Yearly Archives: 2011

New metaphors for sustainability: a stranger’s compass

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Our co-editor Wallace Heim continues our series of new metaphors for sustainability with a guidance system that changes hands. 

Walking an unfamiliar Cumbrian fell with a compass, often without a map, links me to the land in a special way. The invisible, magnetic north that spins into place on the device is often perplexing and counter-intuitive. However reassuring it is to know there are vast forces of geology beyond any I can see, forces that co-ordinate my safe passage, I still have to negotiate the land right in front of me: that granite face, that swamped mire, that fast river. There is no picture in which to find myself, only wit, the land and the pull of a distant polar force.

A few times, I’ve come across a dropped compass. There’s a moment when clearing the mud from its face when I wonder whether it was left behind because it was broken, or not believed. Is the north that was found in a stranger’s hand the same as in mine?

I don’t think sustainability can be likened directly to a compass, as if there was a pole of certainty to it. There are orientations that guide, but they fluctuate with a landscape that is continually shifting. The incremental decisions made in response to immediate conditions themselves change the situation, alter what is possible to do. I see sustainability as a response to change, one that keeps alive the capacity to respond to further change. What kind of compass would show this light-footed improvisation that makes sure those in the future can navigate their own way?

Walking with a stranger’s compass comes closer as a metaphor. The compass is given, handed over, and it connects me to those I will never know, while helping me cross the land that I am in. The instruction is not reliable; maybe not safe. Or maybe it is, and the coordinates are sharper than on my own compass, signalling a clearer route. Is it pulling me in a direction I couldn’t have imagined? This uncertain magnetism invigorates the walk. One day, I’ll leave my compass behind.

“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

Anthroposcene

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Prof Tim Collins and I presented Anthropo-scene Evolution at AHM’s State of Play symposium in Dundee at the beginning of October.  The article The age of man is not a disaster  in the NYTimes sets the scene for the arguments around the new terminology of anthroposcene.

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

Feeding the 5000! – Trafalgar Square 18 November

free lunch was served to over 5,000 people in Trafalgar Square. All the ingredients used for the lunch are fresh and would otherwise be wasted – wonky carrots, mis-shapen potatoes and other fresh surplus produce.

There were live cooking demonstrations and plenty of other activities to get stuck into, all of which involved enjoying delicious food rather than throwing it away. Feeding the 5,000 invited citizens and businesses to all join in a pledge to reduce food waste. For more information please check this website http://www.feeding5k.org , or you can find it on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Feeding5k/141410032625501) and Twitter (Twitter @Feeding5k).

Go to Arcola Energy

Scientific evidence from Cambridge University!

We, at Arcola Theatre were thinking about getting an “air curtain” for our front door. An “air curtain” is when you have hot air blowing from above the door frame, to maintain the temperature inside although the door to the outside is open. Now we decided to close the door instead, after reading that this would cut 10 tonnes of our annual CO2 emissions. For more information about this research, look up “Close the Door” Campaign.

Go to Arcola Energy

New on our news page

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

In Nottingham, there’s a three-day celebration of the apple.In Edinburgh, David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous, and Being Animal: An Earthy Cosmology,  gives a public talk.

In London, Arcola’s Green Sundays return with a focus on recycling and upcycling.

In the bookshops, David Rothenberg’s Survival of the Beautiful investigates why nature is beautiful and how it has influenced science, Brendon Larson explores how metaphors entangle scientific facts with social values and Mojisola Adebayo’s Plays One includes ‘Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey’.

There’s a new funding stream for public art by Creative Scotland, and a call for runners to participate in NVA’s Speed of Light at the Edinburgh Festival.

On the international scene, Conversation between Trees  uses sensors and mobile phones in the forest canopies in Brazil and the UK to communicate the light and colour of the trees and the changing climate around them.

Closer to home, Culture and Climate Change: Recordings is available as an online pdf and publication.

 

“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

U-N-F-O-L-D in New York

This post comes to you from Cultura21

New York

30 September – 15 December 2011

The Exhibition U-N-F-O-L-D exhibition continues until 15 December in New York City at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) at Parsons The New School for Design. It shows the work of twenty-five artists who took part in Cape Farewell expeditions 2007 and 2008 to the High Arctic and 2009 to the Andes, where they were able to witness the consequences of climate change and global warming. Their work is an innovative response to these processes and explores the role that human activity plays in it. In this way the artists aim to raise awareness and create a cultural shift through their work.

The programme of public events and performances can be downloaded here.

A series of exciting lectures, panels and special events are broadcasted on newschoolradio.org.
One of these broadcasts is “What Ifs: Climate Change and Creative Agency“, in which Architect and planner Dilip da Cunha and artists Aviva Rahmani and Susannah Sayler as well as artist Eve Mosher talk about their creative interventions and debate oppositions and collaborations between science and art. The webradiocast can be found on http://wnsr.parsons.edu/2011/10/19/what-ifs-climate-change-and-creative-agency/

In February 2012 the U-N-F-O-L-D heads to Liverpool, where it opens at John Moores University.

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

Call for Submissions: Horizons – Arts in Nature

This post comes to you from Cultura21

France – The Horizons – Arts in Nature event will take place between the 16th June and 16th September 2012. It is the 6th of a contemporary art event based on short-lived visual works of art.

Managed by the Sancy Tourist Office, the call for projects involves the creation of 11 works of art in the Sancy Massif located in the heart of the Massif Central in France and exceptionally within the theme park Vulcania.

The works of art will be put up in places where they highlight the surrounding countryside’s qualities. Discovery trails and Art workshops for children are held around the art piece in order to mediate their content.

The event aims at developing contemporary art in the area, allowing professional artists to contribute their sensitivity to the area. Furthermore it is supposed to reinforce the growth of tourism in the Sancy Massif by addressing so-called cultural tourists as well as people passing through.

The event is open to artists with a strong national or/and international artistic experience and to young talents, who just or recently – less than 2 years- graduated from art school.

To download the application form for 2012, description of the territory and listing of the sites please go to the website of the event:
www.horizons-sancy.com (section: ESPACE PRO)

For further information about the territory, please visit the Sancy website: www.sancy.com
Contact:
Magalie Vassenet
E-mail: m [dot] vassenet [at] sancy [dot] com

Deadline for reception of the applications: Monday 19th December 2011, to the address below:
Horizons – Rencontres Arts Nature – Office de Tourisme du Sancy
Allée du Lieutenant Farmont – 63 240 LE MONT DORE

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