GAIA Resonant Visions at SER 2015 Manchester

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The Society for Ecological Restoration annual conference is in Manchester 23-27 August and James Brady has put together an outstanding Arts Programme.

“During the conference, two internationally renowned cultural venues in the city of Manchester will host GAIA – Resonant Visions: an exclusive cultural programme consisting of UK and world premiere artists’ film screenings, accompanied by public talks (with artists, ecologists, activists and scientists, etc.) associated with the conference theme of ecological restoration and resilience.

The events will be artistic co-ordinates and complimentary to the conference. Both responding and acting independently of the conference, they will expand and explore restoration and resilience from the neighbourhood to international scales, and from political, ecological and aesthetic perspectives.

How environmental activism, creative resistance and grassroots/indigenous movements can operate (both as a powerful metaphor and a real-world agency) for ‘resilience and restoration’ towards a post-fossil fuel world, are core themes which these events will also address.
Manchester is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution: the unprecedented human technological shift which changed Planet Earth and crucially brought about the evolution of this Anthropocene age. It is therefore meaningful and poignant that a collection of moving image ‘visions’ of our changing planet are brought into the heart of what is one of the world’s first Post-Industrial cities.

The core cultural venues pledging their support for SER 2015 in the city are The Whitworth Art Gallery and HOME. A special suite of eco-artist films will also be hosted at Manchester Central during the conference itself, providing an integrated cross-disciplinary aesthetic engagement for delegates.”

More about the Programme

Introduction:

During the conference, two internationally renowned cultural venues in the city of Manchester will host GAIA – Resonant Visions: an exclusive cultural programme consisting of UK and world premiere artists’ film screenings, accompanied by public talks (with artists, ecologists, activists and scientists, etc.) associated with the conference theme of ecological restoration and resilience.

The events will be artistic co-ordinates and complimentary to the conference. Both responding and acting independently of the conference, they will expand and explore restoration and resilience from the neighbourhood to international scales, and from political, ecological and aesthetic perspectives.

How environmental activism, creative resistance and grassroots/indigenous movements can operate (both as a powerful metaphor and a real-world agency) for ‘resilience and restoration’ towards a post-fossil fuel world, are core themes which these events will also address.

Manchester is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution: the unprecedented human technological shift which changed Planet Earth and crucially brought about the evolution of this Anthropocene age. It is therefore meaningful and poignant that a collection of moving image ‘visions’ of our changing planet are brought into the heart of what is one of the world’s first Post-Industrial cities.

The core cultural venues pledging their support for SER 2015 in the city are The Whitworth Art Gallery and HOME. A special suite of eco-artist films will also be hosted at Manchester Central during the conference itself, providing an integrated cross-disciplinary aesthetic engagement for delegates.

Monday 24th August 2015


2 Tony Wilson Place, First Street Complex, M15 4FN
Box office: 0161 200 1500
Time: 17.45 – 20.30 hours
Ticket price: £8.50 (HOME cinema is offering all SER delegates a special discount on tickets for the END Trilogy film on 24th August.  Tickets are £6.50 (instead of £8.50) for online booking only.  The discount code is ser2015)

Carlos Casas, Hunters Since the Beginning of Time (2008)

Carlos Casas
END Trilogy
156 min
UK premiere

UK premiere screening of Carlos Casas’ complete, multi award-winning END Trilogy. Accompanied by an exclusive introductory talk by SER 2015 Arts Curator, James Brady.

Comprising the three films:
Solitude at the End of the World (2005)
Aral: Fishing in an Invisible Sea (2004)
Hunters Since the Beginning of Time (2008)

A trilogy of films dedicated to extreme and inhospitable environments on the planet. From the whale hunters of Siberia, to fishermen of the Aral Sea, and to hermits of Patagonia, these films are anthropological portraits of indigenous peoples and lands on the distant peripheries of civilization. The END Trilogy is a lasting cinematic testimony to ways of living which are quickly disappearing in such remote places on Earth. These are places where humanity and the environment are deeply connected. Carlos Casas’ epic work engages us in a timely and sensitive exploration of the imagery and imagination of the ‘end of the world’.

Thursday 27th August 2015

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M15 6ER
Enquiries: 0161 275 7450
Grand Hall
Time: 15.00 – 21.00 hours
FREE event

Session 1 (15.00–16.45 hours)

Oliver Ressler, Leave It In The Ground (2013)

Oliver Ressler
Leave It In The Ground (2013)
UK premiere
18 min

In recent years, countless extreme weather events clearly indicate that climate change is not only a future phenomenon but is already taking place. In the Global South, climate change aggravates the crises of poverty, violence, and unrest that result from the legacies of colonialism and neoliberal capitalism. Leave It In The Ground describes the climate crisis not as a technical and scientific problem, but as a political problem. The film discusses how ecological and humanitarian disasters caused through global warming might topple old orders and open up possibilities that could lead to long-term social and political transformations, both positive and negative.

Aviva Rahmani, Blued Trees (2015)

Aviva Rahmani
Blued Trees (2015)
World premier
5 min

In February 2015, some New York State residents, angered by the abuse of eminent domain in service to fossil fuel corporations, enlisted eco-artist Aviva Rahmani to create the Blued Trees Symphony installation. The Blued Trees film documents the June 21, 2015 launch of an innovative, creative strategy to contest fossil fuel proliferation.

Creative Resistance? Resilient Futures?
Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion / Q&A
75 min

A public discussion led by a panel, including members of both the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management’s Arts and Environment Network, and the International Eco-Art Network: Dave Pritchard (Chair), Wallace Heim, David Haley, Jane Trowell, Basia Irland, Aviva Rahmani, Margaret Shiu and James Brady.

Questioning what we really understand by ‘restoration’ and ‘resilience’ – ecological, social, economic and cultural – facilitating an open social space where interdisciplinary exchange, debate and broadening of that understanding can emerge. This event will unite the worlds of arts, culture and ecological science, allowing the mutual exploration of the practices, philosophies, concepts, languages, ethics and aesthetics of the subject. A core focus of this discussion will be how various forms of creative activism and grass-roots social solidarity movements become effective agencies for resilience and restorative change.

Session 2 (17.30–21.00 hours)

Basia Irland, Ice Receding/Books Reseeding (2007 – 2015)

Basia Irland
Ice Receding / Books Reseeding (2007–2015)
European premiere + artist’s talk*
16 min

The devastation we humans cause rivers is extraordinary and the need to educate and activate local communities is vast. A green future cannot be mapped without healthy watersheds. The cartography of the next generations must include communities working together to insure clean, viable river systems. The documentary film, Ice Receding / Books Reseeding emphasizes the necessity of communal effort, scientific knowledge, and poetic intervention to deal with the complex issues of climate disruption and watershed restoration through the release of seed-laden ephemeral ice sculptures into rivers, creeks, and streams.

*The screening of this film is followed by a rare and exclusive public talk by the eminent ecological artist.

Deeper Roots
Artists/Curators discussion
60 min

An informal discussion session led by a group of artists and curators, working in the field of interdisciplinary socially-engaged arts practice in the North West of England. They will open-up a conversation about the ethics and values of collaborative work with urban communities, with the vision of nurturing creative roots for socio-ecological resilience. Issues of urban regeneration, social cohesion, and radical place-making will be key points of reference in this dialogue.  This discussion will feature representatives from three projects in particular: Guild, Tearing Stuff Apart, and A Tale of Two Cities.

Ursula Biemann, Forest Law (2014)

Ursula Biemann
Climate Quadrilogy (2012–15)

Comprising four video works:
Egyptian Chemistry (2012), Deep Weather (2013), Forest Law (2014), Subatlantic* (2015)

World premiere
92 min

In a series of research-based, videographic investigations, this quadrilogy presents a planetary perspective on the complex ecological dynamics and consequences of humanity’s colonisation of Earth’s life-sustaining, natural matter. From Egypt, Canada to India, Amazonia, and the Shetland Isles to Greenland and to the Caribbean Isles, these video works take us on a global, geo-political journey across contested lands and oceans.

*This event also marks the official European premiere of Biemann’s new video work, Subatlantic.

Film screenings at Manchester Central Conference Centre, 24 –27 August:

Ursula Biemann
Climate Quadrilogy (2012–15)
Comprising four video works:

Egyptian Chemistry (2012), Deep Weather (2013), Forest Law (2014), Subatlantic (2015)
92 min

In a series of research-based, videographic investigations, this quadrilogy presents a planetary perspective on the complex ecological dynamics and consequences of humanity’s colonisation of Earth’s life-sustaining, natural matter. From Egypt, Canada to India, Amazonia, and the Shetland Isles to Greenland and to the Caribbean Isles, these video works take us on a global, geo-political journey across contested lands and oceans.

Basia Irland
Ice Receding / Books Reseeding (2015)
16 min

This documentary about Irland’s work, emphasizes the necessity of communal effort, scientific knowledge, and poetic intervention to deal with the complex issues of climate disruption and watershed restoration through the creation and release of seed-laden ephemeral ice sculptures into rivers, creeks, and streams.

Aviva Rahmani
Blued Trees (2015)
5 min

In February 2015, some New York State residents, angered by the abuse of eminent domain in service to fossil fuel corporations, enlisted eco-artist Aviva Rahmani to create the Blued Trees Symphony installation. The Blued Trees film documents the June 21, 2015 launch of an innovative, creative strategy to contest fossil fuel proliferation.

Check it out here http://www.ser2015.org/arts-programme

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.

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