Yearly Archives: 2016

Press Release: Artists Selected for Residency Connecting Arts & Sustainability

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Eight Scotland-based artists selected for artist residency exploring connections between arts and sustainability.

This Friday, Creative Carbon Scotland (CCS) will welcome eight Scotland-based artists from a variety of disciplines to Cove Park on the Rosneath Peninsula, for a weekend exploring and reflecting upon humanity’s impact on the planet and the role of the arts in transitioning to a more environmentally sustainable society.

Over 100 artists from across Scotland applied to be a part of this residency, which will equip artists with opportunities to think about the role of cultural practices, learn from one another and develop their own work in relation to environmental sustainability. Artists are not expected to produce new work during the short residency, but rather use the experience as a springboard for future development in relation to residency themes and wider social change.

Working in partnership with Cove Park, Creative Carbon Scotland’s third annual artist residency will focus on the Anthropocene, a period of geological time which places humanity at the centre of the recent global environmental changes.

On choosing the topic of the Anthropocene, CCS Director, Ben Twist, said: “The Anthropocene marks a significant shift in how we understand humanity’s role and responsibility in relation to issues such as climate change. Exploring this topic during the residency offers an important opportunity for Scotland’s artists to consider how their practices could contribute to a wider cultural movement towards a low-carbon future.”

Co-facilitating the artist residency will be Jan Bebbington, Professor of Accounting and Sustainable Development, St Andrews Sustainability Institute, and Lex ter Braak, Director, Van Eyck Institute, Maastricht, Netherlands. Joining the facilitation team, Jan Bebbington said: “I am excited to share time and conversations with this talented group of creative people and I am sure my understandings of the Anthropocene will change and deepen from the engagement. Residencies are wonderful settings in which to create shared understanding across disciplines and practice settings.”

Catrin Kemp, Assistant Director of Cove Park, said: “We are hugely excited to be welcoming CCS and those selected for this multidisciplinary Arts & Sustainability residency to Cove Park. This group will be the first to take over the entire 50-acre site since the opening of our brand new £1.4m Artists Centre. Cove Park offers artists from across the world a unique space to develop their ideas, and we hope that this residency will spark fresh creative thinking around how the major themes related to the Anthropocene might be communicated to audiences.”

-Ends-

Notes to editors

For more information please contact Gemma Lawrence at: gemma.lawrence@creativecarbonscotland. com T: 0131 529 7909

This year’s arts and sustainability residency is funded by Creative Scotland and kindly supported by the Dr David Summers Charitable Trust and is run in partnership with Cove Park.

The full list of artists who will be attending Creative Carbon Scotland and Cove Park’s Arts and Sustainability Residency 2016 are as follows:

Reem Alkayyem

  • Reem Alkayyem is a Syrian born and educated architect. She has practiced architecture for 15 years in her home country and has MScs from the University of Edinburgh in Architectural Project Mangagement (2012) and Advanced Sustainable Design (2016). She aims to enhance and disseminate the knowledge of sustainability to include the social and cultural aspects in addition to environmental. She is additionally keen to contribute to the reconstruction of her country and to educate future architects on sound and sustainable bases.

Kathyrn Beckett

  • Kathy describes her creative practice as ‘in exploration of ecocentric approaches’, seeing that her responsibility and passion as an artist is to help serve a more beautiful life sustaining world. She works across a range of mediums, with people and nature at the core of her activity and, public engagement as a vehicle of expression. She has been contracted as a project artist concerned with environmental sustainability for a range of organisations, including the Glasgow School of Art, Creative Carbon Scotland and North Light Arts.

Simon Gall

  • Simon Gall is a musician, composer, educator based in Aberdeenshire. He has toured (and continues to tour) internationally, recording with a number of artists including well-known world music band Salsa Celtica, Cuban band Son al Son and more recently contemporary Scottish folk duo Clype.

Alex Mackay

  • Alex Mackay is a sound artist, composer and performer based in Glasgow, making work across media including sound/music, image and performance for a wide range of contexts, including recorded media, installation, live performance as well as collaborative work in the fields of visual art, dance and film.

Victoria MacKenzie

  • Victoria MacKenzie is a fiction writer working on her first novel, Brantwood, about the life of art critic and social reformer John Ruskin, as well as a short fiction collection, Creaturely, which explores our connections with other species.

Michael Stumpf

  • Michael Stumpf (born in Mannheim/ Germany) is a visual artist that works primarily in sculpture. In addition to his own practice he currently is a member of the artist group Poster Club. Recent exhibitions include: New Wheat New Mud New Machine (with Posterclub) Cooper Gallery, Dundee; Objects Converse on a Matter of Mutual Concern, Art Across the City, Swansea; This Song Belongs to those Who Sing It, Mackintosh Gallery, Glasgow School of Art; In Other Words, Lewis Glucksmann Gallery, Cork; New Alchemy /Contemporary Art after Beuys, Landesmuseum, Münster.

Samuel Tongue

  • A hybrid of lyric and language poetry, Samuel’s practice is inter-medial and parasitic, living within, feeding from, and provoking a variety of artistic forms. Poems are search patterns, part of a meshwork of ideas and concepts, rooted in an incorrigibly plural world.

Jenna Watt

  • Jenna Watt is a multi award winning Scottish theatre maker, her latest work; Faslane, written in part at Cove Park, received a 2016 Scotsman Fringe First Award at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Funded by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Carbon Scotland has been working since 2011 to embed environmental sustainability within the arts and cultural sector in Scotland and connect the arts with the environmental sustainability sector. The arts and sustainability residency has been running since 2014 and has already engaged artists in topics of future climate change scenarios and the post-2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 2014 and 2015residencies were held on the Isle of Mull in partnership with Comar.

Founded in 1999 by Peter and Eileen Jacobs, Cove Park is funded by Creative Scotland, by trusts and foundations and by the generosity of individuals. Their contributions are made on the premise that the vitality of the arts today, and the contribution they make to society, is based on the ability of artists to make new work on an ongoing basis.

Photo credit: Ruth Clark

The post Press Release: Artists Selected for Residency Connecting Arts & Sustainability 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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Ingold’s Sustainability of Everything

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Sustainability is an overused word.  It is much diminished by its occurrence in too many documents purporting to suggest that transport, local government or how anything is sustainable following the end of grant funding.  But we know that sustainability matters and thinking out of the current construction doesn’t happen nearly enough.

Tim Ingold’s lecture at the Centre for Human Ecology (Pearce Institute, Govan) on Saturday 10 September was entitled ‘The Sustainability of Everything’.  This provocative phrase came from an invitation to talk at a previous event about sustainability in relation to art and science, citizenship and democracy, love and friendship.

Ingold used ‘everything’ including qualities and processes as a way to open up a trenchant criticism of not merely the usage of sustainability but more widely the turn in science to data and the atomisation of everything.

Tim Ingold is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen.  He is known for his distinctive, arts and humanities inflected approach to anthropology.  He is currently leading ‘Knowing from the Inside’, a major European Research Council funded project involving anthropologists, archaeologists, architects and artists.

For Ingold the question of sustainability is not “How can we carry on doing what we are doing but with a bit less waste and impact?” but rather “What kind of world has a place for us and future generations?” “What does carrying on mean?” and more practically speaking “How do we make it happen?”

The key point is that everything in Ingold’s sense is not the collection of all the individual bits, but something different.  His problem with current science and current constructions of sustainability are their reliance on isolating something to analyse it.  Ingold comes at things looking for movement and entanglement rather than boundary.  To make this point he uses examples where either you don’t know where one thing ends and another starts, or examples of things in motion.  So he asks for instance whether the bird’s nest is part of the tree?  Or whether the wind that has made the tree grow bent over is part of the tree?  He asks if you can tell which part of the eddy in the stream is the ‘inside’ and which is the ‘outside’?

The importance of this approach is that it opens up new ways of experiencing and knowing which are more process oriented rather than object oriented.  Artists in particular respond enthusiastically to this way of knowing.

Ingold further developed this through Lucretius’ idea that everything is in motion and when things bump into each other they form knots – clouds are knots of water and temperature and wind.  Trees are complex knots.  Ingold evolves the idea of knots by pointing out that rope stays together through a combination of twist and friction.  He notes that harmony (eg polyphonic music) is exactly the same – a combination of elements that in themselves might initially appear to be in conflict but in relationship with each other are beautiful.  Again he’s nodding to artists ways of knowing.  In his terms everything is a “correspondence of parts” – not a totality but rather a carrying on.

Having set up this alternative way of understanding Ingold highlighted how current formulations of sustainability are underpinned by an assumption that the “entire earth is a standing reserve” and that we need to protect the earth in the way that a company protects its profits.  He drew attention to the underlying corporate or management language implicit in these descriptions of sustainability and how this is true of conservation organisations as much as corporations and governments. Furthermore of course Paulo Friere provided a deep critique of the ‘banking’ model of education which is closely aligned with this accounting version of sustainability.

Having established what he meant by ‘everything’, Ingold went on to construct an idea of ‘carrying on’.  To do this he referred to traditional ways of forestry in Japan where there is a dynamic relationship between the forester, the forest and the building of a house articulated in a 30 year cycle – trees take 30 years to grow and a house needs renewed every 30 years.  Trees are planted, foresters learn to build houses, trees are cut to build houses, trees are planted.  It is very different from the forms of plantation forestry and clear felling we experience across much of Scotland.

In conclusion Ingold came back to the themes of art and science, citizenship and democracy, peace and friendship.  He suggested that science has reneged on its commitment to understanding the world in ways that are useful for life, and that in his view environmental arts do this more effectively now.  He talked about the need for a politics of difference and the importance of embracing tension and agonism.

Reflecting on this talk there are a few key points that are worth teasing out of Ingold’s valuable line of argument.

Firstly, the construction of sustainability currently offered in ‘sustainable development’ and ‘ecosystems services’ is fundamentally human-centric and has lost any connection with the ‘existence value’ of the non-human as constructed by the likes of Arne Naess, Gregory Bateson and many others which were early inspirations of the environmental movement (and remain very influential on environmental arts). Ingold’s focus on entanglement and movement is a useful counter to ‘banking’ approaches. *

Secondly, we need to recognise that our current construction of sustainability is only one possible construction.  It is in terms of conventional ethics basically a form of Utilitarianism – the greatest good for the greatest number.  And in this respect it suffers from all the criticisms of Utilitarianism in being fundamentally subjective and in environmental terms challenging – if more than half the world’s population lives in cities then what is good for cities must be good for humans – that is a bizarre thought (although one often promoted by architects and urban planners)!  But the point is that Ingold is providing an underpinning articulation of ‘being’ that asks for a different ethics – one which accepts the conflicts but accords value to the connectedness of everything and its motion.  So he positively argued against the conservation of trees and in favour of the carrying on of planting and growing, felling and building as a cycle. Perhaps Ingold doesn’t go far enough – Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, eminent ecological artists, argue that we need to ‘put more back into ecological systems than we take out’ in our carrying on. By this they mean that our cycles need to be weighted to greater biodiversity and strengthening ecological cycles.

Finally Ingold’s construction, particularly of ‘knots’ is useful if we recognise that we humans are arch constructors of knots.  Everything we make is some sort of knot whether it’s food or paths or roads or houses or nuclear power stations or mustard gas or satellites.  And if we can imagine a knot then we will make it.  If its been imagined then someone is trying to make it, somewhere.  That’s an interesting problem.  It’s prompted discussions around what ‘responsible innovation’ might be. How can we create knots that make for healthier places for all living things.

* I’m indebted to Dave Pritchard for elucidating this evolution through the sequence of major environmental summits starting in Stockholm in 1972 and progressing in 10 yearly intervals through to Rio+20 in 2012.  He correlated this with the shift from an environmentalism of ‘existence value’ through to ‘ecosystems services’ and ‘sustainable development’.  Each Summit sought to achieve greater policy impact and as a result reframed in terms of acceptable (human-centric) policy.

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: International summit and residential short course

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

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 Hall in 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.

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

More information at http://feedingtheinsatiable.info

The post Opportunity: International summit and residential short course 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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