Yearly Archives: 2019

Capturing Water

By Susan Hoffman Fishman

All of the artists that I have highlighted in this “Imagining Water” series over the past two years have worked in their own ways to capture the essence of water and the climate crisis’ impact on water through painting, song, writinginstallation, poetry, dance, film, public art and other creative media.

These artists hail from all over the world, from the tip of South Africa, the frozen Arctic, Asia and the Pacific islands to the shores of Florida, Washington state, California and the Alluvial plains of The Netherlands. They have explored the nature of rivers, oceans, glaciers and rising tides, the scientific basis of water currents, the religious and political aspects of water, the spiritual quality of water, its fragility and power, its scarcity, its polluted bodies and more.

In her life-long career devoted to defining life’s basic element, American/Icelandic visual and spoken word artist Roni Horn has even gone so far as to transform a former library building in Stykkisholmur, Iceland into a museum entitled, The Library of Water, which contains a series of 24 transparent columns filled with water from the major glaciers in Iceland that were formed millions of years ago and are receding at a rapid pace.

Fritz Horstman, a Connecticut-based sculptor, photographer, videographer and musician, has contributed to this creative exploration of water by systematically capturing its colors, sounds and forms. Like many of the artists who have chosen to focus on water have confessed, Horstman grew up near water; in his case, on a lake in Michigan where he became aware of water’s magnetism. It was in graduate school, though, while he was reading about systems, or interconnecting networks, and their relationship to the environment, that he began to see water as the substance that connects all of the components of environmental ecology. Since then, he has made water a central focus of his work.

The Color of Water

Five Feet Under, Horstman’s first major project on water, was completed between 2010-2011. His intention was to study how the colors and turbidity of water changed in a designated location over the course of a year. To do so, he attached an underwater camera, with its lens pointed up towards the sky, to the end of a wooden object. He then lowered the camera into the water every day at the same time and at the same place so that it could capture the color of the top five feet of water and the sky beyond.

Horstman admits that his projects are quasi-scientific explorations that provide data and a different way for people to look at his subject matter. In this case, his data revealed that in the summer, the water transmitted an orange hue; in the fall, a murky dark brown; in the winter, a clearer green; and in the spring, it transmitted the blue of the sky.

Horstman’s first attempt to capture the varying colors of water provided him with a workable methodology and led to similar studies that he has completed over the last few years. In 2016, during a residency aboard the tallship Antigua, which sailed around the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, he attached his underwater camera to the end of a 100’ fishing line and at regular intervals, photographed the water as the ship moved away from the glacier. Horstman describes what he captured as “an incredible range of hues, saturations and shadows that were created by the turbidity, particulate matter and angles of the sun.” The image grid that he made (shown above) of colors taken from photos of real water samples is surprisingly similar to the range of colors books of samples found in paint stores, which are created by mixing pigment. As in many of his works, Svalbard plays with the juxtapositions of nature and culture.

Five Feet Under (installation image with details). Giclee photo prints, wooden object, 2010 – 2011.

The Sound of Water

In addition to his color explorations, since 2015 Horstman has created a series of videos in which he records the voices of people making their own perceived sounds of water. His first water video was recorded while he was at a residency in Onishi, Japan, where he asked sixteen residents to make the sounds of the Kannagawa River. As we listen to the composite of voices on the video, we see images of the river but we don’t hear the sound of the actual water. Horstman’s intention for the piece was to put “human consciousness into the center of nature.” He explains that “we connect to human voices in a different way than to the real sound of water rushing by.” This altered consciousness provides a different way of perceiving water, and perhaps, a deeper connection to water itself.

In a 2015 video – a second project while Horstman was aboard the tallship Antigua – he recorded the voices of 22 passengers making the sounds of ice. Being in the Arctic and hearing the calving and melting of glaciers provided them with a cacophony of new sounds to imitate. Once again, the images of the moving sea ice in the finished video, not accompanied by the actual sounds of moving ice, are merged with the snapping, crackling, groaning and whishing sounds of human voices. Watching and listening to the video is an eerie, otherworldly experience and provides us with another dimension to our understanding of ice.

The Form of Water

Horstman’s series of sculptures that he calls “Formworks,” allude to other water issues related to climate change. He began the series at a time when he was working in construction and engaged in building a concrete structure. He was inspired by the process of pouring liquid concrete into wooden molds and within a few months of working the job, had decided to create a river form using the same wooden framework, but without filling the structure with either concrete or water.

As Horstman said to me, “the idea of casting a river is intentionally absurd. The Army Corps of Engineers spends a lot of time trying to control water but is thwarted” by the very nature of water to move where it wants to go, and by the growing volumes of water caused by rising tides and increasingly stronger storms. With this series, Horstman has built beautiful forms in the configuration of rivers, meant to contain water in order to show that it can’t be contained. By juxtaposing the rigid beauty of the forms with the liquid and flowing concept of water, he is providing a way for us to question how to contain water in an uncertain future.

Formwork for the East River. Plywood, pine, hardware, paint, 3 x 18 x 12’, 2017.

Fritz Horstman is a prolific artist whose drawings, photographs, sculptures and videos have been exhibited widely in the US, Europe and Asia. His work has a strong conceptual quality rooted in the environment. Informed by the writings of anthropologists like Tim Ingold as well as artists such as Jen Bervin, Alan Sonfist and Olafur Eliasson, Horstman’s projects on water provide an insight into the colors, sounds and physical nature of this most critical of Earth’s elements.

(Top image: Svalbard (detail). Grid of underwater photographs taken at regular intervals at the Fjortende Julibreen glacier in the Arctic Circle aboard the Antigua, 2016.)

Fritz Horstman was also featured in a podcast hosted by Peterson Toscano as part of our Art House series.

This article is part of Imagining Water, a series on artists of all genres who are making the topic of water and climate change a focus of their work and on the growing number of exhibitions, performances, projects and publications that are appearing in museums, galleries and public spaces around the world with water as a theme.

 ______________________________

Susan Hoffman Fishman is a painter, public artist, writer, and educator whose work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries throughout the U.S. Her latest bodies of work focus on the threat of rising tides, our new plastic seas and the wars that are predicted to occur in the future over access to clean water. She is also the co-creator of two interactive public art projects: The Wave, which addresses our mutual need for and interdependence on water and Home, which calls attention to homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in our cities and towns.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

OPEN CALL for [SHIFT:ibpcpa] 2020 Biennale

[SHIFT:ibpcpa] is currently looking for proposals from fine art performance artists using participation and collaboration in their practice.

SHIFT: The International Biennale of Performance, Collaborative and Participatory Arts aka [SHIFT:ibpcpa] is a non-profit art initiative with a specific focus on performance, collaborative and participatory art practices.

[SHIFT:ibpcpa] provides an opportunity for fine art-based performance artists to enhance their practice, theoretical and critical approach, within the current and future context of performance art. For this reason, [SHIFT:ibpcpa] specifically focuses on the untapped potential of performance, collaborative and participatory art.

The biennale lasts from June 2020 until August 2020 and is networked. Meaning work can exist within the digital and/or physical domains where necessary… where networked and nomadic projects traverse the hypothetical space and physical place. Submitted projects must include performance art that contains either collaborative or participatory elements.

Open to students and professional artists. We are interested in the intersection between levels of professionality.

Apply via [SHIFT:ibpcpa] website.

For details about the 2020 theme, please visit the [SHIFT:ibpcpa] website and follow us on Instagram @shift_ibpcpa

#SHIFTibpcpa
#SHIFT2020
#IBPCPA2020

Location: International

For further information, please contact contact@ibpcpa.co.uk ([SHIFT:ibpcpa]), or visit http://ibpcpa.co.uk/

The deadline is Friday 13 March 2020 at 01:00.

Opportunity: Call for 2020 Fringe Central Events Programme

Expressions of interest now open!

Fringe Central is the participants’ hub, which runs during August each year for all Fringe artists.

It’s also the location for the Fringe Central Events Programme: a series of professional development workshops, seminars, discussions and creative labs throughout the month of August, to help participants develop their skills, expand their perceptions, build networks, advance their careers and look after their overall health and wellbeing during the Fringe.

The call is out now for expressions of interest for the 2020 programme, the content of which will be influenced, for the third time, by a Youth Panel.

Key areas the Fringe is interested in developing and strengthening for 2020 are:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Environmental sustainability

If you’ve got an idea you think might be great for Fringe Central, submit your proposal!

Deadline is 4th March 2020 (with a final copy/artwork deadline of 20th March 2020)

For more information, please see the Open Call and the Event Proposal form.

The post Opportunity: Call for 2020 Fringe Central Events Programme 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

Powered by WPeMatico

Evoking the Spirit of Nature

By Adrian Baker

I’m a visual artist who has been supporting herself for over 35 years by exhibiting paintings, receiving commissions, teaching art workshops, and creating murals and public art installations. Originally from the province of Quebec in Canada, I received my post-secondary art degree in Toronto, Ontario, and after working a few years in that city as a graphic artist, I moved to rural Ontario to start an independent art practice. While still making art and teaching workshops, I’m currently enrolled in a low-residency Master of Fine Arts program through Emily Carr University in British Columbia, where I will graduate in the summer of 2020.

Having made the decision years ago to live and work in a non-urban environment, my work gradually evolved to reflect my natural surroundings. In more recent years, the river that flows past my home has become the focus of my artistic practice.

Besides monitoring the vanishing flora and fauna along this watershed and noting the encroaching invasive species, I’ve been watching the condition of the water. I’ve seen areas cleared of trees for housing and golf courses, and shorelines altered by human interference, resulting in destructive runoff and sediment making their way into the water system. In recent years, I’ve also noted widely varying water levels.

Final Migration. 40” x 30”. Oil, acrylic & gold leaf on canvas.

My research methodology includes days spent canoeing along riverbanks and shorelines, walking the forests, and observing the wildlife. I set up camp to sketch, make notes, and photograph on site, as well as work in my studio, which is situated alongside the river. In addition to my on-site and studio practice, I’ve been researching the pre-contact history of the watershed, the biodiversity, the effects of early settler activity, and current human pressures on the waterway.

While much of my studio work over the years has consisted of oil and acrylic painting with mixed media, I also work in a wide variety of media when creating public art installations, including wood, metal, fabric, and cement. More recently, I’ve been building environmental art pieces “on site” along the watershed, using found natural materials. These ephemeral pieces, constructed in wilderness settings, exist distinct from the more “commodified” aspects of my art practice, yet are influential elements in the conception of my more public works.

Building on these experimental installations and on my research, sketches, and photographs, I recently created a body of work which addresses the core themes of environmental fragility and our primal connection – or dis-connection – to the natural world, which is our life-support system. I titled this work “Watershed,” a term which also means a critical turning point or period in time marking a change in opinion or course of action. The spring thaw of 2019 resulted in unprecedented widespread flooding along the rivers in the Ottawa valley where I live, the second time in just two years that the river reached “historical levels.” Viewing the local watershed as a metaphor for the entire biosphere, the artworks reflect our reaching a “critical turning point” in our inter-dependent relationship with the environment and reinforces the urgent need to initiate more ecologically sound practices.

Autumn. 36” x 48”. Acrylic & mixed media on canvas.

The works in this series consists of fifteen mixed-media paintings on wood and on canvas, varying in size from approximately 24” x 40”, to 60” x 84”. Starting with foundation layers in acrylic, the works were built up variously with plaster, fabric and/or oil paint. Some were embedded with found natural materials such as ground mineral and shell, while others are embellished with gold leaf. The paintings, which portray the perceived value of nature, as well as imagined futures, were featured from September to November 2019 in a solo exhibition at the municipally funded Ottawa Art Gallery, Annexe Gallery in Ottawa, Ontario.

Studies have demonstrated that people who care about the environment make more eco-friendly choices, so my goal is to continue to create art that informs, motivates, and promotes a connectedness with nature. I am continually exploring forms that might particularly speak to the urban-based audience who may have little interaction with the natural world. Evolutionary psychology tells us that the 50,000-generation timespan when we humans were intimately connected to the natural world is a stronger force in our psyche that the 500 generations of civilization that followed. I try to reach people on this primal level, to prompt recognition of their connection to nature, using visual art as a means to mobilize them in the defense of the environment.

Pakànàk / Wússoquat / Noyer Noir / Black Walnut / Juglans Nigra. 5ft x 14ft. Walnut ink, wood, braided thread, black walnuts.

That said, I don’t aim for shock and novelty merely for the sake of garnering public attention. I prefer to create work that is aesthetically appealing to viewers, prompting them to stop and consider possible interpretations of the images. I believe there is value in the skills and embodied knowledge developed over many years of art making, and there is value in sharing this with the public.

Ultimately, my intention is not to highlight the devastating impacts of environmental degradation, or to convey a defeatist attitude, but rather to encourage reflection and dialogue by imparting a message of hopefulness, connectedness to nature, and optimism for the future. My work is meant to be an uplifting – and sometimes humorous – visual reminder of the wonders of nature, and of our own inexorable connection to the natural world.

(Top image: Watershed. Triptych. 60” x 84”. Mixed media on board.)

______________________________

Adrian Baker’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions as well as in multiple juried shows both nationally and internationally. She has received government commissions to create public art installations, served as artist-in-residence for the Bermuda Masterworks Museum, and has received recognition for her portraits. Throughout her career she has been conducting adult art classes and workshops, and delivering lectures to art organizations. Adrian’s work is in public and private collections in Canada, the US, and abroad. Her art has been reviewed in numerous publications and has been featured on the covers of several international magazines.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Application is open for the 2020 Chashama North, ChaNorth Artist in Residence Program

In 2006 Chashama opened the ChaNorth international artist residency in Pine Plains, New York. The ChaNorth residency offers the opportunity for emerging and mid-career artists to work and live in the Hudson Valley for four weeks. Annually the program hosts 49 artists during six 4-week sessions running from April through November. ChaNorth accepts applications in all creative fields, including but not limited to visual arts, choreography, writing, music composition, and performance. National and international artists artists are welcome to apply.

ChaNorth upholds the storied tradition of the Hudson Valley by providing local and international artists with a supportive and secluded environment in which to create new work. The artist residency is embedded in the rural communities of the surrounding towns, serving as a cultural resource for the Hudson Valley. The program offers networking, exhibition and teaching opportunities and promotes awareness and understanding of visual arts in a rural community through engagement with the artists. ChaNorth also sustains a successful partnership with McEnroe Organic Farm to supply healthy, fresh produce for the artist residency through a work exchange program. 

For more information and how to apply please read below. 

Application Deadline is January 15th, 2020

APPLY: https://chashama.submittable.com/submit/152797/chanorth-apply-for-the-summer-2020-artist-in-residence-program

Artists enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs at the time of application are not eligible to apply to ChaNorth.

FELLOWSHIP AND EXHIBITION OPPORTUNITIES

ChaNorth offers
– one fellowship award, per season, for a young artist under 30;
– two solo show awards
– an annual curated alumni show

Both solo shows and the group show are presented, the following year, at Chashama exhibition spaces in New York City.

ChaNorth fosters a strong alumni community, offering artists various exhibition opportunities including 2019 LIGHT YEAR, Manhattan Bridge Public Art, video exhibition.

GUEST VISITORS PROGRAM
During the ChaNorth residency, artists have multiple opportunities to share their work and network with others, including 2-3 studio visits per session from critics, curators, gallerists, and residency directors. Previous studio visitors have included:

– Nora Khan, a writer focused on emerging issues within digital art and the philosophy of technology
– Will Hutnick, artist and curator residency director at the Wassaic Project, NY
– Junho Lee, Founding Director of NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
– Olga Dekalo, Assistant Curator at the Katonah Museum of Art in Westchester, New York

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Artists are invited to participate in an evening of artists’ talks and presentations, at the Pine Plains Free Library and participate in the Open Studios Program. Both events are open to the public.

Pine Plains Free Library in Partnership with Chashama North, is offering artists to create and lead an hour community workshop. The library offers for each artist a $50 thank you fee.

Resident Artists, can apply to exhibit their work at the Pine Plains Free Library.

MCENROE ORGANIC FARM WORK EXCHANGE
Fostering community engagement and strengthening and supporting our local community, ChaNorth collaborates with McEnroe Organic Farm’s Education Garden where resident artists are asked to participate in 3 hours of work exchange each week.In return, our shared kitchen is stocked with fresh produce and whole grains. Shared meals act as the anchor of the program, resident artists gather once or twice a week for a potluck dinner.

2020 Summer Residency Sessions

Session 1: Friday, April 3rd – Thursday, April 30th, 2020
Session 2: Monday, May 3rd – Sunday, May 31th, 2020
Session 3: Friday, June 5th – Thursday, July 2nd, 2020
Session 4: Monday, July 6th – Sunday, August 2nd, 2020
Session 5: Friday, August 7th – Thursday, September 3rd, 2020
Session 6: Monday, September 7th – Sunday, October 4th, 2020
Session 7: Friday, October 9th – Thursday, November 5th, 2020

The application process is in two stages: The Jury Panel will shortlist artists, shortlisted artists will be asked for a 10 -15 minute Skype/phone interview to be scheduled from February 2020. Artists are selected based on quality and commitment to their work, their project description, and their ability to interact positively with the community. ChaNorth accepts at total of 49 artists for the 2020 summer season. 

Jury Panel for 2020 Summer Residency Season

Yasmeen Siddiqui is the founder of Minerva Projects, is an independent curator, essayist and sometimes lecturer, committed to voicing marginal narratives. Her writing has appeared on Hyperallergic and in ART PAPERS, the Cairo Times, Medina Magazine, Flash Art, Modern Painters, NKA and The Brooklyn Rail, and in books and exhibition catalogues.

Lauren Bierly is an installation artist and Manager of Special Exhibitions and Projects for The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bierly has been a guest critic for Trestle Art Space, chaNorth Residency, and Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and is a chaNorth 2018 Resident Artist Alumni.

Peter Gynd is a fifth generation artist, independent curator, and the director at Lesley Heller Gallery in New York City’s Lower East Side. Peter Gynd has been a guest critic/consultant/visitor at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), Residencies Unlimited, Kunstraum, and ChaNorth Artist Residency, and a guest juror at 440 Gallery and Sweet Lorraine Gallery.

Mia S. Willis (they/them) is a Black performance poet whose work has been featured by or is forthcoming in Under the Belly of the Beast (Dissonance Press), FreezeRay, Curating Alexandria, WORDPEACE, Peculiar, Foothill, Button Poetry, and Slamfind.

Application Fee is $30 to cover administrative costs. 

This year we had to introduce the application fee due to high number of applications, the two stage selection process, involving a jury panel and conducting phone/skype interviews. Thank You for your understanding. 

Cost of Residency, four-week session: $950. The fee is highly subsidized, thanks to Chashama generous support of donors and grants.

Residency fee includes: private room, private studio and fully stocked kitchen.

The fee does not include: transportation costs to and from chaNorth ( except one scheduled pick up on the day of arrival at 4:15 pm in Wassaic Train Station, if needed) and artists’ materials cost.


Additional Information

WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR APPLYING

Preferred session period
Artist statement and Statement of Interest in chaNorth Residency: (200 words or less)
Third-person paragraph highlighting your professional achievements (250 words or less)
CV
Work Samples, including a work in progress, studio image
1 professional reference
workshop program, if you wish to apply to be considered to lead a workshop at the Pine Plains Free Library
For collaborative artists wishing to share studios/accommodations

and for all other questions should be directed to chanorth@chashama.org.

PLEASE review the FAQ section of our website before emailing us! http://www.chanorth.com

APPLY: https://chashama.submittable.com/submit/152797/chanorth-apply-for-the-summer-2020-artist-in-residence-program

Acting for Climate Goes Into the Water

By Peterson Toscano

Helping the public engage in climate change requires skillful communication and a lot of creativity. One troupe of performers in Northern Europe decided to break out of the box altogether. In the summer of 2019, they presented a performance piece in Norway and Denmark. Instead of bringing the audience into a theatre, Acting for Climate took their show to eight different harbors. For a stage, they used a very large wooden boat. Into the Water is a theatrical circus performance aimed at raising ecological awareness. In addition to the performance, they organized festivals at each of the harbors.

Acting for Climate members Abigael Rydtun Winsvold and Nathan Biggs-Penton recreate the performance for our listening audience. Hear about the circus artists and their amazing feats as they climb the eight-story high mast, do acrobatics, and take the audience on a wild and moving ride. After each performance, the troupe connected with the audience for further discussion.

Abigael found the response to be better than she imagined:

People came up to us and said that they were really really touched. Even sixty-year-old men, which I don’t normally see crying. I barely have seen anyone I don’t know crying in this age group. They came up to us and said, “Wow! I’m really touched. I’m just going to take a walk and cry for myself right now.” That was really touching for us to hear people were touched by the performance, not only excited, but also shaken a bit somehow.

Coming up next month, Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, a new book that fuses faith and personal narrative with climate action.

If you like what you hear, you can listen to full episodes of Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunesStitcher Radio, Spotify, SoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle PlayPlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

(Photo courtesy of Acting for Climate.)

This article is part of The Art House series.

______________________________

As host of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Peterson Toscano regularly features artists who address climate change in their work. The Art House section of his program includes singer/songwriters, visual artists, comics, creative writers, and playwrights. Through a collaboration with Artists and Climate Change and Citizens’ Climate Education, each month Peterson reissues The Art House for this blog. If you have an idea for The Art House, contact Peterson: radio @ citizensclimatelobby.org

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Helping the public engage in climate change requires skillful communication and a lot of creativity. One troupe of performers in Northern Europe decided to break out of the box altogether. In the summer of 2019, they presented a performance piece in Norway and Denmark. Instead of bringing the audience into a theatre, Acting for Climate took their show to eight different harbors. For a stage, they used a very large wooden boat. Into the Water is a theatrical circus performance aimed at raising ecological awareness. In addition to the performance, they organized festivals at each of the harbors.

Acting for Climate members Abigael Rydtun Winsvold and Nathan Biggs-Penton recreate the performance for our listening audience. Hear about the circus artists and their amazing feats as they climb the eight-story high mast, do acrobatics, and take the audience on a wild and moving ride. After each performance, the troupe connected with the audience for further discussion.

Abigael found the response to be better than she imagined:

People came up to us and said that they were really really touched. Even sixty-year-old men, which I don’t normally see crying. I barely have seen anyone I don’t know crying in this age group. They came up to us and said, “Wow! I’m really touched. I’m just going to take a walk and cry for myself right now.” That was really touching for us to hear people were touched by the performance, not only excited, but also shaken a bit somehow.

Coming up next month, Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, a new book that fuses faith and personal narrative with climate action.

If you like what you hear, you can listen to full episodes of Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunesStitcher Radio, Spotify, SoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle PlayPlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

(Photo courtesy of Acting for Climate.)

This article is part of The Art House series.

______________________________

As host of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Peterson Toscano regularly features artists who address climate change in their work. The Art House section of his program includes singer/songwriters, visual artists, comics, creative writers, and playwrights. Through a collaboration with Artists and Climate Change and Citizens’ Climate Education, each month Peterson reissues The Art House for this blog. If you have an idea for The Art House, contact Peterson: radio @ citizensclimatelobby.org

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Helping the public engage in climate change requires skillful communication and a lot of creativity. One troupe of performers in Northern Europe decided to break out of the box altogether. In the summer of 2019, they presented a performance piece in Norway and Denmark. Instead of bringing the audience into a theatre, Acting for Climate took their show to eight different harbors. For a stage, they used a very large wooden boat. Into the Water is a theatrical circus performance aimed at raising ecological awareness. In addition to the performance, they organized festivals at each of the harbors.

Acting for Climate members Abigael Rydtun Winsvold and Nathan Biggs-Penton recreate the performance for our listening audience. Hear about the circus artists and their amazing feats as they climb the eight-story high mast, do acrobatics, and take the audience on a wild and moving ride. After each performance, the troupe connected with the audience for further discussion.

Abigael found the response to be better than she imagined:

People came up to us and said that they were really really touched. Even sixty-year-old men, which I don’t normally see crying. I barely have seen anyone I don’t know crying in this age group. They came up to us and said, “Wow! I’m really touched. I’m just going to take a walk and cry for myself right now.” That was really touching for us to hear people were touched by the performance, not only excited, but also shaken a bit somehow.

Coming up next month, Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, a new book that fuses faith and personal narrative with climate action.

If you like what you hear, you can listen to full episodes of Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunesStitcher Radio, Spotify, SoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle PlayPlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

(Photo courtesy of Acting for Climate.)

This article is part of The Art House series.

______________________________

As host of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Peterson Toscano regularly features artists who address climate change in their work. The Art House section of his program includes singer/songwriters, visual artists, comics, creative writers, and playwrights. Through a collaboration with Artists and Climate Change and Citizens’ Climate Education, each month Peterson reissues The Art House for this blog. If you have an idea for The Art House, contact Peterson: radio @ citizensclimatelobby.org

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Guest Blog: “Let’s Go!” The Launch …

Blog #6 in a series of blogs from playwright Lewis Hetherington about his work with Glasgow cycling charity Bike for Good and Creative Carbon Scotland.

I can’t believe it’s almost six weeks since the launch of Let’s Go! our film about cycling, community and climate change after many months of getting to hang out with the wonderful people of Bike for Good. The premiere was, fittingly, at their Southside Hub. We were delighted that this film, celebrating their ethos, was first publicly viewed in the place it was made, with so many of the film’s stars amongst the audience.

We had the red carpet out, a twelve-piece brass band called Brass Aye?, a giant golden throne, flower bedecked archways, not to mention an extensive selection of fancy dress for those who wanted to glam up for the event. Not a single thing was bought or made for the event; it was all borrowed, repurposed, upcycled… It felt so important that the design matched the politics of the film. It certainly made me think how vital it is that we consider every part of an artistic process as green, not just the content. It’s totally possible to create spectacle without it costing the earth.

Crowd clapping and smiling

The centrepiece was, of course, the film itself, presented on a pedal-powered projector no less! The projector needed two bikes going at some lick to be operational. As a matter of fact, the projector did fail a few times! This lapse in power was great; it really drew attention to the amount of energy it takes to run even a relatively small and domestic piece of technology. At the heart of this film, I think, is a gentle but firm and steady plea to re-imagine our relationship to the world, by considering the impact of our everyday existence. The simple act of seeing the effort it takes to power a projector really underlined this idea.

two girls on stationary bikes

We showed the film twice to a packed room – some people stayed to watch it both times! The feeling of compassionate interaction on screen was mirrored by the warmth and generosity of those watching. We had plenty of volunteers to pedal the bikes and provide power; noticeably far more young volunteers than older ones. There were scores of young people ready to put their energy into making things happen, a hopeful metaphor for the future perhaps, but I’m looking at us grown-ups to say – we still have to step up. We can’t just cross our fingers for the next generation sorting it out.  It’s not about feeling bad, it’s about taking action, wherever we can, whenever the opportunity presents itself, to make the choice to make the world better.

Festive audience sitting inside

After each screening we invited people to sit on our giant golden throne and talk about the film to ask what had caught their attention? What had it made them think about? At the end of Let’s Go! one of the young people was asked what he would do if he was King of Glasgow, and he said, rather brilliantly, that he would “be nice to people”.

Child sitting on a golden throne being filmed

So we invited people to comment on what they would do if they were in charge. The answers were as varied, brilliant and bonkers as you might expect. We’re currently working through all the footage to make a series of mini films, which we can’t wait to share early next year.

Once again it was almost all young people that came forward. Their plans and environmental ambitions were hugely optimistic and uncompromising, and maybe that’s what we need; wide-eyed energy, hope and a total refusal to accept that we are aiming for anything other than perfection. We might not get all the way there, but if perfect is our direction of travel then one might hope we’re at least on the right path.

Watch “Let’s Go!” here.

Photography: Michal Lausch.


Read the other blogs in this series:

#5: Meaning Making (July 2019)

#4: I CAN’T WAIT TO DRIVE A CAR! (April 2019)

#3: Crises. Crocuses. Creativity. (February 2019)

#2: The joy of the present and the great unknown of the future (September 2018)

#1: Can Cycling Save the World? (July 2018)


This embedded artist project is part of Bike for Good’s VeloCommunities Project, which is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund.

Please get in touch with Creative Carbon Scotland’s culture/SHIFT Producer Gemma.lawrence@creativecarbonscotland.com if you wish to find out more about this project or more about other culture/SHIFT projects which support collaborations between artists and environmental initiatives.

The post Guest Blog: “Let’s Go!” The Launch … 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

Powered by WPeMatico