Yearly Archives: 2012

Ten Billion – review | Stage | The Guardian

From the Guardian review of Ten Billion:

Stephen Emmott, an acclaimed scientist, stands in a re-creation of his cluttered Cambridge office and delivers, under Katie Mitchell’s astute direction, an illustrated 60-minute talk on the consequences of over-population. He tells us that we are facing “an unprecedented planetary emergency” and, under his calm exterior, you sense a concealed fury at our failure to address the crisis.

via Ten Billion – review | Stage | The Guardian.

Land and Energy Pt. 2 – review of ‘The Time Is Now’

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Review of The Time Is Now: Public Art of the Sustainable City

There is no question that energy generation impacts on landscape, both urban and rural. It always has. The current re-engineering of systems towards renewable energy is, on one level, not different. Wind turbines are just one example around which there is a very polarised debate. As a result there has been considerable work done in Scotland on the visual as well as environmental impact. Sophisticated modelling of proposed installations in landscape contexts has become a normal part of public consultation processes. There is now for instance a mobile virtual landscape theatre, developed by The James Hutton Institute.  Behind the issues of visual and environmental impact there is a significant public policy commitment in Scotland. This public policy commitment drives funding and decision-making to deliver on the targets. It is intended to shape or focus the market on agreed public priorities.

The Land Art Generator Initiative comes at these issues from a different perspective. The initiative seeks to engage artists, architects and designers in the development of mid and large scale renewable energy infrastructure. The first international design competition focused on the United Arab Emirates and was sponsored by Madsar, “Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions”. The Time Is Now documents the winners and runners up, and a total of 51 of the hundreds of entries.

The Foreword argues that there is a fundamental shift taking place, moving energy generation into a prominent position within our lived environments, which presents new challenges. They say,

As the days of the gas or coal fired power plant at the farthest outskirts of the city come to a close, we will find more and more integration of energy production within the fabric of our communities. Because the renewable forms of energy generation such as solar and wind do not pollute in their daily operations, they are more likely to find their way into proximity with residential and commercial neighbourhoods. (p.16)

This articulation of the challenge does not perhaps fully recognise the complexity of the issue in, for instance, Scotland. As suggested above, and we’ll return to below, it is not merely in proximity to neighbourhoods that the challenge arises: wind generation installations even in fairly remote locations will stoke the debate.

There is also precedent for the involvement of architects, artists and designers in mid and large scale energy infrastructure. Tate Modern was a power station located in the heart of London, and there was considerable debate about the location, which in the end was driven by an energy crisis. The reason why the new use was sought for the Bankside Power Station was precisely that it was a building of considerable architectural merit. Bankside was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who was also the architect of Liverpool Cathedral as well as the eponymous red telephone box. Whilst it is perhaps self-evident that at various points in history artists and designers have been asked to address large scale energy generation installations, it is interesting to think that the best examples are of such importance that they become art galleries.

The metaphor employed for the design of power stations at the time was the cathedral of power, intending to emphasise the prestige and modernity of electricity (see the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society papers for references).

The metaphors that drive these proposals are relevant to reflect upon. Lakoff and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By (2003) clearly articulates the importance of not just those rhetorical metaphors such as associating power stations with cathedrals, but the more embedded metaphors of architecture and conflict that underpin so much language and thought, and therefore planning and action. Beth Carruther’s essay ‘Possible Worlds’, included in The Time Is Now, addresses this important point.

Within the suite of proposals included in The time is now there is a cluster of power metaphors: the winning team’s proposal Lunar Cubit uses the form of pyramids; there’s a team who’s proposal Solar Eco System uses a depiction solar system (arranged as it was at the point that the United Arab Emirates came into existence in 1971).

There’s another cluster of nature metaphors: the second placed team’s Windstalk proposal looks very much like a field of grass; Solarbird references sea waves, birds, fish and trees; Fern (future/energy/renewable/nature) also applies a natural form to a photovoltaic array.  A significant number of proposals explored the shape and pattern of dunes in their proposals.

And there is a cluster of indigenous culture metaphors: Solaris deploys the photovoltaic array referencing decorative patterns in local culture – the blue colour of the panels accentuates the reference, and this patterning also appears in PV Dust. Another team also named their proposal Solaris, but drew on a tent metaphor.

Whilst The Time Is Now is full of illustrations, almost all using the same sorts of landscape visualisation tools mentioned above, there are other aspects of impact, in particular cultural impact that cannot be effectively captured through architectural and landscape design technologies.

Robert MacFarlane, one of those currently reinvigorating landscape writing in the UK, unpacks the complexity of cultural impacts in his essay A Counter-Desecration Phrasebook (2010). His subject is the Brindled Moor on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The context of his writing is the proposal for a wind ‘power station’ of 234 turbines each 140 metres high with a blade span of 80 metres (the terminology of ‘farm’ seeks to elide the reality: these installations are dispersed power stations). MacFarlane reports that each turbine required a foundation of 700 cubic metres of concrete and goes on to note that, “5 million cubic metres of rock and 2.5 million cubic metres of peat would be excavated and displaced”.

The arguments for and against this development rotated around issues of landscape value, not merely visibility. On the one hand MacFarlane quotes the writer Ian Jack, in support of the installation, described the interior of Lewis as, “a vast, dead place: dark brown moors and black lochs under a grey sky, all swept by a chill wet wind”.

MacFarlane highlights the cultural value and complexity of the landscape, challenging its dismissal as a ‘dead place’. He explores in detail the richness of language associated with this landscape, his starting point being to challenge the idea that this is terra nullius. Of course one of the key points he is making is that most colonisation is based on the principle of terra nullius, and that one of the key forms of counter by indigenous peoples in, for instance, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, is to demonstrate the deep connection to land. MacFarlane goes on to argue that this landscape of “…peat-bog, peat-hag, heather, loch and lochan…” has a rich and deep language associated with it. He directs the reader’s attention to the text Some Lewis Moorland Terms: A Peat Glossary prepared by Finlay MacLeod, and containing 126 terms. MacFarlane celebrates the saving of the moor and the rejection of the energy generation installation which would have, in his view, desecrated the place.

If we are to make intelligent decisions about how and where to build mid and large scale renewable energy installations, then we definitely need artists, architects and designers to contribute to the development of schemes that acknowledge the aesthetic impacts, and actively seek to create beauty as well as functionality. But we also need to assure that the locations are not treated as terra nullius or without cultural meaning. The tools are not just those of landscape visualisation, they are also of landscape language and lived experience. Engaging and embracing cultural meaning, perhaps in deeper ways than simple symbolism, could lead to imaging more interesting solutions, whether that’s for a piece of desert, moorland or for a settlement – village or city.

The Land Art Generator Initiative operates on a biennial cycle, and the current round focuses on Fresh Kills, a former landfill site on Staten Island in New York City. This location is now of deep cultural significance, being the place that the remains of the World Trade Center was deposited post 9/11. It’s also a place that has been the focus of work by the artist Merle Laderman Ukeles for many years.

You can purchase your copy of The time is now here http://www.kinokuniya.com/sg/index.php/fbs003?common_param=9789814286756 .

References

Land Art Generator Initiative. (2012). The Time Is Now: Public Art of the Sustainable City.  Page One: Singapore

Evans, G. & Robson, D. (2010). Towards Re-Enchantment: Place and its Meanings. ArtEvents: London.

Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (2003). Metaphors We Live By (2nd Edition). University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London.

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

Powered by WPeMatico

EARTH PERFECT? Nature, Utopia, and the Garden

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Symposium and exhibitions, June 6-9, 2013

“Since time immemorial, gardens have been key in humanity’s quest to define an ideal relation to nature. Gardens have been sources of nourishment for the body and the soul, they have been symbols of wealth and power, they have served as barriers against the wild, and much more. EARTH PERFECT? Nature, Utopia, and the Garden is a four-day symposium designed for an academic audience, garden professionals, and a general public interested in the importance and meaning of gardens.”

 Event Locations

  • The University of Delaware
  • Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
  • Winterthur Estate Gardens, Delaware
  • Chanticleer Garden, Pennsylvania
  • The Mount Cuba Center, Delaware

 Events Include

Themed garden tours and exhibitions, as well as lectures, workshops, and academic paper sessions focusing on topics such as wellness and the garden, environment and society, historic preservation and land use, green textiles, CSAs, the garden in the visual arts, the garden in literature, the meaning and function of domestic and public gardens, architecture and the garden, the spiritual associations of gardens, gardening the planet in the face of ecological decline, political aspects of gardening, and economies of the garden.

 Featured Speakers Include:

  • Jane Knight, landscape architect of The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
  • Stephen Forbes, Executive Director of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, South Australia
  • Emma Marris, author of Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World
  • Margaret Morton, photographer and co-author of Transitory Gardens, Uprooted Lives
  • Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens
  • McKay Jenkins, author of What’s Gotten Into Us: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World

 Call for Papers :

Abstracts and proposals for papers and panels due Dec. 15, 2012

This interdisciplinary event focuses on the importance and meaning of gardens in the past, present, and the future, and that from a wide range of perspectives, including, but not limited to the following disciplines: art, art history, architecture, anthropology, agriculture, philosophy, literature, history, horticulture, botany, landscape architecture, garden design, nutrition, and law, as well as earth and life sciences.

For instructions regarding submission of paper abstracts as well as proposals for panels or roundtable discussions, visit: http://www.udel.edu/ihrc/conference/earthperfect/call-for-papers.html

 For More Event Information

See the symposium website for more details regarding venues, programming, lodging, and registration: http://www.udel.edu/earthperfect

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

Powered by WPeMatico

launch of ADRIFT – a new project by Cape Farewell

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Tom Chivers – Cape Farewell’s Climate Poet-in-Residence

Art and climate change organisation Cape Farewell is launching ADRIFT – an interrogation of climate as culture, devised by Cape Farewell’s poet in residence, Tom Chivers (in London, UK). They invite the public for a drink, performance and short film, as Tom Chivers maps the natural territories written into urban space. Free admission.

“Discover what’s hidden underneath the streets and find out what an ‘urban pilgrimage’ is. Join us in the Main Space at Rich Mix from 6.30pm on Friday 5th October. Appearing with the director of Cape Farewell, artist and photographer, David Buckland, Tom will be presenting ongoing research and new writing.  Over the next 12 months, follow ADRIFT at capefarewell.com/adrift as Tom undertakes a range of mixed-media investigations: text work, live performance, debate and collaborations with other artists, writers, and poets. ADRIFT builds towards the presentation of a major new poetic project, in Spring 2013, supported by a series of live events across East London.”

Tom Chivers’ commission is launched as part of Cape Farewell’s new series of Urban Interventions. This will include the summer launch of SWITCH, a youth inquiry into poetics, culture, migration and climate.

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Getting Off the Planet

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

ecoartspace is proud to present the first in a series of site-based residencies happening throughout the state of New Mexico (2012-2013), a unique project curated by ecoartspace founder and west coast curator Patricia Watts and independent curator Jenée Misraje in collaboration with the Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI), titled Getting Off the Planet.

A digital dome video work with surround sound titled CARBON X created by New York artist Charles Lindsay in collaboration with visual effects specialist Eric Hanson of RezX in Los Angeles, will be presented to the public Saturday, September 22nd at 2pm at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Digital Dome in Santa Fe, New Mexico. An addition viewing will take place on Tuesday at 9am for the annual ISEA conference during their Santa Fe Day.

Lindsay, a multimedia artist, has been refining his camera-less photographic process for over ten years and was invited by the curators to be in residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute in June 2012 to explore how his imagery could be applied in the fully articulated dome at IAIA. Lindsay spent several months in 2011 and 2012 working out of Los Angeles with Hanson rehearsing the 5 min video and while at IAIA this past summer he worked with Ethan Bach the dome director to edit and apply sounds from the region. The content is other worldly you could say, and offers viewers another realm to consider what it means to live in a world where other forms of extraterrestrial intelligence potentially exists. What might they look like, how might their presence be known.

In 2010 Lindsay was selected by the SETI Institute to be the first official artist-in-residence, and has been provided with the opportunity to work with the famous Dr. Jill Tartar at the SETI Radio Telescope in Northern California.

Getting Off the Planet is a concept that Patricia Watts conceived of as an exhibition in 2008. In 2010 she partnered with Jenée Misraje to research artists and identify funding, then decided to focus on residencies instead. Watts has recently made five trips to New Mexico visiting sites and potential collaborators. It is the curators vision that the invited artists will spend at least a month in New Mexico at a site of their choice, to create work either in the landscape, or derive imagery and ideas from their time in New Mexico to create work later at their home studios. The works will speak to our relationship with the universe and how it informs what it means to be here now on planet Earth from an ecological and spiritual perspective.

The curators are seeking funding to commence residencies with Taro Shinoda (Japan), Aleksandra Mir (UK), Vincent Lamouroux (France), and Roman Keller and Christina Hemauer (Switzerland), as well as five other artists out of 15 artists currently under consideration.

Patricia Watts will present the GOTP project at ISEA on Thursday September 20th at 9am at the Natural History Museum Planetarium in Albuquerque, and will moderate a panel discussion including Charles Lindsay, along with other panelists, in the afternoon at 1:15 in the special events room at the Albuquerque Museum.

A completion exhibition will take place Fall 2013 at the Santa Fe Art Institute gallery.

See you in New Mexico!!!

http://www.gettingofftheplanet.org

 

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

Balance-Unbalance 2013

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Balance-Unbalance is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between nature, science, technology and society as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities. The organizers are thoroughly looking forward to hosting artists, scientists, economists, philosophers, politicians, sociologists, engineers and policy experts from across the world to engage in dialogue and action towards a sustainable future. Balance-Unbalance 2013 will also host “a diversity of virtual components allowing global accessibility and significantly reducing the carbon footprint of a major international conference.”

One of the main goals of Balance-Unbalance is to develop the role of the arts and artists in dealing with environmental challenges. The previous events held in Buenos Aires in 2010 and Montreal in 2011 provided a powerful platform for reflection, debate, and ideas leading towards Balance-Unbalance 2013, hosted in the UNESCO Noosa Biosphere Reserve on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. The 2013 conference theme, Future Nature, Future Culture[s] is aimed to provoke discourse around what our elusive future might hold and how transdisciplinary thought and action could be used as tools for positive change.

Submissions are now being accepted (until November 30th) for the International Balance-Unbalance 2013 conference to be held at  Central Queensland University in Noosa, Australia  from May 31 – June 2, 2013. Balance-Unbalance 2013 is being held in the beautiful resort town of Noosa, in parallel with the Floating Land 2013 Green Art festival and just prior to the ISEA 2013 (International Symposium on Electronic Art) conference in Sydney, so participants can maximize their time in Australia by attending all three events.

For more information see the website at www.balance-unbalance2013.org

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

Powered by WPeMatico

The golden glow of arts funding

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Wallace Heim writes:

Wooloo.org is the organisation in Copenhagen that came up with the idea of housing artists and activists in people’s home for the climate talks. Their website lists open calls for artist’s awards, residencies and other opportunities.

This week’s Special Call is for Passion to Perform – Art Competition 2012, for paintings, photography, sculptures and drawings, with prizes of Canadian $6,000, $2,500 and $1,000.

It’s not exactly an ‘open’ call.

The sponsor is Yamana Gold, one of the world’s leading gold and copper mining companies, with operations throughout the Americas, primarily Argentina and Brazil. They are asking for artworks that are inspired by the company’s core principles: “sustainability, dependability, respect for the environment and our communities, safety of our colleagues.”

“Passion to Perform is a competition which celebrates the success of Yamana Gold, and we are looking forward to engaging creatively in a way that reflects our company’s diversity and core values.”

Other views about Yamana Gold’s principles are here and here.

Photo above of the Gualcamayo open pit, heap leach gold operation in the San Juan province of Argentina, courtesy of the Yamana Gold website.

“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

Powered by WPeMatico

Prix Pictet | The global award in photography and sustainability

The exhibition of work by the artists shortlisted for Prix Pictet Power will be at the Saatchi Gallery, London from 10 – 28 October 2012. On 9 October there will be an Awards Ceremony with Kofi Annan, Honorary President of the Prix Pictet, at which the winner of the award will be announced.

via Prix Pictet | The global award in photography and sustainability.

The first river to have legal rights

The Whanganui River, Aotearoa / New Zealand, photo: Phil Robinson

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Wallace Heim writes:

For the first time, a river has been given a legal voice. The Whanganui Riverin New Zealandhas become a legal entity, and will be recognised as a person in law in the same way that a company is, giving it rights and interests.

The status of the river as Te Awa Tupua (an integrated, living whole) is a step in the resolution of historical grievances and court cases between the Whanganui iwi, the Maori peoples and nations living along the river, and the Crown. Two guardians, one from the Whanganui Riveriwi, and one from the Crown will be given the role of protecting the river.

In the UK, ‘rights’ generally means the right to access for humans to rivers, or the right to flood protection.

But many artists are negotiating the relations between human use and the free-running of rivers, navigating the values and affections towards rivers. Just now, among these are Multi-Story Water on the River Aire in Shipley and the River Frome in Bristol, and River Runs on the Thames near Oxford. Jem Southam is exhibiting photographs of the River Exe, investigating what makes or defines a river. Earlier this year, Flow turned the Tyne into music in Newcastle. And two decades ago, Still Waters uncovered the buried rivers of London.

“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

Powered by WPeMatico