Yearly Archives: 2012

iLand’s 2012 iLAB Resident Update – Higher E.D.

This post comes to you from Cultura21

On Sunday September 23 from 11 am – 5 pm, the public can join Higher E+D  (Ecology and Dance) to gather aerial data with kites/balloons and field data through dancing bodies.

Meet Lailye Weidman, Jess Einhorn and Liz Barry at Governor’s Island and travel to Lower Manhattan (NY, USA) with Higher E+D for a day of kite-mapping and dance based weather observation.  Wear clothes for moving (and possibly getting dirty), bring plenty of water, a notebook and pack a picnic lunch. Contact HigherED12 [at] gmail [dot] com for more information.    

The ferry to Governor’s Island runs every half hour from Brooklyn and Manhattan. http://govisland.com
More information at http://higher-e-d.tumblr.com

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

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Agreement entitles Whanganui River to legal identity

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Companies have ‘personhood,’ ie. a legal identity equivalent to people in the sense that they can enter into contracts and agreements (see Wikipedia article). This is a subject of considerable argument, and there are several campaigns to remove this status.

On the other hand in New Zealand there is a move (reported in the New Zealand Herald here) to give a river the status of a person, for the river to have a legal identity.  If we accept that all things have agency, not just human beings, this legal recognition of the personhood of a river, developed from the indigenous knowledge tradition and by the Whanganui River Iwi, is incredibly important.

To give a river (or presumably a mountain, valley or island) this status of personhood is important because it repositions us, human beings, within the environment, rather than over it.

Where the problem with corporate personhood is that it requires the law to respect corporate interests as equivalent to the interests of people, the positive benefits of giving at least some natural features some legal agency or status as persons is potentially transformative.

The recognition of indigenous knowledge traditions is of course also enormously positive and challenging to Western epistemologies.  If the river is a person, what does the river know, and how do we value that form of knowledge.

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

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The big idea? Get lost

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Joan Littlewood

Wallace Heim writes:

Seminars about sustainability and the arts often, usefully but repeatedly, focus on energy use and material consumption. A public conversation at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, ‘What’s the Big Idea?’, organised by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh, nodded to the material imperatives –  the plastic cups – then shifted the discussion to the processes of making theatre that don’t fit with the accountancy of sustainability, to the unintended consequences of sustainable decisions, and to the need for sharing more technologies more widely.

The conversation opened with provocations from Erica Whyman, Artistic Director of Northern Stage, and Anthony Alderson, Director of the Pleasance Theatre Trust, chaired by Harry Giles, Environment Officer of Festival Edinburgh, and hosted by Ben Twist of Creative Carbon Scotland.

A phrase from Whyman recurred throughout the discussion. She quoted theatre director Joan Littlewood speaking about how to make theatre, and how to challenge the hierarchies in power: ‘We must get lost if we are to make a new route.’

Whyman compared ‘getting lost’ to the need in theatre production for not adhering to absolute objectives, whether financial, material or ideological. The question, for Whyman, is not why more artists don’t make work about climate change. Artists make the work they want to make; they are not essayists or teachers. Rather, artists get lost, and create something that surprises.< The surprises, or unintended consequences of working within financial constraints have meant theatres having to work with different economic models. Whyman’s example was Northern Stage’s decision to group together artists, makers and staff in accommodation in Edinburgh for their series of productions at St. Stephen’s church. Inadvertently, they created a commune, a creative and powerful way of working together as a team. These aspects of consensus and democracy are forgotten, according to Whyman, in the accountancy of sustainability and in the apocalyptic narratives of climate change. Alderton spoke of the need to look for the wider questions behind the requests for the artistic community to recycle or use less energy.  Every company working with the Pleasance plants a tree in Scotland. This is a trade. Theatres are places of trade, artistically and materially, and need to share their technologies, be less possessive about their productions and share ideas. ‘Getting lost’ figured in many of the audience’s questions. If theatre productions set the conditions for the audience to get lost in finding a new route, and organisations set the conditions for productions, how do directors and curators more immediately set the conditions for artists to ‘get lost’ in creating new work about sustainability or the climate? Why might artists not be willing to engage with, get lost, in the scientific and the political aspects of climate change? How can artists be encouraged to hold contradictory ideas in tension in creative ways, like the tension between where we are now, and where we could be heading? Too, there were questions about the relation between theatre and the public; about whether theatre should teach; about audiences’ carbon footprints and whether the arts world had responsibility for audiences' travel.

The slight change of perspective connected the achievement of carbon reduction figures to the relations and effects between material use and communal, artistic and intellectual change – a viable new route.

“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

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Future Culture: [ln]tangible Heritage | Design | Cross Media

This post comes to you from Cultura21

2 December 2012:  Opening reception & exhibition
3-5 December 2012: Symposium

“NODEM 2012 Hong Kong will bring together leading theorists, practitioners and artists in conversation about the future of digital heritage, creative practices, design and emerging technologies. Pioneers from diverse countries and cross-disciplinary fields will focus on a range of issues covering new forms of heritage interpretation and the future of new media at the forefront of museum design. Emphasis will be placed on cutting edge research and practice from around the world, with a focus on tangible and intangible heritage in Asian contexts. The three-day programme will include day-long special sessions on Digital Intangible Heritage of Asia (DIHA) and the inaugural Museums and the Web Asia. The three-day event will stimulate research networks for those in pursuit of excellence in the digital work of museums, galleries, archives and libraries.”

Website – Programme – Link to register for NODEM 2012 Hong Kong. (This conference is free of charge.)

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

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Weather presenter freaks out

A colleague has emailed us this clip. A weather presenter strays into climate reporting, comedy and reality.

“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

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Water, Water Everywhere

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Film still from Shifting directed by Michael Varisco

The Museums of Los Gatos hosts a Film screening of select films from the traveling media exhibition: “Water, Water Everywhere: Paean to a Vanishing Resource“, curated by Jennifer Heath.

Thursday, September 27, 7-9pm

Location: The Art Museum | 4 Tait Avenue

All other films from Water, Water Everywhere will  be exhibited in conjunction with the current exhibition Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future at the History Museum of Los Gatos from August 1-December 30, 2012. Visitors will have to opportunity to view films not featured in the screening throughout the duration of Shaped by Water.  These films will be  juxtaposed with historic film footage of Santa Clara Valley waterways.

Media Exhibition Description:

Water is the world’s most crucial commodity and the basis for all earthly life. Its preservation and protection may be our greatest environmental challenge.

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE is comprised of 30-second to 30-minute videos from 40 artists worldwide exploring water issues from the political to the personal and from ethics to aesthetics, with works that are documentary, experimental, educational, humorous, solemn, animated or acted. WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE is designed to be a platform for discussion and action to bring to light the world water crisis and the sanctity of water and its sources.

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

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Land and energy

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Northumberlandia, Charles Jencks, 2012 (photo provided by Banks Group)

Matt Ridley is the author of a number of books on the subjects of evolution, genetics and society, and has been variously a scientist, journalist and businessman.  There was an article in Saturday’s Times and the full version is on Matt Ridley’s website.  It’s worth reading.

His family leased land to a mining operation in the North East of England and have sponsored Charles Jencks to create Northumberlandia, the latest of Jencks’ earthworks.

When the Banks Group approached my family to dig out coal from under farmland we own, creating 150 local jobs, they also came with an imaginative suggestion. Instead of waiting ten years to put the rock back and restore the surface to woods and fields, which is the normal practice, why not put some of the rock to one side to make a new landscape feature that people can use long before the mine is restored?

Ridley makes an argument around energy and land.  It’s an economic argument about fossil fuels and land use.

The replacement of muscle power, burning carbohydrates, with fossil power, burning hydrocarbons, has been one of the great liberators of history.

Unfortunately the argument doesn’t look to the future.  It is true that fossil fuels have transformed society, but that’s the transformation of the industrial revolution.  The current transformation is focused on renewable energy and the need to massively reduce our footprint.

And in terms of art practices, this is not innovative, just large.  Cutting edge art practices look to integrate the future into the landscape, not just shape it aesthetically.  Whether it’s AMD&ART addressing Acid Mine Drainage, or the Land Art Generator Initiative  bringing together at scale renewable energy and art, or any of a number of other artists working on energy and land futures (see greenmuseum.org for examples), Northumberlandia misses a trick and a big one.  The creation of new public space is important, but the use of that process to exemplify new futures is vital.

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

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