Yearly Archives: 2011

COAL Prize 2012 – Rural

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Call for entries – Open to January 15th 2012

The COAL PRIZE Art&Environment reward each year a project about the environment by a contemporary artist. The winner is chosen by a jury of personalities from the worlds of contemporary art, research, ecology and sustainable development, out of 10 finalists selected from an international call for entries.

The COAL Prize supports the vital role of culture and creation for taking stock and then rolling out concrete solutions. COAL Prize is helping to foster a culture of ecology.

SPECIAL EDITION : in 2012, the COAL Prize will reward entries that focus on rural issues and agriculture.

The COAL Prize, worth 10 000 euros, was launched in 2010 by the French association COAL, the coalition for art and sustainable development

All details on www.projetcoal.fr

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

The National Circus – a gathering, Berlin

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Berlin

27th of October

On the 27th of October The National Circus takes place in the Gartenstudio in Berlin. On this occasion poets and storytellers of all kind meet in order to celebrate the  ‘being in the moment’ and the beauty of the ephemeral. In this way you are able to find the foundation of the evolution and sustainability of life and of every interaction between ecosystems: It all emerges from a moment. The project’s aim is to generate a change of thought: We should see ourselves as part of the environment and not distinct from it. Following this, the perceivers are supposed to be part of the Natural Circus rather than only witnesses.

The event starts on the 27th of October at 20.30 in the Naunynstraße 53 in Berlin.
The initiator of the project is poet and artist Lars Schmidt, who deals with ecological thinking and sustainable living. He facilitates ways of thought and expression that work with nature instead of destroying it.
The musician and composer David Rothenberg accompanies him in the project. His work includes music with whales, birds and artists like Glen Velez. Furthermore he is a philosopher-naturalist and the author of several books, including „Why birds sing“.

For further information see: http://naturalcircus.org/

This post is also available in: German

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

EMOS Call for Papers & Proposals | Earth Matters on Stage

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA – May 31-June 3, 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS AND PROPOSALS

Ecology is at the heart of burgeoning creativity and interdisciplinary scholarship across the arts and humanities. This Symposium, together with the concurrent EMOS Playwrights’ Festival, invites artists, scholars and activists to share their work, ideas, and passions with one another and with the larger community who attend the Festival.

We welcome creative and innovative proposals for workshops, round-tables, panels, working sessions, installations, or participatory community gatherings that explore, examine, challenge, articulate, or nourish the possibilities of theatrical and performative responses to the environmental crisis in particular, and our ecological relationships in general. We encourage proposals that go beyond a recitation of ideas or positions, and instead bring presenters and participants together as they engage the driving question of how theatre has or might function as part of our reciprocal relationship with ecological communities.

Possible topics for exploration include: land and body in performance; representations of bioregionalism; eco-literacy; representation of/and environmental justice; green theatre production; old cultural narratives/new stories; indigenous performance; community-based performance/ecological communities; sensing place/staging place; the ecologies of theatrical form and/or space; animal representation; and application of ecocriticism to plays, performance and culture.

Please email a one-page (250 word max.) proposal and/or abstract by November 1, 2011 to:

Prof. Wendy Arons
School of Drama ~ Carnegie Mellon University
warons@andrew.cmu.edu

Please include:

  • Type of session & title;
  • Your preferred type of space (classroom, theatre, studio, or outdoors);
  • Time-length (60 min; 90 min; half-day);
  • Ideal or maximum number of participants;
  • Short bios of presenter(s).

For more information about the EMOS Festival and Symposium at Carnegie Mellon University in 2012, see http://pages.uoregon.edu/ecodrama/.

Shell accused of fuelling violence in Nigeria

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

PLATFORM continue to focus on the issues of corporate responsibility for oil conflict in the Niger Delta through their project Remember Saro-WiwaThe Guardian‘s extensive story on a new report by the social and environmental activists highlights the consequences of Shell paying off militia groups to stop them damaging pipelines.  This funds and stimulates conflict with other groups.  Shell periodically changes sides, thus exacerbating the situation.  But Shell are proud that none of this disrupts production, regardless of the number of people who die as a consequence: at least 60 in one incident. 

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

LEED-Seeking Theater for a New Audience Breaks Ground on Dramatic Black Box Building in Brooklyn | Inhabitat New York City

Brooklyn’s budding cultural district will soon raise the curtain on a new classic theater. Just Last Friday, construction started on the Theater for a New Audience, a Hugh Hardy designed flexible theater created specifically for the performance of Shakespeare and classic drama. Cloaked in a dramatic black box exterior, the LEED Silver-seeking building will seat nearly 300 and be surrounded by a gorgeous public arts plaza, creating a complete cultural experience.

via LEED-Seeking Theater for a New Audience Breaks Ground on Dramatic Black Box Building in Brooklyn | Inhabitat New York City.

Trailer Trash at PACT Zollverein

Sam Breen joined a group of students and graduates presenting “CalArts Plays Itself” (September 29 – October 2, 2011) at PACT Zollvereinin Essen, Germany, one of Europe’s up-and coming culture centers. The show featured original, cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary work, including Breen’s “Trailer Trash Project: Life Meets Art in a Tin Can.” Using a 15-foot inflatable model of a travel trailer he told the story of how he lost his family home after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.  He explained how his mother—a former filmmaker for the United Nations refugee agency—was left without a place to live after the storm. A few years later, he took on unlikely

Musician Archie Carey presented at "CalArts Plays Itself," part of PACT-Zollverein 2011

project: he began transforming a 33-foot long trailer into a green place to live (for his mother) and a moveable place for him and his fellow artists to showcase their work. Even in its un-restored state, the 1951 Spartan trailer soon became a emblem at CalArts for student-driven creative work, the backdrop and the catalyst for many cultural events around the

AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

institution. In Essen, Breen’s gallery space was crammed with the oversized blow-up model, making it hard for guests to ignore his invitation to step inside. The inflatable served as a dominating yet fragile symbol, a reminder of those who turn to transient living as a last resort.

” Sam Breen’s inflatable trailer project … lays bare contemporary America’s white whale: the housing problem, its connections to the current economic crisis, and to Hurricane Katrina. Like Jonah in the Old Testament, Breen was swallowed up by the whale. Several months later, he has been vomited out: the whale has turned into a screen onto which new stories are projected. The contemporary state of collapse has turned into a space of play, where new individualities and collectivities emerge”

Breen, who recently received an MFA in acting from CalArts, considered his 10-

Sam Breen in Essen with his inflatable trailer by sculptor Michael Darling

day stay at the PACT-Zollverin festival as a residency, using the opportunity to develop his presentation with his audience. He invited fellow artists— musicians taking part in other performances at the festival— to impromptu jam sessions inside the trailer. Daily conversations with patrons helped shape the installation. Many noted how the inflatable, sustained by two household fans, appeared to “breathe” as people entered and exited. It had a similar effect on Breen, who returned to Los Angeles energized with a new perspective on his project. He is planning to conduct more residencies, this time inside his actual trailer, which he will bring to the parking lots of cultural institutions in and around Southern California to continue renovating the trailer and performing art.

The Trailer Trash Project is a recent recipient of an Investing in Artists grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation.

 

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.

Sam Breen Receives Investing In Artsts Grant

The Center for Cultural Innovation has awarded Sam Breen an Investing In Artists Grant, given to individual artists to acquire equipment or materials that will support them in their creative process.  The $6,500 grant will be used to build a performance space inside the 1951 Spartan trailer that Sam has been working on since September, 2010. Thanks to CCI, Trailer Trash is able to engage Eddie Paul Industries to open up the trailer’s now-fixed front windows, making the indoor performance space accessible to outdoor audiences.  The process requires considerable re-engineering, since it means cutting into the trailer’s aluminum skin the structure that gives the trailer 80% of its strength (see monocoque design.)

The banquette will be used for readings and discussions. It can fold away and become a small performance stage for indoor or outdoor audiences.

The work should be finished for up-coming performances this Fall, including one in December for the NOMAD Lab Art Project for kids.  Like Sam, most artists pursue their work with little outside help – often by holding down low-paying, no benefits jobs. CCI understands that at certain points along an artists’ creative path, material and organization support can be critical.  In addition to material assistance, CCI provides training organizational support and networking with organizations like USA Projects. 

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.

First Encounters

This post comes to you from Shrimp Boat Projects

These maps show the tracks of our first two weeks of shrimping on Galveston Bay aboard the F/V Discovery, at three different scales. The tracks are recorded by our onboard GPS chart plotter and then overlayed onto NOAA nautical charts and Google satellite images.

You might think that after 6 arduous months of restoring our shrimp boat, we might ring in the first day of actually shrimping with some of the pomp and circumstance that marked our christening of the F/V Discovery. But alas, this day came and went and that seemed perfectly fine and perfectly appropriate. But really, we had no say in the matter. On a typically hot morning in late August, we arrived at the boatyard and were greeted by John and Gary with a very clear message: “Y’all are goin shrimping today.” We may have not known it as we left the boatyard the night before, but they were absolutely right. The boat was nearly ready for use and we had been stubbornly laboring over painting details and deciding how and when to furnish the cabin. Those things could wait till later and they knew it. And we knew it. But we just needed the kick in the butt. And so, on an unremarkable day in late August, we embarked on something that seemed remarkable: leaving the comforts of the boatyard and finally steering our boat cautiously along Dickinson Bayou toward Galveston Bay with a boatload of excitement, uncertainty, anxiety and cautious optimism.

Our new schedule begins at 3:30am when we leave Houston for the 1-hour drive to San Leon. The early morning hours are justified by the profession: the law allows us to drop our nets 30 minutes before sunrise and it usually takes an hour or longer from the dock to get to a decent spot for shrimping. It’s not easy to adjust to these hours but the optimism of a new day is usually present when we set off from the dock. These images give a sense of the calm that often defines the bay at sunrise: (left to right) viewing another boat in the distance; the cables from our boat to our big net disapearring into the bay; Our ever-present avian neighbors on the bay.

The reality of our first encounters with the bay aboard the F/V Discovery were not so romantic. The first two weeks might best be called the Sea Trials as they seemed to involve equal parts shrimping and trouble-shooting. One might say that’s just the nature of shrimping, or any commercial fishing for that matter, constant problem solving. Really, there was no way of truly knowing if the boat was ready until we put it to the test, but we hoped that the kinks we were working out might at least go away for a while. We signed on Gary Jones, the welder and former shrimp boat captain who had already helped us put the boat back together, to be our captain and help us run the boat in the early stages. But even with an experienced captain, the problems we had to solve were probably inevitable. The giddiness of our first day on the water seemed a distant memory when we ultimately ended up back at the boatyard for an entire week replacing the seals on our transmission (and driving all over Houston to find the seals for our Tonanco 729D transmission).

Undeterred, we did get the boat back on the water after each hiccup, and have been able to piece together enough problem-free days to start developing a routine and the beginnings of an education born not from the boatyard but from these new encounters with the bay.

The maps above begin to document these first encounters. The black lines chart the routes we took over approximately 2 weeks of shrimping, and while they look like the maps of someone lost and wandering aimlessly around a new place, this is only partly accurate. The lines show us leaving from two specific places over this period, either the boatyard deep into Dickinson Bayou, or our new home at Captain Wally’s marina on April Fool Point in San Leon. The lines then show us motoring to various areas in the middle-upper areas of Galveston Bay… places where we hoped to find shrimp! Some of these places were guided by Captain Gary’s past experiences, some because we saw other boats working those areas, some because of hearsay at the dock or the fish house on previous days, and some just to try a new spot. In each place where we chose to drop in our net, the line on the map takes the shape of a squiggle or a loop and this is in fact the mark of the route a bay shrimp boat takes when dragging its big net: a primary goal when dragging the net is to keep it away from the wash of the propeller directly behind the boat (a deterrent to catching shrimp), which means we keep the boat in a constant turn. Thus the squiggle and the loop. And if it appears that a line just stops somewhere in the bay, we can blame that on our chart plotter getting turned off by mistake.

These maps are the beginning of us grappling with a geography that we are getting to know afresh and in a completely different way. As much time as we’ve spent around Galveston Bay, reading about Galveston Bay, talking to shrimpers and others familiar with the Bay, and going out onto the Bay in other boats, it appears that all of that was merely in preparation for the real education yet to come.

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