If a picture is worth a thousand words, there’s a whole lot of talking going on right now at the Eleventh Annual Poster Biennial of Mexico. “Disenyadores por la tierra,” (Designers for the Earth) is an exhibition of poster design down at the COP16 Climate Change Village exploring the theme of the relationship between man and his environment. Click through all of the pictures of these eye-opening posters and visit the site to download them for yourself.
A sensorial wearable device forcing to smell grass and to hear your own breath. Equipped with fresh sod and headphones, this mask inhibit the visual system while enhancing the olfactory by the proximity with soil.
The device defines also a sensory territory constructed by the rhytm of the breath, which is diffused from the headphones with a 1.5 sec. delay.
The work plays with the Deleuzian notion of “ritornell” (refrain), and about the quality of sound to define a territory. The space defined by the sound of breathing is in a state of costant imbalance between the physical act and its sensory perception and traces an unstable relationship with the intimate environment the garment reproduces.
Seven years ago, Alex Steffen and Jamais Cascio started Worldchanging with the intention of providing access to the tools, models and ideas for building a better future. They wanted to push the concept that solutions-based thinking could transform the debates about sustainability and social innovation. With a scrawny little blog, a brilliant crew of fellow travelers and a lot of moxie, an initial group of us set out to change how people think about (and prepare for) the future.
Since then, Worldchanging has published almost 12,000 essays, articles, blog posts and “quick changes.” We’ve put out a bestselling book (which has been translated into French, German and other languages). We’ve had roughly eight million unique readers, and reached tens of millions more with our ideas through talks, interviews in the media and so on. We’ve had a major impact on the debate, introducing a whole bunch of new ideas and moving forward some entirely new discussions. Many Worldchanging writers have become leading voices in important planetary conversations. We’ve coined a number of phrases, not least the idea of bright green environmentalism. We’ve won awards, earned critical acclaim and, if our mail is to be believed, offered some optimism and inspiration to a number of bright, idealistic people.
But all things change, and so it happens with Worldchanging. The organization is taking steps to close its doors and dissolve as a 501c3 nonprofit organization by the end of 2010. It is our goal to see the archive of work here maintained, though the form of that archive is still uncertain.
As with the previous COP, the CSPA has been seeking out alternative action around the climate meetings. Moe Beitiks, a CSPA affiliate and writer for Inhabitat.com, is Executive Director Ian Garrett’s traveling companion for the conference and made her way to the Moon Palace today. The CSPA, instead, headed to the Villa Del Cambio Climático or Climate Change Village to see what was happening with the Mexican version of Hopenhagen and meet with the co-director of Artport, Anne-Marie Melster, who is organizing projects here in Cancun.
You may remember Artport from last year’s COP15 and their (Re-) Cycles of Paradise, which has been remounted in Mexico City concurrent to COP16: Through video installations, photography, drawings, sculptures, and interactive interventions, artists such as Kim Abeles (USA), Subhankar Benerjee (Indien/USA), and Charley Case (Belgien) explore links between the destruction of nature and the suffering of women, revealing hidden or unknown aspects of the interrelation of gender and climate change. They will retell the story of a “lost paradise” and the role of women. Gender issues will be scrutinized as part of a process to reverse climate change. “Paradise” is no longer a long-lost ideal world but can be recreated as a contemporary, more sustainable place on earth.
This year, ARTPORT_making waves and partner Cinema Planeta are presenting a rich program of cell phone video contests, art videos, panels with conference participants and artists, and a live art performance with hundreds of children drowning little islands in the midst of a heated climate debate. It is part of the official cultural program of the United Nations Climate Conference in Mexico, COP16, at local cinemas, outdoor screens, public spaces, and conference locations in Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen.
Moe will have more on that soon, as the information is digested.
The Climate Change Village, like Hopenhagen, was a mixture of public stage, exhibitions on green technologies and cultural showcases. Aboce is a picture of masked dancers in the food stalls. Additionally, there was a temporary structure which held a photo and video installation by photographer Willy Sousa on the the culture of Mexico called Mexico en tus Sentidos which had previously toured to international cities and been a part of the Mexican Pavilion at the recent Shanghai Expo. It was capped with a lovely piece of Mexican Pride/Propoganda focusing on the diverse populations of Mexico interacting with the flag.
We immeadiately scurried over to the main expo hall to catch a screening of Cool Stories I, Artport’s short form, curator film series. It was unfortunately shown on a lo-res led video panel, but the films are worth check out in all of their glory on the Artport website.
Here is an excerpt from one of the included films, Rob Carter‘s Metropolis:
Later on in the week, the Artport Public performance of La Isla Hundida (The Drowned Island), their collaboration with Spanish artist Javier Velasco,will involve hundreds of school children from Cancun, who will produce an island from a cutout model with a newspaper page during a live performance in a public space in each city. The children will then drown the islands in a large container filled with water. The performances will be videotaped and streamed live.
I may be gone by the time the first one happens, on the 4th, but if you would like to attend, check out their website or our calendar. And, to make your own drowning island, here are a couple informational vidoes:
After the screening, we grabbed some tacos and climbed into a collectivo van to get back into downtown. One thing I will say is that there is plentiful and convenient transportation for getting around Cancun itself. Many buses, shuttles and collectivos, all really low cost. However, getting to the various sites related to the conferences–which are all fairly remote compared to downtown OR the hotel zone– is a real annoying venture. Official shuttles only go to official places like associated hotels, but not things like the bus station or transit hubs. And then you’re let with taxis, which aren’t expensive per se, but aren’t the lowest cost option.
Once we made it back, we took a dip in the pool and called it a night.
Just yesterday was Arcola’s biggest Green Sunday yet and what a wonderful day it was to host it! The event was in celebration of the 10:10 campaign A Global Day of Doing and we had plenty of food, free workshops, performances, and people. Throughout the day we had approximately 400 people attend and participate. The workshops varied from planting seeds in newspaper pots, creating crafty draught excluders, learning how to be sustainable at home, a free bike maintenance check, and swapping plenty of items like furniture, books, and electronic goods. These workshops served as a great example as people were able to see the big picture of reduce, reuse, and recycle in its practicality. We got our message across well with an enthused crowd after our film screening of “No Impact Man” and other performances by various artists throughout the evening at ColourWorks. Thank you to all of those who attended and we hope you were inspired by the whole event and continue to show your future support and live sustainably.
Check out a blog post made on the 10:10 website about our event! Click here.
Christine and Margaret Wertheim’s Coral Reef Project is another one of the CSPA’s favorites to date. It combines creative endeavors seamlessly with scientific thought and a social initiative. It brings to light issues of global warming and ecological sustainability without being didactic.
If you’re in New York city, you have a month left to view it at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. That exhibition closes in early January.
If you are in Washington DC, please visit the temporary exhibit on the the First Floor of the Sant Ocean Hall, OCean Focus Gallery at the National Museum of Natural History. It is on display through April 24th of next year 2011.
Now that the Beatles are downloadable on iTunes, the next frontier awaits: ballet.
On Wednesday, the New York-based distributor of dance programming TenduTV announced that a select group of dance performances and movement-based short films will be among the initial offerings, available in December, for download on Apple’s online service.
Though the upcoming titles may not have the reach of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the announcement marks an important step for dance, said Marc Kirschner, the general manager and founder of TenduTV.
“This is about making the work accessible to audiences —accessible in away that delivers quality,” he said, adding that the distribution also means more support for artists. “Dance was never able to develop a secondary revenue stream.”
More soon, but a quick post at the very end of the day about how things are looking here in Cancun.
Today started out leisurely, we were on the shuttle to Cancun Messe around noon and got there in the early afternoon. The roadways are lined with police in a number of forms, but most foreboding is the Federal Police with their large automatic weapons.
There is less of a mass outside this initial meting place than the Bella Center, and it is just a stop over to most of the other sessions at the Moon Palace resort. Both locations are remote. The only reasonable transportation is the semi-hourly shuttles for various spots in the surrounding area.
With no lack of trying to be helpful, a staffer directing buses attempted to put us closer to the small town, where we could pick up the shuttle to this year’s Klimaforum. It instead put us at an equally remote resort from which we took a cab. Originally we were going to take the taxi from the resort to the shuttle stop, but I opted in for the full ride.
We arrived at the Kilmaforum hopeful, it was fairly well signed up to the gate, but once in it was a slow downhill. We traveled into the back of the El Rey Polo Club and found a hand drawn “Registro aquí”. The table to which it referred was staffer by temporary relief for the women who had been there. They assumed we would want to camp there, but we just were there to visit. We were also informed the shuttle wasn’t running on any schedule, just when people want to go and there was critical mass (10 people). We asked about getting the shuttle from the shuttle stops to here, they were puzzled.
Whereas the Klimaforum in Copenhagen for COP15 was the conference for everyone else that wasn’t in the Bella Center, this did not follow in it’s footsteps. Closer to the Climate Bottom Meeting in Christianshavn, even with tents for meeting spaces, it was more of a temporary commune than a conference. They had faster Wireless than our hotel, but were otherwise unprepared for visitors. We were directed to a press person who didn’t speak english, which is fine, it’s Mexico, where spanish is spoken, but we had made it clear to someone from an english speaking country (USA or Canada) that our spanish was minimal. So we hung out waiting for some film we were told was going to be shown at 5:00pm, then 5:30pm, but it never happened.
I’m pretty sure we overheard some people involved with the film talk about how this set-up wasn’t what they expected. They expected the meican sequel to the 2009 Kilmaforum, as had I. The response they got was: “Hey, we’re volunteers, we’ve been trying to get this together since Friday, we’re trying to do something different, this isn’t like every other conference you could get anywhere.”
After a guy who had hitchhiked from the Netherlands came to talk to us, since we’re press, we tried to leave. We asked about the shuttle and were told, that it’s only $1o pesos/person if there were 10 people in the shuttle, since that’s how much it costs to make the run. Since it was just us 2, it would be $50 pesos/person… just to leave we did it. The most comfortingly reliable and convenient transport of the day was the bus we took back to cancun.
A few things:
If you say the conference is from the 26th of a month, but don’t intend to have public until the 29th, just say it starts on the 29th.
If you tell someone that you’re going to show a film at 5pm, show a film at 5pm or make an announcement.
If you say you’re open and you’re running a shuttle, run the shuttle and put it where people, thinking you’ve started, will expect to find it.
Also 2 shuttle vans for 10 people each running each journey for what you think is going to be even just hundreds of people is not enough.
Be upfront about how your systems work, and commit to it, even if it’s not going to be the best thing in one particular way.
If you’re going to do the communal living, camping in the woods, contemporary hippie thing… please be aware that it isn’t the most inclusive way to do things. You may be all friendly and want to love everyone warmly, but not everyone is bought into an extreme lifestyle like that, but they still might care about the climate.
We made it back to our hotel, even more so an oasis after the frustrations of the day, and set about dinner. We wandered nearby to the central square, which reminded me of home around area like Echo Park and McArthur Park. We had some food and wandered to the UNESCO photo exhibit on disappearing climates. Not unlike some of the photo exhibits in the public squares of Copenhagen. It was the first real, accessible, publicly engaged moment of the day.
Tomorrow should prove to be better, I’m spending the day at the Villa de Cambio Climático, while Moe heads to the opening plenary. HOpefully more to report tomorrow, when the real fun begins!
GREENLAND, a new play about uncertainty, confusion and the future of everything, by Moira Buffini, Matt Charman, Penelope Skinner and Jack Thorne, will open in the Lyttelton Theatre on 1 February. NT associate directors Bijan Sheibani and Ben Power are the director and dramaturg respectively; the production will be designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Jon Clark, video design by Finn Ross, sound and music by Dan Jones, and movement by Aline David. The cast includes Michael Gould, Isabella Laughland, Amanda Lawrence, Tunji Lucas, Lyndsey Marshal, Peter McDonald and Rhys Rusbatch.
Seeking to understand a subject of great complexity, the National Theatre has asked four of the most distinct and exciting playwrights in British theatre to collaborate on a new piece of documentary theatre. The team has spent six months interviewing key individuals from the worlds of science, politics, business and philosophy in an effort to understand our changing relationship with the planet.
GREENLAND combines the factual and the theatrical as several separate but connected narratives collide to form a provocative response to the most urgent questions of our time.
(GREENLAND, Lyttelton Theatre, previews from 25 January, press night 1 February, booking until 2 April, further dates to be announced.)