Monthly Archives: August 2011

Steep Trail: an Ecolab in Fife

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

On the sunny 9th and drenching 10th of August, a group of artists, environmentalists, and community workers met in Fife as part of a series of event coordinated by Fife Contemporary Arts and Crafts, Polarcap, and Edinburgh Sculpture Studios. (For reports on earlier events, see the ecoartscotland blog  and the Greener Leith Blog) The themes were land, walls, boundaries – plus John Muir and China. The first venue for a day of walk and talk was the Ecology Centre near Burntisland, with its impressive blend of social and ecological engagement. Ronnie Mackie and Julie Samuel explained how determination had made the place happen, by nurturing volunteer contributions and generating community input. Biodiversity is catered for too, with this wetland created from a former industrial dump. We found toads, well-tended poly-tunnels, allotments and more. John Muir was the main topic of afternoon talks, being introduced by Liz Adamson of Polarcap and Jo Moulin in the afternoon of talks – Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar   is a visitor centre that contributes to sustainable living in East Lothian. The group mulled over the Muir quote: “I went out for a walk and stayed out till sundown, for going out I found I was really going in.” Wild development was an idea presented in another form in scenes of contemporary China presented by Peter Lindow. On the wet 10th, we convened at Falkland Centre for Stewardship. The day was introduced by Ninian Stuart and Tess Darwin with a tour of woodland walks and farmland – following boundaries and learning (indoors) how the estate has become a place to learn to live more sustainably, threading traditions of stewardship with community involvement and ecological design. The Centre extends support to artwork such as Resounding – sound installation including work by Louise K Wilson – and also to a new conservation project – Lomond Living Landscapes. The latter was presented by David Munro, describing how the ‘commonty‘ of the hills (currently dissected by the Fife/Perth boundary) had been successively divided and enclosed, with ‘marches’ and ‘meiths’ [boundaries] surviving. How can art/craft and biodiversity link? This was a themes developed by Reheema White, lecturer in Sustainable Development at St Andrews. Her presentation made no bones about the implications of species loss and unsustainable lifestyles, but allowed for a creative engagement. This allowed me to explain why I value ecoartscotland as a network, seeing ‘ecoart’ as linking different kinds of knowledge and moving ourselves outwith comfort zones. A theme emerged: what would John Muir take into account if he were alive now? One response was that having taken Teddy Roosevelt to the Yosemite, he might take Alex Salmond to Menie Links in Aberdeenshire (the Trump development). A stimulating event of exchanges, with no particular outcome required but things brewing. posted by Kate Foster

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform. It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology. Go to EcoArtScotland

YORK UNIVERSITY seeks faculty for ECOLOGICAL DESIGN FOR PERFORMANCE

Applications are invited for a full-time tenure-track position in Ecological Design for Performance, at the rank of Assistant Professor, with graduate and undergraduate teaching responsibilities, effective July 1, 2012. In addition to teaching and research responsibilities, and service at the departmental, Faculty and University levels, the appointment will be key in the direction and development of the new Theatre MFA in Design for Performance.

York’s Department of Theatre has an undergraduate program with over 400 majors pursuing BFA or BA degrees in performance, devised theatre, theatre studies, playwriting, production and design. There is also a Graduate Program with a PhD and MA in Theatre Studies and an MFA in Acting, Directing, and Design. The Department has the only MFA in Acting in Canada and is at the forefront of developing sustainability in design for performance at the graduate level.

The Faculty of Fine Arts, and especially the Department of Theatre, have been developing an active interest in ecological sustainability and, in doing so, have embraced the mandate of York University’s Sustainability Policy: “York will strive to be at the forefront of sustainability research and education, and will use its capacity and expertise to promote sustainability within and beyond the University, with its alumni, governments and the surrounding communities.” The position in Ecological Design for Performance will support the continued exploration and development of sustainability in design, primarily at the MFA level, and potentially in conjunction with Film, Dance, Visual Arts, Architecture, Environmental Studies, and Engineering.

Applicants must be mid-career designers for performance who have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability in their work. Strong consideration will be given to applicants whose work challenges the borders of art within the construct of sustainability; this may include the research and exploration of technological innovation. Good interpersonal communication and ability to work closely with students, colleagues and other departments are required, as is demonstrated excellence or promise of excellence in scholarly and creative research and teaching. Preferred candidates will have a terminal degree in an appropriate discipline, demonstrated professional recognition, teaching experience at the post-secondary level, and strong connections with the theatre and industrial communities.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The successful candidate should be suitable for prompt appointment to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

A letter of application with an up-to-date curriculum vitae, a statement of research, professional and teaching interests and experience, a DVD or online examples of creative work, and the names and contact information of three referees should be sent to: Search Committee, c/o Mary Pecchia, Room 320 Department of Theatre, Centre for Film and Theatre, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3; Tel: 416-736-2100 ext 66266;  Fax 416-736-5785.  Email: mpecchia@yorku.ca

York University is an Affirmative Action Employer. The Affirmative Action Program can be found on York’s website at www.yorku.ca/acadjobs or a copy can be obtained by calling the affirmative action office at 416.736.5713. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

Deadline for applications: Friday, December 2nd, 2011

New version of 3rd Ring Out opens in Edinburgh

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

One of the winners of the 2010 Tipping Point commissions, 3rd Ring Out (which we blogged here and here) has now opened at the Grassmarket in Edinburgh. Its director Zoë Svendsen says:

We’ve now got a ‘strategy’ cell as well as a ‘simulation’ cell – we’ve split the use of the two containers into (1) short term crisis in a climate-changed future, under a business -as-usual scenario (which is the same format as last year but now about the Suffolk coastline); and (2) long term alternative futures about the city we are in, generated by ideas gathered from the public and others.

18-28 August, Edinburgh Fringe Festival
In the bright orange shipping containers. Grassmarket
Pleasance Courtyard
60 Pleasance
Phone 0131 556 6560

Other shows of interest at the Edinburgh Fringe blogged here
Zoë Svendsen’s metaphor for sustainability on this blog and the Ashden DIrectory

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

The editors are Robert Butler and Wallace Heim. The associate editor is Kellie Gutman. The editorial adviser is Patricia Morison.

Robert Butler’s most recent publication is The Alchemist Exposed (Oberon 2006). From 1995-2000 he was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday. See www.robertbutler.info

Wallace Heim has written on social practice art and the work of PLATFORM, Basia Irland and Shelley Sacks. Her doctorate in philosophy investigated nature and performance. Her previous career was as a set designer for theatre and television/film.

Kellie Gutman worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for twenty years, producing video programmes and slide presentations for both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Award for Architecture.

Patricia Morison is an executive officer of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a group of grant-making trusts of which the Ashden Trust is one.

Go to The Ashden Directory

WIRED.com review

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace
Brandon Keim writes for Wired.com on Beyond the Horizon curated by Amy Lipton at Deutsche Bank. The exhibition remains on view through September 16th in their 60 Wall Street Gallery, NYC. Open by appointment only – please contact amy@ecoartspace.org for a tour of the exhibition.

Link to article HERE

image “Oil” by Aviva Rahmani, 2011

 

ecoartapace 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.
Go to EcoArtSpace

Open Call: Amplify Action

Amplify Action: Sustainability through the Arts” will be presented in Spring 2012 by the Skylight Gallery, a department of BSRC’s Center for Arts and Culture. The exhibition is conceived to demonstrate how arts, culture and media are powerful catalysts for social change, and aims to engage neighborhoods in a dialogue about sustainable living, making healthy consumer choices, and taking environmental action. Works in the exhibit will directly and indirectly examine the different components of sustainability such as, but not limited to: ecology, economy, equity, environmental consciousness, resource conservation and efficiency, agriculture, architecture, infrastructure, environmental justice and health.

 

The exhibition “Amplify Action: Sustainability through the Arts,” is a collaborative project of the Pratt Center for Community Development, Pratt Institute’s Initiative for Arts, Community and Social Change (IACSC), and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. The project is a part of the Arts Implementation Fund of the Pratt Center, recently established through a generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund. The projects of the Arts Implementation Fund, in partnership with community based organizations in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Cypress Hills create projects that support the execution of visual and performance art works created by local artists, artist groups, and artists abroad that promote a civic dialogue about community sustainability.

 

More Information: http://www.amplifyaction.org/p/call-for-artists.html

Online Application: http://www.amplifyaction.org/p/online-application-form.html

SurVivArt – Arts for the Right to a Good Life

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung has started yet another interesting project referring to arts and sustainability. Artists from six mainly southern countries are invited to discuss the meaning of the right to a good life. Based on the fact that our daily lives and our ways of achieving a “good life” always influence the environment in a more or less negative or positive way, these artists ask themselves a simple question: Can “we find ways of living that contribute to more social equality and justice and that improve community participation and involvement?”

SurVivArt is meant to be a bridge to get to know perspectives on this question from people from the global South. On the website www.survivart.org you find an overview and detailed descriptions of these highly interesting projects, e.g. a social theater in Lagos, which is exploring the impact of climate change on daily life..

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Cape Farewell expedition reaches half-way point

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Kellie Gutman writes: Cape Farewell’s journey to the Outer Hebrides has reached its half-way point. The crews have changed each week, but the Associate Director, Ruth Little is onboard for the duration.  Her latest post, filled with wonderful pictures and observations can be seen here.

For all of the expedition posts go here or follow it on our blogroll.

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

The editors are Robert Butler and Wallace Heim. The associate editor is Kellie Gutman. The editorial adviser is Patricia Morison.

Robert Butler’s most recent publication is The Alchemist Exposed (Oberon 2006). From 1995-2000 he was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday. See www.robertbutler.info

Wallace Heim has written on social practice art and the work of PLATFORM, Basia Irland and Shelley Sacks. Her doctorate in philosophy investigated nature and performance. Her previous career was as a set designer for theatre and television/film.

Kellie Gutman worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for twenty years, producing video programmes and slide presentations for both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Award for Architecture.

Patricia Morison is an executive officer of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a group of grant-making trusts of which the Ashden Trust is one.

Go to The Ashden Directory

New metaphors for sustainability: coral reef

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Caspar Henderson, writer and journalist, suggests coral reef, its efficiency, vulnerability and beauty, as a metaphor for sustainability. Caspar’s Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A Bestiary for the Anthropocene will be published by Granta in 2012.

As many people know, healthy tropical coral reef are among the the richest, most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet, rivaled perhaps only by rainforests. It’s less widely appreciated, however, that this astonishing exuberance thrives in water that is very low in nutrients. The secret of the reef is that nutrients and materials are reused and recycled with great efficiency and rapidity in an almost closed loop.

Driving the cycle is sunlight, which is of course abundant in the tropics. Corals polyps, which are tiny animals, are able to build their layering and branching and skeletons (and thus over time the entire reef on which so much else depends) thanks to a partnership with photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae, which harness energy from the sun and ‘feed’ their coral hosts in return for lodging.  Whether or not you believe in the claims made for next generation nuclear power (and, like Amory Lovins and others, I have doubts), an economy that is able to run on energy directly harvested from the sun, store it where necessary and turn almost 100% of its wastes into assets looks like a good way to go.

Another familiar fact about coral reefs is that they are among the ecosystems in the world most vulnerable to human meddling. Our assaults come in various forms including direct ones such as destructive fishing practices and nutrient overload from sewage and agricultural runoff, and indirect ones such as rising global temperatures and ocean acidification caused by a rate of change in greenhouse gas concentrations not seen in millions of years.

Coral reefs can, we now know, thrive within certain boundaries, and be remarkably resilient to some shocks so long as the boundaries are not crossed. Once they are, however, the whole system can very quickly tip over into a degraded state. The reef becomes choked with slime and the food web disintegrates into a rotting boneyard that supports a dwindling band of scavengers. Previous perturbations to the Earth system comparable to current human activity have resulted in mass extinction events from which it has taken reefs millions of years to recover. We’re not talking about a metaphor here so much as a 400lb gorilla already standing on our toes.

The good news, in a far as there is any, is that we have a pretty good feel for what must be done if the threats to reefs are to be sharply reduced. Some of the most important measures such as stabilization and then reduction in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations may look unachievable in the near term, but while we continue to struggle with those there are many other things that will also be necessary and on which progress can (and is) being made now. One such is the creation, with local community involvement, of networks of Marine Protected Areas.

A final, and for me the most important point about coral reefs is that they are places of stupendous beauty and wonder. Chances are these are not qualities that spring to mind when you think of sustainability. A more likely association might be something like ‘sensible shoes.‘

But sustainability does not have to be boring. It can and must be highly dynamic, just as a coral reef is: an arena for competition and struggle, yes, but an arena with  limits and where new kinds of flourishing and cooperation are forever unfolding. Cruelty, suffering and death are not eliminated, but the scope for doing your own thing or doing something new – whether it be to bake cakes with five year olds, develop greener energy technology, or dance flamenco while dressed as a flamboyant cuttlefish – is greatly increased.

photo:  Gray Hardel/Corbis

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

The editors are Robert Butler and Wallace Heim. The associate editor is Kellie Gutman. The editorial adviser is Patricia Morison.

Robert Butler’s most recent publication is The Alchemist Exposed (Oberon 2006). From 1995-2000 he was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday. See www.robertbutler.info

Wallace Heim has written on social practice art and the work of PLATFORM, Basia Irland and Shelley Sacks. Her doctorate in philosophy investigated nature and performance. Her previous career was as a set designer for theatre and television/film.

Kellie Gutman worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for twenty years, producing video programmes and slide presentations for both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Award for Architecture.

Patricia Morison is an executive officer of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a group of grant-making trusts of which the Ashden Trust is one.

Go to The Ashden Directory

Funded PhD opportunity

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

On The Edge Research and Woodend Barn Banchory have created a wonderful opportunity to undertake a funded PhD.

Woodend Barn is a multi-arts centre outside Aberdeen with a strong environmental programme including an organic cafe, allotments, etc.  On The Edge Research is a practice-led programme focused on artists working in public.

Supported through the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Collaborative Doctoral Awards Scheme, they are looking for someone interested in understanding how

“creativity is channeled and provoked by the presence of an artist and in what ways this presence stimulates critical, socially and aesthetic understanding and action. It draws on a recent history of artists’ constructs and protocols for critiquing the institutional and organizational. It also draws in entrepreneurship studies, in particular approaches to understanding community as a dynamic.”

This could be undertaken by an artist as a practice-led, self-reflective, programme, or through other approaches.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

Cause for Creativity: Tour da Arts, vol. 3

 SUNDAY, AUGUST 21 / SANTA MONICA, CA

Beat the pump, cycle the town, and enjoy Santa Monica’s sights and sounds. The Santa Monica Museum of Art’s third annual Tour da Arts bike event invites you to participate in a spoke-card workshop and a scenic ride with stops for music, dance, and art along the way. The ride culminates at SMMoA with the Bicycle Bell Ensemble – a tuneful collaborative performance of bicycle bells.
Register Today!Registration is now open. Activities are open to all ages (some restrictions apply). Workshop Admission $5 (free for SMMoA members); Bike tour and festivities FREE. Space is limited.

Stop 1 – ART (Noon – 2 pm)Santa Monica Museum of Art art workshop, exhibitions, and mini-festival 

  • Check-in for the ride. Pre-registration required, REGISTER NOW!
  • Enjoy our cycling culture mini-fest:

Advocacy: Los Angeles Bike Coalition/Santa Monica Spoke, C.I.C.L.E., Tune-up tent by Bikerowave

Excitement: CicLAvia, Tour de Fat, Perry’s Café Bike Tours

Local Design: Bicycle Fixation, Swrve – Urban Cycling Apparel, Shifty – Flirty Bike Fashion

Food trucks: Dosa Truck and Mandoline Grill.

Bicycle Bell Ensemble

 

Stop 2 – DANCE (between 3 – 4 pm) The Broad Stage world music and dance        

  • Arrive at The Broad Stage – Experience a performance by Global Motion, a group dedicated to educating, preserving, and performing world dance. www.thebroadstage.com

 

Stop 3 – MUSIC (between 4 – 6 pm) Santa Monica City Hall presents Jazz on the Lawn with The Electones

 

Stop 4 – COLLABORATIVE PERFORMANCE (7 – 9 pm)Return to SMMoA and perform in the Bicycle Bell Ensemble

  • Complete the ride by participating in a closing collaborative performance with the Bicycle Bell Ensemble led by artist Patrick Miller, Sister Mantos, Télématique, and David Semien.

 

All stops will last about 30 minutes. Full bike route is approximately 7 miles at an easy pace. Snacks and refreshments provided by Whole Foods Santa Monica, Clif Bar, O.N.E. Coconut Water, and IZZE

 


Cause for Creativity: Tour da Arts, vol. 2
 is made possible in part by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission, HBO, and Nordstrom.