The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington is currently showing the exhibition Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012. Curated by Barbara Matilsky, with an accompanying catalogue distributed by University of Washington Press, the exhibition provides a 200-year overview of artists’ responses to the enduring fascination that frigid and isolated places seem to exert on the human imagination. While climate change is, at least in the public consciousness, a relatively recent concern, our desire to conquer the poles is not. In that context, it is interesting to step back and look at the evolution of Arctic imagery, from early 18th century romantic depictions of forbidden landscapes to contemporary works highlighting the vulnerability and fragility of polar environments. Artists from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Russia, Switzerland and the United States are represented. Notable among them are Arctic veteran photographers James Balog, whose ambitious project Extreme Ice Survey was recently featured in the documentary Chasing Ice; Subhankar Banerjee, a leading voice on issues of arctic conservation, indigenous human rights, resource development and climate change; Gary Braasch and his World View of Global Warming project; and David Buckland, founder of the British organization Cape Farewell.
Other articles about the exhibition can be read here, here and here.
Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau 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.
This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace
Over the past two years ecoartspace has focused on creating an archive of ephemera and video interviews of ecological artists’ work. We have also been invited to contribute several essays for publication with increasing interest.
Our most recent essay, Public Art Ecology: From Restoration to Intervention, co-written by Amy Lipton and Patricia Watts, is for a new book entitled The New Earthwork: Art, Action, Agencyedited by Twylene Moyer and Glenn Harper and published by International Sculpture Center Press (distributed by University of Washington Press). In this essay we reviewed long-term projects by artists Mierle Ukeles, Patricia Johanson, Mark Brest van Kempen and Jackie Brooker; and also highlighted recent temporal works by Eve Mosher, EcoArtTech, Amy Franceschni+Future Farmer and Tattoo Tan.
Patricia Watts has published an essay which is a start to a book she would like to write on ecological performance art. Entitled Performative Public Art Ecology you can read it online in the Women Environmental Artists Directory magazine, Issue #4 entitled No Time For Complacency edited by Susan Leibovitz Steinman, co-founder of WEAD. In this essay Watts examines important performance based ecoart with early examples beginning in 1970 and follow its evolution up to 2008. The works featured illustrate an evolution from the gestural, poetic, or conceptual, towards more practical actions that provide tools for sustainable living.
Another recently uploaded piece online is an interview with Watts for the #5 Winter Issue of Mammut magazine entitled Some Kind of Nature, published out of Los Angeles and edited by Matthias Merkel Hess and Roman Jaster. In the interview Hess and Watts discuss The Ebb and Flow of Ecology and Art. The magazine is available as a high or low res download and can be viewed as an online flip book (very sustainable), each for FREE.
And, to start 2012 off on a good funding foot, ecoartspace was awarded a grant from the Arnow Family Fund in New York to do new interviews for our video archive and to edit footage from interviews we did in 2010-11. Interviews with Mierle Ukeles, Buster Simpson, Susan Liebovitz Steinman, Betsy Damon and Bonnie Sherk are now in the works. These are two hour interviews that will be available for research purposes and will also be edited into approximately 5 minute videos for exhibition purposes. Previous edited interviews with Patricia Johanson and Jackie Brookner can be viewed on the ecoartspace YouTube site HERE.
We are going to be using our blog as the main ecoartspace website for now until we build a new site this year, and are also looking to create a digital catalogue of our first 12 years (1999-2011), pending funding.
ecoartapace is one of the leading international organizations in a growing community of artists, scientists, curators, writers, nonprofits and businesses who are developing creative and innovative strategies to address our global environmental issues. We promote a diverse range of artworks that are participatory, collaborative, interdisciplinary and uniquely educational. Our philosophy embodies a broader concept of art in its relationship to the world and seeks to connect human beings aesthetically with the awareness of larger ecological systems.
Founded in 1997 by Tricia Watts as an art and nature center in development, ecoartspace was one of the first websites online dedicated to art and environmental issues. New York City curator Amy Lipton joined Watts in 1999, and together they have curated numerous exhibitions, participated on panels, given lectures at universities, developed programs and curricula, ad written essays for publications from both the East and West Coasts. They advocate for international artists whose projects range from scientifically based ecological restoration to product based functional artworks, from temporal works created outdoors with nature to eco-social interventions in the urban public sphere, as well as more traditional art objects.
ecoartspace has been a project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in
Los Angeles since 1999. Go to EcoArtSpace