Yearly Archives: 2011

Animal Ecologies in Visual Culture

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Antennae, the Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, and Minding Animals International, a ‘bridge between academia and advocacy,’ are hosting an event entitled Animal Ecologies in Visual Culture at University College London on Saturday 8 October 2011. Information also available on Facebook.

Antennae’s website has all the back issues of the Journal available for download as pdfs.  Themes include insects, taxidermy, Deleuze, plastic bags.

Minding Animals has a range of networks, study groups and organises conferences.

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

The Life of Pipe

This post comes to you from Shrimp Boat Projects

The iconography of a Texas oil field (postcard from Tyler, TX); Scrap yard in Houston where we bought our used oil field pipe; Fitting the pipe to the starboard bulwark of our boat; Testing the pipe for Alpha radiation with a rented geiger counter; Safe readings on the geiger counter!

It seems that everything we fix on our shrimp boat has a unique story built into it, and the gunwales we replaced a few weeks ago are no different. When we bought the boat, we inherited a particularly sad set of gunwales wrapping all sides of the boat… rotting lumber, corroding steel, burned-out pvc, a ton of poorly-applied bondo (a cement-like substance typically used on automotive body repair), these were perhaps the most visible imperfections in the boat. And so it was no surprise that upon buying the boat, we immediately set out to replace the gunwales. What we didn’t anticipate was that reclaimed oil field pipe would make a great gunwale on a shrimp boat. We need to credit John Collins for pointing us in this direction. Just a casual glance around his boat yard reveals the variety of his projects that have all used oil field pipe in some way.

Using oil field pipe as anything on a shrimp boat might sound odd,  but using the reclaimed pipe was another way for us to work within the specifics of our region. Although the largest deposits of oil may no longer be in Texas, the economy of oil and gas still permeates the state and especially the Houston region (see the previous posting). So oil field pipe is easy to find around here. You can find it in an array of gauges, widths and lengths, new and used. We found a steel scrap yard on Highway 59 in north Houston that had the right pipe for us at the right price. We borrowed John Collins’ trailer and bought four 30ft lengths with an inside diameter of 2″ and a gauge of 0.154″ (schedule 40). This doesn’t look like pipe that would bend around the curve of our boat, but sure enough, with enough cable come-alongs, levers, ropes and the help of friends,  it did.

Soon enough, oil field pipe actually seemed like the obvious choice for our gunwales. Until we got the following email from our friend John Reed who had helped us out on the boat one day: “I was talking with a friend of mine last night and we wandered onto the effect of Japan’s nukes on the scrap metal industry.  He (is in the scrap metal industry) told me that they are ALWAYS worried about radiation in scrap metal; the metal is often rejected by steel buyers if levels are too high.  ‘What kind of steel would be radio-active?’ I asked naively.  ‘Oil drilling pipe, medical equipment, stuff like that.’ he said.” Our next thought: we have a radioactive shrimp boat! So we investigated the matter and found some good background on the issue and learned that any radiation in oil field pipe is related to the NORMS and TENORMS. And we realized the only way to sleep well at night would be to test our pipe with geiger counter. Fortunately, geiger counters are rentable…but there was another catch. The tsunami had just hit Japan, nuclear fallout was spreading from damaged nuclear reactors, and every company in Houston area that would normally rent a geiger counter was shipping them to Japan. We got lucky and found a single remaining geiger counter at Suntrac in League City, TX, about 20 minutes from our boat. One hour and $50 later, we determined that none of our pipe, or anything else in John’s Boatyard was above standard background levels of radiation. Relief. We’ve had more exciting stories unfold on our boat since this episode, but thankfully no more involving radiation.

 

Shrimp Boat Projects is a creative research project that explores the regional culture of the Houston area. The primary site of the investigation is a working shrimp boat on Galveston Bay which serves as a catalyst for labor, discussion and artistic production. Shrimp Boat Projects is co-created by Eric Leshinsky and Zach Moser, artists-in-residence at the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

Go to Shrimp Boat Projects

Jeanette Ingberman RIP

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Exit Art in New York is one of the alternative spaces that regularly programmes eco-art.  Sadly Jeanette Ingberman who co-founded the Gallery died recently.  She was a great advocate for ways in which the arts could draw attention and propose alternatives.  Obituary.

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

Endangered Mexican wolves howl into Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. (August 29, 2011) — There’s a new animal in town. That’s right, El Lobo is invading Tucson for two weeks this September. Fifty pieces of original art, silhouettes representing the last Mexican wolves alive in the wild, will be displayed on buildings throughout the city in a community-wide celebration of the Mexican wolf’s return to the Southwest.

On Thursday, Sept. 1 from 6-8 p.m. join Defenders of Wildlife and local artist, Lauren Strohacker, for a reception kicking off the citywide (No)where, (Now)here art display and  accompanying Where’s El Lobo scavenger hunt contest, which aims to increase public awareness of the challenges facing this rare and critically endangered species.

The Where’s El Lobo contest runs from Sept. 3 – 17, and Tucson residents will have a chance to win an Apache Wilderness Journey for two (a $3,000 value) and other cool prizes. All they have to do is find El Lobo. The art pieces will be hosted by local businesses, Ward offices, participating libraries and organizations across the city.

WHO:  Artist Lauren Strohacker: www.animalrevival.org

Defenders of Wildlife

Congressman Raul Grijalva (Guest Speaker)

Supervisor Richard Elias (Guest Speaker)

Council Member Steve Kozachik (Guest Speaker)

WHAT:  Artist Reception and kickoff event for Where’s El Lobo

WHEN: Thursday September 1, 2011 from 6 – 8 p.m.

WHERE:  La Cocina Restaurant in Old Town Artisans

201 N. Court Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701
520.622.0351

CONTACT:  Keely Sinclair: Southwest Coordinator, Defenders of Wildlife

ksinclair@defenders.org    520-623-9653 x106

Apache Wilderness Tour – http://staging.defenders.org/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/wolves/wolf_recovery_efforts/southwest_wolves/apache_wilderness_journeys.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IHDP Writing Contest: Win a prize and be published!

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Contest for new writing on the green economy, deadline 15 September

The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (otherwise known as IHDP), which is part of the United Nations University, has announced a competition for new short essays on the green economy that will speak to a broad audience.

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

Anne Brodie’s Bee Box

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Bee Box, new work by Anne Brodie, is one part of a public art exhibition across eight European countries, curated by C-Lab.  Anne Brodie works across art and science, having studied Biology and gone on to complete her MA at the Royal College.  She has received a Wellcome Trust Arts Award as well as the British Antarctic Survey/Arts Council Artists and Writers Fellowship.

“The BEE BOX reminds us of the invisible disappearance of our pollinators. Bees, like us, form communities of workers capable of generating intelligent social interactions. Brodie offers a poetic reflection on the fragility of these communities.”

1st September 2011 – 1st November 2011

Bishop’s Square, Spitalfields
Brushfield Street, London, E1 6AA

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

Big Welcome to #ShrimpBoatProjects

We would like to welcome Shrimp Boat Projects to our feed here at the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts. Shrimp Boat Projects is a creative research project that explores the regional culture of the Houston area. The primary site of the investigation is a working shrimp boat on Galveston Bay which serves as a catalyst for labor, discussion and artistic production. Shrimp Boat Projects is co-created by Eric Leshinsky and Zach Moser, artists-in-residence at the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

We will be syndicating their posts as the project makes progress, highlighting this (agri)culturally system along the gulf coast!

Sustainable Production Award Announced for 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

LOS ANGELS/EDINBURGH — The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) has awarded the second CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Fringe to Allotment by Jules Horne and directed by Kate Nelson. The world premiere of Allotment was produced by nutshell at the Inverleith Allotments in this co-production with Assembly.

Allotment is a dark and physical tragicomedy that takes place in a real allotment. It follows green-fingered sisters Dora and Maddy as they live out their rivalry among the plants. When the unexpected rocks their uneasy balance, it’s time to do something radical.

“We chose Allotment because its successful incorporation of its location into the drama.” comments Ian Garrett, Executive Director of the CSPA.  “The show’s honesty and heart is revealed in choosing to set it in a garden, and not build a facsimile on stage. Kudos to nutshell and Assembly for serving an already fantastic play so brilliantly ”

The award is determined by the submission of a questionnaire about how the show was produced along with audience response. Amongst dozens of entries, Allotment stood out in it’s minimal environmental impact, very much a result of it’s setting in the Inverlieth Allotments, requiring very little scenic construction and no additional show technology. Additionally the venue was easily accessible by public transportation, refreshments created little waste, themes of one’s relationship to the natural world were evident and it received excellent audience response. Allotment was also awarded a fringe first award by the Scotsman.

The CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright adjudicated the award, along with select CSPA affiliates. For the Edinburgh Fringe, Mhora Samuel and Tim Atkinson from The Theatres Trust’s European Regional Development Fund-backed Ecovenue project have helped the CSPA adapt the criteria for a UK audience, providing guidance on UK equivalents to US name brands, as well as providing insight on measuring conventions and policy. The award simply would not have been complete with out their assistance.

“The CSPA is not just another ‘go green’ organization,” says Wright.  “We hope to gather and distribute information that aids in the sustainability of the earth, the sustainability of our communities, and the sustainability of our art.  And so, the purpose of this award is not to recognize the greenest production.  Our objective in offering this award is to ask questions of ourselves, as theater artists, about the greater impact of our work on the world around us. The fringe model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows.”

“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that,” adds Garrett.

Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright founded the CSPA in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. The organization provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theater, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others.