Art and Energy futures

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Art, particularly sited work, can create a ‘third space’ for public discourse.  By ‘third space’ we mean a space other than the commercial or governmental spaces for people to engage with issues.  This is often characterised by being non-hierarchical, open and willing to embrace contradiction, uncertainty, etc.  Probably because it’s created by artists who have no ‘locus’ for instigating it, the power relations are different.  No-one is trying to sell you anything and there isn’t a policy agenda being fulfilled (and these days the people selling you stuff aren’t hidden behind the people claiming to represent you).

Examples include Tim Collins and Reiko Goto’s recent work imagining the future of the Caledonian Forest through the Blackwood of Rannoch(and previously their work on rivers in Pittsburgh) and Suzanne Lacy’scurrent project in Pendle with superslowway and immigrants and locals as well as her previous work including 10 years of work in Oakland, CA, or Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins’ Dundee Urban OrchardJay Koh, who wrote Art-Led Participative Processes: Dialogue & Subjectivity within Performances in the Everyday, recently spoke in Glasgow.

The Land Art Generator, PLATFORM London’s 25 years of work on fossil fuels, the actions of Liberate Tate, Ellie Harrison’s RRAAF project intended to use renewables to finance activist art and many others have created this third space to address power and the social, cultural and environmental impacts of our insatiable need for energy.

The Feeding the Insatiable Art and Energy Symposium at Schumacher in November will bring together an outstanding line-up of artists and activists to reflect on the current state of work in this area.

Amongst the people presenting are Cathy Fitzgerald who is an artist and Irish Green Party’s spokesperson on Forestry; David Haley who has written extensively on art and uncertainty; Beth Carruthers, one of the key art and sustainability theorists working with deep ecology approaches; Hannah Imlach is a young artist from Scotland who’s recent projects directly engage with renewables; Laura Watts describes herself as a writer, poet, and ethnographer of futures – she is one of the authors of ebban an flowan along with Alec Finlay and Alistair Peebles; Ian Garrett is a key theorist and practitioner of sustainable design for theatre and behind the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts; and finallyLoraine Leeson who is one of the foremost practitioners of socially engaged art in the UK and is currently working with a group of geezers on renewables on the River Lee in East London.  And these are only some of the people presenting.

Feeding the Insatiable promises to be a key moment for sharing practice, exploring theory and imagining policy.  As Chloe Uden of RegenSW’s Art and Energy programme said, “Energy Policy needs to become interesting”.  The arts are key to creating spaces for that to happen.


International summit and residential short course discuss renewables, aesthetics, and the philosophy of consumption

art.earth in association with Schumacher College and Dartington is offering two linked consecutive events this coming November: an international summit/conference Feeding the Insatiable: real and imagined narratives of art, energy and consumption for a troubled planet from November 9-11, and Regenerative Art: creating public art with self-sustaining power a residential short course from November 11-13, 2016.

Both events take place within the extraordinary setting of Dartington Hallin southwest England.

Feeding the Insatiable (feedingtheinsatiable.info) features thinkers and makers from across the world, with an opening keynote event from The Land Art Generator Initiative (Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian) with ecoartist / producer Chris Fremantle from eco/art/scot/land. Futurist Laura Watts will present the second keynote on Day 2 of the summit. Other sessions focus on Ecologies, Shaping the World, Artist projects, Communicating, Energy Generation and Poetics.

The residential short course (regenerative-art.info) is led by Land Art Generator Initiative and offers an opportunity for a much more in-depth and hands-on exploration of the aesthetics of renewable energy and the implications for public policy and design. This practice-based short course provides participants with useful knowledge and experience for creatively integrating renewable energy systems into cherished cultural environments as a part of a larger strategic approach to carbon reduction. The workshop will focus on the Dartington estate and seek to identify opportunities to place new infrastructures in open areas while maintaining shared use with open spaces and other campus functions.

The Land Art Generator Initiative has become one of the world’s most followed sustainable design events and is inspiring people everywhere about the promise of a net-zero carbon future. LAGI is showing how innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration, culture, and the expanding role of technology in art can help to shape the aesthetic impact of renewable energy on our constructed and natural environments.
The goal of LAGI is to design and construct a series of large-scale site-specific public art installations that uniquely combine art with utility scale clean energy generation.

Both events are suitable for more than just experienced designers, architects or artists. If you have an interest in public spaces, public art policy and design, renewable energy and its aesthetics and impact on the visual landscape, or are a landowner or property owner interested in more visually appealing ways to work with renewable energy then this event is for you.

You can register for both events individually, or if you wish to register for both there are special discounted packages available. Seefeedingtheinsatiable.info/registration-prices/ For artists and other independent researchers, there is a limited number of concessionary registrations available.

These events are produced by art.earth (artdotearth.org) in partnership with Regen SW

More information at http://feedingtheinsatiable.info

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

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