Living in an era when the human impact on the climate and ecosystems is rapidly becoming catastrophic, cultural institutions need to be at the forefront of the effort to achieve environmental sustainability. Onassis STEGI is committed to embedding sustainability in its activities at all levels. This includes reducing our own environmental footprint, contributing to social awareness, developing good practices through EDUCATION and the arts and joining forces with environmentally active PEOPLE and organizations throughout the world.
Two years after the launch of our sustainability program here at Onassis STEGI, in collaboration with Julie’s Bicycle –a London based charity that supports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental change– we are inviting artists, scientists, activists and cultural practitioners to gather in ATHENS for an interdisciplinary symposium including various parallel events. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss in public the role of the cultural sector in this most urgent fight to preserve our earth. Environmental protection is a cultural issue.
ORGANIZED BY ONASSIS STEGI IN COLLABORATION WITH JULIE’S BICYCLE SUPPORTED BY THE BRITISH COUNCIL (GREECE)
Every day we witness new and dramatic consequences of the ongoing rise in temperatures. Scientists have been raising the alarm for quite some time—the causes of climate change are well-known and documented. Many people think the fires presently blazing through Australia are but a prelude to other destructive and deadly catastrophes.
Youth from around the world are taking to the streets to call for action. In 2019, Angus Reid revealed that 72% of Canadians approved of worldwide demands by youth for climate action.
The demands go beyond mere awareness—they are an outright call for climate justice.
Mobilization for climate justice
Climate justice includes moral, political, ethical, and cultural considerations. It also involves environmental, technical and physical approaches, and goes far beyond them as well. Climate justice examines social inequality, as well as fundamental and collective rights. It addresses the rights of future generations, as well as historic responsibilities. And climate-related inequalities are real. A compelling example of this can be found in Canada’s northern territories, which I visited in the summer of 2019.
In 2019, the rise in world temperatures since 1948 reached 1.7°C—an absolute record. But in Northern Canada, where Indigenous people make up more than 50% of the population, temperatures have actually risen 2.3°C.[i]Disastrous consequences are already being felt: permafrost deterioration is accelerating, certain plants have become extinct, the water is polluted, and Indigenous peoples’ traditional way of life has been tragically and directly impacted. Though Inuit and First Nations people are severely affected by climate change, they are rarely present at the decision-making tables where climate action is discussed.
The demand for climate justice is mobilizing more and more arts communities—notably Indigenous ones. With good reason: it is rooted in citizenry, and it emphasizes inclusion and equity.
The Canada Council for the Arts and climate change
We are currently developing our strategic plan for 2021–26, and we are looking to take a solid and consistent position on the issue of climate change. And our position will include an authentic Indigenous perspective, and an international and inclusive point of view.
In addition to focusing on environmentally innovative approaches to production and dissemination, the Council will continue to support creation that addresses climate issues in all dimensions artists choose to explore. The Council will also continue to demonstrate exemplary practices in the way it manages and reduces its own ecological footprint. As we continue our reduction, recovery, and greening initiatives, we will examine the ways we conduct our operations. Our employees and the community demand this kind of environmental leadership, and it will guarantee our public credibility so that we can have a voice on the most pressing issue of our time.
In the coming months, we will also be engaging in discussions with artists and organizations in order to define tangible measures that we can implement while proposing a vision of environmental justice that fully integrates the arts and culture.
[i]Bush, E. and Lemmen, D.S., editors (2019):“Section 8.4.1 : Changes in northern Canada” Canada’s Changing Climate Report; Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON. 444 p.
Lead Editor’s note: We will be publishing excerpts from Q18: dis/sustain/ability, guest edited by Bronwyn Preece, in order to make the content accessible to blind readers with audio screen readers. We’ll also be including audio descriptions of the Quarterly’s original layout designed by Stephanie Plenner, audio described. Please stay tuned for future posts and share widely. In thischapter, Stephanie Heit and Petra Kuppers embody a discussion of creative practice as self-care.
Tendings: Creative Practice as Self-Care
by Stephanie Heit and Petra Kuppers
In this essay, we share our ongoing joint practices of tending, collaborating, and being in place. We initially developed these practices out of the curriculum of Body and Earth by Andrea Olsen, which combines experiential anatomy, eco-specific investigations, somatic exercises, and writing. We began these tending practices in May 2015 while at Playa Artist Residency in Oregon and have continued them in our homebase of Ann Arbor, Michigan and during 2016 in multiple residencies, from Vandaler Forening in Oslo, Norway to The Thicket Artist Residency on a Georgia barrier island. The work connects us to the environments we are in; tunes us into our own bodyminds and their shifting states; tends our individual selves, our relationship and our surroundings; and nurtures our personal creative projects and Olimpias work  within a laboratory of open attention. The practices’ sustainability relies on our own flexibility and creativity to meet the day’s needs: shifting a movement exercise from standing to lying down to accommodate pain, narrating prompts to support concentration and reading difficulties, and adapting an exercise that calls for swimming in a lake to a bathtub or pool when it is freezing outside. These ‘tendings’ cultivate ongoing creative self-care and create a framework that extends to stewardship of self, interdependence, community, and the environment.
Stephanie: Our tendings reside within shifting locations as travel, performance engagements, and artist residencies change our locations. I live with bipolar disorder and my stability relies upon routine. Intensive travel and change, though exciting, can often be a challenge and disruptive to my equilibrium. Each new place I work to establish a nest and connect to the ground. I unpack my things (if we are in a place for a stretch) and familiarize myself with the layout of the space. Find where I feel comfortable, where I want to write. The tending practices help me transition from here to there, which may mean a new time zone, slant of light, ecosystem, temperature, as well as exhaustion from long travel days that deplete me and demand recovery time.
Lying on the ground and feeling grass blades on my ankles and neck as Petra traces my outline with her feet and cane, I tune into the specific breathing of the wind, allow my rhythms to tune into the rhythms of my surroundings. These tendings we create and adapt to hold each other in changeable states and to witness and hold the land in which we are visitors. The invitation to feel the cellular exchange – inside to outside, outside to inside – is permission to be however we are. I can be tired while Petra is charged after a productive morning, and the muskrat swims in sleek V’s across the pond. I’m able to lean into the care offered through connecting with Petra, perhaps in palpating each other’s feet bones giving way to a juicy foot massage, and heightening my awareness through engaging with the oak tree, shoreline, wood mossy floor. This multiple focus that includes and extends beyond, often gives way to shifts – tiredness may lessen after falling into a deep snooze while listening to red-winged blackbirds. There is tending in this creative gesture of interaction and witnessing, in paying attention to both strength and fragility.
Petra: In many ways, the availability of travel is still a miracle to me: as a disabled woman and wheelchair user, one of my fears (grounded in the reality of living in a non-accessible world) is being stuck, not being able to move, for pain, for wheelchair-inaccessible environments with stairs and thresholds. In ridiculous overcompensation, my life-path has been one of mobility, one that leaves me without a mortgage or permanent home, and one that means that I have a decade-long practice of taking occasional leave from my university to go gallivanting. But travel is not good news for stressed environments, and I know the ecological impacts of flights, and try to be mindful in my choices.
Disability access still sucks, everywhere. My embedment in the privilege of white and child-free academia allows me funds to overcome barriers. And love, of course. The love of my partner, my friends, my Olimpias artist collective collaborators, all the many people with whom we play and who open up their homes, their trucks, their knowledge of secret lakes to us. I am glad to travel these days mainly with my collaborator and romantic partner – Stephanie is the smallest connective web outside my own bodymindspirit, and we’re weaving our world together, two fragile women, queercrip travellers who help each other through challenges. A few years ago, I said no to the life of the gigging scholar/artist and the multitude of plastic hotel rooms I sat in after the last rehearsal or performance or dinner, lonely and disconnected. I am taking seriously the charge to build my performance career as a sustainable thing, through and with travel, and I can do so by leaning always toward and into connection.
After all the travel, the point of the exercise is to live a rich life everywhere, including at home. So after weeks of adjusting to the particulars of beds, paths, and dietary options, we get to play out our new sensoria in familiar surroundings, at home. Suddenly, it’s February, and we stretch and touch ice crystals on Michigan trees. We trace paths in the sand of a beach on Lake Michigan, careful not to slip on the snow. I remember how easy and free that movement felt when I had just climbed out of a hot tub in the Sierra Nevadas, my bodymind warm and my blood bathing my achy joints. The memory helps my swing in the cold crispness of our riverside park in Ann Arbor. And in turn, the delicacy of ice sculptures makes me see the abandon of the Floridian sea with new appreciation, makes me think about the fish out there, and their journeys, the pathways of so many creatures who circle around the earth.
Mover and Witness
Stephanie: We water dance in the Florida pool with its plunging deep end and Atlantic waves in ear distance pounding the shore. Sunday ‘snowbirds’ lounge in afternoon siesta. Petra and I enter the pool, one couple in the shallow end share the space. We employ a practice from Authentic Movement that has become a staple in our investigations; we witness each other for timed movement sessions, the mover with eyes closed. Petra submerges, her body fluid and grace as she buoys the depths, limbs waft and carve the surrounding water. There is ease and delight as she changes pace and twists her knees in alternating tightropes to the bottom, surfacing with arms reaching to sky, water droplets streaming. I witness aware of my own impulses, certain moves she makes that my body wants to try on, aware of the difference between watching underwater and above water. As witness, my job is also to keep Petra safe, to make sure she isn’t in danger of running into the cement side or into another swimmer (in this case a moot concern as we now have the pool to ourselves). After five minutes we change roles, and I explore water’s range, lean into the sensation of held breath, bubbles out my nose as I go down, and the sweetness of inhale only to go under again. I enjoy the slight disorientation with my eyes closed, the lessened gravity and ability to freely go upside down and flip in ways uncomfortable to me on land. We do a couple more rounds and both comment on how much fun this is and wonder why we didn’t start sooner.
Our water dances are not ‘performed’ with an audience in mind. In this case, we did have some onlookers from the pool: found audience members. But usually it is simply Petra and myself in nature with many non-human participants such as birds, gecko, unfurling fern. At times, we are witnessed by the occasional human, such as the odd straggler who walks by while we are in our local botanical garden dancing with a young sapling on a trail. We are not in rehearsal for a presentation. The focus is on awareness in the moment, not on product.
Nourishment and Manifestation
Petra: Our tendings provide nourishment for ourselves, for our relationship, for our engagement with our environment. And they also lead us toward manifestation. New audiencing procedures emerge from our tending practice. I am learning more and more about and through somatic writing, writing that accompanies bodily sensation. So after our daily five-minute dances in water, we trek home to the apartment, and take out notebook or computer. Freewrite time. Stephanie writes somatic vignettes which she later mines into poems. I am currently engaged in a fiction apprenticeship: I track my somatic states by pushing them into narrative scenarios. She writes about the raccoons swimming across the tidal channel in a straight line, making us laugh with their little white ears sticking up. In the same freewriting timeslot, I write about a group of women engaged in an aquafitness session in the long tidal zone of the beach — shallow waters with low breakers –marching together and finding each their own challenge and blessing in the sea. Both productions are nourished by the freedom of sensing, listening, smelling, tasting, touching in open form engagement with the elements of site.
There are other manifestations of our practices. In December 2016, we sent out an invite for an Olimpias action on the beach at Jupiter, Florida. This was our call, put out on social media:
We’re going to have an Olimpias sound improvisation score on the beach, honoring the passing of experimental sound artist and queer elder Pauline Oliveros. Since Katy Peterson, Stephanie Heit and Petra Kuppers set this in motion, the tragedy in Oakland happened , so we’re also holding space to mourn the electronic musicians, dancers and lovers who died in the Ghost Ship. If you want to join us, with instruments, moving bodies, voices, or just your presence, just message. Action followed by an early dinner together. Free, dinner will be subsidized if you need it, let us know if you need particular access provisions as that will shape where we’ll meet exactly.
This was tending in a larger frame. We listened together, and then performed an open score improvisation in the rhythm of the waves crashing into the sand and rocks of Coral Cove State Park. In our ear was the chatter of a group of young students who visited the site with a warden, the susurration of wind on sand, the roiling of water lapping over itself in the hollows of the sandstone rocks, the (to us) non-audible sounds of conspicuous chiton mollusks who clung to rock niches, moving in non-human time. Out of these moments of deep listening, we created a song we sent outward, to help and honor the path of familiar creative spirits far away, into the hollows, toward the horizon.
Moment Awareness and Sustainability
These are some examples of public manifestations of our private, ongoing, everyday practices of tendings: writings, participatory actions, little calls to attention, shifts in bodyminds, through the sound practices of poetry, through the somatic engagement of performance workshops, through the narrative drives of fiction.
Our first impetus is the moment itself. Our tendings are moment awareness work that nourishes attention and tends our senses. We hold space for the Open. We also pay attention to our avenues toward manifestation outside our private sphere. Our collaborative practice is sustainable as a partnership through differentiation as much as through collaboration. Each of us creates our own responses to the communally held actions, and, individually and communally, we find our audiences. Being in these flows, open creation and focused manifestation, nourishment and production, are the vital energies of our personal thriving.
We live well when we swim, roll, dive and float. And we feel better when we find points of connection between our private play in the land and water and the wider world around us, a sociopolitical world that needs to see joy, embedment, disabled people finding their grace, and reaching out toward others to sit on the beach together, listening.
Stephanie Heit is a poet, dancer, and teacher of somatic writing, Contemplative Dance Practice, and Kundalini Yoga. She lives with bipolar disorder and is a member of the Olimpias, an international disability performance collective. The Color She Gave Gravity (The Operating System 2017) is her debut poetry collection, and her work most recently appeared in Midwestern Gothic, Typo, Streetnotes, Nerve Lantern, Queer Disability Anthology, Spoon Knife Anthology, Theatre Topics, and Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. She has been awarded residencies at Vandaler Forening in Oslo, Norway; The Thicket in Darien, Georgia; Tasmania College of the Arts and Parramatta Artists Studio in Australia. www.stephanieheitpoetry.wordpress.com
Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and a Professor at the University of Michigan. She also teaches on the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College. She leads The Olimpias, a performance research collective (www.olimpias.org). Her Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape (2011) explores arts-based research methods. Her Studying Disability Arts and Culture: An Introduction (2014) is full of practical exercises for classrooms and studios. Her most recent poetry book is PearlStitch (2016). She has recently been awarded residencies at Vandaler Forening in Oslo, Norway; The Thicket in Darien, Georgia; Surel’s Place in Boise, Idaho; Tasmania College of the Arts and Parramatta Artists Studio in Australia.
The Olimpias has a long history of community art practice with disabled people in water, on land, in site-specific explorations. For more information about the Olimpias, see Kuppers, 2014, and, more recently, about the Salamander Project of underwater explorations, see Kuppers (2015 and forthcoming) and Karp and Block (forthcoming). See also Kafer about Olimpias minor outdoor actions in nature (2013: 143/44)
A house fire on Dec. 2, 2016 at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland killed 36 people during an underground electronic music show. The resulting discussions highlighted the struggles of many people, including artists, in finding affordable and safe housing in gentrifying cities.
Kafer, Alison. Feminist, Queer, Crip. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013.
Karp, P. & Block P. (in press) We Float Together: Immersing OT Students in the Salamander Project. In Occupation Based Social Inclusion. (Eds. Brueggen, H., Kantartzis, S., and Pollard, N. Whiting and Birch, London, UK.
Kuppers, Petra. “‘Swimming with the Salamander: A community eco-performance project’ Performing Ethos, 5, no. 1/2 (2015): 119-135.
Kuppers, Petra. “Writing with the Salamander: An Ecopoetic Community Performance Project.” Field Works: Essays on Ecopoetics. University of Iowa Press, forthcoming.
Kuppers, Petra. Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape. Harmondsworth: Palgrave, 2014.
Olsen, Andrea; Bill McKibben, fwd., Caryn McHose: Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide. Middlebury, 2002.
Science tells us that we have a decade within which to make unprecedented and far-reaching changes to all aspects of society. Decisions made in the coming years will be critical in determining our future.
Tickets now available for JB’s 2020 summit, titled We Make Tomorrow: creative climate action in a time of crisis – we invite you to join us.
This provocative, intergenerational and action-focused event will bring creative and cultural leaders and institutions together with funders, grassroots activists, policy-makers and the scientific community to explore what creativity, leadership and innovation means in the context of climate and ecological emergency, ahead of the crucial COP26 climate talks.
How do we build the future we want?
Taking place on Wednesday 26th February 2020 at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society London – where Julie’s Bicycle held one of its first events for the music industry more than 10 years ago – this event will bring together high-profile expert speakers and facilitators with an audience of over 300 from across the UK and beyond. Together we will ask: What will the world be like in 2030, and what can the creative and cultural community do now to push us closer to the future we want?
This day-long event will look at the political, demographic, economic and social forces driving our changing climate and devastating loss of nature, and explore how the arts and cultural sector can be galvanised to move us towards net-zero whilst laying foundations for a more connected and just future society.
You can expect interactive sessions, performances, high profile keynotes, and cross-disciplinary discussion. As a participant of this event, we would like you to bring your vision, experience and expertise to help shape and contribute towards the day.
We will be announcing further details very soon. But for now, don’t miss out – book your ticket at the early bird rate(only available until 3rd January)!
Period 2019.11.19 [Tue] – 2020.3.29 [Sun] Open every day
Open Hours 10:00-22:00 (Last Admission: 21:30) * 10:00-17:00 on Tuesdays (Last Admission: 16:30) * Open until 22:00 on Tuesdays of November 19, December 31, 2019 and February 11, 2020 (Last Admission: 21:30)
Venue Mori Art Museum (53F, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, Tokyo) Access
Admission Adult 1,800 yen University / Highschool student 1,200 yen Child (Age 4 up to Junior highschool student) 600 yen Senior (Ages 65 & over) 1,500 yen
Advance ticket Ticket Pia [P-code: 769-948] (* In Japanese-language only) Adult 1,500 yen Available until 2020.3.29 [Sun]
ASOVIEW (* In Japanese-language only) Adult 1,500 yen et al. Available until 2020.3.29 [Sun]
Advances in technology over the past few years are now starting to have a significant impact on various aspects of our lives. It is said that not too far in the future, human beings will be entrusting many of their decisions to AI (artificial intelligence) which will then supersede human intelligence; the advent of “singularity” will potentially usher in enormous changes to our society and lifestyles. Another development, that of blockchain technology, looks set to build new levels of trust and value into our social systems, while advances in biotechnology will have a major impact on food, medicine, and the environment. It is also possible that one day, we humans will be able to extend our physical functions, and enjoy longer life spans. The effect of such changes may not be necessarily and universally positive, yet surely we need to at least acquire a vision of what life may look like in the next 20-30 years, and ponder the possibilities of that new world. Doing so will also spark fundamental questions about the nature of affluence and of being human, and what constitutes life.
Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life – How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow, consisted of five sections: i.e. “New Possibilities of Cities;” “Toward Neo-Metabolism Architecture;” “Lifestyle and Design Innovations;” “Human Augmentation and Its Ethical Issues;” and “Society and Humans in Transformation,” will showcase over 100 projects/works. The exhibition will aim to encourage us to contemplate cities, environmental issues, human lifestyles and the likely state of human beings as well as human society – all in the imminent future, via cutting-edge developments in science and technology including AI, biotechnology, robotics, and AR (augmented reality), plus art, design, and architecture influenced by all these.
Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life – How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow
Mori Art Museum NHK
In Association with
Embassy of Switzerland in Japan
Adam Mickiewicz Institute / culture.pl Australian Embassy Tokyo The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
OBAYASHI CORPORATION Delta Electronics (Japan), Inc. JUT Group (Taiwan) MAIN MGM Resorts Japan Thai Beverage Public Company Limited SANKEN SETSUBI KOGYO CO., LTD. mixi, Inc. IHI Transport Machinery Co., Ltd. KUME SEKKEI Co., Ltd. NIPPON PMAC Co., Ltd. NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORPORATION AMANO Corporation SHINRYO CORPORATION
ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS CO., LTD. Champagne Pommery
TAKENAKA CORPORATION NIKKEN SEKKEI LTD NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD. GE Healthcare Life Sciences ASTRODESIGN,Inc.
Nanjo Fumio (Director, Mori Art Museum) Kondo Kenichi (Curator, Mori Art Museum) Tokuyama Hirokazu (Associate Curator, Mori Art Museum) Honor Harger (Executive Director, ArtScience Museum, Singapore)
SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia The Mori Memorial Foundation
Lead Editor’s note: We will be publishing excerpts from Q18: dis/sustain/ability, guest edited by Bronwyn Preece, in order to make the content accessible to blind readers with audio screen readers. We’ll also be including audio descriptions of the Quarterly’s original layout designed by Stephanie Plenner, described by Katie Murphy. Please stay tuned for future posts and share widely.
In this our fifth chapter, Neil Marcusshares thoughts on disability, theater, hope and embedment.
CREATIVITY, SUSTAINABILITY, DISABILITi
“You don’t have to quote me unless I say something relevant. I am just myself.”
Photograph from a talk on “Disability Culture” by Petra Kuppers: “The Olimpias” Art Collective at Portland Art Festival, May 2008
IS YOURS THE STUFF THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF II?
my thoughts on theater and disability its about making sense of chaos. its about making the spirit visible. its about discovering all the connections and linkages that make us human together and describing them. disability as having a meaning in disability, has no meaning.
“it doesn’t rain disability.”
…in a Godzilla world in the location of Manhattan…Godzilla roams the city streets with huge car sized footsteps. Car alarms go off constantly. Godzilla is upset by the ruckus.
wheeee yuhhh wheeee beeep beep!! A big nuisance. irritant…bother.
in a Godzilla world, everything topples around her. towers, freeways, stores, trees. and Godzilla spits fire. ssss…
THOUGHTS OF POETIC EMBEDMENT
Hello dear friend of the petrified wasp-in-pine sap: I heard of your search for documents or documentability. I search for the same. Striving for clarity and new forms of expressions in my own ‘disability’ [bad word] related prose poetry/theater of life. Personally, I like the words hypertext, subtext, metaphor link and offshoot: where words and ideas constantly embark on spin off words and ideas and movement shakes and dances out of every crevice of thought.
I often work off graphic images. A sign reading ACCESS TO PLANETARIUM with appropriate stick wheelchair figure mid sentence prompts my bodythinking.
Hence pictures take us to words, ideas to explore.
“Department of English, University of Michigan” Photo by Neil Marcus
WHAT GIVES YOU HOPE?
Email exchange: Neil Marcus66<!– (10:46:23 AM)–>: doing art……living artistically I think helps me …………………it gives me good direction Neil Marcus66<!– (10:48:29 AM)–>: I as always fascinated by movies about prisons. how people cope? Ester — (10:49:04 AM)–>: With? Neil Marcus66<!– (10:51:01 AM)–>: difficult situations.. another favorite topic…………..marooned………….. Ester– (10:52:36 AM)–>: Themes of isolation? Separateness? Neil Marcus66<!– (10:54:22 AM)–>: yes definitely and discovering tremendous resources………….
Picture = 1000 words Idea = staff of life Poem = 1000 ideas
Art on the walls. Art in the trees. Art in the gaze. Art in the clay.
Art in the flesh. Art in the move. Art in the stroke.
I am doing my criptography (the painting of brush stroke simple figures that in my mind are all representations of disabled people moving) the view of the view of the view of the view of the view:
SELF SUSTAINING ACTS
to insinuate oneself onto to insert ones self into public discourse/sphere appropriate popular culture with culinary delights sandwiches made with garden fresh tomatoes peanut butter and homemade jam To be spastic to be proud To boldly go where … you want to go in this intrepid universe with great enterprise
I found this road sign on the campus of the National University of Australia outside of the Chefly Library. It was lovely to run into. As far as I know, it is a one-of-a-kind artwork and/or perhaps a ‘public work of art,’ as Australia is famous for government-funded art in public spaces.
I have never seen the universal access sign in this format.
I imagine someone had walked by it one day and saw the need to humanize it a little. This was truly a revolutionary act to me. With a flower, no less.
Thoughts about the importance of road signs and getting the message right.
The flower presented here really undermines the static purely ‘functional’ representation of disability.
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die.”
–Replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) in Blade Runner
We don’t always remember how glorious it is to be human…what we live
through and how we come out. It is hard to speak of such experiences
but we all do have them.
I quote Blade Runner above because I think the android’s view of life
is well articulated. I look to the outsider for commentaries on the
human life. Aliens androids prisoners: the disenfranchised.
Humans often can feel our own lives and struggles outside our numbness
if given a bit of distance/perspective. All of us have exceptional
things to express. Moments that have touched us deeply. I see access
to these memories as being our only limit.
Do we believe we are artists and philosophers?
Do our lives have meaning?
Do we have something to say?
‘Meteoric’ Neil Marcus, Sketch from Superfest Film Festival SPSU, 2016
EXAMPLE OF RELEVANCE
After the evening show, we have the Q and A with the audience and in front of 200 people, a woman asks me: “What kind of woman do you like, I mean you say you are a lover and all. I was just wondering?” I fumble A LOT and say “friendly ones” then “next question please.” Matt makes a joke saying, “what’s your phone number?” He continues, “You have such perfect timing Neil and such control. Is there anything you can tell others to help them?” I answer, “Well…to appreciate ones body no matter what it does or doesn’t do, helps.”
During the night and the next day, I think about that first question. I think about who I am, the position I’m in and what I’m doing. Part of it is FEEDBACK. It’s sustenance. I’ve created a situation. Me performing audience. Inspired dialogue. It’s a situation where no matter what I think, act or do, I cannot fail. It’s failsafe. Because I’m always out there doing my best. WOW. And I usually always get applause. What does this tell me? I’m telling you this because I think it is to be a model of physical therapy. Emotional therapy. Self help.
A dancer’s foot. My foot.
In an oral history interview of artists with disabilities, using the technology of ‘instant messaging’ I was able to articulate:
“Medusa” by Neil Marcus. Touch pad art. 2012
Neil Marcus66<!– (11:00:58 AM)–>: I’m a human bridge in a moment of time spanning as far and as relevant as my thoughts will carry me Esther – (11:04:58 AM)–>: I’m a human bridge in a moment of time, spanning as far and as relevant as my thoughts will carry me.
MY AUTO CORRECT ON “DISABILITY”…:
“disability/ disabled”: an un quantifiable concept, immeasurable, non-poetic, medicalized word that represents no thing or no body EXCEPT as a idea in need of revolution.
The concept of “Disability” is non sustainable.
love joy art …sustainable self renewing
I listen to the waves at the seashore and watch them roll in. in and out. They never stop. My mind wanders. I think of love. I smell the sea life air. I think of grains of sand slipping through my wet toes. I think of starry nights and streaming comets and glowing rounded moons. I think of thousands of fishes that will run with the tides at a certain season and time each year. There are moments in my life when everything is so completely and totally understandable, all I can do is gasp in wonder and cry a special brand of joyous tear and try to tell someone all about it. There is a postcard that I TREASURE. I found it in a postcard store in 1984. It totally says a lot of what I want to say. Maybe it says everything! ! the card stock is braille with braille dots as the postcard “scene” thats raised little “bumps”on a white background. The effect is that you are sending this postcard to someone and its so complete that at first glance…it seems like nothing is there. To a sighted person, the card seems blank. It’s all white. Turn it over. In very small print it says , ”I often imagine myself being here. Sitting on the beach, listening to the waves, feeling the salty air upon my face and tongue. Everything seems possible. i wish you were here” so.. it’s not blank. The front is the poem translated into braille. Touch. speaks a language that is very real but is little known. What could be more communicative than a fingers touch. And the artistic statement is so strong. my words don’t do it justice.
Neil Marcus is a Spastic artist and performer living in Berkeley, California, USA. His books include Special Effects: Advances in Neurology (2011), and Cripple Poetics: A Love Story (2010), and The Princess and the Dragon (a disabled fable) (unpublished). His most performed play is Storm Reading (1988).
100 million miracles [flower drum song] Dir. Gene Kelley
the mothers of invention
re evaluation counseling
Cyrano de Bergerac
body as art
idea … weaving
At age 13 I began learning co-counseling. Theories of liberation and oppression. This enriched my thinking. My world. I could live. I could give. I could love. I had a brush with which to touch-up the world. Ideas popping. I was radicalized. I had a vibrant self. I had expression. I had raves.
Filming: “disability/disabled country”
Smithsonian video by Neil Marcus/filmed and edited by Jai Jai Noire,
Description (State Studio, Berlin,14 December 2019) For the fourth and final event of the Berlin part of WE ARE OCEAN at State Studio Berlin, an independent project space for art and science, we are presenting for the first time in full length the film “WE ARE OCEAN – A film made in collaboration with secondary school students in Berlin and in Brandenburg” by Berlin-based artist Lisa Rave, which was created during a series of WE ARE OCEAN workshops with students this summer. In the afternoon we will conduct a final student workshop, which will formulate future scenarios for the climate protection of the oceans (please register for workshop participation at firstname.lastname@example.org). The students will present their findings following the film presentation in three short interviews with one member of the WE ARE OCEAN team, one of the participating educators and the audience, and formulate further questions for the project to continue in other cities. Afterwards, the bar of the State Studio invites for a more informal exchange. Throughout the duration of the event, the basement features the approximately one-hour program of artistic short films on the theme of the sea and ecology, poetry and politics that has been put together specifically for WE ARE OCEAN (presented in a loop).
3 – 6 pm A workshop for registered school students (workshop room).
3 – 8 pm A screening of WE ARE OCEAN curated film program with artistic short videos by Ursula Biemann (CH), Forensic Oceanography (GB), Tue Greenfort (DK), Michelle-Marie Letelier (CHI), Parvathi Nayar (IN), Ana Vaz (BR), Susanne M. Winterling (D), Marina Zurkow (US) (in the basement)
6 – 6:30 pm Lisa Rave: “WE ARE OCEAN – A film made in collaboration with secondary school students in Berlin and in Brandenburg” (first floor)
6:30 – 7:30 pm Dialogue situations with selected participants (first floor): Christian Rauch (STATE Studio), Julia Moritz, Lisa Rave, Anne-Marie Melster, Students and teachers of: Schule am Berlinickeplatz, Barbara-Zürner-Oberschule Velten, Montessori Gesamtschule Bernau
7:30 pm onward Open bar
Webinar Virtual Blue COP 25
“Can the arts mobilize youth for the preservation of the Ocean?”
Description (Webinar) We decided to contribute something CO2-emissions-reduced to this year’s Climate Conference COP25 in Madrid: Virtual Blue COP25 invited us to hold a webinar on WE ARE OCEAN.
The webinar WE ARE OCEAN on 07 December 2019 has the transdisciplinary project WE ARE OCEAN by ARTPORT_making waves as a point of departure and will illustrate and discuss the role of art, education in combination with science in the implementation of environmental awareness in the broader public. The activity will have two different components: The screening of an excerpt of the artistic video by Lisa Rave created as part of her commissioned WE ARE OCEAN workshops in and around Berlin and a panel discussion with Anne-Marie Melster (ARTPORT_making waves, moderator), Julia Moritz (Co-curator of WE ARE OCEAN), Nick Nuttall (Earth Day Network), Nancy Couling (BAS Bergen School of Architecture).
ARTPORT_making waves is proud to announce that Nick Nuttall is joining our Advisory Board. Nick is the Strategic Communications Director for Earth Day 2020 and Former Director of Communications and Spokesperson for UN climate change and UN Environment.
Nick Nuttall has over 40 years’ experience in communicating climate and environmental issues. He was the Director of Communications and the Spokesperson for the 2015 Paris Agreement and spearheaded the communications and outreach for the UN Environment from 2001 to 2013. Before that Nick was an award-winning journalist with The Times newspaper in London. Throughout his career, and in his personal life, art and culture have been significant companions. In the United Nations, he led several communications initiatives in which artists were engaged including a Song for Paris involving young musicians.
Nick has supported the Save the World Festival which brings together international artists from many disciplines with scientists and experts on sustainable development and recently was an advisor to the play Tornado. As Director of Communications of the Global Climate Action Summit in California in 2018, Nick promoted artistic and cultural engagement. Earth Day, which in 2020 marks its 50th anniversary, is actively engaging artists under its Artists for the Earth initiative.
In his private life, Nick has performed with the Bonn Players and Bonn University Shakespeare Company is lead singer and guitarist with the band Sleepers Den while being a backing singer for the German artist Bernadette La Hengst. His other passions are tennis and his childhood English football team, Burnley.
ARTPORT_making waves Staff Picks
The ARTPORT_making waves Staff Pick is exactly what the name implies, a selection of recent articles, videos and content that have been curated by the staff at ARTPORT_making waves. Explore, Learn and Discover the world of climate change mitigation and climate action.
Youth across the country and the world are once again striking for Climate Justice. Some folks already went on strike last Friday; many more are preparing to strike this Friday, December 6th. No matter how old or young you are, we invite you to join!
After the global record-breaking September 20th strikes, we know that the upcoming strikes will be smaller. As communities build and shore up for the long haul, the strikes are deepening too. Town by town, coalitions are organizing, deepening youth leadership, crafting bigger visions and clearer demands of politicians, and taking bolder risks. If you haven’t joined the climate strikes yet, now’s the perfect time to show up with your loudest cheer and friendliest smile, to make your own sign or to just show up and be present with the youth.
Why does the USDAC go on strike? Because the climate crisis is a crisis for our culture—it’s a crisis for our values, for our communities and the people we love. It’s also an opportunity to bring our creative gifts into the streets. As artists and cultural leaders, we invite you to join us in taking a stand: send information to your friends and neighbors, bring creative action to the fight for climate justice in to your work and your life. Walk out of your offices, buy nothing, create something, stay home from school, attend a rally, start a conversation.
And if this week doesn’t work, set your eyes towards the spring, as the next global climate strike will be on Earth Day: April 22, 2020! With the months ahead to plan, we ask: who could you be standing with at the April Earth Day strike if you start preparing now? If you are a teacher or a convener of any sort, can you integrate preparations for the strike in to your curriculum or organizing plan? What visions of creative participation might we spend our winter hatching together?
Here are some other concrete ways you can show up for the climate strikes:
Pollution Pods at COP25, Madrid 2-13 December, 2019
Visitors to be immersed in choking smog as part of a drive to urge world leaders to take action on air pollution
One or two minutes inside artist Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods and visitors might begin experiencing shortness of breath, but there’s nothing dangerous in the air in the pods. Safe perfume blends and fog machines imitate the air quality of some of the world’s most polluted cities – London, Beijing, São Paulo, New Delhi – as well as one of the most pristine environments on earth, Tautra in Norway.
As part of World Health Organisation’s BreatheLife Campaign, which mobilizes governments and communities to reduce the impact of air pollution on our health and climate, this viscerally powerful art installation will be installed at the COP25 climate summit. Negotiators, observers and world leaders attending the summit will be encouraged to walk through the pods, which are being brought to Madrid by Cape Farewell, WHO, Clean Air Fund and Ministry of Ecological Transition, Spain.
“The true cost of climate change is felt in our hospitals and in our lungs. The health burden of polluting energy sources is now so high, that moving to cleaner and more sustainable choices for energy supply, transport and food systems effectively pays for itself,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “When health is taken into account, climate change mitigation is an opportunity, not a cost”.
Aquarium of the Pacific Presents “Ocean Resiliency”
See Eubank’s paintings of all 5 oceans, attend two talks, and help the oceans, at the prestigious Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. Join us for the opening of “Ocean Resiliency: The Art and Expeditions of Danielle Eubank” on November 5 with an oral presentation at the Aquarium.
“Oil on Water: Painting on Linen, Danielle Eubank” opens today at The University of Michigan, Michigan Medicine. It features 4 of Eubank’s largest and most noteworthy paintings to date. Gifts of Art is one of the “most comprehensive arts in medicine programs nationwide….The arts have the power to nurture and engage… to assist and enhance the healing process, reduce stress, support human dignity and renew the spirit.”
Slate Contemporary Hosts First Antarctica Paintings
Join Danielle at Slate Contemporary Gallery in Oakland on October 4th for the opening of “State of Change” with the incomparable Audra Weaser and David Ruth. This show features the premiere of Eubank’s first big oil paintings of Antarctica.
“One Artist, Five Oceans”, a massive exhibition featuring paintings of all 5 oceans, is the first time Eubank’s paintings will be exhibited at a Long Beach gallery. It will encompass the exhibition, a Call to Action to support our oceans, and other events. More details to come.
Here are the best articles from this year from The Guardian and KCLU, NPR for the California Coast. Also, Danielle Eubank will be included in KPCC’s Unheard LA, a “curated lineup of real people sharing true stories of life here in Southern California” In October or November. Please email Danielle Eubank if you want to hear the date and time.
“Oil on Water: Painting on Linen, Danielle Eubank” University of Michigan Gifts of Art Gallery – University Hospital Main Lobby, Floor 1 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 September 16 – December 6, 2019 Open daily from 8am – 8pm An informal artist’s talk, date TBD
“State of Change” Slate Contemporary Gallery 473 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612 510.652.4085 October 3 – November 30, 2019 Opening Reception + Artists’ Talk: Friday October 4th 6:30pm
“One Artist Five Oceans: Danielle Eubank” C Gallery Fine Art 441 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802 November 1 – December 15, 2019 Opening Reception date TBD
“Ocean Resiliency: The Art and Expeditions of Danielle Eubank” Aquarium of the Pacific 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802 November 5, 2019 – January 5, 2020 Opening Artist Talk, “One Artist Five Oceans” Tuesday, November 5th 7:00-8:30pm. Get tickets. “Ocean Resiliency: Call to Action” November 12, 2019. Tickets available soon.
Three things we can do to help the oceans right now
I will install rain barrels around my house. They help capture water for my garden, putting less stress on municipal systems and replenishing underground aquifers. Source: worldwildlife.org
I will wash clothes in cold water. Approximately 90 percent of the total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions produced by a single load of laundry come from warming the water. Plus, studies have shown that washing in cold water is just as effective. Source: coldwatersaves.org
I will recycle and donate my used things to charity instead of throwing them away. The average American tosses 4.4 pounds of trash every single day. It may not seem all that astonishing on the surface, but with323.7 million people living in the United States, that is roughly 728,000 tons of daily garbage, enough to fill 63,000 garbage trucks. Source: saveonenergy.com
You can help raise awareness about our effect on the climate and oceans. Send these suggestions to your friends! If it gets ONE person to think about how they can help the environment in their everyday life, it will be worth it.
(Top image: Carthage VII, Oil on linen 10×30 inches, 2018)