Yearly Archives: 2009

Bat-Yam Biennale: Urban Action 2010

Call for Participation
The Bat-Yam Biennale is pleased to announce the open call for participation 
in Urban Action 2010.


The Bat-Yam Biennale functions as a laboratory through which attitudes in 
and towards urban space are examined. Urban Action 2010 continues the urban 
action begun in the first biennale , in which Hosting was the theme.

The 2010 Bat-Yam Biennale invites urban interventions that examine the 
city’s “flexible” nature. We invite anyone involved or interested in 
urbanism to propose interventions in the city of Bat-Yam.

We are looking for innovative proposals that will lead to the development 
and improvement of urban life.

For more details, go to: www.opencall2010.biennale-batyam.org
Please send all submissions to: applications.batyam@gmail.com

Deadline for submissions: August 30th, 2009

Bat-Yam international biennale of landscape urbansim
Curators: Sigal Barnir and Yael Moria
Asst Curators: Yael Caron and Adi Gura

www.biennale-batyam

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The greenest theatre in Montreal? Check out Repercussion Theatres Shakespeare in the Park – Green Life

The Repercussion Theatre company has been offering productions that are inherently green in Montreals parks for 20 years now. Since its shows, always the works of William Shakespeare, are presented outdoors in 15 different city parks they dont relay on climate control and heavy lighting like traditional indoor productions do. The company provides composting and recycling facilities if they dont already exist at their sites. Now Repercussion Theatre is using “Enviro100” recycled paper for its publications. The paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as forest friendly, is chlorine-free and manufactured using biogas energy.

via The greenest theatre in Montreal? Check out Repercussion Theatres Shakespeare in the Park – Green Life.

“Civil resistance”, science and ethics

We are in for a season of civil disobedience. The Save Vestas campaign has gone national.Kingsnorth rumbles on, as does the Heathrow protest – which is likely to be the focus of the next Climate Camp at the end of August. Next month also sees Wales‘  and Scotland’s first Climate Camps. As COP15 focusses minds, there are even plans to disrupt the Copenhagen meeting.

A generation of jobless students will now swell numbers. But should those less used to participating in civil action also be getting stuck in?

In a recent newsletter [PDF 147KB], climate scientist/activist James Hansen concludes with a short section titled “Civil Resistance: Is the Sundance Kid a Criminal?”, suggesting the urgent need for what Gandhi called “civil resistance” rather than “civil disobedience”, especially directed towards companies who are guilty of passing the bill for carbon clean up to future generations. Even though his choice of gun-slinging Western hero rather shows which era he’s coming from, I guess he’s qualified to talk, because James Hansen himself was arrested alongside Daryl Hannah last month for his part in the West Virginia coal mining protests.

The excellent climate science blogger Jo Abbess has just raised his arrest in a post which argues that such action by scientists is vital because, as George Marshall of the New Scientisthas been saying, the public as a whole are not changing their behaviour in the way that those scientists know they should be .

This argument implies that scientists, as the people who really understand the bottom line, are now ethically bound to start to do more than produce data. They must join with scientists like Hansen. But if scientists remain hesitant to get start linking arms and chaining themselves to fences, Hansen’s own reputation as a leading climate scientist is an example of why. The man warned Congress back in 1988 about the perils of global warming has been under assault ever since he turned activist. Despite his role as a leading scientist and head of the NASA Gordon Institute for Space Studies, his name has been dragged through the mud by global warming sceptics. His arrest last month prompted the New York Times headline “Does NASA’s James Hansen Still Matter?”

What are the responsibilities of those who know to act? And what are the consequences if they do?

“Well done ThWART” photo by darrangange

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i wanna jam with you

Fourth Annual Jam with the Fallen Fruit Collective
Sunday, August 2 – 10am to 1pm

at Machine Project

This year Fallen Fruit has also sent out a National Call for a Summer of Public Fruit Jams, encouraging people everywhere to get together and organize their own collective jam sessions. Their hope is to inspire a national movement of public jamming. For instructions contact: Matias Viegener, Fallen Fruit @ (323) 788-1479.

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APInews: Porta Hedge in D.C. + Cross-country Tour

This summer, artist Justin Shull has been touring the U.S. in his Porta Hedge, a mobile artificial hedge with an exterior of recycled artificial Christmas trees. The interior conceals a remote observation system and satellite Internet uplink, mobile solar electric power, observation/escape hatch, bird camera, swings, chalkboards and Porta-Potti. Smudge Studio describes it as a “critical vehicle” that “seems to question icons of environmentalism. The design mobilizes, after all, a number elements that are popularly associated with ‘sustainability’ or ‘green design.’ But it does so in ways that don’t quite add up.” See a cross-country tour map and blog on the project Web site. There’s a second Porta Hedge “Backyard Naturalist Study” installed at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., part “Flora: Growing Inspirations.”

via APInews: Porta Hedge in D.C. + Cross-country Tour .

Video | Feral trade cafe: buying a narrative with your coffee.

Feral Trade Cafe, London from RSA Arts & Ecology on Vimeo.
A Flip camera video.

It’s interesting to see how the best media art moved on from the idea of creating networks in the virtual world, to seeing how those networks could affect the real world. Early net communities were full of idealism; how far does that ability to change the way we interact with each other spill over into the physical?

Earlier this year I talked to Amy Francheschini about the way ideas from her art practice asFuturefarmers informed the creation of Victory Gardens 2008+ in San Francisco. On Friday I dropped into North London’s HTTP Gallery, where media artists/gallerists Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett have created the Feral Trade Cafe implemeting artist Kate Rich’s Feral Tradenetwork in their gallery space.

The cafe is sourced by real personal trade networks – artists bringing back Turkish Delight from Montenegro or discovering a source of honey in Rotherhithe. By using virtual space to record each trade route, every item you consume in the cafe comes with a  narrative. the bland, impersonal act of trade can suddenly come alive with stories, showing us how the items we buy under the normal rules of trade disconnect us from the world in which we live.

Read Ruth Catlow discussing Catlow and Garrett’s we won’t fly for art at the RSA Arts & Ecology Centre.

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AFLA’s 2009 Design Green Call for Entries and Scholarship


From the Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles: As Renzo Piano suggests, sustainability is the 21st century order for architecture and the built environment-and when exceptional design is seamlessly integrated with new high performance standards for conservation and sustainable building practices are implemented, innovative and sophisticated solutions are the result. This evolution of form is coming of age and changing the landscape one space, one home, and one building at a time. The Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles (AFLA) mission recognizes this metamorphosis of design integrated with the language of sustainability and a spirit of environmental justice. AFLA recognizes both LEED and the Living Building Challenge (LBC) as measures of best practice sustainable design and sees a need to recognize design elegance in that context. The Design/Green Awards were created by the AFLA to honor exceptional design of LEED and LBC projects in Southern California. As with the judging of last year’s entries, this year’s jury will include internationally recognized architects, engineers, and designers.

To download an application form go to http://www.afla.us/cfe.html

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Bill Viola videos God

Like Brian Sewell at a Jeff Koons show, BBC Radio 4’s John Humphrys seemed baffled by the idea of Bill Viola creating a video installation altarpiece for St Paul’s cathedral when he interviewed him a couple of weeks ago.

It’s interesting, in this secular age, that art keeps its privileged position to engage with the spiritual. Religion makes the British twitchy. Increasingly, we’re more at ease with Richard Dawkins’ shouty there-is-no-God-and-anyone-who-suggests-there-is-is-an-idiot line. I am a nullifidian to the bone, but 10,000 years and more of human culture suggests Pascal’s  God Shaped Hole may well exist, as some neuroscientists seem to be saying, and this uncertainty is territory that art has always been perfectly at ease in.

Art has always represented the shape religion takes but at the moment it appears we’re not too sure what that shape is. The Romantic-era  God, glimpsed in the sublime of the perfect landscape has taken a hike, gasping for breath. The foot-stamping God of vengence is making a come-back, true, but here is plenty of space for art to build a new God.

Bill Viola’s installation should be complete by 2011.

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