Monthly Archives: June 2016

Blog: Cinema Verde at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Last week as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (running from the 15th-26th June 2016), Creative Carbon Scotland hosted ‘Cinema Verde’, an event exploring the myriad ways for the screen sector to affect environmental sustainability.

Cinema constantly reflects and shapes our society: its immersive nature is a powerful force for visualising our current culture, imagining new worlds, and offering alternative perspectives. The opportunity for filmmakers to explore and address the challenging issues of our time whilst improving their own sustainability credentials and finances is a burgeoning area in the sector – and brought to greater prominence with the increasing Hollywood support of the cause:

We heard from a diverse range of panellists during the event, which was held at the EIFF Delegate Hub at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh.

First up, Mike Day (of Intrepid Cinema) talked to us about his conceptual content choices in directing a documentary that explicitly tackled issues of unsustainability in the Faroe Islands and whaling. Mike explained how he chose to inhabit the creative space between artist and activist when making work which explores such issues, and highlighted the role of the filmmaker in challenging existing conceptions about less-well documented communities.

The Islands and the Whales Trailer from Intrepid Cinema on Vimeo.

Media CoopWe then heard from Lucinda Broadbent of Media Co-op, a Scottish film production company who specialise in creating digital media and films for the third sector and broadcast television. Media Co-op are committed to increasing their positive social and environmental impact, and have been taking steps to reduce the carbon impacts of their production methods. Lucinda focused on the ‘everyday’ actions individual filmmakers can take when trying to work more sustainably, taking us through the start of her day, and the sustainable choices she makes along the way!

Do The Green Thing LogoFinally we heard from Naresh Ramchandani of Do The Green Thing (an international organisation focussed on harnessing the power of creativity to tackle global climate change through ‘playful propaganda’) on the implicit actions screenwriters could take to grow the sustainability consciousness of their audiences. To read about some potential examples of this in practice, you can find their inspiring issue on ‘How Screenwriters are Ruining the Planet’ and watch this short clip below:

How to watch a movie from Do the Green Thing on Vimeo.

 

GAI-WE-ARE-PART-GreenThe Edinburgh International Film Festival is also a member of our Green Arts Initiative: an interactive community of Scottish arts organisations committed to reducing their environmental impact. EIFF has been working on reducing their waste, energy consumption, and business-related travel: even experimenting with video-conferencing guest to avoid trans-Atlantic travel in the past. Find out more on their green page on their website. 


Events like this are just some of the ways through which Creative Carbon Scotland is supporting the screen sector in its efforts to reduce its environmental impact, and think creatively about approaching environmental sustainability.

If you’re working in screen (or in the arts more generally) and are looking for some individual advice improving your environmental sustainability, get in touch!

Fiona (fiona.maclennan@creativecarbonscotland.com) in our team is an expert in all things carbon reduction, and can cannot you with others working towards similar goals. Alternatively, take a look through the links and resources below or on our dedicated page for screen.

The post Blog: Cinema Verde at the Edinburgh International Film 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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Opportunity: Create the Edinburgh Festival Sustainable Practice Award piece

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

We are looking for a maker to create an award piece that embodies and celebrates sustainability to award to the winner of the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award.

The deadline is Friday July 8, 12pm BST.

Brief

This is an opportunity for an artist to explore and experiment with social, economic and environmental sustainability in their work, for example in the choice and acquisition of materials or low-impact work procedures. The award piece can be of any form or medium.

The following logos and details will be required on the piece (as engravings or equivalent):

  • Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award title and logo
  • the name of the award winner(s) with the title of their production, and the producer and location of the production (if required)
  • Funder and Partner Logos
    • PR Print and Design logo
    • New Arts Sponsorship Grants logo
    • Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts logo
    • The List logo
    • Creative Carbon Scotland logo

The sustainability aspirations of the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award are to be taken into account in the development of the final award piece. The successful maker will receive a fee of £250, to include any materials used in the award and time put into its creation. The maker will also receive an invitation to the award ceremony in August, a chance to meet the winners and network with other artists working towards sustainability; and they will be showcased on the Creative Carbon Scotland and the Centre of Sustainable Practice in the Arts websites (see last year’s example).

The deadline for award piece applications is 8 July.

The award piece completion deadline is Monday 22 August 2016, and the selected maker must be available that week to engrave the winner’s details on the award in time for the ceremony later that week.

To apply, please fill in the Artist Application form here, and for any further questions please contactluise.kocaurek@creativecarbonscotland.com.

More about the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

The Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, recognises and rewards shows that strive to engage their company and their audiences in thinking how arts can help grow a sustainable world. Through this, the award aims to promote and inspire artists and companies engaging with these issues and bringing them to the forefront of society. The project began in 2010 and has since then become an official Edinburgh Fringe Award, with the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Creative Carbon Scotland partnering with The List,  the New Arts Sponsorship Grant and PR Print and Design.

All Fringe productions are invited to apply and share their ideas on how to make a more just, equal and green world. Applications are open until 12th August 2016, with the winner being announced in a ceremony at the end of August. For details of previous recipients, see our page on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


Image: Flickr under Creative Commons Licence

The post Opportunity: Create the Edinburgh Festival Sustainable Practice Award piece 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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#GreenFests Blog: Celebrating Edinburgh’s Community Gardens

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

How do you connect local communities, creative performers and environmental sustainability all in one? In our yearly #GreenFests blog series, we have explored many a way to do this, and this weekend’s Power of Food Festival kicks off this year’s blog just as the summer festival season is gaining speed.

Edinburgh’s community gardens will open their gates again this Saturday and Sunday (18-19 June) following last year’s successful inaugural celebrations. Not only will the gardeners themselves be present and their produce be available for admiration and in some cases delectation, but also many of the gardens have organised activities for their visitors.

Making food production sustainable is one of the biggest challenges our society is facing, and inviting, encouraging and educating people about home-grown and communal food is one of the best ways to tackle this issue. The Power of Food Festival and team behind it are specifically promoting environmental sustainability; giving people an opportunity to source their food locally and learn about the processes involved in growing food. Additionally, the Festival and the gardens themselves teach visitors how to use seasonal produce, showcase opportunities for composting food waste rather than sending it to landfill and encourage people to be mindful about their food and their community. In the association’s words: “Community gardens (…) bring people together around a meaningful concept of growing food together.”

It seems like a perfect match to join community artists with community gardeners. Not only are creative activities attracting visitors, but also artists can engage their audiences with sustainability, and show its possibilities and advantages for everyone. The festival may also encourage the artists themselves to do work sustainably, on sustainability or both. Artists of all kinds have the chance to lead and support communities in their awareness of sustainability issues and how to tackle them. Projects like reusing and recycling materials and thinking more creatively can turn a simple shared space like a garden into one shaped by and representing the community tending to it.

The Power of Food Festival is also encouraging people to explore the gardens by bike, offering both a map with cycle routes to those interested and two guided cycle tours from garden to garden, organised by the charity, Sustrans.

The festival runs in the same vein as CCS’ Green Tease event series, connecting cultural practices and environmental sustainability. So have a look at the PoFF programme, check our Sustainable Travel Policy to find out how to best travel from garden to garden, and after a weekend exploring Edinburgh’s Community Gardens get excited about the upcoming festivals organised by members of the Green Arts Initiative.

Image courtesy of the Power of Food Festival Association.

The post #GreenFests Blog: Celebrating Edinburgh’s Community Gardens 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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We need a Percent for Art for Energy

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry, Directors of the Land Art Generator Initiative, reflect on another aspect to emerge from the ‘Beautiful Renewables’ workshop hosted by Creative Carbon Scotland.

Cities that recognize the value of arts and culture have long benefited from percent for art programs. It has become expected (and in many cases required) for large-scale development projects to invest at least 1% in the arts, especially when there is public funding involved, either by bringing an artist onto the project team to produce a local outcome, or by investing in a fund that is pooled for larger projects throughout the city.

As we increase our focus on large-scale environmental and climate design solutions—resilient infrastructures, environmental remediation, regenerative water and energy projects—it is high time that a similar percent for art requirement be placed on these projects as well. This simple policy standard would bring great benefit to communities that otherwise find themselves left out of the process. Even when their net benefit to the environment is clear, if these projects have not been considered from a cultural perspective, they risk being ignored at best. And at worst they risk alienating the public and sparking push-back against similar future projects.

Involving artists in the process can instead deliver a more holistic approach to sustainability that addresses social equity, environmental justice, aesthetics, local needs, and other important cultural considerations. As we have said from the founding of LAGI in 2008, “sustainability is not only about resources, but it is also about social harmony.”

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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Ben’s Strategy Blog: Art+Renewables Connections

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

At last week’s Beautiful Renewables Practical Workshop, two interesting ideas arose that support one of Creative Carbon Scotland’s main aims: to encourage and support more cross-fertilisation between the arts and cultural sector and others working on sustainability. (I hesitate to call it the ‘sustainability sector’ because it is so broad and all-encompassing: renewables, low-carbon technologies, energy demand management, clean-tech, adaptation, environmental pressure groups… and that’s just the beginning of the environmental sustainability part).

  1. Chloe Uden from RegenSW, a community energy organisation in Exeter, argued that every community energy group should invite an artist onto its board, an idea she has followed up in her blog at Power Culture. Interestingly, her list of characteristics and skills – that artists might have and the boards might find useful – has some similarities with the American artist, Frances Whitehead’s, piece What do Artists Know?, that I blogged about recently.
  2. Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry from the Land Art Generator Initiative posed the idea for a ‘Percent for art’ as a requirement for energy projects, adaptation projects, environmental remediation etc. Some people may remember that this was an idea that used to have some currency, mainly for more general civic development, new office buildings etc. Section 75 of the Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 provides the opportunity for local planning authorities to ask for some planning gain when approving a planning application (in England it’s Section 106, and thanks to Ross Anthony of the valuable Theatres Trust for his advice on this). So the mechanism exists.

We at CCS would support both of these ideas – of course we would! And both the LAGI team and Chloe provide a good set of reasons why each idea is a good one. I want to add a few more comments.

First, I’d argue that not only should community energy groups look for artists to join their board, but also artists should fight to join them. Why? Because they’ll find it interesting, they’ll meet all sorts of interesting people who they otherwise wouldn’t – engineers, project managers, even planners! They’ll be escaping from the art-world bubble and they’ll be playing a full part in civic life. The benefits will be to both sides. Both of the case studies we used during the Beautiful Renewables workshop brought together cultural heritage and renewables.

In Hawick particularly, there’s a large flood prevention scheme underway with the potential to use the project to reinvigorate the town’s relationship with energy derived from the power of the river. Water power, which can be devastating if not managed, is also at the heart of the town’s history with numerous textile mills, and so its history of crafts and textiles. Borders choreographer Claire Pencak is working to ensure that the arts are involved in the project, but without that effort, culture could get left out. Artists of Scotland, get out there and find your board to join!

Second, why should community energy groups have all the fun? The boards of arts organisations are always being urged to find a lawyer, a marketing expert and an accountant to join them. Why not an energy or a sustainability specialist? Think how it would change their approach and broaden their viewpoint – not to mention improve their bottom line – if they had someone who really knew about building management, renewables generation or resource efficiency round the table. And for the sustainability person, they’d be thrilled to get to know the arts from the inside out. Arts boards of Scotland, advertise your vacancies in different networks!

And similarly, in exchange for a ‘Percent for Art’ from energy projects, what about a Percent for Sustainability in arts projects? If every funding application had to demonstrate how the project would contribute to future sustainability, how many exciting ideas could we develop and how many new audiences could we appeal to? This applies to capital projects, where renewables, low-carbon technologies and so on could ensure that our new arts buildings are as leading and modern as we hope the organisations are that build them. But it could equally apply to other projects, with creative thinkers progressing sustainability by applying their non-linear thinking, their invaluable and extensive experience of taking ideas from conception to reality and their ability to understand, synthesise and disseminate complex ideas from other fields of thought to a wide and hungry audience.

Creative Scotland’s Environment Connecting Theme is one mechanism here, and although the Open Project Fund doesn’t yet ask a question about a project’s contribution to the Theme, if piles of applications start demonstrating their commitment, they’ll have to take notice! Funding applicants, add a percent for sustainability to your plans and your budgets!


Read more of Ben’s Strategy Blogs:

The post Ben’s Strategy Blog: Art+Renewables Connections 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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SUPERHERO CLUBHOUSE + UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT SEEKS LEAD FACILITATORS FOR “LIVING STAGE” PROJECT

Seeking: Lead Facilitators

Fee: $1000 flat

Timeline: August 2015 – March 2016 (a total of sixteen 3hr workshops, dates TBD)

Project Description

The Living Stage is a project first conceived by Australian eco-designer Tanja Beer, in which a community designs and grows an outdoor performance space that doubles as a community garden. NYC’s first Living Stage will be made over the course of August 2016-August 2017, when seniors and students of the Lower East Side will collaborate with permaculture and theater experts to create a recyclable, biodegradable, and edible performance space at the Meltzer Center in the Lower East Side. The stage will be inaugurated in August 2017 by performances of an original piece of eco-theater made by participants.

Part I: August 2016-March 2017

The project commences this summer with monthly workshops for seniors and elementary-aged students in the Lower East Side, focused on permaculture, landscape architecture, and theater-making. The intent of Part 1 is to build strong relationships with participants, forming a foundation of trust, positive engagement, and excitement for the project. During this period, participants will collectively envision the Living Stage, creating a shared public space to serve the needs and wants of the community.

Job Description

We are hiring two Lead Facilitator positions for this project: one facilitator will lead the senior group, and the other the youth group, but facilitators will assist each other. Workshops will occur approximately once a month for a total of 16 workshops between August 2016-March 2017 (8 workshops for the seniors and 8 for the youth). Both facilitators will attend all sessions.

We are seeking natural leaders who are passionate about community engagement, environment, and the arts and highly experienced in working with seniors and/or elementary-aged students.

Details

Individuals hired must commit to leading one workshop each month from August 2016-March 2017, and assisting a second monthly workshop during the same time frame, for a total of 6 hours each month. Additionally, facilitators must attend three planning meetings with program directors; one in August ’16, one December ’16, and one in March ’17.

Some workshops will feature guest experts on topics such as permaculture, landscape architecture, and theatrical design; Lead Facilitators will be expected to communicate with these guest experts prior to their visit, and to assist them as needed during workshops.

Senior and youth participants will work independently for most workshop sessions, but come together at the last session to share their work with each other and look forward to Part 2 of the project.

There is no expectation of a commitment beyond March 2017, but individuals hired for Part 1 of the program may be invited to stay on as Lead Facilitators for Part 2 (April-July 2017), when participants will plant and grow both the flora of the Living Stage and an original performance. Please note that workshops may increase in frequency during Part 2.

If interested, please send a resume to Lani Fu, lani@superheroclubhouse.org, by July 1, 2016. PDF format preferred. Select individuals will be contacted for an interview.

News: Sustainability in Song at Somerset House

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Along with partners, Creative Carbon Scotland will be making the journey to London with ‘When Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday: Sustainability in Song’, an AHRC funded project, part of the Connected Communities Programme.

‘When Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday’ examines how songwriting might help us to imagine the future in light of climate change concerns. It brings together musicians, climate change adaptation researchers, and civic movements such as Manchester a Certain Future, to explore how music can affect a wider cultural transition towards a more sustainable society.

The Utopia Fair will showcase the creative outcomes from the ‘When Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday: Sustainability in Song’ project, led by University of West of Scotland researcher Jo Collinson Scott AKA singer-songwriter Jo Mango. This includes the installation of a short film showcasing the project and a live performance with singer-songwriters such as Scotland’s Louis Abbott, London’s Adem and Sheffield’s Craig B.

The project has been led by Jo Collinson Scott (UWS), Gemma Lawrence (Creative Carbon Scotland), Angela Connelly (The University of Manchester) and Matt Brennan (The University of Edinburgh), and features songs written by Adem, Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow), Craig Beaton (A Mote of Dust) and Jo Mango. The film was made by WakeUpAdvice.

Interested in finding out more about sustainability efforts in the Scottish music industry? Read ourSustainable Music Festivals Guide created as part of the Fields of Green music festivals research project.

Festival details:

Address: Somerset House, Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, London
Dates: 24 -26 June 2016
Times: Friday: 17.00-22.00; Saturday: 10:00-18.00; Sunday: 10.00-17.00
Free admission


Sustainability in Song is funded by the Connected Communities grant (Arts and Humanities Research Council), and supported by partners including University of West of Scotland, University of Manchester, University of Edinburgh, Creative Carbon Scotland, Manchester a Certain Future and Julie’s Bicycle.

The post News: Sustainability in Song at Somerset House 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

University of Auckland – PhD Project in Transdisciplinary Art-Science Sustainability Research

The role of culture and artistic practice in contributing to sustainability research and science communication is becoming increasingly recognised. Artistic methods of community engagement have the potential to engage diverse publics in debating, understanding and contributing to vital decisions about the management of oceans, waterways and public spaces. 

We offer a PhD Scholarship in Transdisciplinary Art-Science Sustainability Research between the departments of Dance Studies, Creative Arts and Industries, and School of Environment, Faculty of Science. This scholarship is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE) towards the project; Sustainable Seas; Navigating Marine Social-Ecological Systems. 

This position provides an opportunity to develop critical thinking and practice in the field of art-science collaboration toward environmental sustainability, particularly in regard to public perceptions of trust in regard to marine eco-systems. 

The art-science element of this project involves developing creative means for public engagement, with the aim of contributing to a paradigm shift in the way New Zealand views, governs and manages its marine estate. This shift is needed to balance the enhanced use of marine resources and good environmental stewardship, while meeting the aspirations and rights of society.

Candidates suitable for this position will have proven ability to work across traditional disciplinary boundaries. They must have an Honours or Master’s Degree with a substantive research thesis component. We are seeking applicants with a background in either arts or environmental sciences, able to contribute to the development of practice-led, transdisciplinary sustainability research, that involves working with artists, general public, iwi and social scientists. Specialisation may lie in performance research, science communication, digital media expertise, environmental humanities, social sciences, intercultural engagement, narrative research, relational ontologies.  We will select a candidate who is self-motivated, with good verbal and written communication skills, has an excellent academic record and the background necessary to successfully undertake this research.

The School of Dance Studies and The School Environment at the University of Auckland both provide an excellent forum for trans-disciplinary research. Our Schools have extensive collaborative research relationships with other academic departments within the University, with other universities both in New Zealand and overseas and with key research institutes. This research project is trans-disciplinary; candidates will be required to develop their research against a background of art-science collaboration, thinking between creative practice, social sciences, critical theory, policy development and marine science.  Support for the PhD project includes: a stipend of NZ$30,000 per annum for up to three years (this includes fees and an annual stipend of approximately $24,000NZD); a Postgraduate Research Student Support scheme designed to facilitate academic and professional development through conference attendance and short term hosting by relevant institutions.  The advisory team will comprise Dr Alys Longley (Creative Arts and industries), Dr Karen Fisher (School of Environment), and Dr Carolyn Lundquist (Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland). 

How to apply: Potential candidates must have an Honours or Masters degree (or equivalent). The nature of the research project means that candidates from a variety of academic backgrounds may be considered. Interested candidates should email a cover letter outlining their background and a CV to Dr Alys Longley a.longley@auckland.ac.nz or Dr Karen Fisher k.fisher@auckland.ac.nz by 1 July 2016.

PhD Scholarship-Ak-UniSustainable Seas8June

Light Matter?

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

by Guest Blogger Rachel Thomson

For the past six years I have been working with scrap materials and low tech methods of reproduction, as a response to mass production and a wasteful culture. Working with the crudest and earliest form of camera-less photography, I document ambiguous forms made out of plastic removed from the environment. I didn’t consciously set out to make art that had an environmental message, but it seems to me that art comes from what is around you, what is in your environment; right now it would be hard to make art that didn’t include this concern.

I am interested in playing around with transparency and the ephemeral quality of light. The documenting of something left behind is unique to this kind of camera-less photography and becomes quite addictive, it’s almost like fossil hunting.

My use of plastic waste began as expediency, a combination of what was freely available and what worked well with the technique I was experimenting with. My material was found in urban tumbleweeds of plastic floating in street gutters, or caught in trees: ideal for creating the xray effect and the milky outlines of photograms.

Plastic bags 2

The ‘truth’ of photography as documentary is a subject of much debate, but on one level we see it as a scientific recording of reality – the presence of light reflected from forms that existed in real time. And yet despite the drive towards refinement, to enable more and more detail and accuracy, its earliest form, the cyanotype photogram seems to me the most direct and perhaps the more accurate record of what matter really is. A photogram is always true to scale and at the same time, reveals not the form but the formlessness. A photogram is always a unique photographic image; it cannot ever be replicated. Using the cyanotype process means I can abandon all the formality and accuracy that I dislike in photography and instead experiment spontaneously. As I’m relying on things out of my control – the sun and wind to make the images – there’s a lot of frustration to overcome, but the results are more exciting, surprising and unpredictable, and you need that excitement to make art!

But back to the plastic bags which have now become harbingers (think Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds) and almost animate despite being inanimate, their out of context appearance and proliferation creating a sinister species-like presence. I think a bag caught in a tree is now clearly a 21st century motif and hard to ignore; the wind and the trees flagging up our consumerist stupidity. But so often our singular efforts to rid our environment of this new species seem futile; so what if I’ve removed one bag from a tree today in the name of art?! They are still being produced at a rate of five billion a year.

It was heartening, then, to read an article the other day by bag snagger inventor Ian Frazier in the New Yorker magazine: The Bag Bill.

I’ve been following the debate about how to tackle the swamp of plastic that is currently swirling around in the oceans gyres. It is estimated to be between 4 million and 12 million metric tons a year, and set to double within a year. The two most common types of plastic in the ocean are polyethylene (PE – plastic bags and plastic bottles) and polypropylene (PP – bottle caps, fishing gear). I despair! Our disgusting waste is even more insidious for being out of sight, but as far as direct action is concerned, apart from boycotting plastic altogether some people believe it would be more effective for us to remove plastic from trees rather than invest in ocean harvesting, i.e, dredging the waste mechanically. Maybe it is worth removing that bag after all.

As I photogrammed more and more plastic bags, they began to take on their own forms, which took me more towards my interest in mimesis in nature; how one species takes on the shape of another to trick it’s predator or victim and ultimately to survive. In one series, Nureonna, the bags are watery deceivers, Japanese snake/human mythological entities that steal and devour babies who are being washed by their mothers in the rivers.

Plastic bags 3

In another series, Market Sundries, the bags have morphed into airborne drone-like buds, grafting themselves onto limulus crab carapaces, their spikes designed to take root and profligate.

Plastic bags 4
 Less ambiguous are my jellyfish forms.
Plastic bags 6

Plastic bags mimic medusae forms and trick sea turtles, fish, whales, etc., into ingesting them, resulting in death. I hope these images have that slight double-take effect on viewers.

Four images from Invasive Species are currently included in ‘Of the Sea’ at No.1 Smithery Gallery, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, from 6th May – 24 July. In this show, 28 international artists explore the controversial ‘freedom of the seas’ principle with lens based media, sculpture and performance art. The work covers powerful topics such as conflict, ecology, territory, migration, piracy, border disputes, and the ebb and flow of oceans. I was particularly affected by Jessica Sarah Rinland’s The Blind Labourer a film that examines the similarities and contrasts within the whaling and lumber industry using archival footage.

image7

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Rachel Thomson trained in photography and print at Central St Martins School of Art and is an artist based at Space Studios, Hackney, London. Her work is drawing- and photography-based and includes etching, monotype, cyanotype and silkscreen. Supported by The Arts Council England Grants to Individual Artists she has curated shows at Five Hundred Dollars Gallery, designed and led participatory art projects and produced the independent art magazine Imbroglio. She exhibits regularly and will be teaching a summer course ‘Cyanotype Impressions’ at the Mary Ward Centre London.

 

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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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Opportunity: Vacancies at Culture Republic

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

For more information on Culture Republic‘s vacancies, visit their website here.

Strategic Planning Director

The operational lynchpin of Culture Republic, this director is a standard-bearer and will guarantee high levels of customer service, resource management and business performance.

Culture Republic works with our clients and partners to identify their aims for growth. We support their vision by providing intelligence about their visitors and customers, in national and competitor context, which we translate into real marketing strategy and tactics.

We are seeking to expand our vibrant team to meet the demand for results driven, practical advice. We are looking for a specialist, passionate and committed person to take on the role of Strategic Planning Director.

Working directly with the CEO and consultancy team, the Strategic Planning Director will be required to maintain a holistic view of all client and team activity within CR’s strategic business expansion. The post holder will manage the competing time demands for short term partner and client work while monitoring productivity and performance to achieve longer term business development and revenues.

In the stages of business growth and development the role will take an active part in delivering marketing consultancy where appropriate and where business needs dictate.

 

Marketing Campaigns Manager

This is a unique opportunity for an ambitious, practicing marketer to take their career to the next level. The post has a dual role within Scotland’s national audience development hub.

Culture Republic works with our clients and partners to identify their aims for growth. We support their vision by providing intelligence about their visitors and customers, in national and competitor context, which we translate into real marketing strategy and tactics.

We are seeking to expand our vibrant team to meet the demand for results driven, practical advice. We are looking for a specialist, passionate and committed person to take on the role of Marketing and Campaign Manager.

The M&C Manager will raise CR’s profile to ensure Culture Republic’s work is fully recognised and understood across Scotland’s cultural, creative and business communities.

For Culture Republic this involves identifying opportunities for business development by strengthening CR’s online presence and working within the business deliver a CRM strategy and series of campaigns that matches our core capabilities with the interests of our partners and target clients. For our existing partners and clients, it means undertaking marketing delivery where appropriate as part of our consultancy services, with hands on, practical skills and advice honed at the of marketing practice.

 

Marketing Assistant

The post will support marketing consultancy and business development. You will help increase awareness of programmes and services with excellent customer service and customer relationship management.

Culture Republic works with our clients and partners to identify their aims for growth. We support their vision by providing intelligence about their visitors and customers, in national and competitor context, which we translate into real marketing strategy and tactics.

We are seeking to expand our vibrant team to meet the demand for results driven, practical advice. We are looking for a specialist, passionate and committed person to take on the role of Marketing Assistant.

Busy and varied, this is a great job for someone with ambition who wants to make their way in marketing and get inside knowledge and hands-on experience of the full marketing mix and life in the cultural sector.

You’ll need to be a smart thinker, have bags of confidence and personality and be able to turn your hand to pretty much anything, whether it’s researching contacts, checking data, running reports, learning how to edit video, writing blog copy, making the tea or tweeting about the latest ideas in digital marketing.

 

Research Director (Maternity Cover)

You will develop and deliver research consultancy and drive income by providing essential market analysis, social media metrics and bespoke audience research to inform decision making.

Culture Republic works with our clients and partners to identify their aims for growth. We support their vision by providing intelligence about their visitors and customers, in national and competitor context, which we translate into real marketing strategy and tactics.

We are seeking to expand our vibrant team to meet the demand for results driven, practical advice. We are looking for a specialist, passionate and committed person to take on the role of Research Director (Maternity Cover).

You will work with the CEO and Strategic Planning Director and will liaise directly with key partners, clients and stakeholders to research and analyse data to answer questions about who the audience is, what segments of the local population are underrepresented, why and how people choose to attend or take part.

You provide strategic support, practical advice and unique access to CR’s market intelligence and national data sets that tests responses and track levels of public engagement by cultural organisations. This ensures decisions can be taken that are specifically tailored to the interests of Scotland’s diverse communities and cultural sector and maximises opportunities for shared learning across the sector.

 

Research Assistant

The research assistant is a company informer. They provide all types of public information and data analysis needed by the business to work effectively with our partners, clients and stakeholders.

Culture Republic works with our clients and partners to identify their aims for growth. We support their vision by providing intelligence about their visitors and customers, in national and competitor context, which we translate into real marketing strategy and tactics.

We are seeking to expand our vibrant team to meet the demand for results driven, practical advice. We are looking for a specialist, passionate and committed person to take on the role of Research Assistant.

Working within the CR team of top researchers, the Research Assistant organises, sets up, collects, processes and puts together audience and market research drawn from different sources, analysing raw data to reveal patterns and insights and presenting findings in a useful, accurate and easy to digest way.

The Research Assistant role is relevant graduates with a degree in research, social research, maths, marketing or statistics with 1-3 years practical experience in a market research /marketing environment preferably in an agency environment.

 

Operations Assistant

A great role if you pride yourself on making things work well. You’ll support our operations to ensure we can deliver consultancy, programmes and services efficiently and effectively.

Culture Republic works with our clients and partners to identify their aims for growth. We support their vision by providing intelligence about their visitors and customers, in national and competitor context, which we translate into real marketing strategy and tactics.

We are seeking to expand our vibrant team to meet the demand for results driven, practical advice. We are looking for a specialist, passionate and committed person to take on the role of Operations Assistant.

You will work directly with the Finance and Administration manager, the CEO, Strategic Planning Director and consultancy team. Alongside this work you will also support the wider team with a wide range of projects dictated by the needs of the business.

Busy and varied, this is a great job for someone with ambition who wants to make their way in arts administration and get inside knowledge and hands-on experience of running a company in the cultural sector.

The post Opportunity: Vacancies at Culture Republic 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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