Monthly Archives: June 2015

Job Opportunity: PLAYA RESIDENCY MANAGER

POSITION DESCRIPTION

PLAYA is looking for a Residency Manager who will live on location and oversee coordination and planning of the residency experience including pre-application communications, managing logistics of on-site residencies, and supporting Playa’s external programming.

PLAYA’s Mission

On the edge of the Great Basin, PLAYA offers creative individuals the space, the solitude and the community to reflect and to engage their work through its residency program. PLAYA supports innovative thinking through work in the arts, literature, natural sciences and other fields of creative inquiry and encourages dialogue between disciplines to bring positive change to the environment and the world.

PLAYA, in south central Oregon, is a retreat for creative individuals who are committed and passionate about their work and who will benefit from time spent in a remote location. PLAYA offers seclusion and quiet in a natural environment and the opportunity for interaction, if desired, with a cohort of residents and the local rural community. A residency provides the time and space to create substantive work or to research and reflect upon one’s creative or scientific processes. www.playasummerlake.org

The Residency Manager’s primary responsibility will be oversight of the residency program and to help create an unpressured and hospitable experience of solitude and creative interaction for residents. Working closely with the Executive Director, the Residency Manager will develop new programming that will enhance the residency experience as well as connecting with the local community and beyond.

The ideal candidate for this position will be a professional working artist or scientist with strong interpersonal communication skills and administrative experience, particularly within a non-profit. In addition the candidate should be organized, flexible, detail-oriented, and a self-motivated problem solver. Applicant must be committed to a multidisciplinary approach to change.

Applicant must have a minimum of 2 years experience working with diverse arts organizations (or equivalent) and possess strong knowledge and experience of careers in creative fields. The applicant should have experience with a variety of software including Word, Excel, Adobe Photoshop, social media and others. Experience in design, donor relations, program development or fundraising is helpful but not required. Send resume and cover letter to deborahford@playasummerlake.org.

Applicant must be comfortable living in an isolated rural community.

Duties and responsibilities include:

Managing Residency Program

  • Refine and update necessary documents for residency program, including but not limited to guidelines, applications, evaluations, website content, schedules and more.
  •  Organize and manage application process and selection committee
  • Manage “submittable” information
  • Maintain files on applicants
  • Update residency schedules, studio spaces and more with spread sheets
  • Communicate with applicants about pre-residency information and selection process
  • Update and maintain database, mailing lists, alumni and donor contacts
  • Assist with arrivals and departures, orientations and weekly dinner presence.
  • Administer and collect check out sheets and evaluations.

Support communications and administration:
The Residency Manager will collaborate with the Executive Director to:

  • Develop a strategic vision for integrating the arts and sciences and expanding recognition of Playa’s programs.
  • Increase communications and programs within the local community
  • Create and disseminate newsletters and media-releases, both online and print
  • Maintain social media and web presence.
  • Help identify and cultivate relevant new programming, emerging artists and scientists
  • Assist with purchasing, bookkeeping and basic banking.
  • Work with ED on building strong donor base, networking, advocacy and interaction with other nonprofits, corporations and partnerships locally and nationally.
  • Communicate with, and some oversight of, Playa site assistant(s) and seasonal help.
  • Maintain documentation about procedures and operations.

Hours: 40 hours per week with flexible scheduling. Some weekends and evenings required.
Compensation: $40,000-45,000 depending upon qualifications and experience.
How to apply: Send cover letter and resume with three references to:

deborahford@playasummerlake.org

Position start date: Open until filled.

PLAYA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, sex, religion, marital status or national origin.

UNFIX Festival

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Glasgow-based UNFIX festival has launched its programme, delivering a rich blend of events curated around the themes of ecology and climate change, rooted within a very physical sense of living. This year’s festival will take hold of The Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow, delivering live performance, dance, film, installation, workshop and debate by Scottish and international artists.

In its first year, the capacity of this festival is profound, as much of the programming digs acutely into the most challenging issues of our times–issues that expand beyond human scale to an often intangible extent. By bringing a human sense and bodily physicality to such vast issues, UNFIX festival holds the capacity to reintroduce a sense of feeling into the way that we think about and act upon climate change.

The festival will broadly interpret ecology to include the contexts of imagination and culture, politics and economics, soul and mental health, and environment. At CCS, we are continually working to widen our perceptions of sustainability, acknowledging the complex web that culture rests upon.

We are very excited to announce our upcoming Green Tease event “Performance and Ecology” with Paul Michael Henry of UNFIX Festival. During this gathering, we will be discussing UNFIX festival and the inspiration for this year’s programme. Paul will share his interests in personal identity and ‘selfing’ which has shaped this year’s festival programme. We will discuss how feeling, physicality and language all interact within the larger context of climate change and ecology, and how culture is so deeply embedded within it all.

We will also discuss the potential of UNFIX to engage with the context of ArtCOP Scotland, bringing in the influential partners, emerging talent and attuned audience that the festival attracts. We will also consider how prominent venues, such as CCA Glasgow, can help build the impact and influence of ArtCOP Scotland.

Following June’s Green Tease gathering, CCS will also be participating in UNFIX festival, with the facilitation of a discussion on what roles individual artists can play in contributing to a more sustainable Scotland. This discussion will include an inclusive round-up of reflections from past and current projects, like the Mull Artist Residency and our ever-developing Green Tease network and events programme, ultimately leading into the ideas surrounding ArtCOP Scotland and the urgency we feel to respond locally and tangibly to the upcoming COP21 climate negotiations in Paris this December.

Come along to our June Green Tease event to learn more about these developing strands of work, and be sure to get involved with UNFIX festival, taking place at CCA Glasgow from 10th-12th July 2015.

The post UNFIX Festival appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Centre for Performance Research CURRENT OPEN CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS: Volume 21, Issue 2 – On/At Sea

Volume 21, Issue 2 – On/At Sea

Deadline: 6 July 2015

ON SEA / AT SEA considers how performance practice and critical perspectives on performance can be affected by the fluidity, endless motion, unchartable terrains, and endless liquid condition of the sea.

Stories about the sea or set on the sea are almost always performed on dry stages. How often does performance go to sea, as a place? Does the need for survival in this place render artistic, performative expression as something superfluous and trivial? How can a performance culture be shaped by this liquid, ever-moving terrain? Is perhaps, the sea a place where performance is suspended momentarily? – lost, at sea? For we are seldom actually ON the sea: a boat may seem to float on it, but it is always half-submerged, half-sinking into this medium. And being AT sea is a giving over to the elements, a risk taken, and a casting off from attachments and moorings.

The sea is a space just beyond every coastline of the world: to many a homogenous surface of restless, endless movement that connects all the coastlines of the world. The sea is said to be just as unknown to us as the stars and galaxies. But this unknown is an ‘inner space’, within our planetary atmosphere: a place of submerged things and intimate secrets, that lie so close to us yet remains a mystery. Beneath the planetary cortex where synapses flash between cities and grids of terrestrial industry, there is the ocean, our space within. The odd fibre-optic cable is laid down, occasionally a submarine blinks its lonely lights here, and wreckage drifts to rest here… but on the whole this space sleeps beneath us, detached, and at a different speed. The sea is our planetary subconscious, keeping secrets, then revealing them with a theatrical power: with the wreck of the Titanic, the ruins of Heracleon, the horrors awaiting the salvagers of the tomblike Kursk submarine a year after it was disabled on the Russian seabed, and the [as yet] unfound wreck of Air Malaysia Flight 370. Most recently, it has been revealed as a tragic space of border-crossing, with the attempted crossing of oceans by refugees from North Africa, Indonesia, and Haiti into westernised ‘promised lands’ (Europe, North America, Australia). As well as a site for human fears and tragedies, the sea also carries within it environmental anxieties and portents of collapse: the giant North Pacific gyre, the dismembered trunks of finned sharks, the explosion of Deep Water Horizon in 2011, or the bellies of dead fish and animals filled with plastic.

This editorial interest focuses on the sea as an unbounded, unfixed territory with no recognizable performance cartographies, asking the question – how often does performance go to sea? This is both a literal and poetic question, thus inquiring about specific nautical performances ‘on the sea’, as well as the poetic state of being ‘at sea’, that is, within a fluid, unfixed, or liquid condition. This issue of Performance Research also responds to the themes and discourse generated by the PSi#21 Fluid States globally dispersed conference in 2015. The editors invite contributions research projects and Psi#21 Fluid States participants that:

  • Gather texts on the sea and its relation to performance
  • Examine performance at sea, under the sea, on boats, or in coastal/tidal areas
  • Consider unknown spaces beyond and within, especially where the sea and oceans are concerned.
  • Draw on discourses from the PSi Fluid States dispersed conference
  • Develop new definitions for fluidity and nomadism as philosophic, relational paradigms
  • Investigate ‘liquid dramaturgies’, moving away from perspectives on performance as a linear experience beholden to dramaturgical or narrative structures.
  • Present new perspectives for performance, emerging from a philosophy born from the endless movement of the ocean, celebrating liquid, restless, and volatile contexts or processes.
  • Examine new cartographies and navigation for performance in liquid states
  • Address issues of migrancy, temporality, flux, uncertainty, and transience in relation to contemporary performance, contemporary culture, and oceanic concerns

‘On Sea / At Sea’ invites artists, practitioners, and theorists to submit proposals for critical articles (between 2,000 and 8,000 words), documents or artist’s pages, which examine, re-perform, or re-present performance in relation to the sea and liquid, fluid conditions. In keeping with the inclusive nature of the ‘Fluid States’ project, submissions are invited from a broad spectrum of perspectives and practices, focusing on a common relationship with liquidity, the sea, and oceanic states.

Sam Trubridge is the Artistic Director of The Performance Arcade in Wellington, NZ and the convenor for ‘Deep Anatomy’ – the Bahamas cluster for Psi#21 Fluid States.

Richard Gough is Artistic Director of the Centre for Performance Research, Professor of Performance Research at Falmouth University and a Fellow of the International Research Center “Interweaving Performance Cultures”, Freie Universitat, Berlin. He is the general editor of Performance Research and was founding president of PSi.

Schedule:
Proposals:                             6 July 2015
First Drafts:                           October 2015
Publication Date:                  April 2016

ALL proposals, submissions and general enquiries should be sent direct to the Journal at: info@performance-research.org

Issue-related enquiries should be directed to issue editors: Sam Trubridge samtrubridge@gmail.com and Richard Gough cprgough@gmail.com

General Guidelines for Submissions:

  • Before submitting a proposal we encourage you to visit our website (http://www.performance-research.org/) and familiarize yourself with the journal.
  • Proposals will be accepted by e-mail (MS-Word or RTF). Proposals should not exceed one A4 side.
  • Please include your surname in the file name of the document you send.
  • Submission of images and visual material is welcome, PROVIDED that all attachments DO NOT exceed 5MB, and a maximum of 5 images.
  • Submission of a proposal will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • If your proposal is accepted, you will be invited to submit an article in first draft by the deadline indicated above. On the final acceptance of a completed article you will be asked to sign an author agreement in order for your work to be published in Performance Research.

Opportunities: Interns to work on Environmental Art Festival Scotland 2015

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

The Environmental Art Festival Scotland (EAFS) has two Internships (with stipends) to help with the 2015 Festival at the end of August – one focused on Design and Mapping and the other on Production.

Themes for the Festival this year are:

  • Inventiveness, foolishness and generosity as a way of understanding the world
  • Food, clothes, shelter and environmental sustainability
  • Hospitality, hosting and community
  • Journeys, migrations, secular pilgrimage and transformation

If these are ideas that resonate with you then access the brief for both here EAFS Internships brief

If you are interested there is a ‘drop-in’ session at The Stove in Dumfries on the afternoon of 17 June. If you can’t make it to Dumfries next week then contact Jan Hogarth directly on jan@wide-open.net .

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

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In South Carolina, A Landfill Landmark by Stan Friedman

This post comes to you from the Broadway Green Alliance

In a city named Greenville, one might expect its citizens to have a certain respect for the environment. But the team behind the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, S.C. has taken the cause to a whole new level, becoming the first performing arts center in the country to generate zero landfill waste. The key to their success is a partnership with a local, family-run and environmentally friendly waste management company, WasteCo Inc. As explained in a recent Peace Center press release, the multi-step recycling process works like this:

All waste from the Peace Center is taken directly to VLS Recovery Services or Greenpointe Recycling Center. Once there, the material is sorted for recyclable material. The unsalvageable material is shredded and taken to a gasification site. The material is then fed into a gasifier, where the waste and oxygen create synthetic gas (syngas). This syngas can then be cleaned for any impurities and used for energy.

The program is especially impressive given that the Peace Center is no small outfit. Occupying a six acre downtown site where a textile plant and a mayonnaise factory once operated, the campus boasts seven different venues in addition to administrative and production offices. They draw more than 360,000 people a year and present over 600 events including, this season, the national tours of Newsies and Matilda the Musical. The Center generates some $25 million a year in economic activity.

Maureen Shallcross, VP of Operations for the Peace Center, spearheaded the zero waste effort, and found no resistance from any of the involved parties. Indeed, quite the opposite. “Eliminating the need for staff to sort was a value added,” she observed, and because WasteCo was their existing vendor, there was continuity on the service side of the equation. In addition to the zero waste success, Ms. Shallcross pointed to their other green initiatives which includes battery recycling and an annual electronics recycling program. Also, they have recently completed an ASHRAE Level III energy assessment and will use the results to plan short term and long term cost-effective energy conservation measures. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and an expansive website all play a part in getting the green word out to their audience, alongside mentions in the local media.

When asked if she had any planning suggestions for the Broadway community, Ms. Shallcross gave validity to the BGA’s methodology: “Find an individual within your organization with passion about sustainability and charge him/her with pulling together a green team across departments to ensure institutional commitment to a program.” Our Green Captains program falls right in line with this solid advice.

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The Broadway Green Alliance was founded in 2008 in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) is an ad hoc committee of The Broadway League and a fiscal program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Along with Julie’s Bicycle in the UK, the BGA is a founding member of the International Green Theatre Alliance. The BGA has reached tens of thousands of fans through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other media.

At the BGA, we recognize that it is impossible to be 100% “green” while continuing activity and – as there is no litmus test for green activity – we ask instead that our members commit to being greener and doing better each day. As climate change does not result from one large negative action, but rather from the cumulative effect of billions of small actions, progress comes from millions of us doing a bit better each day. To become a member of the Broadway Green Alliance we ask only that you commit to becoming greener, that you name a point person to be our liaison, and that you will tell us about your green-er journey.

The BGA is co-chaired by Susan Sampliner, Company Manager of the Broadway company of WICKED, and Charlie Deull, Executive Vice President at Clark Transfer<. Rebekah Sale is the BGA’s full-time Coordinator.

Go to the Broadway Green Alliance

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Climate Journeys Part III: Creating a Map of Coastal Climate Change Adaptation

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

by Guest Blogger Lucy Holtsnider

Many island nations of the Caribbean and coastal regions of the Eastern U.S. are particularly threatened by damaging climate change impacts like sea level rise, increased storm surges, and loss of local aquatic ecosystems. Many adaptation measures could be taken to spare life and property in these threatened areas, but climate change skepticism and a poor understanding of the science remain a major barrier to meaningful action. In order to address this gap in understanding my partner, hydrologist Zion Klos, and I are embarking on a year-long sailing expedition, and art and science collaboration called Climate Odyssey.

Upon our departure in late June, we’ll begin photographing climate change impacts and adaptation strategies, interviewing stakeholders, politicians, scientists and artists, and visiting classrooms and community groups while we sail our 34’ catamaran along our route. I’ll compile the images and information we gather into an interactive map on our website, creating an accessible resource built to communicate the urgency of coastal climate change adaptation and the science behind the impacts. Each image added to the map will be linked to relevant blog entries and other adaptation resources, making the map both a piece of art and an engaging tool for sharing the science of climate change. At the end of our journey I will make printed versions of the digital map into an edition of artists’ books to be shared in libraries, galleries, and classrooms in those same communities we visited. Our ultimate goal is for Climate Odyssey resources to be seen by those who, due to either apathy or acceptance of a skeptical narrative, are disengaged from efforts to adapt to climate change.

Climate Odyssey Map

We are aware of several challenges posed by this undertaking, but our diverse and complimentary skills in art, science, and communication make us uniquely prepared to collaborate and use art as a tool for science communication. One obstacle is that climate change science is both complex and highly politicized in this country. There will be times when we need to address a person who is skeptical of climate change science, and Zion’s ability to address these often detailed questions frees me up to focus on the artistic portion of the project.

The next challenge addresses a central question investigated by Artists and Climate Change: can art really create emotions that inspire people to think in new ways, in this case to question a skeptical and politicized narrative? Fortunately for us, Zion’s research spans both the physical science of how climate change will affect the future of natural resources, and the social science of how to best communicate climate change impacts and the threats they pose. Research into the psychology of climate change communication shows that sharing projected local impacts rather than global ones, in addition to a focus on local adaptation rather than global mitigation of climate change, are two ways to better engage these audiences. We believe that only after people connect with the issue emotionally, understand the science globally, and feel the need to adapt locally, can a discussion begin about what global greenhouse gas mitigation can look like within these communities and the world they share. We’re also aware that psychologists and advertisers alike have known for decades that targeting emotions is an effective way to promote a change in behavior. We aim to use the emotional response elicited by a piece of art, in combination with these two strategies above, to connect with those who remain uncompelled by cognitive scientific arguments for climate change adaptation. These resources are then targeted toward a viewer who may not respond to a more cognitive argument for adaptation, such as a graph of projected impacts.

Climate Odyssey Back Cover

Though Climate Odyssey is the most science-based project I’ve undertaken, I’ve always been interested in the natural world. I grew up playing in green belts tucked away in the suburbs of Denver, observing nature wherever I could find it. My work today is place-based and is always tied in some way to observing the intersection of the natural and built environment, much like those suburban oases I sought as a child. A recent example of my place-based work is my 2014 series of illuminated sculptures called Moscow Light Houses. I gathered close-up photos of natural processes occurring on artificial objects over many months of walks through town. I then applied the images, often showing weathered paint or vegetation encroaching on buildings, to wooden frames shaped like the classic turn-of-the-century American houses that characterize the town. By documenting the unique quality of exposure resulting from a century of climate in the Northwest, and the historical architecture of Moscow, I encouraged viewers to reconsider their familiar hometown through my lens showing the overlap of the local natural and built environments.

The dynamic nature of a sailing expedition poses a unique challenge to my practice of carefully observing a place over a length of time. I’m eager to use the transient nature of our next year to expand my process: rather than reframing a single place I aim to reframe the issue of coastal adaptation for those who are disengaged. Through photographs and interviews, I will zoom out and observe the impacts that a changing climate, once considered both static and exempt from human influence, is now having on our built environments on the coast. As our balanced and familiar atmosphere of the 19th and 20th century is supplanted by a warming and unpredictable one, we find ourselves unintentionally in control of the planet’s thermostat due to our dependence on fossil fuels. Climate change is the ultimate intersection between the natural and built environment because of our culpability and its threat to our existence.

After months of work fundraising and repairing our boat, the excitement is building as our date of departure approaches. I’m eager to try my hand at reframing an issue instead of a place, and at incorporating science into a piece of art in a way that’s useful to the public.

Read Climate Journeys Part I and Part II.

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Lucy Holtsnider is an environmental artist working in book arts, printmaking, photography, and sculpture to comment on areas of overlap between natural and built environments. Her work is place-based and uses patterns and textures to give historical and regional context to the interactions between human constructions and natural phenomena. In addition to her fine art resume, Lucy has also taught art in a variety of settings, from summer camp to a classroom in Japan to community art workshops. 

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Filed under: Guest Blog Series, Multidisciplinary

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog 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.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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CLIMATE JOURNEYS PART II: SAILING THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S. AND THE CARIBBEAN

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

by Guest Blogger Natalie Abrams

I live in nature. Surrounded by it, I experience every subtle shift and change. I witness an amazing array of species as they inhabit the same place, and I am exactly where I want to be. I never could have predicted this would be my life. I never thought I’d give up my studio, my workshop, all my tools and supplies. I loved being a full time studio artist. But at some point, as an environmental artist, it wasn’t enough. As my ideas grew, the studio felt too confined, too removed, so isolated and incapable of adequately experiencing and expressing (incubating and containing) what I needed to say. Being more visual than verbal, that’s really what art is to me; another means of expressing a concept or idea.

Coast

Having sold the bulk of our possessions, my studio now fits in eight small drawers and paints live in a tiny bin. The sailboat is impossible to keep tidy and organized, and mold is a constant problem. But when I step out of the cabin into the cockpit, I see dolphins and egrets. I see pelicans and sea squirts.

And I talk to people. I’ve met the high powered corporate lawyer for a Fortune 100 corporation who discreetly helped her company acquire and donate thousands of acres to local conservation organizations. I’ve met men, former military, who are going back to study the sources of plastic in the gyres. Conservationists and scientists working on different campaigns which, in the end, are all related. I meet so many amazing people who all have interesting ideas about their place in nature and how they interact with it.

I also see things. Plastic debris, the dead remains from parties over the weekend littering the disappearing salt marshes. Fuel spills in water filled with wildlife. Artists who throw the dirty water used to clean their brushes directly into the waterways where those animals live, eat and reproduce. And I see the scars on the dolphins as they lethargically swim by. Entire blocks of downtown Charleston flood with an above average tide or an average rain because of rising sea levels. The issues take multiple forms, are complex and systemic. As one can’t look at each issue in isolation, each issue can’t be solved in isolation.

There are really two aspects to this project, Define Earth, when broken down. There is the artwork and the exploration and research leading to its creation.

The exploration starts as my partner, documentarian Kevin Murphy, and I sail to locations experiencing some form of ecological degradation and species decline. During the next three years, we’ll visit places in the southeastern United States and the Caribbean, including Indian River Lagoon, FL; Gardens of the Queen, Cuba; Curacao, Venezuela; Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, Columbia. In each place, we’ll meet with conservation organizations, scientists and researchers studying the issues leading to this loss, as well as locals to learn what impact these issues have on the population at large. During the course of that research, we’ll extensively photograph each location, record interviews and collect studies. I also collect relevant waste or abandoned materials to use in creating the artwork I call “creatures.”

Creatures 1

In short, my sculptures and the corresponding images present a barren hypothetical future. Composed of the collected waste materials, printed scientific reports, area photographs and other items, the works themselves reveal what brought on their existence. They divulge the potential of what we create here and now with our consumption and lifestyle choices.

I want this work to be hauntingly beautiful, engrossing yet uncomfortable. The colours too harsh and the landscape too bleak. They are visual explorations of what we will leave behind when the planet is no longer capable of supporting life as we experience it now. These creatures are attempts of life to spontaneously manifest from the waste materials discarded or deemed too inconvenient to retrieve. These creatures are photographed and filmed in locations related to the content of work. The images and video convey the “life” of the creature, struggling to survive, defend their place, procreate, but ultimately incapable of living. Installed in issue specific locations, these pieces tell stories and contain the history of what led to their creation; oil spills, planned obsolescence and an overburdened waste stream, over-fishing and rampant tourism, rising sea levels and changing climate conditions from global warming, methane harvest and release, and a whole host of human driven actions.

Creatures 2

Jacques Cousteau said “People protect what they love.”

As we enter a third mass extinction event, I hope to inspire the audience to value and love what we still have by depicting the potential of what we’ll lose. By demonstrating how that loss is being made manifest, I hope to spark that curiosity and understanding of what is causing the degradation, to educate and instill a sense of responsibility. I hope to help people actively think and look more closely at the world around them, and at the impact of the large and small decisions we make in our everyday lives. To step up, take responsibility and action to halt destructive practices.

The time is now. We don’t have a prolonged future to mull and debate. And while many consider this to be a political debate, I wonder why it isn’t a moral one. If it isn’t our best interest to just take care of our home. To take responsibility and care for the only place we exist in this universe. Our planet is a precious, living jewel filled with an abundance of life. Let’s treat it as such and protect what we love.

Read Climate Journeys Part I and Part III.

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Natalie Abrams’ sculptures explore the systemic nature of environmental and social issues. Transitions from organic to man-made and repurposed materials connote the transition of landscapes under duress. Abrams’ work is at the heart of collaborative undertaking Define Earth Projects; a circumnavigation exploring threatened ecosystems and the populations dependent on them, producing site specific installations, exhibitions and publications. Abrams’ artwork has been exhibited nationally as well as participated in residencies at Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts, Redux, Escape to Create and McColl Center for Art and Innovation.

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Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog 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.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Climate Journeys Part I: Living Inside An Egg

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

by Guest Blogger Stephen Turner (AKA The Beaulieu Beadle)

Shall I not have intelligence with the earth. Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?
—HD Thoreau ‘Walden’, 1854

I lived in character as the Beaulieu Beadle for twelve months from July 14th, 2013 until July 13th, 2014 in a six-metre long, floating Egg sculpture in the Beaulieu River on the fringe of the New Forest National Park in England. It was an innovative and energy efficient, self-sustaining capsule, providing a place to live as well as a laboratory for studying the life of a small tidal river in a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Climate change is already creating new shorelines here, as established salt marsh is eroded by a combination of rising sea levels and falling landmass, and the entire littoral environment is in a state of flux. Sea level is predicted to rise by 114cm from today’s levels by 2115, with the loss of over 760 hectares of salt marsh.

The implications for wildlife and flora, as well as for people, are challenging and raise awareness of a particularly 21st century sort of tension and anxiety. The Beadle’s task was to raise awareness of the past and the unfolding present of this very special location, whilst living in an ethical relationship with nature and treading as lightly as possible on the land. My job description for him was to give a voice to mute nature, to be amanuensis to the tides, terns and turnstones, and to demonstrate the interconnection of life from the egg shaped hub of his personal parish.

The impracticability of the Egg as accommodation (even putting up a shelf was difficult on its complex curves) was more than balanced by the meaning of its shape as a symbol for life, nurture and new beginning that was easily understood by a virtual audience around the world. Everything comes from the egg, and with its close evolutionary companion the seed, it is the source of all life in the sciences as well as the cultural imagination.

Interior of the Exbury Egg.

Interior of the Exbury Egg.

So it was never about enjoying great views of beautiful scenery. I wanted no window in the Egg for the Beadle, except the circular roof light that offered a glimpse of sky. From most angles this appeared egg shaped too, and was a perennial reminder that the Beadle’s journey was to be of a more contemplative order.

Physical distances travelled grew less each week, as the boundaries of ‘round here’ were redrawn ever tighter about the Egg itself, and as depth of engagement replaced distance or travel, with a transcendent take on place. Memories and daily events painted a layered, complex and changing picture of the land, connecting past to present and informing an idea of place where art and everyday life are joined in a real time, 24/7 performance. The Beadle’s journey was one of deep communion with nature in parallel with the practicalities of everyday living.

Of course, the Egg was ‘lean, green, and clean’ in its manufacture and operation. The Beadle showered with two litres of water from a garden pressure sprayer, in a cubicle made from the timber of a former garage door. His laundry was done in a tub of cold water, and he relied on a chemical toilet that needed emptying into the mains sewer once a week (never like on many boats, into the river). He dyed his own clothing for an Egg wardrobe from colour provided by the surrounding flora. He collected and conserved food from the same sources, and in building up an Egg Kitchen of mint, gorse, blackberry, sloe, marshmallow, nettle, rose hips, and sea salt, he gently explored the particularity of a locally distinctive and cultural landscape of friendly flora.

Samphire 2013

Samphire 2013

His power was provided by a solar array sufficient to charge the batteries of a camera, lap top, and the Wi-Fi aerial (so as to share a virtual connection with the world). With no energy left over for lighting, the Beadle tuned into a diurnal rhythm, asleep soon after sun set and awake with the dawn as the length of day changed in duration through the year. Packaging was re-used as support for drawing, using ink made from the flora, and pens from found goose feather quills. So the best of the past was measured against the newest of digital technologies also deployed.

Samphire 2014

Samphire 2014

All of this was against a background of the physically changing land. Samphire growing outside the Egg in the summer of 2013, for example, had disappeared the following year. The water flow had eaten at the soft yielding edges of the marsh and the same ground was layered with green algae. The Beadle eventually found plentiful samphire growing further up river and made a preserve in white wine vinegar, ironically, when it seems harder to conserve alive in the river’s natural environment.

This one narrative amongst many, is part of the journey in time of the Exbury Egg that can still be examined here and here.

Samphire jar

The Beadles experience was modelled on that of Henry David Thoreau, who in the 1850s built a secluded home on the edge of Walden Pond, near Concord Massachusetts, where he lived simply and frugally for just over two years. His writing embraces spiritual development, provides a guide to self-reliance, and a commentary on human ‘development’. “Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?”, he said. On the banks of the Beaulieu River, the Beadle sought communion with the rising briney waters. To paraphrase Thoreau; are we not also mostly water ourselves?

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Stephen Turner’s work often involves spending long periods in odd, abandoned places, noting changes in the complex relationship between human-made and natural environments. His projects are rooted in research, which explores these themes in a variety of media. Disciplinary boundaries are challenged through a creative practice that involves sampling, collecting, annotating, editing, and merging of historic, geographic, and environmental data with other more subjective investigations into the distinctiveness and particularity of place. The Exbury Egg project builds on the artist’s earlier installations for Turner Contemporary in Margate, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art in Northamptonshire, and for The Bridge Guard, Art & Science Centre on the Danube Bend in Stúrovo, Slovakia.

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Filed under: Guest Blog Series, Multidisciplinary

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog 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.

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May Green Tease Reflections

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

A range of opportunities and ideas of how to contribute to ArtCOP Scotland were discussed including:

  • Green Tease members contributing to Edinburgh Palettes ‘Re-see It’ exhibition
  • Considering how the UN Sustainable Development goals (explored on our Mull Residency) fit into artistic practices
  • Exploring themes of climate change adaptation and resilience
  • Using social media to as a means of building the ArtCOP community

We’re want to hear your ideas and support artists and organisations to be part of the ArtCOP Scotland project! Read more about the project and how you can get involved here. 

First of all, what is ArtCOP Scotland?

ArtCOP Scotland responds to the UN Conference of Parties (COP21) taking place in Paris this winter (30th November – 12th December) at which crucial negotiations will seek to achieve global carbon emissions reductions, aiming to keep global warming below 2C and slowing the effects of climate change. We see this event as a great opportunity to explore what roles the arts can play in addressing climate change and building a more sustainable society and want to encourage grassroots, local-level activities and events which respond to the Paris to this question.

Edinburgh Green Tease

Last Monday we gathered at Edinburgh Palette artists’ studios to hear from jewellery designer, and member of the building’s Green Team Jaimie MacDonald and musician-composer Niroshini Thambar who is a studio holder at Edinburgh Palette and attended our 2015 Mull Residency.

‘Re-see It’ exhibition and ArtCOP Scotland

We heard about the Swap Shop initiative set up on the ground floor of the 6-storey office block-turned studios, which enable studio holders to re-use or upcycle unwanted materials. As part of this there is a ‘Re-see It’ exhibition every year which invites residents to submit works made from Swap Shop and other upcycled materials.

swap-shop-300x200

Edinburgh Palette Swap Shop

Jaimie announced that this year they would like to invite the Green Tease network to submit works alongside studio holders as part of ArtCOP Scotland, and that they’re keen to make use of other spaces in the building for events and film screenings around the time of the COP21 meetings.

So Green Tease members–get your thinking caps on about how you can contribute to ‘Re-see It’!

Mull Residency Reflections

We then heard from Niroshini who provided us with a very personal account of her experiences and reflections on this year’s Mull Artist Residency 2015. Niroshini spoke passionately about her motivations to develop an artistic practice which is socially and environmentally engaged, partly stemming from her studies at the Centre for Human Ecology with influential thinkers such as Alastair McIntosh. For Niroshini, the Mull Residency provided the time and tech-free space to reconnect to these motivations and situate them more firmly in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Niorshini and Jaimie’s talks sparked connections around the room including with John Ennis, Creative Director of Gayfield Creative Spaces, who expressed a strong interest in making Gayfield a hub for ArtCOP Edinburgh. Watch this space…

Glasgow Green Tease

On Tuesday we travelled through Trongate 103 for a session with choreographer/director Melanie Kloetzel and writer/visual artist Penny Anderson. Around the table we were joined by artists as well as representatives from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the CCA and Sustainable Glasgow.

Climate change and site adaptive performance

We first heard from Melanie, who talked about the performance project ‘Room’ which she has developed during her year-long sabbatical in Glasgow from Calgary, Canada. We learned about her interest in ‘site specific’ and ‘site adaptive’ performance as a powerful means of exploring the theme of climate change adaptation.

Melanie spoke about the differences between climate change mitigation which address the root causes by reducing carbon emissions and adaptation which seeks new solutions to the risks posed by climatic changes. Through ‘Room’ she explores the tensions between the lack of individual agency we often experience in relation to climate change and the the language of environmental management and control that exists within adaptation debates.

Melanie

Melanie Kloetzel performing ‘Room’

Social media and sustainability

Building on April’s ArtCOP Scotland launch, Penny concluded our discussion with some provocations on what role social media could play in the ArtCOP project. She talked about her interest in the individual’s capacity to outsource questions and build communities through channels such as Twitter. Through examples of Steve Messam’s Paper Bridge project where he sourced an entire artwork through a social media appeal for paper, we discussed how we can inspire a similar online ArtCOP Scotland movement.

So what’s next?

From the range of ideas discussed during last month’s events there’s clearly a strong interest in making ArtCOP Scotland happen!

With a number of proposals already coming in for activities across Scotland in November and December, our next step is to start building connections and facilitating partnerships. We’re also in the process of producing a ‘Setting the Challenge’ document which will provide activity suggestions for different groups.

In the meantime, we’re always on the lookout for exciting proposals for future Green Tease events. Check out our new Green Tease DIY Handbook which enables you to use the Green Tease model to explore the links between arts and sustainability.

And our June Edinburgh and Glasgow June Green Tease plans are now live so sign up here!

The post May Green Tease Reflections appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Opportunity: Call for contributors on arts and environment research

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

This opportunity comes from IETM international network for contemporary performing arts, and relates to the larger ArtCOP21 movement that Creative Carbon Scotland will be engaging with through the facilitation of ArtCOP Scotland. Share your own practice with IETM to represent the work being done within arts and environment in your locality!

Have you developed projects and practices embedding environmental sustainability in its content and/or in the connection with the audience and local communities? Is ‘environmental sustainability’ the topic of a single project of yours, or is it part of a long-term strategy, also as regards your touring policy, stage materials and building etc.? Does tackling environmental sustainability entail any challenges in looking for support and funding?

We’re looking forward to hearing from you about how the arts can embrace environmental sustainability and bring a change in individuals and society. We’re also interested to hear about the challenges and the possible ‘failures’ you experienced, and the lessons you learned.

This new edition of IETM’s Fresh Perspectives series is developed in collaboration with COAL, the multidisciplinary Coalition for art and sustainable development set up in France in 2008 by professionals in contemporary art, sustainable development and research. This publication will be presented during ArtCOP21 in Paris, in the frame of the International Conference on Climate Change COP21.

To participate in this project, please complete the questionnaire found here through the Fresh Perspectives Call for contributors by 15th June 2015.


Image: Mona Sfeir ‘The Recycling Labyrinth’ (site-specific installation from 8,000 plastic bottles, placed near UN building in Geneva (2011) via Playing Futures/Flickr Creative Commons

 

The post Opportunity: Call for contributors on arts and environment research appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico