” online and your Toolkit was by far the most specific, most concise and useful back up materials that I could find. Thanks so much for making such an invaluable tool available.

P.S. We got the funding and plan to use your Toolkit as a guide while working with School Construction Authority to make the renovations.”

– Linda Ames Key

Education Director
Vital Theatre Company

via green news from Vital Theatre Company « Mo`olelo Blog.

HyLight Fuel Cell Launched

Reprinted from Arcola Energy: “Arcola Theatre launches HyLight…” July 12, 2010

London’s Arcola Theatre launches its first in-house designed and manufactured fuel cell product HyLight and announces the creation of a new trading company Arcola Energy Ltd to develop the commercial aspects of its international award winning arts & sustainability programme.

Developed with regular Arcola partners BOC (global industrial gas supplier), and White Light (leading supplier of lighting equipment and services to the entertainment industry), HyLight is a unique portable lighting and power supply to provide illumination in locations away from the electrical grid, silently and without the emissions of traditional noisy, polluting diesel generators.

HyLight is packaged in a compact wheeled flight-case, rugged for transportation and easy to deploy. The system includes the new Hymera hydrogen fuel cell generator from BOC, two of BOC’s new lightweight compressed hydrogen cylinders, and a choice of low energy LED lighting systems suitable for architectural, live event or safety applications.

To ensure reliable operation and provide added flexibility, HyLight’s power control system allows seamless switching between mains power, fuel cell power and battery back-up (1 hour). An LCD display provides real-time operating information and user prompts, whilst a data-logger records second-by-second performance. Online tools allow users to analyse their usage profile and determine the carbon footprint of their activities.

With a rated power output of 150W (200W peak), HyLight will provide many hours of safe, low-voltage power between refills. Run time with a 100W load is 30 hours per hydrogen cylinder. Furthermore, as run-time is directly proportional to load (in marked contrast to diesel generators), in lower power applications such as cordless tool charging, run times of several days are possible from a single hydrogen cylinder. A built-in 240V outlet can supply ancilliary equipment.

“HyLight is the result of several years of hugely productive collaboration Arcola has enjoyed with BOC and White Light,” comments Dr Ben Todd, Executive Director at Arcola Theatre, “and of a recent research and development project we undertook with the support of the Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Their support allowed us to innovate rapidly together, taking lessons we have learnt with running low-energy lighting from the 5kW fuel cell we have at Arcola Theatre and combining that experience with the latest hydrogen and fuel cell technology from BOC to create a small, portable package that offers lower total cost of ownership than diesel generators – and many other practical benefits as well.”

“We don’t expect our customers to necessarily care about the history or technology of the hydrogen fuel cell,” comments Bryan Raven, White Light’s Managing Director. “What we do expect is that they will care greatly that they can have a lighting system that is clean, silent and portable, perfect for lighting events in gardens, parks or remote locations”.

Leyla Nazli, Executive Producer at Arcola Theatre said “Having engineers developing clean energy technologies right here in Arcola Theatre is part of our future vision. Artists imagining sustainable futures must witness first hand the possibilities for change, so to work side-by-side with engineers is invaluable”.

David Bott, Director of Innovation Platforms at the Technology Strategy Board said “this is a great story of a company taking ownership of its carbon emissions and applying its expertise to tackle the problem“.

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Nevada Museum of Art

For Chester Arnold, painting is as much about social responsibility as it is about crafting luscious large-scale oil paintings in the tradition of 19th-century European artists. Since he began painting over three decades ago, Arnold has cleverly confronted a range of challenging subjects ranging from land use and environmental issues to the global impacts of human and industrial consumption, accumulation, and waste. The paintings united in this exhibition ask viewers to consider the implications of unchecked economic development and industrialized growth on the natural environment. Often, Arnold’s work is infused with a dose of religious or political inflection that generates passionate dialogue about the topics he tackles. “If this is God’s will,” Arnold once remarked while referring to one of the abused landscapes he depicted on canvas, “something is wrong.”

A special dialogue between San Francisco Chronicle Art Critic Kenneth Baker and Chester Arnold takes place Saturday, September 11 from 5:30 to 8 pm. Join Baker and Arnold as they discuss Arnold’s work on display in the Feature Gallery. A reception following dialogue is included in the ticket price.

A 78-page book, published in conjunction with the exhibition, will be available in the Museum Store featuring essays by Ann M. Wolfe, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections and Colin M. Robertson, Curator of Education.

Chester Arnold: On Earth as It Is in Heaven is presented as part of the Museum’s Art + Environment Series, which provides timely, engaging, and rewarding educational opportunities for artists, scholars, and communities to engage with ideas pertinent to the intersections of art and environments.

SPONSORSHIP:

Media Sponsorship for Chester Arnold: On Earth as It Is in Heaven generously provided by edible Reno-TahoeMagazine.

via Nevada Museum of Art.

ashdenizen: flowers on stage: the lungwort

In the fourth of our summer series of blogs about flowers on stage, the artist Sue Palmer, writes about the lungwort (Pulmonaria).

I have a Pulmonaria ‘Glacier’from Brantwood in my garden; it comes up perennially in early spring with a pale white-blue flower. When it flowers, I think of the large house and rambling garden beside Coniston Water, the former home of writer, thinker and art critic John Ruskin.

In 2001, I created a site-specific performance project there. Brantwood is a significant tourist attraction with its open house and gardens, and I wanted to make a something unusual for the visitors that unravelled some of Ruskin’s philosophies and ideas, and to both work with, and challenge, the tourist culture. So I created a ‘tour’ of Ruskin’s Dining Room.

Visitors coming to Brantwood were offered the chance (free of charge) to come to a ‘special guided tour’ of the Dining Room, overlooking the lake. I began as an ordinary tour guide would, speaking about the objects and features, but over the 20 minutes, I evoked some of the extraordinary events that had occurred in that room, using three ‘elements’: salt, money and flowers.

Ruskin had published a book in two volumes in the late 1800s about plants and flowers called Proserpina. It went largely unrecognised at the time due to its eccentric collection of intensely detailed observations of plants and their processes, woven with passionate prose.

‘The flower exists for its own sake. The production of the fruit is an added honour to it – is a granted consolation to us for its death. But the flower is the end of the seed – not the seed of the flower.’

Ruskin’s writing was rich with religious and moral beliefs, with flowers as the emblematic fulcrum of beauty and resonance.

‘You think that the use of cherry blossom is to produce cherries. Not at all. The use of cherries is to produce cherry blossom; just as the use of bulbs is to produce hyacinths.’

I scattered flowers – collected and dried from both Brantwood and my own garden – around the edge of the dining table. As I introduced Ruskin’s Proserpina, their perfume filled the room: roses, marigolds, camomile. Pinks, reds and yellows. Flowers normally contained and organised in vases now strewn over the table.

I invited the ‘audience’ to consider this: Charles Darwin had dined there in 1879. He was 70, Ruskin was 60. The discussion was probably rich, with Darwin speaking about the recurring struggle for existence, the mechanical process that had little or no reliance upon soul or will. And Ruskin passionate about his beliefs that nature did not exist by competition alone, that co-operation and ‘soul’ played crucial parts.

As the content of a conversation over 200 years old was evoked, next to the flower petals, I placed a circle of one pound coins: money laid down for Ruskin’s criticisms of capitalist ideology, of mechanisation and loss of craft. His highly influential writing on ‘value’ was laid out in his book Unto This Last. Gandhi had read this on a train journey in South Africa; it inspired him to direct action, to the Salt March and the collapse of colonial India. So into the centre of the table, I poured salt. Normally contained as a condiment, now salt was spilling over, the grains scattered on the money and in with the flowers.

At the end of my ‘tour’, I offered a ‘souvenir’ of the dining room to each member of the audience – a small bag containing either salt, a pound coin or some dried flowers. Not only did this reverse the usual order of purchasing a memento of the house, but it provoked a complex choice for each visitor: each one had value, significance, a use even, and each object was imbued with meaning. Most visitors I remember, chose the flowers.

via ashdenizen: flowers on stage: the lungwort.

Arcola Theatre launches hydrogen fuel cell powered lighting at Latitude Festival

THEATRE ARENA

Building on its success of the past 2 years, Arcola Theatre are once again providing low energy lighting and fuel cell power to the theatre stage; and this year we are providing sound as well.

In 2008 when the theatre tent was much smaller, we powered the whole lighting rig with a 5kW fuel cell, using low energy lighting fixtures including LED and low power tungsten lamps. In 2009 the tent grew to its present size, but, with a smaller stage and audience on fewer sides, we were just about able to power the rig on 5kW, with a little extra generator power for particularly bright scenes.

This year, with large stage, audiences on all sides and greatly increased technical expectations, lighting demands are significantly higher than in previous years. Luckily, great improvements in LED technology in the past 12 months mean that they can still play a role. We have thus switched our approach – instead of doing the best we can with 5kW, we are experimenting with the latest LED fixtures. With greatly improved light output and colour rendering there are LED fixtures emerging which can replace tungsten lamps even in mid-scale theatres. This lighting rig gives designers an opportunity to trial these technologies.

Theatre Stage

There has been much less popular attention given to low energy approaches to sound and thus we were keen this year to see what is possible. To ensure that there was no compromise in quality, we have enlisted the support of Steve Mayo, head of sound at the Barbican and a new industry partner Dobson Sound.

In these first trials our focus is on cutting energy consumption by two means – first by getting the right amount of sound in the right place, hence the skilled system designer, and second by improving system efficiency by using amplifiers employing pulse-width-modulation (D class) which use nearly 50% less power than a comparable solid state amplifier. We hope it goes well…

AROUND THE LATITUDE SITE

This year Arcola Theatre has launched a new strand of work developing low energy technologies for the live arts industry. Thus we have installed 7 of our new HyLight150 fuel cell powered lighting systems across the Latitude Festival site; providing lighting for everything from marquees, to forest performances to production areas, as well as powering laptops, phone chargers and ticket machines.

HyLight 150

HyLight is the first fuel cell product to be developed specifically for the events industry and offers the high reliability demanded through an onboard ‘brain’ which monitors performance and seamlessly switches to battery back-up in
case of fault or user error.

Running on hydrogen, with a run time of over 50 hours between refills, the system produces zero emissions and is almost silent. Carbon emission reductions of up to 60% are likely in performance settings through use of the latest LED lighting. The system is also perfect for safety and security lighting where emission reductions of up to 90% are possible by displacing the ubiquitous 500W garage floodlight with 15W LED alternatives.

Arcola developed HyLight with a consortium including regular partners – hydrogen gas producer BOC and leading events industry supplier White Light who also support our work with the Theatre Arena. A new partner is Horizon Fuel Cell, manufacturer of the fuel cell at the heart of HyLight. A family of larger HyLight products is now planned, built around Horizon’s extensive range of low cost, light weight fuel cell systems.

MORE INFO

Press Release – Fuel Cells Across Latitude Festival

Latitude Photo Gallery

Latitude Leaflet

Hylight @ Arcola Energy Store

Go to Arcola Energy

Performing the Press Conference and Workshop for Trigger Point Theory

by Aviva Rahmani

Published in the Winter edition of the CSPA Quarterly, which was focused on the 2009 United Nations Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen.  To view or order back issues, visit http://magcloud.com/browse/Magazine/38626.  To subscribe to the CSPA QUARTERLY, join us! https://sustainablepractice.org/join-the-cspa/

The Horizontal Press Conference

My December 18, 2009 press conference in the Jasger Jorn room at the Bella Center for the fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) was scheduled the same day President Obama was scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen. The same week that press conference was scheduled, outside Bella, at the invitation of Oleg Koefoed of Cultura 21 Nordic, I was scheduled to conduct a three-day workshop on the theoretical basis of my ecological art work. I was attending COP15 as as an official observer and part of the University of Colorado (UC) Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). What I would see as an observer, was an effort on the part of many, to help make sense of and advance progress on a problem shared by the whole world, regardless of what policy makers would say in plenaries. I was moved to notice that easily 50% of participants were under thirty. But I saw an equivalent push-back from those determined to cast a blind eye on history, for their own short-term comfort and advantage. 

What I experienced as an artist was neither light-hearted nor simple. But it was a lesson about what can happen when enough people converge on the same problem. The groups I was working, in touch, exchanging information with and learning about, from December 6-19, are too numerous to count. In addition to the UC group, Cultura 21 and Cultura 21 Nordic, they included Avaaz, the Yes Men, representatives from the World Bank, Island Nations, heads of American agencies, Greenpeace, 350.org, gallerists from Khoj International, New Delhi, India, ARTPORT and Poulsen in Copenhagen, High Tide (for whom I blogged), the Climate Forum, the Climate Pirates, Culture Futures, the eco-art dialog, World Wildlife Fund International, European Union negotiators, the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and the Danish police. The press conference  was subsequently re-scheduled three times, as I worked with the United Nations press office to negotiate around the growing panic of conference organizers and police in the face of a perceived degeneration of civil control  towards the end of COP15.

The press conference I planned to deliver would have challenged policy makers to include language about art-making in their adaptation policies for climate change. It would have given an example from my collaborative work with scientists. COP documents speak of the need to address the “aspirational goals” and support the  “resilience” of vulnerable nations confronting the stress of adaptation to climate change. But they go on to define those goals strictly economically.  As others pointed out, you can’t address “aspirations” or resilience solely economically.

Early September 2009, Neena Bhandari reported from Sydney, for the IPC (which covers the United Nations) that  “An agreement by 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum leaders on Saturday to adopt ‘’aspirational goals’’ to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been criticised by voluntary agencies as grossly inadequate for saving the world from the effects of climate change.”

Art is the glue holding societies and cultures together, particularly when they are under stress. In Copenhagen, the press conference became the art and it was a collaborative, intuitive production.

My experiences in Copenhagen were fraught with paradoxes. It was terrifying for what wasn’t accomplished at the conference. It was inspiring for what I learned about work being done to mitigate climate change all over the world. Horizontal connections were made between disparate groups and individuals spontaneously connecting as equals at events that ranged from the formal reception and      diplomatic plenaries of COP15 to the Climate Pirates who sailed into port from Germany and the vast demonstrations in Christiana. It was frustrating because my COP press conference never happened.

Everything that happened in Copenhagen was staged for layers of media and an international audience. In that sense, the critical days, from December 7 to December 18, were one continuous, anarchistic media event, with no single individual, group or nation consistently taking center stage. Ultimately, the whole world became the venue for a giant teach-in, in the form of the largest Happening ever. It was attended by millions around the world, some of whom were reporters, all of whom had a stake in our outcome.

Copenhagen was the site of multiple realities about global warming. Many of us simultaneously participated in a wide range of activities with the broad assembly of groups in attendance. In addition to blogging, I went to and participated in sessions at the Bella Center; helped work on the press conference for the Collaborative Program on the Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change (EDCC ); showed up for various art openings and shows in the city, indoors and outdoors; participated in demonstrations; exhibited my own films; helped set up other people’s installations; attended several other conferences; hosted a workshop; networked at the COP reception; had dinner in restaurants with various groups, where other attendees were also dining and visited a few tourist sites, where ordinary Danes asked me about the conference while others staged elaborate art works to draw attention to global warming. The media were all over the Bella Center during COP15. Island nations, as Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Maldives took center stage the longest, as eloquent spokespeople for what needed to be done and why. The press ran with their passionate stories.

At every turn in Bella, through the halls and before plenaries, colorful demonstrations were attended by masses of flashing cameras of every size and type.  The extent to which sophisticated performance art has saturated activism and how funny many were was striking. The “Fossil Awards,” gave out awards to the country that had most obstructed progress that day, with great pomp and ceremony, every evening at 6: PM to hundreds of cheering, jeering and singing COP participants.

Outside Bella, in the streets of Copenhagen, was an installation about  immigration (of climate refugees) mounted by    Sacha Kagan on the basis of a work by students at the CCC Programme of the Geneva University of Art and Design. It included credible yellow wet-signs with the text “Caution Border”, police tape marking off parts of the street, printed with the slogan, “This is not a natural border” and slick black and yellow hand-out cards printed with provocative questions about borders. At demonstrations, the press caught glimpses of innumerable notable activists from every corner of the earth, from Wengari Maathi to Vandana Shiva. But the media also witnessed events turn violent at the hands of the Danish police.

Back inside Bella, at official Side Events, reporters took notes and shot pictures of government ministers speaking to crowded rooms, sometimes to the extent that many of us were sitting on the floor. In the Jasger Jorn room at Bella, press conferences filled out informational gaps in the Side Events held in other rooms.

After much internal conflict, I had flown to Europe for COP15, despite a previous vow in 2006, after Katrina, to reduce my carbon footprint by eschewing flight. The press conference I planned would have been an opportunity to present my work with Dr. Jim White, of the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research, UC Boulder as a model for how we need to look at problems arising out of global warming, using virtual communications. The work with Dr. White has been premised on a series of experimental research projects applying Trigger Point Theory Theory as Aesthetic Activism to problems caused by global warming. We conducted our work in desktop sharing conversations, including other scientists and artists. The press conference would have included a presentation of our work, SOS Gulf to Gulf, comparing the impact of global warming on gulf systems internationally. It connects problems with Somali pirates, Katrina, education in Bangladesh, dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and lobster migrations in the Gulf of Maine.

Trigger Point Theory is a way to look at situations and see where to apply the least pressure to effect the most change.  Flying to Copenhagen, working virtually, doing a press conference in Bella, were ways I was applying that principle. My ideas developed, out of my collaborative ecological art practice, from monitoring change at the sites of two environmental restoration projects I initiated and other related experiences. Trigger Point Theory Theory as Aesthetic Activism, evolved as a strategy to analyze causes of ecological degradation and create environmental restoration plans out of that analysis. It is presently my dissertation topic at Z_node, Institute for Cultural Studies, Zurich University of the Arts, (ZHDK) Zürich,  Switzerland and the School of Technology, Communication and Electronics at the University of Plymouth England.

Trigger Point Theory works by diagnosing a very small “patch” (in the language of landscape ecology), in a degraded  system, comparable to identifying an acupuncture trigger point on the body of the earth, in a greater degraded ecosystem, whose restoration could catalyze regional healing for a larger landscape. Acupuncture identifies tiny points in systemic meridians of energy flow. Comparably, many indigenous rituals also seek to harmonize human needs with a whole ecology approach to sustainability. Diagnosing and identifying that process is the heart of my theoretical work.

The Trigger Point Theory Theory as Aesthetic Activism workshop was held in the Global Room at Verdenskulturcentret, in Copenhagen. The workshop brought together a number of people concerned with global warming, involved in events that month. The participants represented a spectrum of interests from those engaged in the most radical demonstrations to simply concerned citizens.

The workshop was organized around applying Trigger Point theory to our various activist concerns with free-hand  mapmaking. I presented approximately twelve premises to observe situations for possible “Trigger Points.” As, how to  identify where many factors come together, creating ecological edges that enhance each other and the importance of   establishing buffer zones to insure resilience. 

The last day of the workshop was scheduled the morning of the second scheduled date for my press conference:     Wednesday December 16. It was rescheduled when word spread that NGOs would be issued secondary passes to enter Bella towards the end of the last week of sessions.

What I had to say in Jasgar Jorn had been transformed by my first ten days in Copenhagen. The press release I wrote Tuesday night opened with,

 “Protestors world wide see COP15 as a conflict between money and legalisms.  This press conference asserts that is why art needs to be at the table.  Art can help build capacity and facilitate the adaptation COP15 needs to address with vulnerable nations. We will present SOS Gulf to Gulf, a virtual model for a role for art in creating resilience. ”

 COP treaty negotiations need input from artists because art conveys the “aspirational goals (COP15 treaty language)” of culture. Culture is what contains civilized behavior despite chaotic transitions. Much of the plenary discussion framework was about the crisis of adaptation to the effects of global warming. Yet there was no mention of art’s role in cultural  sustainability.

That afternoon, violence against the demonstrators on the part of police, closed down Bella to anyone who hadn’t already entered that morning. I went there anyway. After much discussion, the police allowed me to hand 500 press releases for distribution through the fence gaps erected around the building to Marilyn Averill, the UC’s NGO co-ordinator, who was already inside. 

After the Wednesday closure and cancellation, at Bella, we rescheduled the press conference again, back to Friday  morning. No one knew what would happen next, especially about climate change. By Friday, access to Bella was restricted to 93 passes for 45,000 registrants, effectively locking me out of the building and closing my door to Jasger Jorn and the webcams there.  Instead, the Friday before I left, I recorded the press release I’d prepared for COP15, at the Poulsen    Gallery, for the Yes Men and Avaaz.

The Yes Men and Avaaz had set up a fake Bella Center (Good COP15 http://www.good-cop15.org shadow Bella Center). They taped a number of presentations, some of which have been mounted on the website. The tapes illustrate that everyone has aspirations in relation to global warming. Most are light-hearted, often humorous general proclamations and   wishful statements about the world we need.

What was ultimately seen by the world beyond Copenhagen didn’t just come from Jasger Jorn, the Poulsen Gallery or the streets. It also came from hundreds of blogs (including my own http://high-tide-cop15.blogspot.com/) and a thousand candle light vigils around the world, many initiated by 350.org, the group started by Bill McKibben. Arguably, 350.org was the most effective group because their message about carbon particle reduction was so simple.

The experiences of developed countries are particularly mediated through media. Media can be another venue for visibility or a portal for an audience to go to another site, another world. The denouement of COP15, challenged us all, arguably especially artists, to give some hard inspired thought to how we can help the media show people some new doors to open. What I might have had to say or what anyone else had to say, is part of an immense jig saw puzzle. It may adequately address global warming if we can just wrap our brains around how to perform a really effective horizontal press conference.

The Aspirational Press Conference 

“When we take “aspirational goals” seriously for the Least Developed Countries (LDC), we see that the arts in each culture and between cultures are a means to express aspirations, sustain it’s people, bridge communication gaps and be a container for important historical information, including indigenous environmental knowledge. Art is a means to intimately connect people.” –  excerpt from my SOS Gulf to Gulf press release prepared for COP15.

The international experiences we’re having now because of unchecked global warming  terrify any sane person. Global warming can be also be connected to terrorism. The consequences of rising carbon emissions include massive migrations of culturally disrupted climate refugees, for whom terror and rage are appropriate responses. The fact that many of these disrupted cultures have a history of sexism, privileging violent machismo in response to crisis and excluding women from full socio-political participation, contributes to chaotic behavior.  Contemporary art that confronts this complex reality is an intensely intimate expression of connection between people, binding the aspirational goals of all life. In Islamic Jihadist rehabilitation, the creative act of “making” is considered a healing option to violence.

The meaning of doing a press conference as an activist performance in Copenhagen (COP15) for me, hinged on defining an artist’s relationship to policy. My intention for the press conference had been to provide context for and an alternative model from which to negotiate.

The first week at COP15, when I met and briefly worked with EDCC, I paid close attention to how they framed the need for accountability in the treaty policy language and made the decision to follow their example. One of the discussions that stuck most firmly in my mind centered on the relationship to press as partners in public education. I realized from that in addition to presenting a new model I had to explain a new definition of art.

At the end of the second, informational page of my press release, I wrote (with references to treaty documents):

1. Gender issues relate to questions of art and culture. Disproportionately, artisans in indigenous cultures are often women. Their practices often preserve the, “[land use, land-use change and forestry sector]”; (and represent how to) p. 92 “respect the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples [, including their free, prior and informed consent,]  Deforestation is often a consequence of the cultural disruption that displaces gender roles.

2. Art and humanities foster creativity through out all sectors of society. In transition periods, creative problem-solving is as essential to survival as financial or regulatory support.

3. The costs of sustaining cultural communities in relation to other ecological costs is not only minimal but has historically transferred wealth, in a variety of forms back into an economy. This will help cultures in transition maintain identity and independence, a response to the need to, “develop low-emission [high growth sustainable] development strategies.”

Early 2007, Marda Kirn put Dr. Jim White and I together to develop a collaborative project for the “Weather Report” show on global warming, curated by Lucy Lippard for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. White and I began work with a passionate commitment to explore how to address global warming. Our work together further radicalized us about the urgency of associated problems, particularly migrations. A few months later, the idea to attend COP15 and hold a press conference there began  gestating at a party after the opening.  A number of us were sitting around a kitchen table,  including Subankhar Bannerjee, Mary Miss, Lillian Ball and Marda Kirn, talking about art’s role in public policy. I  suggested we hold a joint press conference in Washington, D.C., to present our ideas. Over the next few months, we tried to organize something. But the logistics daunted us and the plan went on my back burner for a year.

Late 2008, Jim and I began working together again and the same questions about migrations arose. It was then that I said I wanted us to go to Copenhagen (COP15). Dr. White couldn’t go but by August 2009, I had my official status to attend. Simultaneously, Oleg Koefoed, whom had organized the Culture Futures conference the first week of COP15 in Copenhagen, invited me to lead the Trigger Point Theory as Aesthetic Activism workshop.

Many of us who came to Copenhagen are still making sense of what happened there, what was accomplished, how we all connected and where we might go from here, from islands to artists. Post COP15, the larger degraded landscape to restore, has emerged as the “aspirational goals” of this planet. It still needs mapping. But one thing is clear, change will come, if it comes at all, from horizontal coalitions in civil society, taking the messages we all heard in Copenhagen and beyond, from press conferences to policy people to the world. Artists are poised to take a great part in that adventure.

Solar Powered, Sun Projection Artwork, Permanent Addition to Denver Skyline – Unique Combination of Art, Science, and Technology Goes Live

Brooklyn based artist and inventor Adam Frank, is currently installing SUNLIGHT, a permanent, solar powered, public art installation made entirely of light.

Each night, a projected sun rises on the face of The Minoru Yasui Building in downtown Denver. As the night progresses, the image climbs up to the top of the east facade. The projection continues throughout the night and sets as the real sun rises. This unique light mural, commissioned by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, is entirely solar powered. SUNLIGHT uses actual sunlight to render the sun.

The real-time computer simulation driving SUNLIGHT mixes scientific imaging with how our eyes perceive the sun. The projected sun shrinks in size as it rises up the building and changes from red to orange to yellow to white. Sunrays increasingly emanate from the projection as it reaches the top of the building. The ‘omega’ and the green flash phenomenon, difficult to see with the naked eye, are shown accurately in the projection.

“SUNLIGHT provides the unique experience of examining the sun first hand.” said Mr. Frank. “This is an iconic installation. It combines real sunlight with a projected computer simulation of the sun to make one entirely new perception.”

SUNLIGHT uses an extremely bright, 20,000 lumen, high definition, digital projector. A robotic mirror, attached to the front of the projector, moves the image up and down the building. MaTriX Display Systems, audio-visual technology experts, are installing the equipment on a balcony across the street from the projection surface. This arrangement provides an image that can be seen all around the city. SUNLIGHT is a permanent addition to the Denver skyline.

This artwork was commissioned by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. A Denver city ordinance requires that capital improvement projects over one million dollars must allocate 1% of the construction budget for the acquisition of public art. An open, international competition with 163 applicants resulted in awarding the commission to Adam Frank.

Namasté Solar, a Boulder-based, employee-owned Solar Electric Company, is providing the solar array through their Matching Grant program. The array produces an average of 1118 kWh per month of electricity, much more than the art installation requires. The extra energy goes directly into the local power grid. This reduces Denver’s electricity bill and the city’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Denver has over 300 days of sunshine a year, more direct sunlight than any other major American city. The government and growing solar industry in Colorado are positioning to take the lead in transforming the energy future of the United States. “SUNLIGHT is meant as both a symbol and a demonstration of this profound change,” said Mr. Frank.

SUNLIGHT officially went live July 1st 2010. Images and video available at http://www.adamfrank.com/sunlight/sunlight.htm

About Adam Frank:

Adam Frank is an internationally shown artist, designer and product inventor. His body of work represents an ongoing investigation of light and interactivity. This investigation naturally blurs the boundaries between fine art and design products for the home. His products, made entirely in Brooklyn NYC, are sold in stores all over the world. For more information please visit www.adamfrank.com

ecoartspace NY summer exhibitions

Since moving to Garrison, NY from NYC in 2001 I’ve organized museum, gallery and sculpture park exhibitions that have taken place in towns up and down the Hudson including Yonkers, Nyack, Beacon, New Paltz and Ghent – but collaborating with the Habitat for Artists (HFA) group has been my first opportunity to work on an exciting project right near my home. HFA was initiated in the summer of 2008 and came out of the work of Cold Spring-based artist Simon Draper. Initially he built a series of small shed structures that were placed at Spire Studios in Beacon, NY. They were made from used and recycled material, old lumber, windows and doors and even unfinished art works. Draper invited several artists to participate in the project, which then became known as Habitat for Artists. The artists took up residency and created small studio spaces working both in and outside the structures. They were asked to examine how they might redefine their creative space, needs and process. These small studios, each only six by six feet, become an intimate work space for the artist – but also act as a metaphor for viewers to contemplate how much space we really need in our own homes. HOW MUCH? HOW LITTLE? THE SPACE TO CREATE is the question HFA poses. In other words – how much more creative could we be as a culture if we used less materials, energy and land?

In the two years since it began, HFA in collaboration with ecoartspace has partnered with over twenty organizations and engaged with over fifty artists in various locations. Completed projects have taken place in Rhinebeck at Poet’s Walk with Scenic Hudson, in the town of New Paltz and at the SUNY campus, Kingston, Workspace Harlem, Urban Go Green NYC, Chashama in Times Square and Solar One on the East River Park, NYC. Aside from the current project at the Hudson Highlands Land Trust in Garrison there are also new works installed at Common Ground Farm CSA at Stony Kill, NY Burlington Community College in NJ and coming this September in Philadelphia along the Schuylkill River with the Destination Schuylkill Project.

Currently there are several new HFA artists working in studios hosted by the Hudson Highland Land Trust in Garrison, NY at their site at Philipsebrooke. Artists will rotate over the course of the summer and include: Susan English, Sheilah Rechtschaffer, Carol Flaitz, Michael Natiello, Sarah Haviland, Marnie Hillsley, Kit Burke Smithe, Christopher Manning, Carla Goldberg, Dionis Ortiz, Todd Sargood and Simon Draper. River of Words, a Garrison School based group of students hosted by Irene O’Garden and Lisa Mechaley have already created artworks for the HHLT site. Images: top Sarah Haviland, bottom left Sheilah Rechtschaffer, bottom right Susan English.

Habitat For Artists seeks to engage the artist with their community and to provide the opportunity to create a more dynamic relationship and role for the artist in that community. The Hudson Highlands Land Trust is a community-based organization devoted to protecting the natural resources, rural character, and scenic beauty of the Hudson Highlands in NY State’s Hudson Valley.

Go to EcoArtSpace

9Thirty Theatre Gulf Spill Benefit

Reprinted from Ecorazzi: “NYC Eco Theater Company Holds Benefit to Raise Money For Gulf Coast Animals” by Michael Parrish DuDell, July 19, 2010

Here in New York City we have commercial theater, experimental theater, really bad theater…but who knew we also have green theater, too!?

9Thirty Theatre Company is one of New York City’s first eco theater companies, and we happen to think they’re pretty darn neat. By having the environment serve as a character, theme, or the plot of their shows, 9Thirty seeks to raise awareness and take action on pressing environmental issues.

On Sunday, July 25, the theater company with a heart of gold will present THE BIRDS” TO SAVE BIRDS — a benefit reading of “The Brown Pelican” by George Sklar. The event will raise money for both 9Thirty and Tri-State Birds – a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and rehabilitating birds in the Gulf of Mexico.

“After the oil spill I found myself feeling helpless about what I could do to make a difference,” says artistic director Jeff Burroughs. “As of June 1st 658 birds, 279 turtles, and 36 mammals have been found dead. So I created an avenue to DO something! I contacted Tri-State Bird Rescue to put together a benefit.”

Besides the reading, the benefit will also feature organic food and drinks, a good old fashion raffle, and coupons for special discounts on future productions.

Sound super cool? Stop by 9TTC.org to get more information and purchase your tickets!

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Go to the Green Theater Initiative

9Thirty Theatre Company: THE BIRDS TO SAVE BIRDS

THE BIRDS TO SAVE BIRDS

A Benefit

Date: July 25, 2010

Time: 7PM-11PM

Admission: $75 (see below to see all the greatness it includes)

Click Here to Purchase Tickets

TEL 866.811.4111

Place: The Foundry | 42-38 9th St, Long Island City, NY 11101

Directions: Click here

A spectacular night to raise money for 9Thirty Theatre Company, one of the country’s first Eco Theatres and Tri-State Birds, the main clinic helping animals in the Gulf of Mexico. Our goal is to raise $15,000, so come and support us so we can make it happen!

Admission includes:

  • 1. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine, and beer.
  • 2. Special $5 organic vodka cocktail.
  • 3. A reading of George Sklar’s “The Brown Pelican”
  • 4. A coupon for a $10 ticket to see Aristophanes’ The Birds
  • 5. And that really really good feeling when you get when you support TWO amazing non-profit organizations.

They’ll also be a raffle for thousands of dollars worth of eco-friendly prizes including a Manhattan Getaway package, Queens Day Getaway package, and A Health and Beauty package and more. (Raffle tickets: $5 for one or 6 for $20 and each ticket is also good for a free vodka cocktail)

SPECIAL THANKS TO
The Foundry
Crop Organic Vodka
Brooklyn Brewery