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Revival of SEEDS in celebration of Earthdance’s 30th Anniversary

SEEDS 2016 is an interdisciplinary arts and ecology festival gathering artists, community activists, scientists, spiritual leaders, permaculture practitioners, and more for ten days at Earthdance, an artist-run workshop, residency, and retreat center located in the Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts.

September 16, 2016 – 5:00pm – September 25, 2016 – 3:00pm This year we are directly working with the connections between environmental racism, intersectional oppressions, power/territory, and privilege.

Through workshops, residencies, discussions, performances and artistic investigations, SEEDS aims to explore the potent space of art, allyship, movement practice, and ecology. By working with the connections between environmental racism, intersectional oppressions, power/territory, and privilege, SEEDS makes space for multiple voices and forms of participation while creating a space for embodied intelligence and collective inquiry. The festival is curated by Olive Bieringa, Margit Galanter, Hana Van der Kolk, Chris Galanis amd Melinda Buckwalter.

The festival includes:

WORKSHOPS with Benoit Lachambre, Sherwood Chen, Emily Johnson, Marbles Jumbo Radio, permaculture with Kay Caffaso + Will Shields.

20 local, national and international artists, activist and scholars will be in residence during SEEDS 2016 and include Bibi Calderaro, Cara Judea Alhadeff, Cindy Stevens, Colleen Bartley, Cristina Lella, Deborah Black, JoAnna Mendl Shaw, Joe Dumit, John Shade, Kelly Bitov, Laressa Dickey, marbles, Marlon B Solano, mayfield brooks, Melissa Tuckey, Paige Tighe, Pedro Alejandro, Stephanie Loveless, Valvalval Smith and Susana Matienzo.

SEEDS Mini-Festival Weekend -Friday eve, September 16th – Sunday, 18th which includes SEEDS Exchange -Sunday, 18th a resource, knowledge and skill sharing market.

Community Day Saturday, September 24th 12pm-12am with performances, workshops, research presentations, and dancing all day long. All are welcome! Donations collected at door. Please RSVP tocontact@earthdance.net

Workshop Descriptions & Teacher Bios:

Transforming Notions of Presence with Benoît Lachambre Friday-Sunday, September 16-25

Dance may be practiced as poetic action, conscious stimulation, and creative dreaming. Benoît Lachambre does research on arousing the senses with support from weight and force. Through a radical pedagogical approach, he works with the body’s auto-direction centres. He invites participants to process and recognize the dynamics of interior and exterior movement, and enables a holistic understanding of the body and its environment. He works with participants’ alignment and imagination, inviting them to deepen and increase sensual acuity by becoming aware of the nature of gesture in a specific context, a living space. The goal is to open the mind while harmonizing stimulated internal spaces.

Benoît Lachambre has been evolving in the field of dance since the 1970s. He discovered the release technique in 1985–a kinaesthetic approach to movement and improvisation – causing a shift in his choreographic style. He devoted himself to an exploratory approach of movement and its sources, with the aim to seek the authenticity of the gesture.

His significantly radical approach is based on the awakening of senses, imagining the dreaming body transformating outside the notion of self, with the analyses of gesture in the context of a living environment. In his creations, he equally aims at modifying the performer’s empathic experience with the audience. Among those artists who influenced him the most are Meg Stuart and Amélia Itcush. Beyond his work as choreographer and dancer, Benoît Lachambre has gained a high degree of recognition as a teacher through his renowned workshops and classes that he has offered around the world for over 20 years. In 1996, Benoît Lachambre founded his own company Par B.L.eux in Montréal: “B.L.” for Benoît Lachambre, and “eux” for “them.” He continues to develop artistic encounters and dynamic exchanges, collaborating with numerous international choreographers and artists from different disciplines: Boris Charmatz, Sasha Waltz, Marie Chouinard, Louise Lecavalier and again with Meg Stuart and musician Hahn Rowe; with the latter he created one of his masterpieces Forgeries, Love and other Matters in 2003 for which he received the prestigious Bessie Award in 2006.

Benoît Lachambre is one of the major artists/choreographers of his generation, has created 15 works since the foundation of Par B.L.eux, participated in more than 20 others productions and was the choreographer of 25 commissioned works, for example I is memory (solo for Louise Lecavalier in 2006) andJJ’s Voice that he created for Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm in 2009. In March 2013, he created High heels too, a new choreography commissioned by the Cullberg Ballet. In 2013, Benoît Lachambre received le Grand prix de la Danse de Montréal 2013, for the work Snakeskins. In 2014, he received the ‘Best Choreography’ award from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, for Prisms, a Montréal Danse commissioned-work.Hyperterrestres, a co-production with French choreographer Fabrice Ramalingom and composer Hahn Rowe, had its North American premiere during the Festival TransAmériques in Montréal in May 2015. Lifeguard his latest creation will be presented during June Events in Paris on June 17th and 18th, 2016.

Second Natures with Sherwood Chen Wednesday-Sunday, September 21-25

This workshop includes: rhythmic studio training, sensory exercises, partnered movement research, and building personal and collective imagery to generate landscape-driven and/or landscape-derived work. We work with our direct senses, physical limits and sense memory towards a porosity between flesh, bone, imagination, and space, yielding impossible and/or newfound bodies.

Let’s track tension and interplay between dancing within a terrain and dancing a terrain. Let’s recognize the body as colony. To investigate strategies and performative yield of what it could mean to be danced by a terrain. Let’s admit identification as parasitic colonizer. To tread upon the dangers and values of a danced anthropocentrism.

How do we hone consciousness of our imported projections upon a specific land with which most of us have had recent and/or no history? How do we negotiate caution, hubris, and mutuality in the name of constructing individual and collective dances in nature?

Dress for the weather. Dress to sweat. Bring your curiosity and your inquisitive, receptive body.

Sherwood Chen (US/FR) has worked as a performer with artists including Anna Halprin, Xavier Le Roy, Min Tanaka, l’agence touriste, Sara Shelton Mann, inkBoat, Ko Murobushi, Grisha Coleman, and Liz Santoro. He co-founded the dance collaborative Headmistress with Oakland-based choreographer Amara Tabor-Smith. He has lead movement workshops internationally in-studio and in natural and urban landscapes in places including Ménagerie de Verre (Paris), Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade (São Paulo), Independent Dance/Siobahn Davies Studios (London), Centro Nacional de las Artes (Mexico City), Chez Bushwick (Brooklyn), Arlequi (Banyoles), and EDEN / Dock 11 (Berlin). For over twenty years, he has contributed to Body Weather research initiated by Tanaka and his associates.

Embodying Permaculture with Kay Cafasso & Will Shields Friday-Sunday, September 16-18

Explore and orient with the outer and inner grounds of permaculture as we develop vegetative swales and rain garden projects at Earthdance. Sessions will include: Permaculture Design Activities, Plant and Nature Connection, Garden Meditations, Deep Ecology, and Movement Awareness for Gardeners and Permaculturists. Each session will offer resources of design skills and permaculture techniques to bring to your home.

Kay Cafasso is a certified permaculture designer practicing the thoughtful design of ecological landscapes. Kay is Director of Sowing Solutions Permaculture Design & Education, offering ecological garden design services for homeowners and land stewards. Sowing Solutions also offers Permaculture Design Certification Courses twice a year in Western MA, and has led over 20 Permaculture Design Certification Courses (PDC’s) to date nationwide over the last decade. Kay is inspired by contemplative practices in the gardens, and passionate about growing medicine and healing through music and dance.

Will Shields is a pupil of systems and their intrinsic relationship to other systems. Ecologically motivated, he weaves a myriad of subjects into a more integrated holism. By connecting the realms of music theory, herbalism, physics, living pharmacies, ecology, edible ecosystems, regenerative design, and bio-intensive gardening, he hopes to create a fabric of land management that enhances current systems at Earthdance. He also aims to facilitate environmental literacy while simultaneously broadening interest in systems design. The heartbeat of motivation for this avid permaculturist is a harmonious livelihood that cooperates with nature and builds a healthy community.

Earthdance Environmental Action & Performance Project with Will Shields Monday-Thursday, September 19-22

For the Earthdance Environmental Action & Performance Project we will be investigating simple earthworks by building a vegetative swale that will redirect parts of our current hydrological/irrigation system into greater harmony with the rest of our watershed. With an emphasis on community building/bridging, we will journey through a subtle demarcation between interdisciplinary performance and environmental action. All are welcome to come participate and perform simultaneously.

Wrecking Walden: Landing Stories with Marbles Jumbo Radio

A practice and exploration of belonging for people of color Friday-Sunday, September 16-18 (first weekend)

What does it require for us as artists, academics, and interventionists of color to feel into our bodies in a culture and place that has been historically unrepresentative of and inaccessible to us? What would our practice become if we did not side step the impacts of racism, but rather included our whole experience as we move, write, and perform/observe the marginalized body back into the landscape? What will it take to dismantle the scripts that, thus far, prevented certain experiences from feeling they belong here?

The curriculum, process, and discussions, will reference bell hooks’ Belonging: A Culture of Place and journal excerpts from Jumbo Radio’s ongoing community initiative. Some questions/prompts to feed our movement investigation and conversation: What does entering a zone of white flight require of our nervous systems and brains, and what does that raise in our embodied sensory experience? What soil amendments are needed for such restorative justice?

What knowledge, histories, fictions, desires, and memories of ours are left out of these spaces out of fear that they too will get appropriated/colonized? DO TELL/embody how complicated it is.

Marbles Jumbo Radio places the queered, marginalized body as a central subject through dance and physical practice. Their work has been presented in New York at HERE, Danspace Project, and Joyce SOHO, and in Los Angeles at REDCAT, Dance Camera West, Anatomy Riot, Pieter, and LACE. They are a 2008 CHIME grant recipient, and with mentor Simone Forti, they created the performance and practice of Ice Bergs. More recent projects include performance for Meg Wolfe’s New Faithful Disco, Andrea Geyer’s video installation, Truly, Spun, Never, and their on going collaboration with Yann Novak in Johanna Breiding’s installation, We Love Our Parents, We Fear Snakes. www.vimeo.com/takemetomarbles

Activating Allyship with Aiyana Masla, Hana van der Kolk & Margit Galanter Friday-Sunday, September 16-18 (first weekend)

Alongside with and in support of Marbles’ Jumbo Radio’s workshop Wrecking Walden, Aiyana Masla, Hana van der Kolk, Margit Galanter, and a team of facilitators offer a concurrent forum on white privilege and allyship specifically for the context of SEEDS and Earthdance. We will break down the basics of white privilege and bare witness together to the historical and current white supremacy in contemporary dance/art, science, academic, and environmental activist spaces, paying particular attention to environmental racism and the intersectionality of racism, classism, and ecological crisis.

Drawing from conscious communication, embodiment and mindfulness practices, as well as the Internal Family Systems therapy model, the workshop leaders will then facilitate a non-hierarchical space for sharing, listening, and skill exchange around how, as artists, environmentalists, academics, activists, teachers, and community members, we might continue or begin to activate allyship in our personal and professional lives. How does the radical space of not-knowing required of us as artists offer tools for new ways of thinking and acting outside our art practices? What can movement and awareness in our lived body offer to this understanding?

Anyone identifying as an ally or committed to the possibilities therein, regardless of race, is welcome to join.

Aiyana Masla is a mover, educator, writer, musician and performance artist. She recently spent time as a resident artist in Ashfield, MA with Double Edge Theater, co-creating and training in the physical theater lineage of Jerzy Grotowski and Rena Mirecka. Aiyana is dedicated to working with the imagination and the body to deconstruct systems of oppression and injustice. Focusing her work with young people, she often works using mindfulness techniques, MBSR, and physical theater training in the tradition of Grotowski’s Laboratorio. Aiyana’s undergraduate thesis from Naropa University is a case study done with families immigrating from Mexico to cities in Colorado on nature deficit disorder, contemplative education and exercises designed to empower imagination and self reflection. She has worked with youth and children internationally, most recently creating performance art with youth at the Paulo Freire Social Justice School, The Youth Ambassadors program, and with Moonseed Teen Leadership Program, where she has been an assistant director for 4 years. She works curating events, performing and in a lab exploring various movement based artistic training techniques and relational practices as a part of the movement collective, Aorta. She also performs original work with the Royal Frog Ballet. Aiyana grew up back and forth between rural western MA and rural Jalisco, Mexico, and brings this cross-cultural background to her work as a white, jewish, queer, cis gendered woman committed to collaborating towards healing and justice for all people. She also works with Migrant Education foundation, teaching ESL, and is passionate about the natural world and all people’s place as a part of it.

Hana van der Kolk makes dance-centric performances, events, videos and writing that investigate community/collaboration and how thought shapes moving, how moving shapes thought, and how being thoughtful movers might positively destabilize our notions of gender, sexuality, work, nature, power, and politics. She is a graduate of the Level 1 training in IFS (Internal Family Systems) therapy, a dedicated meditator in the Insight Meditation Tradition, and a practitioner of sexual healing work encompassing elements of massage, mindfulness, and BDSM. Hana is based in Troy, NY where she is a contributing facilitator of communityLAB, an organization that offers workshops that challenge participants to identify and let go of self-limiting beliefs that hold them back from stepping into the role of change agent. She also co-hosts Troy’s bi-monthly queer dance party, Polly, which acts as a fundraiser for a different Capitol Region initiatives. Hana has taught dance, performance, and yoga internationally and collaborates with numerous activists and artists including Shanna Goldman, Tomislav Feller, Asher Woodworth, Ethan Keirmaier, Guy Schaffer, Jane Pickett, Tove Sahlin, Winnie Superhova, Jason Martin, LN Foster, and Jack Magai.

Margit Galanter is a movement investigator and dance poet living in Oakland, California. Her inquiries range from performance, teaching, and her private practice to galvanizing larger-scale cultural praxes. Margit’s unique perspective helps people access the potencies of movement, — through the movement arts, the Feldenkrais Method, and Chinese energetics. Margit is dedicated to the prisms of cultural inquiry, conversation, perceptual vibrancy, and nourishing life. Margit was Co-Director of Earthdance from 2006-2009, where she co-founded SEEDS and the Julius Ford/Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Project, an annual intergenerational, interracial critical arts symposium, and continues to instigate projects that meld collective thinking and embodied research in the Bay Area and inter/nationally.

Practice Site: www.physicalintelligence.org *
Art: www.margitg.wordpress.com

Margit and Hana are co-curators of SEEDS 2016. They worked collaboratively to organize a symposium on Embodying Allyship at the Form-In-Question / Dance Improvisation Symposium at NYU this past January. They have a deep belief in the importance of radical presence and unknowing inherent in their dance/art practices, and how these lead us towards the complex, powerful work of recognizing and dismantling white supremacy and learning to become intelligent allies in this process.

Conjuring Future Joy with Emily Johnson – Saturday, September 17 only

We will conjure future joy. We will let nothing exist. What do you want for yourself, your family, your neighborhood, your city? We will talk about this. We will come up with some ideas we can make happen. And we’ll dance. We will improvise movement and stories for and with one another; aware of what we believe about ourselves and what we completely make up. What joys have you experienced? Some stories will be voiced, some silent. (It’s the silent ones that are really exciting to me right now.) We will begin to be comfortable, really comfortable in silence. We will begin to understand and listen to silence. We will watch each other with keen interest, respect, and love. There will be a lot of watching, along with the doing. I told someone once that it might feel like watching a tree: you sit or stand or lay on the ground and watch the wind move through a tree; you notice it is green or brown and that it rests with the sky. (photo by Chris Cameron)

Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work. A Bessie Award winning choreographer and Guggenheim Fellow, she is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and New York City. Originally from Alaska, she is of Yup’ik descent and since 1998 has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment—interacting with a place’s architecture, history, and role in community. Emily is trying to make a world where performance is part of life; where performance is an integral connection to each other, our environment, our stories, our past, present, and future. Emily received a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award; her work is supported by Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Creative Capital, Map Fund, a Joyce Award, the McKnight Foundation, and The Doris Duke Residency to Build Demand for the Arts. Emily was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota 2013 – 2014 and an inaugural 2014 Fellow at the Robert Rauschenberg Residency. She is a current Mellon Foundation Choreography Fellow at Williams College. With her collaborators she recently completed the third in a trilogy of works: The Thank-you Bar, Niicugni, and SHORE. She is in the process of making Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars, an all night outdoor performance gathering taking place on and near eighty-four community-hand-made quilts. www.catalystdance.com

Learn more and register http://www.earthdance.net/calendar/2016/09/seeds-2016

SEEDS Guide: https://vimeo.com/173273631

Decolonizing Nature

While ecology has received little systematic attention within art history, its visibility has grown worldwide in relation to the pressing threats of climate change, global warming, and environmental destruction. By analysing artists’ widespread aesthetic and political engagement of environmental conditions around the globe—looking at cutting-edge theoretical, biopolitical, and cultural developments in the Global South and North—Decolonizing Nature offers a pioneering contribution to the emerging environmental arts and humanities.

Decolonizing Nature, Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology is published by Sternberg Press.
T.J. Demos is Professor in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Founder and Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies.

 

*  *  *

Decolonizing Nature presents a timely critical analysis of the parameters and limitations of philosophical, artistic, and curatorial models responding to anthropogenic climate change. Rich and informative, the book makes an impassioned argument for a post-anthropocentric political ecology, in which the aesthetic realm enjoins with Indigenous philosophies and environmental activism to challenge the neoliberal corporate-state complex. It invites us to confront tough questions on how we might collectively reimagine and realize environmental justice for humans and nonhumans alike.”
—Jean Fisher, Emeritus Professor in Fine Art and Transcultural Studies, Middlesex University

“Astute and ambitious. Essential reading for anyone interested in the arts, activism, and environmental change. Demos moves with impressive ease across national boundaries, cultural forms, social movements, and ecological theories.”
—Rob Nixon, Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Family Professor in Humanities and the Environment, Princeton University

“Demos breaks new ground in art criticism. In an expansive analysis of polyvocal artist-activist practices in the Global South and the North, Demos eschews environmental catastrophism, scientific determinism, and techno-fixes to highlight collaborative resistance to neocolonial violence and neoliberal collusion-to-plunder. He is also searching for what the path forward might be. Rigorous, accessible, and rebellious, Decolonizing Nature is an inspiring and indispensible contemporary art manifesto.”
—Subhankar Banerjee, Lannan Chair of Land Arts of the American West and Professor of Art and Ecology, University of New Mexico

“With Decolonizing Nature, Demos extends his formidable intellectual project to a realm that has until recently often been characterized by varying degrees of naïveté, obscurantism, and indeed green-washing: the relationship between art and ecology. The first systematic study of its kind, Decolonizing Nature is an exemplary combination of militant research and contemporary art history that will resonate with activists on the front lines as much as those working in the art field, reframing the latter as a site of struggle in its own right as we come to terms with the so-called Anthropocene.”
—Yates McKee, author of Strike Art: Contemporary Art and the Post-Occupy Condition

“Demos’s ability to distill and interrelate heterogeneous discourses, practices, and eco-political contexts, without flattening them in the process, is a breathtaking and, moreover, rises to the demands of his complex and urgent subject. Clear in its argumentation and dense with information, the meat of this book lies in its detailed discussion of specific artworks and the environmental struggles from which they emerge and to which they ambitiously, and often brilliantly, respond. Decolonizing Nature makes a forceful case for why and how art matters, now more than ever.”
—Emily Eliza Scott, coeditor of Critical Landscapes: Art, Space, Politics

Ecologising Museums

Edited by L’Internationale Online with Sarah Werkmeister

The implications around climate change have far-reaching consequences but they can also have far-reaching benefits. The e-publication Ecologising Museums explores how museums and cultural institutions can face the issue not only head-on, but from all angles. To what degree are the core activities of collecting, preserving and presenting in fact attitudes that embody an unsustainable view of the world and the relationship between man and nature?

Chapters

  • 1.Introduction
  • 2.Let Us Now Praise Famous Seeds by Michael Taussig
  • 3.Beyond COP21: Collaborating with Indigenous People to Understand Climate Change and the Arctic by Candis Callison
  • 4.Theorising More-Than Human Collectives for Climate Change Action in Museums by Fiona R. Cameron
  • 5.Fictioning is a Worlding by Clémence Seurat
  • 6.Late Subatlantic. Science Poetry in Times of Global Warming by Ursula Biemann
  • 7.Ecosophy and Slow Anthropology. A Conversation with Barbara Glowczewski by Barbara Glowczewski, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Sarah Werkmeister
  • 8.Necroaesthetics: Denaturalising the Collection by Anna-Sophie Springer, Etienne Turpin
  • 9.The Eclipse of the Witness: Natural Anatomy and the Scopic Regime of Modern Exhibition-Machines by Vincent Normand
  • 10.Imagining a Culture Beyond Oil at the Paris Climate Talks by Mel Evans and Kevin Smith of Liberate Tate
  • 11.Climate Risks, Art, and Red Cross Action. Towards a Humanitarian Role for Museums? by Pablo Suarez
  • 12.Biographies

Can copyrighted art make fossil fuel policy?

Can we build on the legal framework of the Blued Trees Symphony case study, based in environmental science, to stop intercontinental natural gas pipelines?

Discussion workshop
Aug 12 2016  9:00 – 11:30
Université du Québec à Montréal – Pavillon DE (Local DE-2540)
1440, rue Sanguinet
Montréal, QC, Canada

This workshop will explore the meaning of public good, in the legal and practical use of copyrighted art to challenge proliferating fossil fuel infrastructures. The Blued Trees Symphony will be referenced as a case study to join this initiative or develop strategies to apply elsewhere. The Blued Trees Symphony, created by artist Aviva Rahmani, installed miles of permanent artwork in the path of proposed natural gas expansions in the United States. It developed a legal framework to leverage the work that included American eminent domain, copyright and environmental law to contest natural gas takings of private land for the profit of natural gas pipelines. The workshop will cover organizing the support team, considering legal timing and process, and how to establish standing in the courts. Green Map has mapped energy in NYC and stands with this project.

Speakers
Aviva Rahmani, INSTAAR, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO

Activity Lead Organization
Green Map System

Group Admins
Wendy Brawer

Organization(s) that co-animated activity

Green Map System

Programming theme

Rights of Nature and Environmental Justice

Objectives
To inform / To make aware of
Skills’ development / Training
Networking / To meet
Debate / deliberate / discuss
To propose / altenative development
Converge for action / to decide
Partner development / alliances constitution

Université du Québec à Montréal – Pavillon DE (Local DE-2540)
1440, rue Sanguinet
Montréal, QC, Canada

ART+CLIMATE = CHANGE THE BOOK

We are proud to announce the release of our first publication.

Published by Melbourne University Press
Edited by Guy Abrahams, Bronwyn Johnson, Kelly Gellatly

Presenting the work of Australian and international artists  ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE explores the power of art to create the empathy, emotional engagement and cultural understanding needed to motivate meaningful change.

This hardback publication includes beautiful images, and informative and thought provoking essays by Kelly Gellatly, Director of The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, and John Wiseman, Deputy Director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. 

Price: $55

Book launch
6:00pm Monday 25 July
Carlton Connect Institute
The University of Melbourne

Image: Rosemary Laing, weather #6, 2006, (detail)

EMBODYING ENLIVENMENT – Queer, SM and Eco-Sexual Perspectives

The Festival on the Art of Lust

EMBODYING ENLIVENMENT – Queer, SM and Eco-Sexual Perspectives

Symposium curated by Dr. Sacha Kagan

July 22-24 2016

In an age where the modern myths of Mastery and Control have started to crumble down, the rediscovery of the body, of one & many ecology/ecologies, and of intelligence beyond the narrowly rational intellectual realm, is opening up new perspectives for transformation of individuals and society.

Corporeal practices allow us to learn through embodiment, whether they are sexual, gender-related and/or otherwise exploring new territories of self and others. But how do these practices relate to existing social order? How far do they maintain the status quo, titillate social change, or even maybe foster deeper social transformation?

This symposium will explore some alternative cultures in their relations to mainstream cultures. It will investigate individual practices and temporary communities. The guest speakers will introduce different approaches and perspectives, such as Queer, BDSM, Phenomenological Animism, Queer Ecologies, Eco-Sexuality, Metahumanism, and the philosophy of Enlivenement. We will exchange and explore together how knowing and making worlds with the body, rather than ‘against’ the body, relates to philosophical, political and civilizational questions about the kind of society we want to become.

The Speakers:

Andreas Weber Caffyn Jesse Cate Sandilands Elizabeth Wagner
Andreas Weber Caffyn Jesse Cate Sandilands Elizabeth Wagner
Poetics of the Flesh Queer Embodiment Queering Communities:
Becoming (With) Plants
Strategies for
(self)normalization in sadomasochism
Fri 11:00h – German Fri 16:00h – English Fri 20:00h – English Sat 13:00h – German
Sat 18:00h – English Sat 11:00h – English Sun 13:00h – English Sun 16:00h – German
Jaime del Val Robin Bauer Thomas Burø
 Jaime del Val  Robin Bauer  Thomas Burø
Metabody Transgression, transformation,
exuberant possibilities
Our Sad Contempt
for Powerlessness
Sat 16:00h – English Fri 13:00h – English Sun 18:00h – English
Sun 11:00h – English Fri 18:00h – English

Tickets: 3-day pass: 60 € / students 40 € 1-day-pass: 50 € / students 30 €

Full Information and ticketing: http://www.xplore-berlin.de/index.php/en/symposium-en-16

Insect Hotels: How to Design a Dwelling Place for Your Anthropod Friends

Attract Beneficial Insects and Bees With an Insect Hotel

At any given time, your garden might contain over 2,000 species of insects. Some of these are pests, the kind you don’t want in your garden because they destroy your flowers and vegetables. But many others are beneficial insects, the kind you want to attract because they work with you to control pests and pollinate flowers.

Insect Hotels Attract Beneficial Insects

Beneficial insects support biodiversity, the foundation for the world’s ecological balance. An insect hotel in your garden will attract these beneficial insects, offering them a space where they can propagate and hunker down for the winter. Encouraging biodiversity in the garden helps to increase ecosystem productivity.

Placing an insect hotel in the garden increases the chances that beneficial insects will naturally visit your garden. Also known as bug hotels, bug boxes, and bug houses, these human-made structures offer several benefits. In addition to their decorative qualities, they help supplement the increasing loss of natural habitats.

Although altered and heavily landscaped gardens can be beautiful, they often lack enough of the natural habitats needed to attract beneficial insects and encourage biodiversity. Placing insect hotels in your garden offers optimal bug real estate – the right kinds of habitats to attract these beneficial insects, increase their numbers, and reduce the need for pesticides, since these bugs offer biological pest control. A balanced ecosystem provides numerous benefits not just for the individual garden, but for the environment as a whole.

Benefits of Insect Hotels

  1. Supplement the increasing loss of natural habitats
  2. Encourage beneficial insects to help control pests
  3. Stimulate biodiversity and ecological balance in the garden
  4. Offer an opportunity for educating children about how balanced ecosystems work

Natural Pest Control

Welcoming beneficial insects and pollinators into your garden reduces or eliminates the need for pesticides. Poison kills weeds and pesky insects, but poison is not selective: it kills beneficial insects as well.

According to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, three-quarters of the world’s flowering plants and roughly 35 percent of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce, with more than 3,500 species of native bees helping to increase crop yields. By some estimates, one out of every three bites of food we consume depends on animal pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths, birds, bats, beetles, and other insects.

The Beneficial Insect Community

Albert Einstein once said, “Mankind will not survive the honeybees’ disappearance for more than five years.”

Bees

Once again, Einstein was right. About a third of our food supply depends on pollination. Bees are essential for the production of fruits and vegetables, and their loss is negatively impacting our food chain. In addition to pesticides, the harsh winters and droughts from climate change have also played a role in the declining bee colony population. Gardeners need to remedy this situation by doing whatever is possible to attract bees and help maintain their health and safety.

Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) refers to the rapidly declining bee population, which poses a significant risk not just to the survival of the bees, but to our survival as well. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) attributes the decline in large part to the increased use of pesticides, such as neonicotinoids, or neonics, manufactured and promoted by multinational chemical giants. According to the NRDC, 42 percent of U.S. bee colonies collapsed in 2015, a number well above the average 31 percent that have been dying each winter for the past decade. The USDA, however, describes Colony Collapse as a “mystery problem” and contends that there is as yet no proven scientific cause for CCD. Many may disagree about its causes, but all can agree with Einstein that preserving the bee population is essential.

Talking About the Birds and the Bees

Although bees are well known for their role as pollinators, they are not the only pollinators that can be attracted to an insect hotel. Other beneficial insects include beetles, butterflies, green lacewings, leaf miners, white flies, mole crickets, cabbage worms, hummingbirds, and bats.

Beetles

Some say that more than one hundred million years ago, beetles were the very first pollinators. Beetles pollinate 88 percent of all flowering plants — that’s more than any other animal.

Hummingbirds

Here’s an interesting factoid about these little birds: hummingbirds pollinate almost exclusively on flowers that hang upside down. By using artificial flowers to feed the birds and then recording them with high-speed footage, researchers discovered that hummingbirds expended 10 percent more energy drinking from upside-down flowers than from right-side-up flowers. They postulated that right-side-up flowers are more exposed to rain, which might dilute their sweet nectar and therefore make them less desirable for hummingbirds.1

Butterflies

Although not as efficient pollinators as bees, butterflies are still important for pollinating gardens. Unlike bees, butterflies can see the color red, which directs them toward the brightly hued blooms. To attract the opposite sex, butterflies emit pheromones, which are very similar to the scents of certain flowers to which other butterflies are attracted.2

Green Lacewings

Green lacewings larvae feast on the eggs and immature stages of numerous soft-bodied insect pests, including many species of spider mites, aphids, thrips, whiteflies, and leafhoppers, as well as the eggs and caterpillars of pest moths and mealybugs.

Bats

In addition to insect hotels, consider placing a bat house in your garden. Some bats are pollinators, while others are “insectivores” that eat insects. In one night out, a single insect-eating bat can consume 60 medium-sized moths or over 1,000 mosquito-sized insects.

Bats arrive after sunset to assist in pest control by consuming garden pests, while others continue the work of pollination when the bees, butterflies, and other insects have left for the day.

Two species of these nocturnal animals are nectar-feeding, the lesser long-nosed bat and the Mexican long-tongued bat. Bats are very important pollinators in tropical and desert climates. Most flower-visiting bats are found in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

The flowers typically of interest to bats are large ones that open at night, are white or pale colors, and emit a musty or rotten scent.

Bats are important pollinators of desert plants such as cacti and agave — from which we get tequila — but they also pollinate much of the vegetation in the rain forest. Over 500 species of fruits and vegetables rely on bats to pollinate their flowers. Avocados, bananas, carob, cashews, cloves, dates, durian, figs, guavas, mangoes, and peaches owe much of their existence to the pollination they have received from these pollinators of the night.3

Insect Hotels: Purchase or DIY?

Different insects require different accommodations in which to thrive. Do a little research about the climate in your area before you decide what kind of insect hotel to buy or make. Each bug habitat performs a different function depending on the location’s climate. In cold climates, they offer a refuge for hibernation, while in warmer climates they function as dry nesting places during the wet season.

While there are many varieties of insect hotels available for purchase, building your own can be a relatively simple, fun, and educational DIY project you can do with children. Using a variety of found natural materials, you can build a bug or bee condo perfect for each type of insect you hope to attract.

Solitary bees and wasps seek places to lay their eggs, so they will be attracted to various-sized holes in wood. They also like to hide out in the open spaces in bamboo poles, which you can cut into small pieces. If drilling holes into wood, vary the sizes from 0.2-0.4 inches in diameter so other species will also fill those spaces. Not-so-nice wood works too: wood-boring beetles love rotting logs.

Reclaimed and repurposed materials such as old pallets, drilled logs, hollow bamboo poles, cardboard tubes, egg cartons, small stones, pieces of concrete and tile, pine cones, pieces of bark, found twigs, dead and rotting wood, hay, plant stems, and discarded planters are some of the kinds of materials that are perfect for constructing a habitat for your garden’s pollination and pest control workforce.

Where to Place the Bug Hotel

A bee hotel needs to be a high-rise to keep away ants, which love dining on bee larvae. Other bug boxes require sheltered but sunny spots surrounded by a variety of flowering and insectary plants (plants that attract and harbor beneficial insects).

Designers from all over the world have created insect hotels that double as works of art. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to build a better insect house – and if all else fails, there’s always ready-made housing you can gift to your bug friends.

CLIMARTE Poster Project forum

Are images worth a thousand words?

As part of the CLIMARTE Poster Project 2016 come and join a lively and engaging discussion on the importance of images in conveying complex ideas and feelings, and also in creating engagement and empathy with difficult and challenging issues, such as climate change.

Date and time: Tuesday 17 May 2016, 6pm
Venue: LAB-14, 700 Swanston St, Carlton 3053

Register here: http://www.carltonconnect.com.au/climarte-poster-project-forum/

Speakers include:

  • Dr Peter Christoff, Associate Professor, School of Geography, The University of Melbourne
  • Belinda Smith, Deputy News Editor, COSMOS Magazine
  • Gabrielle De Vietri, A Centre for Everything, and CLIMARTE Poster Project artist.
  • Dr Kate Daw, Head of Painting, School of Art, Victorian College of the Arts, and CLIMARTE Poster Project artist.

CLIMARTE has commissioned eleven artists to design posters that engage the community on climate change action and convey the strength, optimism and urgency we need to move to a clean renewable energy future.

Artists: Angela Brennan, Chris Bond, Jon Campbell, Kate Daw, Katherine Hattam, Siri Hayes, Martin King, Gabrielle de Vietri & Will Foster, Thornton Walker, Miles Howard-Wilks.

During April-May hundreds of posters will be printed and displayed on poster sites around Melbourne.

The CLIMARTE Poster Project is supported by the City of Melbourne 2016 arts grants program, the Purves Environmental Fund, The University of Melbourne Carlton Connect Initiative, and Plakkit.

Image courtesy of Kate Daw.

Elemental – an arts and ecology reader

9780993219207-251x355Gaia Project is a publishing and curatorial initiative which operates at the intersection of Art and Ecology – or indeed, in that poetic space where Art becomes Ecology, and where Ecology becomes Art.

Elemental is an ‘introductory reader’, comprising a unique collection of essays by some of the world’s leading artists, activists, curators and writers currently working in the expansive, interdisciplinary field of arts and ecology. The book presents critical reflections, and philosophies on a variety of eco-art practices and methodologies.

Subjects areas include: New Materialism, socially-engaged ecosystem restoration, the legal ‘Rights of Nature’, and ecology in theatre and performance art.

The symbiotic environmental, social and economic crises of our era (Climate Change being one significant symptom) have now emerged as a poignant and critically relevant presence throughout culture globally. It is therefore timely and vital that these essays of vision, hope and solidarity are being published.

See more at: http://www.cornerhousepublications.org/publications/elemental-an-arts-and-ecology-reader-gaia-project/

Chicago Green Theatre Alliance Meeting + Happy Hour

RSVP Today!

Chicago Green Theatre Alliance Meeting + Happy Hour
Monday, May 16, 6:30-8 P.M.

Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct. in Glencoe

Join us for the the next meeting of the Chicago Green Theatre Alliance at the brand new Writers Theatre space in Glencoe! We’ll get a special tour of their new green theatre, the committees will meet, we’ll gather as a full group to hear guest presenter Dot Coyle from Coyle&Herr, and report out on projects, and hang out for a happy hour after the meeting before catching the train back to the city! Read the Agenda.

Click Here to RSVP.

Follow us on Twitter @ChiGreenTheatre and use the hashtag #chigreentheatre to share your greening efforts!

2nd Annual Chicago Green Theatre Alliance E-Waste and Textile Drive

Thursday, May 26

Steppenwolf Garage Theatre and Parking Lot, 1624 N. Halsted

E-Waste Drive (In the Parking Lot)
10AM – 3PM
Time to clean out all that old electronic stuff if the back hall closet.
Download and share the E-Waste Drive Flyer at your theatre

Textile Drive (In the Garage Theatre)
9AM – Noon (Textile Drop Off)
12 – 4PM (Costume Exchange)
We’re coming together to recycle costumes and textiles, allowing large theatres to cull their costume inventory and affording smaller companies the opportunity to bulk up their stock at no cost!

Download and share the Textile Drive flyer at your theatre

Please RSVP and let us know if you’re planning on dropping off or exchanging items!