Yearly Archives: 2014

The Big Bite-Size Plays Factory Goes Down the Toilet at #edfringe

2000px-1020788-1This show is part of the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award Shortlist – celebrating the greenest and most sustainable shows at the Fringe.

Synopsis: We can’t promise you won’t get wet! Super silliness, ridiculously funny, become a sustainability secret agent and help save the planet! 2013 Latest Award winners Best Theatre Performance return with their five-star team and more award-winning plays for younger people. Find out first-hand about Poosey’s Ruined Ride, where the chamber pot went in The Wrong Thomas and why it went to trial by jury in Ms Wet Wipe versus The Crown!

For more information or to purchase tickets click HERE.

The World Mouse Plague at #edfringe

AwardThis show is part of the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award Shortlist – celebrating the greenest and most sustainable shows at the Fringe.

The show features a man who comes home from the shops to find he’s cohabiting with two friendly and peculiar-looking mice. Avoidance becomes intolerance as the two parties come up with increasingly ingenious methods to steer clear of each other. Hate propaganda, pest control instructions and current political policies are played out in a Tom and Jerry style battle over cream cake and biscuits. A wibbly wobbly world of silence, squelches, slaps and traps.

For more information or to purchase tickets click HERE.

#GreenFests highlights: My Luxurious 50 Square Feet Life

my50_backThis post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland’s blogger-in-residence Allison Palenske shares highlights from the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award nominated production My Luxurious 50 Square Feet Life.

The availability and affordability of housing is a common burden of urban-dwellers internationally. In globalised cities such as London, New York and Tokyo, it seems that prices rise as square footage decreases. The case of these cities, however, pales in comparison to the current situation in Hong Kong. My Luxurious 50 Square Feet Life, an Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Just Festival production by Cinematic Theatre group, addresses this issue in their poignant and multi-faceted exploration of Hong Kong’s subdivided micro-sized housing units.

The audience’s initial interaction with the performance begins with a self-guided orientation of the performance space; the floor plan of fifty square feet is drawn on the stage. Seating was not provided and audience members were essentially occupying the same space as the performers. My own preconception was that fifty square feet is quite small for one person. It was later clarified that these small units are subdivided amongst families or individuals, often four people sharing the space; the production should be titled “Our Luxurious 50 Square Feet Life,” to refer to the numerous occupants in these spaces.

What begins as a charming, but subtly melancholy, storytelling of an elderly woman’s lifelong struggle to maintain enough money for rent quickly turns into a chilling provocation of what was described as a human rights violation. The production jumped between many different scripts, all of which addressed the housing issue from a different perspective.

The latter half of the performance demonstrated a more artistically inventive angle; audio and video became increasingly immersive. A highlight of the performance was the technique of filming the live performance from a bird’s eye perspective, with the actors using the ground plane as one would use a vertically aligned set. Audience members could watch the scene unfold on a projection screen, while also referencing the perspective of the projection with the realities of how it was being filmed within the same space. Though difficult to explain (and perhaps further explanation of this technique would discount the artistic quality) the flattening of the set to the ground plane only seemed to enhance the utter impossibility of living in such a small space. Characters demonstrated the physical, mental and emotional impossibilities of sharing the space amongst a four-person family.

The shifting perspectives of the performance all contributed to a sense of disparity and social injustice. Though the problem seems nearly impossible to solve, My Luxurious 50 Square Feet Life certainly makes an example of the poor quality of life engendered by thoughtless development.


 

Image: Cinematic Theatre

The post #GreenFests highlights: My Luxurious 50 Square Feet Life 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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Green Arts Initiative Spotlight: Puppet Animation Scotland

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotlandpuppet-animation-WEB

Puppet Animation Scotland is an organisation that hosts festivals, support schemes and activities to encourage and develop the art form of professional puppetry. Their sustainable operations and green-tinged programming provide inspiration for the performing arts community at large, making them a valuable member of the Green Arts Initiative. Creative Carbon Scotland heard from Fay Butler, Festivals and Project Administrator at Puppet Animation Scotland, about the organisation’s recent developments and thoughts on sustainability.

CCS: What is your most recent action related to sustainable operations or programming?

PA: We are in the process of creating Environmental Information Packs for artists and venues that we work with. In doing so we aim to engage them in our environmental work – communicating our environmental commitments and giving realistic recommendations and practical support to make greener choices.

CCS: What have you most enjoyed about being a member of the Green Arts Initiative?

PA: We have enjoyed being part of a wider community of organisations/artists that we have not worked with before and to discover together new ways of addressing environmental sustainability in the arts.

CCS: What are you most eager about for the 2014 summer festivals season?

PA: We are excited to discover new productions working with puppets (i.e. James II at the Festival Theatre), as well as seeing some older classics (Ubu and the Truth Commission at the Royal Lyceum Theatre).

CCS: Do you have a top tip for new GAI members?

PA: We have found having an Environmental Action Plan for 2014-15 (with deadlines!) useful for putting ideas into action.


More information and programme of events can be found at Puppet Animation Scotland’s website.

Image credit: Puppet Animation Scotland

 

The post Green Arts Initiative Spotlight: Puppet Animation Scotland 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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Arrest that Poet!

arrest-that-poet-lst144186This show is part of the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award Shortlist – celebrating the greenest and most sustainable shows at the Fringe.

Danny Chiver’s spoken word show “Arrest that Poet!” has ended its run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – but not without making our shortlist.

Synopsis: Have you ever climbed up a power station, D-locked yourself to a construction company’s staircase or been sued for £5 million? Until recently, slam poet Danny Chivers certainly hadn’t. So how did a quiet boy from Bristol end up dodging security guards, battling criminal charges and trying not to thump Richard Madeley, all in the name of a safer planet? Storytelling meets poetry in this darkly funny true tale of rhyming and rebellion.

For more information about activist and artists Danny Chivers, and to find future dates for Danny’s shows visit http://dannychivers.blogspot.co.uk/

Sustaining Rural Scotland opportunity

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

£20k Innovation Event – ‘Sustaining Rural Scotland’ Chiasma
21 – 23 October 2014, New Lanark

With the acceleration of climate change and increased pressure on our planet’s natural resources, raising awareness and innovating around environmental sustainability has never been more urgent. More consumers now than ever before have direct experience of climate change and the pressures on the natural environment. They are calling for better protection against flooding, wise use and re-use of natural or local assets and food security.

To help address these issues, we see innovative technologies, services, models and incentives emerging e.g. in lifecycle management and the circular economy or in open data for energy, agriculture and transport. There are also innovation opportunities for supporting consumer values by removing barriers (such as conflicting attitudes and responsibilities, lack of time, trust or space) for pro environmental action.

Chiasma will provide an opportunity for rural businesses, entrepreneurs and retailers to converge with designers, technologists and academics to identify and create potential solutions to support climate action for rural Scotland.

APPLY TO ATTEND NOW: http://designinaction.com/chiasmas/rural-economies-chiasma-2014

Closing Date for Applications: 5pm, Mon 1st Sep 2014

Chris Fremantle is involved in this programme (though not this event) as Co-Investigator and Senior Research Fellow at Gray’s School of Art/IDEAS, Robert Gordon University.

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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NATURE AS PRACTICE

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Featured Image – Nirmal Ghosh

Conversations Across Art, Science, Ecology and Everyday Life.
NUS Museum – Friday 1st & Sunday 3rd August
Singapore Botanic Gardens – Saturday 2nd August 2014

Nature as Practice is a six session interdisciplinary symposium collaboration between the School of Art Design and Media (ADM) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS) Museum and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Curated by Lucy Davis and Shabbir Hussain Mustafa in conjunction with the NUS Museum exhibition, “When you get closer to the heart, you may find cracks…” Stories of Wood by the Migrant Ecologies Project.

There are many things that humans do to nature in Southeast Asia. The emphasis in this symposium is upon what nature does to people, about nature as an active partner in human practice, and the modes of human practice that are provoked by encounters with the natural world, as experienced by natural scientists, historians, cultural theorists, artists, writers, architects, ethnomusicologists, ecologists, urban planners and museum curators.

By collating these different activities under a banner of ‘cultural practice’, the objective is to gather together dynamic fragments of culture-nature co-production that both vary across time and context and that also are as resistant to singular storytelling as the diversity of the natural world.

The timing of this conference is opportune, coming prior to opening of the new Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in Singapore and following a series of films and exhibitions about the human relationships with the natural world in Singapore and elsewhere in our region.

More Info and Programme – Nature as Practice.

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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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The Content of Nothing :: Part 2 :: Purposeful non-doing

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Samantha Clark: ‘A Year of Breathing’ Project for Natural Balance: Equilibrio Natural, Girona, Spain, May 2009

Samantha Clark: ‘A Year of Breathing’
Project for Natural Balance: Equilibrio Natural, Girona, Spain, May 2009

Samantha Clark: In 2009 was asked to make a proposal for an eco-art exhibition called Equilibrio Natural: Natural Balance that was taking place in Girona, Spain, which was to be a series of installations around the city developed by artists from all over the world. When I looked at the criteria, I noticed that I had to assure the organisers I would use local materials. And yet the curators and all the artists were going to be flying in from all over Europe and North America just for the exhibition. I felt there was a conflict at the heart of this, and so my proposal pointed out that I wasn’t a local material, and also quite a heavy lump to transport. So I proposed to stay at home, and to donate the CO2 emissions of my return flight to the people of Girona, for the purposes of guilt-free exhalation. I worked out that it would be about the equivalent of one-year’s worth of exhalation (according to some online carbon offsetting calculators it could be as much as 6 years, depending on how many trees they want to sell you). So I worked remotely with locally-based helpers, yoga teachers and Buddhist centres to run a series of meditations on the breath and mindful exhalation, in a space that used to be a mediaeval cloister. It was really interesting to discover that participants felt it offered them a way to physically encounter with the body something invisible that is usually discussed in very abstract, vast terms of ‘parts per million’, which makes it seem like something far away. They said that meditating on the breath like this, brought them to understand in a direct, felt way that ‘the atmosphere’, which is usually seen as something ‘up there’ is also the very air that passes through our bodies. We are in direct relation with it.

Samantha Clark: S.T.I.L.L. : A project for Gentle Actions: Art Ecology Actions Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway Oct/Nov 2010

Samantha Clark: S.T.I.L.L. : A project for Gentle Actions: Art Ecology Actions
Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway
Oct/Nov 2010

Following this I was asked to propose another project for an exhibition in 2010 called Gentle Actions: Art Ecology Action in Oslo. I was still troubled what seems like a cognitive dissonance where we artists, like anyone else, can have a blind spot regarding the ecological footprint of our travel because we want to have an international profile. There’s such a pressure on us to do this as artists and as academics. I don’t want to condemn it outright, and I know I am complicit, but I do feel the need to recognise this as a conflict, and to draw it out into the open rather than just accept it as a necessary evil or just ignore it. If the means and the stated ends are in direct conflict, then the integrity of the work is compromised. I had been teamed up, by the curators, with a Swiss artist who lives in the States, but I felt rather conflicted about her project to fly to Norway to make a piece of work, called S.P.I.L.L. about the Gulf oil spill. I wasn’t sure how to respond to or work with her proposal, which seemed to involve using a lot of fossil fuels to make a statement about our dependence on fossil fuels.

F David Peat in the book (which gave this exhibition its title) Gentle Actions (2008) proposes that acting less, hesitating more, and perhaps refraining from acting at all, might at times be an appropriate response to the crisis of climate change. After all, it’s our incessant rushing about that sucks up so much fossil fuel, and that taking time and space to reflect is important too. It occurred to me that just as a physical ‘nothing’ keeps turning out to be replete with meaning and unfathomably complex, an active ‘doing nothing’ might be, in this case, the most appropriate choice of action. So my response to S.P.I.L.L. was a contribution I called S.T.I.L.L. I chose to participate remotely, staying at home in Scotland to practice the gentle art of keeping still. I wrote, recorded and uploaded a series of reflection on stillness, pausing, air, and the breath as a direct, felt interaction with the invisible environment. The air, that we barely register and can’t see, yet depend on utterly, is a completely astonishing ongoing product of the biosphere.

PDF of Thin Air excerpt

Judy Spark: I love the way that that this sits at the ‘in between’ of the scientific and the poetic – which tend to get forced apart. We have scientific evidence of these processes but we can also have directly observed experience of many of them if enough attention is paid. I mentioned before that this method of drawing on the scientific is a perfectly permissible phenomenological starting point, something that can get forgotten as we are so used to viewing things in dualistic terms. I’m particularly interested here in the premise that you undertook a process of ‘non-doing’, apart from the recorded speech, in order to get something to happen and that the Year of Breathing piece rested on this premise too. It’s purposeful non-doing!
Judy Spark: “The Straight Rods” from Discovering Dowsing Ardo House, Aberdeenshire, (NEOS 2010)

Judy Spark: “The Straight Rods” from Discovering Dowsing
Ardo House, Aberdeenshire, (NEOS 2010)

JS: This work came about in 2010 at Ardo House in Aberdeenshire as part of North East Open Studios (NEOS). I was still working with the notion of tuning here, being tuned in or employing ones natural sensitivities in some way, a process so evident in the work you have been talking about above. Dowsing is said to depend upon the sensitivity of the dowser to movement in the rods as they pick up subtle changes in ground energy as a result of the presence of water.

A series of handmade dowsing rods were installed in the naturally enclosed space beneath a mature Beech tree in the grounds of the house. Visitors were invited to test some of the rods as they walked around and then asked to note the results on an evolving ‘drawing’, installed in the laundry room, the basis of which was a hand drawn map of the grounds. As I was developing the work, I had a conversation with one of the residents of the house, who had lived there since the 1980s. She told me that when they first moved in, the house had required to be hooked up to the mains water supply and a ‘handy man’ had arrived from the local council to locate the path of an old water pipe network known to be already present somewhere at that location. To accomplish this task, he came equipped with a pair of willow dowsing rods, with which he successfully pinpointed the spot for the new pipes to be sunk. The important thing about this piece of work was the involvement of visitors in terms of thinking about their own potential to pick up on subtle energy changes. It is widely held, in the dowsing literature, that one is able to dowse only if one first believes one can!

You have remarked that this work was like a sort of application of Goethe’s ‘delicate empiricism’; I like this parallel. We may scoff at the notion of practices such as dowsing but discoveries and links that have previously been discounted or thought unbelievable may yet bear fruit and indeed, as your reading above shows, even a subtle shift in the way that we attend to things can transform our experience of them. The drawing together of the scientific with phenomenological (or poetic, or ‘lyrical’) accounts of things, towards a fuller experience of the world, need not make for the poor fit it may at first seem. The Mind and Life Institute for instance exists to bring together Buddhist practices and Western science towards a better understanding of the human mind. Perhaps everything in our world requires this trusting openness and unity of approach. It’s as if we need to shift from the position of taking things apart in order to understand their individual components to one that appreciates the complexity, movement and interlinking of all the bits – like the ecological view. This matters because we are not just observers – as we are open to the world around us it in turn gives us who we are.

References:

F. David Peat (2008) Gentle Actions: Bringing Creative Change to a Turbulent World, Pari Publishing

The Mind and Life Institute – http://www.mindandlife.org/

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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be-dom at #edfringe

This show is part of the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award Shortlist – celebrating the greenest and most sustainable shows at the Fringe.

be-dom_2014BEDOM_UKCheeky, clever, fun, charismatic, interactive… Be-Dom provides an infectious experience of epic proportions. Using nothing more than everything you can think of, the group will drag you into their crazy vaudevillian world. Back to Fringe after four years touring around the globe, Be-Dom now dares you to witness the premiere of their new show.

 

For more information on the show visit their website or to purchase tickets click HERE.

 

 

The Bee-Man of Orn at #edfringe

This show is part of the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award Shortlist – celebrating the greenest and most sustainable shows at the Fringe.

This award-winning yoAwardung company returns with an adaptation of Frank Stockton’s magical tale about a man in search of himself. Told in NYT’s trademark style of rambunctious storytelling and suitable for anyone over five, the Bee-Man’s journey takes him to the deepest ocean, the court of a cruel king and the cave of the Very Imp. Over 30 years this group has won over critics and audiences alike, garnering four and five star reviews in the national and festival press.

For more information on the show or to purchase tickets click HERE.