Arlene Goldbard’s recent blog on aesthetics and sustainability is very refreshing. It acknowledges that we define sustainability by it’s negative, ie our current unsustainable lifestyles (and we can describe that unsustainability in myriad ways).
Arlene quotes Adrienne Goehler in sharply defining the challenge to move the idea of sustainability beyond “prohibition, asceticism, and morality” into the a relationship with, “new forms of learning. Aesthetic education means sensitive, perceptive, creative education, which, in the words of Hannah Arendt, culminates in creative action.”
If you are interested in thinking about sustainability then this is a good place to start. Sign up for her posts. They are always interesting.
Applications are now open for the 2014 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, celebrating the greenest and most sustainable shows on the Edinburgh Fringe. This project, a partnership between Creative Carbon Scotland and the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, with media partner The List, rewards shows which engage their audiences with sustainability, take responsibility for their environmental impacts, and think big about how the arts can help to grow a sustainable world. Applications are open from February 19th to July 18th, with a shortlist announced in The List on July 30th, and the winner announced in a ceremony at Fringe Central on August 22nd.
“We believe artists and cultural organisations are uniquely placed to address the challenges brought on by climate change – through the art they produce, the audiences they speak to and the way in which they operate,” says Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, “This major award celebrates and publicises their innovative work during the Festival Fringe.”
Shortlisted shows will receive coverage in a special feature in The List on the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, published on July 30th, and reviews of shortlisted shows will be highlighted in The List’s festival issues and website. The organisers of the Award are seeking to bring new publicity and audiences to productions working hard to do their best work and to do it sustainably. The winner will receive the Award itself along with a special feature and coverage in the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts’ Quarterly Magazine.
The award for Sustainable Production on the Fringe was first launched in 2010 at the Hollywood Fringe and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Previous Edinburgh recipients include: The Pantry Shelf (2010), a satirical comedy that takes place in any ordinary pantry shelf, produced by Team M&M at Sweet Grassmarket; Allotment (2011) by Jules Horne and directed by Kate Nelson, produced by Nutshell Productions at the Inverleith Allotments in co-production with Assembly; The Man Who Planted Trees (2012) adapted from Jean Giono’s story by Ailie Cohen, Richard Medrington, Rick Conte and directed by Ailie Cohen, produced by the Edinburgh’s Puppet State Theatre; and How to Occupy an Oil Rig (2013), by Daniel Bye and Company, produced at Northern Stage. Awardees have gone on to future success on the Fringe and presentations around the world including as close as Cardiff for World Stage Design, and as far as New Zealand and all across the US and Canada.
“We see the arts as the best driver of sustainable societies and it’s not just our opinion: data shows that performance promotes positive environmental, social, and economic impacts. This award is intended to reward those artists and companies which embody all of these positive points in an intentional way. It’s not just about going green,” says Ian Garrett, Director of the CSPA. “The fringe model provides an ideal platform to start working with sustainable ideas through all of the freedoms and restrictions the festival allows!”
Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of cultural organisations using the arts to help shape a sustainable Scotland. The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts is in the Arts is a Think Tank for Sustainability in the Arts and Culture.
In the Garden with Friends, with mosaics by Katy Galbraith. The Bield at Blackruthven, Blackruthven House Tibbermore PERTH, Scotland PH1 1PY. Saturday 5th – Saturday 26th April 2014, Closed Mondays
A celebration of flowers & friendship, this exhibition brings together a diverse mix of artists working in a variety of media.
Central to the exhibition is Katy Galbraith, a mosaic artist who works in primarily recycled materials. Flowers in abundance feature in much of Katy’s work, reflective of her love of her garden. But Katy’s art goes beyond the decorative, as she often employs mosaic to a more practical purpose by creating mirrors, table tops and garden sculptures and installations.
Katy has invited artistic friends who have supported and encouraged her over the last few years to participate in the exhibition. Many of the artists work in the applied arts; including stained-glass work, ceramics and, of course, mosaics. Others are photographers or painters, all with a personal connection to Katy.
Patricia Ace – Kate Anderson – Jo Cound – Allan Craig – Annette Forsyth – Lindy Furby – Sarah Honeyman – Dave Hunt – Gillian Hunt- Katharine Huggett – Jan Kilpatrick – Morag Lloyd – John Maguire – Tracy Markey – June McEwan – Helen Nock – Anna Olson – Concetta Perot – Lorna Radbourne – Lillian Sizemore – Rachel Sutherland – Norma Vondee – Ceri White
The Neue Galerie Luzern–Swiss Academic Association (NGL–SAA) together with the Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, UK, has created a new PhD program.
Embedded in the quality of the educational work achieved by the Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, and the objective to promote knowledge of and deep engagement with all aspects of the arts, society and culture, the PhD program attracts scholars from these different fields of cultural practice:
–Curators, art educators, artists, scientists, cultural activists, cultural intermediaries, change agents, designers, and policy-makers in an international context
–Cultural workers who work as academic experts in science and governance, and related areas of philosophy, sociology, geography, cartography, policy analysis and law, as well as stakeholders from the public cultural sector or art and media institutions
–Artists and mediators who are directly involved in composing, designing, imagining, interpreting, or manipulating signs and symbols in order to create music, television programmes, films, art, clothing, graphic designs, images, and other forms of texts
–Researchers in the arts and social sciences, cultural practitioners from public, profit-oriented or non-profit cultural institutions, networks, galleries, museums and theatres, the performing arts, architecture, and educational institutions
–Researchers who are interested in the production, spatialisation and dissemination of knowledge which includes ecological, ethical as well as practical philosophical approaches to the risks and opportunities that science and technology entail.
There are currently 57 part-time M.Phil/PhD students enrolled with the Planetary Collegium and Plymouth University—34 students have received a PhD from the University of Plymouth with the Planetary Collegium since its inception in 1994. Together they constitute a community of vibrant thinkers, researchers and writers. You will start your doctoral work with the goal of engaging in a meaningful discourse with like-minded students in order to deepen your knowledge. As a doctoral candidate you will complete your degree in approximately four years. In order to support you in that progress, we help you to develop your thesis. You will be awarded the doctoral title by the University of Plymouth.
The NGL programme practices a style of research that relies on dialogue and discussion. The knowledge you bring into the PhD program will be refined in nine Composite Sessions of ten days each over three years on Mt. Rigi near Lucerne and in St. Moritz.
Dr. Mark Banks, The Open University, Milton Keynes
Dr. Bob Bishop, President and Founder, ICES Foundation, Geneva
Dr. Fritjof Capra, Center for Ecoliteracy, Berkeley
Stuart Hameroff, M.D., Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona
John Horgan, Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken
PD Dr. Christina Ljungberg, University of Zurich
Dr. Angela McRobbie, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Dr. Uli Sigg, Sigg Collection, Switzerland
Margaret Wertheim, Institute for Figuring, Los Angeles
Applicants eligible for admission to the program meet the following requirements stipulated in the Planetary Collegium’s regulations:
–mid-career artists, educators, cultural intermediaries and scientists whose work and curriculum have a distinctive, transdisciplinary inquiry-based focus
–relevant professional and research experience
–an articulate personal statement
–the ability to submit a written thesis proposal demonstrating the capability of undertaking scientific research
–excellent English language skills (written and oral)
PD Dr. Christina Ljungberg and Dr. René Stettler conduct the three yearly Composite Sessions. They develop and administer the session programmes, the progression and welfare of the students, and the supervision as required by the University of Plymouth. Second Supervisors are appointed by the University of Plymouth.
Application, fees, and general information www.neugalu.ch/phd_programme
Dr. Christina Ljungberg or Dr. René Stettler will be happy to have a conversation with you via Skype prior to application.
University of Plymouth, UK; Planetary Collegium, UK
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
This summer school, living up to the motto “learning from the south and with the south,” seeks to provide clues about the possibilities of social political and institutional transformation from innovations taking place in various contexts of the global south.
The international summer school is part of a larger political and intellectual initiative, the ALICE project. At its outset, ALICE seeks to re-think and renovate socio-scientific knowledge in light of the epistemologies of the South, proposed by Boaventura de Sousa Santos. The objective is to develop new theoretical and political paradigms of social transformation. This summer course is composed of several seminars, all of them conducted in English.
“Haunting Europe, and the Global North as a whole, there is a sentiment of intellectual and political exhaustion which translates as incapacity to confront innovatively the various challenges of justice that interpellate the world in the first decades of the twenty-first century: social, environmental, inter-generational, cultural, historical and cognitive justice. In contrast, the Global South, in its immense diversity, presents itself today as a wide field of economic, social, cultural, and political innovation.
ALICE is grounded on a wager that social, political and institutional change may largely benefit from the innovations occurring in the Global South. A demanding wager, to be sure, for it presupposes availability for mutual recognition, intercultural understanding, political and ideological convergence, respect for identity, and celebration of diversity.”
The seminars, to be coordinated by local and international scholars, cover several topics, such as:
• the democratic diversity of the world;
• social struggles in the Global South around the democratization and colonial and post-colonial liberation;
• movements for the refoundation of the State and bottom-up re-writing of constitutions;
• alternatives to capitalist infinite accumulation and environmental degradation;
• human rights from the perspective of intercultural dialogues and other grammars of human dignity;
• transnational legal mobilization as a strategy to promote (women’s; indigenous’; peasants’, etc.) policies and rights;
• struggles for alternatives to development, among others.
The first round of applications closed on February 28th, 2014.
RARE TORNADO | 2013
oil + charcoal on canvas | 40″ x 36″ x 1.5″
FIELD NOTES: Today there are more frequent RARE TORNADO incidents in areas of the world that are not normally hit. Tornado experts are studying whether global climate change is the cause because climate change increases levels of energy, as well as increases clashes between cold air masses and warm humid air masses. Chances are that the El Nino in 2014 will lead to a record breaking year on many weather fronts.
Danielle Nelisse is an abstract artist noted for painting large scale contemporary abstract art in oil on canvas. She also happens to be a private investigator and an immigration attorney, an unusual combination of skills and interests that gives her a unique perspective on the human condition. Her Urban Ecology | Climate Change Series was recently shown at the Encinitas Civic Center Gallery in Encinitas, California. A follow-up to her Transformative Geopolitics Series, which “was inspired by discussions in California and elsewhere about how to resolve international border issues, multiple identities, inequality, and the ways that exclusion of foreign nationals can dominate contemporary geopolitics,”
Danielle’s Climate Change Series expresses “her inner reflections about the complexities in dealing with urbanization, climate change, and natural disasters.” Bold-colored, dynamic and complex, her work makes it impossible to intellectualize an issue we so easily (and sometimes, readily) like distance ourselves from. Instead, it invites us to deeply and courageously feel our feelings, and perhaps recognize that there is beauty even in sadness.
In addition to being an abstract painter, you are a private investigator and an immigration attorney. How do these different roles inform your work?
As a private investigator I am asked to obtain information from people in creative – but legal – ways. As an attorney I must also gather facts about a case, apply the law, and then edit the facts down to the most relevant. In other words, in my legal work there is a tension between facts, rules, and creativity.
As an artist, there is also a tension between structure and creativity. I express my emotions through color harmony, composition and line. Both my legal work and art work involve the same skills: creative discovery; strategic editing; thoughtful rule application; all while allowing passion and creativity.
What was the inspiration behind your Urban Ecology | Climate Change series?
I have always felt that I have a say in my destiny and that even though I am only one person, I can make a change. My past is filled with work where I was able to champion the rights of others. The issue of climate change looms large and I am getting nervous because it does not yet seem to be considered an important global issue.
Recently I moved to a new studio in Bonita, California, which is located down by the border of Mexico in a beautiful desert area – and year round my studio is atypically warm. My clients live all over the world and provide me with firsthand accounts about their struggles with uncommon weather events, which are reinforced by media reports. Recently one of my clients was separated from her husband due to the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines. Another was waiting for weeks in the summer of 2013 for a U.S. Consulate to issue his work visa during an abnormal intense heat wave in India that resulted in continued temperatures of 110 F. I may not always be directly impacted by every weather event, but I am indirectly impacted as I experience intense emotions after observing how climate change impacts people worldwide.
URBAN OASIS | 2013
oil on canvas | 36″ x 36″ x 1.5″
FIELD NOTES: Desert cities typically record a cooler temperature than the surrounding area. Studies suggest it may be due to the URBAN OASIS effect where irrigated plants in the city help it stay cooler than the dry desert region surrounding it. Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability is studying five sub-tropical desert city region – Las Vegas, USA; Beer Sheva, Israel; Jodhpur, India; Kharga, Egypt; and Hotan/Hetian, China to measure the amount of climate change caused by urban desert cities.
What is your process? What happens between the original idea and the finished painting?
I initially set parameters for myself, such as the size of the canvas and the palette. For this series I decided upon oil paint on large scale canvas. For the most part I am not looking to paint the literal equivalent of a figure or a landscape, but in a nonrepresentational way to gradually balance formal elements such as color, light and space with psychological and conceptual issues. I alternate between gestural action painting strokes done with a large brush or piece of charcoal, and careful thick oil paint applied with a palette knife. There are many stages of editing and layering until I feel satisfied that it is balanced in composition, color and movement.
What do you think is the single most important thing artists can do to address the problem of climate change?
I think that uncertainty about climate change is causing everyone increased anxiety as our concerns accumulate over time. The situation appears to be so overwhelming and effective solutions so complex that it is easier to either avoid thinking of how to deal with it or deny climate change is happening at all. It will take massive cooperation on a global level to make changes and that sounds daunting, if not impossible. Increased discussions about our emotions and how to adapt to the new climate may reduce worry, anxiety and stress and lead to creative solutions. If artists can inspire even a single conversation about emotions caused by climate change, I believe they have made a difference.
What gives you hope?
It is very encouraging to learn about artists of all types who are expressing themselves about climate change. For a long time it felt like I was the only person concerned about it and of course that was not true. I think, just like all unpleasant issues, the more we discuss the reality of climate change and how to adapt to it, the more people will not feel so helpless or sad about the issue. I believe that heightened awareness and a sense that we are all in this together will lead people to take responsibility and stop denying there is an issue as a psychological defense mechanism. Through my art I hope to inspire creative ideas about how to cope by inducing curiosity, concern, or even skepticism – anything to keep the conversation about climate change going.
WATER VAPOR | 2013
oil on canvas | 36″ x 48″ x 1.5″
FIELD NOTES: A recent study finds that WATER VAPOR is distributed at different heights in the atmosphere, causing fewer clouds to form as the climate warms. Researchers from Australia’s ARC Centre for Climate Systems Science found that 2013 levels of WATER VAPOR resulted in less clouds, which made the atmosphere far more sensitive to heat-trapping gases such as CO2.
Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.
Following up on the discussions of an aesthetics of uncivilisation, prompted by the Dark Mountain Project, this essay on the photography of Sasha Bezzubov and the techniques he uses in several different series, to convey conceptual points through landscape photography. Its worth viewing the slideshow to fully understand the point.
According to the original posting on The Design Observer, “New York photographer Sasha Bezzubov uses a variety of conceptual methods to point viewers to larger phenomena that underlie visible landscapes. His series Albedo Zone(2008) features monotone, horizonless expanses of either dark ocean water or light arctic ice. Considered individually, the photographs could fit easily into a tradition of minimalist, aesthetically refined landscapes. However, the series title pushes the work into more dangerous territory.” For more information and access to more samples from Bezzubov’s series, visit the full article here.