Yearly Archives: 2011

New metaphors for sustainability: the Fetch (of a wavelength; to collect)

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Our series of new metaphors for sustainability continues with Annie Cattrell’s two meanings for ‘Fetch’. A visual artist, born in Glasgow, living and working in London, Annie is a tutor at the Royal College of Art and a senior research fellow in Fine Art at DeMontfort University. She was on the 2011 Cape Farewell Scottish Islands Expedition.

I was first introduced to the oceanographic term the ‘Fetch’ while visiting I.C.I.T (International Centre for Island Technology) on Orkney during a residency I undertook hosted by the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness during 2010.

The Fetch (length) of a wave can be incredibly long. For example, it could stretch from the east coast of the United States, where it might originate, and travel uninterrupted by land mass across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving on the shores of the west coast of Scotland, in particular the Orkneys, where it would then be forced to break against the coastline.

The simple equation relating to this phenomena is that the length of a wave determines the power and energy of it.

As a consequence scientists and technologists based in Orkney are trying to harness the waves to create renewable energies for the future.

The uninterrupted ‘Fetch’ length of a wave seems like a strong natural metaphor for cause and effect. The behaviour of oceans, seas and weather generally would appear to override any political or territorial boundaries and constraints, reminding us of the larger rhythms of earth systems that can so easily be damaged and altered by different types of human made pollutants.

‘Fetch’ can also mean to go and collect and is to some extent predictive and about a future intention. Collecting and harnessing ideas and ways of living more sustainably would seem to be navigating in the right direction!

If not now, when?, Primo Levi

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

Interview about EcoArt South Florida

EcoArt on the West Palm Beach waterfront. Michael Springer served as the primary designer of this project, completed in 2010. This work is a significant example of the cross disciplinary work of a sculptor who has been doing large scale infrastructure related environmentally sensitive art for decades.

DCA: Tell us about EcoArt South Florida.

EcoArt South Florida: EcoArt South Florida encourages broad support for environmental stewardship within communities by involving citizens of all ages and demonstrating innovative and aesthetically striking ways to create and save energy, reduce heat island effect, capture and reuse stormwater and many other positive approaches to enhancing the health of our interrelated ecosystems. EcoArt (short for ecological art) is not a new art practice. It is only new here in Florida!

Volunteers collect seeds as a part of EcoArtist Xavier Cortada’s installation on Lincoln Road in Miami. Cortada is a multitalented artist whose projects to restore Florida’s urban canopies and mangrove stands are large scale performance pieces involving hundreds of non artist volunteers, government agencies and philanthropic organizations. (photo submitted by EcoArt South Florida)

Cortada’s EcoArt installation on Lincoln Road in Miami. (photo submitted by EcoArt South Florida)

DCA: How does EcoArt encourage the public, and in particular, elected officials, to incorporate arts and culture into everyday life?

EcoArt South Florida: EcoArt South Florida intends to assist targeted communities to establish “EcoArt Nodes” in each of South Florida’s five watersheds by 2015. We define an EcoArt Node as a committed group of stakeholders, with a strong organization at its center (either as its own nonprofit, or as a subunit of an existing organization) dedicated to growing EcoArt and supporting emerging EcoArtists in their locale. An important stakeholder group that must always be included as each EcoArt Node is established, are elected and career officials of municipal and county governments.

The locations for our EcoArt Nodes have been scientifically identified by our GIS study of all five watersheds in South Florida, completed for us by Dartmouth College’s department of geography undergraduate students, Spring, 2011.

EcoArt South Florida’s comprehensive community education program and artist apprenticeship is specifically designed to engage key communities in best ways to establish and support strong EcoArt practices in their areas. We will work with the communities identified as EcoArt Nodes to field this program which will be the basis for ongoing development and support of EcoArt practice.

In addition to establishment of targeted EcoArt Nodes, starting in early 2012, EcoArt South Florida Board and Advisory Committee members will begin to meet where they live, with county and city officials.

To date, the only municipality in Florida we are aware of that has done this is Boynton Beach. Credit goes to Boynton’s Mayor and Commissioners for establishing a Green Alliance of local citizens involved in Green urban and community development that recommended key elements of a Green Ordinance for the city. EcoArt South Florida was a member of this alliance. The resulting new ordinance Includes mention of EcoArt at various places. We are delighted to encourage our city and county officials to follow the lead of Boynton Beach in assuring that EcoArt is included as their communities develop creative ways to “go green.”

Follow the link to learn more about how EcoArt has been integrated into Boynton’s many new green initiatives, please contact the administrator of Art in Public Places Debby Coles-Dobay.

Jackie Brookner (NY) and Angelo Ciotti (PA) are EcoArtists embedded in design team for restoration of West Palm Beach’s largest urban green space, Dreher Park, revamped from 2002-2005 to expand water retention. Features “BioSculpture” ™ in new retention pond which cleans waters with plants on the sculpture’s surface, sculptural earthen mounds reminiscent of indigenous people’s shell mounds, created from dirt excavated to create a large new retention pond, and a learning garden featuring plants used by inhabitants over a thousand year period to the present. (photo submitted by EcoArt South Florida)

DCA: What does EcoArt do for South Florida?

EcoArt South Florida: EcoArt practice has many identities. All contribute to the community. Most involve the community at every level of the planning, design and creation of EcoArt projects.

In addition to our consultations with communities we have identified as EcoArt Nodes, and continuing to develop our pilot community education and artist apprenticeship program, EcoArt South Florida is also currently working on three program aspects that we believe have great potential for inspiration, education and engagement of the public:

  1. First, the integration of Public EcoArt at the design stage of urban buildings and neighborhoods that will be seeking LEED or other green certification. EcoArt South Florida is working with the South Florida chapter of the US Green Building Council on this.
  2. Secondly, engaging EcoArt with greening the public schoolyard. EcoArt South Florida has been reaching out to public school districts, teachers and administrators through the annual LEARN GREEN conferences; and we are in the process of working with a math and science middle school to develop what will probably be the first comprehensive outdoor classroom in South Florida.
  3. And finally, modeling a new kind of urban streetscape featuring a variety of Florida native canopy trees (instead of the “monoculture” approach currently used) and understory vegetation that encourages the return of pollinators and birds. EcoArt South Florida is involved with a consortium of organizations developing a pilot of this kind of streetscape. Our partners include the grass roots West Palm Beach organization Northwood GREENlife that is taking the lead, the Palm Beach chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, 1000 Friends of Florida and the Center for Creative Education. In addition to the creation of a multiple-species Florida native urban forest pilot streetscape that can be replicated widely, the project will also incorporate arts: sculpture, ceramics, video, storytelling, performance and a community celebratory procession/parade once the planting has been completed.

EcoArt South Florida believes EcoArt will not prosper in our region unless public officials, both elected and career, and our colleagues in the building, development and planning professions are given incentives to do so. It is for this reason that we will be focusing heavily over the next year to two years on insertion of EcoArt within city and county green ordinances as has been done in Boynton Beach.

DCA: What does the future of EcoArt hold for Florida?
EcoArt South Florida: We believe Florida can become one of the key centers for EcoArt practice. EcoArt South Florida is dedicated to making this happen. And this is as it should be. As we point out on our website, engagement of art and culture with environmental issues is still not widely done anywhere, not only in Florida. This is a shame, because, as those of us involved in the arts professions know well, art has the potential to inspire, educate and engage in so many ways. This inspiration and engagement will be necessary if we are to address successfully the many serious implications of climate change. And we have very little time to do this. Art is a form of knowledge, just as important as science. Unfortunately art and artists have not been adequately engaged with science in the struggle to bring our valuable ecologies back to health. Now is the time to bring EcoArt to the task.

DCA: Why do you believe arts and culture are important in the lives of Floridians and visitors to our state?
EcoArt South Florida: Art creates culture and has for as long as human being have inhabited the earth. The best time to have begun to bring art to the task of healing our fragile ecologies was many decades ago. The second best time is now. Florida needs us. The planet needs us. Let’s get to work applying artistic imagination and creativity in tandem with scientific advances to the challenges that face us.

Somewhere That’s Green — TCG Circle

Per its mission statement, Atlanta’s 7 Stages Theatre devotes itself to “engaging artists and audiences by focusing on the social, political and spiritual values of contemporary culture.” One such value—environmentalism—has yielded a clever campaign that simultaneously promotes the theatre and sustainability.

…marketing director Charles Swint says the theatre asked itself, “What are some creative ways we can promote our shows without spending a lot of money?” Piggybacking off the green kick, 7 Stages partnered with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in a campaign where, in return for select buses featuring theatre advertising, 7 Stages will encourage its audience to use environmentally-conscious modes of transportation, like MARTA. “Our staff carpools, bikes and takes MARTA to the office and around town,” says Swint. “We want to encourage our patrons to do the same.” The deal is sweetened by a $5 discount offered to MARTA Breeze Card–holders.

From  Somewhere That’s Green — TCG Circle.

Superhero Clubhouse: the Call to Grow Theater – The Brooklyn Rail

…This type of question isn’t always asked, but for Superhero Clubhouse, it’s de rigeur.  Founded in 2007 by Jeremy Pickard, Superhero Clubhouse is a “society of theater artists engaged in making original plays and events about the natural world via a green and collaborative process.”  How they make their work is equally as important as the subject matter itself.  A rehearsal room populated with handheld devices may be a solution to printing multiple versions of a script, yet it is also a manner of developing work with more fluidity.  They’re measuring multiple efficiencies here as they constantly tackle large-scale issues: water pollution, mercury poisoning, ethical food production.  In the process, they’re also examining an issue that theater artists are only just starting to acknowledge: how the act of creating theater can be so inherently wasteful.  For Jeremy a play is “a way to realize or actualize the conversations we’re having about bigger issues.”

via Superhero Clubhouse: the Call to Grow Theater – The Brooklyn Rail.

Barbizon Lighting Company’s New Light Initiative

Barbizon Lighting Company has rolled out a new program called New Light Initiative. The “NLI” team is working within our organization to implement sustainable practices into all facets of Barbizon¹s operations. We are also developing educational materials to be used both internally to promote sustainable practices within Barbizon and externally to educate our customers and the industry.

The lighting systems in theatres, television studios, and even in houses of worship are among the least energy-efficient parts of those buildings. Cutting energy consumption, whether in a new building or throughout an existing system, can be an overwhelming task for a facilities manager, technical director, or staff technician to undertake on their own. That is why many in the industry rely on Barbizon¹s expertise to help them create a sustainability plan that is tailor-made for a specific facility¹s needs and usage.

Barbizon has over 60 years experience in the lighting industry and our staff, including a full-time LEED-accredited professional, understand the technology and benefits of the wealth of products available as well as the application challenges of a lighting system. Barbizon is uniquely positioned to provide you with the energy efficient solutions for the entire lighting system meeting your technological and design requirements.

“Barbizon’s commitment to sustainable practices encompasses our own operational efforts as well as encouraging sustainability in our industry through research and education. Barbizon’s business model has always been about providing our customers with access to products and information from which they can make choices.” Jonathan Resnick, President – Barbizon Lighting Company

“Sustainability in any form is most successful as a choice. Our New Light Initiative has been created to ensure that people have the factual information needed to make good choices in sustainability.” Steve Cullipher, Barbizon Florida Systems Manager, LEED AP

Barbizon New Light Initiative PDF

High Arctic Film Weekend

This post comes to you from Cultura21

London – December 3/4, 2011
On December the 3rd and 4th, the National Maritime Museum in London hosts the High Arctic Film Weekend. In parallel, the High Arctic exhibition is shown at the National Maritime Museum until the 13th of January 2012, too.
The weekend of Arctic films complements it by featuring a range of documentaries, Inuit features and rare archival footage. The purpose is to expose different representations of the Arctic over the past century.

Why are we so fascinated by the Arctic? Which impact has the climate change for the Arctic? Which problems are Inuit communities confronted with? Among others, these questions will be discussed in-between the screenings.

A special preview screening of the BBC Frozen Planet series programme 7 – On Thin Ice as well as  rare footage of early Arctic expeditions from the BFI National Archive will be shown and film experts, scientists and artists will be there to answer questions and discuss with the audience.

The event is organised in association with the BFI National Archive, Royal Anthropological Institute and Canadian High Commission.
In order to view the full prgramme see http://www.nmm.ac.uk/visit/events/high-arctic-film-weekend

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

New metaphors for sustainability: the soil in my family’s garden in Yorkshire

photo: David's hands, his grandfather's rake, Hackney soil

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

David Harradine is an artist working across performance, installation, publication and film, and is Artistic Director of Fevered Sleep. His metaphor for sustainability conveys his love for the transformations of soil.

We don’t even know what to call it, whether it’s soil or earth or dirt. ‘Earthy’ seems nourishing, homely, but we generally don’t like things that are dirty or soiled. Dirty implies sex, which is getting to the heart of the matter: productiveness, creation, fecundity.

I keep an allotment in Hackney, inner London. For seven years I’ve been digging kitchen waste into the ground, applying horse shit gathered on Leyton Marsh, and bagging up leaves from the London Plane trees by the children’s playground, waiting for them to break down into humus (brown nectar, nourishment, life). This soil, heavy London clay, grey brown, full of pebbles: this is sustainability. It’s what sustains me.

Everything I know about gardening – a knowledge that resides in my fingernails, the callouses on my palms, the ache in the small of my back, the blunt edge of my spade, and the dirty Tupperware box in which I keep my seeds – I learned in a garden in Yorkshire when I was a child. My grandfather was a market gardener. We grew gladioli, tomatoes, chrysanthemums, dahlia, potatoes and the spring onions for the market in Leeds. I remember one afternoon, my fingers stinking of tomato plants, when I asked him if one day the garden would be mine. I could not imagine how the life could continue without it. The very idea of family took root in that garden, with our hands and spades in that dark, scented, sensual soil; knowledge sown like seeds from generation to generation.

Soil: mineral structure fleshed out with the detritus of life and death. Wondrous recycler. Transformer of things into other things. As a child, it was unfathomable and miraculous to see the yellow-white flower of a double-headed chrysanthemum be created from heavy black soil.

Working my allotment in Hackney, I pull on the rake I brought from my grandfather’s garden. I have started to plan what I will do when my parents die, when that garden may no longer be ours. I think I will sack up some soil and bring it to London, because it carries time in it, and memory in it, and it carries my family in it, and I was grown in it. And I am sustained, here in the city, by the memory of the texture of it and the smell of it. And by the life, the life, the life that turns on an infinite cycle in the hidden dark depths of it.

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

1200 Buildings Commission: Enhancing Melbourne’s Sustainability Performance through Public Art « Carbon Arts

The 1200 Buildings Commission is a pilot public art project responding to the energy and sustainability performance of a commercial building within the City of Melbourne – the Green Spaces at 490 Spencer Street in West Melbourne. The Green Spaces building is an early entrant in the City’s 1200 Buildings scheme, which aims to facilitate the energy retrofit of 1200 buildings within the municipality, making a significant contribution towards meeting the City of Melbourne’s target of carbon neutrality by 2020.

Carbon Arts is working closely with the City of Melbourne, Guy Wilson of Fort Knox Self Storage and Dave Collins of The Green Spaces to deliver a $30,000 commission by the end of 2011. Eleven artists, designers and architects have been selected to provide proposals for the space and share in the development of a new public arts program. The public arts program aims to leverage the efforts of signatories to the 1200 Buildings scheme by making these largely invisible efforts visible to the public and engaging all Melbournians in the Eco-City vision.

Links: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/1200buildings/Pages/1200BuildingsPublicArtCommission.aspx

via 1200 Buildings Commission: Enhancing Melbourne’s Sustainability Performance through Public Art « Carbon Arts.

Culture The Kaleidoscope Video

This post comes to you from Engage by Design

What is the Kaleidoscope Project?

Interviews and conversations with experts on sustainability, design and innovation, reflecting theory and generating actions between a diverse range of disciplines including design [product, fashion, graphic, web, architects and interiors], science, art, activists, business, psychology and academia.

The 5 Kaleidoscope Videos, split into four different values; Balance, Meaning, Innovation and Culture. During each interview we asked how each value is seen and practised today and how they should be practiced in order to move towards a better future. The last video focuses on the tools and skills that we need to get to that better future, acting as a call to arms for designers and professionals about the need for rethink the way we practice our disciplines.

This short film is about Culture.

 

Engage by Design is a social enterprise developed through the final Master research of Rodrigo Bautista and Zoe Olivia John in sustainability and design. As a consultancy they specialize in strategic interventions that aim to support the transformation of your product or service into a more sustainable one.

Engage by Design’s research arm intends to act as a platform which enables dialogues and actions between a diverse range of disciplines around sustainability and design.

Rodrigo Bautista – Rodrigo is an Industrial Designer and has worked in many different industries including media, products, services and telecommunications. Today his work focuses on strategic interventions and tools to apply sustainability and design instruments within a company.

Zoë Olivia John – Zoë’s background in Fashion & Textiles has lead her into the research and development of better ways to integrate learning about sustainability for Higher Education students and tutors, particularly within the F&T programme. She is interested in finding new ways to readdress our value structure from one of linear economic quantity to one of circular quality.

Go to Engage by Design