Yearly Archives: 2016

Open Call: Feeding the Insatiable – a creative summit

November 9-11, 2016
Venue: Schumacher College, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EA, UK


Schumacher College, RegenSW and the network invite you to submit a proposal for participation to the forthcoming summit Feeding the Insatiable to be held November 9-11, 2016 at Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EL, UK.  This event is part of Schumacher College’s Arts & Ecology programme and is produced by More detailed information can be found at


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 harmto 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 creative summit 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 broughtto bear on these issues.

We explore ways in which creative makers and enquirers (artists and 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?

Keynote speakers

Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian of Land Art Generator Initiative
Laura Watts (IT University of Copenhagen): writer, poet and ethnographer of futures

Topics of interest

Not intended to proscriptive or prescriptive, this list of topics suggests the areas we are likely to explore. However we are open to all relevant ideas, from the philosophical to the most practical and pragmatic

  • visioning change
  • imaginative and invented narratives and technologies
  • micro-generation and body-derived energy
  • plant and other organic power generators
  • transformational potential of art
  • beyond communication
  • energy and metaphor
  • message and instrumentalisation
  • slow art, process
  • non-literal big data visualisation
  • the artist and the engineer
  • 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
  • exploring chasms between artists and industry
  • energy futures and questions of design
  • ethnographics, big data, climate change, understanding

Types of submission

Submit any ideas that inspire you and which you think may have a place during this event. Given its deliberately constrained scope and size, there will be limited slots available, so please inspire us.

We are interested in submissions that embrace the following formats. Note that in each case we will add time for Q&A, but please think about how interaction with the audience can be built into your offer. Formats might be:

  • academic paper presentations lasting no more than 20 minutes (with 10 minutes for Q&A)
  • panel discussions, live interviews, and other discursive formats, lasting between 30-50 minutes. There is potential to broadcast these live.
  • presentation of artwork, indoor or outdoor walking and other outdoor activities, particularly ones that engage with theoretical or philosophical thought in addition to their creative content
  • workshops, lasting 90 minutes (please indicate how many participants you can support)
  • if you are geographically distant, you can send papers for inclusion in the publication only. These submissions will be considered along with all others, on the understanding that you are unable to attend the event itself. There will be a nominal registration fee to help cover publication costs.

The deadline for submission is 22.00 GMT on Sunday May 8, 2016. We are requesting 250-word abstracts or outlines, which must be submitted through the event website at We are unable to accept any submissions after the deadline.

For more detailed information please visit


CLIMARTE has commissioned eleven Australian artiststo design posters that engage the community on climate change action, and convey the strength, optimism, and urgency we need to move to a clean, renewable energy future.

Artists Angela Brennan, Chris Bond, Jon Campbell, Kate Daw, Katherine Hattam, Siri Hayes, Martin King, Gabrielle de Vietri & Will Foster, Thornton Walker, Miles Howard-Wilks have created posters that speak from the heart.

Posters will be displayed in an exhibition at the LAB-14 Gallery at the Carlton Connect Initiative University of Melbourne, as well as on poster sites throughout Melbourne.

CLIMARTE would like to thank the City of Melbourne, Purves Environmental Fund, the Connect Initiative, and Plakkit for their generous support of the CLIMARTE Poster Project 2016.


Poster Project Exhibition

Exhibition Dates
5th – 28th May 2016

Opening Night
Thursday 5th May 2016

The University of Melbourne
LAB-14 Gallery at
the Carlton Connect Initiative
700 Swanston Street, Carlton

Stay tuned for more!

Call for Papers: Art and Political Ecology

The upcoming issue of Seismopolite Journal of Art and Politics will discuss art’s relationship with political ecology: What role does art have to play – if any – under the precariously situated human and environmental consequences of neoliberalism and its political geography? Which potentials can be found in locally situated artistic discourses and re-imaginations of political ecology, for influencing global discourses on climate change? How can the dialogue between culturally and historically different ecological imaginaries and eco-philosophical traditions be significant in an era marked by unprecedented threats to the environment?

Contributors from diverse disciplines are invited to submit essays, reviews or interviews that address the theme ‘Art and Political Ecology’, through a high variety of possible angles.

Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

  • Artistic strategies as forms of eco-activism.
  • Eco-activist, artistic platforms for cooperation.
  • Experimental formats of political ecology: artist/ research residencies, cross-disciplinary fieldwork.
  • Cooperative projects in political ecology between artists and researchers from diverse scientific fields.
  • Eco-poetics and eco-aesthetics, across all art forms.
  • Artistic eco-activism in response to restrictions to the freedom of expression.
  • Indigenous ecological imaginaries in art.
  • Ecopoetics and the political ecology of ‘space’ and ‘place’ in art.
  • Ecological imaginaries and eco-philosophical traditions in a cross-cultural and historical perspective.
  • Potentials and disadvantages related to the integration of eco-activism in the global contemporary art scene.
  • Critical artistic thinking on eco-aesthetics/ eco-activism in relation to neoliberal geopolitics.

Please send your proposal (abstract or draft), a brief bio and samples of earlier work to  within April 8, 2016. Submission deadline, final text: April 29, 2016.

Back issues:

Thank you very much, and all the best,
Paal Andreas Bøe

Short Course – Transcribing Landscape – Portraits and Tales

From our Friends at Schumacher College /

With Fiona Benson, Richard Povall and special guestartist – Garry Fabian Miller

Join us for this residential week as we explore our relationship with landscape; part of Schumacher College’s Art and Ecology Programme.  Transcribing Landscape is convened by poet Fiona Benson and artist-researcher Richard Povall. Our special guest is the renowned photographic artist Garry Fabian Miller (link is external).

‘Garry Fabian Miller is one of the most progressive figures in fine art photography. Born in 1957, he has made exclusively ‘camera-less’ photographs since the mid 1980s. He works in the darkroom, shining light through coloured glass vessels and over cut-paper shapes to create forms that record directly onto photographic paper. These rudimentary methods recall the earliest days of photography, when the effects of light on sensitised paper seemed magical.’ – Martin Barnes (link is external) (Curator of Photography at the V&A)

How do we mark the world around us, and how does it mark us? The narrative of landscape exposes how we feel about our planet, how we act in it, how we care for it, how it moves us. Deeper forms of connection to the non-human through word, act, and imagining help us find other forms of knowledge and ways of being in the world. Can we gain new understandings of the ecology of our planet and our world at a time when this seems perhaps more important than ever? Science and its knowledges are failing to move us, to jolt us into feeling the fragility of the planet in which we all live, despite the clarity of their evidences and the increasing baldness of their language.

You will spend time in the landscape of the beautiful and diverse estate at Dartington Hall, walking, listening, meditating, making, marking, exploring, accepting, questioning, and writing. There will also be time for private making as well as group sessions and critiques.

The course links to a two-day symposium the following week (June 29-30) entitled ‘Language, Landscape and the Sublime’ which picks up on many of the themes you can explore in this short course. Participants of this short course will receive a £100 discount off of the Symposium fee when booked alongside this short course. If you would like to take advantage of the short course and symposium rate, please register below and email: to let us know.

Find more information about the Language, Landscape and the Sublime two-day symposium a (link is external).

Energy Renaissance: A Visionary Partnership between Technology, Science and Culture

Cape Farewell, cultural producers Shrinking Space, and pioneering Virtual Reality & Immersive Content studioHammerhead VR, have teamed up with the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London, to create an immersive Virtual Reality experience for Utopia, at Somerset House in October 2016.

This experience will allow visitors to virtually interact with the physical environment of The Strand – the busy area surrounding Somerset House. Through the implementation of behavioural, scientific and technological changes, individuals will transform and de-carbonise their city into a greener, more peaceful neighbourhood, that no longer poses a threat to health nor contributes to climate change.

Across the world, scientists, environmentalists and entrepreneurs are taking up the challenge of pollution and climate change – carbon neutral urban environments are easily achievable – the Energy Renaissance project places individuals at the centre of London’s evolution, where their actions form vital steps towards this feasible, safer and healthier post-carbon urban future.

The project draws on gaming, immersive theatre, and stunning graphics to create a visceral experience, not one set in a fictional future but one that is inspired and informed by present day reality.

About Utopia:

Energy Renaissance is part of Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility. Utopia 2016 is a collaboration between three neighbours: Somerset House, King’s College London and The Courtauld Institute of Art, in partnership with The British Library, the AHRC, and the British Council. The London School of Economics will also engage many of the 300 plus creative organisations, artists and makers resident at Somerset House.

Full details will be available at

More about Energy Renaissance:

Energy Renaissance is a varied ongoing programme that brings together the world’s best expert informers and creatives, to develop informed blueprints of what a carbon neutral society would look like.

Technological and economic change cannot exist without public approval, excitement and engagement. Cape Farewell collaborates closely with varied partners to engage the public through dialogue, education, exhibitions, workshops, social media and video.

Included projects:

Tidal Lagoon – We are the cultural partner to the Swansea Tidal Lagoon project – a 250MW power plant that will produce 120 years of clean energy, granted planning permission in July 2015. Cape Farewell is responsible for the commissioning and management of the world’s first ‘Tidal Lagoon Sculpture Park’ ready for launch in 2021. Visitors will explore, enjoy and embrace the beauty, possibilities and benefits of clean energy through the 9 surrounding, monumental, educational art works produced as part of Energy Renaissance.

Earth Can You Hear Us – We also partnered with 100% renewable energy company Good Energy to build an engagement programme promoting the switch to renewables with the general public, leading to ‘Earth Can You Hear Us’ – a major event as part of our Global Climate Festival,ArtCop21.

Summer School: Artistic and other Creative Practices as Drivers for Urban Resilience

September 5-7, 2016, Museu Municipal de Espinho (Portugal)

Summer school organized by the Centre for Social Studies (CES) at the University of Coimbra, in collaboration with the ESA Research Network Sociology of the Arts, and linked to the Midterm Conference being held in Porto on September 8-10, 2016.

The summer school is being held immediately before the 9th ESA RN2 Midterm conference, in the small coastal town of Espinho, within the Metropolitan Area of Porto.

Course description summary
Urban sustainable development requires enhancing urban resilience. In this Summer School, we look at resilience as a space for translocal bottom-up learning, emerging artistic-cultural-ecological approaches or as a ‘Space of Possibilities’: Resilience as openness, possibility, emergence, praxis, mutual learning and doing . . . not a 10-point governmental program to be implemented.

Several key characteristics of resilience (redundancy, diversity, learning modes, and self-organization) can potentially be fostered in urban neighborhoods through creative practices entangling natural and cultural resources and processes such as “ecological art” and “social practice” interventions, “urban gardening” projects, autonomous social-cultural centers fighting against gentrification, and artivist actions that question unsustainable city planning and societal behaviours. However, how far does the potential of such practices reach? When and how do they scale up to wider urban institutions as drivers of transformations, fostering systemic innovations? What limits and challenges do they encounter? How far do they foster urban resilience towards sustainability as a transformative search process of fundamental change, or are they coopted into neoliberal urban development?

The summer school, conceived as an extended workshop, will explore comparative insights across different urban initiatives and projects. We invite researchers, artists, and practitioners to address together several sets of questions and reflect on their empirical research, previous project experiences, and expertise from different cities.

Researchers (multidisciplinary), graduate students and post-docs, artists, and practitioners working with community-based artistic and sustainability/resilience initiatives

During the pre-registration process, applicants are asked to submit [HERE] a brief statement on the relevant project(s)/initiative(s) with which they are involved, and why they want to attend the summer school. These statements will be reviewed as part of the participant selection process.

Deadline: Sunday, May 1, 2016.
All applicants will be notified of selection process results by Monday, May 16, 2016.

Nancy Duxbury (CES) and Sacha Kagan (Leuphana University Lüneburg; ESA RN2)

Core Team

  • Nathalie Blanc, Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France
  • Hans Dieleman, Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México, Mexico; Cultura21
  • Nancy Duxbury, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • David Haley, Manchester Metropolitan University, England
  • Verena Holz, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany
  • Sacha Kagan, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany; ESA RN2; Cultura21

Earlybird rate (by May 31): € 150
Late rate from June 1: € 165

Fee includes: Summer School registration and materials | Welcome BBQ or dinner on Sept 5 | Lunch on Sept 6 and 7 | Breaks (5). (Accommodation and dinner on Sept. 6 at own cost.)

Maximum number of registrations: 25 | Minimum number of registrations: 20

This is a self-funded, non-profit Summer School.

For the full course description, detailed programme, bios of the core team, online pre-registration, and more, please visit:

Opportunity for Project Artist – Hawick Flood Protection Scheme

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Excellent opportunity for an artist to be part of a team working on flood protection – looks like a chance to shape thinking. Comes from CABN in the Borders.

May 2016 – October 2016
Deadline for applications:  Monday 25th April 2016
Fee:  £4000

A unique opportunity has arisen for a Project Artist to work closely with the engineering and project team around the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme (HFPS) and engage communities in the development and design of proposals which can be taken forward within the scheme.   The key priority of the HFPS works is to protect the town from the effects of a ‘1 in 75’ year flood event on the River Teviot, but the works also offer opportunities to incorporate imaginative place-making proposals, including for permanent public artworks, which can be taken forward into the second phase of the HFPS.

This opportunity has been enabled through a partnership between Scottish Borders Council, CH2M (scheme engineers) and the Creative Arts Business Network (CABN), and has already involved initial engagement with community groups around potential proposals.

More information is available on the CABN website –

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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