ecoartscotland

Collaboration: Improving the Model

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Steep Trail image

Steep Trail Conference – Collaboration : Improving the Model

12 June 2013
9.30-4.00
Brunton Theatre, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh, EH21 6AA

The event is free but places must be booked. To book your place email admin@edinburghsculpture.org or call Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop on 0131 551 4490.

The nature of collaboration, particularly cross-disciplinary, is examined with a view to asking how current models of collaboration function, and ways in which they could be improved.

This day-long conference is being organised as part of Steep Trail, an international project set up by Polarcap, Fife Contemporary Art & Craft and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, to explore the legacy of John Muir and his continuing relevance to current environmental and cultural debate in the 21st century with a keynote speech by Dr Iain Biggs of the University of the West of England and chaired by Ben Twist of Creative Carbon Scotland.

The project has developed through several strands, art/eco labs were established along the East coast of Scotland which brought together artists, scientists and environmental activists to follow John Muir’s example of physical and intellectual exploration through walking and talking. Participants met over two days to discuss their work within the contexts of climate change, public dissemination and social impact. Talks about the project have allowed other organisations within and outside of Scotland to use this model, and artist exchanges and exhibitions set up between China and Scotland in 2012 have widened the context of the discussion.

Using themes identified from these activities, the conference seeks to bring together strands of shared concerns between artists, scientists and writers including conservation, sustainability, climate change and the role of contemporary art in helping to foster effective dialogues.

Ben Twist (Chair): Carbon and Arts Management Consultant, Creative Carbon Scotland

Dr Iain Biggs: Director PLaCE, University of the West of England

Prof David Munro: Historical geographer, author of ‘Scotland: An Encyclopedia of Places and Landscape’

Mary Modeen, artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine art and Art and Philosophy at the University of Dundee. Convener PLaCE, Scotland

Claudia Zeiske, Director Deveron Arts,

Rania Ho, artist in Beijing, Co-founder of Arrow Factory, Partner at Kupa Studios, Steep Trail exchange artist to Scotland

Graeme Todd, artist, co-founder of Polarcap and Steep Trail exchange artist to China

Dr Alexandra Wortley, Royal Botanic Gardens and Hamer Dodds, artist, cross disciplinary practitioners

Chris Fremantle, producer, researcher, writer cultural historian,

Supported by Steep Trail Project, University of Edinburgh: Knowledge Exchange, East Lothian Arts Services: ELC and Creative Scotland

How to get there:

Location

Transport options:

Train,

Lothian Buses (26, 44) 30-40 mins from outside Waverley Station Edinburgh.

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.
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Continuous Cover Forest Policy

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Cathy Fitzgerald has just blogged about the The Green Party in Ireland who have just launched it’s Forest Policy (read the press release here).  This new Policy argues that

“Ireland’s public forests are at a point where, non clearfell, continuous cover forest systems need to be introduced and supported to fully realise the full long term economic, environmental and amenity values of Ireland’s forests.”

Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison would, we are sure, endorse this – it’s the sort of Policy that they were proposing in amongst other works, the Serpentine Lattice.

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.
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Military Pastoral Complex

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300x446x07596bebc3c79b8c3422f394d34b8903.jpg.pagespeed.ic.t2YHRFCj1DMatthew Flintham says of Gair Dunlop’s work “Photographs and a few texts from a long-term photography and video project documenting the slow closure of RAF Coltishall. Cold War and Battle of Britain mythologies combine. The roots of the Military Pastoral Complex are evident.”

Get the book here.

Gair’s website: www.atomtown.org.uk

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.
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WHYLD

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Flyer (A5) Whyld

Join the Masters students of Art, Space, and Nature (ECA) for a private viewing of our exciting final show. WHYLD is an exhibition of works that manifest our various interpretations of the concept of wilderness. The show opens 23rd of May from 5pm to 8pm at Patriot Hall Gallery. Speak with the artists and enjoy food and refreshments. 

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.
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Collins & Goto at the Edinburgh Art Festival

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Eden3, Collins & Goto, 2006 ongoing

Eden3, Collins & Goto, 2006 ongoing

ecoartscotland is pleased to partner with Creative Carbon Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art to present Collins & Goto’s Spirit in the Air at the Edinburgh Art Festival 2013.

Collins & Goto, the eminent US ecological artists now based in Scotland, will present new work, using the Tent Gallery as a base of operations and performance to explore the actual rate and flow of CO2 in the environment in Edinburgh.  This project asks the question If humans produce gas in cities and there are no trees around to breathe it, does anyone care?

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.
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Su Grierson’s correspondence from Fukushima Province collected

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Su Grierson has, with the assistance of Jan van Boeckel, collected her blogs from her residency in Fukushima Province in Japan which were posted to ecoartscotland.  She has added a lot of new images which did not originally feature.  The blogs describe her time meeting and living with people affected by the tsunami and nuclear meltdown.  Her visit took place two years after the event, but the consequences remain with the people on so many levels.

Ecoartscotland is pleased to include this collection as part of the ecoartscotland occasional papers.  There are hi res and lo res version available for download here: Su_Grierson_Corresponding_from_Fukushima_Province_Japan_hi_res Su_Grierson_Corresponding_from_Fukushima_Province_Japan_lo_res

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.
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Natural Capital

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Does the (natural) world exist to provide ‘services’ for human beings?  Should we attempt to justify the importance of bees or trees or rivers or mountains or bacillus acidophilus in terms of an ecosystems services analysis, i.e. what services they provide to us?

Alternatively should we analyse what services we provide to ecosystems?  This question was raised by Shai Zakai recently during a discussion about ecosystem services.  It seems to focus precisely the problem with the ecosystems services approach, which is that it leaves us as the beneficiary of the services, limiting our responsibility to those we can comprehend.

For some useful background on this subject see the Arts and Environment network at CIWEM resource on Natural Capital, and in particular their introductory document From Microbes to Mountains.

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.
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Oil, photography

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Following up on Louis Helbig‘s presentation at Edinburgh College of Art comes Suzaan Boettger’s review in Brooklyn Rail of three books of photography of oil landscapes, Burtynsky’s Oil, J. Henry Fair’s The Day After Tomorrow: Images of our Earth in Crisis, and Richard Misrach and Kate Orff’s Petrochemical America.

The review addresses the approaches of the three photographers and comments on their aesthetic and art historical context.  There is a larger piece of work which would encompass, for instance, the also important books by James Marriott/PLATFORM including Next Gulf: London, Washington and the Oil Conflict in Nigeria and The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London.

These books provide a counterpoint because rather than focusing on the visual in the context of the industrial, they narrate the relationship between the impact on the lives of people living with the oil industry and our lives in London, or Scotland, or wherever and how we are complicit through financial investments, whether that’s JP Morgan Chase or Royal Bank of Scotland. 

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.
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Eden3: Trees are the Language of Landscape

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Eden3: Trees are the language of landscape exhibition image

Exhibition – April 22 to May 25, 2013
Tent Gallery, in Art Space and Nature
Edinburgh College of Art
Evolution House (corner of Westport and Lady Lawson Street)
Edinburgh, EH1 2LE, Scotland
Phone: 0131 651 5800
Hours: Tues-Fri 12noon to 4:45PM or by appointment on Saturday.

The Collins & Goto Studio presents an on-going series of works with trees, including Eden3 an installation of trees and technology that provide an experience of photosynthesis through sound, and Caledonia: The Forest is Moving a series of expeditions and related inquiry about specific forests. The exhibition includes a brief overview of previous work from Pennsylvania and California to provide context for the current creative inquiry.

This work has evolved through collaboration with other artists, musicians, scientists and technicians. The exhibition is partially sponsored by Trilight Industries, Glasgow. Engineering support for the development of Eden3 is provided by Solutions for Research, Bedford. Special thanks to Helen de Main, Sogol Mabadi and Chris Fremantle.

Opening – Thursday April 25, 4 to 6 PM
Artist’s Talk – Thursday May 16, 4 to 6 PM

Collins and Goto will host an open discussion with friends and colleagues about their work and the role of art in relationship to a changing environment.
Space is limited please RSVP if interested in attending the artist talk rsvp@collinsandgoto.com

Eden3 Exhibition Flyer w Image

Eden3 Exhbition Press ReleaseSM

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.
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Tar sands and restorative justice

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Slick Sunset, N 57.14.07 W 111.35.15, Shell Albian Sands, Alberta, Canada, Louis Helbig, with permission

Slick Sunset, N 57.14.07 W 111.35.15, Shell Albian Sands, Alberta, Canada, Louis Helbig, with permission

Louis Helbig’s talk on his project Beautiful Destruction yesterday afternoon at Edinburgh College of Art brought together some interesting elements: environmental destruction in remote northern Alberta, national economic benefits, the role of the arts, the relevance of this to Scotland, Jim Hansen’s arguments about tipping points in climate change, the need for civic discourse and the uses of restorative justice techniques.

Louis presented on the Alberta Tar Sands highlighting the scale of the environmental and economic impact. The Tar Sands cover something like an area the size of England. There has been an investment over the past 10 years of something like $300 billion into this industry and investors represent every country in the world with an active oil industry. Canada has derived a massive economic benefit from the Alberta Tar Sands allowing it to ride out the global economic crisis and become an oil exporter.

Louis articulated his interest in the Alberta Tar Sands coming from the experience of flying, with his partner Kristin Reimer, over the workings and being amazed at the scale, whilst also being astounded at the lack of civic discourse in Canadian society. He described the polarisation of debate in Canada between the environmentalists and the industrialists, and he offered a critique of the environmentalists in terms of their lack of engagement with the subject over an extended period during the development of the industry. Canadian environmental NGOs have, according to Louis, largely ignored the Tar Sands until recently.

Scott Donaldson, Portfolio Manager at Creative Scotland, reminded us that Jim Hansen,  recently retired Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the foremost scientists and more recently activists has specifically highlighted the development of Canada’s Tar Sands as a key indicator. Scientific American said this year,

His acts of civil disobedience started in 2009, and he was first arrested in 2011 for protesting the development of Canada’s tar sands and, especially, the Keystone XL pipeline proposal that would serve to open the spigot for such oil even wider. “To avoid passing tipping points, such as initiation of the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, we need to limit the climate forcing severely. It’s still possible to do that, if we phase down carbon emissions rapidly, but that means moving expeditiously to clean energies of the future,” he explains. “Moving to tar sands, one of the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet, is a step in exactly the opposite direction, indicating either that governments don’t understand the situation or that they just don’t give a damn.” 23 Jan 2013

Hansen’s argument makes Canada’s tar sands everyone’s business, but the issue of energy and land is one where Canada is only an extreme example.  This point was raised by Gemma Lawrence of Creative Carbon Scotland.  Harry Giles, Environment Officer for Festivals Edinburgh noted that there are a significant number of applications for open-cast coal currently before the Scottish Government, as well as numerous applications for major renewables installations. All of these, for better or for worse, are driven by our addiction to cheap energy, and politicians commitment to “keep the lights on.”

Louis kept emphasising the need for a civic discourse, rather than throwing stones at each other from extreme positions. There was a sense in the room that this was an unusual position for an artist to take. Are we more used to artists aligning themselves with environmental campaigners, than trying to open up a centre ground that enables all parties to engage in the discourse?

Louis kept returning to the experiences of speaking with individuals who worked in the industry, electricians or truck drivers rather than corporate executives, and how they, when faced with an artists’ representation of the beautiful destruction, articulated their own conflicted views.

Although it wasn’t raised in the formal discussion, the idea of restorative justice was also present, and perhaps needs to be explored. Kristin Reimer, Louis’ partner, is currently in Scotland to research restorative justice programmes in Scottish schools. Restorative justice is broadly speaking an approach that seeks to address the needs of both the victims and the offenders. It provides a space in which offenders, including those who have committed the most serious crimes, can be confronted by their victims. It is not a space of stone-throwing or media manipulation.

Given that we are all implicated in the self-destructive culture of cheap energy (even if energy doesn’t necessarily seem cheap in Scotland at the moment) do we not need the means by which to face each other, and talk about the problems, not as a soft option, but as a way to see that we all benefit economically from cheap energy and we all need to change our ways.

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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