Yearly Archives: 2015

Opportunity: Environmental Artist at Urban Green Cranhill Food Growing Project

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

This opportunity comes from Impact Arts with a deadline of 12 noon on 6th May 2015.

Urban Green: Cranhill Food Growing Project is an exciting and innovative programme that aims to transform an underused piece of ground in to a community garden. You will work as part of a team to transform the space and work with local young people and groups to make the project sustainable post March 2016.

This is a partnership project between Thenue Housing Association and Impact Arts and is funded through the Climate Challenge Fund.

The Project Outcomes are as follows:

• Increased knowledge of food production

• increased consumption of locally grown, healthy, low carbon food

• increased energy efficiency awareness

• reduced contribution to landfill

• improved mental & physical health amongst local people

• increased employability of local young people

• increased community awareness of climate change and commitment to minimizing environmental impact

These outcomes will be achieved through the delivery of key projects over the duration of the programme including:

• 2 programmes for people currently unemployed aged 16-24 based on Impact Arts successful Creative Pathways programme

• Community food growing workshops 2 days per week for 9 months for the wider Cranhill community

• Food growing sites will use recycled materials to divert materials from landfill including a creation of artworks

• Creation of composting site to reduce carbon emissions of vegetable waste going to landfill

Your role is to design and deliver a high quality and structured programme, in line with the project objectives.

You will lead and support a group of up to 15 unemployed young people to create food growing sites in the community in a creative and inspiring way.

You will be teaching skills in recycling/upcycling materials, creating public art, environmental awareness and other subject areas as suited to your skill base.

You must have the ability to work with challenging groups and an understanding of the barriers facing young people in gaining and sustaining employment.

For more information and to apply, please visit Impact Arts’ job page.


Image: Flickr Creative Commons/Qtea

 

The post Opportunity: Environmental Artist at Urban Green Cranhill Food Growing Project appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Caledonian Everyday Discussions Pt 2 of 3

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Tim Collins and Reiko Goto, Coille Dubh Rainich (The Black Wood of Rannoch), mixed media, 2015. Photo Tim Collins

Should artists seek to change the world?  That’s where the first discussion ended, having explored the history of pit props; the potential for a poet to contribute to the constraints that a forest manager might have to take account of in planning the management of an area of woodland; the development of ecosystems services assessment and in particular the cultural dimension; Gaelic and the subaltern, and how to protect a bramble patch in Central Scotland.  A more reflective and detailed summary of these discussions will be forthcoming in due course.

In the meantime we are very pleased to announce that the next panel (2pm Saturday 9 May 2015, the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Summerhall) will have on it:

Beth Carruthers is a philosopher, theorist, artist, and curator known internationally for her work and research over three decades exploring the ethics and aesthetics of the human-world relationship. Her primary focus is on the transformative capacities of aesthetic experience, and of the arts in human relations to environment and other beings. She has collaboratively across the arts and sciences on the SongBird project (1998-2002), and in 2006 created a research report for the Canadian Commission of UNESCO on art in sustainability focused on sci-arts collaboration. She has recently begun a collaboration with a neuropsychologist on a project studying interspecies aesthetic engagement in part by imaging the patterns of human brain response to birdsong. Over the past decade she has been developing a theory of “deep aesthetics”, arising from the aesthetics and ontology of Merleau-Ponty, and studies in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. It proposes that aesthetic engagement is potentially transformative of reductive ontology, and hence of cultural practices, looking toward more sustainable futures (see Carruthers, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015). Her most recent publication is “A Subtle Activism of the Heart” in Piper and Szabo-Jones, Sustaining the West: Cultural Response to Canadian Environments, from Wilfred Laurier University Press (May 2015). Also note: “Returning the Radiant Gaze: Visual art and embodiment in a world of subjects” in Brady, J., Elemental, from Gaia Project/Cornerhouse (forthcoming). Beth lives in unceded indigenous Coast Salish territory on Canada’s west coast. She is irregular faculty at Emily Carr University of Art + Design at Vancouver Canada, and currently a researcher at the University of British Columbia.

Amy Cutler, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, School of English, University of Leeds  Amy’s main academic research focuses on modern literature and its engagement with environmental politics and with old and new geographical imaginaries of Britain. Her specialist areas of study are coasts and forests in popular, small press, and avant-garde writing. She writes on problems of language, symbolism, and definition in particular environmental imaginations.  Amy is the lead academic on the new cross-disciplinary White Rose network, Hearts of Oak: Caring for British Woodland, based at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, and York.

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREMurdo Macdonald, Professor of History of Scottish Art, University of Dundee. Murdo’s doctoral thesis (University of Edinburgh, 1986) explored the relationships between art and science. He was editor of Edinburgh Review from 1990-1994. He is author of Scottish Art in Thames and Hudson’s World of Art series. His recent research focus has been as principal investigator of an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project Window to the West/ Uinneag dhan Àird an Iar: Towards a Redefinition of the Visual within Gaelic Scotland (2005-2011). This is a collaboration between the Visual Research Centre of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic College in the Isle of Skye. It explores the inter-relationships of contemporary art, Gaelic language and culture, and art history. A further research interest is in the generalist ideas of the cultural activist and ecologist Patrick Geddes.

Scott Donaldson, Creative Scotland.  Scott is responsible for film education and environmental development.  Scott studied literature, film, education and environmental management. He taught photography and media in London colleges and Scottish universities, photographed for Scottish Natural Heritage and programmed cinema and education at macrobert. From 1997 – 2010 at Scottish Screen, Scott promoted film and moving image education in statutory and tertiary education. Since 2010 at Creative Scotland, he managed the Creative Futures talent development programme and continues to promote film education.

The following and final discussion on 16 May will have a panel of forestry managers and forestry researchers.

You can download the pdf of the exhibition publication SylvaCaledoniaCatalogue

For those of you who are observant you’ll notice that we have reduced the number of discussions from four to three – the one this Saturday 25 April has been cancelled.  Look forward to seeing you on 9 May.

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Supporting the Intersection of Art and Activism

by Jennifer Sokolove

This post originally appeared on Howlround, and is being posted under a under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License(CC BY 4.0). You can find the original post here: http://howlround.com/supporting-the-intersection-of-art-and-activism

This week on HowlRound, we are exploring Theatre in the Age of Climate Change. How does our work reflect on, and respond to, the challenges brought on by a warming climate? How can we participate in the global conversation about what the future should look like, and do so in a way that is both inspiring and artistically rewarding? For the last entry in this series, I wanted to get the perspective of people who support theatre in the age of climate change. I reached out to Jennifer Sokolove, Program Director at the Compton Foundation in San Francisco, and asked her to tell us why Compton does what it does.—Chantal Bilodeau

In a February blog about writing and transgender characters, playwright MJ Kaufman asked, “How do I write the world I want to see? And how can I do this while also revealing the painful truths of the world I live in?” These two questions strike me as the fundamental challenges of any piece of theatre, or any art, that seeks to truly generate social change.

At the Compton Foundation, we have supported work to advance social and environmental change for more than half a century. But only in the last four years have we really begun to explore grantmaking at the intersection of art and activism. For many years, our grantmaking focused on fairly traditional methods for advancing environmental change; we funded community organizing, litigation, policy advocacy, and public education and outreach. We supported a lot of great work, and, outside our windows, in the actual world, things got worse and worse on all the issues we care about, including climate change.

In 2011, we took a step back to reflect on our priorities. We realized that the primary obstacle to the kind of world we want to bring about is the kinds of stories we tell ourselves, at a societal level, about who we are and what our relationships to each other and to nature should be. With that in mind, we started to explore what grantmaking to change those stories might look like. One of the obvious directions to explore was art. What other sectors tell such powerful stories about what is and what might be? Who better than an artist to help us see, hear, taste, and strive to touch a new reality?

The question of impact remains a challenge. Building a clear picture of the degree to which any one artistic endeavor changes conversations or behaviors can be tricky. And it’s even trickier if we want to support art, not just instrumental propaganda. While we believe there is a need for good propaganda on our issues, we want to support work that is less polemic—that opens space for its viewers to ask new questions and think in new ways.

To be fair, we had the deck stacked toward art in a way most foundations do not. Almost half of our board was comprised of practicing artists, and the two family members who were serving as president and vice president of the board (as they do now) are artists. That experience and inclination gave us the space to look around and see where and how our priority issues—not just climate, but also reproductive rights and justice, peace and security, and money in politics—were intersecting with the art world. Our artist leaders encouraged the board and staff to delve into the range of possible connections between creativity and activism, and to spend some time learning which artists were engaging with social and environmental movements by making a wide variety of experimental grants before arriving at a particular funding strategy.

Residents of Miami map the potential flood zone in their neighborhood as part of the High Water Line project. The project, initiated by Eve Mosher, helped to spark the creation of the community-based group Resilient Miami. Photo by Jayme Gershen.

Residents of Miami map the potential flood zone in their neighborhood as part of the High Water Line project. The project, initiated by Eve Mosher, helped to spark the creation of the community-based group Resilient Miami. Photo by Jayme Gershen.

Since then, we have been on a steep learning curve. Our broad focus has forced us to learn an enormous number of practical things about a wide range of artistic fields, like the typical timing from project idea to launch, distribution patterns for finished work, and the economics of each artistic industry. It has led us to notice some striking patterns:

  • Artists want to engage. We wondered whether or not there would be a pipeline of projects, but we’ve seen no lack of desire from the art world.
  • Artists and activists operate in different cultures, and typically know little about one another’s worlds. This can make it difficult to collaborate, arguably limiting the effectiveness of creative work. The most successful projects in our portfolio, and, we hypothesize, more broadly in the world, have thoughtful strategies for spanning that divide.
  • Different art practices offer different kinds of visions, access to different audiences, and radically different timelines from concept to production. An effort to support art directed toward changing the world must have some sense of what the social and political context will be when the work is completed, how it might fit into the ecosystem of organizations working toward change, and how it might ride a wave of public attention to a particular issue.
  • Some creative fields are better organized to support this intersection of art and change. Other fields have less infrastructure making it more challenging for philanthropy to find the artists who most want to drive social and environmental change, and to support connections between those artists and the movement organizations that could help them.

The question of impact remains a challenge. Building a clear picture of the degree to which any one artistic endeavor changes conversations or behaviors can be tricky. And it’s even trickier if we want to support art, not just instrumental propaganda. While we believe there is a need for good propaganda on our issues, we want to support work that is less polemic—that opens space for its viewers to ask new questions and think in new ways. The good—and under-reported news—is that demonstrating the impact of art is not that much trickier than measuring the impact of most other funding. There are almost always too many variables at play over what is usually a long time frame to provide any convincing data on causation. This makes impact another space where creativity is critically important; our most interesting conversations on all of our grants, including those to artists, are usually about how they will know if their work makes a difference in the world.

Activists (and funders) have hoped for almost two decades that simply sharing the facts about issues like climate change will make people, and the politicians who lead them, alter their behaviors and their policies. Evidence suggests that this is rarely the case. As human beings, we are not rational in our decision-making. For Compton, that suggests that we must explore funding other approaches to social and environmental change work, approaches that engage emotion in addition to intellect, that help audiences get a visceral feel for the world we have, and the better world we might inhabit. That world is often out of reach in part because of our limits of imagination. Who better to help us shed those constraints than an artist?

Art = catalyst for change

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

I can’t imagine a more inspiring place to celebrate Earth Day/Week/Month 2015 than Melbourne, Australia.

This year, CLIMARTE has organized a month-long arts and culture festival with a brilliant title – ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2015 – that presents 25 curated exhibitions alongside keynote lectures, public forums, films, bike tours, sustainable architecture tours, anthropSLAM and more throughout Melbourne and greater Melbourne. The festival runs through 17th May.

Climarte, Jack Rowland, Melbourne Festival organizers have ensured that each event is accessible by bicycle and public transport. Event-specific map references (love this feature!) are provided for each venue to encourage use of public transport and to help out-of-town participants navigate Victoria’s public transport system.

Melbourne residents have been invited by the artists of one of the events – The Water Harvest – to contribute directly to an installation that celebrates the seemingly small acts of collecting rain/grey water. There is still time left to fill out an online form and contribute a small ‘collection sample” of water that has been collected, harvested, re-purposed or recycled by local residents. Each sample will be presented in a small vintage bottle (which will be returned to each contributor at the end of the festival), etched with the water harvester’s name and geographic coordinates of where the water was collected.

Here’s a video of CLIMARTE’S CEO Guy Abrahams talking about ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2015:

The festival offers an outstanding series of keynote speakers — all free (but early registration strongly encouraged!) — including David Buckland, Director Cape Farewell: the cultural response to climate change (UK); Chris Jordan, artist and Director of Midway (US); and William L. Fox, Director of the Center for Art+Environment, Nevada (US).

To inspire you on this Earth Day 2015, here are some words of wisdom from the CLIMARTE website:

  1. Art can show us where we have been, where we are now, and where we might go.
  2. Art can be a call to action.
  3. Art can be a catalyst for change.

If you missed our Earth Day 2014 post “Calling all artists”, take a look here.

You can follow Joan Sullivan, a renewable energy photographer, on Twitter @cleanenergyphoto

———-

Artists and Climate Change is a blog 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 the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Powered by WPeMatico

Mulling on Mull: 2015 Artist Residency Reflections

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

What were our aims?

This March we gathered at Comar in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull for our second annual Arts and Sustainability Artist Residency. Our group included 12 artists from across Scotland, as well as a museum/art conservator, a researcher, two of us from Creative Carbon Scotland and a polymath who also works for Creative Scotland.

This year’s residency was structured around a weekend-long discussion on the extraordinary and ambitious Sustainable Development Goals proposed by a working group of the United Nations. These 17 goals have been hammered out over two years by 70 countries from both the developed and the developing world and if they are agreed by the UN in September will come into force on 1 January 2016, with the aim of achieving the goals by 2030.

Although at first glance it might be difficult to see what these goals have to do with artistic practice, we were keen to collectively explore whether they could be connected, which goals held particular traction for the artists involved and how we might use them to develop future work .

UN post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs

Building on last year’s residency we also worked more closely with Comar to deepen our understanding of the organisation and the context of Mull.

We had a number of ambitions, including:

  • To provide artists, who may or may not have previously thought about environmental sustainability in their practice, with the space and stimuli to consider how it might drive new ways of working;
  • To collectively develop artists’, Creative Carbon Scotland’s and Comar’s thinking about how environmental sustainability can be engaged with in different artistic practices on practical and conceptual levels.
  • To nurture and build a creative community of practice which embeds environmental sustainability at its core.

What did we do?

Over the course of the weekend, our facilitator Mike Bonaventura from the Crichton Carbon Centre led us through different exercises to reflect on and discuss how we might engage with the SDGs through our individual or organisational practices.

The ambition of the SDGs is no mean feat with the first goal reading ‘End poverty in all its forms everywhere’! Each SDG has more tangible and specific objectives attached, but nonetheless these are global and very high level aims. In spite of this, it became clear that each of us could see how the SDGs could affect us, how we could contribute to their achievement and how the arts and cultural sector could play its part.

imgp3260

Rebuilt sheep enclosure, FANK project, Mull

We spent Saturday afternoon braving the wind and rain on a site visit to a public art/heritage project initiative by artist Emma Herman-Smith where an old sheep fank is being restored. Led by Sion Parkinson, Creative Director of Visual Art, Craft & Film at Comar, we learnt about the history and ambitions of the site (with some sheep role play along the way to keep us warm). This discussion continued on Saturday evening when some Mull residents joined the group and we shared thoughts on Comar’s contribution to the sustainability of Mull’s small island community with a population of only 3,000 people.

On Sunday we were asked to start thinking practically, breaking into smaller group sessions before returning for a concluding group discussion. Each group was asked to imagine what the world would look like in 50 years’ time if it had been successfully reshaped according to the relevant SDGs and therefore reflected the focus on either Dignity, Justice, Partnership or Planet – four of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s guiding principles for the SDGs. In addition, we considered how art and artists had contributed to these future societies, and finally what the continuing place of the arts would be in such a world.

imgp3265

What did we learn?

Although Creative Carbon Scotland’s focus is on environmental sustainability, much of the discussions had over the weekend involved ideas and questions around social sustainability: the SDGs focus on achieving gender equality and promoting the role of women and girls in sustainability matters and debates as well as on reducing inequality within and among countries. But they also focus on creating sustainable employment; on preserving ecosystems and the natural environment; and on the sustainable management of water. All of the participants found something that not only they could relate to in their work but they were enthusiastic about, that powered their artistic work and their lives. These weren’t remote, high level goals but ideas they could use day in, day out.

The more practical task of pinpointing how art and artists had helped achieve more sustainable future scenarios was challenging but there was no doubt about the enthusiasm amongst the group and the belief that art was and should be involved. A few of the points that came up included:

  • A society based on partnership will require a common, shared vision and also an emotional aspect: a partner needs to feel, to engage in order to get behind a vision. Emotional commitment can be the realm of art.
  • Historically art has usually been focused on what we might call ‘the project’: ensuring the cohesion of the hunter-gatherer group, celebrating the glory of one or more gods, maintaining the demos in ancient Greece. All these are about the sustainability of society. Maybe we need to be more enthusiastic about contributing to the modern ‘project’ of sustainability.
  • A reclaiming of the idea of ‘entrepreneurship’, moving it away from a focus on economics and towards a concept of ‘undertaking’ things, doing and acting. This seemed to fit well with what artists do.

The weekend finished with a discussion about what to do next. It was suggested that an important part of Creative Carbon Scotland’s role was to emphasise the valuing of sustainability thinking, not just to normalise it – in a way some of the work of making it a normal part of day to day life is already happening.

The SDGs provided the artists with justification and confidence about incorporating sustainability into their work, and the residency had strengthened their confidence that they were part of a group with shared values. The ‘community of practice’ that CCS is developing would and should do the same and we will use the opportunity of our upcoming April Green Tease to consider how Scotland’s artists and communities can contribute towards the Paris COP21.

We also looked forward to future residencies and other projects and sought comments on the structure of this one. There was great support for the work, but a number of people asked for a wider age range of participants; a wider range of activities and ways of working during the weekend; and getting outside more into the landscape (points all taken!).

Stephanie de Roemer, who was documenting the residency, will produce a more thorough report of the weekend’s events and discussions, which will be available to all in the near future. In the meantime, the thinking goes on. Thanks to all who contributed to the weekend – it was truly inspiring!


 

Images: Vivian Ross-Smith, vivianrosssmith.wordpress.com

The post Mulling on Mull: 2015 Artist Residency Reflections appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind—Hearing the Voices of the Future

by Marte Røyeng

This post originally appeared on Howlround, and is being posted under a under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License(CC BY 4.0). You can find the original post here: http://howlround.com/out-of-sight-not-out-of-mind-hearing-the-voices-of-the-future

This week on HowlRound, we are exploring Theatre in the Age of Climate Change. How does our work reflect on, and respond to, the challenges brought on by a warming climate? How can we participate in the global conversation about what the future should look like, and do so in a way that is both inspiring and artistically rewarding? I met Norwegian composer Marte Røyeng in Oslo after reading an articlein The Foreigner about her company’s work with school children, using musical theatre to explore issues of sustainability. Subsequently, I discovered Marte’s own beautiful and haunting climate change songs. —Chantal Bilodeau

When I was little and heard the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, I imagined hearing ghosts—muted wailing from hidden voices. I wondered about the children lured away by the Pied Piper into the depths of a mountain: Wouldn’t they still be alive, only out of sight? Who would care for them?

It’s an unsettling story. It ends with an entire town’s children disappearing. Their parents refuse to pay the Piper for ridding the town of rats, and for this they receive the worst possible punishment—sons and daughters are taken away in the night, never to return.

Hardly a nice ending for a family musical.

But it is a great story for a family musical addressing sustainability. By taking away the children, the Pied Piper essentially robs the town of its entire future.

In the spring of 2012, the Oslo-based group Scenelusa Productions premiered a brand new musical, Rottefangeren (The Rat Catcher). It explores how a community responds to difficult changes, eventually overcomes greed, and realizes what’s truly valuable.

The Project
Six months earlier, Scenelusa Productions—which consists of Mari Andersen, Anna Stenersen, and me—was taken aback by the number of young people turning up to audition. We selected a group with as much diversity as possible in terms of age (ranging from seven to fifteen), stage experience (many having none), culture, and background.

An athletic girl played a poor boy called Limper, the greedy and manipulative mayor was portrayed by a teenage girl with an arresting voice, and the enigmatic Pied Piper was played by a boy with an air of patient determination. The rest of the ensemble embodied the eclectic “townspeople,” with different quirks and qualities.

In a sense, the group formed a “town” in real life too, creating an overlap between the message of the play and the social goals of the project. Each person was an important part of something bigger, with the responsibility of making rehearsals a safe place to grow and develop.

So here they were, forty young kids and teenagers with their own experiences, values, and moral views coloring their perception of what they were doing. They were to perform a musical about the nature of poverty, envy, secrecy, and greed. Handing out the script, we wondered if the message inside it would resonate with them at all.

The whole idea of building a sustainable world would have to come throughthem, on their own terms, as young people growing up in a country where most of their peers have plenty, and where poverty, climate change, or any other dark global issue is not exactly visible inside the frame of their daily lives. What would strike a chord in them?

Outsiders and Insiders
In the musical, we see how the rat problem—a furry natural disaster—not only disrupts the well-ordered town life, but also reveals a cemented mindset among its people. The townspeople do not generously invite others into their community. Borders are drawn and strangers are treated differently. Even inside their community, there are outsiders—the town’s poor people. The calculating mayor fears the Pied Piper’s magic flute, and fosters an ungenerous atmosphere. Ridiculing the idea of magic, he makes sure that people distrust the stranger instead of questioning his own lack of solutions.

Limper is an outsider. He knows he has less and wonders why it matters. Limper’s story questions why having is considered the norm, and not having earns you a different treatment.

In one scene, the kids gang up on Limper and bully him because of his bad leg, singing over sharp-edged chords that there’s “no need to try/you’ll never make the climb anyway.” They push, kick, punch, and bring him down. Audience members commented that it was difficult to watch—almost real. There was a similar reaction to the scene where the townspeople rally to hunt down the Pied Piper, waving sticks in the air, promising to hit hard. This, along with a later scene when parents are mourning the lost children, seemed to clearly engage our audience.

Against the gloomy backdrop of climate change, young people have every reason to be angry or sad. It seems crucial to invite youth to engage with their world, to react openly by creating something powerful for others to witness.

Limper sings: “You have a spark inside you/waiting to show itself.” Everyone has the potential to matter. It’s a message we can’t tell young people enough—and with the musical, we wanted them not just to hear it, but to feel it.

Digging Deeper
Forty young actors singing on stage ask their audience:

Who’s on the inside?/Who is part of “we?”/ Where is the border—is it a line around our homes? Or is it wider like ripples on the water? Does this “we” get to shut the rest of the world out? Because where does that leave us in the end?

There’s a need for those who can dig deeply to find the root of the problem.

Limper and the Pied Piper show the town that the solution is not simply to get rid of rats, but to become more generous. For their future to be sustainable, people will need to look further than their doorstep. They have to consider the voices of the invisible, counting those who are far away and out of sight.

Limper’s morality makes him set out to rescue the other children, regardless of how badly they treated him. They are part of his world, and so what hurts them hurts him too.

The musical does get a nice, happy ending. The Pied Piper returns the children when the town finally realizes what matters most.

But for the young people on stage, what was important about all of this? What holds value to them, in their reality?

My guess: To have someone pay attention. And listen.

All photos by Ilan Kelman

Walking The Awkwardly Heroic Yet Often Depressing Path of Near Impossible Catastrophe Evasion Through Kick-Ass Poetics

by Elizabeth Doud

This post originally appeared on Howlround, and is being posted under a under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License(CC BY 4.0). You can find the original post here: http://howlround.com/walking-the-awkwardly-heroic-yet-often-depressing-path-of-near-impossible-catastrophe-evasion

This week on HowlRound, we are exploring Theatre in the Age of Climate Change. How does our work reflect on, and responds to, the challenges brought on by a warming climate? How can we participate in the global conversation about what the future should look like, and do so in a way that is both inspiring and artistically rewarding? Florida-based performance artist Elizabeth Doud, with whom I co-moderated the panel Climate, Action and Cultural Collaboration at the Cultural Mobility Symposium & Conference in January (Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, New York), discusses the role of artists as activists, the need to infuse climate change work with poetics, and having the courage to put ourselves out there for the love of our planet.—Chantal Bilodeau

I am an out post-post-modern tree-hugging vigilante mermaid and cultural industries agent, and a citizen of the Kickasspora: A new territory of systems change and fused multiplicities where art is not a luxury, but a necessary tool that we wield in a larger project of remembering, witnessing, reimagining, and celebrating a radical insurgency of love and reverence for this amazing planet we like to call home. No, I’m serious. It’s not as touchy-feely as it sounds. It’s actually slogging, tough, and paradoxical work that is not for the queasy.

The climate movement is so complex that it needs to be poetic to affect change in consciousness, and penetrate the depths of our seemingly impossible current paradigm—and shake it up. Artists who relentlessly create images, texts, operas, music, performances, and films about this issue are infiltrating into spaces that many activist campaigns and government advisories can’t reach. We have the tools to hypnotize and beautifully permeate a subconscious. We break hearts and incite laughter one-on-one in intimate spaces of image and visceral transference. We make rituals, and allow communities to witness new propositions with an emotional vulnerability that unites us in our humanity, and in our greater universal connectedness.

The Mermaid Tear Factory, photo by Afonso Santana.

The Mermaid Tear Factory, photo by Afonso Santana.

It is one of the best things we do as a species. Our ability to construct new realities, which shift souls, spark revolutions, and appeal to our higher order inter-relatedness is so perfect for handling a crisis of this magnitude, that it has to play a role in doing what our governments and industries have failed to do.

Making theatre in the Age of Climate Change or the Age of the Anthropocene, or dead smack in the middle of what writer Elizabeth Kolbert eloquently unpacks as the Sixth Extinction, is what I like to call the radical practice of walking the awkwardly heroic path of near impossible catastrophe evasion through poetics. And it is, I think, one of the hardest jobs out there today.

As a multi-disciplinary performing artist, I instinctively shifted towards making work about the larger meta-story of the climate crisis about eight years ago, interested in how vast and complex the micro-narratives and metaphors were. How extremely real and urgent they felt—and still feel—with tentacles reaching into all areas of the human and non-human experience. I’ll simply never run out of story…oh, and I live in Florida. ’Nuff said.

The Mermaid Tear Factory, photo by Giovanni Luquini.

The Mermaid Tear Factory, photo by Giovanni Luquini.

A brief context of our climate change sitch-y-a-shun and the small problem of extinction:

Human societies are facing the unprecedented challenges of climate change and the subsequent environmental collapse caused by the extraction of resources from the earth, and the rampant processing and consumption of these resources. Communities, industries, cultures, and governments around the world are facing these challenges with responses ranging from urgent pro-activity (the minority) to mild or complete denial (the majority). This crisis has been precipitated by the industrialized systems of capitalism, underpinned by fundamentalist ideologies of a globalized free market and rising neo-liberalism. There is an international policy debate on the best ideological path we must take to avoid total extinction, but the overwhelmingly in agreement global scientific research community says we have no more time for discussions. The only solution is a drastic contraction of resource consumption, and total reformation of the systems that encourage and support this consumption. Because the anticipated consequences of the collapse of our economies, societies, and the biosphere in general are so violent, we can postulate that this crisis will test our moral character as nothing before in history. There is a lack of understanding of this massive danger in the human population and less willingness than ever to take action on the part of governments and industries. Naomi Klein has written brilliantly about this in her latest book This Changes Everything: Climate Versus Capitalism. This is why when we refer to climate change’s causes, we are really pointing to deeply damaged political, economic, and social systems, which need to undergo urgent and radical structural reworking in order to stave off the devastating climate shifts underway.

So, I know exactly why I want to be making this work, yet I feel a tension between wanting to create specific stories for my admittedly limited audiences, and feeling the need to leverage my craft for bigger moves in service of the climate—and even larger systems—change movement. I am asking all of my friends, colleagues, and artists I know and meet the following questions:

  • What role should artists play to fill this gap in action?
  • How can artists create performances/narratives about the climate crisis with a sense of urgency and act efficiently and poetically?

In several informal micro-summits of artmakers and organizers, a series of compelling sub-questions have surfaced, which I think provoke valuable reflection and guidance in our process of making theatre in this context.

  • How can we transform the emergencies caused by what author Rob Nixonterms as slow violence into narratives and theatrical experiences dramatic enough to arouse public sentiment and ensure socio-political intervention? His thesis is that our spectacle-driven attention span has programmed us to overlook and undervalue slower moving impacts so that we are not reacting to the devastating threats of the climate crisis with the urgency they deserve.
  • What is the role of “hope” in the poetics of this issue, and how can we look at it critically as a tool of philosophical manipulation and a needed dramaturgical mechanism? Is hope what we need, or should we replace it with creative intention?
  • How can we produce work that has an impact with varied global/local tensions and meet those needs working in collaboration with affected communities?

Besides a low-grade dystopian reverie about the power of arts in the larger climate movement, there are some key points to consider so that we better grasp the myriad complexities and impossibilities that inevitably emerge in the process:

➢ Any artistic theme that speaks of the climate crisis or the area of environmental justice is glocal or lobal (Local and Global) by definition.

This is often distracting for narrative makers as we focus on a local story. We might be addressing the plastics pollution on an island in northeastern Brazil and the death of the local fisheries, but also know that the planet’s oceans are choked with garbage gyres that overshadow, in terms of magnitude, the less-visible, or not-so-news-worthy litter on a local beach. From a dramaturgical standpoint, telling the massive global story is not as interesting as the local story—it’s vaguer, slower, and has way too many players to have emotional connectivity—but it’s inextricably connected to our local narrative, and can, if we are crafty, emerge through our careful telling of specific local issues.

➢ Any culture project involving a study of the climate crisis or the area of sustainability in the environment is interdisciplinary by definition.

The trans-multi-intra triad isn’t new to contemporary artmaking, so the idea of bringing other disciplines into our creative milieu is by no means revolutionary. However, many artists making theatre about climate change engage with scientists and other non-arts sector researchers to create a basis for the work, oftentimes wanting to make it more legitimate and fact-based so audiences will be “edified” and moved somehow by the hard data. This can be a trap as audiences report a feeling of fatigue, and don’t often process hard data emotionally. It’s simply too much for us to digest and act on if there is not an emotionally evocative story to wash it down with.

I have been unpacking these two considerations and using them as constant contextualization prompts for my work. They also allude to, and elucidate, useful concepts of inter-connectivity of systems, which reminds us that this issue cannot be conceived of within current political, social, ideological, or geographic borders, and that we are dependent on the health of the whole for survival—kind of like a theatre ensemble.

By articulating the complex philosophical reflections at the intersection of climate and culture, creating local-global artistic practices, and forming climate culture-action networks, theatremakers already attracted to this type of performance practice will be better able to express these radical and necessary poetics. I have initiated two projects: Climakaze Miami, which is a platform to create networks that expand my tribe of collaborators regionally and globally, and The Mermaid Tear Factory, a performance project which focuses on a specific local catastrophe that needs to be witnessed, unpacked, and processed by the community. It feels like a way to straddle this new territory.

A colleague of mine recently made a statement to me about one of the core operating principles of his organizing and artmaking. He called it outness. He said that he recognizes outness as a point of departure for every action he takes. He is involved with queer activism, primarily, so the semantics have a particular cultural and political reference: to be “out-of the-closet” fully so as to dilute the repression of silence, and our default conduct of remaining hidden in order to avoid confronting denial and/or being discriminated against.

The Mermaid Tear Factory, photo by Giovanni Luquini.

The Mermaid Tear Factory, photo by Giovanni Luquini.

I wanted to adopt this term for my positioning in the work with culture and the climate. Outness in this kind of performance means really digging down and getting clear on what is at stake. We can pick a really late-breaking climate issue for its shock factor, or ride the wave of a certain hipness associated with the breaking politics of the climate movement, but unless we really bare our souls, and confess that these are some of the most heartbreaking and powerful love stories we will ever tell, we won’t be tapping our super powers in the best service of this artmaking. We need to be able to say that we are doing this for the love of our miraculous planet, and not feel dorky-hippy about it. We need to be fully out tree-hugging whale-saving theatremakers with the wit and wordsmithery of Beckett and the political savvy of Boal.

I am advocating for a relentless climate outness. Not that we should trump other important, sometimes cleverly labeled “special interests” in favor of the often perceived privileged environmental paradigm shift we are seeking. But we should gently, yet persistently, remind ourselves and others that correcting what has led us to this point of climate collapse will get to the root of economic and social injustices kept in place by the marginalization of oppressed factions and ecologies.

I am hereby an out, zero-waste wanting, po-po-mo treehugging vigilante mermaid theatremaker, and I’m not too cool to say it. I encourage artists and other citizens to mount creative demonstrations that examine this emergency in any way possible. Because we are dealing with the highest level of catastrophe I have been witness to in my lifetime, I’m not afraid to say that I believe it is art’s role to sound the siren call to action. Let’s do this.

 

Where Is The Hope?

by Jeremy Pickard

This post originally appeared on Howlround, and is being posted under a under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License(CC BY 4.0). You can find the original post here: http://howlround.com/where-is-the-hope

This week on HowlRound, we are exploring Theatre in the Age of Climate Change. How does our work reflect on, and respond to, the challenges brought on by a warming climate? How can we participate in the global conversation about what the future should look like, and do so in a way that is both inspiring and artistically rewarding? Director Jeremy Pickard leads one of the few theatre companies in the US entirely dedicated to eco-theatre. His educational program, Big Green Theater, created in partnership with the Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn, New York, is featured in this month’s American Theatre Magazine. —Chantal Bilodeau

Yes, information is necessary; many people still do not know or accept the facts about climate change. Yes, empathy is necessary; through compelling characters and stories, we offer essential alternative perspectives.

But in the face of global catastrophe, hope is key to positive change—real, tangible hope that empowers people to come together rather than burden them with weariness. Locating, communicating, and celebrating this sort of hope while making art on a topic as daunting as climate change is incredibly difficult, but without it, we risk passively holding a mirror up to nature instead of using the mirror to start a fire.

My work focuses entirely on eco-theatre. With my company, Superhero Clubhouse, I take a holistic approach to theatremaking where content, process, and production are connected to complex environmental problems. Our long-term project is a series of nine Planet Plays that examine the world in the context of climate change. Independently, the plays probe specific topics such as waste, water, and food, but when put together they form a new mythology for our changing world. Like all of Superhero Clubhouse’s eco-theatre initiatives, we construct the Planet Plays using three essential tools: impossible questions, limitations, and hope.

Early in the process of making an eco-play, after a dose of research, my collaborators and I generate an “impossible question”—one that is extremely difficult to answer, even for an environmental expert. For example, in EARTH (a play about people), our question is, “Should we have children?” This is a question that sparks a provocative conversation about overpopulation, but is impossible to definitively answer personally or communally. Allowing the question to be “impossible” steers my collaborators and me clear of didacticism and oversimplifications of science, and also leaves room for audiences to grapple with an environmental issue on their own terms.

EARTH (a play about people), with actors Dan Lawrence and Adam H. Weinert. Photo by Jill Steinberg.

EARTH (a play about people), with actors Dan Lawrence and Adam H. Weinert. Photo by Jill Steinberg.

After forming our impossible question, we place temporal, narrative, physical, and scenic limitations upon ourselves. For example, in our first-draft production of MARS (a play about mining), we told an epic story that spanned years and planets in a tight seventy-five minutes, in a LEED-certified performance space with nothing onstage but bodies and voices. These limitations were directly tied to the play’s content and question, which were inspired by the history of Appalachian coal mining. Creatively pushing up against boundaries is nothing new; it’s how most independent theatre artists make work, especially when confronting a small budget. But by re-appropriating the word “limitation” and using it in an environmental context, we are also experimenting with how people might use and respect precious resources in the world at large.

MARS (a play about mining). Photo by Brian Hashimoto.

MARS (a play about mining). Photo by Brian Hashimoto.

It is the third tenet of eco-theatre— hope—that is perhaps the most challenging part of our process. In the early years of Superhero Clubhouse, I often fell prey to the feeling of outrage as I learned the extent of climate change; thus, many early drafts of Planet Plays spiraled into despair. Now that I have replaced outrage with a more comprehensive understanding of climate change, I am determined to find hope in every project, and to make the hope present, active, and universal.

We are currently in the midst of creating JUPITER (a play about power), a duet inspired by Frankenstein and energy policy. JUPITER‘s protagonist is a young tycoon who overhauls the entire energy system on Earth before retreating to the planet Jupiter. His enforced vision promises to halt climate change, but demands costly sacrifices from all citizens.

We have formed an impossible question: “Should we impose radical societal change for the greater good?” And we have instituted several limitations: sixty-minute run-time, only two performers, only acoustic instruments, and (eventually) an entirely self-sustaining lighting design.

But as we develop our script and story, it is proving difficult to pinpoint the hope. Our protagonist needs humanity to succeed by pulling itself up by its bootstraps; but as the artists, in order to honor our impossible question, we need audiences to be left wondering whether or not—and to what extent—imposed environmental action is effective and ethical. Therefore, we need the character to fail, offering both sides of the power coin: positive progress vs. playing god.

Having an environmental policy expert as a creative collaborator helps our process by way of devil’s advocating. Jonathan Camuzeaux, who works at Environmental Defense Fund by day and as a musician by night, is stalwart when it comes to our environmental dramaturgy. As ideas snowball, Jonathan keeps us tethered to the facts. Because he is an expert in examining systems of change, and understands cause and effect at an economic and political level, he is not satisfied with simple solutions. He holds a global perspective on humanity that is neither fatalistic nor naive.

In all of our work, collaborating with environmental experts is a priority, and I find it helps with identifying real hope. Where I am an idealist, scientists are pragmatic, and often objective enough to challenge my ideas on the basis of research. Though it’s probably far from a “peer review,” the feedback I receive from my environmental collaborators is both challenging and constructive. Their ideas focus on how a shift in story or staging might better allow our impossible question to highlight a real-world conundrum, rather than how we can better sentimentalize the situation. I know few climate scientists who spend their grant money wallowing in despair; their presence in our process reminds us that to be curious is to be hopeful, and that our job is just to keep asking questions.

One big hope lies in humanity embracing the fact that the future is going to be rough. Theatre, if we choose to let it, can offer a safe place for communities to confront this truth, and to talk about climate change not as a bleak apocalypse but as a catalyst for the construction of a better world.

Green Arts Initiative Member Wins 2015 Scottish Civic Trust My Place Award

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The award is supported by the Scottish government and recognises projects that show good local design, conservation, placemaking and civic pride.

The judges of the award had glowing reviews for the North Edinburgh Grows project, touching on the inspiring nature of the project and its devotion to the community:

“The North Edinburgh Grows project is both inspiring and humbling.  In the face of many challenges the designers, client and local community have transformed an unloved bit of land into a remarkable resource for local residents and visitors.   It is exactly the sort of project which the My Place Awards were set up to acknowledge – inventive, playful, life-enhancing and civic-minded.  It is a worth winner.”

Our October 2014 Green Tease introduced the North Edinburgh Grows project to Green Tease members. During this gathering, we heard about the development of the project from North Edinburgh Arts director Kate Wimpress. We also discussed the role of artists within the garden space with the current artist-in-residence Natalie Taylor. The North Edinburgh Grows project clearly captures the imagination and interest of locals, both young and old, who can become involved with the project by growing their own food, contributing to garden maintenance, or participating in one of Natalie’s many projects.

The winners of the 2015 My Place Awards are being exhibited at The Lighthouse (Glasgow) until 6th May 2015.

More information about the award and North Edinburgh Arts’ accomplishment can be read at the My Place Awards website.

North Edinburgh Arts is a member of the Green Arts Initiative, a simple accreditation scheme designed to give venues and organisations the advice, support and tools they need to become greener and let audiences and the public know what they are doing. Join the growing number of arts organisations working towards a more sustainable Scotland and become a member of the Green Arts Initiative in 2015!


Image: North Edinburgh Grows, courtesy Katie Fulton photography

 

The post Green Arts Initiative Member Wins 2015 Scottish Civic Trust My Place Award appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

The Nature of Positive

BY TANJA BEER

This post originally appeared on Howlround, and is being posted under a under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License(CC BY 4.0). You can find the original post here: http://howlround.com/the-nature-of-positive

This week on HowlRound, we are exploring Theatre in the Age of Climate Change. How does our work reflect on, and respond to, the challenges brought on by a warming climate? How can we participate in the global conversation about what the future should look like, and do so in a way that is both inspiring and artistically rewarding? I met Australian scenic designer Tanja Beer at the York University conference Staging Sustainability: People, Planet, Profit, Performance in 2014. I asked her to tell us about The Living Stage project. —Chantal Bilodeau

Climate change. Oil spills. Plastic islands. Deforestation. They await us every day in the information age. Images of violent storms and deadly droughts appear nightly on our news screens, and flicker past on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Designed as a call to arms, a figurative stick to whip us into action, all too often this tsunami of information does the opposite. As the mental scar tissue grows over, we wonder what on earth we can do under the colossal weight of the problem. Perversely, we can easily find ourselves debilitated by the very thing that is intended to propel us forward.

Now, don’t get me wrong—with the scale of environmental concerns confronting us, we need the reality check. But we also need to be empowered. We need a vision of the future that acknowledges the challenges and constraints, but focuses on the opportunities for change and strives for positive legacies. We need a vision that reignites the passion and gives us hope.

As a stage designer investigating ecological design for performance, it is the very idea of contributing to the world that motivates and inspires me. I want to do more than recycle a set here or a costume there. Instead, my focus is on the potential of creativity as a resource for sustainable practice—on how the impacts on our environment might be seen as opportunities rather than constraints. Recycling and efficiency are at the core of sustainable design, but I want to explore a more hopeful paradigm. One that asks, “Can we create designs that not only enrich our audience, but our community and environment as well?”

In 2012, I used this question as a starting point to test new ideas around sustainability for the performing arts, via the 2013 Castlemaine State Festival in Victoria, Australia. Under the title The Living Stage, our project combined stage design, permaculture, and community engagement to create a recyclable, biodegradable, and edible performance space. Part experiment, part theatre, part garden and part food growing demonstration, The Living Stage featured portable garden beds, each culturing edible plants. The structure was created by the rural community of Castlemaine, guided by local permaculturalists Hamish MacCallum and Sas Allardice, with me as stage designer and project leader. It acted as both a venue and inspiration for a number of local performance groups, whose task was to create experimental works that drew on the concept of regeneration and interact with the unique design that surrounded them.

Tanja Beer's The Living Stage with performer Penny Baron climbing up the apple crate walls.

Tanja Beer’s The Living Stage with performer Penny Baron climbing up the apple crate walls.

The aim of the collaborative and hands-on nature of The Living Stage was to encourage people to take action in building thriving and resilient communities, and to demonstrate to our audiences that a sustainable future is not only possible, but also an incredibly exciting prospect. We sought design processes that were capable of creating “positive legacies” for both the community and the environment. The Living Stage connected local people to living processes through permaculture, collective practice, celebration, and performance. At the end of the festival, the community consumed The Living Stage; its physical structures became their garden beds, its plants became their food, and its waste became their compost.

Almost two years after we planted the first seeds of The Living Stage, there is still an abundance of collective activities around food growing in Castlemaine. After the festival, the portable garden beds were donated to local community groups to facilitate food growing projects in otherwise underutilized spaces. The town’s edible gardens have continued to flourish, growing in size and productivity, helping to nurture local food systems, funding opportunities and connections—a testament to the local community who has continued to extend and surpass the legacy of The Living Stage far beyond the structure itself.

Mixed-ability group CreateAbility and physical theatre group Born in a Taxi interacting with the structure and greenery of the stage.

Mixed-ability group CreateAbility and physical theatre group Born in a Taxi interacting with the structure and greenery of the stage.

The Living Stage was a steep learning curve in designing with nature. As the project progressed, I became acutely aware of the need to work in synchronicity with nature’s processes. Integral to this understanding was the (sometimes harsh) realization that nature could not be negotiated with, hurried, or slowed down. Instead, I had to find ways to adapt my design to local conditions and unreliable sources, such as extreme climatic conditions or nutrient-poor soil. While this seemed tedious at first, it soon became one of the most exciting aspects of the project. Working in tune with living systems allowed me to become more in touch with the local ecology and climate; to experience the environment not as something to tame or control, but rather as an extension of myself. Plants have a way of bringing us—if you’ll pardon the pun—back down to earth. By growing things I learned to slow down, to test the moisture of the soil, welcome the presence of bees, and rejoice in the promise of rain.

Since making its debut at the 2013 Castlemaine State Festival, The Living Stageconcept has travelled to Cardiff (UK) as the Trans-Plantable Living Room, and continues to generate interest and inspire other projects around the world, like in Allegheny, PA, and in Glasgow, Scotland. New creative teams have emerged, taking local ecological ideas to engage communities and create positive legacies. Each project is unique, but they share clear commonalities: the celebration of multisensory elements, effective and multi-level engagement with audiences, and a legacy that exceeds the celebration of the project through performance.

The Trans-Plantable Living Room was grown, built, and performed in collaboration with the Riverside Community Garden Project with Sam Holt, Rosie leach, Lisa Woynarski, Bronwyn Preece, and Megan Moe Beitiks. 

The Trans-Plantable Living Room was grown, built, and performed in collaboration with the Riverside Community Garden Project with Sam Holt, Rosie leach, Lisa Woynarski, Bronwyn Preece, and Megan Moe Beitiks.

The Living Stage seeks to demonstrate the potential of reframing sustainability as a creative process, which is capable of generating positive and far-reaching rewards. The concept of positive legacies centers on the idea that we are not only responsible for the consequences of our actions, but also for the general health and well-being of the environment of which we are part of. Climate change has reminded us of the fragility of nature, and what we stand to lose if we disconnect from the environment that nurtures and supports us. It has also provided us with the opportunity to embark on a new course—to reimagine and cultivate stronger relationships with communities, ecosystems, and our future. Collectively, we can make it happen. And what an inspiring journey it will be.

Photos 1 and 2 by Gisela Beer.
Photo 3 by Valeria Pacchiani
Castlemaine video by Sam Hoffmann.
Cardiff video by Rabab Ghazoul.