Yearly Archives: 2014

Rosnes Benches

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Rosnes Benches, Dalziel + Scullion, 2014, Otter Pool, Dumfries and Galloway (Photo: Chris Fremantle)

Rosnes Benches, Dalziel + Scullion, 2014, Otter Pool, Dumfries and Galloway
(Photo: Chris Fremantle)

Rosnes Benches.  Took Jana Weldon, Senior Public Art Project Manager for Scottsdale in Arizona, to see some of Dalziel + Scullion‘s Rosnes Benches in Dumfries and Galloway yesterday. She also came in a heard presentations from the MFA Art Space and Nature at Edinburgh College of Art earlier in the week.

The team including Dalziel + Scullion, Kenny Hunter, Wide Open and Jim Buchanan have done a fantastic job realising this project – thirty benches are installed in clusters across the Dark Skies/Biosphere area of Dumfries and Gallowa, but they look like it’s been there for a long time.  The benches themselves are really comfortable. They skim beautifully between being surfboards on land, referencing cup and ring marks, a bit hippy but really elegantly done. They speak of a different relationship with the trees.

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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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Australia: Art prize and exhibition to promote climate awareness

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

In Adelaide, Australia’s fifth-largest city with 1.3 million residents, 51 artists submitted 66 different works for the fifth Solar Art Prize which offered a first prize of AUS$ 8,000 worth of solar panels, along with four minor prizes of AUS$ 5,000 each of solar vouchers.

The 66 artworks have been on display at the Royal South Australian Society of Arts gallery in March and April 2014, and are currently at display at Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide.

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Amanda Hassett: ‘Carbon Footprint’ 12.25x60x5 wood and char on board

The aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness of climate change and to encourage “ideas for the reduction of atmospheric green house gasses as expressed through art work, or by illustrating warnings and public responsibility.”

Peter Noble’s ‘Danger Zone’ was winner of the 4th Solar Art Prize in 2013

The exhibition depicts artists’ concerns with the environment and climate change, through their imagination, diversity and the beauty of nature.

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In addition to viewing the art exhibit, visitors can pick up a booklet, ‘Ways We Can – Meet the challenge of climate change’, which containS a mix of previous art entries and emsissions reduction info – “science to inform and art to inspire.”

The theme for this years’ Solar Arts Prize was ‘Caring for Our Planet’. A People’s Choice Award was handed over 13 April 2014.

Pilgrim Uniting Church hosts the 5th Solar Art Prize exhibition ‘Caring for our Planet’ until 9 May 2014.

» More about the exhibition on  www.facebook.com


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“The exhibition aims to celebrate nature and the environment and promote the reduction of carbon output in the fight against global warming by encouraging ideas for the reduction of green house gasses as expressed through art work, or by illustrating warnings and public responsibility. If the world can change to renewable power, we can achieve a more sustainable future for both the natural world and humanity.” Introduction from exhibition booklet

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Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.

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Open Call: Making_Life

This post comes to you from Cultura21

– a research platform for art and synthetic biology

“I wonder how much of this Making Life project (what’s in a name) will consist of critical reflection on “the making of novel life-forms from ‘scratch’”, and how much – through its association with art – will in fact be providing social and moral legitimacy (and a touch of appealing avant-gardism) to what are, in my view, basically very dubious undertakings…”
Jan van Boeckel – www.naturearteducation.org

Synthetic biology

…is a new area of biological research that combines science and engineering. Synthetic biology encompasses a variety of different approaches, methodologies and disciplines, with the aim to design and construct new biological functions and systems not found in nature. Most approaches of synthetic biology are based on genetic engineering but goes much further. In genetic engineering the goal is to manipulate an organism’s genes, usually by transferring one gene from a donor to a host organism. Synthetic biology, on the other hand, aims at creating whole new biological functions, systems and eventually organisms (Schmidt 2012). Other SB approaches are dealing with making novel life-forms from “scratch” (for example protocells). Synthetic Biology is still in its beginnings but if it reaches its potential promises it will become a highly transformative technology in terms of economy, ecology and ethics.

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…is a series of three consecutive work periods over the course of 12 months. The first period will take place between 22nd – 27th of May 2014 in Helsinki, the second is planned for November 2014 in Vienna, and the third, in May 2015, will take place again in Helsinki. The goal of Making_Life is, according to the organizers, to enable practitioners to critically and in an informed manner, engage with the socio-cultural, political and ethical ramifications of synthetic biology through art.  The organizers will select a group of international multidisciplinary participants composed of artists, designers, engineers, scientists and students who will cooperate within this bottom-up devised program. The methods will shift from workshops, laboratory sessions and field trips, to forums, seminars and lectures.<

It will comprise theoretical as well as hands on approaches. The first and second work period will cover the introduction to synthetic biology, its sciences and technologies, the work on associated questions in art, ecology, ethics and politics and practical experience in the laboratory and with experiments. The third work period will be an intense session to create prototypes for artworks. The time in between the periods is for developing and deepening the participants’ focus of investigation.

Participants are expected to join work periods I+II after which the participants for the period III are selected.

About the organizers:

The Finnish Society of Bioart http://bioartsociety.fi 
Biofilia – Base for Biological Arts -Aalto University Helsinki http://biofilia.aalto.fi/en/ 
Oron Catts http://www.symbiotica.uwa.edu.au/residents/catts 
Bio:Fiction http://bio-fiction.com 
SYNENERGENE http://www.synenergene.eu/ Funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union.

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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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Soil Culture Forum

This post comes to you from Cultura21

2-5 July 2014

“A Nation that destroys its soils destroys itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Using the arts to revitalise our relationship with a resource we take for granted.

Over four days at Falmouth University’s Woodlane campus in July this year, the RANE research group in collaboration with The Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) invite you to join the Soil Culture Forum.

Soil is a material on which – even in the age of the internet – the whole of civilization depends. Along with clean air and fresh water, it is one of the fundamental components that support life on this planet. Without a healthy layer of soil, life and human society as we know it would not be able to function. Along with most of Earth’s natural resources soil can be considered finite; it is non-renewable on a human time scale.

Despite our knowledge of this fact, mankind continues to misuse and abuse this fundamental matrix of life. Climate change and pollution, erosion and desertification are all having a devastating impact. Although the word ‘culture’ has its metaphorical roots in the improvement of soil, we have lost that fundamental connection, and healthy soil is disappearing fast.

Inspiring people through art and literature on environmental issues can do what conventional advocacy often struggles to do: kindle the imagination, open minds to creative possibilities and engage communities. The Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW), in collaboration with Falmouth University’s RANE (Research in Art, Nature and Environment) research group and MA Art & Environment; and other national and international partnerships, is delivering a programme of events during 2013 – 2016. These exhibitions, residencies, workshops and socially engaged activities, which include the Soil Culture Forum, will re-examine the cultural and environmental importance of soil and the underlying issues.

For information about the Artist Residencies and Touring Exhibition please go to www.ccanw.co.uk.

More Information on SoilCulture

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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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OPEN CALL: CSPA Quarterly:  An Open Call for Essays, Artwork, and Reports 

CSPAQ 8The CSPA Quarterly has embarked on what has turned into an incredibly challenging series of publications:  four issues focused on each of the four dimensions of sustainability (as recognized by UNESCO).  Our first issue in the series on Art + Economy was published at the beginning of the year, and our issue on Environment will be released soon.

The remaining issues in the series are open for submission.  Please send us tips, projects, essays, scripts, photographs, etc that represent the two remaining dimensions:

SOCIAL EQUITY / performances, artwork, or public art projects that address issues of social equity- local or global!

CULTURE / Yes, we know this is broad.  We’re looking for essays, projects, etc that evaluate the value of culture, and the role of art and culture in a sustainable society.

Please address submissions to:  Miranda@SustainablePractice.org

For Previous editions, please CLICK HERE

Creative Scotland announce Environment Connecting theme

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Scotland’s new funding guidelines require applicants to show how they will contribute to the Environment Connecting theme, and all funded organisations and individuals now need to report their carbon emissions from April 2014 onwards.

Creative Carbon Scotland is offering an improved programme of training and support in carbon measuring, reporting and reduction, and will hold seminars on how a positive focus on Environment can strengthen companies artistically, financially and reputationally.

Read more about our training and support programme for carbon reporting.

Read more about the Environment Connecting theme.

Photo by Gemma Lawrence of Ellie Harrison’s Early Warning Signs outside GoMA, http://www.ellieharrison.com/

The post Creative Scotland announce Environment Connecting theme appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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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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Climate Change Couture

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

The Aquatutu. An inflatable suit to be worn in places that often flood.

Catherine Young is a Filipina artist-scientist-designer-writer-explorer working on human perception and the environment. How did she earn the right to claim such a beautiful, multidisciplinary, hyphenated title, you might ask? By receiving a degree in molecular biology and biotechnology from Manila, fine art education from Barcelona, and an MFA in Interaction Design from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Smart enough for you?

Catherine is currently working on something intriguing – The Apocalypse Project – that is just as multidisciplinary as her hyphenated self, and includes the wonderful series Climate Change Couture: Haute Fashion for a Hotter Planet. It is not fashion’s only foray in the world of climate change. Recently, Francesco Fiondella and Rebecca Fowler created Climate Models, a 2014 calendar featuring climate scientists in high fashion gear against backdrops illustrating their research interests. But Climate Change Couture is concerned with another kind of fashion: What we will wear when some of the scenarios of the current climate models (the computer kinds, not the flesh kinds) become reality.

What are the different components of The Apocalypse Project?

I used to work as a journalist, so interviewing people is a big part of my practice. The first thing I did was to hold a series of Apocalypse Workshops, where I asked participants to draw their answers to the questions, “What is your apocalypse?” “What superpower would you like to have to navigate through your apocalypse?” and “What would you wear to your apocalypse?” It made me understand how people (at least those in Singapore) viewed climate change, which is an issue with a large number of opinions.

I created the series Climate Change Couture: Haute Fashion for a Hotter Planet when I realized that the question on clothing resonated with participants the most — they found it an engaging question, whether they liked to draw or not. Climate Change Couture asks the question, “What will you wear to the future we create?” I designed the clothes based on the research of the Singapore-ETH Future Cities Laboratory, who collaborated with me during my residency. I think this series really resonated with people, and there is a diversity of environmental conditions all over the world which gives me ideas for a lot more designs.

I also held a project with students from Tembusu College, National University of Singapore called Earth vs Humans: The Court Trial. There I asked the question, “What happens if Planet Earth sues us for environmental misdemeanors?” The students, who took a class in climate change and whose professors helped me refine the project, wrote the script and assembled their cast, and we filmed it in their reading room.

I think there are many other ways to look at climate change apart from workshops, fashion, photography, and theater. I look forward to creating more projects under The Apocalypse Project platform. I am currently expanding the project in the Philippines, my home country and one that was severely impacted by Typhoon Haiyan last year.

Can you describe your collaboration with Singapore-ETH Future Cities Laboratory? How did you “translate” scientific research into design? What was your process?

My work is usually interactive and my earlier work had a lot to do with human perception. When I did a residency at the National Art Studio of Korea, I did a project that involved hiking all the mountains of Seoul. There, I saw firsthand the effects of human activity on the environment. At that time, I kept running into climate change in my investigations, and this led me to being a part of the 2013 Art Science Residency Programme, in partnership with ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, Tembusu College National University of Singapore, and Singapore-ETH Future Cities Laboratory.

I was essentially an artist in the lab. I looked at their research and saw opportunities to turn them into narratives that laymen can understand and care about using the medium of fashion. I think what makes the public shy away from science is its perceived inaccessibility and dryness. But I saw ways to turn science into stories that can engage people. Once I designed the clothes, I asked the researchers to critique them so that the final clothes would be solidly grounded in science. I see the project as one of speculative fiction, as opposed to science fiction — there are no zombies in this apocalypse, for example.

I really like this process of working with scientists, as I do have a science background. One of the most fun parts of the project was getting the researchers to model the clothes, which I don’t think people expect scientists to do. They got really into it and their artistic sides came out. I believe all of us are born artists and scientists — we are all curious and have the capacity to translate this into creative and innovative things.

What are people’s reactions to your Climate Change Couture series?

They found it to have a mix of seriousness and humor. The stories that go with the clothes are also a bit tongue-in-cheek. I think they saw climate change in a different light — it certainly deviated from the usual photos of polar bears. As an interaction designer, I believe in a focus on people, and that this will make an audience find the work relatable and relevant. When I present the work, I also invite the audience to wear the clothes, and this allows them to put themselves in the stories I created. The fun and interactivity of the project was a strategy to make them interested and engaged, and hopefully, make the issue of climate change important in their own lives beyond seeing the project in the gallery or online.

What do you think is the single most important thing artists can do to address the problem of climate change?

Artists can be the emotional hook in the problem about climate change. I think people in general are weary of being told that we are a liability to the planet, that there is no hope. I like to take a more empowering stance in the climate change conversation so that people will be spurred to action.

What gives you hope?

I have hope in the creative powers of humanity. We got ourselves into this, we can get ourselves out. We don’t have much of a choice, do we?

Filed under: Design, Featured Artist

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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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Biodiversity in the Multifaceted Uncertainty of the Knowledge Economy : the case of ecoLAB

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Image: Grass cutting day with green tea and humus photo by Lorena Lozano

[plastik] art & science is a mostly French language on-line journal.  Previous issues have focused on nano (#03), in vivo (#02) and la relativité générale et la physique quantique (#01).  Some essays, such as this one by Lozano are in English, Biodiversity in the Multifaceted Uncertainty of the Knowledge Economy : the case of ecoLAB.

There are lots of artists’ gardening projects, but this one, whilst transforming a bleak space, also benefits from some analysis, not least of the question of utopian ideals.  Read on…

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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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