Yearly Archives: 2015

50 Shades of Green Conference Tickets Now Available!

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

We are excited to announce that tickets are now available for 50 Shades of Green: Stories of Sustainability in the Arts Sector!

Taking place on 6 October 2015 at the Pearce Institute in Glasgow, Creative Carbon Scotland’s first annual conference will be the first time those working to green the nation’s arts organisations will come together to exchange knowledge, learn of fresh ideas and make new connections to aid their sustainability activities.

The conference will hear from Scottish green champions from across the arts sector, with themes including carbon reduction, carbon reporting, promoting engagement with sustainability to stakeholders, interesting sustainability successes, and technology and projects to support sustainable activities.

Click here to download a guide agenda for the conference.

To find out more, and to book your space, visit our 50 Shades of Green event page.


The 50 Shades of Green conference is just one way that Creative Carbon Scotland supports arts organisations to reduce their environmental impact and address sustainability. We also host various training opportunities around carbon reduction and reporting – particularly with regards to environmental reporting for Creative Scotland- and we run the Green Arts Initiative: an interactive community of practice that helps arts organisations take action and talk about the green work they’re doing.

The post 50 Shades of Green Conference Tickets Now Available! 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

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#GreenFests: Embrace your creativity and improve your life?

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Will Gompertz, former director of Tate Media and current Arts Editor at the BBC, this week gave a highly entertaining and engaging talk at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Having spent his career working with artists he has come to appreciate not just the quality of the work they produce, but the value of the underlying creative process itself. In fact, the embracing of this process, he argued, will be a defining feature of the 21st century.

In the 20th century we saw machines take over from brawn. The amount of manual labour required, at least in the developed world, dropped as more and more jobs were mechanised. In the 21st century, they’re likely to take over from brain. Jobs that we previously thought were safe will no longer be so. This is already happening. For example, much of the stock market is now bought and sold by computers instead of human stockbrokers. The Digital Revolution is upon us, whether we like it or not, and we are going to have to adapt.

Life in the digital age is going to be defined by creativity. As the Industrial Revolution led to the development of the middle classes, the Digital Revolution is going to produce a creative class. This is because computers, for all their many merits, are not capable of doing everything that humanity can. Most notably, they do not have imagination, nor the ability to realise the ideas therein. That is our domain.

Do not despair if you are reading this and thinking ‘But I’m not creative’. Two audience members who were having this thought were pulled on stage by Gompertz who demonstrated, through a little story-telling exercise, that that’s simply not true. The human brain is incredibly creative. The psychiatrist Albert Rothenberg, who has spent his life studying the creative process in literature, art, and science, argues that creativity lies simply in cramming two ideas together and discovering where they join. Hence a new idea is born.

Fountain

Nobody is saying, I hasten to add, that the creative process is an easy one or indeed a pleasant one. Most writers fear the blank page; most painters despair at the blank canvas. Being creative is hard, and yet it is something that we are all capable of doing. There was a shift in the 20th century such that anything could be art (e.g. Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain on the right). In the 21st century, anyone can be an artist.

What does Gompertz mean by this? He avoided the sticky quagmire of attempting to define art or artists. Rather, he used his vast experience of working with creatives to identify those characteristics that they share, by virtue of which they are able to produce art. It these characteristics that will define the creative class; it the embracing of these characteristics that could improve your life.

First, artists are curious. They ask questions, explore the periphery of our knowledge and push the limits of what we perceive. This curiosity, this eagerness to learn more, leads them to become experts in their fields. This, in turn, enables them to be creative within these fields. Knowledge fuels the creative process.

AbaramovicSecond, artists are sincere; they are serious about the work they produce. For it is their sincerity that makes their work authentic. Take, for example, the work of performance artist Marina Abramović. In 2010, Abramović performed a piece called ‘The Artist is Present’ at New York’s MoMA (see left), in which she sat on one side of a table opposite anyone who wished to engage in silent eye contact with her, for as long as they desired.

This piece only worked – it was only art – because she was sincere about it.

Next, artists break the rules. It’s only natural that their curiosity will extend to why the rules are the way they are; it’s almost impossible to push limits without ever crossing the line. We live in a society where rule-breaking is frowned upon to say the least, but we should be encouraging it. Especially in the arts. Take Shakespeare, for example. Shakespeare was the rule-breaker in chief, inventing over 3000 words that are now in common parlance. His willingness to play with the English language, to break the rules, has left it far richer as a result.

the kis

Artists don’t fail. Indeed, there is no such thing as failure. Failure is a temporal and subjective concept. Gompertz used Bridget Riley to illustrate this point. Having showed a huge amount of artistic promise as a teenager, Riley found herself in her early thirties not producing art of note. Her work was not the ground-breaking art that people had expected from her and she was considered a failure by most, including herself. That is until she was dumped. Furious at her former-lover, Riley painted a canvas black intending to send it to him. However, seeing that it still lacked something, she added a thin white line across the middle (creating two forms where before there was one) and a curved line to boot. The Kiss was born (see right) – a career launching piece.

Finally, artists solve problems. Their curiosity, sincerity, rebellion and inability to fail are all key to finding and developing solutions to some of the world’s most critical issues. Gompertz gave the examples of terrorism, migration, and climate change to name but a few. It is the belief that artists will be pivotal in solving these problems that lies at the heart of Creative Carbon Scotland. Our focus is mainly on climate change, where we are working directly on the link between art and sustainability and trying to encourage artists to engage with these issues, both in the content of their work and the nature of their practice.

To this end, we run the Green Arts Initiative, a community of practice which supports Scottish arts organisations to be at the forefront of growing an environmentally sustainable Scotland, and run monthly Green Tease events in Edinburgh and Glasgow to provide a forum for artists and sustainability folk. We are also running a project this November called ArtCOP where we are encouraging artists across Scotland to produce work in response to the critical climate change negotiations that will be happening in Paris at the time (see here to learn more about the significance of these talks). This is because we, like Will Gompertz, believe that creativity will be essential when solving modern problems and in changing the way that we live; that by embracing our creativity we truly can improve our lives.

To find out more about Will Gompertz’s arguments check out his new book ‘Thinking Like an Artist’.

Top image courtesy of the Evening Standard. 

The post #GreenFests: Embrace your creativity and improve your life? 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

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#GreenFests: FSPA Shortlist Diary No.3

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Reviewing has ended and we now have a chance to reflect on the 21 shows we have seen over the past 3 weeks. This week our reviewers caught the final 6 shortlisted shows.

For more information on all of the 21 shortlisted Fringe shows, click here.

For details on the upcoming Fringe Sustainable Practice Awards Ceremony, check out our event page here. Come along and help us celebrate sustainability in the arts at its best, in the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

 

Maiden 2Friday 21st 7.35pm: Maiden: A Recycled Fairy Tail

Maiden: A Recycled Fairytale is not, as some might expect, about recycling. Rather it takes various tropes of fairytales and arranges them into a new tale – literary recycling tales. A natural theme flows throughout, from the beautiful garden to commemorate a lost mother, to the Maiden with the rose on her forehead, to the delicious cherries in the orchard on the top of the hill. In a set constructed entirely of found, second-hand and recycled materials, 3 Bugs Theatre conjure an environment far from their central Edinburgh location. Like all good fairytales however, there is a great deal of darkness and despair to remind us that, despite mark upon the Maiden’s face, life isn’t all rosy.

 

Current Location 1Saturday 22nd 12.30pm: Current Location

Current Location is an adaptation of an original Japanese text by Toshiki Okada which responds to the Fukushima nuclear disaster to a piece about climate change. The story is told through an all female cast and while some of the girls challenge climate change, others refuse to even acknowledge it—brushing it off as just a rumour.

Current Location uses minimal production aspects and responds to their venue space. Instead of altering Summerhall’s dissection room to fit their piece, they have adjusted their piece for the room and have taken advantage of the natural light from the large windows to reduce their energy consumption.

 

The Assembly of AnimalsSunday 23rd 2.30pm: The Assembly of Animals

This surrealist piece of performance art manages to keep its young audience entertained despite the performers never uttering a word. Rather, they let the visual and sound effects do the talking as we watched a creature being developed in a darkened laboratory setting – strange machines whirring and emitting puffs of smoke, neon tubes giving the stage an eerie glow. One minute we’re focusing on how a tiny version of the creature’s skeleton move, before being startled by a looming giant creature that had slowly inflated, exploiting our distraction. The Assembly of Animals is a delightful and surreal show about the creation of a creature, full of technical and creepy wizardry.

 

Green Poems 3Monday 24th 11.15am: Green Poems for a Blue Planet 

Martin Kiszko addresses an array of sustainability issues in his entertaining stand-up performance poetry. Green Poems for a Blue Planet ranges from how to travel round the world sustainably to poo-powered busses, and from a lost hedgehog to solar di da neighbours. In addition to the amusing content of the poems the stand-up performance is supported by an array of comical illustrations, drawn by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park.

The show will made you chuckle, explore your geographic knowledge, test your rhyming skills and make you rethink about your own actions and involvement in sustainability.

 

atomkraft9.00pm: AtomKraft 

AtomKraft directly proposes to its audience the following question, “would you accept a nuclear power station in the centre of your city in return for free electricity for 50     years?” The show encourages its audience to question this proposition and then subsequently utilises audience participation to set the tone of the piece, creating a conference like style environment.

This show highlights the dichotomy that underpins nuclear power and the current debates that exists around it. Ultimately the show address power relationships, the responsibility we feel for the world around us, and what happens when society does not ask enough questions. AtomKraft, though bizarre at points, is definitely what you would call a thought provoking performance incorporating song, discussion and theatre.

 

Geology Walk 1Thursday 27th 2.00pm: Celebrating Edinburgh’s Traditional Buildings: Calton Hill Geology Walk

Emily Tracey, of the British Geological Survey, guides this lovely tour through both the natural and built heritage of the city. Though situated on Calton Hill the tour does not limit itself to this exact location, rather this vantage point is used to transport attendees around Edinburgh from 300 million years ago back to the present day.

The tour was an insight into the natural building materials used in our city, the craftsman ship that is required to work and restore these materials, and both the social and industrial issues that arise out of the closures of local quarries. Ultimately, the tour emphasized the importance of a sense of place and how this comes down to the surrounding geology of an area, such that the Edinburgh sense of place can be put down to the local sandstones.

 

Remember, tomorrow is the day we announce the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award winner! If you cannot make the awards ceremony in Fringe Central 1 from 4 – 5pm then be sure to follow us on Twitter and check our Facebook page for live updates from the event.


Image, Brown Linen Lace Coptic Journal, courticy of Samandra Vieira

 

The post #GreenFests: FSPA Shortlist Diary No.3 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

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Does anyone know Professor Paul Younger? Pt. 2

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Professor Paul Younger invited me to meet him in his office at the University of Glasgow after he found the blog post. We had exchanged some emails resulting from the sequence of events triggered by 350.org’s ‘Do The Math’ and the wider divestment campaign.

We discussed the reasons for the letter to The Guardian (of which Prof Younger was a co-signatory) challenging the University of Glasgow’s recently announced commitment to divestment from investments in the fossil fuel industry. From what I understand this was at least in part driven by the University’s decision to make the commitment on the basis of the student petition without recourse to any advice from the Schools or Departments which have expertise in the subject.

Prof Younger’s response to the Do The Math poster was that he agreed with all of it, apart from where on the right hand side it says, “we have the tools that we need.”

Detail of Do The Math by Rachel Schragis

Detail of Do The Math by Rachel Schragis

Although we see a lot of wind farms and increasing numbers of domestic rooftop solar voltaic installations, electricity is only a relatively small part of the fossil fuel generated energy we use. Further these forms of renewables provide neither baseload nor dispatchable capacity to the grid as it is currently configured ie they create more grid management challenges. In addition renewables development is impacting on issues of heating more slowly and on the transportation of goods at an even slower rate.

Asked the question, “How long is now?” I.e. if we are now in this transition process, how long will it take to move to a low carbon economy, Prof. Younger suggested 30 years between areas still requiring innovation such as energy storage, as well as innovations moving through development and commercialisation phases. It would be interesting to understand from his perspective where the key obstacles are and what could speed the process. I can imagine another one of Rachel Schragis’ images visualising the developmental edge, the relationships, the obstacles and the opportunities.

Reflecting on the University’s reaction to the student petition led to an interesting discussion around decision-making in different disciplines. Prof Younger offered a comparison with medicine where policy decisions are not made exclusively in response to petitions. We discussed the relationship between medical research and medical ethics (and perhaps also medical humanities). This prompted the question as to whether such a thing as a Chair in Engineering Ethics should exist? This is distinct from the existing positions focused on ‘the public understanding of…’ just as it is probably distinct from positions focused on sustainability (sustainability is already an iteration of one mode of ethical analysis, utilitarianism, rather than a primary inquiry into the grounds of thinking).

We also discovered that we had a colleague, Lucy Milton, founder director of Helix Arts in Newcastle, in common. Prof Younger had invited Helix Arts to work with him on the Seen & Unseen (1997-99) project developing a bioremediation solution to acidic run-off from mine workings focused on the Quaking Houses settlement in County Durham.

Prof Younger kindly gave me a copy of his recent publication Energy which appears in the All That Matters series. It’s a primer on current issues in energy engineering. He starts with food. It is the form of energy we consume bodily, and our discovery of cooking has increased the energy value of food to us, that most likely being one of the key contributory factors in our social cultural evolution. He doesn’t shy away from the parallel between our overconsumption of food and our equally unconstrained use of other forms of energy. Nor is the book a marketing exercise for the energy industry. Where it might be limited is in its exclusive focus on the technology of energy. The book doesn’t address the financial dimension of energy or particularly on alternative modes of ownership, both ultimately key factors in any transition to a low carbon economy.

I was able to give him copies of two of the Land Art Generator Initiative publications (New York and Copenhagen).

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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Reducing emissions in the screen industry

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

CCS Carbon Reduction Project Manager Fiona MacLennan recently attended a training session on BAFTA’s Albert carbon calculator. Fiona shares thoughts and skills learned from her experiences on this course–

I was recently invited to attend a training session held in the home of BAFTA in London on the BAFTA Albert consortium’s Albert carbon calculator. Albert was developed by a consortium of companies including BAFTA and 9 others in the industry to help TV productions become less carbon intensive. The Albert system allows production teams to make an early assessment, at the pre-production phase, of the probable carbon footprint of the whole lifecycle of a production. The objective is to highlight any areas which are particularly carbon intensive at a stage when changes to production methods are still possible.

We first examined the reasons why it’s important to train the industry in calculating and reducing emissions:

  • Screen is a voice for everyone
  • Screen productions are very energy intensive
  • The screen industry is staffed by freelancers so there is a need to find a common way of working sustainably in the industry which will be adopted by all production companies

We discussed the indicators for climate change and the need to reduce current trends of increasing emissions:

  • The worldwide IT industry has to play its part as it is similar in size to the aviation industry, producing around 2% of global emissions.
  • On average, producing one hour of television produces about 11 tonnes CO2e compared with emissions of about 4.5 tonnes for an average UK home for a year.
  • Making informed choices on major emissions contributors, like generators for external filming/broadcast or travel for artists and production crews, can significantly reduce the overall footprint of a production.

The Albert system provides simple checklists tailored for the most common genres of production. Filling in the checklist allows the production team to create an emissions estimate for the planned production. Questions require information that is easily accessible, such as the number of presenters working on the production and what equipment will be used.

A footprint based on the genre average is calculated by the Albert program and the format is designed to make emissions more understandable to the team.

oneHourInfographic03
When all aspects of the production process are taken into account, programmes which combine filming on location with a studio based element are the most carbon intensive genre (12.4 tonnes CO2e per programme hour) with purely studio based programmes having the lowest average footprint (5 tonnes CO2e per programme hour).

The preproduction estimate of emissions can be used to focus the team on finding ways to reduce emissions for the most carbon intensive activities and equipment.

More efficient lighting, the use of smaller generators and better travel choices have all contributed to typical overall reductions in emissions of 20%.

Changes towards more sustainable practices are likely to result from a number of areas:

  • action by communities and individuals
  • businesses improving processes
  • introduction of new technologies and legislation

One of the major drivers for improvement among companies and business in general is the risk to their reputation if they do nothing to reduce emissions. Audiences expect them to show leadership.

albert_plus_mark_positive_01.inlineTo promote this, the Albert team have produced an accreditation questionnaire (Albert+) which is a means of allowing production companies and suppliers within the screen industry to demonstrate that they are working sustainably.

Questionnaire responses are audited by the Albert team and accreditation is only granted if minimum standards are achieved. The accreditation allows production companies to display the Albert+ logo as part of their credits and this certification is very much valued.

Albert has been endorsed by a number of commissioning companies including Sky and the BBC. Production companies working with Sky have been required to complete the preproduction footprinting process for some years now. Over the last 4 years, 1000 documented footprints have been recorded for a wide variety of production types which have allowed the Albert team to recognise the most carbon intensive activities within broadcasting.

A database of useful case studies is available on Media Greenhouse which describes some of the ways companies have been able to reduce the carbon footprint of their productions.

For further information on our future plans for promoting and supporting sustainability for the screen industries in Scotland please contact Fiona MacLennan (Carbon Reduction Project Manager) by email or give us a call at 0131 529 7909.

The post Reducing emissions in the screen industry 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

GAIA Resonant Visions at SER 2015 Manchester

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

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.

Go to EcoArtScotland

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#GreenFests: The Improbable City

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The Improbable City is the theme for commissions at this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival. It’s based on the poetic novella Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, in which the great merchant traveller Marco Polo describes to the Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan the wondrous cities he has encountered. The emperor slowly realises that the cities Polo describes are probably fictional, while Polo himself comes to realise that in his descriptions he must balance “exceptions, exclusions, incongruities, contradictions” with the probable, to avoid achieving “cities too probable to be real”.

Seven works have been commissioned for the 2015 festival:

These visual artists have used their work to conjure alternative imaginary worlds, improbable cities that require our imaginations in order to exist.

This is not a one-way street, however. Whilst we determine how we see these fictional worlds, they in turn affect the way in which we perceive reality. They can be very different to our world or very similar, but by highlighting these similarities and differences they draw attention to them. Through juxtaposing an imaginary world with our own, we become aware of things in the real world that we may never before have considered, and about which we must now come to understand.

Comparing and contrasting imaginary worlds with our own also raises questions of how we want our world to be. Which aspects of theFringe 3 imaginary worlds do we desire, and which do we wish to avoid? Is it possible to bring those aspects we want to life? Sometimes an imaginary world can inspire direct and deliberate action to ensure that it becomes a reality. Take, for example, the recent campaign to build a to-scale version of Minas Tirith, the capital city of Gondor in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, in southern England. Other times the effect can be more subtle: think, for example, about how books such as Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984 still shape modern discourse on human embryo manipulation and mass-surveillance.

The apparent dichotomy between fiction and fact is a state of the present (and perhaps the past) but it is blurred when considering the future. The future does not yet exist for there to be facts about it: the future must be created. What then, we must decide, do we want from our future cities?

While we may quibble about the specifics, there are some fundamental qualities that are generally taken to be universally desired. For example, we want our cities to be sustainable: they must satisfy the social, economic and environmental needs of their citizens, both in the present and the future. In order to do this, certain challenges must be overcome, challenges that will change over time. This means that the cities of the future will have to anticipate these changes and be sufficiently flexible to accommodate them.

Developing such flexibility is a cornerstone of the 100 Resilient Cities project (100RC), of which Glasgow is one. This project, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to sustainability challenges – physical, social and economic – of the 21st century. Such challenges include extreme weather events resulting from climate change, chronic food and water shortages, high unemployment, and inadequate infrastructure to name but a few.

Fringe 3Glasgow, for example, is having to move on from its post-industrial past and reinvent itself for the 21st century. Careful town planning is creating a healthier environment for Glaswegians, while a vibrant arts community and a diversifying economy are serving only to increase Glasgow’s resilience to various shocks and stresses.

Another example of a project that is trying to build cities today to cope with the problems of tomorrow is the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Cities Programme, which works closely with cities to develop and implement carbon reduction strategies. So far this is proving very successful, with emissions reducing by 25% on average over 5 years. By engaging businesses, governments and the public sector, the Low Carbon Cities programme is helping more and more cities move to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

Such visions of future cities may not be the most exciting – they don’t feature the flying cars and hover boards that Back to the Future had promised us by now for example (Back to the Future II is set in 2015). But there is something great in the idea of a city that allows its citizens to live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives in such a way that their actions are not detrimental to the environment or to each other. A truly sustainable city is itself a wonderful dream, though it is full of challenges that must be overcome – challenges which ensure that such cities are not too probable to be real.

The post #GreenFests: The Improbable City 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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Glasgow Community Support For Stalled Space Fund – NOW OPEN

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

We’re sharing this Call from Glasgow City Council

Forgotten Island (2011) – one of the first projects done under the Stalled Spaces initiative

Do you wish to breathe life into a stalled site or an under-utilised open space within your neighbourhood?

Ever thought of using it temporarily for…

  • an arts project
  • pop up sculpture or exhibition space
  • a pop up park or a growing space
  • children’s play space
  • a green gym/ outdoor exercise
  • outdoor education
  • an event space
  • any other innovative idea?

We now invite applications for the second round of Community Support for Stalled Spaces for 2015-16

Funding is available from a minimum of £1,000 to a maximum of £2,500

Closing Date for applications: Monday, 7 September 2015 (5 pm)

For more information and application forms go to: www.glasgow.gov.uk/stalledspaces

Or contact: Caroline Mulheron on 0141 287 8542

Email: stalledspaces@glasgow.gov.uk

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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