Yearly Archives: 2020

Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Care for the space between us’

By Alex WakimDavid VasquezTessa GordziejkoZosia Dowmunt 

Reader-submitted stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, in no more than 100 words. Read past stories hereSubmit your own here.

PILLOW, BLANKET AND MATTRESS

I love quarantine. I am doing yoga, cooking new recipes, talking to friends more often, jerking off at the slightest contact with myself, washing dishes non-stop, learning about the 40,000 virus-carrying droplets in a sneeze. What is there not to love about quarantine? I will tell you: crying myself to sleep while picturing my loved ones dying alone, my boyfriend’s high-risk-related impaired heart valve, he, living on the other side of the city, me, seeing that side of the city from my window. Oh, and me pretending he is my pillow, my blanket, and my mattress.

 David Vasquez (Medellín, Colombia)

The other side of the city, where my boyfriend lives.

* * *

ESSENTIAL SHOPPER

Today’s a red letter day. A trip to Lidl! There’s a kind of courtly dance being performed spontaneously in the aisles, people politely keeping two meters apart. The middle aisle has a special poignancy. Oh the illicit pleasure, the lingering gaze over non-essential items! Sofa throws, car washing gloves, planters, marble runs, thermal leggings, gardening trugs, hand blenders. What is in my trolley? A nuclear bunker’s worth of courgettes, wine, and smoked salmon. A Himalayan salt lamp, a set of storage baskets, and two pairs of fluffy socks. It felt good. These are all things we need in lockdown, yes?

 Tessa Gordziejko (Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom)

(Top photo: A supermarket can make you giddy.)

* * *

A CAT

There is no greater enjoyer of a home, no more fanatic champion of laziness, no more eager and voracious glutton (though often uninvited), than a cat.

There were times when we mocked the cat’s capacity for sloth and gluttony, when we glorified the resilience of the human spirit, the ability to move, work, love, feel, and exist towards self-actualization. These are key skills of a domesticated dog, yet to go out every day is more or less frowned upon now, as is peeing on fire hydrants.

So, teach us, cat, your mysterious ways.

 Alex Wakim (Wichita, Kansas)

The King.

* * *

MINIMAL DISTANCE

I was walking on the grass, bored of the same path through the manicured wildness. I cut the corner and it surprised her—not a predictable trajectory. We went left and right, trying to anticipate the other. We bounced side to side for a brief while and I smiled, acknowledging the awkwardness, expressing gratitude for her care for the space between us. The tension broke, we found a way through and past and I wondered, as I walked on, what little or large stresses had made her face so hard until it broke into the warm smile that answered mine.

 Zosia Dowmunt (Cardiff, Wales)

Roath Park, April 6, 2020.

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This series is edited by Thomas Peterson. One of the editors of Artists & Climate Change, he is also a theatre director and researcher whose work focuses on the climate crisis.

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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

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The virus speaks

By Chrisfremantle

In Tim Morton’s highly recommended ‘We’re doomed‘ on BBC R4 he speaks to George Monbiot about needing to accept circumstances, in Monbiot’s case that his cancer was part of him. It doesn’t mean that Monbiot doesn’t talk about the excellent care he received from the NHS or the reality that the cancer could have killed him, but that treating it as ‘other’ isn’t useful for living.

There are some new pieces of writing, coming from new materialist perspectives, which give Covid-19 a voice. This isn’t the voice of an enemy (we aren’t in the middle of the blitz), but rather of our equal, someone seeking to speak blunt truths to us. This might be a relationship which we don’t want to acknowledge (perhaps as Monbiot is talking about having a relationship with cancer), but the virus is revealing the societies we have constructed.

What the virus said‘ “I’ve come to shut down the machine whose emergency brake you couldn’t find.”

‘The Society of Friends of the Virus’ Vol 1 and Vol 2 as well as a supplement to Vol 2 published by the centre for parrhesia.

If you know of other pieces (written, visual, auditory, etc) that add to this understanding please add them as comments.

2pm 6th April: Also ‘Post Pandemic Provocation no 7: B.C. Before and A.C. After the Coronacene

14th April: ‘What the Virus Wants‘ published by The Contemporary Journal out of Nottingham Contemporary

(Top photo: from ‘What the Virus Said‘)

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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Cultural Adaptations Conference postponed

Dates for the international Cultural Adaptations conference have been changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference, which aims to share the learnings from the Creative Europe-funded project over three days of presentations, workshops and networking, will now take place from 2nd to 4th March 2021.

Cultural Adaptations is a Creative Europe project, led by Creative Carbon Scotland with partners in Scotland and three EU countries, on culture’s role in society’s adaptation to climate, and the Adaptation issues that cultural organisations need to think about. Four cultural organisations are exploring collaboratively how this approach can work in countries with similar climate challenges but differing socio-political frameworks. Each cultural partner is working with a local adaptation partner.

Read more about the postponement and the Cultural Adaptations project itself.


SAVE THE NEW DATES: 2nd-4th March 2021

Venue: thestudio…Glasgow

More information about the conference

Register your interest

We encourage cultural organisations in Scotland and further afield to team up with an adaptation organisation to attend this exciting conference together and find inspiration for your own projects and initiatives. And, vice versa.

The post Cultural Adaptations Conference postponed appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Medical tent in hospital parking lot’

By Jessica LitwakPatricia BasileRob Weinert-KendtSue A. Miller

Reader-submitted stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, in no more than 100 words. Read past stories hereSubmit your own here.

CRAVINGS IN CLOSENESS

Among myriad what ifs and gratitudes – realizing how much worse I and my family could have it, as we drive each other mildly bonkers in a small apartment – I find it fascinating to imagine what a quarantine would have been like in my 1970s childhood, sans internet, Zoom, even a VCR. Would our family have been closer? Crazier? Would I have developed my craving for city life and live performance, which led me where I am? My life, my very brain, may be rearranged by this crisis. But it’s my kids I look to, not un-anxiously, for the real change – and the future.

— Rob Weinert-Kendt (Queens, New York)

(Top photo: Back to school.)

* * *

ANOTHER MORNING

Another morning, another hundreds sick, another hundreds dead.
Another day I am alive, healthy, privileged to stay home.
The sun is shining, but the streets are empty.
Today, I run.
I run to release the anxiety I feel listening to the news.
I run to grapple with my powerlessness in the face of a pandemic.
I run to cope with the pain and suffering felt throughout the world.
I run to randomly smile at the few strangers I cross at a distance in my path.
I run because there is nowhere else I can run to at this moment.

— Patricia Basile (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Another run.

* * *

ISOLATION EXPLORATIONS

Crawling out from the rubble,
Trying to celebrate the struggle,
Life is in a muddle,
Always living in a bubble.

Working alone is not new to me; however, when everything else around you seems dormant when it is supposed to be vibrant with life, and when the future is uncertain, it is a challenge to stay creatively motivated. Instead of my usual process, I’ve been pushing through this block by using different materials and making marks that are pure expressions of the moment, then playing with words that pop into my head to accompany each piece.

— Sue A. Miller (Creemore, Ontario, Canada)

Peering Out.

* * *

THE TENT

Medical tent in hospital parking lot. Sprayed with sanitizer, given a mask, led to a tent. Doctor in hazmat suit, plastic face guard, riot gear: “We think you have COVID-19 but we don’t have tests.” I say: “My celebrity friend bought one: $3,000.” Nods. A secret back door, X-ray room covered in plastic. After, I stand outside tent, it’s windy in my paper gown. Doctor: “Hospital at home.” Hospital, a new verb. Stoplight next to Paramedic. Honk, gesture, “roll window down!” “What do you need lady?” “THANK YOU!” I shout. His face reconfigures into a grin.

— Jessica Litwak (Petaluma, California)

Selfie in the waiting room tent.

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This series is edited by Thomas Peterson. One of the editors of Artists & Climate Change, he is also a theatre director and researcher whose work focuses on the climate crisis.

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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

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Opportunity: One Ocean – COP26 data workshop

Participants sought for workshop with climate and data scientists and artists for COP26

Creative Informatics is seeking participants to take part in a workshop with up to 20 climate scientists, data specialists and artists on the theme of ‘One Ocean’ on Thursday 28th May 2020, from 2pm-5pm.

As they are seeking a diverse group, please drop them an email by 5pm on Friday 22nd May with a line or two or short paragraph on why you would like to take part, what expertise you bring to the table and what you hope to get out of it.

The post Opportunity: One Ocean – COP26 data workshop appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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An Irish Novelist Who Wanted Nothing to Do with Climate Change

By Peterson Toscano

Irish author Shirley McMillan wanted nothing to do with climate change. A busy mom with a young child, she did not deny the reality or seriousness of climate change, but it all felt too much. She was also uninspired by the many suggestions for how women can do all the hard work to lower the family’s carbon footprint.

Then something changed. Shirley began to see climate change as something more than just an environmental issue. She realized it is also a human rights issue. Still, creating good art that addresses climate change is often challenging. Climate-themed art pushes artists to expand their skills. Many sincere efforts fail. Being concerned about an issue does not immediately mean you can produce art about it.

Hear a lively conversation with Shirley as she explains why it took her a while to warm up to climate action. Learning about her reasons may help you better understand why your own friends and loved ones switch off when you start talking about climate change. Discover how, over time, you can influence your friends to embrace climate action.

Coming up next month, the Climate Stew Players present an original radio play, Survivor Generations 2145.  

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.

(Top image: Peterson Toscano and Shirley McMillan.)

This article is part of The Art House series.

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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

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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

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Marooned midway, on a tiny island’

By Adam SébireAnsel OommenKristy GordonSunny Sun

Reader-submitted stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, in no more than 100 words. Read past stories hereSubmit your own here.

BETWEEN SEEING AND BEING

April 8, Sydney: We watch the world suffer as we wait for local suffering to unfold. Waiting is a void approached with fear and residual gratitude for the living. As we reduce our worlds to domestic and familial, the forced stillness of waiting feels unbearable. My art practice seeks to communicate the liminal space between ‘seeing’ and ‘being.’ I record in layers of marks the fleeting glimpses of the expansive, brutal, exquisitely beautiful Australian landscape and my sensory responses. Now, the marks also record a visceral sense of waiting for devastation. The repetition of mark-making forces order, slowness, calm.

 Kristy Gordon (Sydney, Australia)

Acrylic paint, metallic pigment, and ink on Hahnemuhle, 29 x 21cm.

* * *

NOTHINGNESS

Sofa, family room, home. Closest spot to the windows. Wifi works best. Legs on the footrest, I crawl into a soft blanket. Morning light pours gently onto the marble floor.
WeChat… family texting about how it’s still not safe to go out. Exit. Weibo… scrolling down real-time trending keywords: “Beijing will be in epidemic control for a longer time.” What does “epidemic control” even mean?
Soon, the thought that I have done absolutely nothing startles me. The sunlight shifts closer, and in my long contemplation of the nothingness, I fall into a daydream.

 Sunny Sun (Dalian, China)

Some light.

* * *

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Oftentimes, clinical laboratory technologists are out of sight and, as a result, out of mind in the public realm, even though we are just as impacted by this pandemic as our other colleagues in healthcare. The paradox of being a technologist is that our patients are physically present, but not entirely, and they are psychologically present, but not entirely. Despite this ambiguity, when dealing with hundreds of samples per day and viewing the results before everyone else, we feel the brewing storm looming over the horizon just the same.

 Ansel Oommen, MLS (ASCP) (New York, New York)

Two technologists processing SARS-CoV-2 samples during the night shift.

* * *

SLOWING DOWN

Borders snap shut ahead of me in Greenland and behind me in Svalbard. I find myself marooned midway, on a tiny island in the North Sea. Kindly locals let me stay in the lighthouse keeper’s quarters and ask me to self-isolate. I’m guessing the light’s former custodians would laugh at the imposition. Through the (now-automated) lantern’s fresnel lens the world is turned upside down. But there’s no sense of anything amiss, other than a sky curiously free of the usual trans-Atlantic contrails. I redraft my neglected PhD. Maybe Slow Travel is just what the doctor ordered?

 Adam Sébire (Utsira Lighthouse, Norway)

(Top photo: Traveling at speed may shrink the planet, but we begin to learn its true cost.)

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This series is edited by Thomas Peterson. One of the editors of Artists & Climate Change, he is also a theatre director and researcher whose work focuses on the climate crisis.

———-

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

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