Yearly Archives: 2017

Newton Harrison at Woodend Barn, Aberdeenshire

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland 

Invitation

The Dee and Don Catchment Area
Creating Resilience to Climate Change

The Barn, Saturday 26 August 2017
7-9pm. Refreshments from 6.30pm

We are pleased to confirm that Newton Harrison’s visit to Aberdeenshire has
now been fixed and we are delighted to invite you to an evening of discussion
in his company on 26th August.

Newton Harrison of the Harrison Studio (USA) is an internationally acclaimed artist, who, along with partner Helen Mayer Harrison, has championed art & ecology across the globe since the early 1960’s.

The Barn has invited Newton to visit Aberdeenshire to open a conversation, involving local agencies and communities in exploring the impacts of climate change on our local environment, centering initially on the catchments of the Dee and Don rivers. Following the Harrisons’ methodology, we hope to create a space where all voices can be heard and practical strategies can be formulated and shared.

This partnership forms the core of the Barn’s Art & Ecology programme for 2017-19, and will engage with environmental agencies, farming, fishing, forestry, government, academia, local communities and, not least, the creative sector.

We very much hope that you would like to be involved in supporting this project from the outset, and are able to join us for this opening event with Newton Harrison at the Barn.

Lorraine Grant, Anne Douglas and Mark Hope

RSVP to mail@thebarnarts.co.uk tel 01330 826520

For further information on the Harrison Studio please visit
http://theharrisonstudio.net/

Banner image: Chris Fremantle. Photograph: Mel Shand

 

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.</ br></ br>

Go to EcoArtScotland

July 2017 Green Tease Reflections

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Edge Effects: Frontiers in Retreat was a Green Tease held in Glasgow on 27th July led by the Scottish Sculpture Workshop.

Edge Effects: Frontiers in Retreat was a Green Tease held in Glasgow on 27th July led by the Scottish Sculpture Workshop. The event was part of their Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects programme of walks, workshops, film and performance which explored the complex co-dependencies between ecological, social, economic and political phenomena.

Frontiers in Retreat is a 5 year collaborative project, enquiring the intersections of art and ecology. Within the project there were 7 core sites across Europe these are Mustarinda (Finland), Scottish Sculpture Workshop – SSW (Scotland), Cultural Front GRAD (Serbia), Centre d’Art i Natura CAN (Catalonia), HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme (Finland), Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art (Iceland), Interdisciplinary Art Group SERDE (Latvia). These locations are where artists were invited to work and share knowledge, often collaborating with local inhabitants and communities. The aim of the local residencies was to provide a complex understanding of the entanglements between local ecological concerns and the larger, systematic, global processes.

The Green Tease started with a talk from Taru Elfving who developed the concept of the project. Taru provided an in depth explanation of the project and posed the questions ‘are humans embedded in the ecosystems or are they added on?’ and ‘what does it mean to be centred?’. Taru took the audience through the experiences which shaped the project, for instance how climate change is changing the experiences of the living. This was then linked back to the engagement between art and the environment, leading to frontiers in retreat and giving a platform for artistic research which gave an insight into change in other environments.

Artist Carl Giffney gave an overview of his documentary as part of Frontiers in Retreat. The feature length documentary was filmed in the Netherlands, Scotland and Finland. The film I really don’t feel them shows the making of a unique pair of Dutch bronze clogs that are forged in Scotland as the Independence referendum was taking place. The shoes were brought on a trip the length of Finland and travelled North to the Saami people, the only indigenous people in Europe, living in Northern Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia. Carl then finished by linking the project to social cohesion and his personal experiences of making yourself vulnerable in order to learn.

The day was ended with a deep listening exercise and understanding with sonic artist and researcher Ximena Alarcon. Ximena first gave an insight into her project, Fertile Soil, which she described as migrant women listening to their migrations and using technology to communicate with sounds, words and silences. This project gave an artistic platform to allow improvised conversations between migrant women to take place. The practice of deep listening helps people to recognise the territories we inhibit and how these connect with our inner self, transcending identities and the sense of belonging to a specific ‘place’. Ximena then moved on to hold a short interactive deep listening exercise with the Green Tease participants and took them through the various steps of the exercise to allow them to connect with themselves and others.

The event ended with a discussion in regards to culture / SHIFT questions, the research framework developed by Creative Carbon Scotland in order to understand the ways in which artists work.

Thanks to Yvonne Bullimore of Scottish Sculpture Workshop and Green Arts Initiative member the CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts for hosting the event.

 



The post July 2017 Green Tease Reflections appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



 

About 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

Opportunity: Cultural Adaptations

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland is looking for arts organisations interested in partnering with us in an EU-funded project – read more about the project here.

Because the project focuses on adaptation to climate change, we are looking for partners based in Eire, Belgium, Denmark, north-west Germany or the Netherlands, as these regions have similar climate change challenges.

Are you, or do you know of …

  • A fully constituted organisation that has been active in the arts, cultural and creative sector for at least two years?
  • Based in Eire, Belgium, Denmark, north-west Germany or the Netherlands?
  • Interested in working together on pioneering approaches to learning and skills development for cultural practitioners and organisations so they can reduce their business costs?
  • Keen to bring flair and imagination to opening up new business markets in non-arts environments for arts practitioners?
  • Intrigued by the concept that artists have a unique contribution to make towards helping society adapt to a climate changed world?

Partners don’t need to know much about Adaptation yet, but will need to find a local partner who is working on it (such as the city or regional government or Adaptation agency) to work with.

If you are based in Scotland, please tell your arts and cultural contacts in our target countries about this opportunity and ask them to disseminate it themselves and to get in touch with us if they’d like to know more.


Ben Twist / ben.twist@creativecarbonscotland.com

Alexis Woolley / alexis.woolley@creativecarbonscotland.com

Tel : +44(0)131 529 7909 / +44(0)7931 553872



The post Opportunity: Cultural Adaptations – Creative Europe Partnersearch appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



 

About 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

‘After Coal’ Screening and discussion

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Documentary exploring climate justice to screen at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow on 3 September 2017

What happens when fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive?

After Coal profiles inspiring individuals who are building a new future in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and south Wales. The hour long documentary will screen at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts at 3pm Sunday 3 September. Director Tom Hansell will attend a question and answer session after the screening.

The film features ex-miners using theater to rebuild community infrastructure, women transforming a former coal board office into an education hub, and young people striving to stay in their home communities. The stories of coalfield residents who must abandon traditional livelihoods bring viewers to the front lines of the transition away from fossil fuels. Music plays a major role in this documentary essay, linking the two regions and providing cultural continuity that sustains communities through rapid change.

Director Tom Hansell has made a career of documenting energy issues in the Appalachian coalfields of the United States. His previous films Coal Bucket Outlaw (2002) and The Electricity Fairy (2011) screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts is Glasgow’s hub for the arts. Their year-round programme includes cutting-edge exhibitions, film, music, literature, spoken word, festivals, Gaelic and performance. At the heart of all activities is the desire to work with artists, commission new projects and present them to the widest possible audience.

For more information, contact the CCA box office at  boxoffice@cca-glasgow.com, phone 0141 352 4900 or contact the filmmaker directly at thansell@gmail.com

To book tickets electronically, go to: http://cca-glasgow.com/programme/after-coal

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.</ br></ br>

Go to EcoArtScotland

Making economics the servant, not the master

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

“An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where the rich use public transport,” Enrique Peñalosa, former Mayor of Bogota.

I’ve been reading the new edition of Tim Jackson’s Prosperity Without Growth. I read the first edition some years ago and this terrific, substantially rewritten version seems much clearer and easier to understand. This is partly because Jackson has perfected his arguments by rehearsing them so many times since then, and maybe I know more now about what he’s talking about.

I think however it’s also the way the financial crisis, politics and the approach to climate change have played out in the years since 2009, when the report that became the book was first released. The standard economic responses to environmental and financial crises have not succeeded and inequality and political unrest are rife. So maybe the book just seems more obvious. As Jackson points out in the prologue, what he writes about isn’t now just a fringe issue but an essential, almost mainstream discussion.

What is prosperity?

Jackson sets out the problems of growth and then seeks to redefine prosperity, using work that shows that beyond a certain point more income doesn’t increase happiness. Reducing poverty is crucial, but once you get to the level of the poorer countries in Europe, the gains from increased wealth are marginal (although being better off than your peers seems to matter). And he argues, along  with a long list of philosophers, writers and economists over the ages, that prosperity actually resides in such things as:

  • Physical and mental health
  • Entitlement to democratic and educational participation
  • Trust, security and a sense of community
  • Relationships
  • Meaningful employment and participation in society

The Problem of (no) Growth

Where I came unstuck is where Jackson tries to explain why, contrary to received economic opinion, a no- or slow-growth society won’t lead to a depression, mass unemployment and the accompanying social discord. His answer is that an economy that focuses on health, education, community and so on will be a services-based economy rather than a manufacturing/production-based one. This has a lower potential for productivity gains through technology and innovation: you can’t increase efficiency in an orchestra, a hairdresser’s or a nursing home, which rely on human engagement, as you can in a widget factory. So the slower growth will not reduce jobs as much, and the shift won’t be as bad as we think. This seems fair enough, but we’re still going to need food and various kinds of stuff in this brave new world: concert halls, scissors and beds, if nothing else. Can you have an economy solely based on services? Maybe I’m missing something…

However, it’s a great book and Jackson seems to me to recognise and state the key point, that the future society we need to build is going to be different to the current one. Continuing the way things are will lead to similar problems of overstepping the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s planetary boundaries. That this is seldom remarked upon baffles me. And an example came up again in a way in the UK Government’s recent announcement that they would ban new internal combustion engine cars from 2040.

Imagining a different world

Instead of changing what makes the cars run, we should be thinking about whether, where and when we need cars. They take a great deal of energy and carbon to produce; they cause other forms of pollution; they waste lots of valuable space in cities and towns; driving wastes time and causes stress; they cause health problems through accidents and lack of exercise. Of course they are advantageous for some people and some of the time: to move stuff around, to enable people with mobility problems to participate fully in society. But there’s an opportunity to rethink a whole series of things: how we plan our environment; where we put homes, workplaces, hospitals, shops and other facilities; how we plan public transport networks; when we work; and so on.

There’s an assumption that people want to travel by car. But backing up Jackson’s work, for my PhD research in Aberdeen I’ve analysed over 3,000 responses to surveys and held six focus groups, and I’m not so sure. People did travel to the theatre by car but were annoyed about parking – finding spaces and the costs – and they wanted to enjoy a drink during the interval. However the problems with public transport and elements of the urban environment being off-putting, particularly to women, made the car the obvious choice. Not because it was good, but because the alternatives were worse.

Even the technological answer of autonomous cars assumes a need for easy and largely private motorised mobility. Walking, cycling, public transport don’t get much of a look in but are arguably better for public and private health, both mental and physical. Perhaps because they don’t feed the economy: more walking doesn’t lead to increased GDP.

It’s not just the economy, stupid.

What Jackson seeks to do in Prosperity Without Growth is set out the economics of a post-growth society. And that’s hard because, as he points out, contemporary (although not all) economics assumes growth to be essential to the success of a modern society. But the sociologist John Urry argued that economics has had a stranglehold on thinking about climate change for too long and that other disciplines should join in. This is surely where the arts and culture feature: we need to imagine our new society, and then economics is useful to understand how to make it work. But imagining the unimaginable needs to come first, and that’s what artists do. (Interestingly, Jackson is a playwright as well as an economist – perhaps this is a job for him?)

We’re currently planning our 2018 Arts+Sustainability Residency which will take place in Aberdeen and be focused on the post-fossil fuel future for that city-region. We’ll bring an energy expert and a cultural producer together to help eight artists explore how that future might be shaped. We won’t solve the problem, but we may sow the seeds for future imagining that will make the job easier in future.

 



The post Ben’s Strategy blog: Making economics the servant, not the master appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



 

About 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