Yearly Archives: 2013

HighWaterLine | Miami

9497365207_69dc47e33dMiami is the most climate vulnerable city in the United States primarily because:

  • The city was built at sea level.
  • Miami’s sole source of drinking water lies beneath the city in an aquifer, incredibly vulnerable to saltwater intrusion (when salt water seeps into fresh water).  In Florida, nearly 7 million people rely on this aquifer for their daily drinking water.

To learn more about Miami’s vulnerability please visit the Sea Level Rise Fact Sheet.

HighWaterLine collaborated with diverse Miami residents to use art to engage greater Miami in conversations about the aforementioned climate change impacts as well as solutions.

Diverse Miami residents created a public performance art piece the length of a marathon (26 miles) in which they demarcated houses, historic places and more, that will be underwater in Miami Beach and the City of Miami when 3 and 6 feet of sea level rise hits Miami. Residents handed off the chalker to one another to create these lines that literally connect the various neighborhoods.  This Miami art piece is based on data provided by Climate Central.

This large public performance piece took place November 13, 14 and 17, 2013. Please visit the HighWaterLine map to see the HighWaterLine routes as they unfolded as well as hear audio stories and see photos of participants. HighWaterLine| Miami is an ongoing, living project. The art reveal is one of many activities HighWaterLine | Miami participants are engaging in. Since August 2013, community members have participated in storytelling and solutions workshops as well as brainstorming sessions including defining climate resiliency in Miami.

Since the key to building a climate resilient community is engaging diverse members of the community, the initial group of HighWaterLine | Miami participants are expanding the project by engaging greater members of Miami’s community via the newly formed group Resilient Miami. They are planning additional creative public education projects.

Heidi Quante, coordinator of HighWaterLine, was quoted in the Miami New Times about one of the participants, Thorn Grafton, an architect and art deco preservation member whose grandfather was John S. Collins, after whom Miami Beach’s Collins Avenue is named:

“You have an older generation who basically helped make Miami Beach what is it today participating, as well as a younger first generation. You have people in Little Havana, who have a much different story from Thorn in Miami Beach, who might be hit by sea level rise because the river waters there will actually flow over faster than in other areas. And the beautiful thing about this project is that the line connects everybody.”

This webpage does not do justice to the variety of amazing participants and the active work they are doing to make Miami a climate resilient city.  Please visit this website in the coming months to learn more about the amazing ongoing work of HighWateLine | Miami.

Coordinator: Heidi Quante

Miami Co-Coordinator: Marta Viciedo

Via HighWaterLine.

Where art and nature meet: Curator Jane Ingram Allen on the first International Nature Art Curators’ Conference in Korea | Art Radar Asia

For the first time, curators from around the world came together in South Korea to discuss the the art of curating nature. 

The inaugural International Nature Art Curators’ Conference was held in Gongju, South Korea, from 30 September to 5 October 2013. Jane Ingram Allen, Curator of Taiwan’s Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project, shares her thoughts on the conference and the symbiosis between art and nature across the world.


The International Nature Art Curators’ Conference in Korea, the first event of its kind, included presentations by nineteen invited international curators from thirteen different countries, all of whom are doing projects involving art and nature. I was one of the invited curators and I presented information and photos about the Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project, which I have been curating in Taiwan each year since 2010.

This project, held in the small fishing village of Cheng Long on the Southwest coast of Taiwan, brings together six artists from different countries to make site-specific sculpture installations, using natural and recycled materials, that focus on different environmental issues each year. The goal of the Cheng Long Art Project is to raise awareness about environmental issues, and we invite artists to create temporary site-specific artworks that can contribute positively to the environment and go back to nature over time. At the Korea conference, I was able to show photos of past installations in Cheng Long and talk about the curatorial concepts for this project.


What is “nature art”?

Although the conference was focused on nature art, not everyone necessarily defines “nature art” in the same way. Some call this type of art “land art”, others call it “eco-art” and “environmental art.” This conference brought out the many ways that this type of art can be defined, and how in Asia “nature art” has a long history and a unique approach. Man is part of nature and the focus is on living harmoniously with nature, rather than the usual western way of trying to conquer and control nature. Many of the projects and artworks shown by other curators at the conference seem to have no focus on environmental issues, but are more about man’s relationship with the natural world and putting artworks in a natural setting that could be about any subject and using any materials or techniques.


Sharing the spirit of nature art

The most important benefit of this conference in Korea was the opportunity to meet other curators who are interested in art and nature, and to find out what they are doing in different parts of the world. The first seminar at the conference was called “Sharing the Spirit of Nature Art”, and included a presentation by me about the Cheng Long International Environmental Art Project. Other speakers were:


At the second seminar, “Moving Nature and Art”, presentations were made by:

  • Clive Adams, Director of the UK Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World
  • John K. Grande, an independent environmental art writer and curator who has curated international nature art exhibitions at botanical gardens in Canada
  • Giacomo Bianchi, President of Arte Sella, a nature art park in Italy with installations by international artists
  • Sue Spaid, environmental art curator now living in Belgium who has curated eco-art exhibitions and directed art centres in the USA.
  • Opening up the discussion 

    One unusual aspect of the conference’s organisation was that pointed questioners were designated for each of the presenters. After the formal presentations the questioners, who were invited speakers and international artists-in-residence in Gongju, asked questions of each speaker. The discussion was also opened up afterwards to questions from the audience, which included local artists, curators, professors and some students from the university. This method of having people designated to ask questions did ensure that there would be some discussion after the speeches, but it seemed a bit awkward and forced to me.


    The International Nature Art Conference was a great opportunity to exchange ideas about art and nature, and to see new artworks by different artists. As one of the invited curators, Grant Pound, Director of Colorado Art Ranch, USA, put it,

    The major benefit (…) was connecting with people doing projects in other parts of the world and finding those similar to Colorado Art Ranch. This conference was a chance to find new artists and to meet people from other countries doing similar projects.

    The range of projects presented at the conference was amazing, from the large Arte Sella project in Italy, which includes hundreds of artworks by well-known international artists and a sizeable budget with thousands of visitors each year, to small projects such as the Oranki Art Project in Lapland, Finland, started by a young artist couple,Tuomas and Ninni Korkalo.


    On the third day of the conference we also had presentations by other curators invited to this conference, such as Anni Snyman (South Africa), Director of international land art project Site Specific, Rumen Dmitrov (Bulgaria), Founder of Nature Art Symposium Gabrotski bringing international nature artists to Bulgaria to create site-specific works, and Lynn Bennet-McKenzie (Scotland), Director of nature art programme Ceangal bringing artists to the Scottish highlands to create site-specific nature art. The presentations also included those by other artist groups in Korea that are interested in art and nature, such as Magmamnews, Alternative Art Space Sonahmoo, International Baggat Art Exhibition and of course, Yatoo, the organiser of this conference.


    The artists in Yatoo have been doing “nature art” since a handful of young artists founded the group in 1981. The group has presented the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale since 2004, an event that invites many Korean and foreign artists to Gongju every two years to create site-specific installations in a beautiful area along the Geum River. As conference participants, we toured this nature area and saw many interesting artworks by foreign and Korean artists.

    One of the most interesting works we saw was by artist Ko Seung-hyan: an interactive, stylised traditional Korean musical instrument, the artwork is created from a huge tree trunk whose branches act as amplifiers for the sound when visitors play the instrument. Ko is one of the founding members of Yatoo and one of the organisers of the conference along with Mr. Jeon Won-gil, Director of the Yatoo International Project and chief organiser of the International Nature Art Curator’s Conference 2013.

    Another sculpture installation, created for a previous biennale, was a series of metal rings installed under a bridge by Yatoo artist Ri Eung-woo. This sculpture, whose metal rings are arranged in a pattern to represent the notes of a traditional Korean folk song, examines ways to represent sound visually.


    Nature art goes nomadic 

    Many hours at this first conference were spent discussing what the Yatoo organisers call the Global Nomadic Project. The organisers’ idea is to bring nature art on the road and travel to many different countries around the world from 2015 to 2018, sharing their art and interacting with colleagues in different countries. One disappointment for me about this conference was that the focus tended to be more about Yatoo’s Global Nomadic Project and not so much the broader idea of moving nature art forward. I expected the conference to focus more on networking and exchanging ideas about international nature art or environmental art around the world. The Yatoo conference organisers assured us that artists from other countries would also be able to join the Global Nomadic Project and travel with them to other countries making their works. However, it was not clear how the other artists would be selected or how they would be supported, since Yatoo expects to get funding for the Global Nomadic Project from the South Korean government’s art council. Some funds may be available to help fund foreign consulting curators and administrative expenses in other countries.


    International networks must be strengthened 

    I also was a little disappointed to see that I was the only one attending this conference that represented a project in an Asian country. It seems that Yatoo does need some help to reach out to other like-minded organisations and artists in other countries, particularly in Asia. There was one organisation from Africa, but none from South America or Australia.

    However, the conference did result in the publication of a book that lists the international nature art organisations known to Yatoo, with photos and contact information. This is a great resource and should be expanded to include more organisations around the world that do land art, nature art or environmental/eco-art. I realise that funding was limited and all those who applied could not attend. The Yatoo organisers did ask the curators attending the conference to help to expand the list of nature art organisations around the world. I hope that this first conference of nature art curators can foster more meetings of international groups interested in the environment and art, and spread this movement to more countries.

    Jane Ingram Allen

    Via Art Radar Asia.

    Emergence Website Launch

    Emergence Website Live!


    The new Emergence website is now live.  It can be viewed here,

    The timing of the website going live incidentally marked the anniversary of the third year of Emergence activities since the first event at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff on October 28th 2010.

    The website is a working archive of all the talks, creative presentations, films, maps, documentslinkscontributors and collaborators. It has information on all the projects from the 2010 CardiffSwansea and Caernarfon conferences to the Document LaunchEmergence SummitCreu Cymru Emergence initiative and Suzi Gablik’s Doin’ Dirt Time. The site gives users access to read and download the Emergence document, view individual films of talks by Bedwyr WilliamsMenna Elfyn,Judith KnightRob Newman and many others, watch the feature film ‘Walking to the Summit,’ download the maps of the Emergence Land Journey, check out past Emergence artist commissions and listen to a number of the collaborators ‘Talking about Emergence’ including Paul Allen, Rhodri Thomas, Jenny Mackewn and Lucy Neal. The Emergence website is intended to be a place which houses and celebrates the work of artists and practitioners who are ‘living the future now’ whilst working towards a sustainable planet. It also tells the story behind the Emergence project as we see it and is a place to hear about future projects, collaborations and gatherings.

    New Emergence website now live!

    Pay us a visit at:!

    Via Emergence.

    Inaugural CLIMARTE Forum

    The Inaugural CLIMARTE Public Forum
    Art Climate Ethics: What role for the arts?
    6.00 – 7.30pm Saturday 15 February, 2014

    We are pleased to present Art Climate Ethics: What role for the arts?
    at Deakin Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne, as part of the Sustainable Living Festival.

    Art Climate Ethics will consider the role of the arts in this time of environmental challenge.  What ethical responsibility does the arts have to engage with these challenging issues? What is the important role the arts can play in understanding and deepening our engagement with the challenge of climate change? Hear what leading thinkers in art, science and philosophy have to say.

    Can you help us make this happen?

    We know you are passionate about role of the arts in addressing climate change – so we need your help to raise the last $5,000 we need to make CLIMARTE’s first Public Forum an event that can’t be ignored!  This forum will attract over 500 people and will form a launch pad for CLIMARTE’s ongoing calendar of events. Your support, at any level, will make a significant contribution and ensure that Art Climate Ethics can have maximum impact:
    $25 will help towards artists’ travel;
    $50 will help towards speakers’ fees;
    $250 will help towards artists’ accommodation;
    $1,000 help us film the forum so we can broadcast it later;
    But any amount will be most welcome!

    Walkley award winning Journalist Rafael Epstein will moderate the panel of speakers including Philosopher Damon Young from the University of Melbourne, leading Australian Artists, Fiona Hall AO and Mandy Martin, and Scientist Professor Steven Chown from Monash University.Thanks to the Australia Cultural Fund and Creative Partnership Australia your donation is fully tax deductible and you can make it online right here!

    Thank you for your support.

    CLIMARTE’s address is:
    PO Box 2429 Richmond South
    Victoria 3121 AUSTRALIACopyright © 2013 CLIMARTE INC., All rights reserved.

    CLIMARTE is a Registered Trademark.

    Via Inaugural CLIMARTE Forum.

    Call for Proposals: 2014 Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project in Taiwan

    Call for Proposals

    2014 Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project in Taiwan

    “Fishing for a Better Environment”


    Artists from all countries are invited to send a proposal for a site-specific outdoor sculpture installation that will celebrate the seafood producers and fishermen of Cheng Long village in Taiwan and raise awareness about environmental issues relating to seafood production, the main livelihood of Cheng Long residents.  The artworks will be created during a 25-day artist-in-residency in Taiwan working with the community and school children from April 10 to May 5, 2014.  Selected artists will receive a stipend (about US$2000), round trip airfare, accommodations and meals, volunteer help and free recycled and natural materials.  For more information and to apply, see the Blog at or contact Curator Jane Ingram Allen at

    Deadline for Entries: January 18, 2014
    Artists will be selected and notified by February 17, 2014
    Installation and Residency in Cheng Long, Kouhu Township, Taiwan: April 1(artists arrive) – May 5, 2014 (artists depart)
    Dates of the Exhibition: May 2, 2014 (opening ceremony), May 3 and 4 – Opening weekend activities with the artists.  The exhibition will stay on display through 2015, and we hope the artworks can continue to be enjoyed into the next year.

    Download the English CALL here:
    CALL for Proposals – 2014 ChengLong Wetlands Environmental Art Project.doc
    CALL for Proposals – 2014 ChengLong Wetlands Environmental Art Project.pdf

    Via Cheng-Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project

    GhostFood: Forever Lost to Climate Change


    GhostFood was an event held in the middle of October 2013. It was outside the Robert Rauschenberg Project Space, 455 West 19th Street New York, NY

    Gallery Aferro presented GhostFood, a participatory performance by Miriam Simun and Miriam Songster that explored eating in a future of food scarcity and biodiversity loss brought on by climate change. GhostFood is a food truck that serves, via wearable device, simulated taste experiences of foods threatened with extinction due to the effects of climate change. Scents of threatened foods were paired with climate change-resilient food stuffs, and exchanged for ideas with the public.

    Miriam Simun is a research-based artist investigating the implications of socio-technical and environmental change. She has exhibited and lectured widely, and is a 2013 Creative Capital Grantee in the Emerging Fields for her project EAT YOUR FUTURE. Miriam Songster applies her background in sculpture, video and installation to the creation of scent-based immersive works that engage with the themes of minimalism, site-specificity, and the multi-faceted nature of sensory perception.


    via Marfa Dialogues 2013 / New York | Gallery Aferro.

    Thailand: Conference on climate change and cultural heritage

    This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

    Thailand: Conference on climate change and cultural heritage

    The International Conference on Cultural Heritage and Disaster Risk Reduction, held in Thailand on 18-20 November 2013 addressed the issues of climate change and the threat it poses to cultural heritage.


    “While it is acknowledged that climate change is a major issue that impacts negatively on the environment and has subsequent consequences in relation to increased flooding, drought, rising temperatures, energy supplies, food supplies, social structures including migration, lack of resources leading to increased conflict, poverty, and other social ills; rarely is the impact of climate change on cultural heritage – both tangible and intangible – addressed. This conference aims to make explicit the link between climate change and the threat it poses to cultural heritage and to highlight the importance of adopting disaster risk reduction strategies.”

    International Conference on Cultural Heritage and Disaster Risk Reduction
    Venue: Windsor Suites Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
    Date: November 18, 2013 – November 20, 2013

    Read more:

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