The National Theatre’s play about climate change, Greenland, had its first preview last night. The critics don’t get to see the play till 1st February, but audience members, leaving the show last night, had a chance to express their views almost immediately.
In the Lyttelton foyer, there’s a Talkaoke table, billed as a mobile talk show, where audience members take a seat, grab the microphone, and share their views on Greenland and climate change. (The pic shows a similar Talkaoke event at the Dana Centre.)
For those interested in other views still, a season of Greenland eventsincludes talks by the four Greenland playwrights, and four well-known voices on climate change, Bjorn Lomborg, Tim Flannery, Nigel Lawson and David King.
It was only a couple of years ago that this blog was writing about why theatres don’t touch climate change. It seemed, at the time, as if there was something about theatre, or the way people conceived of mainstream theatre, that made the subject almost impossible to treat. This was part of a more general avoidance of the environment as a subject for the performing arts. The Ashden Directory had been launched, back in 2000, as a way of following and encouraging those works which did engage with this subject.
Fast forward to January 2011, and this month alone three climate change plays will open in London – Greenland at the National, The Heretic at the Royal Court, and Water at the Tricycle.
Why is this important? Because climate change alters the way we think about our lives. The news contained within the various IPCC reports will be as influential, as paradigm-shifting, on the way we see ourselves as Darwin’s Origin of Species. It is, ultimately, a question of values and relationships. As such, it is a natural subject for theatre.
But new plays don’t open in a vacuum. For them to succeed, there needs to be a lively engaged audience that has some sense of what is at stake. That’s why we have also been involved with the Open University in producing a new series of podcasts that puts cultural work around climate change in perspective.
The podcasts bring together 17 artists, activists, writers, film-makers, scientists, entrepreneurs and academics, including comedian Marcus Brigstocke, choreographer Siobhan Davies, BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin, architect Carolyn Steele and Mike Hulme, author ofWhy We Disagree About Climate Change.
Radio 4’s Quentin Cooper chairs these four ‘Mediating Change’ discussions which cover the history, publics, anatomy and futures of cultural responses to climate change. The podcasts are now available to download from iTunesU.
It’s been just over a year since we had our first meeting about our Think It! Grant. Today is my last day in the office for 2010 and I’ve spent it looking over the notes from those meetings as well as from our three sustainability summits.
At Childsplay, we will begin our 2011/2012 season planning in earnest next month. With that comes the opportunity to start laying the groundwork for some of the organizational changes we have been talking about throughout this past year.
So, in the spirit of the season, I present to you my Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions for 2011!
Encourage our artistic director to hire teams of designers that work on at least two shows within the season to see if each production can share resources.
Many theatres have been doing this already to address financial concerns. But a great side effect is that you may be reusing certain units between shows.
Challenge our designers to think about sustainability when designing.
As we noted in our post from this past May, designers thought differently about what they would design when challenged to “make it sustainable.” Of course, we are going to have to be more specific than that when we try to do this for real.
Include production staff in design meetings from the very beginning.
Not surprisingly, communication emerged as an essential component to creating more environmentally conscious scenery. I will venture to have our TD work along with the director and designer beginning at the very first meeting.
Ensure all metals used in scenery get recycled.
This really is a no-brainer. It will cost a bit more to make this happen, but certainly the price is nothing next to the cost of continuing to dump metal into the ground.
Be proactive in trying to find a taker for our used scenery before strike.
To be fair, I’ve tried this before without much luck. But I will keep trying!
The Esther Klein Gallery at Breadboard is pleased to announce its newest exhibit Data Sweep: David Bowen. An Art in America review described Bowen as taking an “absurdist approach to the translation of scientific technology into art.” Bowen’s work creates a strange symbiosis between technology and the natural world. Mircocontrollers translate the activity of natural agents, like a swarm of flies or live data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data buoy stations around the globe, into mechanical motion that animates his art.
Data Sweep will be on view at the Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) from January 14th through March 20th, 2011 in Esther Klein Gallery at 3600 Market Street.
Growth Rendering Device, David Bowen
About the Exhibition:
Data Sweep features works by artist David Bowen. Bowen’s work focuses on outcomes that occur when machines interact with the natural world. He produces complex devices and situations that are set in motion to create drawings, movements, compositions, sounds and objects based on their interaction with the space and time they occupy. The devices he constructs often play both the roles of observer and creator, providing limited and mechanical perspectives of dynamic situations and living objects.
Included in the exhibition will be Growth Rendering Device (see image), a system that provides light and food in the form of hydroponic solution for the plant. The plant reacts to the device by growing. The device in-turn reacts to the plant by producing a rasterized inkjet drawing of the plant every twenty-four hours. This system is allowed to run indefinitely and the final outcome is not predetermined.
David Bowen is an artist and educator. His work has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions including: Brainwave at Exit Art, New York; The Japan Media Arts Festival at The National Art Center, Tokyo; Artbots at Eyebeam, New York and Data + Art at The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. His work has been featured in publications such as: Art in America, Leonardo and Sculpture Magazine. He was recently awarded Grand Prize in the Art Division in The Japan Media Art Festival and Third Prize in the Vida 12.0 Art and Artificial Life International Awards. He received his BFA from Herron School of Art in 1999 and his MFA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 2004. He is currently an Associate Professor of Sculpture and Physical Computing at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Director of the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and CalArts alumnus, Stephen Nowlin (BFA Design 71) has curated a beautiful and multifaceted exhibition, simply titled ENERGY, which is currently on view at Art Center through Jan. 23, 2011.
Nowlin has long been a significant voice in the contemporary discourse between art and science. In his 18 years as director of the Willamson Gallery he has curated a number of exhibitions exploring this relationship, often partnering with colleagues at Caltech, and featuring artists who work at the intersection of art and science.
The exhibition includes two large-scale video and sculpture installations by L.A. artist Rebeca Méndez; a series of works by New York photographer Richard Barnes; small-scale archival videos documenting post-war growth in energy consumption and Cold War fears driving the development of atomic weapons; and artifacts from scientific exploration at the beginning of the modern industrial era.
Finally, to directly connect ENERGY to Art Center’s students, Nowlin invited a class called “Design for Sustainability” to install its solutions to energy-based assignments on a wall in the exhibit. As it unfolds over the course of the semester, the wall continually changes, becoming “like a performance piece”–pedagogy on display. Assignments revolve around a designed product’s extended life-cycle analysis. Working within the context of the exhibition, says Nowlin, “reminds students that if they want to be enlightened designers for the 21st century, they need to understand issues relating humans to their environment. And to do that, they must factor science into their design equations.”
In June 2011 The Institute for Figuring, founded by Chair of CalArts’ Writing Program in the School of Critical Studies, Christine Wertheim, and her sister Margaret Wertheim, will bring their Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef to the Williamson Gallery. Currently on view at the Smithsonian Institution’s Sant Ocean Hall in Washington, D.C. through April 24, 2011, The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, weaves together strands of art, science, mathematics, and conservation.
Address: KUAN SHU EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
Lane 79, Wu Lang Street
Taichung City 403
Taiwan Call for Proposals: Deadline Feb. 11, 2011
2011 CHENG LONG WETLANDS International Environmental Art Project in Taiwan
‘Children and Artists Dream of Greener Wetlands’
Artists from all countries are invited to send a proposal for a site-specific outdoor sculpture installation that will involve working with local elementary school children to create an artwork focused on making the Cheng Long Wetlands a ‘greener’ place where biodiversity can flourish. This year the emphasis will be on sculpture installations in the waters of the wetlands that can improve the habitat for wildlife and increase biodiversity as well as provide aesthetic enjoyment and raise public awareness about the importance of wetlands. Any living plants used in the artworks should be able to survive in salty water and difficult growing conditions. Artists will work alongside other international artists and Taiwanese artists and with children at Cheng Long Elementary School, teachers, and the community during a 24-day residency in rural Yunlin County, Taiwan.
Deadline for Entries: February 11, 2011.
Artists will be notified by March 1, 2011.
Installation and Residency at Cheng Long Wetlands: April 8 (artists arrive) – May 2 (artists depart)
Dates of the Exhibition: April 29 (opening ceremony)- July 30, 2011
About the Exhibition Place:
The Cheng Long Wetlands is a developing wetlands preserve and environmental education area in Yunlin Country located on the southwestern coast of Taiwan. The Cheng Long Elementary School has about 75 children in grades 1-6 (ages 6-12) who will join with the artists in this project. This area in Taiwan is economically depressed, and most jobs have been traditionally connected with fish farming and nearby oyster farming. Most young people now have to move away to find jobs. There are no super markets, movie theaters or coffee shops, but this place will offer artists a unique cultural experience and an opportunity to share life with a community in rural Taiwan. For more information and some photos of the Cheng Long Wetlands, please see the blog on the wetlandcenter.blogspot.com/ There is also a blog in Chinese and English that contains information about the 2010 Cheng Long International Environmental Art Project, and more detailed information about the 2011 art project will also be on this Blog: www.artproject4wetland.wordpress.com
Selected International Artists will receive the following:
Artist’s fee of NT$70,000 (about US$2,302) for international artists, and this fee is intended to cover airfare to Taiwan and train fare to Chiayi HSR Station as well as an honorarium to the selected artists. Detailed travel instructions will be sent to selected artists and an official letter of invitation that can be used to seek other funding if the artist desires. *Taiwanese artist’s fee will be NT$45,000, and they must pay their own train fare to Chiayi HSR Station.
24 days of accommodations in a local house with other international and Taiwanese artists. The houses will have a bedroom for each artist and a shared bathroom and kitchen for preparing meals.
Local transportation by car to Cheng Long Wetlands in Yunlin County Tours to local sites will also be arranged. Bicycles will be provided for the artists to use around Cheng Long Village.
Volunteer help from school children and adults in the community to create the artworks. We also plan to assign at least one adult volunteer to help each artist for the entire residency period.
Meals provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. A local cook will prepare dinner for the artists; lunch will usually be at school with the children and breakfast food will be provided for artists to make their own breakfast.
Help to find local free materials and natural materials to make the artworks. Reeds and oyster shells are the most common available materials, but bamboo and tree branches and other materials may also be available. Artists should use only natural and recycled materials and processes that will not harm the environment. Artists will have to use some of the artist’s fee if they need other materials than those available for free locally.
Qualifications of Artists:
Artists who apply should have experience working with children and creating site- specific outdoor sculpture installations in public settings and involving ordinary people in their thoughts and process. The artists should also have an interest in wetlands and environmental education. The selected artists should be able to speak English and be able to get along well with other artists, the local community and school children. The selected artists should also introduce their home culture to the students and community in Cheng Long and possibly establish a connection with a school or environmental organization in their area to share experiences. We plan to select 3 international artists from different countries around the world and two artists from different places in Taiwan.
Curator of the Exhibition:
Jane Ingram Allen, an American independent artist, curator and critic, living in Taiwan since 2004 when she came to Taiwan as a Fulbright Scholar artist in residence, will again be the curator for this exhibition. Jane will work with the Kuan Shu Educational Foundation in Taiwan, to administer and coordinate all aspects of this project, including the selection of artists and supervising art installations and public programs. Jane has experience curating international art exhibitions and working with public art projects and children in communities around the world. Jane was the founding curator for the Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival at Guandu Nature Park in Taipei, from 2006 – 2009
Send the following in English by e mail to Jane Ingram Allen by the deadline of February 11, 2011, at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries in Chinese may be sent to Ms. Chao-mei Wang at 觀樹教育基金會 Kuan Shu Educational Foundation email@example.com
Description of a proposed sculpture installation for the 2011 Cheng Long Wetlands Project (limit one page) as a Word .doc file or a .pdf file, including dimensions and materials to be used in the proposed work.
Statement about your interest and experience working with children to create sculpture and installation art projects and about your interest in wetlands environmental issues (limit one page) as a Word .doc file or a .pdf file. This statement should include details about the school or environmental organization that you can introduce to the children at Cheng Long Elementary School for cultural exchange.
Sketch or rendering of your proposed artwork for the Cheng Long Wetlands project (.jpg file of less than 1 MG)
6 images of previous related works (each sent as a .jpg file of less than 1 MG each)
Image list to give details about the 6 images such as title of work, date made, materials used and location of the artwork (sent as a Word .doc file or .pdf file)
CV or Resume in English that details your education and experience, previous awards and exhibitions. Be sure to include your name, present address and nationality.
Support for the Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project
Supported by: Taiwan Forestry Bureau Organized by: Kuan Shu Educational Foundation, Taiwan (www.kskk.org.tw) Additional Support from: Cheng Long Elementary School, Kou-Hu Township, Yunlin County, Taiwan
Applications for the 2011 Indy Convergence are open.
Once a year The Indy Convergence brings together a group of professional artists from around the country to collaborate on cross-disciplinary projects. We seek out professional artists with a passion for exploration and a unique talent or approach that will contribute to the ensemble. Participants also have the opportunity to focus on their own genre specific works and are required to teach a workshop that is open and free to the Indianapolis community. The goal of the Convergence is for working artists of various disciplines to gather, collaborate, learn, share and teach.
The 2011 Convergence will be March 9 -19.
Over a ten day period each artist:
Participates in one wholly collaborative “Umbrella Project”
Works on one or more personal “Side Projects”
Teaches at least one “Workshop” in their field of expertise.
The Indy Convergence concludes with a culminating presentation where work is shared in an open lab environment. All workshops and events are open to the public and free of charge.
At the core of the Indy Convergence we are “artists at work” — at work in our community and at work with one another.
Join us in Indiana this March to share space with other dedicated artists for 2 weeks of open space.
IMAGINING SPACES / PLACES: An international interdisciplinary conference
24−26 August 2011, University of Helsinki, Finland
“You are not in a place; the place is in you” (Angelus Silesius)
Literature and art mediate our experiences of the spaces and places surrounding us as well as within us. In contemporary discussion we use, besides the old term ‘landscape’, other ‘scapes’ which reflect a new interest and new thinking with regard to spaces: we speak of cityscapes, bodyscapes, mindscapes and even memoryscapes, and their relationships to one another. The intertwining of what, of old, was called ‘macrocosm’ (nature and society) and ‘microcosm’ (body and mind) and the role various art forms and media play in articulating and negotiating these chiasmic encounters is the focal point of the Imagining spaces/places conference. How are the interfaces between ‘the place in you and you in the place’ depicted? How are these imagined and material landscapes gendered and sexualized?
The conference seeks to produce an interdisciplinary dialogue between art history, literature and gender studies. We welcome papers addressing issues of representing and creating spaces in literature, art or film, and emphasizing the gendered, emotional and political or ideological character of these cultural mediations and re-mediations.
Sessions and suggestions of possible approaches:
landscapes as medium for political, religious, psychological themes
landscape as pictures vs. (nature) as process
man in landscape; space, place, genius loci as objective places or subjective experiences
borderlines between nature and culture/cultural landscape and wilderness
urban spaces and urban people
city images and chronotopes
the idea of metropolis
invisible cities and erewhons: fantasies of places and spaces and their role in arts
allegories of mind
dreams and other alternatives to actual world(s)
bodies and belongings
affective, material, represented bodies
bodies of knowledge
sites of mediations of past, present, future
methods of memorializations: regimes, archives, museums
collective memory (nation and nation building) /private memory
Influential Element will feature 26 contemporary works by California-based artists who seek to explore the infinite ways in which water impacts our everyday life. The exhibition will feature works in a variety of media, including oil paint on a variety of surfaces, photography, video, color pencil, and mixed media. Furthermore, it is especially fitting that Influential Element: Exploring the Impact of Water debuts in a city in which water has historically played a vital and complex role, both from a recreational standpoint and as a major source of industry and commerce supporting Port operations. Not only will this exhibition offer breathtaking images of water, but it will also reflect upon our increasingly complex relationship with the element – immersing the audience in a visual conversation about this unique element. This exhibition has been sponsored by The Long Beach Water Department and Merrill Lynch of Seal Beach.
Artwork: Elizabeth Patterson, Sunset Highway, 3pm, Color pencil and solvent
ecoartspace is one of the leading international organizations in a growing community of artists, scientists, curators, writers, nonprofits and businesses who are developing creative and innovative strategies to address our global environmental issues. We promote a diverse range of artworks that are participatory, collaborative, interdisciplinary and uniquely educational. Our philosophy embodies a broader concept of art in its relationship to the world and seeks to connect human beings aesthetically with the awareness of larger ecological systems.
Founded in 1997 by Tricia Watts as an art and nature center in development, ecoartspace was one of the first websites online dedicated to art and environmental issues. New York City curator Amy Lipton joined Watts in 1999, and together they have curated numerous exhibitions, participated on panels, given lectures at universities, developed programs and curricula, ad written essays for publications from both the East and West Coasts. They advocate for international artists whose projects range from scientifically based ecological restoration to product based functional artworks, from temporal works created outdoors with nature to eco-social interventions in the urban public sphere, as well as more traditional art objects.
ecoartspace has been a project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in
Los Angeles since 1999.