Monthly Archives: December 2017

Best Laid Plans

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Of mice and men. Mice may lay plans better than politicians in the United States these days.

For the last four years, I have been working intensely on issues of climate change. Not as a scientist, but as an artist—peering into a complex issue and trying to help redefine our future. My love for nature has long crept into my work though for the most part, I have remained an observer, a watcher, not an activist now woken up and horrified at what humans have done and are doing to our beloved planet: war, the pollution of our atmosphere and oceans, speciesism and the agriculture revolution gone awry.

If one looks carefully enough, one begins to see that all that we do now, all the preparation, all the planning, is basically for the future—or more pointedly, for those who own that future, our descendants. Our culture substantially defines itself in terms of who has money and power, but cultural influences persist over a greater arc than the span of one person’s life. We need to create a culture of sustainability that will endure. Leaders in politics, industry, commerce and trade must wake up to the fact that we are at a turning point, a juncture; we cannot base everything we do on money—we do not own the earth, it belongs to all creatures. There is no “dominion over earth for humans.” We can’t survive without the trees, the flora and fauna and all the countless other creatures that inhabit this earth. Our culture needs to align more closely with this reality.

After attending two of The Climate Reality Projects conferences, and both reading and listening to countless books on climate change, I decided to focus on solutions. The debate was over. I began to sort through all the problems I could identify: Is it our love of money/greed that prevents us from recognizing the problem and doing something about it? Is it something in our nature? Is it by accident? Is this a case, truly, of our best-laid plans going astray—and is it all a terrible accident? The industrial revolution wasn’t meant to poison our atmosphere and pollute our waters. Penicillin was meant to save lives not create a world filled with 7 billion hungry people. Nobody wants war, but we have it anyway. Why? We are a social species; we count on each other and care about what we all think and do. We are separate but connected. No person is an island and no one person can take full responsibility for our climate problem so we must take collective action through the mechanisms put in place by government and industry.

Climate change is a systemic problem. Our food sometimes comes from halfway around the world, as do our shoes, clothes, and so on. It takes so much oil and gas to transport our stuff. We wanted to go fast; now we are going fast, and can see where things are heading. We should all be concerned.

But maybe, just maybe, there is a way that our climate problem isn’t all our fault. Maybe there are bigger cosmic laws at work here. Wouldn’t that be nice? Except there is no way to know. We have to rely on facts and if 99% of climate scientists say we are the cause, then I’m going to go with what the experts say. Because who wants to take a chance with the one planet we have? I want to have my eyes open so I can see the truth, even if it hurts.

In my painting Best Laid Plans, I first painted a landscape thinking of all the solutions I’d researched: alternative transportation systems, such as SkyTrans (a point to point mass transit system), solar and wind power, earth houses, hydroponics, and so, so many other. There are so many people working on remedies to our collective malady, trying to help define a future where we can thrive. Then again, it’s important to recognize that our best laid plans, whether we are mouse or man, often stray from their original intent, for better or for ill. The future is an open book, unwritten, undefined, existing only in our imaginations. When nature throws you a curve ball, or in my case, masses of white paint, I look for the silver lining.

This straying from the path has hidden power, a potential to redefine everything. While we can’t know what the future holds, we can do our best to live in harmony with the only planet we have.

If mantle plumes under Antarctica don’t melt the ice and flood our coastal cities, and if people manage to subdue their egos long enough to realize that we are all in this together, then maybe we can start to design a restored world.

It really could be beautiful.

Below are some references to consider. They are just a few of the exciting new technologies that are being developed. There are so many more. Let’s open the door and let the future in. It’s right there, waiting for us.

SkyTran: I would love to see bike paths, gardens, and places for children to play instead of roads. Roads cost a lot. Maybe in urban areas we could phase them out?

Solar pathways and plazas: After roads for cars have disappeared and been replaced by solar pathways for biking, walking and roller skating, we’ll be able to get outside and enjoy cleaner air.

Earth Houses: I love this collection of Earth Houses on Pinterest. If you want to feel like you’re in a different world visit Solaleya; these living spaces make me want to jump up and down and yell for joy. Finally, these Monolithic Dome houses withstand the forces of nature and can be beautifully integrated into the landscape.

Geodesic Domes: If we can design systems that leave nature alone and maximize the spaces we have for growing food, it is a win-win situation!

______________________________

Belinda Chlouber is an artist who works with mixed media, acrylic painting, fabric, machine embroidery/stitching, and printmaking. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, in addition to being held in private and public collections. She received her BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri and later continued her studies at Parsons School of Design in New York. Her work, which focuses on the acceptance of growth and transformation through change, was greatly influenced by the settings of her youth which included Oklahoma, the Navaho and Hopi reservations in Arizona, and Nebraska. She now lives and works in San Mateo, California. 

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

Theatrical Review Through a Climate Lens

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Around this time last year, I took a moment to reflect on the theatrical experiences I’d had and what I’d take with me into the new year. I’m embarking on another year-end review, to link up my encounters in the theatre with my relationship to this topsy-turvy world we’re living in. Like last year, most of these plays are not explicitly about climate, nor do I seek to offer criticism on every show I’ve seen. I’ve got my climate lenses on, and will highlight instances that have inspired me creatively and politically.

My year started off with a meeting of theatre artists engaged on climate issues, which in turn formed a network called CLIMATE LENS. From this conversation, and participant Una Chaudhuri, comes the term itself: climate lens. As our Facebook Group describes, climate lens reframes climate change as more than a topic or problem. In a way similar to how feminism situates gender in the context of patriarchy, climate lens “proposes climate as the clarifying lens through which to reveal and resist the socio-political issues of our day,” exploring “theatrical ways of partnering with the more-than-human world.” To view an experience with climate lenses is to acknowledge climate as a force that has always existed, and to intersect climate injustices with other systems of oppression in human society. This term and its explanatory language has offered me a new set of tools with which to experience performance.

This season, I got to experience Ping Chong + Company for the first time. Through multimedia, movement, and puppetry, their piece ALAXSXA | ALASKA unpacks Alaska’s political history juxtaposing memoirs from two of the show’s creators, Gary Upay’aq Beaver (Central Yup’ik) and Ryan Conarro. The show opens with Central Yup’ik drumming and dancing, and from there, scenes unfold almost seamlessly between monologues or dialogues between Gary and Ryan, humorous yet unsettling “history lessons,” and movement sequences with objects. Vibrant images of Alaska, from mountains to snowy forests, are projected throughout the show. In one narrative, a fox is being chased through the snow, brought to life onstage by a puppet and a projected snowscape. Both the fox puppet and the projected landscape became characters in the play, and I was able to see the world through the eyes of this persecuted fox. The state of Alaska also becomes a character, in scenes detailing colonialism and nuclear deals.

Through the climate lens, I recognized that the environment as depicted in the story – from the fox in the snow, to the land of Alaska as it is “bought and sold” – has agency. Despite the actions of some humans who have taken it upon themselves to “claim ownership” to certain animals or places, there is an innate sovereignty that exists in the natural world, and through this recognition, my empathy was expanded. Another vital element to the play was the encounter between Native and non-Native, as expressed through Gary and Ryan’s accounts. The individual stories of these two men lays out cultural differences, but also bridge cultures through performance and shared interest. My view through a climate lens juxtaposes the political and social injustices of colonialism with how and where Gary lives, and how life for him and other Central Yup’ik people has changed.

ALASKA-photo-by-Theo-Cote-1

Ping Chong + Company’s ALAXSXA | ALASKA. Photo by Theo Cote.

ALAXSXA | ALASKA included a talkback with the show creators. One question was asked about what the creators want audiences to take away from their production. The response from the team, particularly Ryan, resonated with me as an activist theatremaker: whatever audiences experience during the production, whatever questions and feelings arise, that is what the creators behind Ping Chong + Company want audiences to take away. It was validating for me to hear that theatre artists are not tasked with prescribing an experience or set of ideals for audiences, but instead offer moments for audiences to encounter in juxtaposition with their own worldviews.

ALASKA-photo-by-Theo-Cote-17.jpg

Ping Chong + Company’s ALAXSXA | ALASKA. Photo by Theo Cote.

Diana Oh’s  sparkly and rockin’ {my lingerie play} 2017: THE CONCERT AND CALL TO ARMS!!!!!!!!! The Final Installation is the most colorful production I’ve seen this year. As part of a series of installments of public demonstrations against rape culture, it was a community-building experience liked I’ve never experienced before. Walking into New York’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater was like entering a glittering wonderland. From that moment, the audience is an active participant in the performance. Everyone got a brown paper bag to write why they create. These bags became part of the set, as we got to choose where in the space we wanted our bag to go. Everyone had the opportunity to rock glitter eye shadow and temporary tattoos, in the spirit of self-expression and fun. At the top of the show, we read a list of nine agreements, acknowledging our consent in the experience. The performance was a concert of songs by Diana, with interludes and scenes about her experiences with dating and sex. We got to take part in her anecdotes via a few invitations: Diana offers to give a haircut to an audience member, she demonstrates consent with a volunteer from the audience, and we get to blow bubbles for the fun of it and in triumph over oppressive gender norms.

Diana’s stories are full of pain and suffering, which she shared in such a way that validated and made space for our pain and suffering as well. There was also immense joy and appreciation. {my lingerie play}, to me, was not about reacting to rape culture, but about opening up spaces by and for women, queer people, and people of color to forge a new cultural paradigm. Through the climate lens framework, I saw the progressive nature of Diana’s show: to move beyond political reactions, and into transforming our culture. I was inspired by the imagined reality within the world of {my lingerie play}. From the acknowledgement of consent, to direct audience participation, to the catch-phrase “Queer the World!” Diana’s leadership paved the way for self-empowerment. With irresponsible, out-of-touch men in seats of power, there is something vital that {my lingerie play} does: it opens up a space to cultivate and amplify voices on the political margins, those who will be most affected by forthcoming economic or climatic disasters. Carving out space for women, trans people, and gender-non-conforming folk to wholly and safely be themselves is right in line with the forging of new, empathy-expanding realities that a climate lens seeks to foster.

download

Diana Oh’s {my lingerie play}. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Another bad-ass female writer-musician I encountered was Heather Christian and her production Animal Wisdom. Set in a Mississippi living room – but also very decidedly in the present time and space – Christian shares tall-tales through music and play about growing up in Mississippi and encountering ghosts. Her music is haunting and full of soul, and her ensemble of band-mates bring the characters of her stories to life. This performance offered a new kind of sensory experience: for twenty minutes in the second half of the piece, there is complete darkness. The music rages on, but everything is in blackout. It was an adjustment. How long can I sit without the use of a sense I rely on daily? What happens when I adjust to a new sensorial reality, and reconnect with my imagination? Even though we could in no way see one another, it was comforting to know we were all still there.

This twenty minutes – merely a blip in the scheme of universal time – felt as though it went on for hours. I’ve been considering duration as a theatrical tool to connect with the force of climate. During this dark interlude, I wavered between anxiety and patience. With a rapidly changing climate, patience will be a necessary tool, as our human culture will need time and trial-and-error to adapt. When the lights did start to flicker back on, I felt relief but also some remorse that the dream, the practice in duration, was ending. Throughout Animal Wisdom, Christian expresses her spirituality – through her music, words, and presence. I traveled on her spiritual encounters with her, and in those twenty minutes of darkness, had my own chance to connect with my spirituality, and to consider my place in the universe.

129960

Heather Christian’s Animal Wisdom. Photo by Maria Baranova.

These theatre experiences have primarily involved biography-based musical performances. Through this correlation, mixed with the state of affairs in the US, I’m coming to realize: When the personal is political, and the political is terrifying, it’s healing to delve into the personal, to cultivate empathy through specific yet relatable narratives. Add music to that, and souls open up. Consciousness raises, empathy and compassion become daily practice without a second thought. These are urgent, if not dire, times. In terms of climate, specifically, those personal narratives can unlock entry points and encourage people to engage with the climate crisis in a more active way. With spaces to share grief, honor histories, and validate experiences, I’m ready to look to that shift in the cultural paradigm, wherein those imagined realities that we create onstage are able to more directly play out in our communities.

Take Action
Spread hope and awareness with DearTomorrow, a digital and archive project where people share letters, photos and videos to their children, family or future self about their promise to take action on climate change. Submit your message.

______________________________

Julia Levine is a creative collaborator and vegetarian. Originally from St. Louis, Julia is now planted in the New York City downtown theatre realm. As a director, Julia has worked on various projects with companies that consider political and cultural topics, including Theater In AsylumHonest Accomplice Theatre, and Superhero Clubhouse. She is on the Marketing team at HERE Arts Center and is a co-organizer with Climate Change Theatre Action. Julia writes and devises with her performance-based initiative, The Food Plays, to bring questions of food, climate, and justice into everyday life.

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

Reflections on Blue Cow – Performing Arts & Sustainability

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Between July – October this year Creative Carbon Scotland supported the development of Blue Cow, a new performance work by Edinburgh-based theatre maker Alice Mary Cooper. Here we share a bit about what took place and what was learnt in the process.

Context and aims of the Project:

Blue Cow has evolved out of Alice’s engagement with a scientific report, published in 2010, which gathered extensive data on the experiences of people living near contaminated land in Sydney, Australia (her home city). One of Alice’s initial motivations for developing Blue Cow was to make more visible the psychological and social implications of land contamination for individuals, families and communities.

During the development period Alice invited dramaturg (see definition here!) Caitlin Skinner, composer Thomas Butler, video designer Rob Jones and visual artist Valerie Reidto explore the sonic and visual possibilities of the Blue Cow. A key question addressed was how cultural practitioners can contribute to a wider cultural shift towards a more environmentally sustainable society. This directly related to one of Creative Carbon Scotland’s key areas of work – culture/SHIFT.

culture/SHIFT is a developing framework for a series of projects and events which seek to explore and promote the role of culture in addressing climate change and sustainability. It is currently guided by four themes, the second of which was of particular interest to the development of Blue Cow:

  • Approaching complex questions and wicked problems, associated with environmental sustainability and climate change;
  • Making the invisible visible, revealing hidden and underlying structures which impact upon environmental sustainability of current and future societies;
  • Exploring the difficult trade-offs, contradictions and compromises associated with the transition to a more sustainable future, and holding conflicting ideas in tension;
  • Working in interdisciplinary ways, bringing together scientific, social and philosophical ideas and concepts associated with the transition to a more sustainable future in new configurations.

Development Weeks Activities:

Over the summer and autumn the group undertook a range of performance-based exercises, site visits and meetings with practitioners working in Edinburgh including Ruth Wolstenholme (Managing Director of Sniffer, which delivers the Adaptation Scotland programme) and Kate Wimpress (Director of North Edinburgh Arts). Alice also attended plays shortlisted for the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award and the Modify/Adapt Symposium at the Wellcome Collection in London to understand how other artists were engaging in the area.

There were four immediate outcomes which emerged from this process:

  • The joint understanding of the report which the collaborators gained during the development weeks, moving away from Alice’s individual interpretation to a shared understanding of the report content;
  • The generation of new performance material, combining sound and visual components, which reflect the layered and complex nature of the report source material;
  • The identification of specific ways in which performing arts can potentially shift wider culture, including through its ability to make the universal specific, therefore connecting audiences and participants with sustainability-related issues in new ways;
  • The building of a wider community of interest around the development of Blue Cow, across both arts and sustainability sectors in Edinburgh.

Green Tease Event Discussion:

To widen engagement with the project, Creative Carbon Scotland invited performing arts and sustainability practitioners based in Edinburgh to a Green Tease event in late October – Acting for a Sustainable City. Amongst the participants were Imaginate, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Historic Environment Scotland, independent theatre makers and producers.

In the first half of the session, Creative Carbon Scotland Director Ben Twist interviewed Alice and her collaborators to understand the methods employed and key learning gained during the development weeks, and to think about how this learning could be applied more widely. Points discussed included:

  • Sniffer/Adaptation Scotland’s theory of change which is based upon collaborative working between communities, organisations and policy-makers, through which different groups can identify their roles in contributing to solutions;
  • The importance of working on long timeframes in order to bring about genuine engagement and change, exemplified in the long-term artist-in-residence positions which North Edinburgh Arts seeks to develop and support;
  • The need to think in depth about the intersection between audience, artistic form and content which will shape the development of the work.

Green Tease Group Workshop:

Participants were invited to work in small groups to (quickly!) put this learning into practice and generate new ideas for performing arts-based projects which could address sustainability-related issues in Edinburgh, whilst thinking through the combination of audience, artistic form and content. The ideas generated included…

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

There were interesting parallels in all three of the proposals in the fact that they were all publicly-sited and took on a participatory nature. The exercise surfaced the question of the different potential forms of engagement achieved through spectatorship and participation in relation to sustainability and climate change. It also revealed that in the changing of one of the three factors, the other two would inevitably also change, and the challenge of bringing all three together successfully.

Future Work:

The Green Tease event enabled all project partners to reflect on the process and build our joint understandings of opportunities for working at the intersection between performing arts, sustainability and climate change. New connections were made during the event which Creative Carbon Scotland will continue to pursue through Green Tease and the culture/SHIFT programme and Alice and her collaborators are continuing to seek opportunities for the further development of Blue Cow with the aim of touring the work in the future.

Reflections from Alice Mary Cooper:

“It was incredibly beneficial to partner with Creative Carbon Scotland on this City of Edinburgh Council supported development which enabled me to work with four artists and look at the complex subject matter together for the first time. This new collaboration was exciting as it opened up the possibilities of what the performance could be, breathing life into areas I had previously dismissed, and reaffirmed the value of the original source material in developing the work.

The culture/SHIFT programme provided a useful framework for creating the work and outward facing action to strive for during its development. Partnering with Creative Carbon Scotland provided access to people and groups who were influential both to this development process, and I have no doubt, in Blue Cow’s future.

It was very encouraging to see so many people engage with both the project and its wider theme of art as a change maker at the Green Tease event. I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity to undertake such a well-supported development from both Creative Carbon Scotland and City of Edinburgh Council which has given me the confidence to embark on further development and production of Blue Cow.”

What some Green Tease participants found most useful about the event

“Hearing from, and connecting with others with similar concerns about the environment, who are also theatre practitioners. Making new contacts in this field. Solidarity”

“Insights and inroads into Art and Sustainability working together, with a practical example that I can take forward. New contacts. Pointers to funding.”

_____________________________

This project was supported by the City of Edinburgh Council Culture Projects Fund, with partners Creative Carbon Scotland, Imaginate and Catherine Wheels Theatre Company.

Green Tease is an ongoing informal events programme which connects creative practices and environmental sustainability. Our Green Tease Open Call is here to support cultural and sustainability practitioners and orgnisations to run your own events with support from Creative Carbon Scotland.

Find out more about previous and upcoming events and how you can get involved in the Green Tease network.


The post Blog: Reflections on Blue Cow – Connecting Performing Arts & Sustainability 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

Visual Arts Manifesto with Commitment to Sustainability

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) along with our partners Scottish Artists Union and engage Scotland, launched a new Visual Arts Manifesto on 11 December 2017.

The Manifesto is a direct response to the current challenges facing the art sector as a whole and also our first public response to the new National Culture Strategy consultation process.

The Manifesto sets out key policy demands but also collective commitments towards positive change. This is a vision and set of ambitions for the sector to help ensure that we maintain Scotland’s global reputation as a dynamic, innovative place for contemporary visual arts.  Through this manifesto we commit to ensuring that diversity is celebrated and respected, that low paid cultural workers and artists have access to fair pay and professional working conditions and that barriers are removed for all those who choose to participate. Within the Manifesto we have also made a clear commitment to environmental sustainability;

We are dedicated to working towards an environmentally sustainable future and will use our unique tools as artists and cultural workers to help innovate and inspire the transformational change that is needed

Many visual artists, such as the programmes of ATLAS Arts and Scottish Sculpture Workshop, are leading the way with their innovative, investigative approaches to environmental concerns. They are exploring new visionary ways to work within post carbon economies and developing models of collaboration, cooperation and resilience. Their work helps influence wider public engagement with ideas of sustainability, community building and transition.

SCAN may have been founding member of Creative Carbon Scotland but we need to continue raise the bar on our own work to imbed environmental concerns within our organisation and strategic priorities whilst also better understanding and championing the game changing work of our artist and curator members.

This Manifesto commitment will hold us to account.

Seonaid Daly, Director, SCAN

Read the full Visual Arts Manifesto 


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

Imagining Water #4: Floating Start-Up Countries

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

The fourth in a year-long series on artists who are making the topic of water a focus of their work and on the growing number of exhibitions, performances and publications that are popping up in museums, galleries and public spaces around the world with water as a theme.

______________________________

On occasions when artists had been gathered in social settings and were bemoaning the latest actions of politicians or public policy, I’ve often heard one or another of them say, “I wish we had more input in how society is shaped – it would be so much better.” Well, with a memorandum of understanding signed in January of 2017 by French Polynesia to allow for the creation of the first Floating Island start-up “country” within the protected waters of a Tahitian lagoon, a scenario in which artists are active participants in building new societies is now entirely possible.

The Floating Island Project: Seasteading

The Floating Island Project is the brainchild of the Seasteading Institute, a non-profit organization founded in 2008 by activist, software engineer and political economic theorist, Patri Friedman, grandson of the Nobel Prize winning economist, Milton Friedman, and billionaire entrepreneur, Peter Thiel. Its mission is to foster the creation of politically independent seasteading communities or floating cities, which will enable residents to establish new ways of living together under governmental and cultural models of their choice as well as serve as a blueprint for the future survival of existing countries threatened by rising sea levels. The term “seasteading” is a reference to the concept of homesteading, the process of making a home in a new frontier outside the boundaries of developed communities. In this case, the frontier is the entire ocean covering 70% of the earth’s surface.

02.jpg

View of “Artisanopolis,” a design for a potential seasteading community that was awarded First Place in an architectural contest sponsored by the Seasteading Institute. Courtesy of Gabriel Schaeare, Luke Crowley, Lourdes Crowley and Patrick White (Chile) and the Seasteading Institute.

The goal of The Floating Island Project is for seasteading communities to be self-sustaining in water production, wastewater treatment, aquaculture, vertical farming, nanotechnology, wave, wind, solar and marine energy production and other existing or yet-to-be-developed research and technology. As it is envisioned, residents of a floating community could live in modular “pods” that can detach at any time and sail to join another floating city that offers a better form of government or a more compatible cultural environment. As the theory goes, because governments would have to compete for citizens, the best ideas of governance would emerge to accommodate a diverse population.

The French Polynesia Pilot Start-Up

At a cost of $60 million, the Seasteading Institute expects to establish a dozen structures by 2020 on a floating surface about the size of a soccer field just off the coast of French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean where islands are already sinking below sea level. According to scientific projections, about a third of these islands will be totally submerged by 2100. The first start-up “country” in French Polynesia will contain homes, offices, shops, restaurants and other components of modern life.

ville-flottante5.jpg

A design for a potential seasteading community showing modular bio-domes and other building structures that can be moved within the “country” or to another “country” altogether. Credit: Seasteading Institute.

The floating communities will be built by Blue Frontiers, a company founded in 2017 by Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute, and other members of the Institute’s executive team. Known affectionately as the movement’s “Seavangelist,” Joe Quirk has outlined in detail how the floating cities of the 21st Century can be laboratories for creativity and innovation in his 2017 book, Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity from Politicians.

Despite the book’s lofty title, Quirk presents a compelling argument for the establishment of new mini-countries that would enable innovators to “rethink society from the ground up,” a process that might enable us to solve some of our most intransigent social, political and environmental problems. He poses the question, “What would you do with political freedom, limitless energy and nearly half the Earth’s surface?”

Ephemerisle

In 2009, before the Floating Island Project became a reality and as a working experiment of the seasteading philosophy, the Seasteading Institute sponsored the first week-long, floating festival of self-governance entitled Ephemerisle on the Sacramento River Delta in California. Now independently run, it has become an annual gathering of “thinkers, doers, artists, dreamers, muckrakers, and builders interested in life on the water.” In his book, Joe Quirk describes how Ephemerisle has evolved from that initial festival to an event in which hundreds of participants, including scientists, engineers, artists, entrepreneurs and activists create a series of self-contained “makeshift islands by connecting a variety of boats, platforms, inner tubes, and floating art projects.” Participants naturally self-select islands whose governance, rules and identities most suit their needs and philosophies but migrate among the other islands at will by motorboat “taxis” or connecting docks. Art is an essential component of the Ephemerisle culture.

Ephemerisle 2009.jpg

One of the self-governing islands in Ephemerisle, 2009.

For more information on the Floating Islands Project, including FAQ, a video by Joe Quirk explaining the basics of seasteading, and a sign-up form to receive regular up-dates on the progress of the first start-up country, click here. Artists, are you ready?

(Top image: View of “Artisanopolis,” a design for a potential seasteading community that was awarded First Place in an architectural contest sponsored by the Seasteading Institute. Courtesy of Gabriel Schaeare, Luke Crowley, Lourdes Crowley and Patrick White (Chile) and the Seasteading Institute.)

_____________________________

Susan Hoffman Fishman is a painter, public artist, writer, and educator whose work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries throughout the U.S. Susan’s latest bodies of work focus on the threat of rising tides caused by climate change, the trillions of pieces of plastic in our oceans and the wars that are predicted to occur in the future over access to clean water. Susan is also the co-creator of two interactive public art projects: The Wave, which addresses our mutual need for and interdependence on water and Home, which calls attention to homelessness and the lack of affordable housing.

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

Artists Residency in Luxembourg on ‘Disruption: the Imprint of Man’ mentored by Callum Innes

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Institute is pleased to announce the 2018 edition of its Artists Development Programme (ADP), looking for ONE visual artist (born after 1 January, 1983) from an EU Member State to work on the theme of “Disruption: The Imprint of Man”.

The ADP offers emerging European visual artists a 5-6 week-long residency in Luxembourg, enabling them to develop their practice and create a new (body of) work(s), boosted by the mentorship of a high-profile established artist. In 2018, the recipients will each be mentored by acclaimed British artist Callum Innes.

ADP 2017 laureates with Callum Innes

Eligibility
•Being born after 1 January, 1983
•EU nationality
•Fluency in English

Budget and Duration
The EIB Institute will cover the artist’s travel costs to and from Luxembourg (residency), and to and from Callum Innes’s studio (before the start of the residency). The artist will receive a stipend (EUR 100 per day to cover living costs and production) and will be provided with a living/working space. Upon starting the residency the artist will be given an additional production budget of EUR 500 and at the end of the residency will receive a success fee of EUR 1 000, provided he/she has produced an artwork. The residency in Luxembourg will take place in May/June 2018.
Upon completion of the residency, the EIB may acquire the artwork(s) produced on-site from the artist.

Application Procedure
Requirements
– CV (in English)
– Scanned copy of the passport or identity card of the applicant evidencing nationality of one of the 28 Member States
– A letter of motivation, in English, with ideas to be explored during the residency, in line with the proposed theme (maximum 500 words)
– Portfolio of visual documentation of works, maximum 8 images, best representing the art of the applicant (in PDF format, A4 pages)
– Names and contact details of two professional referees familiar with the art of the applicant
– A brief reference in the body of the email to how the applicant found out about the programme

Selection Procedure
A jury – consisting of Callum Innes (the mentor), external art advisers and members of the EIB Arts Committee – will select the candidate based on the artistic quality of his/her work, his/her motivation, the potential to make the most of the opportunity offered by the residency and the relevance of the applicant’s practice to the cultural context of the EIB Institute.

The selected candidate will be informed of the jury’s decision via email in February 2018.

Application deadline: Midnight (GMT+1), 3 January, 2018.
Any application failing to comply with the set requirements will be automatically disqualified.

Applications should be sent electronically to Ms Delphine Munro (arts@eib.org)

Additional information:

https://institute.eib.org/2017/11/call-for-application-for-the-artists-development-programme-2018-disruption-the-imprint-of-man/

Open Call: Creative Design Proposal

Collaborative building and design summer camp, Beam Camp, seeks fantastical proposals from creative individuals and teams, including but not limited to Artists, Designers, Filmmakers, Architects, Builders, Engineers, Musicians, Fabricators & Technologists.

Beam Camp is looking for the following:

  • Fantastical proposals from creative individuals and teams, including but not limited to Artists, Designers, Filmmakers, Architects, Builders, Engineers, Musicians, Fabricators & Technologists.
  • Visionary ideas that culminate with a unique, ambitious, and spectacular product.
  • Proposals that communicate a clear vision (sketches, diagrams, and other visuals are always helpful) and represent your/your team’s expertise.
  • Projects that:
    1. allow Beam Camp to create the majority of the components onsite and from scratch
    2. utilize a range of materials, processes and techniques
    3. take advantage of Beam’s facilities, community, landscape, and rural setting

Beam Camp Disciplines and Facilities include:

  • Full wood and metal shops, equipped with a range of hand and power tools
  • Welding facilities
  • Textile, dye and sewing stations
  • Ceramic studio
  • Molding and casting facilities
  • Performance space
  • Technology lab
  • Audio equipment and instrument selection
  • Food Garden and Commercial Kitchen

Project Proposals must include:

  • The title of your proposal, accompanied by a brief description of the project (3 sentences)
  • A detailed description of the project, along with applicable visuals (sketches, diagrams, renderings, etc. are encouraged)
  • Information about all the participants: names, emails, experience (resume, CV, portfolio, etc.) and phone numbers of everyone involved

You are NOT required to:

  • Include nature, children, or camp as a theme in your project proposal
  • Provide a detailed breakdown of how your project would be realized by 100 Beam campers (that’s our job)
  • Be at Beam for the entire camp session if your proposal is chosen; the length of your visit depends on your schedule and the needs of the project

Budget and Expectations:

  • Project Designers will receive a stipend of $3,000.
  • Project Designers will be reimbursed for all reasonable travel costs related to site visits
  • Beam Camp will allot a budget of $12,500 for Project materials and expenses, including those related to prototyping and design
  • Project Designers should have a general understanding of the processes, techniques and materials involved in their proposal
  • Project Designers must be available for weekly Skype meetings January 30 through June 30 in order to facilitate any necessary development, prototyping and problem solving
  • Project Designers must be able to provide plans according to the project schedule

Schedule:


Wednesday, 25 October 2017: 2018 Beam Project RFP opens
Sunday, 7 January 2018: RFP closes; all proposals must be submitted by 11:59pm EST
Wednesday, 17 January 2018: Exploratory meetings scheduled with all selected semi-finalists
Tuesday, 30 January 2018: Project Designers are selected
Friday, 1 June 2018: Final project plans/blueprints due
28 June—22 July and 26 July—19 August 2018: Projects are realized at Beam Camp

Project Proposals must be:

  • Compiled into one document
  • Submitted in .pdf or .doc/.docx format using the form on their website.
  • Submitted no later than 11:59PM EST on Sunday, January 7th, 2018

Incomplete proposals will not be considered; please make sure yours is complete before submitting. If you have any questions regarding the proposal process, acceptable formats, or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact Beam Camp at:  projectproposals [at] beamcamp.org

SUBMIT NOW

About Beam Camp:

Beam Camp is a collaborative building and design summer camp in Strafford, NH that works with kids aged 10-17 to make the seemingly impossible possible. Our award-winning program has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, NPR, and designboom, and offers young people the opportunity to cultivate hands-on skills while exploring innovative thinking, design, problem solving and the creative process.

An intergalactic salvage station struck by a meteor, a solar-powered cinematic riff on a French film from 1902, a 2-story arboreal kaleidoscope: every year, Beam Camp solicits proposals for unique and spectacular large-scale projects that serve as the centerpiece for a 25-day session of camp, during which they are built and brought to life by 100 campers and staff. Our Project Team works with the winning designers (Project Designers) to translate their designs into the camp context. Precision of craft, skill, and imaginative thinking are paramount in our projects and the work of our staff and campers — please take some time to familiarize yourself with our past projects.

Call for papers: Art and Freedom of Expression

The upcoming issue of Seismopolite Journal of Art and Politics will discuss how different artistic forms and strategies may advance freedom of expression and be used to confront censorship in contexts worldwide.

Contributors from diverse disciplinary backgrounds are invited to submit articles, reviews or interviews that address this theme through a high variety of possible angles and art forms.

Topics may include (but are not restricted to):

– Artistic strategies in response to censorship and violations of human rights in contexts worldwide.
– Art as a tool of dialogue and conflict resolution.
– The conditions of artists to reflect and influence their local political situation through art.
– Art’s potential to promote cultural diversity, intercultural cooperation and understanding.
– The political conditions of artistic expression under neoliberalism and neoliberal urbanization.
– Artistic strategies of decolonization.
– Artistic strategies to challenge geopolitical, economic, cultural or historical master narratives.
– The emergence of new art scenes and regions in contemporary art; its consequences for art and politics and for the possibility of art scenes to rewrite the contemporary art map/ the concept of contemporary art.

We accept submissions continuously, but to make sure you are considered for the upcoming issue, please send your proposal/ draft, CV and samples of earlier work to submissions@seismopolite.com.


Deadline: January 8th 2017

All articles will be translated into Norwegian and published in a bilingual version.

Current issue: www.seismopolite.com
Previous issues: www.seismopolite.com/artandpolitics
Contact: submissions@seismopolite.com

Green Arts Initiative: Complete the Annual Feedback Form!

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Are you a member of the Green Arts Initiative? We need your annual feedback form! And you could win the special seasonal prize draw…

In becoming a part of the Green Arts initiative, all members committed to reporting once a year on their environmental sustainability actions. We want to find out what the community has been up to, and what they are planning to do next, in order to best shape our work going forward. The results of the form will be published in our Green Arts Initiative Report in early 2018, and you can take a look at our  2016, and 2015 reports to catch up with what the community is up to.

Complete the form now!

This reporting takes place through an online feedback form: it should take around 5 minutes to complete. This year, we’re also running a prize draw for all of those that complete the form by midday on Wednesday 20th December. Keep an eye out on our social media and members area to get a sneak peak of what the sustainable prize might be!

If you are a Green Arts Initiative member, please complete the annual feedback form, available here. If you are not yet a member of  the Green Arts Initiative, you can register for free through the online membership form.

 


The post Green Arts Initiative: Complete the Annual Feedback Form! 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

Green Survey 2017 | Win Conference Tickets!

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

POWERFUL THINKING INDUSTRY GREEN SURVEY 2017 | WIN A TICKET TO GREENER EVENTS AND INNOVATIONS CONFERENCE

Festival organisers can help Powerful Thinking, the festival industry steering group working towards a more sustainable future, to find out how events are doing on their journey by filling out the annual Industry Green Survey 2017. The results allow the Powerful Thinking Steering Group to understand the challenges festival organisers faced this year so that they can direct our research and resources to be most useful next year.

TAKE THE SURVEY

The survey asks you about the sustainability challenges you face and the initiatives you have in place. It is anonymous and will only take 5 minutes of your time.

Thanks to A Greener Festival all entrants will be entered into a prize draw to win a free delegate pass to The Greener Events and Innovations Conference in March 2018!

Please complete the survey before 22nd Dec 2017. Winners will be announced in Jan 2018. Thank you!

 


The post News: Powerful Thinking Industry Green Survey 2017 | Win a ticket to Greener Events and Innovations Conference 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