Monthly Archives: August 2017

CONCLAVE of ART OF CHANGE 21

An international meeting of CO-CRÉATION for the climate At the Grand Palais in PARIS, October 9-10, 2017

The association Art of Change 21 is organizing, with the support of the UN Environment, a meeting that will bring together artists, entrepreneurs and young eco-leaders from around the globe. The objective of this second conclave is to conceive of another participatory and artistic action for the environment and the climate that will be implemented internationally.

Art of Change 21 has selected distinguished personalities from civil society :

With the aim of encouraging civil society’s commitment to the climate despite the
North American withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the unique co-creation event
will be held at the Salon Alexandre III at the Grand Palais this autumn. The world’s
most inspiring accelerators of change — artists, social entrepreneurs and youth
environmental leaders — will meet for two days to collectively create an action that
will be developed and carried out by the association Art of Change 21.
For Art of Change 21, the creativity of artists, the driving spirit of entrepreneurs and
the forward thinking of young eco-leaders represent three complementary forces.
The Conclave of Art of Change 21 is the only initiative in the world that brings together
these diverse groups and fosters the spirit of of ‘‘cross-fertilization.’’

The first Conclave of Art of Change 21 was organized in 2014 at the Gaîté Lyrique
in Paris prior to the COP21 held in Paris.It brought together twenty-one exceptional
personalities some of whom were: Kenyan entrepreneur David Kobia (founder of
Ushahidi), French entrepreneur Cédric Carles (founder of the Solar Sound System
and Regen Box), artists Lucy Orta, Wen Fang and Laurent Tixador. Together they
conceived the Maskbook action (www.maskbook.org) which focuses on air pollution
and it’s effect on the climate. Maskbook, in partnership with the UN Environment,
has organized over 60 events world-wide, mobilizing tens of thousands of active
citizens.


About Art of Change 21
Art of Change 21 is an association founded in 2014 that combines art,
social entrepreneurship and youth in favor of sustainable development and
the environment, intervening at major events for the climate. The multi
cultural team is based in Paris. The association is strongly supported by
artist Olafur Eliasson (@olafureliasson) and entrepreneur Tristan Lecomte
(@tlecomte). Its main partner is the Schneider Electric Foundation and is also
supported by the UN Environment.

Art of Change 21
www.artofchange21.com
info@artofchange21.com
@artofchange21

Blog: Harry Giles – A provocation for the Edinburgh Fringe

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Poet Harry Giles presented the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 2017 on Friday 25 August. Read his provocation to the audience, to the Awards, to the Edinburgh Fringe, below.

I’m going to start with a confession, which is that I haven’t seen a single Fringe show this year. I have a couple of excuses – I moved house this month, and I’ve had a job in Glasgow all this week. But truth be told I didn’t avoid moving in August when we were given the purchase date, and I actively organised to spend a third of the Fringe in Glasgow. Whoops.

August in Edinburgh is the month of break-ups and breakdowns. Every year at least one of my friends has a major life crisis and needs looking after – sometimes it’s me. It’s something in the air, or in the market. I’m an artist, and have a number of different roles in the arts, so in August the city is full of my friends from across the country – and the world – but I don’t usually get to see them until they start to crack. You can see it in the Facebook status updates and midnight texts: as the month proceeds more and more of us get more and more broken. Bits of us fall of, and we hope there’s enough of us to last to the end of the month. We hibernate and regenerate for most of September.

We all know that the Fringe is unsustainable, and increasingly folk are willing to say it. The physical and emotional unsustainability that’s clear to anyone working or living here in August – the atmosphere of constant activity, the expectation of constant work, the late nights, the unending obligations, the crowds, the noise, the failures, the debt – is a direct and systemic product of the economic, social and environmental unsustainability. Focus on that jargon for a moment and think about what it means: activity that cannot be sustained. It literally can’t keep going forever.

A little background on me before I keep going. My undergraduate degree was in that glorious oxymoron, Sustainable Development, the latest in a long line of self-contradictory political terms, like Free Market, Democratic Election, or Pursuit of Happiness. After a theatre masters, I worked as the Environment Officer across all the Edinburgh Festivals, including the Fringe. Now I’m an independent writer and performer, just about making a living from it, making work that focusses in one way or another on radical social change. It might seem a bit odd, given all those optimistic pursuits, that I’m now being so profoundly negative, but I’ll come back to that. First, I want to have a hard look at the problem.

First, the economic and social unsustainability. The Fringe is a festival of the rentier: artists struggle to make money, most pay to perform and many lose money; venue staff and volunteers frequently suffer highly exploitative and often illegal working conditions; a very few venues make money and that trickles up to the top; the only real profit is in owning a pub, or a hotel, or an AirBnB room – or a University. On top of that, the gravitational pull of the Fringe means there’s three months of the year where performing artists can’t really find paying work, and the huge August revenue hasn’t stopped year-round independent venues from closing year on year, with music in Edinburgh suffering the most. This is a completely unworkable economic, financial and cultural model: it cannot keep going.

Then, the environmental unsustainability. We’ve built the economy of a whole city on a system of international air travel that literally cannot be sustained: it’s just a question of whether the oil runs out or the planet floods first. The city is a blaze of light 24 hours a day – so many lights it doesn’t seem to matter whether they’re energy-saving lamps or not – for the month of the year with the most sun. A festival is always a heterotopia, a space of alterity where normal rules don’t apply, a space of excess and celebration and consumption – which is wonderful! – but a month-long conglomeration of festivals means a month where extraordinary levels of production and consumption are expected to be sustained and can’t be sustained. You can’t live that way for that long. It’s psychologically, spiritually, financially and environmentally exhausting: it drains you til there’s nothing left.

And just to dwell in the negativity for a bit longer: let’s admit the extent of the crisis. We know we’re burning up. We’re shooting past emissions reductions targets. Forests are still being chopped down, rare earth metal and fossil fuel supplies are still being exhausted, sea levels are rising along with climate refugee numbers, coral is bleaching, ice is melting: every alarm bell is ringing and most of us, myself included, only make it through the day by stopping our ear s. I spent summers in my 20s camping in fields plotting how to shut down power stations and banks, and I’ve stopped doing that not because I don’t believe in it but because I’m struggling to see how those actions can halt a crisis of this scale, and ignoring the problem seems more liveable than engaging it.

So why my work, and why this Award? If everything’s so bad, why am I supporting engaging with it? If the Fringe is so bad, why celebrate it?

The truth is, I’m not remotely interested in labelling things as bad. I think that social movements – and the environmental movement in particular – is overly invested in a destructively puritan ethics of individual guilt and culpability, in prescribing and proscribing actions that will clean up your personal moral slate so you can feel better about yourself. The boycott has moved from being an insurgent tactic of economic transformation to an individual decision about what product choices best reflect your self-identity. The dominant message the environmental movement has succeeded in getting across is not “Oil companies and banks and airlines are literally destroying the earth, let’s rise together to get rid of them” but rather “Change your lightbulbs and separate your rubbish or you’re a bad person”. (I haven’t done the maths, but I’d bet at least a tenner that if everyone household in the world switched to energy-saving lightbulbs we still wouldn’t stay below a two degree temperature rise.) So I have no interest in condemning artists and audiences who participate in the Fringe, or indeed Fringe Festival Society staff, many of whom I know well and have worked with, many of whom see exactly the same problems and feel the same level of powerlessness in fixing it. (Landlords, on the other hand…) I’ve avoided the Fringe this year because I’m tired, not because I think it’s bad.

In fact, trying to do sustainable practice at the Fringe is emblematic of trying to sustain life on this planet: it’s a struggle against huge economic and political forces it seems impossible to influence, it’s a struggle participating in which makes you feel dirty and compromised and often hopeless, and it’s also the only choice we have, because there isn’t another planet. It is worth participating in this struggle. There is no outside. There is no escape. There is no being pure. There is only working with the conditions you’ve got now, trying to make something better. The challenge of sustainability in any context is not how to make yourself the most pure, the most blessed by the green beard in the sky, the most enthusiastic about telling people how to change lightbulbs, but how to stick a spanner in the works of a death machine without getting crushed yourself.

So what’s the kind of art that I’m looking for? I’m looking for art that stares directly at the problem, even with the risk of irreperable eye damage, and speaks a truth about it that people don’t want to hear and can’t help but hear. I’m looking for art that doesn’t just advocate for change, but is an act of change: a transitional demand that changes society in its demanding. I’m looking for art that doesn’t think it’s any better than the rest of us, but somehow makes us all better through its making. I’m looking for art that’s willing to get dirty. I’m looking for art that understands and admits to its present conditions, and creates a space to change them. I prefer peasants and labourers to prophets and messiahs: I’m looking for art with decent working conditions, that knows what work is, that’s working with us. I’m looking for art that shows us the other world which is not possible but actual, now. I’m looking for art that is a howl of pain and rage loud enough to clear a space for something else to happen.

Before announcing the award, and congratulating the people who’ve risen that challenge, I’m going to finish with a poem. I’m already feeling that these words are clumsy and don’t quite say what I wanted them to say. Prose is too literal, too easily excerpted and quoted and misquoted, at least the way I write it. This poem is a story I wrote for my friend, the theate critic Maddy Costa, and it’s about everything I’ve just been talking about.

THE LONGING FOR ONE THING INSIDE OF ANOTHER

There was a world where tokens were exchanged

for food, and when a token met your hand

a spur extended blandly into your palm

to take a sip of blood. This payment kept

the tokens bright enough to check your hair in,

cool enough to glide from purse to purse.

 

And in this world there were two friends who made

assemblages of wood and steel: stairways,

sunshades, simple things to see through, things

to pause on, things to touch. They worked apart,

and then from time to time they met to look

and say, “This works”, and say, “This doesn’t work.”

 

One day one friend came with a gift, a question.

They bought some time discussing techniques, and then

they said, “I heard your purse was light. I saw

your building shed was empty and your tools

were sore for oil.” And they held out their hand

with sixteen hungry tokens free to take.

 

Now, both these friends were just the kind of folk

to argue far too hard about the way

things are on other worlds, or could be, or were,

and how to cross between them without snapping

painful laws of space and time. At times,

they held that wood and steel could build a bridge

 

to where a body could eat without blood.

And so they laughed as they watched the sixteen tokens

pass from palm to palm and felt the prick

and wiped the reddish smears on the handkerchiefs

that all folk carry tucked in their back pocket,

the depth of dye declaring the force of the flag.



The post Blog: Harry Giles – A provocation for the Edinburgh Fringe appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



 

About 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

Biophilia and Beauty

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Over the last three years, I have sought to develop work in new ways in order to offer an alternative discourse to the overwhelming pessimism of climate change debates. Taking my artwork out of the frame, and then off the wall, into three dimensional installations, and ultimately short films, has allowed me to explore original and diverse forms of artistic expression.

My journey started in 2009, following a year as Artist in Residence at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, where I exhibited a series of 27 mixed media drawings featuring extinct and endangered plants. Since then, I have continued to explore ways of communicating the escalating impact of climate change, while trying to reinforce that appreciating the beauty of nature – biophilia – is a necessary need for all people.

I was able to integrate a lifelong passion for meditation and mindfulness into my work as it evolved, and this has presented an opportunity to draw not just from the knowledge of the scientists I worked with at the Royal Botanic Garden, but from recent studies in neuroscience and ecopsychology, about how the brain constructs emotional responses which flow through the body.

Living Fossils: The Shape of Loss (series), Drawn Thread, Australian National University, Canberra, 2017. Drawings of cross sections of fossil wood on cut paper backgrounds symbolizing urban environments and maps.

I sought not only to represent the plants’ precious beauty, but to explore how plants can heighten our abilities to feel and connect with nature. My work seeks to bring this sensibility into galleries and other spaces in less conventional ways. It aims to enhance our ability to reconnect with our own nature, and to reflect on potential loss, explored through the incidental and concomitant beauty found in Herbarium collections, and in the wild.

The first of these new experiments was selected in 2016 for the “Future Stratigraphy” exhibition at the Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University. The Archaeology of Absence featured drawings of endangered plants in free floating circles and cut paper pieces, across the length of a three meter-long wall.

As a passionate educator, I also wanted to be involved with the community in Sydney. This led me to take part in The Big Anxiety Festival, where I will present a large scale solo exhibition, Art + Nature: Antidotes to Anxiety, and conduct two drawing workshops, hosted at the Fisher Library and the Royal Botanic Garden.

Recent surveys and statistics suggest that an increasing number of people are disengaged from the issue of global warming, and actively avoid thinking about it. Yet the human species needs to be integrated with nature more than ever before. Research in biophilia and ecopsychology continues to provide us with evidence of the positive impacts that being connected with nature – and seeing images of nature – can bring, to both our physical and mental health.

Requiem (Red) showing details of one of three large glass vitrines. The exhibition was distributed across three floors of the Fisher Library, Sydney University, 2017. Red sections relate to The Red List summary of endangered species, and the pressed branches in the foreground are from the critically endangered Eucalyptus Copulans tree.

The first series of works in “Future Stratigraphy” featured free floating circles, the second an installation in the Fisher Library, and the third series used scanned images of my drawings to create a visual meditation and narrative in two short films co-created with Margaret McHugh. The first film was called “Micrographia” and the second, “Deposition Lines.” Both films used soundscapes and combined real images of endangered plants with the drawings. They integrated cut paper layers, changing focal points, alternating light sources, and other visual devices to evoke a calm, meditative experience.

Recent studies have shown that looking at images of nature for as little as five minutes provides health benefits such as reduced blood pressure, increased immune response, and lower depression and anxiety. We are not separate from nature; we are nature. Exploring plant images through artwork, and extending their reach, can provide a way of creating emotional empathy, as a type of touchstone to bring us back to ourselves.

We need antidotes to the negativity of climate change – and nature is ready, and waiting for us.

(Top image: Micrographia, still, at 0.09 in video. The layering in this drawing was inspired by the writing and research of Rachel Carson, in the 1962 book Silent Spring.)

______________________________

Emma Robertson researches developments in creative thinking processes, exploring the relationships between words, objects and memory in mixed media drawings, installations and bookworks. She is an Associate Professor at UNSWAD and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London. Emma has exhibited in eight countries, and her prize-winning artwork is held in seven international public collections. For her current PhD practice-based research at Sydney University, she has extended her previous Artist in Residence work with scientists at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, to explore new ways of communicating about the impact of climate change on rare and endangered Australian flora.


About Artists and Climate Change:

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

Opportunity: Art and Ecology Publication Submissions Open Call

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

A&E is a new collective focussing on critical art and ecology matters founded by Glasgow School of Art graduates. We are launching with a publication under the theme ‘Disconnection’. This could be explored through various sub-themes such as anthropocentrism and a disconnection to the non-human, the effects of capitalism, escapism, utopia, denial, etc.

This is an open call for all kinds of submissions coming from any creative practice or background. Submissions may include but are not limited to critical writing, poetry, sound, image, photography, drawing, documentary work…

We are ideally looking for new work made for the publication, however we may accept previous work if it relates to the theme and has not been previously exhibited or published.

Applicants should not limit themselves to print mediums. There will be an event to launch the publication that may include performances of all kinds as well as an accompanying exhibition.

Find out More:

If you wish to submit or discuss a proposal for the publication or launch event please feel free to contact us.

For further information, please contact info.aecollective@gmail.com

The deadline is Sunday 15 October 2017 at 23:55.

 



The post Opportunity: Art and Ecology Publication Submissions Open Call appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



 

About 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

Winner Announced for 2017 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

Creative Carbon Scotland and The Center of Sustainable Practice in the Arts announced the winner of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award at the Scottish Poetry Library this morning.

Poet Harry Giles presented the winners, Outland Theatre with the award for their 2017 production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Towers of Eden. Founders of the company, Simon Christian and Melissa Dalton received a hand-crafted piece from Glasgow based designer, Chris Wallace, which was made with reclaimed copper wire and reclaimed roof slate. Ceremony attendees included Fringe participants and others from the Scottish and international cultural and sustainability worlds.

With applications open to all 3,398 shows performing at this year’s Fringe, a high number and quality of applications were received, and whittled down to 18 shortlisted productions, 5 finalists and one overall winner. Judges assessed shows based on their artistic quality as well as their engagement with themes relating to social, economic and environmental sustainability, and sustainable practices they adhered to. This year there were many unique ideas and concepts which engaged audiences, both young and old.

Winner Announced for Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 1The award winner, Outland Theatre’s production of Towers of Eden, portrays a dystopian future where environmental disaster has struck, traditional agriculture is no longer sufficient to feed the ever-growing population and the government offers a solution which becomes corrupt. They convinced judges with their unique concept and gripping theatrics which accurately conveyed their sustainable messages. Moreover, they were conscious of the sustainability of their production by considering the carbon footprint of their show, including the impact of their marketing, travel options and sustainable engagement through a crowd funding initiative to support their trip to Edinburgh.

Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, said:
“The award recognises the very best in sustainable practice at the world’s largest arts festival, and we hope that it will encourage future performers, producers and venues to consider social, economic and environmental best practice in the future. We’re delighted to be able to present this award, and are enormously grateful to our partners the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, PR Print and Design, and The List to enable this to happen.”

Four other finalists were also recognised at the ceremony for their significant contribution to sustainable practice at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. These were:
• Home Sweet Garden by Asylon Theatre at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – John Hope Gateway
• Last Resort by 2 Magpies Theatre at Summerhall
• Me and My Bee by This Egg and the Pleasance at Pleasance Courtyard
• Tribe by Temper Theatre at Zoo Southside

The Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award is a collaboration between its founder, the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), and Creative Carbon Scotland (CCS), working together with the List magazine and supported by PR Print & Design.

Newton Harrison at Woodend Barn, Aberdeenshire

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland 

Invitation

The Dee and Don Catchment Area
Creating Resilience to Climate Change

The Barn, Saturday 26 August 2017
7-9pm. Refreshments from 6.30pm

We are pleased to confirm that Newton Harrison’s visit to Aberdeenshire has
now been fixed and we are delighted to invite you to an evening of discussion
in his company on 26th August.

Newton Harrison of the Harrison Studio (USA) is an internationally acclaimed artist, who, along with partner Helen Mayer Harrison, has championed art & ecology across the globe since the early 1960’s.

The Barn has invited Newton to visit Aberdeenshire to open a conversation, involving local agencies and communities in exploring the impacts of climate change on our local environment, centering initially on the catchments of the Dee and Don rivers. Following the Harrisons’ methodology, we hope to create a space where all voices can be heard and practical strategies can be formulated and shared.

This partnership forms the core of the Barn’s Art & Ecology programme for 2017-19, and will engage with environmental agencies, farming, fishing, forestry, government, academia, local communities and, not least, the creative sector.

We very much hope that you would like to be involved in supporting this project from the outset, and are able to join us for this opening event with Newton Harrison at the Barn.

Lorraine Grant, Anne Douglas and Mark Hope

RSVP to mail@thebarnarts.co.uk tel 01330 826520

For further information on the Harrison Studio please visit
http://theharrisonstudio.net/

Banner image: Chris Fremantle. Photograph: Mel Shand

 

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.</ br></ br>

Go to EcoArtScotland

July 2017 Green Tease Reflections

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Edge Effects: Frontiers in Retreat was a Green Tease held in Glasgow on 27th July led by the Scottish Sculpture Workshop.

Edge Effects: Frontiers in Retreat was a Green Tease held in Glasgow on 27th July led by the Scottish Sculpture Workshop. The event was part of their Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects programme of walks, workshops, film and performance which explored the complex co-dependencies between ecological, social, economic and political phenomena.

Frontiers in Retreat is a 5 year collaborative project, enquiring the intersections of art and ecology. Within the project there were 7 core sites across Europe these are Mustarinda (Finland), Scottish Sculpture Workshop – SSW (Scotland), Cultural Front GRAD (Serbia), Centre d’Art i Natura CAN (Catalonia), HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme (Finland), Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art (Iceland), Interdisciplinary Art Group SERDE (Latvia). These locations are where artists were invited to work and share knowledge, often collaborating with local inhabitants and communities. The aim of the local residencies was to provide a complex understanding of the entanglements between local ecological concerns and the larger, systematic, global processes.

The Green Tease started with a talk from Taru Elfving who developed the concept of the project. Taru provided an in depth explanation of the project and posed the questions ‘are humans embedded in the ecosystems or are they added on?’ and ‘what does it mean to be centred?’. Taru took the audience through the experiences which shaped the project, for instance how climate change is changing the experiences of the living. This was then linked back to the engagement between art and the environment, leading to frontiers in retreat and giving a platform for artistic research which gave an insight into change in other environments.

Artist Carl Giffney gave an overview of his documentary as part of Frontiers in Retreat. The feature length documentary was filmed in the Netherlands, Scotland and Finland. The film I really don’t feel them shows the making of a unique pair of Dutch bronze clogs that are forged in Scotland as the Independence referendum was taking place. The shoes were brought on a trip the length of Finland and travelled North to the Saami people, the only indigenous people in Europe, living in Northern Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia. Carl then finished by linking the project to social cohesion and his personal experiences of making yourself vulnerable in order to learn.

The day was ended with a deep listening exercise and understanding with sonic artist and researcher Ximena Alarcon. Ximena first gave an insight into her project, Fertile Soil, which she described as migrant women listening to their migrations and using technology to communicate with sounds, words and silences. This project gave an artistic platform to allow improvised conversations between migrant women to take place. The practice of deep listening helps people to recognise the territories we inhibit and how these connect with our inner self, transcending identities and the sense of belonging to a specific ‘place’. Ximena then moved on to hold a short interactive deep listening exercise with the Green Tease participants and took them through the various steps of the exercise to allow them to connect with themselves and others.

The event ended with a discussion in regards to culture / SHIFT questions, the research framework developed by Creative Carbon Scotland in order to understand the ways in which artists work.

Thanks to Yvonne Bullimore of Scottish Sculpture Workshop and Green Arts Initiative member the CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts for hosting the event.

 



The post July 2017 Green Tease Reflections appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



 

About 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

Opportunity: Cultural Adaptations

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland is looking for arts organisations interested in partnering with us in an EU-funded project – read more about the project here.

Because the project focuses on adaptation to climate change, we are looking for partners based in Eire, Belgium, Denmark, north-west Germany or the Netherlands, as these regions have similar climate change challenges.

Are you, or do you know of …

  • A fully constituted organisation that has been active in the arts, cultural and creative sector for at least two years?
  • Based in Eire, Belgium, Denmark, north-west Germany or the Netherlands?
  • Interested in working together on pioneering approaches to learning and skills development for cultural practitioners and organisations so they can reduce their business costs?
  • Keen to bring flair and imagination to opening up new business markets in non-arts environments for arts practitioners?
  • Intrigued by the concept that artists have a unique contribution to make towards helping society adapt to a climate changed world?

Partners don’t need to know much about Adaptation yet, but will need to find a local partner who is working on it (such as the city or regional government or Adaptation agency) to work with.

If you are based in Scotland, please tell your arts and cultural contacts in our target countries about this opportunity and ask them to disseminate it themselves and to get in touch with us if they’d like to know more.


Ben Twist / ben.twist@creativecarbonscotland.com

Alexis Woolley / alexis.woolley@creativecarbonscotland.com

Tel : +44(0)131 529 7909 / +44(0)7931 553872



The post Opportunity: Cultural Adaptations – Creative Europe Partnersearch appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



 

About 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

‘After Coal’ Screening and discussion

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Documentary exploring climate justice to screen at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow on 3 September 2017

What happens when fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive?

After Coal profiles inspiring individuals who are building a new future in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and south Wales. The hour long documentary will screen at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts at 3pm Sunday 3 September. Director Tom Hansell will attend a question and answer session after the screening.

The film features ex-miners using theater to rebuild community infrastructure, women transforming a former coal board office into an education hub, and young people striving to stay in their home communities. The stories of coalfield residents who must abandon traditional livelihoods bring viewers to the front lines of the transition away from fossil fuels. Music plays a major role in this documentary essay, linking the two regions and providing cultural continuity that sustains communities through rapid change.

Director Tom Hansell has made a career of documenting energy issues in the Appalachian coalfields of the United States. His previous films Coal Bucket Outlaw (2002) and The Electricity Fairy (2011) screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts is Glasgow’s hub for the arts. Their year-round programme includes cutting-edge exhibitions, film, music, literature, spoken word, festivals, Gaelic and performance. At the heart of all activities is the desire to work with artists, commission new projects and present them to the widest possible audience.

For more information, contact the CCA box office at  boxoffice@cca-glasgow.com, phone 0141 352 4900 or contact the filmmaker directly at thansell@gmail.com

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Making economics the servant, not the master

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

“An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where the rich use public transport,” Enrique Peñalosa, former Mayor of Bogota.

I’ve been reading the new edition of Tim Jackson’s Prosperity Without Growth. I read the first edition some years ago and this terrific, substantially rewritten version seems much clearer and easier to understand. This is partly because Jackson has perfected his arguments by rehearsing them so many times since then, and maybe I know more now about what he’s talking about.

I think however it’s also the way the financial crisis, politics and the approach to climate change have played out in the years since 2009, when the report that became the book was first released. The standard economic responses to environmental and financial crises have not succeeded and inequality and political unrest are rife. So maybe the book just seems more obvious. As Jackson points out in the prologue, what he writes about isn’t now just a fringe issue but an essential, almost mainstream discussion.

What is prosperity?

Jackson sets out the problems of growth and then seeks to redefine prosperity, using work that shows that beyond a certain point more income doesn’t increase happiness. Reducing poverty is crucial, but once you get to the level of the poorer countries in Europe, the gains from increased wealth are marginal (although being better off than your peers seems to matter). And he argues, along  with a long list of philosophers, writers and economists over the ages, that prosperity actually resides in such things as:

  • Physical and mental health
  • Entitlement to democratic and educational participation
  • Trust, security and a sense of community
  • Relationships
  • Meaningful employment and participation in society

The Problem of (no) Growth

Where I came unstuck is where Jackson tries to explain why, contrary to received economic opinion, a no- or slow-growth society won’t lead to a depression, mass unemployment and the accompanying social discord. His answer is that an economy that focuses on health, education, community and so on will be a services-based economy rather than a manufacturing/production-based one. This has a lower potential for productivity gains through technology and innovation: you can’t increase efficiency in an orchestra, a hairdresser’s or a nursing home, which rely on human engagement, as you can in a widget factory. So the slower growth will not reduce jobs as much, and the shift won’t be as bad as we think. This seems fair enough, but we’re still going to need food and various kinds of stuff in this brave new world: concert halls, scissors and beds, if nothing else. Can you have an economy solely based on services? Maybe I’m missing something…

However, it’s a great book and Jackson seems to me to recognise and state the key point, that the future society we need to build is going to be different to the current one. Continuing the way things are will lead to similar problems of overstepping the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s planetary boundaries. That this is seldom remarked upon baffles me. And an example came up again in a way in the UK Government’s recent announcement that they would ban new internal combustion engine cars from 2040.

Imagining a different world

Instead of changing what makes the cars run, we should be thinking about whether, where and when we need cars. They take a great deal of energy and carbon to produce; they cause other forms of pollution; they waste lots of valuable space in cities and towns; driving wastes time and causes stress; they cause health problems through accidents and lack of exercise. Of course they are advantageous for some people and some of the time: to move stuff around, to enable people with mobility problems to participate fully in society. But there’s an opportunity to rethink a whole series of things: how we plan our environment; where we put homes, workplaces, hospitals, shops and other facilities; how we plan public transport networks; when we work; and so on.

There’s an assumption that people want to travel by car. But backing up Jackson’s work, for my PhD research in Aberdeen I’ve analysed over 3,000 responses to surveys and held six focus groups, and I’m not so sure. People did travel to the theatre by car but were annoyed about parking – finding spaces and the costs – and they wanted to enjoy a drink during the interval. However the problems with public transport and elements of the urban environment being off-putting, particularly to women, made the car the obvious choice. Not because it was good, but because the alternatives were worse.

Even the technological answer of autonomous cars assumes a need for easy and largely private motorised mobility. Walking, cycling, public transport don’t get much of a look in but are arguably better for public and private health, both mental and physical. Perhaps because they don’t feed the economy: more walking doesn’t lead to increased GDP.

It’s not just the economy, stupid.

What Jackson seeks to do in Prosperity Without Growth is set out the economics of a post-growth society. And that’s hard because, as he points out, contemporary (although not all) economics assumes growth to be essential to the success of a modern society. But the sociologist John Urry argued that economics has had a stranglehold on thinking about climate change for too long and that other disciplines should join in. This is surely where the arts and culture feature: we need to imagine our new society, and then economics is useful to understand how to make it work. But imagining the unimaginable needs to come first, and that’s what artists do. (Interestingly, Jackson is a playwright as well as an economist – perhaps this is a job for him?)

We’re currently planning our 2018 Arts+Sustainability Residency which will take place in Aberdeen and be focused on the post-fossil fuel future for that city-region. We’ll bring an energy expert and a cultural producer together to help eight artists explore how that future might be shaped. We won’t solve the problem, but we may sow the seeds for future imagining that will make the job easier in future.

 



The post Ben’s Strategy blog: Making economics the servant, not the master appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



 

About 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.

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