Yearly Archives: 2011

Arcola Theatre’s Carbon Footprint, April 2011

We are working with Julies Bicycle to monitor our carbon emissions using their Industry Green Tool, which involves entering figures for our consumption of electricity, water, and consumables as well as figures on staff and audience travel in to their website on a monthly basis. April was the first month in out new building on Ashwin Street where we have had enough data to start using their monitoring tool again. Arcola Theatre’s carbon footprint for April 2011 was equal to 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide, that’s 0.38 kg CO2e per seat, per show. The average person in the UK will emit 10 tonnes of CO2e per year, if Arcola Theatre continues with these emissions throughout the year our annual carbon footprint would be 36 tonnes of CO2e.

We don’t think that’s good enough, over the month of May we will be working to reduce our carbon emissions further. We will start by ensuring that we are not heating the building unnecessarily over the warmer weather and ensuring all electrical outlets are switched off when the building is closed. The Industry Green tool assumes an average travel emission for each audience member per show, unless we enter data regarding audience travel. The estimated average travel emissions are the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint at present and we’d like to be able to provide the site with more accurate data on audience travel therefore we are conducting an Audience Travel Survey this month. If you would like to help us with this then please click on the link at the end of this article.

Travel Survey

Go to Arcola Energy

Sam’s Post #9 -Trailer: New Mascot for Cal Arts?

Photo credit: 24700, CalArts blog

 

by Sam Breen

This week I will graduate with my MFA in acting, so we are turning the page on the last chapter of the trailer’s involvement at CalArts.

Every year, the Theatre School sets aside the last two weeks of the academic calendar for New Works Festival, an event by and for the students.  The trailer was chosen to be a venue for the event. Three shows were performed in and around the Spartan: “The Nomad Project”; a dance piece about the transformation of the dancer’s body;  “True Love,” a reading of Chuck Mee’s play that also involved a BBQ and water-gun fight; and “Outbound to Wonderland” a play written with the trailer in mind about a 9-yearl-old girl’s subway journey to a stop called Wonderland.

As with Arts in the One World in January, I was amazed at how people came together to make this event happen. When one of the artists was worried that her computer speakers wouldn’t be powerful enough to be heard, she made a phone call and an hour later she had a sound designer – a PA system and a couple of professional speakers on booms – in time for the performance of her show.

Another example: the cast and crew of “Outbound to Wonderland” decided it would be best to set up their outdoor stage in the middle of the night, when they could properly test their lights and visual effects, and still everyone involved in the production (actors, designers, crew etc.) showed up to help out.

New Works took care of much of the logistics and the scheduling at the trailer, so I was able to relax a little and be a spectator. I watched the shows and witnessed how, over the course of the semester, the trailer had become much more than an elaborate backdrop—it was now a central character. The Spartan had evolved into something of a mobile landmark at CalArts and a symbol for the creativity and unique collaborative nature of this school.

I think CalArts just found its new mascot. 

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from http://spartantrailerrestoration.wordpress.com as part of our CSPA Supports Program.

Exhibition: “On the Metaphor of Growth”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Until June 26, 2011 in Hannover, Germany

As a concept initially associated with biology, “growth” suggests something natural.  However, if one follows the concept of growth as a metaphor borrowed from biology, one additionally encounters a second side that usually negates the metaphorical use. Organic growth is consistently defined by a natural border; it knows a state of being fully grown and is determined by the cycle of growth and decay. Stagnation, transience and renewal are part of the “natural,” but hardly find any metaphorical acceptance. Economic growth or technical development, for example, knows no boundary and no saturation.

The international exhibition project “On the Metaphor of Growth” brings together various strands of artistic dealings with different phenomena of growth to construct a tension field out of positive and negative connotations of growing, occasioning fundamental reflections. In the process, the artists’ designs — their reactions and answers to specific consequences of the idea of growth — form a matrix that enables the central position of the concept of growth in the social self-image to be experienced.

“On the Metaphor of Growth” is a cooperation between the Kunstverein Hannover, the Frankfurt Kunstverein and the Kunsthaus Baselland. Each of the three exhibitions place a different accent on artistic dealings with the concept of growth, demonstrating its present-day ambivalence in economic, biological and social contexts.

Artists: Michel Blazy, Peter Buggenhout, Armin Chodzinski, Dirk Fleischmann, Tue Greenfort, Karl Hans Janke, San Keller, Dan Peterman, Reynold Reynolds, Mika Rottenberg, Julika Rudelius, Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger, Superflex, Rachel Sussman, Andreas Zybach.

Venue: Kunstverein Hannover, Sophienstraße 2, 30159 Hannover, Germany.

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12.00-7.00pm, Sunday and on holidays 11.00am–7.00pm.

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

CONTEMPORARY SLAVERY

Courtesy of Stefan Irvine

June 3 – August 5, 2011
Exhibition Opening Friday, June 3, 2011/ 7-9pm
One Day Symposium Saturday, June 11, 2011 / 10am-6pm
SEA Poetry Series, June 14, 2011 / 7-9pm
Preview of DIGIMOVIES, Thursdays starting June 16, 2011

NEW YORK – CONTEMPORARY SLAVERY, a project of SEA (Social Environmental Aesthetics) and the second annual ECOAESTHETIC exhibition, investigates various forms of contemporary slavery—from human trafficking and the sex trade; to the exploitation of farm and domestic workers, immigrants and prisoners; to sweatshop, bonded, and child labor—through a bombardment of images taken by leading photojournalists documenting this issue. A symposium will unite scholars, humanitarians and activists in dialogue in order to draw critical attention to this under-recognized local and international issue.

According to the United Nations, it is estimated that more than 27 million people are enslaved worldwide, “more than double the number of those who were deported in the 400-year history of the transatlantic slave trade to the Americas.” In his seminal text Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, Kevin Bales, one of the world’s pre-eminent experts on modern slavery, defines contemporary slavery as distinguished by the low cost of slaves, high profits, surplus of potential slaves, and the disposable, short-term as well as hereditary relationships between slaves and slave holders/traders. From prison labor in America to sex trafficking in Southeast Asia, and child soldiers in Africa, CONTEMPORARY SLAVERY exposes the horrors of slavery that still exist today in all corners of the world.

Contemporary Slavery exhibition conceived by Papo Colo.

Exhibition organized by Herb Tam, Associate Curator, Lauren Rosati, Assistant Curator, Jeanette Ingberman, and Papo Colo.

CONTEMPORARY SLAVERY SYMPOSIUM at EXIT ART

SATURDAY, JUNE 11 / 10am-6pm
Reception / 6-8pm

EXIT ART, 475 Tenth Ave (between 36th and 37th Streets), New York, NY 10018, T. 212 966 7745
http://www.exitart.org/exhibition_programs/current_programs/slavery.html#prison
Tickets: $5 – Single Panel; $20 – Day pass with lunch at Exit Art
RSVP and to purchase tickets. http://www.exitart.org/support/rsvp.html

Schedule:

  • 10:00am – 10:30am – Coffee
  • 10:30am – 12:30pm – Panel 1: The Long Chain of Slavery from Plantation to Prison
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm – Lunch
  • 1:30pm – 3:30pm – Panel 2: The Slave Next Door: Local and Global Labor
  • 3:30pm -4:00pm – Coffee
  • 4:00pm – 6:00pm – Panel 3: Trafficking, Sex Workers, Migration, and Slavery
  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm – Reception

The Long Chain of Slavery from Plantation to Prison

10:30am – 12:30pm
Moderator: Eddie Ellis
Panelists: Gloria Browne-Marshall, Scott Christianson, Joanna Weschler

The Slave Next Door: Local and Global Labor

1:30-3:30pm
Moderator: Ron Soodalter
Panelists: John Bowe, Benedetta Rossi, Barbara Young

Trafficking, Sex Workers, Migration, and Slavery

4:00-6:00pm
Moderator: Tiantian Zheng
Panelists: Dina Francesca Haynes, Jennifer MacFarlane, Norma Ramos

OVERVIEW

In the past thirty years, thanks to globalization, new media technologies, and shifts in social, financial, and political patterns, there has been a recognition and resurgence of a wide range of human rights abuses commonly known as “slaveries.” From traditional types of lifelong servitude to forced labor in the sex, prison, farming, and domestic workers industries, as well as debt bondage, slavery persists internationally both in ancient and modern forms. This symposium is intended to bring together diverse communities, controversies, and conversations to address these varied but related concerns.

  1. Not all slaveries were abolished in the US in 1865 with the thirteenth amendment. One type remains sanctioned by the state, which is as “punishment for crime.” The first panel, “The Long Chain of Slavery from Plantation to Prison,” will examine the legacy and contemporary guises of slavery in relation to prisons in the US and abroad.
  2. The second panel, The “Slave Next Door: Local and Global Labor,” will investigate what are more commonly understood as traditional types of slavery and their current forms. These can be hidden, as is often the case with domestic workers, or in plain sight, as seen in restaurant workers or in contexts where such servitude has been accepted as traditional custom and law.
  3. The third panel, “Trafficking, Sex Workers, Migration, and Slavery,” will deal with types of “slavery” that have perhaps received the most attention in the US and internationally: forced labor and trafficked persons in the sex industry. The increase in–and/or visibility of–these disparate forms of human suffering and exploitation are linked to some of the following often intertwined factors: a rise in migration; more powerful corporate globalization; conflicts within and among states; changes in criminal justice and prison labor policies; racial, gender-based, and other forms of discrimination; inequitable redistribution of wealth; and new media technologies. This symposium is intended to ignite and inspire new creative possibilities, ideas, and strategies for understanding and dealing with one of the distinguishing features of our time: “our slaveries.”

PANELISTS

The Long Chain of Slavery from Plantation to Prison

Eddie Ellis is the founder-director of the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions, an independent criminal justice think tank formerly at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, where he is a Research Fellow with the Dubois-Bunche Institute for Economic and Public Policy and was an adjunct instructor. In 2006, he was a member of the Transition Team for Criminal Justice for New York’s Governor–elect Eliot Spitzer. He has served as a consultant on justice policy issues to the Domestic Policy Advisor to President George W. Bush and for numerous organizations including the Council of State Governments, New York State Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute, and the Vera Institute of Justice. Ellis is the host and executive producer of the critically acclaimed weekly public affairs program, “On the Count: The Prison and Criminal Justice Report,” broadcast over WBAI-FM in New York City.

Gloria Browne-Marshall is a former Civil Rights attorney, teaches Constitutional Law as well as Race and the Law classes at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Professor Browne-Marshall is the Founder/Director of The Law and Policy Group, Inc. as well as a playwright of seven produced plays and the author of the books Race, Law, and American Society: 1607 to Present, The U.S. Constitution: An African-American Context, and The Constitution: Major Cases and Conflicts.

Scott Christianson is an award-winning author, investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, curator, and human rights activist specializing in American criminal justice and slavery. He has published hundreds of articles in The Nation, the Village Voice, The New York Times, Washington Post, Mother Jones, the Journal of American History, and other newspapers, magazines and journals. Some of his books include With Liberty for Some: 500 Years of Imprisonment in America; Condemned: Inside the Sing Sing Death House; Freeing Charles: The Struggle to Free a Slave on the Eve of the Civil War; and The Last Gasp: The Rise and Fall of the American Gas Chamber. Christianson has helped several wrongfully-convicted prisoners gain their freedom and a film he directed with Egmont R. Koch made its debut this month on ARTE (France) and WDR (Germany).

Joanna Weschler is the Director of Research and Deputy Executive Director of the Security Council Report, an organization affiliated with Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, which she joined in 2005. From 1994 until 2005, Weschler was the United Nations representative for Human Rights Watch. As the first person appointed by Human Rights Watch to this position, Ms. Weschler developed and articulated HRW’s strategy toward the United Nations. Prior to her position at the U.N. and the Security Council, she was the Poland researcher for Helsinki Watch; Brazil researcher for Americas Watch; and Director of HRW’s Prison Project. She has conducted human rights investigations in countries on five continents and written numerous reports and articles on human rights.

The Slave Next Door: Local and Global Labor

Ron Soodalter has pursued a variety of careers. With degrees in American History, Education, and American Folk Culture, he has worked as a teacher, folklorist, museum curator, scrimshander, Flamenco guitarist, television producer, and author. In addition to his two current books, Hanging Captain Gordon and The Slave Next Door, Soodalter has recently written for several publications, including Smithsonian, The New York Times, Civil War Times, and New York Archives, and is a featured columnist for America’s Civil War. He is the recipient of the International Regional Magazine Association’s 2010 Gold Award. An acknowledged authority on both the historical and modern-day slave trade, Soodalter currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Institute.

John Bowe has contributed to The New Yorker, GQ, The American Prospect, PRI’s “This American Life” and others. He is currently a contributing writer with The New York Times Magazine. He is also the author of Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy. He is a recipient of the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award; the Sydney Hillman Award for journalists, writers, and public figures who pursue social justice and public policy for the common good; the Richard J. Margolis Award, dedicated to journalism that combines social concern and humor; and the Harry Chapin Media Award for reportage of hunger- and poverty-related issues.

Benedetta Rossi is RCUK Fellow in International Slavery at the Department of History of the University of Liverpool (United Kingdom). She is Director of the MA Program in International Slavery Studies and exiting co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS). She works on the history of government, labor, mobility, and slavery in West Africa. Her edited book Reconfiguring Slavery: West African Trajectories has recently been published (2009) and she is currently coordinating a publication project on slavery and migration in West Africa.

Barbara Young is the National Organizer for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She was a domestic worker for 17 years, and is well acquainted with both the exploitation domestic workers face and the potential of domestic workers to organize for lasting change. She is an active member of Domestic Workers United (DWU), one of the NDWA’s founding affiliate organizations, and has provided consistent and inspiring leadership for the NDWA since its founding.

Trafficking, Sex Workers, Migration, and Slavery

Tiantian Zheng received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Yale University in 2003, and currently teaches as Professor of Anthropology in the department of Sociology / Anthropology at SUNY Cortland. Her book Red Lights is the Winner of the 2010 Sara A. Whaley book prize from the National Women’s Studies Association for its significant contribution to the topic of women and labor. She is the author of four books on sex, gender, migration, HIV/AIDS, and the state: Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China (2009); Ethnographies of Prostitution in Contemporary China: Gender Relations, HIV/AIDS, and Nationalism (2009); HIV/AIDS Through an Anthropological Lens (2009); and Sex-Trafficking, Human Rights, and Social Justice (2010). She also edited an issue of the Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies titled “Anti-Trafficking, Human Rights, and Social Justice in Wagadu” (2008).

Jennifer MacFarlane is a Brooklyn-based humanitarian photographer. In 2006 Jennifer traveled to Cambodia to do a story with Marianne Pearl for Glamour magazine on the brothels in Cambodia and Somaly Mam, a heroic woman who has risked her own life to rescue these girls. Jennifer realized that their stories needed to be told and has used every opportunity to raise awareness about this subject (from exhibiting her photos in fashion boutiques in SoHo and spearheading innovative events) to bring attention to the beautiful young girls who stole her heart in Cambodia.

Norma Ramos is a longstanding public interest attorney and social justice activist. She is an eco-feminist, who links the worldwide inequality and destruction of women to the destruction of the environment. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), which is the world’s first organization to fight against human trafficking internationally, now in its twenty-second year. She writes and speaks extensively about the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls as a core global injustice, and has appeared on such shows as Charlie Rose, Larry King Live and Tavis Smiley.

Dina Francesca Haynes is a Professor of Law at New England Law, Boston, where she teaches courses related to immigration, international law, ethics, refugee and asylum law, international women’s issues, human trafficking and Constitutional law. She spent a decade practicing international law, in such positions as Director General of the Human Rights Department for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and as Human Rights Advisor to the OSCE in Serbia and Montenegro. She has also worked for the United Nations, serving as a Protection Officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Croatia) and has been received positions with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Rwanda and Afghanistan). Professor Haynes was also an attorney for the United States Department of Justice and clerked on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. She researches and writes in the areas of human trafficking, labor exploitation, immigration law, human rights law, post conflict reconstruction, international organizations, humanitarian law and migration. She has published one book on post conflict reconstruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and has another (co-authored) book with Oxford University Press, entitled On the Frontlines, on the topic of gender and postconflict reconstruction out in September 2011.

CONTEMPORARY SLAVERY SYMPOSIUM conceived and organized by Mary Anne Staniszewski, Associate Professor, Department of Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Symposium coordinated and organized by Herb Tam, Associate Curator, Lauren Rosati, Assistant Curator. Additional advice and support from Mark Looney.

SEA POETRY SERIES NO. 7

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 / 7-9pm
With Tonya Foster

The SEA Poetry Series emphasizes diverse ways in which poets address social and environmental issues in their work. Presented in connection with specific SEA exhibitions, the series aims to investigate and expand the exhibition theme through the lens of contemporary poetry. After each reading, an artist from the exhibition or a community member working within the exhibition theme briefly responds to the poet. Past poets in the series have included Jonathan Skinner, Marcella Durand, Laura Elrick, The Canary Project, James Sherry and Julie Ezelle Patton. Panelists TBA.

SEA Poetry Series conceived and organized by E.J. McAdams, poet and Associate Director of Philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy, New York City. $5. Cash bar. Q and A to follow.

Tonya Foster is the author of poetry, fiction, and essays that have been published in a variety of journals from Callaloo to The Hat to Western Humanities Review. She is the author of A Swarm of Bees in High Court (Belladonna Press) and co-editor of Third Mind: Creative Writing Through Visual Art. She is currently completing a cross-genre piece on New Orleans, and Monkey Talk, an inter-genre piece about race, paranoia, and surveillance. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the City University of New York Graduate Center. A recipient of a number of fellowships, notably from the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and City University of New York, Foster teaches at Bard College. A native of New Orleans, she writes and resides in Harlem.

SEA Poetry Series support provided by Poets and Writers Inc.

DIGIMOVIES

Thursday evenings starting June 16, 2011
Additional dates and times TBA

DIGIMOVIES is a new movie theater at Exit Art exclusively devoted to presenting digitally-produced independent cinema. Outfitted for state-of-the-art presentation, the 70-seat DIGIMOVIES theater provides an intimate and lively setting for screenings and discussions.

DIGIMOVIES is conceived by Papo Colo. DIGIMOVIES screenings organized by Matthew Freundlich, Project Manager.

Film Screenings: DIGIMOVIES presents a selection of documentary and narrative films that examine various forms of modern-day slavery, including human trafficking, forced prostitution, child labor, debt bondage, and person-to-person ownership. Select screenings will include discussions with filmmakers, journalists and scholars. Films and screening dates TBA.

DigiMovies support provided by the Rockefeller Cultural Initiative Fund.

ABOUT EXIT ART

Exit Art is an independent vision of contemporary culture. We are prepared to react immediately to important issues that affect our lives. We do experimental, historical and unique presentations of aesthetic, social, political and environmental issues. We absorb cultural differences that become prototype exhibitions. We are a center for multiple disciplines. Exit Art is a 29-year-old cultural center in New York City founded by Directors Jeanette Ingberman and artist Papo Colo, that has grown from a pioneering alternative art space, into a model artistic center for the 21st century committed to supporting artists whose quality of work reflects the transformations of our culture. Exit Art is internationally recognized for its unmatched spirit of inventiveness and consistent ability to anticipate the newest trends in the culture. With a substantial reputation for curatorial innovation and depth of programming in diverse media, Exit Art is always changing.

ABOUT SEA (Social-Environmental Aesthetics)
SEA is a diverse multimedia exhibition program that addresses social and environmental concerns. It assembles artists, activists, scientists and scholars through presentations of visual art, performances, panels and lecture series that communicate international activities concerning environmental and social activism. It provides a vehicle through which the public can be made aware of socially- and environmentallyengaged work, and a forum for collaboration among artists, scientists, activists, scholars and the public. SEA functions as an initiative where individuals can join together in dialogue about issues that affect our daily lives. Conceived by Exit Art Co-Founder / Artistic Director Papo Colo.

EXHIBITION SUPPORT

This exhibition and symposium was supported by a major grant from the New York Council for the Humanities. Additional support provided by the Puffin Foundation. General exhibition support provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bloomberg LP; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation; PollockKrasner Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn; and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

EXIT ART 475 Tenth Ave at 36th St NYC / 212-966-7745 / www.exitart.org
Open Tu–Th, 10am–6pm; Fr, 10am–8pm; Sa, 12–6pm. $5 suggested donation

PVC Tape in Lighting Rigs.

Rubber strap at work!

With each show that comes into Arcola comes a different lighting rig.  We encourage production companies to look at ways they can reduce the carbon footprint of their show, and last week we introduced a new way of doing this during the pre rig of Uncle Vanya.

The large amount of cable used in theatre lighting rigs is usually taped to a lighting bar with PVC tape, which is not reusable.  We have estimated that approximately 198m of this tape is used per production.  We did think of using Velcro ties instead, but Lighting Designer on Uncle Vanya, Alex Wardle came up with an idea using rubber bands, which we developed so we could use recycled materials.

For the production of Uncle Vanya however, we’ve swapped this PVC tape for reusable rubber straps, made from used bicycle inner tubes. Just under 100 of these were made especially for this production.  We hope that more companies will be interested in using these straps if the trial on Uncle Vanya goes well, so that eventually we can be free of PVC tape on our productions.

Go to Arcola Energy

Value

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

The increasing use of financial values for ecological things (trees, bees, etc.) is deeply problematic.

In Canada for instance PeterBorough’s Green Up and Urban Forest Stewardship Programme (as reported in the Peterborough Examiner) has been literally tying price tags to trees to highlight their importance to members of the public.  The value attributed is over 50 years and it does identify the different aspects of the value of trees,

“The tags list oxygen generation ($31,250), air pollution control ($62,000), water recycling ($37,500) and soil erosion control ($31,250) as a tree’s top contributions to a community.”

Whilst this at least acknowledges some of the complexity, English Nature reported that “Bees are worth £200 million”.  This was originally reported on the BBC at about the same time that Lehman Brothers collapsed with a reported figure in the region of $613 billion.

Dave Pritchard recently commented on the ecoartnetwork dialogue (9 April 2011),

“For a time, in the 1970s-80s, there was some of the kind of “reconsideration” you describe, with the “deep ecology” of Naess, Bateson, Berry et al. But if you analyse the evolution of the actual policy and advocacy discourse at 10-yearly intervals, for example from the 1972 Stockholm Conference to the 1982 World Conservation Strategy to the 1992 Rio Conference to the 2002 Johannesburg Summit (and then maybe in advance of the Rio+20 summit in 2012 look at the Aichi targets adopted last year), it has swung completely away from any ethics of “existence value” for the non-human component, to a forced justification (in adversarial arenas) in terms of “sustainable development”, “wise use”, “evidence-based conservation”, “ecosystem services” and (largely monetary) valuation of those services. The environmental movement (of which I am a part) congratulates itself on having found better ways of expressing the critical nature of ecosystems within broader mainstream audiences and processes, in this way. But this has all been done by becoming MORE anthropocentric and utilitarian; not less.”

Could the same narrative be written about both education and the arts (a.k.a the creative industries)? 

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.

Go to EcoArtScotland

Trash Hosts Outbound To Wonderland

The stars–and the moon- were in alignment last week when Cody Braudt, a BFA-1 student at Cal Art presented his play “Outbound to Wonderland” at Trailer Trash during the New Works Festival 2011.

The play focuses on the relationship between a precocious seven-year old girl and her writer father, a dreamer who fights for his daughter’s right to develop her imaginative powers.  Cody describes Lizzie as “spunky, sarcastic and ironic with a strong sense of fantasy- and sometimes a lack of focus.”

Nora King as Lizzie and Casey Jackson as her father

When a school psychologist prescribes medication to improve Lizzie’s math scores and classroom behavior,  her father recoils, worrying that medication will squelch Lizzie’s creative side.  Together, father and daughter plan an evening together under the stars in Wonderland, their imaginary world that is a tip of the  hat both to Lewis Carroll and to the real-world name of the last stop on Boston’s Blue Line.

Several of the play’s scenes are set underground,  on a subway platform and inside a subway car.  Filmed images from a speeding subway window are imaginatively projected against the Spartan’s aluminum siding, in a superb use of space, sound and light.

The inspiration for the play came more than a year ago when Cody and his dad were visiting schools in Boston. To get Cody a real-world feel of student life in the city, his father insisted that they take public transportation. Descending the subway steps, they saw the sign, “Outbound to Wonderland.”  At that moment something clicked:  they both thought it would make a great title for a play.

photo credit: Thrillho

In the end, Cody chose Cal Arts over Boston.  But the idea for the play surfaced again when he first arrived at his new school and saw Sam’s trailer parked in the lower lot.  “I thought it would be a perfect place to stage a play,” said Cody.  Later when Sam gave a talk to one of Cody’s classes, the two agreed Cody’s new work could take place at the trailer.

Two days before the first performance, the crew descended on the trailer at midnight to set up.  Then, during the tech rehearsal it rained, underscoring the challenges of outdoor performances.  The challenges of working with a small venue was another element.

“It’s a creative challenge,” Cory explained. “It’s not easy to work with the constraints on space.   But that’s what makes it stimulating.  It’s difficult to imagine the play being staged anywhere else.”

Cody (right) and his fellow technical directors for Outbound to Wonderland.

Cody practically grew up in the theatre world, acting professionally as a child at the Guthrie Theatre and other Minnesota venues. At Cal Arts he wanted to turn his hand to the technical side of productions.  “It’s a whole new world of creativity.  As a director, I want to be able to bring all these aesthetics together, to understand sound and lighting design.”

The move to Cal Arts was difficult at first, having left a tight-knit group of friends behind.  “After high school, some of them stayed in Minnesota; others moved to Chicago.  I was the only one who went all the way out to California.”

As the school year comes to an end Cody has fallen in love with Cal Arts.  “I’ve made new friends and have still been able to keep my old ones – they’ve been very supportive.”

When discussing the importance of home and community to artists – a theme central to the Trailer Trash Project – Cody says, “Home is not about a place, it’s about the people you enjoy being with, people who will support you. People who won’t stifle your imagination.”

detail from poster designed by Cody Braudt for "Outbound to Wonderland"

As the crew stuck the set late last Thursday night, Cody’s thoughts had already turned to future, considering how to expand and improve on the play, and of new productions he would soon undertake.  But he stopped long enough to discuss ways that Trailer Trash could join him on his journey,  Outbound to Wonderland.

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from http://spartantrailerrestoration.wordpress.com as part of our CSPA Supports Program.

Congress: “Right to the City”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

June 2nd to 5th 2011 in Hamburg

“The urban is defined as the place where people walk around, find themselves standing before and inside piles of objects, experience the intertwining of the threads of their activities until they become unrecognizable, entangle situations in such a way that they engender unexpected situations.” (Henri Lefèbvre: La révolution urbaine)

The Network Right To The City Hamburg invites to collective confusions, encounters and diversions at different places spread over the city. You can take part in workshops to the following topics:

  • Crisis of the neoliberal city
  • Housing, social issues, migration
  • Gender, race, class
  • Appropriation, squatting, resistance
  • Participation, representation, usurpation
  • Culture, production, casualisation
  • Utopia: a city for all

The Congress is organized by Netzwerk Recht auf Stadt Hamburg and Bundeskoordination Internationalismus (BUKO) as well as many urban activists from other cities (e.g. Kairo, Caracas, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, New York as well as activists from China, South Africa and many more).

For more information visit: kongress.rechtaufstadt.net

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

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT CARBON FOOTPRINT: Indie theatre project saves money and trees with paperless marketing at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

Imagine marketing a theatre event without printing a single postcard, flyer, or business card. Imagine a small, unknown group of theatre artist-activists reaching hundreds of people while saving trees, energy, and money.

This is exactly how playwright Shawn C. Harris and director Sara Lyons are taking green theatre one step further for their production of Tulpa, or Anne&Me for the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.

Tulpa, or Anne&Me is the first piece developed through Crossroads Theatre Project and will have its world premiere at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Tulpa, or Anne&Me tells the story of a web comic artist whose world gets turned upside down when Anne Hathaway crawls out of her television set, creating an intimate portrait of how race impacts their lives as women, friends, and human beings.

When the project was selected for New York’s premiere eco-friendly theatre festival, paperless marketing made perfect sense.

Says Harris, “As a fledgling project putting up our very first production, going with paperless marketing was an easy decision for us. With a shoestring budget, we only had enough money to pay for the essentials of staging our play. But Sara and I quickly discovered that our necessity gave us a powerful way to practice green theatre.”

Through a combination of e-mail, social media, and face-to-face, the production team of Tulpa, or Anne&Me has found a way to reach their audience without wasting paper, ink, or money.

“Because we can’t rely on a crowd of people showing up to our play because they like our postcard, we have to focus on making real connections with people. It’s time-consuming and exhausting, but the deeper connections we’re making with people is worth it. We’re reaching people who normally would not come to our show or see theatre at all, but they’re interested in what we’re doing and really want to support us.”

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity is New York’s premiere eco-friendly, socially conscious not-for-profit theatre festival.

Tulpa, or Anne&Me plays at the Robert Moss Theatre (440 Studios) on June 2 at 6pm, June 3 at 4pm, June 16 at 8pm, and June 19 at 8:15pm. Tickets are $18. For more information and to buy tickets, visit http://planetconnections.org/tulpaoranneme.

BIOGRAPHIES

SHAWN C. HARRIS (Playwright, founder of Crossroads Theatre Project) found playwriting through an unconventional path involving role-playing games, attempts at screenwriting, and a creative writing course during her sophomore year at Florida A&M University. Tulpa, or Anne&Me is her second full-length play.

Shawn is committed to using the arts – particularly theater and film – to challenge mainstream representations of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. About a year ago, Shawn founded Crossroads Theatre Project to give unconventional Black playwrights a chance to develop their own work. She runs two blogs, Ars Marginal and Love’s Labors Lost, geared towards examining the arts and entertainment from marginalized perspectives.

Shawn doesn’t limit her activism to cyberspace. She is also a member of WOW Cafe Theatre, a theater venue collectively run by all kinds of women. Lately she has been working with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, where she’s learning more about anti-racist analysis and organizing.

Despite all this activity, Shawn is really just a shy, quirky Southern girl who’s more comfortable in her own little world than in the spotlight.

SARA LYONS (Director) is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Madison with a degree in Theatre and Gender and Women’s Studies. She has experience as a director, teaching artist, and performer, and is committed to creating theatre that challenges the status quo and inspires its audience towards a more just and compassionate society.

Sara was introduced to the festival process as the Assistant Director on the premiere of Monica Bauer’s The Higher Education of Khalid Amir at the 2008 Midtown International Theatre Festival. She worked on several University productions at UW-Madison as a director and performer, and spent four years studying and performing long form improv with The Titanic Players. As a performance artist, she recently performed original work at P.S. 122 under the direction of Tim Miller.

As a teaching artist and applied theatre facilitator, Sara has worked internationally with children of all ages in impoverished communities, including rural Bocas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico as a member of the 2009 Savvy Theatre Works crew and in urban slums in the townships around Cape Town, South Africa as a 2010 summer teaching fellow with Teach With Africa. At home, she worked with patients and staff of the adolescent unit at South Beach Psychiatric Center and currently teaches drama in a Brooklyn elementary school.

Sara looks forward to continuing her journey as an artist-activist with Tulpa, or Anne&Me.

CROSSROADS THEATRE PROJECT empowers new African diaspora playwrights tell innovative stories from multiple axes of identity – including race, gender, sexuality, nationality, etc. – by providing developmental support at all stages of the creative process and facilitating the process of self-production.

The crossroads are rooted in African folklore, Vodou and Delta blues as a place where the strange and unexpected happen. You can speak with the dead, meet the spirits of your ancestors – even sell your soul to the Devil! There is no telling what can happen when you come to the crossroads. In a similar vein, Crossroads Theatre Project challenges assumptions about what African diaspora theatre is and what it can be.

THE PLANET CONNECTIONS THEATRE FESTIVITY is New York’s premiere eco- friendly/socially conscious not-for-profit theatre festival. Fostering a diverse cross-section of performances, the festival seeks to inspire artists and audiences both creatively and fundamentally, in a festive atmosphere forming a community of like-minded artists. At the heart of the festivity are individuals striving to create professional, meaningful theatre, while supporting organizations, which give back to the community at large.

Green Arts Festival on IndieGoGo

Houston’s first Green Arts Festival will take place on July 9 2011 as the culminating day/presentation of the Flor Y Canto sustainable green theater camp. The kids and their families and all of H-town will be invited to participate in and attend the Green Arts Fest! Created in partnership with GreeniRecycling, Houston Green Scene and Planeta Verde Now, dozens of local GREEN artisans will flock to Talento Bilingue de Houston 333 Jensen blvd to sell, collaborate, free trade and educate the local community about ALL of the many green options in Houston! The day will end in a community theater performance of “The Last Paving Stone” a beautiful family friendly piece describing the dysfunction of a society removed from their own green space.

Green Arts Festival — IndieGoGo.