Julie’s Bicycle has embarked on a series of cross-European workshops on sustainability and the visual arts, with a session in Spain, organised by artist residency resource hub Art Motile and hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Coruna, Galicia. As part of the Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA), Julie’s Bicycle will be working with local arts organisations in seven European countries – from Scotland to Serbia – to identify realistic steps that address the environmental sustainability implications of artistic work, operations, and engagement with the wider public.
The workshop at La Coruna had a special focus on the role of artist residencies, with a fascinating and inspiring talk from Joya: arte + ecología, an arts organisation based at an off-grid converted farmhouse in a national park in Andalucía. Joya: arte + ecología’s latest project is Sistemas Efímeros ephemeral systems – an arts-led, trans-disciplinary collaborative project that explores the perception of the natural value of arid landscapes, while promoting sustainable and transferable adaptations to land use and water resources at a time of rapid environmental change.
With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.
Organised by the Moderna galerija with Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova,Ljubljana,Slovenia
In recent years the concept of resilience has grown out of the global trend of developing sustainability in the societies of the global North. In natural sciences or physics, a resilient body is described as flexible, durable, and capable of springing back to its original form and transforming the energy received into its own reconstruction (a good example of this is the sponge). Resilience encompasses exploring reciprocal codependence and finding one’s political and socio-ecological place in a world that is out of balance and creates increasingly disadvantageous living conditions. Rather than trying to find global solutions for some indefinite future or projecting a possible perfect balance, resilient thinking focuses on the diversity of practical solutions for the here and now, and on the cooperation and creativity of everyone involved in a community or society.
The 7th Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia gives prominence to practices that can be seen as analogous to the concept of resilience, i.e. community-oriented, site-specific, participatory, performative, architectural, social, civic and other discursive practices exploring new (or revived) community principles, such as the “do-it-together,” urban gardening, and co-working, as well as the fundamental social question of how we coexist. Blending work and everyday life forms the basis of new economic, ethical, and production principles that the younger generation of artists uses to transform the role of the creative subject in contemporary Slovenian society. On the one hand this opens dialogues with biotechnology, critical theory, and political activism, underscoring, on the other hand, the cyclic nature of time by reviving traditional knowledge and techniques. Occurring across many platforms—the exhibition, performative projects, discussions—the triennial also gives the young generations an opportunity to express their potential through addressing urgent local and global socio-political problems and contributing to the debate in and over existing Slovenian cultural policy.
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
You haven’t heard from us in a while, as the Los Angeles Urban Rangers have been in relative hibernation since our Engagement Party residency at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) last summer. Huddled together in the den, we’ve been busy whittling a new video about Public Access 101: Downtown L.A., expanding our virtual ranger station, reflecting on our active past, and imagining trails into the future.
We want to announce to you, our steadfast cohort, that we’ve decided to enter into a phase of temporary dormancy (i.e. you won’t see us out and about, at least in uniform, in the coming months), partly due to long-distance migrations and other exciting metamorphoses among our rangers. Rest assured, our spirit of exploration runs strong and we will keep you posted of any and all adventures ahead.
In the meantime, we’re eager to share several new tales about the Rangers that have appeared in recent months:
KCET collected over 30 stories from hikers on our L.A. River Ramble last August, which can be found on Departures. If you have any field notes of your own about experiences on the L.A. River, please let us know!
Amelia Foster reflected on our Critical Campout last September in the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of Public Art Review
Meredith Drake Reitan wrote a short piece about our Malibu safaris in David C. Sloane’s new book, Planning Los Angeles
Bill Kelley’s recent article for KCET’s Artbound is a thoughtful reflection on the topography and artistic climate in which we Rangers continue to explore.
Longer “external guides” about the Los Angeles Urban Rangers are expected soon and we will keep you posted.
As always, we enjoy hearing your stories of urban trail exploration! We’ll add your field notes to our Ranger logs.
Sydneysiders and visitors to the Harbour City can explore the impact of climate change on island communities through this large-scale performance installation by Tongan Islander, Latai Taumoepeau. Large blocks of ice, suspended using traditional Tongan architectural lashing techniques for binding, will draw connections between melting ice glaciers and rising sea levels. Lanai says that she attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in 2007, and thereafter decided to “extend the voice of our invisible pacific people through my artistic practice.”
In her own words… “My name is Latai Taumoepeau, I am a performance artist with a new performance installation campaign called i-Land X-isle. It is about the impact of climate change on vulnerable indigenous communities from the arctic to coastal low lying islands. My body will be bound by rope to a 2 tonne block of ice to parallel the experience of already impacted people of human induced climate change to a form of water torture, that is imposed by developing countries. It will be live and a durational performance over 2 days.
I humbly invite you… to use my public art spectacle as a platform to raise wider awareness of communities already impacted by human induced climate change and instructions of how ordinary citizens can change to minimise and cease harm to Australia’s nearest coastal neighbours all the way to the Arctic.”
Faka’apa’apa Atu (with respect), Latai Taumoepeau
When: 26 & 27th May 2012
Time: 10am – 12noon & 2pm – 4pm
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art – Circular Quay Sydney.
On May 6, 2011, H20: The Art of Conservation, at the Water Conservation Garden, San Diego, CA, will open to the public. Green Public Art reviewed over 1100 artists portfolios before inviting 14 San Diego artists to participate in the exhibition which offers San Diego homeowners an artistic alternative to incorporate water conservation into their own garden spaces. Green Public Art awarded each artist a mini-grant to develop their site-specific sculptures. In the weeks leading up to the exhibition opening the artist’s concepts will be revealed on this site. Questions? Contact Rebecca Ansert, Curator, Green Public Art at email@example.com.
CONCEPT: Dew Harvesters. San Diego receives less than ten inches of rain a year, with almost no precipitation falling between May and October, but yet many native plants stay green throughout the summer. This project provides sculptures to harvest dew and/or fog, demonstrating the way that local plants survive during the summer months. Dew harvesting was practiced in antiquity and is again being explored as populations grow, climates change, and water becomes increasingly scarce. Actual dew harvesters would generally be much larger than the proposed sculptures. While these sculptures are functional, harvesting a small amount of potable water that could be used to water a garden, they are also meant to raise awareness about the local ecology and the need to regard water as a precious resource.
ABOUT: Ruth Wallen is a multi-media artist whose work is dedicated to encouraging dialogue about ecological and social issues. She has created outdoor interactive “nature walks” at Carmel Mountain, the San Bernardino Children’s Forest and Tijuana River Estuary, and has participated in group exhibitions at the Long Beach Museum of Art and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Colorado. She is a founding member of the multiethnic/national collaborative artist group Las Comadres. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Light Work, New York. and the Atheneum San Diego. She has published critical essays in journals including LEONARDO, Exposure, High Performance, The Communication Review, and Women’s Studies, as well as two anthologies, With Other Eyes: Race, Gender, and Visual Culture and Blaze:Discourse on Art, Women and Feminism. She is core faculty in the interdisciplinary arts MFA program at Goddard College, a lecturer at the University of California, San Diego and was a Fulbright lecturer at the Autonomous University of Baja California, Tijuana. She received her BA from Swarthmore College and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego.
Rebecca Ansert, founder of Green Public Art, is an art consultant who specializes in artist solicitation, artist selection, and public art project management for both private and public agencies. She is a graduate of the master’s degree program in Public Art Studies at the University of Southern California and has a unique interest in how art can demonstrate green processes or utilize green design theories and techniques in LEED certified buildings.
Green Public Art is a Los Angeles-based consultancy that was founded in 2009 in an effort to advance the conversation of public art’s role in green building. The consultancy specializes in public art project development and management, artist solicitation and selection, creative community involvement and knowledge of LEED building requirements. Green Public Art also works with emerging and mid-career studio artists to demystify the public art process. The consultancy acts as a resource for artists to receive one-on-one consultation before, during, and after applying for a public art project.
In conjunction with ecoartspace, Miami-based artist Xavier Cortada will present a participatory artwork titled Native Flags and invites everyone attending the Verge Art Fair as well as the general public to collaborate in the creation of the work.
Melting polar sea ice has global political powers clamoring to place their flags over the Arctic to control the Northwest Passage shipping lanes and the petroleum and mineral resources beneath the ice.Cortada developed Native Flags as an eco-art project to engage people globally in a reforestation campaign to prevent the polar regions from melting. At home, participants can also plant a native tree next to Cortada’s green flag and ask their neighbors to do the same. Together, they can help to support the regrowth of the planet’s native tree canopies – one yard at a time.
On June 29th, 2008, Xavier Cortada arrived at the North Pole and planted a green flag to reclaim the landscape for nature. The trip was sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) as part of Cortada’s larger 90N project. The work addresses global climate change and included the reinstallation of Cortada’s Longitudinal Installation and Endangered World projects as part of a National Science Foundation Antarctic Artist and Writers residency.
Cortada has created art installations at the Earth’s poles to generate awareness about global climate change and has developed participatory art projects to engage communities in local action at points in between. Cortada’s work created during his National Science Foundation Antarctic Residency has been exhibited in museums including: Weather Report, curated by Lucy Lippard at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in 2007, and Envisioning Change, a United Nations Environment Programme-sponsored exhibition which opened in Oslo, Norway in June 2007. Cortada launched the Reclamation Project in 2006 to remind Miami Beach residents and visitors of the island’s origins as a mangrove forest by having over 2500 mangrove seedlings displayed in shop windows across the island. Annually, volunteers plant the seedlings on Biscayne Bay.
Catalina Hotel, 1732 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida Opening preview reception: Thursday December 3rd, from 6 to 10pm Friday & Saturday, December 4-5, noon to 8pm Sunday, December 6th, noon to 6pm
In this age of environmental anxiety, the act of switching a light bulb on or of becomes increasingly meaningful. In that spirit, here are five pieces of art about using light switches:
This simple idea from Tiffany Holmes at ecoviz.org was displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicaco last month under the title darkSky. Viewers are encouraged to turn these salvaged lamps on or off as they please. The resulting electricity consumption is displayed on a screen nearby. I’m guessing the purists can’t resist turning all the lamps off, while the aesthetes can’t resist turning them back on again. Of course the really smart purist would turn the tv monitor off as well.
Tue Greenfort’s work has simple wit to it. Back in 2002 he created this untitled piece in Frankfurt [see right]. The switch gives people the ability to turn the street lamp off when it’s not needed. (Image courtesy of Johann Koenig, Berlin).
Robert Watt’s 1965 piece Lightswitch, played with the notion of a light switch as an instrument to turn on a light to illuminate a space. In this case, when the switch is flipped, a light turned on inside the switch box itself, illuminating the two screw holes of the lightswitch face plate.
In 2002 the Gorbet Art Collective, Professor of Electrical Engineering Rob Gorbet and and husband-and-wife Matt and Susan Gorbet created a piece of work called Power to the People or P2Pto celebrate the 100th anniversary of a publicly-owned hydro electric company in Kitchener, Ontario. It consists of 125 light bulps and a panel with 125 switches on, each connected to one of the bulbs. The public can chose which light bulbs to illuminate.
darkSky 2009 is an interactive installation by Tiffany Holmes which presents a series of salvaged lamps that visitors are encouraged to turn on and off, and the resulting energy consumption is presented in real-time as an animation on a single plasma screen. This exhibit was recently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art MCA, Chicago, from April 4-26, 2009 and will be shown across from the Jean Albano Gallery Booth 549 during the Art Chicago event this weekend at the Merchandise Mart.
“Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are only the experiment.”
I’m never entirely sure what that quotation really means, but R. Buckminster Fuller’s grand turn of phrase was only one part of his genius, mixing the mystically visionary with the visonarily practical. This week sees the largest celebration of his work in 35 years open at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Starting With The Universe explores that mixture of utopianism and engagement.
Another quote from Bucky, this time from Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, which is published online by the Buckminster Fuller Institute here. Bear in mind this was written around 46 years ago:
The fossil fuel deposits of our Spaceship Earth correspond to our automobile’s storage battery which must be conserved to turn over our main engine’s self-starter. Thereafter, our “main engine,” the life regenerating processes, must operate exclusively on our vast daily energy income from the powers of wind, tide, water, and the direct Sun radiation energy. The fossil-fuel savings account has been put aboard Spaceship Earth for the exclusive function of getting the new machinery built with which to support life and humanity at ever more effective standards of vital physical energy and reinspiring metaphysical sustenance to be sustained exclusively on our Sun radiation’s and Moon pull gravity’s tidal, wind, and rainfall generated pulsating and therefore harnessable energies. The daily income energies are excessively adequate for the operation of our main industrial engines and their automated productions. The energy expended in one minute of a tropical hurricane equals the combined energy of all the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. nuclear weapons. Only by understanding this scheme may we continue for all time ahead to enjoy and explore universe as we progressively harness evermore of the celestially generated tidal and storm generated wind, water, and electrical power concentrations. We cannot afford to expend our fossil fuels faster than we are “recharging our battery,” which means precisely the rate at which the fossil fuels are being continually deposited within Earth’s spherical crust.