Yearly Archives: 2013

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This post comes to you from the Broadway Green Alliance

 

The Broadway Green Alliance was founded in 2008 in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) is an ad hoc committee of The Broadway League and a fiscal program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Along with Julie’s Bicycle in the UK, the BGA is a founding member of the International Green Theatre Alliance. The BGA has reached tens of thousands of fans through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other media.

At the BGA, we recognize that it is impossible to be 100% “green” while continuing activity and – as there is no litmus test for green activity – we ask instead that our members commit to being greener and doing better each day. As climate change does not result from one large negative action, but rather from the cumulative effect of billions of small actions, progress comes from millions of us doing a bit better each day. To become a member of the Broadway Green Alliance we ask only that you commit to becoming greener, that you name a point person to be our liaison, and that you will tell us about your green-er journey.

The BGA is co-chaired by Susan Sampliner, Company Manager of the Broadway company of WICKED, and Charlie Deull, Executive Vice President at Clark Transfer<. Rebekah Sale is the BGA’s full-time Coordinator.

Go to the Broadway Green Alliance

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EMOS 2015 – Call for Scripts

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

Earth Matters On Stage

EMOS ~ Ecodrama Playwrights Festival & Symposium ~ 2015
Hosted by the Department of Theatre and Dance
At the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2015

CALL FOR SCRIPTS

First place Award: $1,000 and workshop production
Second place Award: $500 and possible workshop production
Honorable mentions: public staged reading

Deadline for Submissions is April 1, 2014. 

The mission of EMOS’ Ecodrama Playwrights Festival is to call forth and foster new dramatic works that respond to the ecological crisis and that explore new possibilities of being in relationship with the more-than-human world.  The central questions EMOS asks are “when we leave the theater are things around us more alive? Do we listen better, have a deeper or more complex sense of our own ecological identity?”[i]  If your play does, send to us!

The EMOS Festival includes workshop performance/s of winning script, readings, talkbacks and discussions of the scripts that are finalists in the Playwrights’ Contest.  A concurrent Symposium will includes speakers, panels and discussions that advance scholarship in the area of arts and ecology, and help foster development of new works.

Past EMOS Winners:

  • 2012– Sila, the first play of The Arctic Cycle, by Chantal Bilodeau, in which “a climate scientist, an Inuit activist and her daughter, two Canadian Coast Guard Officers, an Inuit Elder, and a polar bear—see their values challenged as their lives become intricately intertwined.”
  • 2009 – Song of Extinction, by Los Angeles playwright EM Lewis, in which a musically talented teen and his father whose mother/wife is dying come to understand the deeper meanings of “extinction” from a Cambodian science teacher.  Song of Extinction premiered in Los Angeles and was recently published by Samuel French.
  • 2004 – Odin’s Horse, by Chicago playwright Rob Koon, in which a writer learns something about integrity from a tree sitter and a lumber company executive, went on to premier in Chicago in 2006.

Judges: A panel of distinguished theatre artists from the USA and Canada will choose the winning plays from five finalists.  Finalist will be read by past EMOS festival directors, Larry Fried, Theresa May and Wendy Arons, as well as EMOS artistic staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Past judges have included:  Robert Schenkkan, playwright; Martha Lavey, Artistic Director, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, IL; José Cruz González, playwright; Ellen McLaughlin, playwright; Timothy Bond, Artistic Director Syracuse Stage, NY; Olga Sanchez, Artistic Director, Teatro Milagro, Portland, OR; Diane Glancy, playwright; Marie Clements, playwright, British Columbia.

Guidelines for Playwrights

Scripts must be original works which have not been published and have not had an Equity or “premiere” citation production.  (Readings or informal workshop productions are okay.)

Thematic Guidelines

We are looking for plays that do one or more of the following:

  • Put an ecological issue or environmental event/crisis at the center of the dramatic action or theme of the play.
  • Expose and illuminate issues of environmental justice.
  • Explore the relationship between sustainability, community and cultural diversity.
  • Interpret “community” to include our ecological community, and/or give voice or “character” to the land, or elements of the land.
  • Theatrically explore the connection between people and place, human and non-human, and/or between culture and nature.
  • Grow out of the playwright’s personal relationship to the land and the ecology of a specific place.
  • Theatrically examine the reciprocal relationship between human, animal and plant communities.
  • Celebrate the joy of the ecological world in which humans participate.
  • Offer an imagined world view that illuminates our ecological condition or reflects on the ecological crisis from a unique cultural or philosophical perspective.
  • Critique or satirizes patterns of exploitation, consumption, or other ingrained values that are ecologically unsustainable.
  • Are written specifically to be performed in an unorthodox venue such as a natural or environmental setting, and for which that setting is a not merely a backdrop, but an integral part of the intention of the play.

Submission Process

We are looking for full-length plays that are written primarily in English (no ten-minute plays, please; one-act plays are okay if 30+ minutes in length; no musicals, please).  Submitted plays should address the thematic guidelines as listed above. Deadline: April 1, 2014  ~ Early submission highly encouraged. / Electronic submissions may be sent; see #2 below for instructions.

  1. All submissions should include a cover page with:
  2. Two blind copies of the FIRST 30 PAGES OF THE SCRIPT ONLYPlease do not put the author’s name on the script, only on the title page.
  3. A synopsis of the play and cast requirements.
  • Play Title
  • Author Name
  • Contact Information
  • Additional requirements for Electronic Submissions:
    • Files must be saved in PDF; cover page may be a separate PDF file
    • Send to Jonathon Taylor at emos@unr.edu by April 1, 2014

Paper submissions must be received by April 1, 2014 to:

EMOS Festival
Jonathon Taylor, Department of Theatre and Dance,
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 North Virginia Street / MS 0228
Reno, NV 89557-0228

Evaluation Process

After reading the first 30 pages of all submitted plays, we will narrow the pool of submissions.  We will then request two full paper copies be sent to us by July 1, 2014.  Winners will be selected from this smaller pool.

Questions?  See our FAQ on the EMOS Website.  If you still have a question, email: emos@unr.edu.

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Case Pyhäjoki reflects and radiates art & activism

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

3d0e04e51fb5c6310f91277d3bca9b3bAndrew Paterson got in touch to highlight the Case Pyhäjoki transdisciplinary expedition and production workshop having seen our earlier posts from Su Grierson in Fukushima Province, Japan.  A group of artists, researchers and activists undertook a drift to Pyhäjoki in Northern Finland at the beginning of August 2013.  Pyhäjoki is the proposed location of a new nuclear power plant.  This is their press release, and hopefully we’ll have some reflections from Andrew in due course.

Erich Berger and Martin Howse organised a geiger counter building workshop in Case Pyhäjoki. For the workshop, they designed an easy to build geiger counter and now, they have made a geiger counter building manual based on this design. The manual is available as a download from the project website. Photo courtesy of project

casepyhajoki.info * facebook.com/casepyhajoki * twitter #casepyhajoki

Case Pyhäjoki – Artistic reflections on nuclear influence is a trans-disciplinary expedition and production workshop in Pyhäjoki, Northern Finland 1. – 11.8.2013. The sixth nuclear power plant of the country is planned to be built in Pyhäjoki.

Participants of Case Pyhäjoki are for example artists, researchers and activists. The programme has consisted of lectures, meeting local people and expeditions of different kinds to get to know the area, nuclear power as a phenomenon, and what the power plant means to people. It reaches from the local to national and global. What is artist’s role in the changes in the area and wider? How can we develop methods of creative work in a complex and contested place of social tragedy and distress? How can we communicate this through to wider networks?

As well as talking, thinking and research, there is also time for action. The participants have created different types of engagements, prototype events and experiments, reaching from a large ‘thank you’ sign for those who refuse to sell their land to the nuclear power company, to the design of a ‘power sports day’, a local fairytale, aswell as a mural painting with local youth, a special karaoke playlist, and a DIY geiger counter building workshop.

The contributing presentations, workshops, expeditions and refections are documented online at
casepyhajoki.info and facebook.com/casepyhajoki

See also links to the broadcasted lectures on the website.

The final ‘show & tell’ day during the residency period took place on Sunday 11.8. at 14.00 in the local Parhalahti School, close to the location of Hanhikivi, the actual site for the planned nuclear power plant.

The participants of Case Pyhäjoki are:
Ryoko Akama (JP/UK), Erich Berger (AT/FI), Brett Bloom (US/DK), Bonnie Fortune (US/DK), Carmen Fetz (AT), Antye Greie-Ripatti (FI/DE), Martin Howse (UK/DE), Mari Keski-Korsu (FI), Maarit Laihonen (FI), Liisa Louhela (FI), Pik Ki Leung (HK), Mikko Lipiäinen (FI), Shin Mizukoshi (JP), Helene von Oldenburg (DE), Opposite_Solutions (RO), Andrew Gryf Paterson (SCO/FI), Leena Pukki (FI), and Heidi Räsänen (FI).  For more information on the participants go here.

Case Pyhäjoki is supported by Kone Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre of Finland.

Contact: Mari Keski-Korsu,
Case Pyhäjoki artistic director & executive producer
+358 40 506 5871
mkk (ät) katastro.fi

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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Spirited discussions pt. 4 (by Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland)

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Dave Young, Carbon Catcher, and Sam Clark, artist and contributor to Spirited discussion 4, in the Meadows. Photo CO2 Edenburgh.

Dave Young, Carbon Catcher, and Sam Clark, artist and contributor to Spirited discussion 4, in the Meadows. Photo CO2 Edenburgh.

The last of our Spirited Discussions asking, ‘Can Art Change the Climate? was entitled:

Going Beyond the Material: Environment and Invisible Forces in the Literary, Performing and Visual Arts.

This, in some ways, reminded me of Wallace Heim’s reference in Spirited Discussion part 2 to Alan Badiou’s idea that the four critical kinds of event which change people are love, science, art and politics.

In the performing arts particularly there is arguably no ‘thing’ that is the work of art: there is the event that is found in the ether between the player and the audience; there is the growth of digital publishing which has emphasised that the same is true of the written work.  With the written word the format is sometimes less important than the content and the work of art is an event taking place in the reader’s head, brought about by the words in whatever form they are reproduced (consider audiobooks). This aesthetic view could of course be equally true of visual artworks; the event takes place when we view the work, but in an empty gallery or an unoccupied installation all that exists is some colour on a surface or a collection of items.

Lucy Miu, Business Manager of the Bedlam Theatre and driving force behind this year and next’s Dramatic Impacts, is also an Environmental Sciences student, effectively straddling the line between the arts and the sciences. She argued that for people to be informed by information they need to be engaged with it. This is backed up by plenty of behaviour change research which shows that plain information has almost no effect on the recipient’s behaviour.  Kate Foster concurred: her experience with biology students saw them overwhelmed by the sheer level of information they were being asked to take in. Her artistic practice allowed them to make sense of it, focus their new knowledge and understand it, rather than just know it. Lucy felt that the arts, which engage us emotionally, can help, and that perhaps they also help where the original experience is not available to all, (murdering the King of Scotland, experiencing the bombing of Guernica), and the artist can bring that experience to a wider audience.

For me, what is particularly important here is that an artist may, perhaps must if they are to be described as an artist rather than a mere reporter, have special insight into the experience that they transmit to the audience along with the basic information: information + insight is what gets the event lodged in the audience’s understanding. Information + insight creates the sort of event we are interested in.

Lucy also made the point that all performing arts events are group activities.  At the very least there is an audience as well as a performer, whilst engaging with visual arts is, or can be, a more solitary business. In her view this made the performing arts more engaging but Tim Collins argued that different forms do different things. (The similarities and differences between the visual and performing arts were questions that arose regularly and usefully during CO2 Edenburgh: Spirit in the Air.) The question of whether feeling is enough arose again, just as it had been raised by Chris Speed in Discussion 1, and it clearly isn’t enough: pornography, a well-made horror film or Love Story make us feel, but that doesn’t seem to be enough to change people or their behaviour as Badiou seems to be getting at.

Here Sam Clark made her first intervention noting that, to the writer Rebecca Solnit, the difference for the writer between discarding an article and having it published is minimal, but history starts when events happen. The event may happen almost accidentally, or is at least subject to chance, and is not solely in the artist’s gift. How does this square with Wallace Heim’s view that the artists’ practices create the conditions where [Badiou’s] change can happen (remember love, science, art and politics)? The answer is surely that art is a fairly slippery thing with fuzzy boundaries. Questions of intention, insight, engagement and emotion swirl around this subject, which is perhaps what makes the question of whether art can change the climate so difficult to disentangle, let alone answer.

Sam Clark chose to address the title Going Beyond the Material more directly in her short and very beautiful talk, speaking about scientists working on matter. Only 4.7% of reality is material, according to a physicist she knows; 75% is dark matter whose existence is only deduced from its interaction with matter and gravity. Even less concrete is dark energy, only imagined because the universe is expanding and accelerating, not shrinking or slowing down. These scientists are working on a relationship between the visible and the invisible, or in artistic terms the knowable and the ineffable (strikingly similar in my mind to Andrew Patrizio’s conjunction of the mercantile and the religious in fifteenth century Florence – see Discussion 3). The scientists at the Large Hadron Collider at Cern use non-detection as a means of detection; 95% of the universe is only knowable through the instrument of the mind. Here we surely get into the realm of philosophy and for me insight comes to the fore again. What we want from artists – why societies from the year dot have supported, encouraged and valued them – is access to the knowledge of the things that are unknowable just through experience, knowledge that requires use of the instrument of the mind. Sam made the same point – insight and experience of things we don’t understand or things we hate, creating a space of wonder, are the things we want from artists. And as Harry Giles made clear in the first of the Spirited Discussions, actually artists and scientists do many of the same things. But maybe Sam’s last suggestion is what artists do but scientists try to avoid: making the familiar strange.

The session came to a close with a short discussion about empathy, a subject that Reiko Goto Collins had touched upon in her introduction. Sympathy is when you simply feel for another; empathy is when you place yourself in their shoes, which takes more than just emotion. Lucy suggested that maybe if art can change the climate, it is because it can help connect the brain and the heart. If we have done that, just a bit, with CO2 Edenburgh: Spirit in the Air, it will have been well worth it.

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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Are They Edible? (entertainment you can taste)

Odysseus

CONTRIBUTE HERE

ARE THEY EDIBLE? has been selected to be presented by La MaMa Theatre Puppet Series – a bi-annual puppet series presented by the reputable La MaMa Theatre.  It will preimere from November 7-10, 2013 at The Club.

Are They Edible? is a multi-sensory puppetry performance inspired by Homer’s epics: the Iliad and the Odyssey. It takes place in an interactive setting in which food consumption is used as a way to engage the audience in a tactile discourse on the relationship between war, heroes, and hunger (or the urge to consume).

Initiated by war then cursed by pride, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are tales of war, of the construction and destruction of heroes, of how hunger and thirst for violence are never satisfied, and of wearied soldiers’ journey – and ultimately one soldier’s journey home. While our memory mostly lingers around the heroic acts associated with these tales, I want to emphasize the image of only ONE soldier, Odysseus, succeeding in returning home and his son Telemachus, meanwhile, growing up to join him in slaughtering the suitors. Through this act, Telemachus becomes the next hero preparing for another Trojan War. This parallels how we encourage and celebrate the sacrifices from our generations of military service.

During the performance, audiences will be served food along with red wine. In addition, they will be led literally on their feet to journey through different puppetry stations as a way to put them inside the experiences similar to Odysseus’ and a given birds’-eye view of the scope of atrocities with the eerie sense that this is all constructed for their enjoyment and available for their consumption or manipulation.

The tone the piece sets out to create is of uneasy playfulness, where at times the audience is able to taste, enjoy, and comment on the action with one another, and at other times will be lulled into private contemplation through immersive visual, aural, and sense-of-taste experiences.

We are working hard towards making this premiere a great success but need a little extra financial help to support all the wonderful artists who are involved in the project, many of whom I’ve been collaborating with for years. This project is blessed by their talent and commitment so please join me in supporting them by making a donation today.

Because this is an “all or nothing” type campaign, I am setting the goal at $6,000 to cover the costs of supplies and puppet creation as well as ARTISTS and every dollar that exceeds this goal will continue towards supporting the artists involved with my new performance.

Artists involved in this production include:

  • Torry Bend (Set and Puppet Designer – since 2011)
  • Burke Brown (Lighting Designer – since 2011) * Andrew Butler (Performer – since 2012)
  • Nikki Calonge (Performer – since 2011)
  • Elizabeth Eggert (Technical Direction)
  • Nicole Greene (Stage Manager – since 2011)
  • Phillip Gulley (Video Designer – since 2012)
  • Connie Hall (Culinary Designer – since 2011)
  • Karl Hinze (Composer)
  • Amy Jensen (Dramaturg – since 2011)
  • Tom Lee (Puppet Designer & Builder)
  • Maggie Robinson (Performer)
  • Rachel Schapira (Props and Puppet Designer – since 2012)
  • Margaret Schedel (Sound Designer) – Bobby McElver was the original designer but unfortunately his schedule won’t allow him to work on this.
  • Julia Sirna-Frest (Performer – since 2011)
  • Matthew Stephen Smith (Playwright)
  • Marisa Lark Wallin (Performer – since 2011)
  • Meghan Williams (Performer) and Puppet Designer – since 2011)

Julie’s Bicycle Releases New Sustainable Production Guide at Sold out Event

JBsustainingcreativity.102840Julie’s Bicycle on Tuesday launched its new Sustainable Production Guide at the first of their autumn events on Sustainable Design in the Arts to 50 arts professionals.

Speakers Donyale Werle, Tanja Beer and Sam Collins led the debate on the role designers and production managers can play in making arts practice more environmentally sustainable. Hosted by the Young Vic, the panel addressed an audience of London and UK based arts professionals from across theatre, opera, visual arts, dance and education.

After her success at World Stage Design 2013, Donyale Werle spoke about her experiences designing and constructing shows sustainably on Broadway, and the need to the normalise sustainable practices and work with current networks and suppliers to create change. Tanja Beer presented her research into eco-design principles and went on to explain her “Living Theatre” project as an example of how work can be designed to engage and enrich audiences, and leave a positive environmental and social legacy.

Sam Collins offered a different perspective, highlighting the potential for sustainably-designed artwork to create the context for honest and open discussions about waste and carbon emissions within the industry, particularly with regards to touring shows. He used the striking example of adding a GPS device to packing crates transporting Cape Farewell’s U-n-f-o-l-d exhibition to track their journey around the world. This was followed by a 50 minute discussion with the audience covering topics of new materials, the use of toxic treatments and contending with fire regulations, waste management, and the role of artistic vision in driving the cultural shift towards a more environmentally sustainable arts sector.

The event also included the launch of Julie’s Bicycle’s new Sustainable Production Guide. Available from today for free download the guide has been developed with a community of production professionals, and offers comprehensive guidance on how to make theatre more sustainable at every stage in the production process.

The guide is available for free download at:
www.juliesbicycle.com/resources/practical-guides/production

Arts Manager Sholeh Johnston said, “The Sustainable Production Guide is the result of a collective effort within the theatre industry to understand and improve the environmental sustainability of production. It showcases best practice developed to date, links to key resources, and provides practical actions for directors, production managers, set designers and builders, costume makers, cast, marketeers and others involved with making great art happen. The guide is both a distillation of Julie’s Bicycle’s research to date, and an invitation to join an exciting community of practitioners pioneering new ways of working in line with environmental, economic, and technological drivers. We want to keep the conversation going, and continue to shout about the fantastic work being developed.”

Download the Guide here: Sustainable-Production-Guide-Final-2013

Autumn – Winter ’13 Training Programme Dates Announced

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

creative_carbon_scotlandPart of Creative Carbon Scotland’s mission is to support arts organisations, artists and audiences to be as environmentally sustainably as possible. To achieve this we provide artists and arts organisations with all of the practical training, tools and support they need to begin reducing their environmental impact through a year-round training programme across the country and one-on-one support via phone and email.

This enables individuals and organisations to get ahead of climate change regulations and make the most of the financial savings, artistic opportunities and market advantages to operating in more sustainable ways. Our training programme and website provide staff in any role in cultural organisations with the necessary skills and knowledge to identify where their key environmental impacts lie and implement actions to reduce their carbon footprint.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

  • Changing their own behaviour;
  • Communicating with their audiences;
  • Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Our workshops cover all the areas of environmental impact you need to consider when it comes to measuring and reducing your carbon footprint. They are suitable to all levels and staff in any role in cultural organisations.

Workshop 1 provides organisations and individuals with an introduction to the key areas of carbon measuring and reduction to start thinking about – energy (electricity and gas), water, waste and travel. You will be introduced to the CCS Green Arts Portal and two widely used online tools developed especially for SMEs and cultural sector organisations.

Workshop 2 offers practical training for measuring and reducing travel- related carbon emissions. Travel is often the biggest area of environmental impact for cultural organisations and probably the most complex areas for data gathering. You will be lead through what is manageable for you to measure in your first year and trained on how to measure different types of travel undertaken by your organization as well as calculating your travel carbon footprint.

Green Meets are a less formal workshop where arts organisations have the chance to get together to talk about reducing their environmental impact – the areas they have had success in, what they’re struggling with and what they’re feeling inspired by. CCS will provide a specific focus such as developing an environmental policy or measuring audience travel, as well as allowing plenty of time for more general discussion between participants. We host local Green Meets across Scotland on a quarterly basis.

We have now finalised dates for local Green Meets taking place over October and November. To attend a Green Meet near you get in touch with Gemma@creativecarbonscotland.com.

Green Meets Schedule (venues and times tbc)

16th October– Edinburgh

21st October – Glasgow

23rd October – Inverness

28th October – Dumfries and Galloway

31st October – Dundee

6th November– Aberdeen

14th November– Highlands and Island (via video-conference)

Keep an eye on our Events page for more details and dates on workshops 1 and 2 to come shortly!

The post Autumn – Winter ’13 Training Programme Dates Announced appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

 

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Su Grierson Public Lecture

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Su Grierson, who corresponded with us whilst on residency in Fukushima Province earlier this year, is giving a public lecture in conjunction with her exhibition Intersections.  It’s in the Norrie Miller Studio at Perth Concert Hall, 7pm Thursday 26th September.

SG Talk Invitation 1.

Su Grierson will talk about her art practice and multi-media art works in the exhibition.  She will also focus on her recent ten week residency in Fukushima Province in Japan where she visited the disaster areas and met the displaced refugees.

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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How did vast heaps of industrial waste become the pride of a community? | Ian Jack | The Guardian

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

John Latham on the Five Sisters, West Lothian. Photo Tate Gallery

John Latham on the Five Sisters, West Lothian. Photo Tate Gallery

Ian Jack’s comment in the Guardian How did vast heaps of industrial waste become the pride of a community? | Ian Jack | Comment is free | The Guardian on the role of industrial spoil heaps in the Scottish landscape is interesting for the history as well as for an error, an omission and an elision.

Jack draws out the important history of oil production in the landscape west of Edinburgh, it’s scale and its slow demise as other forms of oil production came ‘on stream.’  He’s probably profiled this because of the current debates around fracking in the UK and in fact nearby in Scotland (and perhaps also in relation to Tar Sands in Canada).

First the error – the bing he climbs should not be called Greendykes.  To me, and I see them from the train to Edinburgh pretty frequently, the big one is called the Niddrie Woman and the one they are digging away the Niddrie Heart, and this is because of Jack’s omission.  Whilst he does provide a history lesson, he misses out the art history part of the lesson.  In 1975 the artist and co-founder of the Artist Placement Group, John Latham, undertook an initial period of work at the Scottish Office in Edinburgh during which he proposed that seven bings across West Lothian should be regarded as ‘process sculptures’  (see APG Chronology on Tate website here and Craig Richardson’s analysis here).  This work was included in an exhibition at the Tate the following year and the catalogue is accessible here.

The eventual classification of Greendykes (not the whole cluster of four bings re-imagined by Latham as the Niddrie Woman and various parts of her body) and the Five Sisters as historical monuments was conceived of by Latham as a much more significant process of making sense of the landscape than the eventual bureaucratic action of ‘scheduling.’  Richardson articulates the aesthetic in terms of Gustav Metzger’s auto-destructive art and also notes the multiplying layers of signification since the site has now additionally been identified as supporting an unique biodiversity.

Jack’s elision is at the end when he suggests that the Victorian’s just got on with stuff and didn’t worry about creating an enormous shale bing.  By implication Jack is suggesting that perhaps we shouldn’t worry too much about the impact of fracking and other extractive industries on the ecosystem (and note I first wrote ‘landscape’ and struck that out because it concerns the visual quality whether pastoral and picturesque or sublime.  I then wrote ‘environment’ and struck that out because it puts us at the centre of any considerations.  So in the end we have ecosystem because that at least captures to complex constantly changing interactions between living things and places temporarily setting aside human-centred subject-object relations).  Just because the shale bings of West Lothian are now valuable sites of biodiversity after the fact does not in any ethical system constitute a rationale for continuing with similar actions.

I’d ask Ian Jack to pause and reconsider the advice he’s giving on environmental ethics (and here the word is useful because the point is precisely our relations with our environment – our actions and their consequences).  These are incredibly important sites precisely because we can see the consequences of extractive industries, we can discover the development of thinking about what is art and what it can be, and we can explore an amazing landscape.  We must also give careful consideration to the choices around how use land, we make energy and what we do with limited resources needed not just by us, but also by other inhabitants of ecosystems and places from the local to the planetary.

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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Reflections on CO2 Edenburgh from Creative Carbon Scotland

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Project Summary

CO2 Edenburgh arose out of the opportunity to collaborate with ecoartscotland, Art Space Nature, artists Tim Collins and Reiko Goto and programming professional Chris Malcolm on an exhibition in the ECA Tent Gallery during the Edinburgh Art Festival 2013. Broadly the project sought to uncover the invisible effects of Edinburgh’s festivals on the city’s CO2 levels, engaging audiences in local CO2 levels affected by various factors; topography of the city, traffic, audiences breathing out, green spaces etc. The project used cutting edge technology to capture CO2 levels provided by two Scotland-based companies, Gas Sensing Solutions and Envirologger.

What did we do?

For the duration of the exhibition Creative Carbon Scotland moved their office to the Tent Gallery to invigilate the exhibition and make the most of the public presence of CCS during the festival.

The project consisted of four main elements:

  • The Tent Gallery exhibition with real-time data displays for stationary CO2 monitors placed in various outdoor locations including Princes St Gardens and Arthur’s Seat and indoor venues such as Fruitmarket Gallery and National Gallery of Scotland
  • Guided tours of the city with portable CO2 sensors and LED displays led by Carbon Catchers Catriona Patterson and Dave Young
  • Four discussions curated by ecoartscotland asking the question – Can art change the climate?
  • An online blog and summary of discussions.

What did we achieve?

Having reflected upon the project, we feel that one of the key achievements has been to establish CCS as a more public-facing organisation as well as rooting the organisation more firmly in the space of arts and sustainability. We feel the discussions were a big success, serving as an important platform for bringing together individuals and organisations in our area of work and binding the different elements of the project through the exploration of some key themes.

Here are some key points from the discussions

Discussion 1: Bringing the emotion of the arts to bear on the rigour of the sciences

  • Harry Giles made the point that much of what artists and scientists do is the same and they are comparable in their ‘making sense of the insensible’. CO2 Edenburgh was considered in terms of finding a new aesthetic for new experiences such as invisible rising CO2 levels.
  • It was discussed that there is currently a lack of feedback loop particularly in cities which serves to make us aware of the environmental consequences of our actions. Artists can therefore play a role in making these consequences more visible.

Discussion 2: Art, technology, activism and knowledge in the age of climate change

  • Wallace Heim referenced Alan Badiou for whom there are four critical kinds of event which change people – love, politics, art and science. Amongst these art can create the conditions which change our perception of reality and cause us to change our behaviour.
  • Architect Simon Beeson raised the point that CO2 isn’t in itself ‘bad’. In fact it’s only the release of currently fossilised carbon into the atmosphere as CO2 that is a problem. Carbon and CO2 is what we and allof the living world is made out of. CO2 Edenburgh allows us to perceive the complexity of the pattern of CO2 in central Edinburgh.
  • We also discussed the need to be clear about the distinctive contribution artists can make to social and environmental issues without falling into categories such as communicators of science or public engagement.

Discussion 3: Environmental monitoring: Tracking nature in pursuit of aesthetic inter-relationship?

  • Prof Andrew Patrizio took Renaissance Florence as an example of a time at which artists and audiences were attuned to a similar mercantile approach to understanding the form and content of a work of art. Parallels were drawn between Renaissance Italy and now – both times at which paradigm shifts were taking place in terms of how humans understood themselves in relation to the environment.
  • Jan Hogarth provided the example of Dumfries and Galloway as an exciting new region for the links between arts and policy making. Its rural setting allows for a particular proximity between artists, local authorities and organisations such as the Forestry Commission and therefore a stronger influencing role on the part of artists and arts organisations.

Discussion 4: Going beyond the material: Environment and Invisible Forces in the literary, performing and visual arts

  • Lucy Miu opened a discussion about how information + insight or emotion can help engage people more than information alone and may be able to help transmit the essence of something to those who weren’t able to experience it directly. She touched upon the fact that performing arts events are invariably group events, whilst visual art can be experienced more solitarily.
  • We also discussed the idea that in the performing arts and literature the ‘work of art’ is less concrete, existing in the ether between performer and audience or in the mind of the reader and not wholly contained in the reproduction of the words – as demonstrated by the breadth of ways in which literary works are transmitted, from the e-reader to the audio book.
  • Sam Clark noted that scientists working on matter connect the visible and the invisible, just like artists connecting the knowable and the ineffable. But whilst scientists aim to make the strange familiar, perhaps artists’ desire is to do the opposite and make the familiar strange…

The post Blog: Reflections on CO2 Edenburgh appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

 

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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