Yearly Archives: 2016

The Salmon Surveyor by Janne Robberstad

This post comes from Ecoscenography

Janne Robberstad is a Norwegian stage designer who is passionate about reducing waste in her designs, combining sustainability with creativity and place-based responses. Here, she talks about her sustainable approach on The Salmon Surveyor and how the unique cultural, social and environmental landscape of the Southwest region of Norway inspired her process and aesthetic. You can find out more about her work on her website: http://www.spindelmaker.com

12496428_10156299258010411_3776350336391254622_oBømlo Teater is an amateur theatre on a relatively small municipally on the west-coast of Norway.  There are 12,000 inhabitants located on a labyrinth of 1007 big and small islands. With a wide horizon stretching out beyond the land, the locals are immensely proud of this place they call home. Many of the inhabitants work offshore, as part of the oil-industry or farming Salmon (delivering 10% of the world market). As well as a booming economic market, the west coast has a thriving cultural scene, with three theatres, including Northern Europe’s largest outdoor amphitheatre. It is here that I find myself working amongst lots of half-crazy, creative people committed to making art and theatre.

This is also the background for the show which I designed in April 2015, called The Salmon Surveyor (Lakselinja). Based on Norway’s salmon industry, the narrative of the play deals with the people working on the assembly-line, their monotone daily rhythm (how it allows their minds to wander freely) and their relationships with each other. Part dance-performance, part theatre, the show also includes a unique music composition based on taped sounds from the real assembly-line.12496470_10156299258075411_6041454947268578407_o

The Salmon Surveyor ‘s author and director requested a simple and elegant design, with the potential of using Styrofoam fish-crates as multi-elements. I’ve worked in the theatre for 30 years now and I’ve seen firsthand how there is so much waste after a show simply because there is no storage-space.  As a designer dedicated to working as sustainably as possible, my initial thoughts were to check if Styrofoam would be safe to use (tick) and to see if I could recycle the boxes (tick). Once these aspects were approved, I began working on the aesthetics of the design.

12401682_10156299258085411_239556304560342281_oI was interested in expressing a sense of monotony with the Styrofoam – the institutionalised cleanliness of a food-factory in a massive scale while at the same time, maintaining a sense of poetry. I did this by making walls out of piles of 950 Styrofoam crates that I sourced at a factory only 2km away from the theatre. While it was very simple, when placed together the multitude of boxes had a lovely effect – perfect for the lighting-designer to play with, and for projecting video. 50 of crates were also used on stage by the actors as changeable items (e.g. chairs, beds, TVs, the assembly-line).

12401764_10156299258095411_8186048432705076507_oTo assist with the poetic feel, we collaborated with a local salmon-factory, who provided us with live film footage inside one of the fish-cages. With the music going, it looked like the salmon was dancing along with the actors, in their own ballet!  Another local salmon factory gave us the white overalls. They were pre-used so all we had to do was to cover their logo on the back.

After closing night, 937 of the crates were still in pristine condition and were sent straight to a nearby salmon-factory (only 3km away) to be used directly in their manufacturing process. The remaining 13 were sent back to the Styrofoam-factory, where they were recycled into little plates for the meat-industry. While Styrofoam may not be a particularly sustainable material, we considered it within a closed loop cycle, where The Salmon Surveyor essentially ‘borrowed’ the materials to help support the telling of a local story before being placed back into the assembly line once more.

The post, The Salmon Surveyor by Janne Robberstad, appeared first on Ecoscenography.
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Ecoscenography.com has been instigated by designer Tanja Beer – a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, Australia, investigating the application of ecological design principles to theatre.

Tanja Beer is a researcher and practitioner in ecological design for performance and the creator of The Living Stage – an ecoscenographic work that combines stage design, permaculture and community engagement to create recyclable, biodegradable and edible performance spaces. Tanja has more than 15 years professional experience, including creating over 50 designs for a variety of theatre companies and festivals in Australia (Sydney Opera House, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Queensland Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Arts Centre) and overseas (including projects in Vienna, London, Cardiff and Tokyo).

Since 2011, Tanja has been investigating sustainable practices in the theatre. International projects have included a 2011 Asialink Residency (Australia Council for the Arts) with the Tokyo Institute of Technology and a residency with the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (London) funded by a Norman Macgeorge Scholarship from the University of Melbourne. In 2013, Tanja worked as “activist-in-residence” at Julie’s Bicycle (London), and featured her work at the 2013 World Stage Design Congress (Cardiff)

Tanja has a Masters in Stage Design (KUG, Austria), a Graduate Diploma in Performance Making (VCA, Australia) and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne where she also teaches subjects in Design Research, Scenography and Climate Change. A passionate teacher and facilitator, Tanja has been invited as a guest lecturer and speaker at performing arts schools and events in Australia, Canada, the USA and UK. Her design work has been featured in The Age and The Guardian and can be viewed at www.tanjabeer.com

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Open Call for Artists: Scotland + Venice Project

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland/This post comes from Creative Scotland:

Scotland + Venice provides artists based in Scotland with a valuable platform to showcase their work on the international stage at one of the world’s most prestigious visual arts festivals, the Venice Biennale.

It is a partnership between Creative Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and British Council Scotland, and is now seeking notes of interest from experienced curators and/or visual arts organisations who will work with them to deliver an ambitious and imaginative project that will run during the Biennale (May 13 to November 26 2017).

The partners expect the selected project to deliver:

  • A significant opportunity for the selected artist/s to produce ambitious and original work, taking into account the particular challenges and opportunities of Venice and the wider context of the Biennale;
  • High impact and visibility within an extremely busy and ever expanding Biennale with a good level of attendance that builds on previous Scotland + Venice presentations;
  • Strong critical and professional responses from within Scotland, the rest of the UK and internationally.

Additionally the partners will work with the selected individual/organisation to deliver:

  • High public and media profile, particularly within Scotland but also in the rest of the UK and internationally;
  • An effective approach to managing the exhibition in Venice and providing a warm and informative welcome to all visitors;
  • Audience development opportunities within Scotland that take a number of forms during the period of the Biennale and beyond;
  • A series of professional development opportunities that build on the previous experience of Scotland + Venice and that sustain the partnerships established with Scotland’s universities and colleges;
  • Increased profile for the visual arts community in Scotland, making the most of the opportunity that Venice affords to increase professional interest in the artists and arts organisations that are permanently based here.

Outline proposals should be completed using the templates provided on the Creative Scotland website and should be submitted to Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at amanda.catto@creativescotland.com by 5pm on 14 April 2016. A shortlist of a maximum of 6 proposals will be established and we will invite the selected applicants to discuss these in more detail at an interview to be held in Edinburgh on 25 April 2016.

The post Open Call for Artists: Scotland + Venice Project 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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Ben’s Blog: Happy Museum and Salzburg

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

I made two trips in February to two very different conferences. The Happy Museum Project’s Happy and Green: Connecting Sustainability and Well Being in London aimed to draw out the connections between Sustainability and Wellbeing in support of individual, institutional and societal resilience – and the particular role that culture can play’. The keynote speaker was (Lord) Gus O’Donnell, formerly Cabinet Secretary and Head of the British Civil Service and (among other things) Chair of the Behavioural Insights Team Advisory Board at the Cabinet Office (otherwise known as the ‘Nudge unit’, as it basically follows the approach of Thaler and Sunstein’s book Nudge, about behavioural economics). Also speaking was Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Network.

Gus O’Donnell is an economist, and it shows. He spoke very lucidly about well-being and why it matters, how it can be measured and so on. I enjoyed his talk, but it was very focused on individuals – less about the environment that people operate in and that they have to respond to, and in the end rather simplistic. I spoke to him during the break and he wasn’t a great listener, shall I say: I just heard again what I’d heard in the talk.

Rob Hopkins gave a very inspiring talk about the Transition Network and what they’d done in Totnes, where it started. What they do is amazing and there are some lovely things going on in Totnes, so worth following that up. There are also at least 14 official Transition groups in Scotland, so there may be one near you. Transition always feels a bit small scale to me: I’m never quite sure that all the Transition Towns are ever going to join up enough to make a big change. That’s their thing, though: it’s all based on Think Global, Act Local. Inspiring. As is Tony Butler, the Founder and Chair of the Happy Museum Project.

Ben%2c Shahidul%2c Alain

February was the planet’s warmest seasonally adjusted month on record. Ben has some proof out on the terrace in Salzburg.

Very different was a trip to Salzburg (by cheap train!) for the Salzburg Global Seminar’s 561st session: Beyond Green: The arts as a catalyst for sustainability. It was a great experience, simply because of the quality of the other people there: from the Director of the Ecologic Institute, a sustainability and energy think-tank in Berlin to an ethnobotanist, agrifood-ist and activist from Greece (via Edinburgh), to a live-wire from Jakarta in Indonesia, doing extraordinary things with communities, working from the bottom up. Look at the list of participants to get the idea. We worked hard – 9am to 10pm most days – ate well and slept in a fantastic schloss.

I’m still processing the things I learned and heard. Some were familiar, others new. I was very taken by American ‘civic artist’ Frances Whitehead’s keynote speech in which she touched upon ‘What Artists Know’, her thoughts about the skills, competencies and attributes of artists and what they do. She summarises it well (and more deeply than me here): artists are responsive, they make the visible invisible, they evaluate and analyse. This is central to thinking about how the arts and artists can contribute to action not only on climate change, but other areas of work that are perhaps normally outside the arts. One thing that Frances doesn’t mention is art’s ability – no, almost its requirement – to fruitfully hold in tension ideas and concepts that are at odds with each other. Discussing the seminar with thinker and journalist, Joyce McMillan, after I came back she reminded me of this idea. Whilst politics and other areas either want one idea to ‘win’ or seek compromise to get consensus, the best art sings when the ideas bounce off each other. As a theatre director, the best cast is one with lots of competing opinions – my job is to knit them into an energised whole.

Ben at fireplace

Frances’ list doesn’t include something else she mentioned in her talk: artists use metis – the Greek term meaning ‘strategic knowledge, based in practice’. Artists are clever, cunning – they get things done, but not just out of a general wiliness but one aiming to achieve within a framework and a set of values built on practical and theoretical knowledge. Frances’ own work, using her practice to renew American cities devastated by population shift and post-industrial decline, not only stretches her metis to the full, but also points to how art and artists can contribute to addressing climate change.

Postscript: One gloomy aspect of Salzburg was when I was asked to facilitate a group of the European participants. The other groups covering Asia, the Middle East and Africa, the Americas etc had positive things to say when they fed back but the Europe group was very downbeat, pessimistic about the future and slightly fractious. The issues of the precarious EU, worries about attitudes to migration, Brexit and so on hung over us. It felt very much that we were the old world and facing a difficult future compared to the other regions.

The post Ben’s Blog: Happy Museum and Salzburg 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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"Antarctica" panel discussion with artist Lucy Orta

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

On February 17th ecoartspace NY curator Amy Lipton participated on a panel discussion with artist Lucy OrtaNYU Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy Dale Jamieson, and founder of Parley for the Oceans Cyrill Gutschwho served as moderator for the event.

The discussion took place in conjunction with the Lucy and Jorge Orta exhibition, Antarctica at Jane Lombard Gallery in Chelsea.This ongoing project by the Ortas is based on their expedition to Antarctica in 2007 and was the title of this exhibition, their first solo in New York. Cyrill Gutsch asked the panelists questions about the relationship of art and design to environmental issues and activism. Discussed at length was the artists’ role in raising awareness and confronting urgent, challenging issues such as climate change, sea level rise, food and water shortages, ocean pollution and over-population.

Antarctica featured works created for the artists’ expedition to the Antarctic peninsula, addressing issues such as human survival in adverse situations. The Ortas installed an ephemeral “Antarctic Village” on the continent, composed of 50 domelike sculptures constructed with flags from countries around the world. They also created and raised the first Antarctic Flag, to symbolize the unification of nations around shared common values.

Antarctica embodies utopia: a continent whose extreme climate encourages mutual aid and solidarity, freedom of research, sharing, and collaboration for the good of the planet. The centerpiece of the exhibition was The Antarctic World Passport Delivery Bureau, a traveling installation recently presented at the Grand Palais in Paris during the COP21 UN Climate Summit. Visitors encountered an architectural assemblage made from reclaimed materials, and received a uniquely numbered Antarctica World Passport.  In exchange recipients pledge to support the project’s principles: to take action against the disastrous effects of global warming and strive for peace. Since 2008, 55,000 passports have been printed, and visitors to Lucy + Jorge Orta’s exhibition at the Jane Lombard Gallery were able to to register for their personalized passport edition, and to join this growing community of world citizens. www.antarcticaworldpassport.com

To watch a video segment from the panel discussion please go to this link.

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ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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Call for proposals – Feeding the insatiable – a creative summit – November 9-11 2016

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Real and imagined narratives of art and energy for a troubled planet

This international summit takes place at Dartington Hall in southwest England from 16.30 on November 9 to 16.30 on November 11, 2016.

Encouraging all manner of energy generation through creative intervention and invention and new approaches to scientific enquiry including the quirky, the impossible, the micro and the personal.  Encouraging debate – practical, philosophical, metaphysical, and theoretical – bringing creative minds from many disciplines to bear on these pressing issues.

We also offer an accompanying residential short for three days adjacent to the summit, from Saturday November 11 Monday November 13.  Special pricing is available for both if registered together

Principal partners are Schumacher College, and Regen SW.

Scope

COP21, the climate talks held in Paris in December 2015 produced a breakthrough agreement after twenty years of frustrations, meanderings, compromises, and political squeamishness. The commitment to limit temperature rise to 2°C (whilst aiming for 1.5°C) represents a global commitment to wean the world from dirty energy to cleaner forms in which renewables must inevitably play a significant part: the only way the commitment can be met. This, we were told, ‘was the last chance… and we took it’; not all voices purred so positively but the outcome was broadly embraced.

The politicians and diplomats, it seems, have finally been moved to action. Moving the general populace has proved more difficult. Twenty years of increasingly immoderate language bordering at times on the hysterical, broadly-aligned and finely-honed but progressively panicky science from some of the world’s brightest minds, and even a grudging political consensus has made virtually no impact on how people live and how they consume: energy, food, the planet. In the meantime our government here in the UK sends out the most mixed of messages, lauding the outcome of COP21 whilst legislating to undermine renewable and clean energy and many other initiatives aimed at mitigating harm to the planet. Clean energy becomes a discussion about money, not about our world.

Art can change the world.  Artists have played an important part in every major social change in our society and have an indispensable role today in helping us deal with complex existential challenges.  But issues-laden art can be bombastic, unsubtle and lacking in spirit, particularly when artists insist they have a message to send. Renewable energy can change the world, too. But we don’t have to accept that only industrial scale installations are the answer.

This gathering encourages through creative intervention and invention and new approaches to scientific enquiry all manner of energy generation including the quirky, the impossible, the micro and the personal. It encourages debate – practical, philosophical, metaphysical, and theoretical – about how creative minds and creative spirit can be brought to bear on these issues.

We explore ways in which creative makers and enquirers –– artists, scientists, philosophers, theorists and others –– can increasingly play a part in moving rather than cajoling, inspiring rather than scaring, succouring rather than scourging. The impassioned voice has an essential role to play in shifting the inert and entrenched thinking about how we live in the world, how we consume its resources and how we subvert and circumvent monolithic thinking. The danger lies not in those with abrasively negative views (as panic leads to stridency bordering on the absurd and numbers inevitably dwindle to irrelevancy under the growing weight of evidence), but those who have no views at all.  Flicking the switch is so utterly fundamental to our daily lives that we gasp with horror and puzzlement if it produces no effect.

How can the lights not come on?

Potential topics

This are suggested topics only; the list is not intended to be proscriptive

  • transformational potential of art
  • visioning change
  • imaginative and invented narratives and technologies
  • micro-generation and body-derived energy
  • plant and other organic power generators
  • beyond communication
  • energy and metaphor
  • message and instrumentalisation
  • slow art, process
  • non-literal big data visualisation
  • envisioning the profound
  • aesthetics of art/science
  • using imagination for social change
  • emotion / science
  • sensible / actual
  • new ways of seeing
  • new ways of knowing
  • evolving meaning
  • celebrating authenticity and ethos
  • energy in the animal world
  • ethnographics, big data, climate change, understanding
  • exploring chasms between artists and industry
  • energy futures and questions of design

Keynote speakers

Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian of Land Art Generator Initiative

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), provides a platform for artists, architects, landscape architects, and other creatives working with engineers and scientists to bring forward human-centered solutions for sustainable energy infrastructures that enhance the city as works of public art while cleanly powering thousands of homes.

Laura Watts (IT University of Copenhagen): writer, poet and ethnographer of futures

Laura is a Writer, Poet, & Ethnographer, and Associate Professor in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at IT University of Copenhagen. Her interest is in the effect of landscape on how the future is imagined and made in everyday practice. How might the future be made differently in different places? Over the last fifteen years, she has collaborated with industry and organisations in telecoms, public transport, and renewable energy, to re-imagine how the future gets made in high-tech industry, and how it might be made otherwise.

ICE Art & Energy 200

During the summit we will launch the callout for the ICE Art & Energy prize, an engaging, clean energy generating, international art competition, led by Regen SW and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The competition challenges outstanding artists and designers to collaborate with civil engineers to construct an iconic piece of public art that also generates energy at scale. The winning piece will be installed in a UK city by 2020.

Day 0: Research Day

During the day on November 9 an invited group of artists, engineers and others will meet to discuss issues around art and renewable energy, public art, ephemeral art, and how to foster closer ties between artists and industry. A summary of this day will be presented during the main summit, and a report published. This meeting will be led by Chris Fremantle, founder of ecoartscotland and is hosted by Schumacher College‘s arts and ecology programme

Find out more

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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Opportunity: Green Scholarship for Postgraduate Study

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship is a competition for prospective and current students wishing to pursue a postgraduate degree with the view that it will help lead to the development of a ‘green themed’ commercial concept.

The competition rewards concepts and ideas that successfully combine sustainability, entrepreneurship and creativity. A judging panel will consider applications that could conceivably be brought to market and potentially make a contribution towards reducing carbon emissions.

The competition is a unique funding opportunity offering students the chance to win a scholarship of up to £20,000 to cover their postgraduate degree tuition fees for up to 3 years.

 

Apply here: http://www.postcodeculturetrust.org.uk/scholarship

Application deadline: March 30th

The post Opportunity: Green Scholarship for Postgraduate Study 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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