Anthropologists

Opportunity: Enthograms Micro-Residency

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Ethnograms: A micro-residency for artists, designers, programmers and anthropologists

21st-23rd May, 2014, Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh

We welcome applications from artists, designers and programmers to participate in the Ethnograms Micro-Residency; an opportunity to work with a team of anthropologists at the University of Edinburgh to develop new ways of visualising social relationships with diagrams, info-graphics and maps.

Anthropologists Alice Street and Jamie Cross have been working in Papua New Guinea since 2003, exploring the ways in which people mobilise their relationships in order to access healthcare and energy in a place where large-scale, centralised infrastructures such as roads or power-lines are absent. Their current ESRC funded project ‘Off the Grid: Relational Infrastructures for Fragile Futures’ seeks to find new ways of visualising the relational qualities of infrastructure in such off-grid locations by harnessing the simple power of the diagram and bringing it into engagement with new technologies for web-based, interactive infographics and mapping.

Anthropology has a long history of using maps and diagrams to visualise kinship or exchange relationships, but a lack of engagement with the visual and digital arts has meant that the full potential of these visual methodologies has not been realised. Through collaborations with artists, designers and programmers, this exploratory micro-residency aims to develop a new visual form out of the complementary methods, skills, experience and knowledge of social scientists, artists, designers and programmers: the ethno-gram. Artists, designers and programmers will have the opportunity to work closely with the anthropologists and to engage with a large body of ethnographic material from Papua New Guinea.

The micro-residency will culminate in a pop-up exhibition of ‘Ethnograms’ and will feed into a larger scale public exhibition of project outputs in early 2015. Following the residency the University of Edinburgh team are looking to select an artist to collaborate with more closely and to award a £5,000 commission.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 6th May.

Click here for the application form. Please complete and email to alice.street@ed.ac.uk.

The post Opportunity: Enthograms Micro-Residency appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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

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

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

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

Changing their own behaviour;

Communicating with their audiences;

Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Eat your view – The Landscape of our food

This post comes to you from Cultura21

An interesting research project, organized by the Diepenheim art society, is taking place throughout this year in Diepenheim, NLJeroen van Westen, visual artist and participant in this artistic study shortly describes it:

Eat your view has its focus on how our food is related to our landscape. If food builds our body and mind, and food production defines our landscape, it must be that our food is an expression of our landscape. But, when we eat, we don’t recognize our landscape. There is a blind spot for where our food comes from. In Eat your view we try to ‘define’ that blind spot in its different forms.
We hope to be able to produce strategies to minimize the blind spot, make it more transparent, and thus to release energy and create focus to work on a healthier relation people-food-landscape.

Four experts, ranging from anthropologists to Trappists, were released on an exploration day in Diepenheim, respectively in Spring, Summer and Autumn, with the assignment: “What does the landscape have to offer?” and afterwards discussing their findings with inhabitants, interested public and a panel. The short film, by documentary film-maker Sacha Barraud, shows footage of these three days.

The concluding Winter exploration day on January 12th, will consist of a public discussion of the 12 “scouts”, the panel, inhabitants, general public and invited experts.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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“Imperishable Water” and the Question of Development

This post comes to you from Cultura21
Reposted from poieinkaiprattein.org

photographer Nikos Kasseris


Field workshop from 29th of May until 5th of June 2011 in Rhodes, Greece

Departure: 29th of May 2011, 19.00 from the Port of Piraeus with the Blue Star Ferries.

On the occasion of the World Environment Day, June 5th 2011, this field trip aims at combining artistic, philosophical and environmental approaches to the question of the future development of wetland ecosystems of Rhodes.

Objectives:

  • Examine the contradictions or convergences among the various models of economic management (farming, stock-breeding, tourism and housing) inside the specific landscapes, in relation to the existing institutional conservation framework.
  • Resuscitate the memory of wetlands, by tracing the evidence of wetlands in time, as preserved by the material and immaterial culture (language, customs, technology etc.).
  • Positive evaluation of the environmental aspect inside the cohesive network of the insular landscape.
  • Energize the local communities by strengthening the bonds with the work- people, educators, local government institutions and youth.
  • Manifest the power of culture (philosophy, architecture, literature, music, visual and performative arts) towards responsible attitudes of stakeholders or policy makers.
  • Investigate the development models in site specific landscapes marked by the urgent need of the preservation of water resources.

Actions:

  • Organize a collaborative field work with joint actions, in site specific areas, among the relevant institutions of the island and the team of the workshop consisted of philosophers, anthropologists, biologists, architects-planners, environmentalists, new media artists and poets, coming from Greece or other European countries.
  • Ensure an on going and follow-up digital or conventional recording and documentation as well as the inauguration of a data base resulting from the field work and depicting the diverse fields of research.
  • Collaborate with the educational sector, First Degree and the University of the Aegean in order to organize programmes with an artistic content (music, visual and performative art and literature) having as inspiration the water resources and the landscapes of wetlands.
  • Co-operate with the International Writers and Translator’s Center of Rhodes by focusing on the poetess Katerina Anghelaki Rouk and the natural element in her poetry.
  • Produce an artistic action e.g. a performance at a site specific wetland, Sunday 5th of June 2011, World Environment Day.
  • Organize a Day Conference with the following aims: to manifest the cultural dimension as the only way of rescue as well as being the most prominent vehicle of development procedures, to energize the local institutions and organizations in order to undertake initiatives with permanent perspectives in respect to environmental and cultural criteria, to propose the diversion of the main economic activity, that is tourism, from the massive, consuming model to the quality dimension, in respect to the diversity, the beauty and the mosaic of the landscape. Outcome: a Co-operation Memorandum with the agreement of all participating institutions.
  • Produce a half an hour documentary addressed to participate during the ‘’Rodos ecofilms –International films and visual arts festival’’ taking place annually in Rhodes.
  • Future perspectives-2nd stage. Fist show of the documentary during the ‘’Rodos ecofilms –International films and visual arts festival’’ June 2012 and parallel site specific land art istallation.

Sites of Interest-Wetlands of Rhodes:

  • Wetlands: Rivers, creeks, estuary and delta of rivers, lakes, lagoons, marshes, springs, lakeside or riverside sites, salt-pits, artificial water reservoirs.
  • Rhodes is among the islands with the largest number of wetlands
    • River Loutanis and Dam of Gadouras
    • Marsh of Plemmyri and Marsh of Katavia
    • Torrent Kontaris and Damlake of Apolakkia
    • Streamlet of Butterflies and River Platis
  • In some of the above wetlands is still observed the threatened endemic fish gkizani (Ladigesocypris ghigii), biological symbol of the island.

This project is organized by:

  • Haroula Hadjinicolaou, art historian Benaki Museum
  • Anna Arvanitaki, president of Poiein kai Prattein and urban/land planner at Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change
  • Hatto Fischer: coordinator and poet / philosopher

In collaboration with:

The text reproduced above was written by the  project organizers at  poieinkaiprattein.org. For more information, please visit that website.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)

– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)

– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)

– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

The Unsustainable Art Market Bubble

The contemporary art bubble will surely go down as the vanity and folly of our age” was the concluding claim on Ben Lewis’ charming BBC4 documentary about the notoriously secretive artworld market. 

But before writing about last nights TV, I want to say that the inflated bubble refers to the private international contemporary art market, not the whole of contemporary art. It is a good thing that gallery attendance is at an all time high and more people are making and creating things in their spare time. But as Lewis said, ‘Billionaires are effectively hijacking art history’, or at least they were…

He explained that the art market has increased 800% in the last 5 years, it is largely unregulated, which allows collectors to monopolise certain artists’ work and price hiking is driven by a small number of dealers. So when the rest of the economy crashed ‘one bubble kept growing because billionaires turned it into a game that only they could play’. Last night’s TV show was a welcome addition to the small amount of material that introduces the private art market to the public. If you’re completely unfamiliar with the international artworld market, and would like to hear the sound of your jaw hitting the floor, it is worth reading anthropologist Sarah Thorton’s Seven Days in the Artworld or get a taste of the hard-edge glamour of the auction rooms in her recent posting on the Artforum’s scene and herd (the artworlds favorite gossip column).

Art professionals rarely talk about this publically, so it is left to anthropologists and occasionally critics to report on these dealings.  Although a mischievous artist made a promotional postcard for London’s 2006 Frieze Art Fair, that stated: ‘Art fairs are good places to meet retired arms dealers’.

So while government ministers expenses are eclipsing more rational discussions of democratic accountability, it is worth stating explicitly that media sensationalism is one of the reasons that arts professionals (a majority of whom don’t profit from this bubble) don’t point out the follies of the uber-rich in the art market –  because to flag up how bizarre the system is substantially distorts what people think art is for.*

The beliefs around the social value and economic value of the arts are messily intertwined. To put it simply(ish): focus on the artworld market portrays art as primarily existing to grant social status with unique art objects regarded as tangible assets. The counter position is that contemporary artists’ create provocative works that are of aesthetic and social value for whoever engages with them. However, to dismiss the arts because of distaste for one or other of those apparently contradictory understandings of art – social well-being verses objects as social status – throws the baby out with the bathwater.

Personally, my frustration with the art market, in its current form, is that it keeps the art system deliberately elite. The current system does not enable art to fulfill it’s potential role of being a fully engaging site that celebrates human creativity in the broadest terms. I am not making a purist anti-market point, I am making an anti-mega-elitism point. Like many others who work in this field, I am passionate about the arts and celebrating creativity (in all fields), which is why I think there needs to be more rational and open discussion of how art systems operate. 

Lewis’ programme concluded by reporting that the contemporary art bubble burst over the last few months and the artworld market is falling faster than any other, including loses of $60million by Sotheby’s. But as with the other major crisis and crashes at this time  – this dramatic shift also has the potential for transforming how the art system functions and opens up timely questions about what responsibilities artists and art professionals have in setting the arts agenda.

For a substanial account of the character of economic bubbles, check out the RSA event with Kevin Doogan , or read his article Not All that is Solid.

*Addressing Ben Lewis’ early criticisms of the art market in 2008, Jennifier Higgie, co-editor of Frieze magazine said: ‘Lewis seems to think that the art world is a single glitzy, corrupt entity inhabited solely by Damien Hirst, a few lucrative galleries and the auction houses. He doesn’t mention the hundreds of artists who work hard every day, often for many years, and barely manage to scrape a living. He doesn’t mention the myriad non-profit art spaces, run by sincere, informed people, whose only aim is to expand and explore art’s remit in contemporary society. He doesn’t mention the countless talented writers who work tirelessly, and often for little reward, simply because writing and thinking about art are integral to who they are… Lewis is simply perpetuating the kind of anti-intellectual resentment against art that is usually to be found in the tabloids.’ Discuss. 

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