Yearly Archives: 2014

United Kingdom: Symposium on sustainable arts in education

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

On 12 February 2014, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, in conjunction with Julie’s Bicycle, will host the first ‘Sustainable Arts in Higher Education Symposium’ in London.

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It is intended that this free event will be an informative and interactive session for those within higher education, specifically in the creative arts arena, who wish to explore and share issues pertinent to sustainability, embracing all aspects of the creative arts environment both within an educational infrastructure as well as from a wider industry perspective.

The organisers envisage this event being a catalyst for engendering further interest in the topic and igniting a future formal network of like-minded people.

The afternoon will encompass a panel of speakers from a variety of institutions, together with a Q&A, networking, drinks and nibbles.

Details with confirmed speakers and an agenda with be sent out to registered delegates.

» Sign up on
www.eventbrite.co.uk

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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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Vanishing Ice

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

Narsaq Sound, Greenland

Narsaq Sound, Greenland by Len Jenshel

The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington is currently showing the exhibition Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012. Curated by Barbara Matilsky, with an accompanying catalogue distributed by University of Washington Press, the exhibition provides a 200-year overview of artists’ responses to the enduring fascination that frigid and isolated places seem to exert on the human imagination. While climate change is, at least in the public consciousness, a relatively recent concern, our desire to conquer the poles is not. In that context, it is interesting to step back and look at the evolution of Arctic imagery, from early 18th century romantic depictions of forbidden landscapes to contemporary works highlighting the vulnerability and fragility of polar environments. Artists from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Russia, Switzerland and the United States are represented. Notable among them are Arctic veteran photographers James Balog, whose ambitious project Extreme Ice Survey was recently featured in the documentary Chasing Ice; Subhankar Banerjee, a leading voice on issues of arctic conservation, indigenous human rights, resource development and climate change; Gary Braasch and his World View of Global Warming project; and David Buckland, founder of the British organization Cape Farewell.

Other articles about the exhibition can be read herehere and here.

Filed under: Photography, Visual Arts

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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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Greenmaps: a tool for local youth activism

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

The Greenmaps movement has spread across the world and has become an effective tool for local youth activism.  This slideshow introduces Greenmaps and provides inspiration on how to develop it in other areas.  Highly recommended.  Thanks to Wendy Brawer for highlighting.

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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Solidarity Campaign for IDEA (International Drama/Theatre and Education Association)

This post comes to you from Cultura21

IDEA (The International Drama/Theatre and Education Association) currently needs some help from all of us who are supportive of arts education, in a difficult situation they are experiencing at the moment with the Ministry of Culture in Brazil.

The campaign focus in short (quote from Robin Pascoe):

We need to convince Ms Marta Suplicy, Minister of Culture in Brazil to intervene to resolve a case which is seriously damaging the professional and personal lives of key drama educators in the Brazilian Network of Arteducators (ABRA). For three years, ABRA has carried a debt which has now grown to US$300,000, caused by the Ministry of Culture, who have refused to meet the organizers to reach a bilateral resolution, since January 2012.

Please find more details in this PDF file: Letter from IDEA to its members, friends and partners (January 2014) To support this campaign,  please use the following Word document: Action letter (January 2014)

You can also watch this campaign video from Manoela Souza of the Brazilian Network of Arteducators:

This post is also available in: FrenchSpanish.

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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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Book Publication: Living Pathways: Meditations on sustainable cultures and cosmologies in Asia

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Globalisation and technological progress have ushered us into a new era of development. Never before has the promise of the ‘Good Life’ in a hedonistic, consumerist utopia, been within reach for so many. Yet a significant portion of humanity is still unable to meet their basic needs.These trends are unsustainable, and beg the question: Where are we heading as a global community… and at what cost?

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In 2005, M. Nadarajah embarked on a journey into the heart of Asia to research culturally imbedded notions of sustainable development. He met with theindigenous communities of the Henanga, Ainu, Lanna, Karen, Kankanaey, Balinese and several others. These cultures reside far from the problems of mainstream development, both physically and spiritually. Their lifestyles incorporate philosophies of interconnectedness; of the sacredness of nature; of the continuity of Past, Present and Future. Rather than offer notions of sustainable development, these life-affirming philosophies pave a pathway towards a deep sustainability.

On this path, we find answers to how we must change as a society in order for us to preserve our world for all future generations. But do we have the collective will to overcome our consumptive habits and start living responsibly? Living Pathways offers its readers a chance to meditate upon these questions. It provides meaningful directions towards the spiritual paths of sustainable communities we often take for granted. Above all, it shows the reader a picture of the world we live in as it could be, if only we choose to make it so.

Further Information.

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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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Illuminating art, design and health

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Reblogged from CHRIS FREMANTLE:

Click to visit the original post
Two interesting trajectories across the need for light particularly in winter.  The one is a blog from the Wellcome Trust on research being undertaken by their Research Fellow, Dr Tania Woloshyn, on the history of phototherapy, and the other is an exhibition at Marres House for Contemporary Culture in the Netherlands entitled Winter Anti Depression where they have created an Art Resort, a sensory environment in response to the winter.The idea that the lack of sunlight affects those of us living in northern climates is not new, and research into the history of treatments highlights the complexity of the amount of sunlight that is healthy.

The exhibition demonstrates a number of art and design approaches to activating the senses.  Different works explore different senses from textured surfaces that you feel through your feet, to sounds to cocoon you in your bed, to light and colour.  The installation comprising a range of yellows is particularly evocative (see below).

Light and colour are increasingly significant in the design of healthcare contexts.  New technologies such as ‘Sky Ceilings’ and lightboxes can bring a feeling of daylight into rooms that lack windows.  The ‘temperature’ of light, especially with the increasing availability of LED bulbs, is enabling much more sophisticated design of environments.  But what is clear is that light and colour are not ‘universals’.  On the one hand their meaning is culturally informed, and as these examples highlight, also informed by seasonality.  We might want healthcare to be 24/7, but our bodies respond to seasonality just as they do to day and night.

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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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Fourth Green Teas(e) Reflections

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Last week Creative Carbon Scotland met for the fourth Green Teas(e) at GoMA for tea and biscuits and to build on the discussions had at the last meet, the aim of which was to identify some of the characteristics that might make up a sustainable Glasgow and cultural sector.  Once more the group had an exciting gathering of folk from across the arts and sustainability organisations in Glasgow including artist Nic Green, Steve Taylor, Festival 2014 Sustainability Manager, Ailsa Nazir and Claire Ferguson from CCA, and Fiona Sinclair from NHS and the Art in the Gart Programme.

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Four key characteristics identified previously were taken as the starting point:

  • Making sustainability the cultural norm through strong leadership, influencing audiences and supply chains;
  • Increasing the transparency of the trade-offs and complexity of decision making;
  • Education playing a key role not only in increasing awareness but engaging people in a way that does not ‘impose’ or ‘withhold’ the ability to live more sustainably;
  • Supporting/creating more local, closed loop economies.

This time Creative Carbon Scotland wanted to find out from the group what these characteristics would look like in concrete terms.

To set the cogs in motion artist Ellie Harrison told the group about how she has come to embed environmental sustainability within her artistic practice, not just in terms of content but also her approach to making work. She spoke about the conflict she experienced as being a maker of ‘stuff’ and sometimes ‘pointless objects’ and her desire to live more sustainably, but also the useful skills that artists have including the ‘ability to innovate and change’ and ‘arrogance and self-belief’. Much of her work now focuses on political activism and campaigning including projects such as ‘Bring Back British Rail’ which lobbies for public ownership and availability of cheap public transport.

The group also heard from Katie Bruce, Producer Curator at GoMA, about a new ‘Associate Artist’ project starting at GoMA this year in which an artist will be selected to work with gallery staff to challenge existing structures and explore new ways of working with the ambition of building stronger internal capacity for collaborative, participatory working practice, which make a difference to GoMA’s carbon footprint.

This model of the artist as researcher and catalyst of change within an organisation can be seen as a micro-level equivalent to our ambition of Green Teas(e) through which we aim to create new ways of working within the cultural sector which in turn influence a more sustainable Glasgow (and vice versa).

Looking backwards from 2020, the group asked what the above characteristics might look like in a sustainable Glasgow. We split off into groups and came up with the following points. (Note that the language and concepts and quite technical, complicated and sometimes difficult but that was the nature of the discussion.)

Some crosscutting themes which linked all of the characteristics were identified, including:

  • Nurturing non-material values and moving towards non-financial ways of measuring things
  • Encouraging agency (people’s capacity to take action and achieve things) and a shift away from dominant models
  • Creating a Glasgow in which space exists in everyone’s lives to develop their own agency

1. Making sustainability the cultural norm through strong leadership, influencing audiences and supply chains

The concept of ‘strong leadership’ was challenged here as adhering to dominant models which typically favour more ‘masculine characteristics’. However, it was also agreed that leadership is important in creating space for and empowering others to develop their own agency. Fiona Sinclair from Art in the Gart and NHSGGC Mental Health North Western spoke about the disempowerment of individuals that can exist in large organisations such as the NHS and the need to create spaciousness, whether in terms of staff time or the ability to be critical and reflective,  which might begin to instil a great ‘consciousness’ of sustainability. There was also concern around the term ‘norm’ in relation to cultural diversity in which different forms of and approaches to achieving a sustainable city was favoured.

2. Increasing the transparency of the trade-offs and complexity of decision making

Here it was discussed that the scale at which decisions are made needs to be appropriate to the scale of the issue, i.e. creating local and city-wide subsidiarity (the devolution to the lowest appropriate level of decision making) which the public have trust in through a transparency in the decision making process and why decisions have been made. This also links to the agency and empowerment at grassroots level up.

3. Education playing a key role not only in increasing awareness but engaging people in a way that does not ‘impose’ or ‘withhold’ the ability to live more sustainably

The group talked about creating a ‘new department’ within government, local authorities and other organisations which specifically deals with education and sustainability. In a broader sense, this concept of the ‘new department’, whether that’s new ways of working or new space given to embedding environmental sustainability into everyone’s consciousness, could provide a model for creating a more sustainable society. This links to Elinor Ostrum’s polycentric approach to environmental protection “where key management decisions should be made as close to the scene of events and the actors involved as possible” (relating back to subsidiarity and agency again). The same could be applied to education and decision-making, where diverse nodes of activity are enabled to grow across different areas of society and eventually link up with one another.

4. Supporting and creating more local, closed loop economies

The need to create local currencies which feed into more local economies as well as developing a cradle to cradle system of resource use were agreed on as important components of a closed loop economy. In order to reuse and recycle our resources we would also need to develop a varied skill set which enables us to re-make, adapt and mend the stuff around us, thus combating the obsolescence currently built into many of the things we own.

These quite technical descriptions aren’t particularly art-focused and so the job for the next Green Teas(e) is to think about how the arts help achieve these various characteristics of a sustainable city.

List of Attendees

Penny Anderson – Writer/artist

Michelle Emery Barker – Wasps

Kathryn Beckett – GSofA

Katie Bruce, GoMA

Rachel Duckhouse – Artist

Claire Ferguson – CCA

Nicola Godsal – Community & Volunteer Development Officer at NVA

Nic Green – Artist

Ellie Harrison – Artist

Andy MacAvoy – Edo Architecture

Ailsa Nazir – CCA

Eilidh Sinclair – GsofA

Fiona Sinclair – NHSGGC northwest sector

Elaine Slaven – Carbon Management Awareness Officer, Glasgow Life

Ben Spencer – Velocity

Steve Taylor – Festival 2014 Sustainability Manager

Image: Ellie Harrison, Early Warning Signs, http://www.ellieharrison.com/

– Gemma Lawrence, 29.01.14

The post Blog: Green Teas(e) Reflections 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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