The Birds is set in a landfill/crow’s nest, and inhabited by half-puppet half-man trash art creations, our protagonist’s seeks fortune with a plan that hinges on Man’s “out of sight out of mind,” mentality. The old adage, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” rings true and he prevails by defeating his enemies with their own greed.
Performed by: Freddie Bennett, Patrick Bonck, Matthew Jellison, Nicole Hodges*, Kim Ramirez, & Eric Sutton*
With Lighting Design and Stage Management by Michael Beyrouti, Costume Design by Dana Dobreva, Puppetry by Lillian Clements, Composition by James Stewart, and Set Design by: Aaron Gonzalez *Appearing Courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association
Equity Approved Showcase
JB launched three reports on the carbon impact of touring – Bands, Orchestras and Theatres under the title Moving Arts: Managing the Carbon Impacts of our Touring. It was nine months work and it really felt like it. JB analysed nearly 100 international tour samples ranging from small club artists, chamber orchestras and small touring companies to stadium tours, symphony orchestras and major west end productions.
JB launched the Bands report at some of the country’s most iconic venues: the music industry came to the Royal Albert Hall with keynote speaker the awesome John Elkington, founder of SustainAbility, Theatre was launched at the National Theatre with inspired guest speakers Jonathon Porritt, and Nick Starr, CEO of the National Theatre and Orchestras launched at the Royal Festival Hall which coincided with 350th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Society & the European premiere of Icarus: At the Edge of Time by Brian Greene and Philip Glass.
Huge thanks to Jonathon and all at Forum for the Future, and to Nick and all at the National, and to Chris Cotton and his team at the Royal Albert Hall for their real support and leadership. Also to Jude Kelly and to Marshall Marcus at the Southbank Centre, Mark Pemberton and Keith Motson (ABO), Henry Little (Orchestras Live), and everyone else for their help – not least our funders Cathy Graham, Andrew Jonesand the British Council, Susanna Eastburn and the Arts Council, Rob Hallett and AEG and Simon Moran and SJM. Also all our panel members who critiqued (occasionally uncomfortable) and committed to (always inspired) the work:Jazz Summers, Chris Yorke, Bryan Grant, Rachel Tackley, Kathryn Macdowell, Sally Cowling and – specially, Catherine Bottrill (twice the average brain), Christina Tsiarta (same again). And the 500 or so people who came to the events.
The Events division of leading UK sound and lighting installer Northern Light is working with one of the biggest venue producers on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C venues – to ‘green-up’ the latest addition to its stable of festival venues – C aquila.
Head of hire and events for Northern Light, Nick Read, has teamed up with C venues production manager Richard Williamson, artistic director (and international lighting designer) Hartley Kemp, and industry journalist Sarah Rushton-Read to collaborate on an energy-efficient lighting rig that will not compromise creative expression or practical application.
To that end, Read, Williamson and Rushton-Read trawled the aisles of PLASA Focus in Leeds and the ABTT Show in London to source the very best in low-energy entertainment technology. Read comments: “I’m delighted to say that having established the kit we required we received unfettered support from a number of top lighting manufacturers and suppliers. They include Robert Juliat with its Aledin LED profile; White Light, which is exclusive distributor for a number of low energy and LED pro lighting kit including the impressive RevEAL CW LED Washlight from Prism Projection; ETC with its Selador range of LED wash lights, dimmers, consoles and low-wattage Source Four Juniors; and Philips with its Selecon range of low-wattage Fresnels and PCs. This is fantastic as we have just 63A single phase available to run two performance spaces, catering and a bar!”
Read, Williamson, Rushton-Read and Kemp’s priority was to develop a lighting rig that would offer full creative flexibility yet be as low-energy as possible. Williamson comments: “It‘s essential that we don’t go green just for the sake of it – that can often do more damage than good! The entertainment technology products we will be using have to make sense on all fronts – creatively, practically and logistically. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe presents a number of unique challenges. Venues generally have limited power available, many hosting up to ten different shows a day, and turnaround between shows is tight – less than 15 minutes in most cases. Such a gruelling schedule demands that technical kit is robust, quick to rig, de-rig, set up, adjust and programme and, in particular, quick and simple to maintain.”
Read continues: “We’ve chosen equipment we believe will sit comfortably with the demanding schedule, fast set up and turnarounds, however Northern Light technicians will be on hand to offer incoming theatre companies any training, help or advice they may need.”
Rushton-Read will document activities, measure results and feed back information online through Northern Light Fringe Networking Site, Facebook and Twitter, she explains: “Not only will we document the all important numbers, but also the artists and technicians response to the new kit. We’ll look at how user friendly and fit for purpose it is and feedback on how quick and easy it is to programme. We aim to evaluate the wider environmental impact of C venues using British Standard BS8901 – Sustainability Management System for Events. This process will help us identify areas where the operation can be improved in a truly sustainable way – environmentally, economically and practically.”
At the end of the Festival, Northern Light Events, C venues and Sarah Rushton-Read will compile a report detailing the successes and any issues raised and look at where improvements can be made. It will also detail recommendations for next year’s event. It will be available for download from C venues, Northern Light and The Fifth Estate websites.
Hartley Kemp, artistic director for C venues concludes: “We’re deeply concerned about the environmental impact of festivals like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and we welcome the chance to play our part in improving its sustainability. However, we also believe strongly in what we do artistically. We are therefore aiming to take a realistic approach to reducing our carbon emissions and our wider impact on the environment, in order to achieve minimal environmental impact without compromising creative expression. C venues is not claiming to be the greenest of the green or anywhere near the elysian fields of carbon neutrality. What we’re doing is taking the first positive steps to reduce our CO2 emissions, waste and environmental impact. I believe this exercise will give us the context and benchmarks by which to achieve effective results year on year.”
12th International Juried Digital Print Exhibition
organized by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI)
to be held at the New York Hall of Science
October 3, 2010 – January 31, 2011
Our blue planet, spinning like a jewel in our solar system, has been perceptually defined by the technology of each era, from believing the Earth was flat, to the scientific understanding that it spins on its axis and has gravitational pull, to being part of just one of many solar systems. In terms of scale, humans are too small to viscerally comprehend our planet’s magnitude and the dynamics of its interconnected physical systems. We therefore break the concepts down into smaller parts, collect data and physical specimens of all kinds, and invent instruments to measure and track physical phenomena like earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes. However, we still cannot grasp the “big picture” of planet Earth unless we read, look at photos, and finally… use our imagination to help envision/conceptualize it!
We invite artists and scientists to submit original digital prints that reflect their perceptions of our planet. Are these perceptions changing as we learn more about Earth from explorers, scientists, and artists? What is the relationship between all living things and planet Earth? What images are evoked by calling it the blue planet or the peaceful planet or the changing planet? What is the human impact on the whole planet? What is our concern for its future?
The museum furnishes the frames (18″x24″); If selected, just send your digital print(s) in a cardboard tube!
A set of cards is laid out in front of you. A word is written on each card. You are asked to pick a card. You might pick ‘Home’, ‘Personal Knowledge’ or ‘Wild Card’. You are asked some questions. The interviews are recorded, they are 2-5 minutes long and later appear, as anonymous recordings, online. Go to the website and a random interview is played. Listen to two or more and it becomes a series of moments and voices, young and old, in different ways public and private, and all a snapshot of how people were thinking – or, at least, talking to four English strangers wielding cards and dictaphones – during the two weeks of the COP15 climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.
This was the premise of Question Time, a collaboration between four UK based artists which took place under the auspices of New Life Copenhagen, a social sculpture project that saw 3000 visitors to COP15 hosted by 3000 Copenhagen households, at a time when every hotel in the city was fully booked. Whilst Question Time didn’t choreograph social dynamics in such an explicit way we sought, through our series of questions, to mould an encounter that might reveal something about attitudes, beliefs, and opinions, over two weeks that – the advertising hoardings and inflatable globes all around the city told us – was “a last chance to save the world.”
Listen to all the Question Time interviews on the website archive and there are considerable differences of style and mood. This not only reflects the different places we went to find interviewees – from the alternative ‘Klimaforum: the people’s summit’, to the official UN negotiations at the Bella Centre, to NGO receptions, protest marches, the Christiana commune and various bars and cafes throughout Copenhagen – but also how our own questions changed. To start, we asked people’s views on climate change, on why they were in Copenhagen, on how they thought change might happen. But people’s responses to these questions were often well rehearsed, ready-made or of a rhetorical nature. This left us unsatisfied, and so at the Question Time daily summit meetings we re-wrote the questions. The sheer pervasiveness of the conference and climate related issues during COP15 meant an oblique approach to our subject might be profitable instead: How do you feel about the ground? How are you in the future? How do you think?
Our role in Question Time was under the same scrutiny as our encounter with the people of Copenhagen and their responses to our questions. As such we decided early on to not edit the resulting interviews or the website archive. This is not to deny our position (as artists, activists, interviewers, climate documenters) within this deeply participatory artwork – simply that our agency was more located in the before; orchestrating the encounters, setting the questions, laying out the cards, pressing RECORD and asking, in our own particular ways: ‘Would you like to pick a card?’. The rest was left to the live.
Reading these excerpts on the page is very different to hearing the sound files, which differ again from the actual experience of each encounter. The interviews can be read as sources of ideas, opinions, activist tactics, anecdotes, obsessions and platitudes, by a range of world citizens, speaking variously as activists, delegates, shoppers, politicians, shamans, drinkers, and/or mothers. Or, ignore the content, and what emerges as important is the tone of a voice, rhythms of speech and breath, the hesitations and silences, the background muzak.
Listening to the interviews now COP15 is over, may contain wonderful and insightful moments. Others, at times, bore us with their cliches and lack of imagination. Our own interactions and questions seem a similar mixture of surprising and strange, provocative and awkward, the insightful and the productively inept. Question Time proposes that all these ways of speaking and listening tell us something, not only about COP15 but also about how climate change is figuring right now in our experience, imagination and language.
What follows are partial responses to ‘Wild Card’, ‘Future’ and ‘Ending’, selected by the Question Time archive’s inbuilt randomizer.
Is everything ok?
Yes, yes everything is fine.
No not at all. But it changes. Yesterday is was 65, which is OK. Today it’s a little bit more. I’m very influenced by the immediate climate. Yesterday it was very frenzied, today it is evil.
On a very, very, very spiritual level yes, but if you are grounded and you look around then there is a lot of sadness. I would like to help other people be less sad.
Do you mean in the world outside, or in my world?
It’s not OK as we forgot who we are and why we are on mother earth. There is a chance now to recognize who we are. When you know who you are and accept your divinity you see it in others equally, and when we meet at this level God is not somewhere outside, we are all God. We could save so much money, use new technology, and build a beautiful place if people recognized that we are the chosen ones and took the responsibility to live together in peace.
Not quite, but eventually I hope it will be.
Yeah, everything is alright, even better than before, but I think that’s due to some steps that I have taken.
No, especially not when you talk about the earth, or… ‘Yorskal’.
For me, everything is OK. I’m Buddhist.
It’s very good yes. I’m happy flying around.
How do you feel about the ground?
The ground…? I would like to be more grounded
The ground. The mother earth? It’s beautiful to be on this ground. Without being in a body, here on this ground, the mother earth we could not experience this beautiful journey that we are all on. It’s necessary to have a body, to be on mother earth, with mind, spirit and heart energy we can do better.
Good. It’s good to feel that something is solid.
About the ground? Like in what sense- the world, or being grounded? That’s a really hard question.
The ground. Any ground? …In one way I feel very supported by the ground and I want to be here. At the same time I feel a large concern for the earth, I understand the ground as the earth I want to reach out and help humans that share the earth
The ground? How do I feel about the ground? I guess I’m down to earth. I haven’t thought about it that much. I’m an air person myself.
I really don’t know. Not yet. You mean earth or ground? It’s a big question.
I feel more comfortable with soil and farming land.
Shaky. The ground is not open, it’s closed. We could have used the ground more artistically for the climate conference.
The ground? I don’t have any relation to the ground, I guess I am floating a lot.
I don’t know how to respond to your question.
How does this end?
It ends by you turning off the recorder
There are no enemies, enemies are something that you create when there is a conflict of interest and two interests are not being met in the same way. You create through the label of enemies someone you pit against yourselves because you need to defend your interests, so in essence they become enemies but I don’t think there is such a thing.
What disaster or emergency level are we currently at?
What disaster or what…?
It’s one second to twelve. But I would like to think about that one second in a positive way – that we are actually turning around in that one second. We are becoming aware, stopping financing war, stop eating meat, stop cutting down forests.
We are on an 8, not just for the climate but also for people, how we have been overspending, we need to pull the handbrake and reconsider ways of doing things.
We are the top level, like the end of the world, something like that.
Too high. You can barely walk the street without the police looking at you. It’s overreaction.
Do you have a question you would like to ask?
What are you doing?
Yes, I have a lot of questions, of course.
Me? No. I don’t know. Sorry.
I question how long the earth will continue to be here
To you? I would ask, what is the most important question to ask.
What is good design? It’s not really related to climate change but it is something I have been thinking about a lot.
How do you choose these words?
What is your passion?
How do you hope?
How do you hope? – Is that the question? I guess I…um…how…how I hope…I guess if we are talking about the phenonology or my methodology of hoping…I guess I go for something that seems plausible but also reasonable and then I hope for that…but the framework of what is plausible and reasonable for me is quite wide…for example with COP15 I think I am far more optimistic than the world leaders.
That’s a difficult question…we don’t know what it’s going to be like but that it has to change is clear…
By not hoping. I don’t hope for anything…just go along…but don’t get your expectation too high. Actually that’s a lie… you’ve got to have high expectations…I think there is a difference between expectation and hope…
I hope…err….I have hope for the future…I think it’s going to be really good.
I hope with my positive thoughts…I believe in people…I believe in good things…that’s it for me.
Question Time is a project by David Berridge, Rachel Lois Clapham, Alex Eisenberg and Mary Paterson as Open Dialogues. It was programmed as part of New Life Copenhagen in December 2009. Open Dialogues is a UK based collaboration that produces critical writing on and as performance.