Yearly Archives: 2012

The Home and the World – On Being at Home

This post comes to you from Cultura21

From the 19th to the 21st of June 2012 a creative summit for artists and other thinkers will take place at Dartington Hall Estate in south Devon/England.
The summit will focus on the question if the alienation of humankind from the natural world has effected his condition and psyche and if there is a general loss of knowledge about the interdependence of all living things.

The leading questions are:

  • What does it mean to be at home in the world? What does home mean to us?
  • How can we be more aware of our ‘inhabited place’ in the world?
  • Why do we all too often fail to understand the impact we have on the world around us?
  • It’s been more than fifteen years since Gablik suggested that art can re-enchant our connection to the world – how have we responded?

Artists and thinkers are invited to submit proposals. The organizers search for a broad mix of challenging ideas and submissions for the three days of the summit. These ideas should investigate, how we live in the world; how we find our place – our home – and how we use creativity and the arts to ask questions, present problems, and offer up solutions, homages, and celebrations.
Submissions with innovative, participatory, performative and/or interactive formats will be favoured. Since most of the sessions are live streamed on the internet, applicants may work  this into their proposal.

The hosts of the summit are Aune Head Arts and The Arts at Dartington. It is part of the ‘Artful Ecologies’ series of conferences organised by RANE at University College Falmouth.
The deadline for submissions is the 24th of February 2012.

For further information about the submission details see www.thehomeandtheworld.info
The Call for Proposals as well as the print flyer can be downloaded there, too.

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 Transdisciplinary Journal of Engineering & Science

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Submissions are invited for The Transdisciplinary Journal of Engineering & Science (TJES),  by the The Academy of Transdisciplinary Learning & Advanced Studies (TheATLAS). The editors search for original manuscripts reporting multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary engineering and science research. Not only primary research articles, but also papers in transdisciplinary education can be published.
The journal aims to be the voice of the worldwide Transdisciplinarians community.

Possible research areas for the journal are:

  • Development of shared conceptual framework that draws upon discipline specific concepts, theories, and methods (integrative methods, concepts and tools).
  • Development of integrated analysis, synthesis, and design from a wide range of knowledge, involving both soft sciences and hard sciences and also art.
  • Transdisciplinary cognitive integration, sustainability research.
  • Unified transdisciplinary modeling framework—developing computer based modeling systems that permit cooperation and collaboration among diverse groups that are globally dispersed in order to drive complex research efforts to an innovative solution.
  • Designing the communication infrastructure and shared resources to facilitate computational and transdisciplinary thinking within existing organizations.
  • System engineering and management.
  • Research areas crossing diverse disciplines such as: Optimization, System Architectures, Digital Systems, Software design and development, Data Engineering, Computational Intelligence, Security Systems, Computer Systems, Network Systems Design, Biomimetic Systems Design, Medical applications and research results involved with sensors, mechatronics, and nanotechnology.
  • Process and design methods and analysis used by diverse disciplines (such as image processing and anlysis, statistical methods, probabilistic methods etc.).
  • Transdisciplinary education

Texts about global complex problems such as transportation, humanitarian needs, security, natural disasters, health, international development, environment, sustainable development; societal systems, green engineering and science and international research ethics are encouraged.

You are able to submit your work through the online submission site:
http://www.theatlas.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82&Itemid=96

Please find earlier issues of this journal available online for free: click here

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

Values and Climate Change Behaviours Conference

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Schwartz’s Value Circumplex

The Scottish Government’s conference on values and behaviours focused on the ways psychology could inform work to address climate change.  Prof Tim Kasser, Knox College, Illinois; Dr Anat Bardi, Royal Holloway, University of London and Prof Greg Maio, University of Cardiff, introduced current thinking in psychology of values.  For those interested in this approach, check out www.valuesandframes.org and in particular the Common Cause Handbook.

The argument being made in the offices of the Scottish Government last week was fundamentally against neo-liberal capitalism.  Saving the planet requires engaging (in Tim Kasser’s language) people’s ‘intrinsic’ values such as universalism and benevolence, as opposed to their ‘extrinsic’ values such as power and achievement.  Interesting suggestions were made such as banning advertising from public space and banning advertising aimed at children, given that we are apparently on average subjected to 1600 ‘adverts’ per day.

The panel sessions were more diverse and included papers on ‘Collapse’ in a North Atlantic Context, Andrew Dugmore, University of Edinburgh; and Faith Traditions and Sustainability: ‘Moving Mountains’?, Ian Christie, University of Surrey.  Dugmore’s analysis of Viking society and resilience to environmental change across the North Atlantic was fascinating, as was Christie’s work on engaging religious groups with issues of sustainability.

Across the day, whilst the psychological analysis portrays itself as having all the answers, it does offer some important insights, such as the way that values are connected.  Often different ’causes’ are seen to be in competition with each other, but from a psychological perspective, what is important is whether they are addressing a common set of values.  This suggested that environmental organisations could usefully form alliances with organisations in other sectors and focus on emphasising common values.

But the link between values and behaviours is not simple.  Although cognitive dissonance was not specifically mentioned, there was considerable discussion, and both Christie’s and Dugmore’s presentations offered nuanced readings.  Christie was at pains to emphasise that engaging faith groups, although potentially very effective, was not without risks.  Dugmore’s analysis of the collapse of Viking society in Greenland indicated that they had successfully adapted to one environmental change (the mini ice age), but the adaptations had infact trapped them (in tighter hierarchies and patterns of behaviour), reducing their ability to address a second phase of change.  Christie also highlighted the importance of ‘wilful’ individuals, saying that faith groups that engage with issues of sustainability usually do so through the leadership of specific individuals, rather than group decisions.

In the plenary some discussion focused on the relationship between the current economic crisis and broader environmental change issues.  It was suggested that, whilst economic crisis often results in greater concentration on extrinsic values, reflection on the crisis actually promotes longer term thinking and focus on intrinsic values.  It would have been interesting to hear more about mindfulness.

Finally the theologian in the room asked whether the language of ‘intrinsic’ values actually had a root in Aristotelian virtues: virtuous behaviour is our best bet to address climate change.  There’s a thought!

 

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

YATOO-i nature art in Iran

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

From Yatoo-i newsletter:

Ko, Seung-Hyun, Hur Kang and Jeon, Won-gil (YATOO-i members) and other Korean artists Ryu, Shin-jung(Installation) Yu, Zie-sook (Vedio), musician An, Jung-hee (Gemoongo) participated in ‘Iran Nomadic Residence Program’ supporting Arts Council Korea from 19th 11 to 5th 12. 2011. We joined 12 Iraian Artists and work together in Masouleh in Iran and had an exhibition in artist’s house in Teheran.

There are images of artists projects and exhibition on the Yatoo-i website. 

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

Next Designers Accord in London [2012]

This post comes to you from Engage by Design

We are very happy to announce that we are organising the 2nd UK Designers Accord Town Hall.

If you want to know what happen in the first one, you can read more here.

Join us for a Designers Accord Town Hall on Thursday January 19th in partnership with the Design Council in London.

Systems innovation is driving the sustainability agenda; come and discuss how we can create social innovation that generates meaningful change.
6.00-6.15 – Intro
6.15-7.15 – Presentations
7.15-7.30 – Food, wine & break out group workshops
7.30-8.15 – Feedback & future action framework

Design Council
34 Bow Street
London WC2E 7DL
United Kingdom

The tickets will be online very soon, please visit this website for future information.

 

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

Going Back to Galveston*

This post comes to you from Shrimp Boat Projects

*in deference to the essay by M. Jimmie Killingsworth and the photographs by Geoff Winningham in the book Going Back to Galveston

“THROUGH THE YEARS, THE MOSQUITO FLEET DOCKED HERE AMONG OTHER SHIPS. ENRICHING THE CITY AND NATION, AND BLENDING ASIAN AND EUROPEAN FISHER CUSTOMS INTO AMERICANISMS. THE INTERNATIONAL CUSTOM OF BLESSING FISHING FLEET IS OBSERVED YEARLY IN GALVESTON.”

– excerpt from the historical marker “PIER 19 MOSQUITO FLEET BERTH”  installed by the Texas Historical Commission at Pier 19 in Galveston.

We often meet people in Houston who think our project is happening in Galveston, Houston’s neighboring city to the south. We always let them know that the project is actually happening on Galveston Bay, not Galveston. This doesn’t always clarify things. “But you keep your boat in Galveston, right?” has sometimes been the next question. “Actually, we keep it in San Leon, which is a town on the bay, in between Houston and Galveston,” is what I find myself saying in response, which usually does the trick, even if folks don’t really know where San Leon is.

None of this is really very surprising. If we’re doing anything involving shrimping in this region, we might as well be in Galveston, such is the lasting historic connection between shrimping and place there. Galveston’s bay shrimp boats, popularly known as the Mosquito Fleet, still tie up at a prominent spot on the city’s harbor, just as they always have, it seems. There may be fewer boats these days, but they still command a large presence in the tourist’s gaze and share a well-trafficked area of public waterfront with museums, parks, restaurants and seafood markets. It seems that not many other working fleets can claim that kind of real estate these days.

Over the summer, we got an email from some folks in Galveston who have revived the Galveston Island Shrimp Festival and Blessing of the Fleet (now called the Blessing of Da’Feet) for the last two years and were planning to do it again this year. And they wanted our help. Really? We weren’t immediately sure how we could help. Afterall, our boat was still sitting on blocks at the boatyard and we had no idea when we’d be launching, let alone learning how to catch shrimp. The latest humbling moment in a never-ending trajectory of humbling moments. But they thought the intent of our project might dovetail with their festival so after a lunchtime meeting in Galveston, we happily agreed to at least host a booth where we could share our project and perhaps some of the inspiration behind it. And maybe participate in their Gumbo Cookoff, fresh off our 17th place finish at the last Blessing of the Fleet cookoff in May. Participating in the festival’s boat parade and Blessing of Da’Feet seemed amazingly unattainable, and frankly we were still suffering from the letdown of the last Blessing event at the Kemah Boardwalk. Even if our boat was seaworthy and we were capable of piloting it the 2 hour ride to Galveston, would this Blessing be any more legitimate than the last one? (see our blog entry “Mixed Blessings” below for further reading on this.)

Photographs by Geoff Winningham, from the book Going Back to Galveston

What a difference a few months make.  By early September our string of boat problems seemed to be dying to a murmur, and if we squinted, it looked as if our boat might actually be ready for the parade and blessing. Not only that, but our longtime sentimental attachment to Galveston was more palpable than ever.

Houston and Galveston are both bookends to this region, but more than that they seem to represent polar ends on the spectrum of regional cultural ethos. On our occasional trips to Galveston, we easily succumb to all the qualities which make it not Houston: its slowness, its weathered patina, its inability to accept change, its textured landscape of so many visible layers of history. It was the original big city in this region, and while it’s port and economy may no longer rival Houston’s, the city still seems to sit more prominently at the region’s threshold, both historically and geographically, where the Gulf meets the Bay.  So the idea of going to Galveston, whenever we can find the time, always offers of a healthy dose of cultural resonance.

Just such a time occurred about a week before the festival when we drove down to Galveston to attend the required captains meeting for the boat parade at the Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant on Pier 19. With its faux-swamp-shack-meets-carnival-fun-house look and overpriced fried seafood, we had never had much urge to go to this place in a city full of great seafood joints. Yet, here we were, entering what always seemed to be the inauthentic stepchild of Pier 19. Under new ownership and newly rebuilt since being demolished by Hurricane Ike, the place has transformed itself in the last year. With free drinks and an eclectic crew of Galveston locals gathered on the restaurant’s deck, we quickly got over our hangups of the place and struck up a conversation.

By the time we left the captains meeting, we somehow managed to learn nothing about the upcoming boat parade procedures, our original reason for showing up. But we did met a couple friendly Galveston shrimpers who shed some light on the history of this parade. Apparently it was a community of shrimpers who organized the parade and blessing of the fleet for decades in Galveston, but more recently the City of Galveston assumed control of the event and it died 2 years later. We were participating in the second-coming I suppose. We also learned a great deal more about the typical routine of shrimping at the entrance to the Galveston Harbor, apparently the standard spot for Galveston shrimpers. Before long, all we wanted to do was to move our boat to Galveston.  It all just sounded so much more mellow, straightforward and more accessible than everything about shrimping in the mid-bay area where we are now. Well, nothing is really that straightforward for us, but it was easy for us to imagine that in this small community of Galveston shrimpers, with their one regular shrimping spot practically in view of the dock, everything would become easier. Driving back to Houston, reality of course set in, and we had to shelve our dreams of Galveston, at least until the actual boat parade the following week.

Chart by NOAA

On the morning of September 23, we departed San Leon for Galveston by shrimp boat, a day before the the parade. Though not terribly far (we can usually see the hazy silhouette of Galveston’s skyline from our shrimping grounds), the trip would have us navigate unfamiliar waters and more marine traffic than we’d ever faced, specifically at the mouth of the bay, where the Houston ship channel meets the Galveston ship channel meets the Intercoastal Waterway meets the ferry channel from Galveston to Bolivar. The nautical chart above hints at how congested this area can get. So we took our time getting there. We detoured to a shrimping spot near the Texas City Dike, at the encouragement of John from the boatyard. The spot had come to him in prophetic dream over the summer in which he saw us catching a massive amount of shrimp. A mythical honey hole or a true shrimp bonanza? We had to find out. As it would happen, reality was not on our side. Our try-net, never shy of prophecy itself (as it’s main function is to test the waters and tell us whether it’s worth dropping the big net in) quickly grassed up and it was clear there was no honey hole here on this day. We continued on our way.

Photographs by Stacey Farrell, before and during the parade.

As this story will attest, we did make it safely to Galveston Harbor and managed to pilot the boat into a slip at the tight marina on Pier 19, despite nearly clipping the stern of a docked charter boat starting to fill up with passengers. Once we could stand on the dock and appreciate that our boat was tied up at the site of many a Galveston postcard, it felt as if our boat had come home. Indeed, we would join the Mosquito Fleet, if only for a weekend.

The next day was climactic. We arrived early, about 4 hours before the parade, to hastily attach nearly 1000 feet of red, white and blue pennant flag streamers from bow to stern. Not only were we preparing for a parade and a blessing, but also a contest for best decorated vessel, and we thought we had an outside chance of taking that honor (and the prize money that would come with it). But we were mistaken. This was not the last parade we had witnessed back in May. It seemed that a greater number of shrimp boats had turned out this time– a great thing for the event, a terrible thing for our chances of winning the pageant. Virtually every boat seemed to be gunning for the top honors. Ultimately it was the Tiffany Leann II that would take the prize– just as it had back in May at the Kemah parade–with its over-the-top Vegas themed decorations, complete with Elvis impersonator, dancers and mega sound system. But lest we forget, this was still a parade of many boats, each adding something unique to the event, and that included us. We also got blessed, by a real Catholic priest standing at the bulkhead at Pier 21, as we passed the cheering crowds. It was a total thrill. Joined by a handful of friends on deck, we made a mental note to  invite even more people along next year to fill out the onboard celebration.

I’m not sure if it was just the fact that we were in Galveston, or the turnout among other shrimp boats that seemed impressive (given this was taking place on a perfectly good work day), but this parade and blessing felt very satisfying. Sure, it was still taking place in the midst of a big festival with throngs of tourists and not necessarily the local tradition of yesteryear, but this is the Galveston of today. People come to Galveston to reconnect with the past and its bygone traditions. I suppose that’s what we were doing too.

 

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

Occupy The Hood

About 15 members of Occupy L.A. set up tents in Bertha Herrera’s back yard. They were there in solidarity with Bertha when the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department broke into the house and carried out a court ordered eviction notice. A day later, the house is on sale by Coldwell Bankers Residential Brokers.

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.

Publication: EUROPE-CHINA CULTURAL COMPASS

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Orientation for Cultural Cooperation Between China and Europe

Free download link at the end of this post !

As a result of the project EUROPE-CHINA CULTURAL COMPASS, a publication is now available, addressing the question of intercultural communication and cooperation. In the framework of an ongoing dialogue between China and Europe, the project was generated from an initiative by partners of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) in China, the Goethe-Institut, the British Council, and The Danish Cultural Institute.

Alongside with a glossary with selected intercultural key-vocabulary, the Compass includes  knowledge about the way of working and the cultural background of both countries.

It is intended to make a contribution to the understanding of cultural differences in order to facilitate and improve the cultural cooperation and is targeted both at European and Chinese readers. Exchanges and co-productions between European and Chinese practitioners in all fields of creative culture are supposed to be fostered.

The publication EUROPE-CHINA CULTURAL COMPASS can be seen as an essential tool for further collaboration and as a prelude to the coming Sino-European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. It makes relevant perspectives for cultural cooperation available for European and Chinese stakeholders serves as a knowledge base for cultural managers and players.

Instead of intending to be a ready-made toolkit, it is rather aimed to give an impulse for further exchanges of experience.

EUROPE CHINA CULTURAL COMPASS was commissioned by EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture).

You are able to download the publication for free here:
http://www.eunic-online.eu/node/445

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

2nd Thought Theatre Returns to Dallas, goes green

Last year STT went green.  We switched to purely internet based marketing and eliminated playbills in favor of digital projections.  We used the money we saved to pay more to our artists as we strive to be a leader in production quality in the community. This year we are taking things one step further.  Audiences will use their smart phones to either download the playbill to their device at home or scan a QR code to interact with the website and download the playbill to their device once they arrive.  Other theaters tell you to turn your cell phones off.  But not us.  We want you to leave them on, in silent mode of course,” said Chris LaBove.

Second Thought Theatre will be announcing the 2011-2012 Season in the coming weeks.

All shows in STT’s 2011-2012 Mainstage Season will be performed in Bryant Hall on the Kalita Humphreys Campus, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd Dallas, TX 75129.  To make a donation or to find out more information, please visit www.2tt.co

via 2nd Thought Theatre Returns to Dallas.

New metaphors for sustainability: include the craft of great design

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory
Following Solitaire Townsend’s suggestions for metaphors – teen-aged sex, Shakespeare, and advice to the dude – Ed Gillespie, co-founder of Futerra, emailed us to add a crucial component to the art of sustainability. Ed writes: 

To add to Soli’s suggestions I would include: craft.

Sustainability is really all about craft – artful, considered, creative solutions that work for people and planet.

Sustainability is also the crucial third component of great design, building on William Morris’s‘fit for purpose’ (functionality) and ‘beautiful to look at’ (aesthetics). I add to these ‘sustainably produced, reusable, durable, recyclable’. Sustainability turns good design into truly great design.photo above of William Morris

 

“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