Yearly Archives: 2013

Green Choreographers-in-Residence

ecocityIn December, Dance Exchange hosted Amara Tabor-Smith, our first Green Choreographer-in-Residence. Amara and her collaborator Sherwood Chen spent a week with Dance Exchange artists exploring sustainable food practices and food justice. Amara’s residency, which took place in our studios, as well as at sites like Eco City Farms in Edmonston, MD, culminated in a Thursday night HOME event featuring a potluck dinner and reflections on food and family. Visit Dance Exchange’s Facebook page to view more pictures from the residency.

Jill Sigman, of New York City, is our second Green Choreographer-in-Residence and will be in residence from January 28-February 1, 2013. Sigman will explore principles of permaculture and engage in hands-on work with small living systems, and this research will inform the development of movement scores and improvisational systems for use in her work The Hut Project, a series of site-specific structures built from trash. Sigman will share her methods and research in her HOME event on Thursday, January 30th from 7:00-9:00pm, and teach FRIDAY CLASS on Friday, February 1st from 9:30-11:15am.

Su Grierson 20th January

The heated table.  Photo and permission Su Grierson

The heated table. Photo and permission Su Grierson

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Day 1

The journey to Japan was good and easy.  Yoshiko Maruyama, the artist/ initiator of this project, was waiting for me at Narita airport.

The Japan Foundation wanted to meet me and receive my flight invoices and this meant an hour bus trip in the wrong direction into central Tokyo, but a smiling Mr Ohnishi met us, gave us lunch and towed my suitcase for me and after the formalities of paperwork he found us the correct train for our 3 hour journey up to Kitakata. He is promising to visit us in 10 days time to give us our generous fees and expenses.

I got a little closer to understanding why this project is being sponsored by the Japan Foundation and just what their hopes for it are. It seems there is a general desire of local and national government to counter the current negative images that accompany the word Fukushima internationally, as well as a desire to re-build the cultural activity of the area. Our impressions of our visit that we give to them and local people and also take home with us are just as important as any artwork we create here. They also talk of us conveying a positive image of the area to what they call the ‘Refugees’, in other words the survivors of the Tsunami who are living in temporary accommodation here that they must vacate after 3 years. I hope to find out more about that later.

I feel they see us as trailblazers initiating an artist’s residency in Fukushima that they hope others will then be willing to come to. It is refreshing that they and the other funders are happy to support a project without any clear idea of how it will proceed, instead just letting things fall into place as it goes along.

Day 2.

Yoshiko and I have now joined the two Norwegians, a sculptor and an architect and the first impression for all of us is the COLD, the second is of amazing scenery and buildings.

This is my seventh visit to Japan and I have never seen it look so stunning nor have I been so cold. We are staying in a traditional farmhouse style building with sliding walls with paper ‘glass’ on the inner side and glass on the outer wall (with a metre wide buffer zone between) none of which are tight fitting. There is absolutely no insulation and there is a general reluctance to use any electricity. This seems to stem partly from cost which is often mentioned – although the adjacent new part of the building does have solar panels on the roof (I haven’t yet had a chance to ask about that) – and also from a general attempt to reduce the use of electricity after their nuclear catastrophe. No one here seems to know how many of their nuclear plants have been re-opened.

As Margretha from Norway is an architect we have had long discussions about the nature of these building which seem to have been traditionally so unsuited to this climate, but then again they have also to withstand earthquakes and extremely hot and humid summers for which they seem perfectly adapted. We also don’t yet know the extent to which their approach to life was, and maybe still is, so different from our own age of ‘comfort’. The winters are cold so you just put on more clothes and don’t think about it. We are trying hard to do the same with varying degrees of success. The paraffin heaters and heated meal tables are a blessing. Our hostess has just produced some electric blankets – JOY.

The amount of fantastic food we are plied with also goes a long way to keeping out the cold. Today we have a ‘party’ to which all the funders and local supporters as well as Press will be coming. Tonight apparently we are moving to a mountain farm house for 4 days.

With endless outings being promised, we are wondering when there will be any time to make work for an exhibition in 4 weeks time.

Su Grierson

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.
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Call for nominations: “AWEInspiring” Arts & Environment Award

This post comes to you from Cultura21

ciwem_612-300x139The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management´s (CIWEM) Art and Environment Network (AEN) is calling for nominations for their annual Arts and the Environment Award, carried out in association with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW), to recognise innovation and excellence in work by arts practitioners or environmentalists engaging with arts practices.

2013 sees the fourth year of the award, details of the award and previous winners can be found athttp://www.ciwem.org/competition-and-awards/aweinspiring.aspx

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Nominations may consist of an artwork, arts project or body of work by a living artist (or group) that is contributing innovatively to CIWEM’s vision of “putting creativity at the heart of environmental policy and action”.
  • The nomination must demonstrate innovation and excellence; whether in ideas, execution or impact.
  • The award is open to arts practitioners, environmentalists engaging with arts practices, or persons/initiatives that integrate these disciplines.
  • The focus is on rewarding identified work, not simply a person.
  • All forms and modes of arts practice, and geographical locations, may be considered.
  • Special emphasis will be given to inspiring examples of young and/or emerging talent.

The deadline for nominations is 31st January 2013. The winner will be announced in the press and a presentation will be made at a high-profile event (in previous years this has been the CIWEM Annual Dinner).

You can consider putting forward a project, body of work, organisation, person or group you would like to see given special recognition in this way, by sending a short description, and your reasons, to Laura Grant at lgrant [at] ciwem [dot] 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

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Promised Land – Fracking arrives in Hollywood

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The documentary Gasland released in 2010, which portrayed the devastating effects of a method of drilling into shale gas formations called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”, in rural american communities, garnered mostly positive reviews from film critics and newspapers but also negative responses by fracking lobbyists. The latter resulted in the launch of a website called Energy in Depth and the production of a movie titled TruthLand, by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, concerned with listing false information propagated in Gasland and showing a different view on fracking.

The new film Promised Land, released in December 2012, directed by Gus van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) starring Matt DamonJohn Krasinski and Frances McDormand, is the first Hollywood treatment of fracking, much to the displeasure of the oil and gas industry which have yet again launched an almost targeted campaign to discredit the movie even before its release, including buying onscreen ad time in theatres and planning to launch a “Truth Squad” initiative on social media platforms.

The film is set to have its international premiere at the 63th Berlin International Film Festival inFebruary 2013.

For more information on Promised Land and the surrounding discussion:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/17/fracking-lobbyists-matt-damon-promised-land

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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Su Grierson – Corresponding from Fukushima Province, Japan

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland
Japanese do seem to be obsessed by food  endlessly photographing  their meals and we have been  asked to take photos of what we  eat in our Northern countries. This is my Fruitarian Christmas  pudding awash with Brandy. I think the Kitakata speciality is noodles!"Japanese do seem to be obsessed by food endlessly photographing their meals and we have been asked to take photos of what we eat in our Northern countries. This is my Fruitarian Christmas pudding awash with Brandy. I think the Kitakata speciality is noodles!” (Photo with permission Su Grierson)

Su Grierson has kindly agreed to send ecoartscotland regular updates during her 10 week residency in Kitakata, Fukushima Province, Japan.  She is circulating this introduction.

I am now trying to get myself organised to go to Japan next Thursday. I am doing a 10 week residency based at Kitakata in Fukushima province. It is quite a way from the devastated coastal area but I am told we will be working there and with some of the displaced survivors. The project is funded by the Japan Foundation but I think the actual programme will be worked out when we get there. It seems we will also be working with the beautiful Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art.  I will be working with 2 Norwegians, a sculptor and an architect and one Japanese artist with the overall theme of ‘Spirit of North’.

Making work for an exhibition seems to be the main thing but I have a feeling that the very generous funders might have their own expectations which we will find out about later! Watch this space – well you can literally follow my trip by signing up here to Chris Fremantle’s ecoartscotland network. He has offered to put out occasional reports from me which you will be able to find here or if you join up then they will come directly to your email address.

I think this project is part of a wider plan trying to restore normal life and spirit generally in this area and also to get a different picture of Fukushima out to the wider world. I am well aware of some of the more negative recent press, and of course that name Fukushima will always be synonymous with Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear meltdown, but I will hopefully try and find out for myself just what the situation is now.

It has just started snowing in Kitakata so its a question of how many thermals I can get in my case, but at least they make good packing for cameras, laptops and all the other paraphernalia I can’t manage without.

As part of my Survey exhibition and book at Horsecross in Perth next summer (Opening with Sunday Brunch on June 30th – all invited!) I have been commissioned to make a new work for the 22 screen Wave at Perth Concert Hall and I’m hoping to use that as a way of linking Fukushima and Perth.

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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Exhibition: Burnt Stars by Jenny Brown

This post comes to you from Cultura21

statt-berlin-invitation-JBAustralian Artist Jenny Brown, currently residing in Berlin, Germany on a DAAD scholarship, is inviting to her exhibition Burnt Stars  – Meditations on resistance, resilience and systems, curated by Adam Nankervis atstattberlin, an art space (in Berlin) dedicated to new forms of artistic expressions.

The opening event is on Thursday 17 January 2013 at 7 pm and the exhibition will stay open until Sunday 20 January from 2pm until 7pm.

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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From six seasons to two

Bronze-winged jacana.  Photo: India nature watch

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Kellie Gutman writes:

The state of Orissa, located in east-central India, was once known for having six seasons.  Not only were there six, Grishmar (summer), Barsha (rainy), Sarata (autumn), Hemanta (dew), Sisira (winter), and Basanta (spring), each two months long, but the people in the area could forecast the onset of each one by the behaviour of certain birds.  For instance, the bronze-winged jacana would lay its eggs during the monsoons, so its mating calls signaled the arrival of the rains.

But climate change has brought excessive heat to Orissa, and now people say there are only two seasons: rains and summer. Winter is just a short transition between them.

The Glass Half Full Theatre in Austin, Texas, which crafts “Environmental Puppetry” is putting on Once There Were Six Seasons, opening February 13, 2013.  Environmental Puppetry uses very small puppets on large landscapes with visible puppeteers.  The puppetry focuses on the changing landscapes more than on the actual puppets.  Their earlier work, Bob’s Hardware, about a small family-owned hardware store being pushed out by a big-box store can be seen here:

Once There Were Six Seasons is based on the story of Orissa’s seasons, as told to the artistic director, Caroline Reck, on her visit to India.

See: What happened to the seasons

“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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Shifting Baselines Residency and Exhibition Project

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Gallery Talk & Exhibition Opening
Monday, January 7, 2013 – 6pm @ Santa Fe Art Institute

Shifting Baselines Exhibition
January 8 – 25 – Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm @ Santa Fe Art Institute

Shifting Baselines, an exhibition curated by ecoartspace founder Patricia Watts, opening on the 7th of January, 2013,  will show existing and new work from installation artist Hugh Pocock and painter Cynthia Hooper, a Northern California painter and video artist who teaches at College of the Redwoods in Eureka.

Shifting baseline is a scientific term used to describe the way changes in the environment can be measured against previous reference points (baselines) that represent significant changes from the “original state.” For example, places that swarmed with a particular species hundreds of years ago may have experienced long-term decline, but it is the level of recent decades that are considered the appropriate reference point for current populations. In this way large declines in ecosystems or species over long periods of time were, and are, masked. There is a loss of perception of change that occurs when each generation redefines what is “natural.” This term has become widely used to describe the shift over time in the expectation of what a healthy ecosystem baseline looks like.

The exhibition will also be the inaugural event of the Santa Fe Art Institute’s 2013-14 season of programming – Contested Space, focusing on arts role in communicating and exploring new territory in an already mapped out world.

To learn more about the Shifting Baselines residency and exhibition, please go to the Santa Fe Art Institute blog.

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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Shifting Baselines: The NEW NORMAL

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

A Report from the residency and exhibition titled Shifting Baselines including artists’ Cynthia Hooper and Hugh Pocockat the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico, curated by ecoartspace founder Patricia Watts. Opens January 7th, 2013.

Shifting Baselines is my third show in the last year focused on water issues, and Cynthia Hooper has been in all of them. Actually, I also curated her video work in a show in 2010 titled EcoArchive in San Francisco. Needless to say, I think she is brilliant and is very informed about highly complicated political and economic issues around water distribution.

Hooper captures human interventions with video, mostly agricultural, in the landscape with an epic style of a romantic landscape painter. Although her landscapes are very luscious, they are also filled with montage of disruptions that can ironically be seenas poetic. And, she is also an talented painter who depicts very small realistic scenes that she paints with printed text on large sheets of watercolor paper to both inform her viewers visually and intellectually with her writings of the many layers of politics involved in water management.

I first met Hugh Pocock in 2004 at the Santa Monica Museum of Art where he created a salt evaporation garden in their project room that appeared like a laboratory setting for a scientist. It was the first installation I had seen at a museum that appearedaesthetically intriguing, as well as interactive, and educational.

Pocock works with materials such as water, dirt, wind, air in his performative installations. For Shifting Baselines he decided to build on similar installations he has done in the past that address where water comes from and how it relates to ourselves, our bodies, including a work he performed for the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore in 2009 titled myfoodmypoop.

Since his arrival in New Mexico, Pocock has been collecting buckets of snow from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains outside of Santa Fe, which he then filters after it melts to make bottles of drinking water available for participants in the exhibition space. –>

The great thing about this project is that as a curator it is the first time that I have been invited to be in residence along with the artists as they create their work in the gallery before the exhibition opens.

To learn more about the Shifting Baselines residency and exhibition, please go to the Santa Fe Art Institute blog HERE.

Cynthia Hooper

Hugh Pocock

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

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