Yearly Archives: 2011

CONEXIONES IMPROBABLES

The international call is open for artists and social scientists to collaborate with the following nine organisations located in the Basque Country and Salamanca, as part of the 2011 edition of Improbable Connections: DeustoTech (Institute of Technology at the University of Deusto), Fagor Electrodomésticos (household appliances cooperative group), Anesvad Foundation (cooperation NGO), Germán Sánchez Ruipérez Foundation (dedicated to promoting reading), i68 Group (software engineering company), Lauaxeta Ikastola (school), Obe Hettich (furniture solutions company), Tknika (vocational training innovation centre) and Uribe Kosta (group of 10 City Councils in the Bilbao metropolitan area).

Deadline: 9am on 28 March 2011.

Collaboration period: May 2011 – January 2012.

Payment: 12,000 euros + VAT (including travel and accommodation).

More information: CONEXIONES IMPROBABLES.

Vol. 3 in the Cultura21 eBooks Series on Culture and Sustainability

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The Cultura21 eBooks Series on Culture and Sustainability presents findings from inter- and trans-disciplinary perspectives in research and practice. The eBooks are published openly online by Cultura21 Institut e.V. in order to support broad dissemination and to stimulate further debates in civil society and further action-research in the field.

The city today is increasingly conceptualized using terms such as ‘creative cities’ or ‘creative class’, stressing the importance of culture. The effects this can have on cities and neighbourhoods has been criticised from the wider field of sociology.  This critique can be examined and placed in the context of the analysis of a culture of unsustainability, in order to identify how the concept of creative cities may bring about unsustainable tendencies. Building on this, a re-conceptualization of creative cities, based on an understanding of the role of the artist in cultures of sustainability is possible. Rethinking terms such as creativity can help form possible frameworks, which support sustainable creative cities.

Julia Hahn (1981) studied Applied Cultural Sciences (2003 – 2010) at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg.

Vol. 3: Julia Hahn: Creative Cities and (Un)Sustainability – Cultural Perspectives (PDF download)

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)

Cultura211 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 Off Hours receives Sustainable Style Foundation Tag

The Off Hours is the first-ever film to receive the SSF Tag, the Sustainable Style Foundation’s stamp of approval.  Efforts were made across the production in each department to make environmentally and socially responsible choices.  Director Megan Griffiths and the rest of the production team wanted to create an example that could realistically be followed by future productions, large or small.  No one is perfect, but when a production makes it a priority, shooting green is not so out of reach.

Based on this production’s experience, here are Megan’s top five tips for a sustainable set:

1.  BUYING LOCAL

Stocking the craft service table and catering truck with locally produced goods makes a huge impact on the footprint of your production. Not only are you reducing the amount of gasoline and oil utilized to transport food from far off places to your crew’s stomachs, but you’re also supporting your local economy. This goes beyond the fruit and vegetables you get at your local farmers’ markets–most cities have local brands of chips, sodas, energy drinks, coffee, candy, etc, which are as good or better than national brands.

2.  UTILIZING SECOND HAND ITEMS

Part of the reason productions have such a large individual impact is that each film is approached as a separate and unique enterprise. The truth is that the basic needs of many productions are very similar–and not only that, but the items needed to build a set are the same items needed to build houses, vehicles, etc. Visiting second-hand stores for building supplies, fixtures, furniture and clothing is great for both the environment and your budget. And you can donate everything at the end of production so that it can be reused again by someone else.

3.  RECYCLING & COMPOSTING

On set and in the production office, recycling and composting can make a giant difference. The amount of water bottles and paper that are thrown away on the average set is almost criminal. It’s the responsibility of the production to create a culture on set where recycling and composting are encouraged and supported. Given the right level of commitment, films at any budget level can take this step to reduce their impact.

4.  SHOOTING DIGITALLY

Film is beautiful, but environmentally toxic, and videotape is practically impossible to dispose of responsibly. While technological waste has a big impact of its own, shooting digitally and backing your media up to hard drives is the most environmentally sound method around. Hard drives are reusable, and can be recycled by special vendors if and when they cease to function.

5.  REUSABLE RECEPTACLES

If the budget allows, providing water bottles and travel mugs to your crew is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re working on a smaller budget, encourage the crew to bring their own from home (most people have them), or at the very least to label and re-use their disposable water bottles and coffee cups more than once. If every person on a 50-person crew drinks three waters a day, that can add up to 150 plastic items added into the waste stream each and every day. Over the course of a feature shoot that becomes thousands and thousands of water bottles entering landfills on your watch. Don’t let it–provide a water cooler and receptacles for your crew, and ask your caterer to provide dishware and utensils at mealtime that can be washed and reused rather than thrown away.

Cultura21 Launches New Website

Dear all,

Today, I have the pleasure to announce on this list, two important news from Cultura21: Our relaunched, redesigned, multilingual website at cultura21.net, and the new Cultura21 eBooks series:

New Website: just launched

Please visit http://www.cultura21.net to discover our redesigned website. On this new website, you will find information not only about the activities of Cultura21, but also about other news relevant to Cultura21 themes. Don’t hesitate to browse through the 46 “pages” (top menu bar) and 100 “posts” (right-hand “categories” menu) already available on the website. You will also find a new ‘forum’ on the website (for which you will have to register, in order to contribute).

The website is currently available in the following languages: English, French, German, Spanish, and Esperanto. Further languages will follow (Danish and Turkish are expected for the future).

The web-magazine and the wiki remain available at the same web addresses as usual, and they are linked from the new website too.

With many thanks to the editors who made this possible, and most especially to Roland Prüfer, our designer and webmaster!

Cultura21 eBooks series: 3 volumes already available

The Cultura21 eBooks Series on Culture and Sustainability, edited by Sacha Kagan and Davide Brocchi, presents findings from inter- and trans-disciplinary perspectives in research and practice. The eBooks are published openly online by Cultura21 Institut e.V. in order to support broad dissemination and to stimulate further debates in civil society and further action-research in the field.

The eBooks, which are available as PDF files, are published as part of Cultura21’s Web Magazine and thus can be found at: http://magazin.cultura21.de/piazza/texte and the latest eBook from the series can be found also on our new multilingual website at http://www.cultura21.net.

So far (since December 2010), three eBooks have been released already, in three different languages (German, French and English):
– Vol. 1: Lisa Grabe. Das „Projekt Nachhaltigkeit“. Zu den Grenzen des Nachhaltigkeitskonzepts aus kultureller Perspektive. PDF direct link
– Vol. 2: David Knaute. Le Syndrome Karamoja: Repenser la crise des sociétés pastorales dans le contexte de la globalisation. PDF direct link
– Vol. 3: Julia Hahn. Creative Cities and (Un)Sustainability – Cultural Perspectives. PDF direct link

Kind regards,
Sacha

Vol. 2 in the Cultura21 eBooks Series on Culture and Sustainability

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The Cultura21 eBooks Series on Culture and Sustainability presents findings from inter- and trans-disciplinary perspectives in research and practice. The eBooks are published openly online by Cultura21 Institut e.V. in order to support broad dissemination and to stimulate further debates in civil society and further action-research in the field.

Karamoja, a semi-arid region located north-east of Uganda, is the land of Karimojong pastoralists. It is also a region in crisis: it is affected by arms trafficking, a demographic boom, climate change as well as other complicated development issues. More than that, Karamoja is a place where questions of “development” and “sustainability” intermingle in all their dimensions: environmental, historical, cultural, economic and political. This publication aims at presenting the complexity of all those challenges through the exploration of an innovative methodology to analyze environmental disasters: the Syndrome Approach.

David Knaute (1981) has coordinated in 2008-2009 an advocacy campaign on the crisis in Karamoja (www.karamoja.eu). He currently lives in Paris where besides his professional activities, he prepares a PhD thesis at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).

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)

Cultura211 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

utopia project 2010: info

“Utopia project” is an annual summer workshop organized by the Athens School of Fine Arts in Rethymno Crete.”

Athens School of Fine Arts

Organizers-Facilitators:

V. Vlastaras, artist, Lecturer, ASFA and M. Glyka, visual artist, teacher BA & MA Vakalo college of Art and Design.

Basic timetable:

4 July: arrivals

5 July – 7 July: artists presentations

8 – 20 July: preparation of the work

21-23 July: show and presentations of final works

24 July: end of show – departures

Number of participants: 14

In collaboration with:

Mr. Gary Woodley, artist and lecturer at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.

Mr. Klaas Hoek, artist, head of the postgraduate department of University of Utrecht and head of the printmaking of the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.

This year project:

UTOPIA & NATURE

Based on H.D. Thoreau’s “Walden

EXPERIMENTATION AND RESEARCH IN CONTEMPORARY ARTISTIC PRACTICES

General Information

Program

Athens School of Fine Arts offers an annual summer residency program under the title Utopia Project for postgraduate or recent graduates artists who intend to collaborate with experienced artists, theorists and political scientists in order to explore, under a different every year theme, artistic practices and theoretical approaches in the contemporary society.

Participants join the project in workshops, lectures, group and individual tutorials and critiques and leave the residency with input on new project plans organized accordingly each year’s theme. Artists attend the program to get a creative surge, get a fresh perspective on their work, revitalize their practice, take their work in a new direction, make plans for a focused praxis and to become part of an international community of artists, theorists and curators.

History

Utopia Project has started by the initiative of two artists. Vassilis Vlastaras, visual artist and lecturer in the Athens School of Fine Arts and Maria Glyka, visual artist and teacher in the Ba and Ma Program of Vakalo College of Art and Design. The workshop is organized by the Athens School of Fine Arts and it is taking part every July in the Asfa annex in Rethymno Crete. The first Utopia Project was held in 2006 in Rethymno under the title “Utopia as an Island” with an international body of 15 participants, guests and faculty. That was followed by “Utopia and Violence” in 2007, “Utopia and Praxis: May68-May08” in 2008, “Utopia and Youth” in 2009. This year it runs under the title “Utopia and Nature, based on H.D. Thoreau’s “Walden”. By now the whole body of participants guests artists, theorists counts over the number of eighty people.

Goals

In this a-disciplinary program, students are free to pursue work in any art-related genre and to create their own course of study, working independently and with the support of the the coordinating and guest artists and theorists.

Purpose

The workshop is intended to lift the boundaries between fine arts, traditional and new media, artists and theorists. It aims to create a space for participants of all disciplines to interact with a wide range of artists, scientists, theorists, media practitioners and visionaries and provoke them to investigate their work independently and transdisciplinarily in both a cultural and studio context according to the year’s subject.

Location

Utopia Project is an international program organized by Asfa. The residencies take place in the annex of Asfa in Rethyno Crete every July for about 20 days. Asfa provides a range of accommodation listings and arranges a special group rate at a student hotel each summer as well as student travel and city guides.

Participants make their own arrangements for travel from their country of origin to Crete. Nevertheless accommodation in shared rooms, basic meals and basic materials are provided by Asfa. The annex is uniquely placed on the top of Evligias Hill in Rethymno, 15 min walk from the center of the old historical town. Daily bus schedule links Rethymno to the airports of Chania and Heraklio.

Language

The whole part of the workshop takes place in English. Many languages are spoken but talks, critiques and lectures all take place in English. Participants must have a good command of spoken English.

Facilities, Equipment and Resources

Inside and outside working spaces for making or install art work, workshop and computer stations with scanner and printer and WiFi access fulfill the residency needs.

Achievement

Each year, artists create art projects (paintings, film or videos, installations, performances, photographs, etc. Participants’ exhibit or present documentation of their final art and research projects in the exhibition space inside the site.  Through discussions they gain the critical, technological, and aesthetic experiences from the guest artists and theorists. The last week beside concluding their final personal work they are expected to take part on the organization and realization of a small publication that presents the group’s idea of each year’s subject.

Community Alumni

Past years’ participants continue to take part in residencies by giving and receiving critiques, exhibiting, as program advisors, and as guests of the Utopia Project.

via utopia project 2010: info.

IASH Humanities and Climate Change lunchtime talks

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

February-March-April events in the series of Humanities and Climate Change lunchtime talks
All at 1pm in the IASH, Hope Park Square

Friday 11 February
Rachel Howell (Postgraduate, Centre for the Study of Environmental Change and Sustainability)
“Lights, camera…action? The impact of the climate change film The Age of Stupid”

Monday, 21 February
Professor Lorraine Code (Philosophy, York University, Canada):
“Thinking Ecologically after Rachel Carson”

Friday, 11 March
Dr. Fabienne Collignon (Postdoctoral Fellow of IASH):
“Sci-Fi-Tech”

Monday, 4 April
Professor Jeffrey McCarthy (English and Environmental Studies, Westminster College, Utah; Visiting Fellow of IASH)
“Mountain Climbing and Environmental Thinking”

Details are on the IASH website at http://www.iash.ed.ac.uk/projects.html

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

Invisible Dust

Invisible Dust involves leading world artists and scientists collaborating to explore air pollution, health and climate change. The aim of this ambitious project is to produce significant and far reaching artists commissions in the Public Realm in the UK and internationally, as well as supporting the creation of new scientific ideas and engaging audiences with large scale events, education and community activities.

Founder

Alice Sharp has worked as an Independent Curator of projects with visual artists in the Public Realm since 1997. Sharp set up Invisible Dust as part of her commitment to involving Artists and Scientists in health and climate change.

Visibility

Our works seek to raise awareness of the key climate change imperatives and objectives now being tackled by National and International Governments, Policy Makers, Charities, NGO’s, Global Corporations, Investors and Consumer groups.

Visibility plays a key role in our trying to gain an understanding of the need to live sustainably and dramatically reduce climate change. Artists have many ways of making things visible and, particularly since the Land Art movement in the 1960s and 1970s (such as the ephemeral works of Richard Long and Robert Smithson) have responded to changes in the natural environment in a variety of forms.

Artists and Scientists

Invisible Dust first project was in 2009 with

and is currently working with the following artists developing new Invisible Dust projects 2010/12:

Artist and Scientist Dialogue Day Group Shot

Invisible Dust Dialogue Day, at The Wellcome Trust, July 2009. From back left: Karen David, Ian Rawlinson, Nick Crowe, Kaffe Matthews, Peter Brimblecombe, Paul Green, Alice Sharp, Mark Levy, Dryden Goodwin, Heiko Hansen, Mariele Neudecker, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Hugh Mortimer.

The artists are collaborating with the following scientific advisors:


Projects

The first of these projects ‘in clean air we fly’ by artist Kaffe Matthews was an Electronic symphony that engaged local Primary School children in Gillett Square, Dalston, London. 600 cyclists powered the sound installation to an audience of 1000 on Sunday, 6th December 2009.

Future projects in development include working with the the View Tube, East London, the Institute of Zoology and London Zoo, the University of East Anglia, Norwich, Kings College and St Thomas’ Hospital, London and Department of the Environment, UK (DEFRA), see New Projects

Background

The title is inspired by Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy in which dust is said to have a mystical role taking his characters to different worlds. There are many analogies with the great changes we need to make to live a sustainable future, most notably the need to travel without creating air pollution.  The organisation has been set up through Curator Alice Sharp collaborating with Atmospheric Chemist Professor Peter Brimblecombe, whom she met at Tipping Point, and measures air pollution through quantifying the components of dust through time. Invisible Dust is a not for profit organisation and has been awarded a Large Arts Award from the Wellcome Trust for ‘Invisible Breath’ for 2010/11.

Concept

Joseph Amato writes about ‘the visible world of dust.’ Amato contests that this informs our ‘perceptions of reality’. The invention of cleaning equipment and the modern day obsession with removing it has changed how we live our lives. Once dust was the smallest thing the eye could see, now our relationship with dust has dramatically changed due to powerful microscopic devices. For scientists, society’s transformation took place in the laboratory through the viewing of atoms, molecules, cells, and microbes; this also defined dust and the physical world for the first time but also our view of the human body and mind.

After the congestion charge was first implemented in Central London the air became cleaner than before the charge had been implemented but no one could see the evidence, it had to be revealed by subtle statistical analysis. On a global scale the ice caps are melting, coral reefs and rain forests are being destroyed.  In order for us to understand the consequences of our actions on the environment as human beings we need to ‘see’ the results. In his research Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and senior editor of Atmospheric Environment Peter Brimblecombe from the University of East Anglia has discovered that children’s playgrounds are more polluted than the surrounding area due to the exhaust fumes from the parents’ cars at the school drop off. Professor Frank Kelly is also conducting research into how air pollution effects not only our lungs but is a cause of heart disease due to small diseal particles passing into the blood.

How can people understand their own effect on the environment when the resulting gases disappear into the sky? Since the industrial revolution there have been huge gains to society but also the creation of many of the gases that are now poisoning the earth. This project brings together artists and scientists to help illuminate these consequences and bring a sense of something human and fantastical to a very invisible problem.

Mission statement

The mission of Invisible Dust is to encourage awareness of, and meaningful responses to, climate change, air pollution and related health and environmental issues. It achieves this by facilitating a dialogue between visual artists and leading world scientists. Invisible Duststrives, through its creation of high impact and unique arts programmes, alongside new scientific theories, to create an accessible, imaginative and approachable forum and stimulus through which to promote positive public action.

Core activities

Our works seek to raise awareness of the key climate change imperatives and objectives now being tackled by National and International Governments, Policy Makers, Charities, NGO’s, Global Corporations, Investors and Consumer groups, by providing a physical and imaginative manifestation of the key messages and driving a meaningful response to them.

In order to deliver this, primarily we:

  • Produce high quality artworks in the public realm both permanent and temporary

Additionally we also:

  • Create imaginative linked workshops and activities for schools and community groups
  • Coordinate artists residencies in the UK and internationally
  • Organise conferences and talks and provide speakers for events
  • Support the creation of new scientific theories and  ideas