Current and Upcoming Exhibition: The Water Knows All My Secrets

The Water Knows All My Secrets

Curated by Ceren Erdem at Pratt Manhattan Gallery


Admission is free.

July 10–September 12, 2015
Opening reception: Thursday July 9, 6–8 PM

Image: Ursula Biemann, video still from Subatlantic, 2015.

This exhibition takes a critical look at our engagement with water, whether as a barrier, a threatening force of nature, or a resource at risk.

Halil Altindere
Ursula Biemann
Osman Bozkurt
Jethro Brice
Nikolaj Larsen
Didem Özbek
Mounira al Solh
Janaina Tschäpe
Müge Yilmaz

144 West 14th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10011

11 AM–6 PM
Thursdays until 8 PM
Closed on federal holidays and between exhibitions

Arts, the Environment, & Sustainability Published as part of Americans for the Arts’ Arts & America: Arts, Culture, and the Future of America’s Communities

This essay looks at changes related to the environment and issues of sustainability and the role that the arts may play in positively impacting those changes over the next 10–15 years. In particular, this essay proposes the following trends and associated arts interventions:

  • The next 10–15 years will see a burst of new technological and technical advances that will allow the construction of smarter, more energy-conscious appliances, buildings, and other devices. This will both mean a shrinking of the ecological footprint of arts experiences and an increase in the opportunity to creatively integrate environmentally conscious measures—including monitoring energy use, community engagement, and conservation efforts—into art projects large and small.
  • As climate changes occur and certain parts of the world become less inhabitable, whole communities will have to migrate in what has been termed a “climate diaspora.” Thisdiaspora will, initially, disproportionately impact marginalized native populations with fragile, rich cultural histories. Efforts to preserve and disseminate those cultural and artistic histories will both increase awareness of the migration and maintain community cohesion among those attempting to incorporate into strange new conditions.
  • While others will not have to immediately move as a result of sea level rise or temperature fluctuation, many environments will eventually change so drastically as to impact the feeling of being “home.” Artists, in reaction to that unease and as activist leaders, will respond with an increase in art driven by environmental and ecological issues across all mediums, which will in turn create new public knowledge, dialogue, and action.

Download the Essay Here

Excerpted from Arts & America: Arts, Culture, and the Future of America’s Communities. This essay looks at the role of arts and issues of environment and sustainability over the next 10 to 15 years. The full book of essays can be purchased in Americans for the Arts online store.


This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

by Guest Blogger Natalie Abrams

I live in nature. Surrounded by it, I experience every subtle shift and change. I witness an amazing array of species as they inhabit the same place, and I am exactly where I want to be. I never could have predicted this would be my life. I never thought I’d give up my studio, my workshop, all my tools and supplies. I loved being a full time studio artist. But at some point, as an environmental artist, it wasn’t enough. As my ideas grew, the studio felt too confined, too removed, so isolated and incapable of adequately experiencing and expressing (incubating and containing) what I needed to say. Being more visual than verbal, that’s really what art is to me; another means of expressing a concept or idea.


Having sold the bulk of our possessions, my studio now fits in eight small drawers and paints live in a tiny bin. The sailboat is impossible to keep tidy and organized, and mold is a constant problem. But when I step out of the cabin into the cockpit, I see dolphins and egrets. I see pelicans and sea squirts.

And I talk to people. I’ve met the high powered corporate lawyer for a Fortune 100 corporation who discreetly helped her company acquire and donate thousands of acres to local conservation organizations. I’ve met men, former military, who are going back to study the sources of plastic in the gyres. Conservationists and scientists working on different campaigns which, in the end, are all related. I meet so many amazing people who all have interesting ideas about their place in nature and how they interact with it.

I also see things. Plastic debris, the dead remains from parties over the weekend littering the disappearing salt marshes. Fuel spills in water filled with wildlife. Artists who throw the dirty water used to clean their brushes directly into the waterways where those animals live, eat and reproduce. And I see the scars on the dolphins as they lethargically swim by. Entire blocks of downtown Charleston flood with an above average tide or an average rain because of rising sea levels. The issues take multiple forms, are complex and systemic. As one can’t look at each issue in isolation, each issue can’t be solved in isolation.

There are really two aspects to this project, Define Earth, when broken down. There is the artwork and the exploration and research leading to its creation.

The exploration starts as my partner, documentarian Kevin Murphy, and I sail to locations experiencing some form of ecological degradation and species decline. During the next three years, we’ll visit places in the southeastern United States and the Caribbean, including Indian River Lagoon, FL; Gardens of the Queen, Cuba; Curacao, Venezuela; Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, Columbia. In each place, we’ll meet with conservation organizations, scientists and researchers studying the issues leading to this loss, as well as locals to learn what impact these issues have on the population at large. During the course of that research, we’ll extensively photograph each location, record interviews and collect studies. I also collect relevant waste or abandoned materials to use in creating the artwork I call “creatures.”

Creatures 1

In short, my sculptures and the corresponding images present a barren hypothetical future. Composed of the collected waste materials, printed scientific reports, area photographs and other items, the works themselves reveal what brought on their existence. They divulge the potential of what we create here and now with our consumption and lifestyle choices.

I want this work to be hauntingly beautiful, engrossing yet uncomfortable. The colours too harsh and the landscape too bleak. They are visual explorations of what we will leave behind when the planet is no longer capable of supporting life as we experience it now. These creatures are attempts of life to spontaneously manifest from the waste materials discarded or deemed too inconvenient to retrieve. These creatures are photographed and filmed in locations related to the content of work. The images and video convey the “life” of the creature, struggling to survive, defend their place, procreate, but ultimately incapable of living. Installed in issue specific locations, these pieces tell stories and contain the history of what led to their creation; oil spills, planned obsolescence and an overburdened waste stream, over-fishing and rampant tourism, rising sea levels and changing climate conditions from global warming, methane harvest and release, and a whole host of human driven actions.

Creatures 2

Jacques Cousteau said “People protect what they love.”

As we enter a third mass extinction event, I hope to inspire the audience to value and love what we still have by depicting the potential of what we’ll lose. By demonstrating how that loss is being made manifest, I hope to spark that curiosity and understanding of what is causing the degradation, to educate and instill a sense of responsibility. I hope to help people actively think and look more closely at the world around them, and at the impact of the large and small decisions we make in our everyday lives. To step up, take responsibility and action to halt destructive practices.

The time is now. We don’t have a prolonged future to mull and debate. And while many consider this to be a political debate, I wonder why it isn’t a moral one. If it isn’t our best interest to just take care of our home. To take responsibility and care for the only place we exist in this universe. Our planet is a precious, living jewel filled with an abundance of life. Let’s treat it as such and protect what we love.

Read Climate Journeys Part I and Part III.


Natalie Abrams’ sculptures explore the systemic nature of environmental and social issues. Transitions from organic to man-made and repurposed materials connote the transition of landscapes under duress. Abrams’ work is at the heart of collaborative undertaking Define Earth Projects; a circumnavigation exploring threatened ecosystems and the populations dependent on them, producing site specific installations, exhibitions and publications. Abrams’ artwork has been exhibited nationally as well as participated in residencies at Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts, Redux, Escape to Create and McColl Center for Art and Innovation.


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



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

PQ International Eco-soirée

Very excited to announce EcoScenography’s first International gathering for eco-focused designers and performance makers as part of the 2015 Prague Quadrennial. This will be a wonderful opportunity to catch up with like-minded artists over food and a glass of wine. Please note: this will be a private party (with limited numbers) in a secret location and so the exact address will be emailed (or sent in a private message) to you closer to the time. For more details join the EcoScenography FB group via:

2 Degrees Festival

1-7 June, 2015.


2 Degrees Festival asks:

What can we do together to create a sustainable future?

International artists present cutting-edge responses to climate change, urging you to act now to build a more positive future.

A programme of performance, debate and public installations will take place in tree-tops, office blocks and theatres in and around Toynbee Studios, at the crossroads of the East End and The City.

2 Degrees Festival is Artsadmin’s biennial celebration of art, environment and activism. It aims to inspire, connect, and empower people to create solutions for a sustainable future.

Join in – bring your friends.

For more information visit the 2 Degrees Tumblr site, follow #2DegreesFestivalon Twitter and/or sign-up to our mailing list to receive updates.

2 Degrees Festival is delivered by Artsadmin and supported by Arts Council England, the Ashden Trust, the European Commission Culture Programme as part of Imagine 2020.

No.9 News

Water’s Edge

Photograph by Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images Chinstrap penguins, Zavodovski and Visokoi Islands, South Sandwich Islands, November and December, 2009

Water’s Edge is a Pam Am commissioned large-scale photographic exhibition exploring the often tenuous balance where human civilization, land, and water meet. This exhibition will bring to light recent concerns regarding the sustainability of our global fresh water supply and the impact that human development is having on this precious life-sustaining resource.

Curated by Andrew Davies, Water’s Edge will feature works by six exemplary Pan American photographers: Edward Burtynsky, James Balog, Sebastiao Salgado, Cristina Mittermeier, Jorge Uzon and Gustavo Jononovich.

The Exhibition will take place at Union Station and Pearson International Airport with an opening launch on July 9th to coincide with the Pan Am Games. There will also be a symposium on fresh water issues at Evergreen Brick Works featuring the Artists and their work on July 10th. More information on the opening of Water’s Edge and tickets for the symposium will be announced at a later date.

No.9 Eco-Art-Fest @ Todmorden Mills

No.9 is excited to announce the return of the Eco-Art-Fest at Todmorden Mills this summer! The festival will run from June 20 to September 13 on Fridays (12PM – 10PM), Saturdays (12PM – 10PM) and Sundays (12PM – 5PM). No.9 will feature four new artists, two returning artists, art tours, educational workshops, and delicious food and beer! There will be live music every Saturday from 7PM – 9PM. Register for Handscapes, Poetics of Architecture, and music workshops by contacting Emily Foster ( Drop-in for Clay Making workshops (Noon – 7pm), and Public Art Tours (Noon, 2, 4, and 6pm) daily. More information will be available soon!

Imagining My Sustainable City Hamilton

No.9, in partnership with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and Evergreen CityWorks, officially launched IMSC Hamilton in January, with a total of 14 schools across Hamilton scheduled for 2015. The call to action aligns with No.9’s and Evergreen’s mission to educate the next generation about the development of sustainable communities.

No.9 continues to engage members of the OAA as volunteers during IMSC, and practicing professionals in the Hamilton area are encouraged to contact No.9 to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Following the completion of the first nine schools in June, there will be a culminating exhibit to showcase the students’ work at the Lime Ridge Mall. The exhibit will highlight the ideas and innovations to invited dignitaries, press, and school board representatives, as well as the public. Stay tuned for more information!<

Zone 10 Pan Am Path Art Relay

In preparation for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, No.9, in partnership with Friends of the Pan Am Path, Centennial College, and in Consultation with Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts, has commissioned Toronto artist Sean Martindale to develop and realize a wall art installation across the north facing walls of the Centennial College Ashtonbee campus. Sean will mentor four Centennial College students to develop an installation that highlights the potential of the hydro corridor’s sprawling grasslands as a local attraction.

In March, No.9 and Sean engaged 25 students from the Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts in a half-day design workshop, and their visions for the wall art installation will be considered, and potentially implemented, in the final design. The official mural unveiling is scheduled for Friday, July 17 from 3PM – 5PM.

Call for Proposals ~ ASTR 2015 Working Session: “Ecology and/of/in Performance”

Growing out of the performance and ecology seminar at ASTR 2005/Toronto, and continuing as a research group atASTR’s 2010/Seattle, 2012/Nashville, and 2014/Baltimore conferences, this research group has been at the fore of the emergent field of performance and ecology. In 2015, in response to ASTR’s theme “Debating the Stakes in Theatre and Performance Scholarship,” we turn our attention to the ecological stakes in performance, with particular focus on recent developments in postcolonial eco-theatre, environmental justice, eco-materialisms, and the anthropocene/climate change. Drawing together research and performance from the Global South and the Global North, and building on the anthologies (such as Readings in Performance and Ecology, edited by Theresa May and Wendy Arons, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), publications, and research-engaged performance spawned by this working group over the past decade, this session will forward the conversation by calling for inquiries into how theatre and artistic performances, in an age of intense climate change, engage/critique/reveal ecological discourses embedded in postcolonialism, eco-materialisms, and activism. 

Pursuing what May calls “ecodramaturgy” (2011), this year’s session will focus on how theatre and artistic performance engages four emerging threads (in anticipation of a second volume of essays on performance and ecology): 1) urgency and eco-theater and performance in the age of the anthropocene; 2) eco-materialisms, including the agency of/in material formation; 3) postcolonial eco-theater; and 4) environmental justice and activism. These threads have an uneasy relationship with one another: scholarship on the anthropocene has often fallen prey to an apocalypticism that erases postcolonial and class-based concerns, while much eco-activism has been accused of being so local in scope that it disregards trans-global environmental issues and effects. However, by putting these four recent trends in environmental scholarship in dialogue with one another, we propose to debate their interrelatedness and efficacy for and within theatre and performance. 

Specifically, papers might pursue the following questions: 

  • How does performance practice reveal, engage, and/or negotiate the urgent call to recognize human ecological influence in the age of the anthropocene? 
  • How do interpretations of climate change and other international ecological issues in performance contribute to a global understanding of human influence? Do these performance practices make geographical boundaries more or less permeable and/or political? 
  • How do ideas of eco-materiality inform ecological readings of performance and/or ecological meaning-making in performance? How might eco-materialist engagements in performance productively bring awareness of life, nature, and matter? How do these engagements deliberate related future possibilities in ways that also push ecology and performance scholarship in fresh directions? 
  • How might postcolonial and indigenous ecologies critique neoliberal approaches (such as resourcism and extractivism) to current ecological conditions? 
  • How does artistic performance intersect the concerns of social, political and ecological oppressions and/or exclusions in ways that advocate for environmental justice? In what ways does performance practice provoke ecological debate and/or facilitate community engagement in eco-activism? 

Other questions, approaches and topics that clearly address any of the four identified threads of inquiry. 

In advance of the conference, session participants will exchange papers and engage in peer review of one another’s work in order to raise key questions around the threads of:

  1. the anthropocene/climate change in/through performance;
  2. eco-materialisms;
  3. postcolonial eco-theater; and
  4. environmental justice and activism in performance.

We will be holding online discussions around these themes and relevant, related practice, through theASTR website Group function. At the conference, we will be meeting for three hours. Roughly, the first hour and a half will be dedicated to small group discussion around these threads by sub-sets of participants; the second hour and a half will include a round-table discussion in which the sub-groups share the key connections and conundrums emerging from their joint discussion of research and collectively outline a structure and timeline for the next volume of critical essays in this field. 

Please send an abstract of approximately 300 words along with a brief biographical note as a Word attachment to all three Working Session conveners below by May 31st: 

Karen O’Brien, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (

Lisa Woynarski, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama (

Courtney Ryan, University of California, Los Angeles (

Announcing SEEDS & SOUL: Indigenous Cultural Exchange and Festival

Announcing SEEDS & SOUL: Indigenous Cultural Exchange and Festival | Campaign Launch

Spring Shout out!

Last year’s trans-national & trans-indigenous SEED project collaborations are sprouting a strong new vision…

DANCING EARTH is teaming up with AUDIOPHARMACY PRESCRIPTIONS COLLECTIVE to bring the San Francisco Bay Area’s first


SEEDS & SOUL is an indigenous-led, women-led festival harnessing the power of music, performance, arts, nourishing food, as well as respectfulcultural and knowledge exchanges to strengthen bridges among Indigenous peoples of the Bay Area – rural and urban; local and diasporic.

Date: October 11, 2015
In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day!

Location: Joaquin Miller Park OR Lake Merritt Park in Oakland
or elsewhere that can be sacred, intentional space

DE_Audio_Video-2We need your support to launch this effort, and bring SEEDS & SOUL to the San Fran Bay Area!

Our Hatchfund crowdfunding campaign just launched. It’s an exciting way to give to this community-powered, indigenous-led effort.

All donations to the Hatchfund campaign are tax-deductible,
and we have many life-enriching PERKS to offer!

Click on any of the perks below to see our campaign page, and support this people-powered festival with a tax-deductible donation!


Now is the best time to give!

The People’s Match Fund will match your contribution, dollar for dollar, up to the first $1780 raised!

People's Match Fund-1

Earlier in March we raised the People’s Match Fund from close friends through a benefit dinner generously hosted in Oakland’s Bissap Baobab restaurant. The momentum we started a month ago is only increasing as an incredibly wide range of allied communities hear of our ideas, and are stepping into our circle of co-creation!

This wide community engagement is at the core of our vision, and we want to be heartily prepared to support the diversity of hearts and hands that will bring this festival to life!

Photo Credit Nikila Badua

Here are just some of the collaborators who have expressed interest…

Community Collaborators

Here’s where you come in…

Will you join this wave of support, and offer

a donation to support our emerging coalition of artists,

culture-bearers, and community builders?

Some SEEDS take a village…

so Spread The Word About This Festival Campaign!

Click our Facebook links here: Dancing Earth | Audiopharmacy

Email organizations that vibe with SEEDS & SOUL and individuals who might be interested in contributing to Indigenous arts or projects that promote diverse, unified and resilient communities, and positive social change.

Sign up to be an ambassador for this campaign! As an ambassador beyond helping spread the word, you can jump into the behind-the-scenes work of the campaign and festival. Every hour of volunteer help makes a big difference!

Email us if you’d like a packet with more info and helpful materials to spread the word:

A Personal Note from Jo “Love/Speak” Cruz, Rulan Tangen, and Javier Stell-Fresquez:

We know how inundated we often are with requests for money, and that you may or may not be able to provide substantial resources at this moment in time. Just know that any amount makes a difference and, if you are not able to give, helping to spread the word can be equally powerful, and we’re in need of volunteers for this campaign and festival.

We’re making big moves, and bringing in so much awesome energy! All the warmth and generosity is washing over us and pushing us forward.
Love is a force. And we believe it stretches across distance and time. Like the movie Interstellar imagines, our ancestors are perhaps the very source of the gravity that roots us.

With deep gratitude,

Who We Are

Rulan Tangen  – Jo “Love/Speak” Cruz – Javier Stell-Fresquez

Rulan Tangen photos by © Paulo T. Photography


CSPA Quarterly Q12: On Environment now available on MagCloud

Though the environment is necessarily a key theme in a Quarterly devoted to sustainability, in this issue we take a particularly sharp focus on in. In particular, we examine environment in scenography, performance, art and theater. Part two of a four-part series on the four pillars of sustainability, recognized by CSPA as: environmental awareness & responsibility, economic stability, cultural infrastructure, and social equity.

Source: CSPA Quarterly | Q12: On Environment | MagCloud

Satish Kumar Documentary

This year, Emergence, in association with Resurgence, Schumacher College, Volcano and Culture Colony is making a landmark documentary series of 6 hour-long conversations with Satish Kumar, one of the greatest living teachers and visionaries of the 21st century – and we want you to help us make it happen. We are doing this.

From April 27th to May 29th 2015, we will run our very first crowdfunding campaign to enable us to create these documentaries. We’re writing to you in the hope that you will support us by helping to spread the word as widely as possible via your networks. Here’s more information –

What is Emergence?

Emergence is an arts and sustainability collective based in Wales. We make art with one agenda: to change the world for the better. Satish Kumar is one of the main inspirations behind Emergence and his philosophy and activism continue to inspire our work.

Who is Satish Kumar?

satish-kumar-photoBorn in 1936, Satish became a Jain Monk aged 9 and then, aged 18, joined the Gandhian non-violent, land reform movement. In 1964 his 8,000 mile, Peace Walk took him from Delhi to all the nuclear capitals of the world, without a penny in his pocket, carrying only a message of peace.


He later settled in the UK and went on to become Editor of Resurgence Magazine championing ecology, art and spirituality. He founded the world’s leading college for activists and change-makers, Schumacher College, now celebrating its 25th anniversary.

“Satish is a truly remarkable manifestation of the human spirit. Working at the juncture of curiosity and compassion, he’s inspired so many to do so much!”  – Bill McKibben,

“Visionary, earthy, filled with wonder – Satish Kumar and his work holds a door of possibility towards a future worth serving.” – Jonathon Porritt, Forum for the Future

In his tireless teaching, writing and speaking over eight decades, Satish has changed countless lives. But never before has there been a record of his life and work that deeply investigates all that he stands for and advocates.

Why make a documentary series?

We live in extreme and scary times, yet we lack the political leadership we need to bring our planet back from the brink of ecological, social and economic crisis. This situation leaves many of us feeling isolated and disempowered. The message at the heart of Satish’s teaching is that individuals can and do change the world for the better. He is a living example of Gandhi’s maxim that we should “be the change we want to see in the world”. At times like these, we all need to be inspired to change – and Satish is one of the most inspirational teachers the world has ever seen.

In making this series, we want to bring Satish’s words and teachings to as wide an audience as possible and, at the same time, create a legacy of his lifetime of learning for generations to come. This won’t be a hagiography, a simple glorification of a man’s life and work. We will challenge Satish to communicate his philosophy as never before through six hours of intense, enlightening and enriching conversations.

What will the series be like?

We live in the age of the sound-bite, short attention spans and ‘quick-fix’ culture. We want this series to be the opposite of that – an opportunity to spend quality time in Satish’s company. The series will present Satish in deep conversation to really draw out his ideas and stories.

To ensure rigour of debate, we have chosen as our interviewer Jane Davidson, like Satish a teacher and activist, and also former Minister for the Environment and Sustainability in Wales – the woman behind the radical One Planet One Wales initiative.

Amongst the many legacies of Jane’s time in post, Wales is now committed to sustainability as a core organizing principle – the first government in the world to take such a stance. Jane is really looking forward to the conversations with Satish, keen to find ways of drawing out his ideas and bringing them firmly into the mainstream. Jane and Satish share the same values and ideals yet approach them from very different viewpoints. These conversations are sure to be a terrific meeting of minds that will bring real insight into the huge challenges we all face – and offer practical ways to change things for the better.

You can watch a short video of Jane talking about the project here.

These six hour-long films will be filmed in summer 2015 and released as a limited edition, beautifully presented, DVD box-set in autumn 2016 – Satish’s 80th year and the 50th Anniversary of Resurgence.

How will we be funding the series?

In keeping with the spirit of Emergence, we will be raising the funds via a campaign on the crowdfunding website, Indiegogo. By supporting our campaign and investing in the project, backers will be literally pre-ordering their copy of the documentaries – either by download or the DVDs – and we’ve also put together a terrific package of benefits, including signed books, subscriptions, the chance to attend the final interview or even to become a co-producer! This is a strictly not-for-profit project. All monies raised will go into making it happen.

How can you help?

We are initially approaching a number of influencers to help us. These are people we know who are committed to social change and have wide networks of contacts. We are approaching YOU as one of our influencers who, we hope, will endorse our project by flagging it up to your friends, colleagues and networks. Of course, we also hope you will back ourcrowd funding campaign.

This email is to give you advanced notice of our campaign. We have just 33 days to raise our budget of £30,000. When the campaign goes live we will send you an email linking to our page on the Indiegogo site with all the details you’ll need to share with your networks.

We’re really excited about creating this landmark documentary series and we hope you will join us in making it a reality. OUR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAGN WILL GO LIVE ON MONDAY 27TH APRIL AND WILL RUN UNTIL FRIDAY 29TH MAY. During that time it would be wonderful if you could share our campaign emails, tweets and Facebook posts with your networks andencourage them to do likewise. The more people that hear about it, the morechance we have of reaching our target and making this happen.

We will be back in touch again soon, in the meantime if you want to know more please get in touch.

Warm wishes,

Fern, Phil & Esyllt

Emergence | Facebook | Twitter | Blog