Critique

The Oil Road reviewed

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PLATFORM have been at the heart of a critique of corporations and carbon for more than twenty years.  They have entered into long term partnerships with environmental ngos, appeared at Glastonbury, commissioned and created artworks, as well as produced books and films.

They have also founded a business that delivers micro renewable solutions for businesses and homes in London.

Their latest book, following on from the hugely important The Next Gulf, is The Oil Road, reviewed recently in the Guardian.  The Next Gulf focused on Shell’s involvement in Nigeria.  The Oil Road is focused on travels that Mika Minio Paluello in particular made along BP’s Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from the Caspian to the Mediterranean.  Exploring oil from experience on the ground is always more revealing.  These books are always well researched, historically informed, thoroughly post-colonial and fascinating.

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.
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Wendell E. Berry Lecture | National Endowment for the Humanities

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Suzaan Boettger drew attention to Wendell Berry’s Lecture “It all turns on affection”, given to the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Wendell Berry is one of the great advocates for places and for a way of life that is committed to place and nature.  There are some standout parts of this lecture.

His critique of capitalism and philanthropy is damning,

“If you can appropriate for little or nothing the work and hope of enough such farmers [or for that matter any other workers – ed], then you may dispense the grand charity of “philanthropy.”

When arguments are made for philanthropy, remember that there is a choice: perhaps not accumulating great wealth might in some cases mean that more people have had better lives and more environments are less depleted.

But Berry’s argument for imagination is the most important, developed and illuminating aspect of this lecture.

The sense of the verb “to imagine” contains the full richness of the verb “to see.” To imagine is to see most clearly, familiarly, and understandingly with the eyes, but also to see inwardly, with “the mind’s eye.” It is to see, not passively, but with a force of vision and even with visionary force. To take it seriously we must give up at once any notion that imagination is disconnected from reality or truth or knowledge. It has nothing to do either with clever imitation of appearances or with “dreaming up.” It does not depend upon one’s attitude or point of view, but grasps securely the qualities of things seen or envisioned.

I will say, from my own belief and experience, that imagination thrives on contact, on tangible connection. For humans to have a responsible relationship to the world, they must imagine their places in it. To have a place, to live and belong in a place, to live from a place without destroying it, we must imagine it. By imagination we see it illuminated by its own unique character and by our love for it. By imagination we recognize with sympathy the fellow members, human and nonhuman, with whom we share our place. By that local experience we see the need to grant a sort of preemptive sympathy to all the fellow members, the neighbors, with whom we share the world. As imagination enables sympathy, sympathy enables affection. And it is in affection that we find the possibility of a neighborly, kind, and conserving economy.

Wendell E. Berry Lecture | National Endowment for the Humanities.

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.
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ashdenizen: is “junk” a celebration or a critique of waste?

‘Junkitecture’ is a clever term, combining design and ‘waste’. But what if the materials used for buildings, for sets, for props, for puppets, for the vehicles and floats of parades, were thought of simply as ‘materials’? Of course, they would have a special value or feel if they had been used for something else. But to call them ‘junk’ is to share the attitude that separates the ‘new’ from what we think of as ‘waste’. What is happening with the use of materials in the arts that have a history can often be more of  a valorisation of consumerism and excess, a celebration of trash as ‘trash’ or salvage, than a critique of waste or an affirmation of recycling.

What if no special claims could be made for using reclaimed or recycled materials because it was commonplace? Then, what would be remarked on would be the design, the space or object itself, and the qualities that the materials brought to it.

The Jellyfish Theatre building was enchanting for its design and for its transiency, a theatre space in a symbolic shape, assembled from what was to hand, played in, and then dispersed, the theatre becoming again the material that it was, maybe to be used again, having acquired another layer of history.

via ashdenizen: is “junk” a celebration or a critique of waste?.

The Publicity Plant

Amsterdam-based artist and grad student Sander Veenhof has come up with an interactive and innovative way to spread the word on his name: A plant where the light only switches on when someone blogs, twitters or does a google search for his name. The project is an attempt to grow a “graduation bouquet” of flowers for Sander’s July 1 graduation.

Here’s what the flowers looked like a few minutes ago when I did a google search to turn the light on:

These plants look like they need a little love…why not help this guy out by doing some google searches? As a fellow graduate student in art, I can understand the need and desire to get your name out there. Guess that’s why I’m enjoying playing right into his project by making a blog post about his project.

Since this is grad student work, I’ll also jump right in with my critique: I need more transparency. What kinds of flowers are there? How long does the light switch on when his name is searched or blogged? Do different searches/posts/etc result in more or less time? Won’t the plants be all fucked up if they are not controlled for some semblance of normal daylight hours? (However, I do like the immediacy of turning the lights on immediatly….)

Check out the Publicity Plant at www.sndrv.nl/publicityplant/

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