Yearly Archives: 2017

“Ambulatory Knowing”: Architecture, Access, and the Anthropocene

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

This post is jointly authored by Holly Keasey and Fiona P McDonald (Bio below), another resident on the Santa Fe Art Institute’s Water Rights Programme.


By ‘becoming knowledgeable’ I mean that knowledge is grown along the myriad of paths we take as we make our ways through the world in the course of everyday activities, rather than assembled from information obtained from numerous fixed locations. Thus it is by ‘walking along’ from place to place, and not by building up from local particulars that we come to know what we do.
‘Footprints through the weather-world: walking, breathing, knowing’ – Tim Ingold (2010)


 

Walking is generally assumed as a basic mode of transportation. However, walking (or any movement based on ability) through a place when undertaken as a collaborative tactic finds its way into becoming something else – a way of knowing and doing. Walking for Holly is a way to get lost and yet find what she did not know was already embodied knowledge through making connections between her feet, this place and that which she carries with her from other places. The practice of walking is something she shares with Fiona, who uses walking as a methodology central in her anthropological and collaborative work. By embracing anthropologist Tim Ingold’s logic of “ambulatory knowing”, Holly and Fiona set off on foot and offer a narrative of their shared visual observations from almost 20miles of walking, particularly considering how architecture may be tied to accessibility in New Mexico during the Anthropocene, our human-made geological epoch.

72 hours after arriving in Santa Fe, a group of Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) Residents headed to learn more about local fabrication facilities. While we left our residency on the campus compound by car to arrive in the industrial area where these facilities are located, we then left this industrial zone on foot. We set our destination to be the downtown plaza, a major tourist site. According to Google Maps, it was going to be a mere 4.2mile walk. The intent of our journey on foot was to get a better handle on what we perceived to be the urban sprawl of Santa Fe. In this instance in Santa Fe, we are both tourists and temporary residents/researchers in-place to carry out work that contributes to global conversations around water. To know the terrain, its waterways, and its urban nuances is critical to our work, knowledge we felt was best acquired through walking through place where we will be for several weeks and months.

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As we moved beyond the industrial area, a space that appears to be in the process of revitalization with a range of art centers tucked around each corner, we arrived at Agua Fria Street, a main traffic artery that draws commuters to and from the downtown plaza. Unaware at this point that we were undertaking an ethnography on foot, what has since resulted is the realization that we were not only becoming geographically oriented, but we were witnessing the socio-economic divides that the main transportation arteries create in Santa Fe, observations that now inform core research questions during our tenure in Santa Fe.

We crossed Agua Fria to consider a brief toilet break at Frenchy’s field. However, we pressed on without stopping. Unbeknown to us, had we abandoned the path set out by Google Maps and embraced Holly’s approach of wandering, our first impressions of the socio-economic divide of Santa Fe would have been very different. We might have followed the Santa Fe River trail (see our observations below on that walk, taken more recently) that moves pedestrians and cyclists through more affluent communities. Yet we continued on the path of Aguia Fria Street where we observed what appeared to be makeshift wooden and wire fences guarded by a variety of dogs from frantically barking Pit Bulls to a jack-in-a-box Pekingese who warned residents of our presence on the pavement. Our perception of the American ideal of independence and property ownership played out along this single 3 mile stretch, with individual properties reflecting a range of values from ornamentation to fortification, to clustered communities off the beaten path.

Holly pausing in her footsteps to look at cluster dwelling in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Holly pausing in her footsteps to look at cluster dwelling in Santa Fe, New Mexico

As we pressed closer to downtown in the space between the intersectional roads of St. Francis Drive and South Guadalupe Street an economic divide became apparent. The adobe vernacular we had seen in the previous three miles, often in disrepair, was now well-maintained and occupied by art galleries, restaurants, schools and homes with low-fences so that passersby could see the manicured yards with local vegetation accompanied by rock installations. It felt to us that the community along Agua Fria Street is undergoing a constant compression of gentrification from both ends. We wondered, when squeezed so far, where will this community go and what policies are driving property shifts in Santa Fe?
The following Saturday, to escape the campus compound once more and locate Santa Fe in the greater expanse that is New Mexico, we abandoned our feet and took the highway seventy miles North following the Rio Grande to Taos. The main area of Taos holds many similarities to Santa Fe, with adobe-style housing and dramatic shifts in socio-economic situations radiating outwards from the central tourist orientated plaza to the leisure mecca of Ski Valley. Yet beyond the town, and truly off the beaten path, is the ‘Greater World Earthship Community’ – a 633 acre subdivision containing nothing but earthship style homes. Here we ventured on foot to explore what we could of this biotecture community.

Holly taking steps in learning about biotecture in New Mexico.

Holly taking steps in learning about biotecture in New Mexico

Sample structures of the Greater World Community of Earthships, New Mexico

Sample structures of the Greater World Community of Earthships, New Mexico

Investing $7 each to enter the Earthship Visitor Center to learn about structures, materials, etc., (too complex to go into here) our conversation drifted to the concept of “sustainability” in the anthropocene. We found ourselves mesmerized by the exclusivity of the community and what the front-end costs are for participating in this lifestyle. As one of three Earthship communities in New Mexico, and part of a larger network across the US that began in the 1970s, one can join this community and purchase a newly built structure for just over $1.5 million US Dollars (as we were told in the visitor center). Playing in here to what Van Jones terms the “eco-elite” (2007).

On our third excursion off the campus compound in the three weeks since arriving, we decided to explore the Santa Fe Rail Trail multi-use pedestrian system, the elusive path we did not know to take during our pause at Frenchy’s field on our first walking odyssey. In walking this trail for 8 miles, we, again, observed disparate socio-economic communities, this time divided by the parched bed of the Santa Fe River. Again, closer to the main roads where the Santa Fe Trail crosses over, communities similar to that along Aguia Fria Street are visible. Edge deeper along the trail network and communities framed by high fences appear as they conceal well-maintained adobe homes with renewable energy sources on their roofs and water catchment practices in their backyards.

Sample of Sustainable Energy on a private residence

Sample of Sustainable Energy on a private residence

What we discovered in the act of ambulatory knowing in Santa Fe is that development and accessibility to secure, sustainable lifestyles appears to be exclusive. The individuals and families to whom it appears inaccessible are those being compressed by brownfield and urban gentrification, or hugging major roadways. By prioritising economic growth, and then the environment (as a capitalised resource) over social equality, there is something in our current understandings of sustainability that grows mainly out-of-sight in the interstitial spaces of policy, urban planning, and environmental consciousness. Something that can become knowledge through curbside learning and walking. It is in this action of walking and visual observation where we find the questions we need to ask in our own work about policy, law, regulation, and planning as our work here develops with each passing day and the paths we find ourself walking down.

Photos by Fiona P. McDonald


Bibliography

Ingold, Tim. 2010. “Footprints through the weather-world: walking, breathing, knowing.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute: S121-S139.

Jones, Van. 2009. Beyond Eco-Apartheid. Available at: http://truth-out.org/archive/component/k2/item/70209:van-jones–beyond-ecoapartheid

Welch, Bryan. 2009. “Earthships: The Power of Unconventional Ideas.” Available at:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/earthships-michael-reynolds-zb0z12fmzsto

Taos and the Greater World Earthship Community. Homepage: http://earthship.com/blogs/2015/03/taos-the-greater-world-community/


Bio for Fiona P. McDonald, PhD. (Anthropologist, Curator)

Fiona P. McDonald is the 2016-2019 Postdoctoral Researcher at Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Arts and Humanities Institute. She is also a 2017 Water Rights Resident at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Fiona completed her PhD (2014) in the Department of Anthropology at University College London (UCL) in visual anthropology & material culture. Her dissertation is entitled Charting Material Memories: a visual and material ethnography of the transformations of woollen blankets in contemporary art, craft, and Indigenous regalia in Canada, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the United States. This project was undertaken as both an historic and contemporary visual and material ethnography of the material nature and transformations of woollen (trade) blankets that were produced in the United Kingdom since the seventeenth century. Her work addresses both historical and contemporary uses of woollen blankets through a direct examination of the pluralistic histories that things and objects have when re-worked and recycled by contemporary artists and customary makers in North American and Aotearoa New Zealand. Fiona is currently translating this research into a book project.

Fiona is also the co-founder of Ethnographic Terminalia Collective (ETC) (est.2009), an international curatorial collective that curates exhibitions at the intersections of arts and anthropology. ETC have curated and organized exhibitions and workshops across North America (Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Montreal, New York, Austin, Chicago, Denver, and Vancouver) where they aim to move academic research beyond the academy through public engagement.

Research interests are: Water, Energy studies, Indigenous material and visual culture, repatriation, oral histories, contemporary Indigenous art, curatorial theory, performance theory, and museum studies.

www.fiona-p-mcdonald.com


 

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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Festivity in the Darkness

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

by Julia Levine

My inbox is flooded with petitions and calls to action. I’m calling and tweeting more than ever. These are amongst responses to the current political situation in twenty-first century America. Aside from anxiety-inducing news alerts and very tangible threats to our livelihoods at the hands of our national government, I catch glimpses of joy, ways to stay engaged, and reasons to remain hopeful.

During the first days of the Trump Administration, 350.org ran a Twitter campaign, tweeting up a storm of #ClimateFacts, just as the new President gag-ordered the EPA. I contributed a few tweets, as did my collaborators at Back To Work Collective. Within a few hours, #ClimateFacts was trending worldwide. Twitter is a rapidly moving medium, and while the flood of #ClimateFacts poured out on January 26, this particular “Twitter Storm” has past. Nevertheless, 350.org achieved a small virtual victory, in which the “master’s tool” was reclaimed by the people, and in a way, by the climate itself.

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From the 350.org “Twitter Storm” on January 26.

In the real world, something that has kept me afloat amidst horrifying news on the crumbling state of our democracy is the International Human Rights Art Festival, which I am assistant producing. This Festival, opening next week in New York City, brings together local, national, and international artists, activists, and community members around a weekend of arts events resonating human rights themes. The weekend also includes community-based events: happy hours for neighbors from across the city to commune, kvetch about the current state of affairs, and celebrate the arts; and a KidsFest, opening up the world of art activism to youth of all ages through hands-on art-making around socio-political issues.

On the climate front, the Festival features environmentally conscious events through an array of media. There will be two new theatre pieces on varying environmental themes: PLUTO (no longer a play) by eco-theatre collective Superhero Clubhouse, and UPROOT by yours truly. We’re screening Josh Fox’s climate change documentary, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change, with a special introduction by the filmmakers. And throughout the weekend, artist James Leonard will give climate change divination readings in his Tent of Casually Observed Phenologies.

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The Tent of Casually Observed Phenologies, Childe Hassam Park, Boston, MA, 2015. Image Credit: Melissa Blackall

James’ Tent, fashioned beautifully from colorful second-hand clothes, is a unique performance, a one-on-one encounter, and a space for questioning and reflection. I asked James to describe the underpinnings of the Tent in his own terms, especially as he has been continuing his work in this particular political climate:

The Tent of Casually Observed Phenologies grew out of my own anxieties over ongoing ecological crises and my struggle to deal with impermanence. I have found that the divinatory practices I employ in my art give structure to deep contemplation, training the imagination to respond to the range of the possible futures before us. This contemplation, though at times painful, can provide calm, and amidst that calm can be found the clarity and strength to persist. In this way, I see my role as artist & activist as something of a spiritual M*A*S*H unit to the broader environmental movement.

My own work at the Festival, the first iteration of my play about the industrial food system, UPROOT, meditates on where our food comes from and how we – many of us in Western society – got to be disconnected from its source. Through anthropomorphized foods, I pose questions about the choices we make with regards to food – and what choices are made for us. The characters in UPROOT also encounter concepts of identity and agency. With these broader themes, I pursue a theatrical event that holds a time and space for every audience member to reflect on the world around them, and their place in it.

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Image for UPROOT at the International Human Rights Art Festival. Design Credit: Lucy Ressler

As I have been meditating on these ideas in my rehearsals, I was pointed to a piece in The Conversation: We need to think about redefining citizenship in the Anthropocene. Author Sam Solnick touches on the paradox of rising nationalism at the same time of rising sea levels (and rise in climate disasters). Solnick reconsiders borders and walls, proposing:

One way of negotiating the multifarious challenges of citizenship in the Anthropocene is to relinquish the fixation on ‘taking back control’ and recognise the radical challenges to our agency from forces not only beyond our borders but beyond our species. In doing so, we can create informed citizens who recognise that they participate in citizenship on a changing planet that, whatever the science-warping mouthpieces of Murdoch and the Koch Brothers proclaim, will not be fooled into altering its course by alternative facts.

The way that Solnick describes agency, and offers space to recognize these borderless forces, resonates with my characters’ relationships to the world they occupy.

These past months have pushed me – and my inbox – to maintain a balance of work, play, and resistance. The events coming to the Festival have helped me imagine a way for these elements of my life to come together. Considering the personal and political spaces that will be created by the participating artists – the spaces for art, activism, and joy – I get the sense that this weekend will be a form of resistance in and of itself. As history has taught, the dark forces of the Trump Administration will feed off of fear, complacency, even sadness. The events of the Festival are so antithetical to such energies, highlighting instead positive forces that transcend any border or wall.

Take Action
Want to block fossil-driven projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, but can’t travel to the front lines? Stay up-to-date on ways to resist from where you are by signing up for 350.org’s Pledge of Pipeline Resistance.

Want to engage in peaceful public assembly and protest around climate issues? Consider the March for Science on April 22 (Earth Day) and the People’s Climate March on April 29.

The International Human Rights Art Festival runs March 3-5, 2017 at Dixon Place in New York City.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Stop the Presses! It’s Community Supported Paper at Fresh Press

This Article Appeared First on Paperslurry 

What if handmade paper was at the farmer’s market, along with your favorite tomatoes and freshly baked loaf? Or, maybe there’s a snazzy notebook made from prairie grass paper in your CSA box.

You’re not daydreaming—community supported paper is a reality, thanks to Fiber by Fresh Press.

WHAT IS FRESH PRESS?

Fresh Press is a hand papermaking studio at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Founded by Eric Benson and Steve Kostell in 2012, this microbrewery of paper researches agri-waste fibers for possible use at the commercial scale (read this overview here).

Fresh Press, handmade paper posterHand papermaking from farm and agricultural plants at Fresh Press

Driving on the highway through the center of Illinois, through blurry stretches of cornfields, the idea of using farm fiber starts to make sense. Fresh Press experiments with farm fibers such as cornstalks and eggplant vines, instead of forests, opening up the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help American farmers.

FIBER BY FRESH PRESS

Fiber by Fresh Press is the newest project stemming from their mission.

You might already be familiar with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), an alternative economic system for local food distribution (individuals subscribe for a share of the farm harvest, and then receive yummy fresh food at regular intervals).

Take the same idea, but replace the food with handmade paper made from nearby soy stalks, tomato vines, prairie grasses, and recycled paper scrap.

Fibers by Fresh Press, hand made papers

Currently, Fiber by Fresh Press offers drawing papers, notebooks, and sketchbooks, packaged for students and professors on campus (they hope to expand the project to the public soon). The papermakers are students at the University of Illinois who also grow and harvest the plants at the Student Sustainable Farm.

THE STUDIO

Serendipitously, I had a chance to stop by the studio to meet co-founder Eric Benson and also Natalie Smith, the Fresh Press studio manager. They were kind enough to give me a tour, take a peek through the flat files, and poke around the farm.

Handmade paper at Fresh Press

Fresh Press papermaking studio flat filesHandmade paper by Fresh PressFresh Press at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne

The papermaking studio is nicely outfitted with a David ReinaHollander Beater, hydraulic press, and an enviable group of moulds and deckles.

Fresh Press Papermaking Studio, moulds and deckles, Reina Hollander Paper Beater, Hydraulic Paper Press

Student Sustainable Farm

Student Sustainable Farm

Imagine having this alternative for buying paper—a delivery of art papers and journals from your local hand papermaker. Excited yet?

by May Babcock

Native Communities and Climate Change, Center Stage

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

This article was originally published on HowlRound, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre community, in April 2016.

by Jaisey Bates

A simple equation for survival:

  1. In this Anthropocene Age of human-wrought catastrophic climate change, Indigenous people including US Native communities are center stage in dual roles: as those disproportionately affected by the escalating environmental devastation, and as those uniquely voiced with perspectives of vital importance.
  2. If we wish to sustain this world for our children and future generations, we must with open minds gather and share information and expertise. We must commit to positive change and work together toward possible cures. Therefore, ergo, ipso facto, in sum:
  3. We need Native voices center stage. We need a good Ceremony:
Left photo of Flora M. Rexford by Darren Kayotuk. Right photo by Flora Rexford. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
Left photo of Flora M. Rexford by Darren Kayotuk. Right photo by Flora Rexford. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

We need, collectively, to break up with Aristotle and elementally reframe and fast-track evolve a holistic understanding—an Indigenous understanding—of what it means to be human in a vibrant world that includes and transcends humankind.

We need Native voices—historically dehumanized, marginalized, silenced, and subject to appropriation—center stage in all discussions leading to effective efforts, as Native communities are center stage in the experience of climate change.

As artists and theatremakers, we can do this. We have a unique opportunity and imperative to bring Native voices center stage in the literal sense in order to raise awareness and foster inclusion, action, and change. Because theatre can unfold worlds and words which contribute to the way we choose to walk, in the precious few moments we are gifted, this beloved ground. Because theatre, at its heart, is a Ceremony.

An aside—actually, a request? Go outside, look at the night sky. Or picture it, if the predominant patriarchal sans pigmentation perspective and/or pollution-choked atmosphere currently screens the stars from your particular vantage point.

Take a moment. Breathe. Can you see a sky radiant with the songs and souls of gone stars? Starlight, the language of past stars’ lives, and infinite new stars as yet invisible from Earth exist across and outside of time whether or not we are here.

But manifolds and quarks and quantum fields and parallel/string theory/coincident dimensions and permutations and entanglement and math, lots and lots of math, and endlessly mutable extrapolations might supersaturate and/or give rise to existential angst and/or nihilism, which won’t help us in our current struggle against time to save our home and ourselves.

So for this one moment, for the–space–of–this–one–long–breath, simply watch the stars. Inhale. Exhale. Wonder at the existence, the essence, of the nonhuman entities before you. Open yourself to the vibrant infinite diversity of the nonhuman lives and languages around you. Be still. Listen. Everything speaks.

Now pick a star, any star, reverse the perspective and watch this planet recede until it’s almost impossible to distinguish. A ginormous ’50s era blazing lightbulb-bordered motel sign arrow appears, pointing to that distant tiny fragile blue place that is your home: YOU ARE HERE. The sign flashes once, twice, again. It and Earth and we are gone.

This is the end of the story we as humans are writing on this world.

But we can change this narrative.

b_j_bates_photo-2

the day we were born, one of my full-length plays in development, is set in the Iñupiaq Native Alaskan community of Barrow (Ukpiaġvik), the northernmost US city, within a culture and climate in crisis. This play about whales and words and wars and what it means to be human and how we can heal ourselves and this world that is our home has its origins on a windy LA October day in 2011, during a writers’ workshop hosted by Native Voices at the Autry, when Dr. Bernardo Solano gave us a homework assignment. After we read our work aloud, Native Voices Co-Founder/Producing Executive Director Jean Bruce Scott strongly encouraged me to expand the scene I’d written into a full-length play.

—“But I’m not Native Alaskan,” I said.

—“You’re Native American,” she said.

—“But Qi swears a blue streak and it’d be a big cast and—”

—“Please, write this story,” she said.

So I did, immensely grateful as an unknown writer of nontraditional stories that at least one person would read the play. But Jean did far more than just read the first draft—she included day in Native Voices’ Fall 2012 First Look Series—and, encouraged by the audience’s response, I’ve continued to develop the play through research and engagement of this vibrant and challenged Indigenous community and environment in the hope of rendering a healing ceremony of a story worthy of audiences and the trees. All the trees.

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The lessons have been immense. The quest to learn more is ongoing and each new experience, awareness, connection, correlation changes the text not just of this story but of me and my life. How I experience what it means to be human. How I navigate this journey.

Because I am a story made of words.

And we are a story together.

We can change our story. We, as artists, as theatremakers in this age of climate change, can do this. We can bring Native voices center stage.

A simple equation for Indigenous inclusion:

  1. Read Mary Kathryn Nagle’s HowlRound blog and #InsteadofRedface series.
  2. Develop and produce plays by Native playwrights. See MKN’s new play, Fairly Traceable. See Diane GlancyJoy HarjoLinda HoganDark Winter Productions, #InsteadofRedface. I and my words also humbly volunteer as climate change theatre action Tribute.
  3. Hire Native actors and directors. Reread the #InsteadofRedface series, especially Kimberly Norris Guerrero’s article.
  4. Seek Native partnerships, collaborations, consultancies. See Chantal Bilodeau’Silaand Sharmon Hilfinger’s Arctic Requiem.
  5. Consider Indigenous voices. See #StandingRock, #NoDAPL, #WaterIsLife, #‎MniWiconi, #HonorTheTreaties, #‎RezpectOurWater.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5.

For we are made of our words, you and I.

We stand this ground together. We are a story together.

Let us write together a strong and beautiful world worthy of our children’s children.

Let us heal our home and ourselves. Let us make a good Ceremony.

All depends on this.

b_j_bates_photo-4

Photo one:
“I have lived in Kaktovik all my life, rich in culture and traditions. I love working with children and care deeply about language and culture of the Iñupiat of the North Slope.”
— Flora M. Rexford, Iñupiaq Language Teacher in Kaktovik, Alaska

Climate change is evident:

The Arctic’s receding ice is causing polar bears (nanuq) to seek food on the mainland, increasing encounters between polar bears and humans, like Ms. Rexford’s mother’s and grandmother’s experience.

Connection to the environment is elemental:

“In the new Iñupiaq to English dictionary by Edna Maclean, there are 92 terms for ice, 16 of which are based on the term siku, 76 terms listed for snow and frost.”
— Qaiyaan Harcharek, Taġium Iñuŋi forum posting, 8/15/16

Photo two:
“This world is changing, Qi. This world is fragile. We need to find new stories to help protect this world, our home, before it’s too late. This world needs us, Qi.”
— Benny

“I think about Benny every day. Benny cares so much about the world, his ever changing world. He wants to help heal the world and I admire his strength in trying to help the one world while standing in two. That takes guts. That takes balance.”
— Mosiah Salazar Bluecloud

L to R: Mosiah Salazar Bluecloud (Benny) and Dillon Griffitts (Qilalugak/Qi). Workshop staging of day directed by Ronald Deron Twohatchet during the 2016 OKCTC Native American New Play Festival. Photo: Mark Williams/Digital Feather Media. © Jaisey Bates/The Peoplehood.

Photo three:
“We need you to remember our songs, our stories / to heal this broken world, our home. We need you to dream new songs, new stories / to heal this broken world, our home. All depends on this.” — White Caribou Belly Woman

L to R: Maya Torralba (Mother), Russ Tallchief (Soldier) and Tiffany Tuggle Rogers (White Caribou Belly Woman). Workshop staging of day directed by Ronald Deron Twohatchet during the 2016 OKCTC Native American New Play Festival. Photo: Mark Williams/Digital Feather Media. © Jaisey Bates/The Peoplehood.

Photo four:
An Iñupiaq subsistence hunter studies the Chukchi Sea.
Photo by Mark Su’esu’e, Barrow, AK, 2015. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

______________________________

Jaisey Bates writes, directs and performs her nontraditional work with her multicultural nomadic theater company, The Peoplehood. LA and NYC venues for her words’ development and performance have included the Agüeybaná Book Store, Art/Works, Eclectic, Lounge, Naked Angels, Native Voices at the Autry, Open Fist, Performance Loft, Samuel French Bookshop, Studio/Stage, Unknown and Victory theaters. Her words have enjoyed road trips to theaters in Arizona, Iowa, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

 



About Artists and Climate Change:

Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

ADVERTISE with the CSPA QUARTERLY!

The CSPA Quarterly, our print and digital publication on issues related to Sustainable Development and the Arts, is now offering advertising space! Support this excellent publication and the CSPA while reaching a unique audience.

Ad space purchased in the digital and print versions include cross-platform promotions our homepage.

Download the CSPA Advertising Guidelines to see rates and options. To submit a request for space email moe@sustainablepractice.org.

Guide to Contributing to the Environment Connecting Theme

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Scotland has identified the Environment as one of four the connecting themes that underpins its work and the work it supports as the national development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries.

As identified in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, Creative Scotland (and Scotland’s other public bodies) must act:

  1. in the way best calculated to contribute to delivery of the Act’s emissions reduction targets;
  2. in the way best calculated to deliver any statutory adaptation programme; and
  3. in a way that it considers most sustainable.

Creative Scotland has communicated this commitment in more detail in its 10 Year Plan, stating:

“Climate change is one of the most significant challenges that face us today. We want to ensure that we work in as sustainable a manner as possible and that the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland do the same.”

How can we and those individuals and organisations working within the arts, screen and creative industries help contribute to Creative Scotland’s Environment Connecting Theme? We have provided the following guidance to highlight ways in which you and/or your organisation can lead by example and create a more sustainable Scotland while contributing to the Environment Connecting Theme.

Since 2011, we (Creative Carbon Scotland) have been supporting those working within the arts, screen and creative industries to reduce their organisation’s carbon emissions and environmental impacts as well as influence others about climate change and environmental sustainability. We have produced this guide to share what we think the basic, good and star contributions to the Environment Connecting Theme would be.


DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE

or read on for the web version.

The following table shows what we think would be Basic Compliance (ie the bare minimum for an application to hold its head up); Good Practice (ie an organisation that has good standards in this area); and Star Performer (ie an organisation that is leading the way) . We go into more detail below.

Guide to Contributing to the Environment Connecting Theme 1

Guide to Contributing to the Environment Connecting Theme

 

WHERE TO START:

Below we’ve indicated some places to start with helpful guides and examples to support and inspire you!

Reducing your own carbon emissions and other environmental impacts

  1. Appoint a Green Champion, or in a larger organisation, a Green Team.
  2. Understand your carbon footprint (Find out using claimexpenses.com or the Tenant Energy Toolkit)
  3. Develop an environmental sustainability policy and action plan.
  4. Join the Green Arts Initiative.
  5. Plan how to report this work to your Board.

Influencing others (artists, companies, audiences, suppliers, peers (other arts organisations etc), others)

  1. Include information about the work you are doing to reduce your footprint on your website, brochures, programmes, annual reports etc including membership of GAI!!
  2. Encourage sustainable travel by audiences, artists, freelancers and visitors. If needed, develop your travel policy and plan.
  3. Find suppliers who offer eco-friendly products, services and materials. (Read about what the Edinburgh International Book Festival or Film City Glasgow are doing in relation to sustainable procurement)
  4. Programming opportunities
    1. Within programme: commissioning, seeking existing work, telling artists you’re interested, framing work as relevant
    2. Outwith programming: discussions, using artists’ other interest

 


The post CCS February Newsletter 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

Holly Keasey: gravel pits, acequias and shared interests

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland


“Gravel pits offer a casual archaeology of the meeting places of nature and culture, past and present, construction and destruction, indigenous peoples and colonizers, art and life, creeping globalisation and local survival…”
Undermining: A wild ride through land use, politics, and art in the changing west
L. Lippard (The New Press, 2014)


 

image-1-gravel-pit

The writings of Lucy Lippard are essential reading for anyone interested in the relations between contemporary art, dematerialisation, feminism, social change etc. Her theory of domestic tourism, in particular, has heavily influenced the framework I have developed for my own practice which uses the act of touring as a methodology within research. Yet reading her latest book, Undermining which conducts an archaeological dig through the impacts of the gravel industry on her hometown, Galisteo, thirty miles from SFAI, pushes the notions of ‘being in place’ and the use of ‘site’ as a focal node to the forefront of my thinking.

Spanish colonists arrived in New Mexico in the mid-sixteenth century. Faced with an arid topography similar to their native Spain, they discovered notable similarities between the irrigation practices of the Indigenous people and the systems of centralized, community based irrigation practices, known as acequias, which were common in Spain (originally brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Arabs). It was this similarity of practice around the allocation of water rights that eventually saw Indigenous water usage become a permanent feature of Spanish and later Mexican water customs, despite the introduction of written water laws as an intentional form of dominating power (see the New Mexico Museum of Art’s page on the history and politics of water)

image-2-acequia-santa-fe

Acequias can therefore been seen as sites where different cultures congregated due to a shared understanding of what was necessary for survival. This is also reflective of the term’s root in the Arab word as-Saquiya, which means ‘the Water Bearer’, referring to both the actual irrigation channel and to the association of members organized around it. However, it was in 1848 that this system of irrigation was dramatically challenged by the arrival of the American government into New Mexico, along with its laws that prioritised the belief in individual liberty (see the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s page on Liberty, Diversity and Slavery). This challenge continues even today, with water rights claimants being subjected to the burden of proving water usage prior to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and US Government Bureau of Land Management leasing land and therefore water rights for the purposes of fracking (see the Santa Fe New Mexican for more on the local story).

However, suggestions like those of S. Helmreich in his essay, Nature/Culture/Seawater, that water is anthropologically understood as both a substance and symbol in the world, draws attention back to the importance and role of acequias, and water in general, as sites where communities, ideas and socio-economic constructs will always meet. Water is not an independent entity. The potential within the act of gathering around water is central to the SFAI residency – which over the past week has become more apparent as myself and my cohorts have learnt more about each-others areas of research. Current residents at SFAI who also arrived this month and will be present throughout my stay at SFAI include:

  • River Healers, an activist group working towards re-establish water as a recognised commons. Whilst on residency, River Healers will be mapping corporate executives and government officials that are either directly or indirectly terrorizing New Mexican regional community rights to clean water resources. This will include the composition of a New Mexico water terrorist list that will serve strategic resistance for regionalist water protectors and redirect the U.S. federal administrations attempt to dehumanize and prosecute non-violent people by registering them as domestic terrorists.
  • Anna Macleod, an independent researcher and visual artist based in the northwest of Ireland. She will be expanding an on-going series of water projects which sit with the umbrella term, ‘Water Conversations’. Articulated in varying mediums the projects explore water as a global commons through cultural, political, social and environmental lenses. During her residency, Anna is researching cultural mechanisms of resilience and resistance in communities facing water threats by industry and climate change.
  • Dr. Fiona P. McDonald, a visual anthropologist who specializes in water as material culture. Fiona is the 2016-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Arts & Humanities Institute and co-founder of Ethnographic Terminalia Collective, an international curatorial collective that curates exhibitions at the intersections of arts and anthropology. While at SFAI, she is advancing a new research arts-based sensory ethnography related to Anthropology in the Anthropocene that looks at the role of water in our everyday lives.

The opportunity to focus on water within our individual projects and collectively, through formal and casual discussions that occur when you live and work together, can only be beneficial to expanding our approaches and supportive networks during and beyond the thematic residency format. Yet personally, I like to look at this thematic-residency as a micro-model of how water is a site that will always encourage a collating of difference around a shared focal interest.



About Eco/Art/Scot/Land :

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

Arts & Sustainability 2016 Residency Report Published

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

“CCS’s Arts & Sustainability Residency is becoming a major intersection point for artists and the most significant thinkers in sustainability.” Chris Fremantle, independent arts producer, writer & researcher

In September 2016, eight artists were invited to participate in CCS’s annual Arts & Sustainability Residency, working with facilitators Jan Bebbington (Professor of Accounting and Sustainable Development, Director, St Andrews Sustainability Institute) and Lex ter Braak (Director, Van Eyck Institute, Maastricht, Netherlands), and partnering with Cove Park.

Over an intensive three-day programme, participating artists were asked to reflect upon and develop their understanding of how their practices connected with themes surrounding the burgeoning field of the Anthropocene, and the wider cultural shift towards a more environmentally sustainable society.

Key questions and themes discussed included:

  • The contested starting points of the Anthropocene and the social, political and creative implications contingent on each of these;
  • The cultural responses that an understanding of geological deep time provokes;
  • The historical role of the artist in society;
  • Developing robust theories of change which can provide practical hope in addressing the transition away from unsustainable practices.

Download the Arts & Sustainability 2016 Report.

Arts & Sustainability 2016 Report Published 1

As well as supporting the development of artistic practices in Scotland, the Arts & Sustainability Residency plays an important role in shaping CCS’s thinking and work. Key learning points stemming from the residency on CCS’s role included:

  • Actively developing and brokering relationships artists and sustainability experts and institutions, helping to set the right terms for the ways in which artistic practices can contribute to environmental sustainability contexts;
  • Supporting and facilitating commissioning opportunities for the development of new artistic
    work in this area with other cultural organisations;
  • Continuing to create opportunities for learning and knowledge/practice exchange such as the residency and Green Tease events;
  • Making the most of artists’ curiosity and readiness for the unknown within the context of
    the challenges surrounding issues such as climate change.

CCS created a space where artists were not under pressure to produce new work, however, this hothouse of ideas organically gave way to inspiration, learning and forward planning. This allowed for a thorough reflection on creative practice and I left the residency feeling enriched, reassured and, in question of my working practices – all alongside a new, and growing, understanding of what my practice is about. I found [the Arts & Sustainability Residency] to be a transformative learning experience and I am excited to see where these new connections and understandings will lead.” Kathy Beckett


The post Arts & Sustainability 2016 Residency Report Published 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