Yearly Archives: 2015

Free online Course: Environmental Humanities – Remaking Nature

Learn how the new Environmental Humanities field is shaping how we understand environmental issues, with this free online course.

About the course

In Environmental Humanities: Remaking Nature, you’ll get a broad overview of an emerging area of interdisciplinary research that reframes contemporary environmental challenges using approaches from philosophy, literature, language, history, anthropology, cultural studies and the arts.You’ll see examples of active research in this field, and discover why humanities research is vital to understanding and confronting contemporary environmental challenges, such as climate change and global biodiversity loss.

“Remake” your ideas about nature

The Environmental Humanities places scientific knowledge in dialogue with the key concerns of the humanities: how people think, feel, protest, vote and create. Our main aim in this course is to consider and create new narratives about how humans and the environment relate to one another.

We’ll begin this course by identifying historical ways of thinking about the environment. Through a range of examples, we’ll illustrate how “nature” is a human invention. We’ll then look at how the role of humans has been conceptualised in opposition to notions of nature, and assert that we were never at the centre, nor in control of the environment.

Having questioned these common “modernist” conceptions about nature, we’ll examine some of the ways in which the natural world is being “remade,” both discursively (in the way we write, speak and think about it) and materially (for instance, in the alteration of DNA and the wholesale transformation of ecosystems).

Finally, we’ll ask you to join us in creating new narratives about nature that demonstrate greater care and concern.

Explore research methods and real-world environmental concerns

Leading experts from the Environmental Humanities programme at UNSW Australia’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will introduce you to their research in this innovative and interdisciplinary field.

By the end of this course you will:

  • understand why the Environmental Humanities is critical to environmental problem-solving in this age of global environmental crisis;
  • have a clear idea of a range of research methods in the Environmental Humanities;
  • be aware of opportunities and challenges in this area, and how these relate to global environmental concerns;
  • and develop experience in using storytelling to envision new environmental paradigms and ways forward.

A Newfoundland Treasury of Terms for Ice and Snow

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Ballicattered and Devil’s Blanket, Blast Hole Pond River, Newfoundland, Winter 2012-2013

Ballicattered and Devil’s Blanket, Blast Hole Pond River, Newfoundland, Winter 2012-2013

A Newfoundland Treasury of Terms for Ice and Snow:
an exhibition by Canadian artist Marlene Creates

November 5-13, 2015
opening reception Thursday Nov 5, 5-7pm

Tent Gallery
Art, Space + Nature Studio
Edinburgh College of Art, Evolution House, ground floor, 78 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2LE

Sish and Way Ice, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, March 2014

Sish and Way Ice, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, March 2014

In two videos, seasonal phenomena are observed and recorded by means of over 80 named varieties of ice, snow, and winter weather in the Newfoundland dialect. These terms are precise, practical, evocative, sonic, and lyrical. Knowing them helps us actually see different phenomena, instead of winter being just a cold, white blur.

Some examples are: ballicattered (covered with a layer of ice from the action of spray or waves), devil’s blanket (a snowfall that hinders your usual work), sish (fine, granulated ice floating on the surface of the sea), and way ice (loose ice that is easy to navigate).

One of the videos is a 26-minute-long documentary video-poem based on the Blast Hole Pond River that flows through the patch of boreal forest where the artist lives in Newfoundland; the other video is a real-time, single take of sea ice in Conception Bay shot from the Bell Island ferry in March 2014 when it was so cold that the bay itself froze for the first time in decades. It’s not uncommon for Arctic ice or drift-ice (floating masses or fragments of ice driven by wind and current) to float into the bay, but this was local ice, or bay ice.

The word “treasury” usually describes a collection of highly valued poems; it is used in the exhibition’s title to describe a collection of highly valued poetic terms. There is a wide local vocabulary to distinguish specific phenomena in the continuous modulations of winter weather. But this vocabulary is now a fragile intangible artifact. The loss of local linguistic complexity is a result of major changes in Newfoundland & Labrador, particularly the decline of the fishery as an occupation. And these terms are fragile for another reason—climate change.

The exhibition will include the video-poem From the Ground Tier to a Sparrow Batch: A Newfoundland Treasury of Terms for Ice and Snow, Blast Hole Pond River, Winter 2012-2013. It has been screened in Austria, Canada, India, the UK, and the USA, and has won several awards, including the Grand Jury Award at the 2014 Yosemite International Film Festival.

screen-shot-2015-10-10-at-4-40-21-pm

Marlene Creates’s theoretical and studio research interests include photography, ecology, and poetry. Underlying all her work, spanning over 35 years, is an interest in place — not as a geographical location but as a process that involves memory, multiple narratives, ecology, language, and both scientific and vernacular knowledge. Since 2002 her principal artistic venture has been to closely observe and work with one particular place — the six acres of boreal forest that she inhabits in Newfoundland, Canada.

Since the 1970s her work has been presented in over 300 exhibitions across Canada and in Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Denmark, the USA, and China. Her work is in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada. She has been a guest lecturer at over 150 institutions and conferences, both in Canada and abroad. She is currently an invited academic visitor for the “Art, Space + Nature” Masters programme at the Edinburgh College of Art.
www.marlenecreates.ca

With the assistance of The Canada Council for the Arts and ArtsNL.

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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ArtCOP21 – global festival of cultural activity on climate change

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

ArtCOP21 is the arts response to the intergovernmental meeting on climate change, running from September to December 2015, alongside COP21 in Paris.  If art imagines the world differently, whether that’s by thinking, like Dark Mountain, about inevitable collapse, or whether it’s by pre-figuring the world we want to live in, ArtCOP21 is a way to connect up and see, hear, feel and experience how art and activism can play together.  The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination will be providing ways for us all to participate.

Creative Carbon Scotland has been using their programme of Green Teas(e) in Glasgow and Edinburgh to support the development of ideas and engagement in the issues.  They are providing some co-ordination and profile for projects happening in Scotland.

So if you are doing something about Climate Change using art, you should probably let people know by contributing to ArtCOP21 – global festival of cultural activity on climate change

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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The 50 Shades of Green Conference: GAI Exchange Room

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The arts often reflect and challenge the society they exist within, and the sector has a wealth of experience in engaging those it works with on a whole range of issues. The GAI Exchange Room heard from three members of our Green Arts Initiative as to how they had explored engaging their various stakeholders in environmental sustainability.

Summaries of the presentations of each of our speakers can be found below:

Martin Latham, Aberdeen Performing Arts: Engaging Staff in Sustainability

Mark Latham of APA kicked us off with a run through of the theatre’s green team and how it functions. He explained some of the green team’s fundamental features:

  • Only one member of staff from each department can join to ensure equal representation across the 300 staffed organisation
  • They meet every 2 months
  • Anything can be added to the agenda by any of its member
  • They review their policies (which includes monitoring and reducing energy and water usage and waste production) annually

Some successful initiatives have included

  • BINWATCH, saving money by keeping an eye on how full the bins are for collection and also keeping track of waste outputs according to what’s on at the APA venues.
  • Power down policy: successfully engaging staff to turn off appliances both in the office and at home, having double the impact

The green team have ensured the credibility of their decisions be ensuring that their meeting minutes are reviewed at board meetings. Martin emphasised the benefit of this in reducing the space between different levels within the organisation – “Housekeeping now has a direct line of communication to the board”.

Donald Smith, Scottish International Storytelling Festival: Engaging Audiences in Sustainability

Donald gave us a different angle on the connections between creativity and environmental crisis, suggesting the two might be more linked than we think. He questioned whether we are at a tipping point both in terms of how we experience culture and how we inhabit the planet. Suggesting, with a twinkle in his eye, that gardening might be the new art form for the 21st century – as an activity which binds creativity and our wider ecosystems – he advocated a more open and more participatory view of culture that involved audiences in its making with the potential to connected participants with the natural environment.

Barry Church-Woods, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Barry provided an overview of some of the initiatives instigated by the Edinburgh Fringe to engage artists and audiences in environmental sustainability when participating in or attending the summer festival. He highlighted the influencing role that an organisation such as the Fringe can play, when working with such a large number of visiting companies (3000+ shows this August), to highlight creative opportunities for more resourceful practices. Examples included the Fringe Sustainable Practice Guide, the Swap Shop for unwanted props and materials to be re-used/upcycled, and the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award which celebrates innovative practice.


50 Shades of Green: Stories of Sustainability in the Arts Sector took place on 6 October 2015 at the Pearce Institute in Glasgow. It was Creative Carbon Scotland’s first conference for green arts organisations working to affect their environmental sustainability. A copy of the programme for the event can be found here.

To become part of the Scottish green arts community, and to hear more about events like 50 Shades of Green (as well as our other free training sessions and resources), sign up to the Green Arts Initiative.

 

The post The 50 Shades of Green Conference: GAI Exchange Room 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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