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Exhibition: Cash, Clash & Climate (U.K.)

CASH, CLASH & CLIMATE 

MASLEN & MEHRA in collaboration with street artists, Shuby and Delete
1 September – 12 November 2017
Opening event: 14th September 2017
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
John’s Place
Hastings TN34

Maslen & Mehra consider their more recent work to be ‘micro’. By that, they mean they are honing in on very specific political and environmental dilemmas. This requires a completely different methodology to previous work in order to explore detailed narratives. The sculptures in their current series have been based on ceramic plates researched in museums around the world. These include the Victoria & Albert and British Museums, London; Hastings Museum, UK; Mares Museum, Barcelona; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Archaeological Museum and the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, Istanbul; the Asian Museum of Civilization in Singapore and the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza, Italy. Maslen & Mehra fashion the sculptures from humble materials: wire and papier-mâché, completed with a decoupage technique of small tiles of archival prints. The narrative of each original plate is altered to highlight a variety of ideas tied to three themes: Cash, Clash and Climate.

The Cash series draws attention to bank bailouts; Doughnut Economics; credit culture; housing bubbles; tampon tax; quantitative easing; war as big business; the commodification of food staples; and the almost religious status that money has reached in our times. The Clash series embodies social unrest from London to Athens; Article 475; the refugee crisis; Grenfell; Greece and the Eurozone; social media to organise protests; fracking; gun control vs gun rights; and the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Lastly, the Climate series highlights environmental topics such as global coral bleaching events; chronic pollution as a heavy cost for economic power in China; melting ice caps; the opposing views of climate change; El Niño; Natural Capital; and the legacy of radiation from Japan’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima. The artists have made bespoke stands for the sculptures and invited local street artists, Shuby and Delete, to add to their surfaces, responding to each theme. This exhibition at the Hastings Museum draws together pieces from the three collections for the first time, representing years of work.

The sculptures individually pose questions about political, social and economic structures but together they ask how they, in turn, relate to social unrest and environmental issues. Some themes may be familiar to the viewer such as the piece, Polarized, which confronts us with opposing slogans: ‘Global warming is a cruel hoax’ and ‘Climate can’t wait’. Others are less obvious, such as the piece Article 475 which encourages the viewer to look further if they don’t understand the reference. Faith in Fiat questions the shift from commodity money to a fiat system which is effectively a promise. Is it sustainable to have such blind faith? The largest piece in the collection, Natural Capital references a system by which natural assets (water, geology, biodiversity, soil, air) and ecosystem services (pollination by insects, recreation, natural flood defences etc.) are given a financial value. Could this alternate economic system be the key? Maslen & Mehra have created the framework Cash, Clash and Climate in order to ponder questions about the complexities of living today and they invite viewers to follow their train of thought.

Hasting Museum and Art Gallery has an extensive ceramics collection. This exhibition will be in the newly refurbished Ceramics Gallery which showcases pottery production over the past 5000 years.

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
Telephone: 01424 451052
Or you can contact us via Twitter or Facebook
https://twitter.com/hastings_museum
https://www.facebook.com/HBC-Hastings-Museum-Art-Gallery-218155741717952/

Admission is free. We are open all year:
April – October: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pmSunday 12noon – 5pm. Last admission 4.30pm
November – March: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 4pmSunday 12noon – 4pm. Last admission 3.30pm
The Museum has full wheelchair access throughout and disabled toilet facilities.
Free parking available outside Museum, including 1 disabled parking bay.

Faith In Fiat

Installation on view at the Towner Art Gallery.
22 July – 1 October 2017.
The summer exhibition has been selected by Richard Billingham (artist), Rosie Cooper (curator De La Warr Pavilion) and Brian Cass (curator Towner).

Open TuesdaySunday and Bank Holiday Mondays. 10.00am-5.00pm
Devonshire Park
College Road
Eastbourne
BN21 4JJ



MASLEN & MEHRA Biography



Tim Maslen (b. 1968, Australia) studied Fine Art at Curtin University, Perth and completed an MA at Goldsmiths University, London in 1997. Jennifer Mehra (b. 1970, London) studied Fine Art at City Art Institute, Sydney and the National Arts School, Australia. Mehra was a founder of VOID, an East London artists’ – run space, which staged dozens of exhibitions for four years from 1997 – 2000.

Maslen & Mehra have worked collaboratively since 2000. They are recipients of a grant award from the Arts Council of England for their ongoing work Cash, Clash & Climate (2015 – 2017). Work from this series was included in an exhibition curated by Jenni Lomax, Melanie Manchot and Brian Cass at the Towner Contemporary (July 2016). They exhibited work from this series in the exhibition The Fall Of The Rebel Angels in Venice in 2015.

In 2014, they staged a solo exhibition at Lucy Bell Gallery for the Hastings Photo Festival. They were selected by Paul Noble for Creekside, London 2013, and were included in LUMINOUSFLUX at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery as part of the Perth International Arts Festival. In 2011, they were shortlisted for the Latitude Contemporary Art Prize alongside Graham Dolphin, Delaine Le Bas, Andy Harper and Alice Anderson.

The work of Maslen & Mehra can be found in collections such as Tattinger Switzerland, Galila Collection Brussels, Art EsCollecion Madrid, numerous international private collections and the Altered Landscape Collection, Nevada Museum of Art. Maslen & Mehra are featured in the stunning accompanying book titled The Altered Landscape published by Rizzoli.

Solo exhibitions have been staged in New York, London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Dubai, Istanbul, Toronto, Perth, Sydney and Berlin. In 2011 there was a solo presentation of their work for the Scotiabank CONTACT International Festival, Toronto. A monograph, Mirrored – Maslen & Mehra was published by Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg in 2008 with texts by Hamburger Bahnhof Museum Curator, Eugen Blume and art historian, Edward Lucie-Smith. Earlier projects include an installation at the Frissiras Museum, Athens during the Olympics (2004), a sculpture installation exhibited at Artspace, Sydney (2002), and a solo project at Dilston Grove, London achieved with awards from the Henry Moore Foundation and London Arts (2001).

CONCLAVE of ART OF CHANGE 21

An international meeting of CO-CRÉATION for the climate At the Grand Palais in PARIS, October 9-10, 2017

The association Art of Change 21 is organizing, with the support of the UN Environment, a meeting that will bring together artists, entrepreneurs and young eco-leaders from around the globe. The objective of this second conclave is to conceive of another participatory and artistic action for the environment and the climate that will be implemented internationally.

Art of Change 21 has selected distinguished personalities from civil society :

With the aim of encouraging civil society’s commitment to the climate despite the
North American withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the unique co-creation event
will be held at the Salon Alexandre III at the Grand Palais this autumn. The world’s
most inspiring accelerators of change — artists, social entrepreneurs and youth
environmental leaders — will meet for two days to collectively create an action that
will be developed and carried out by the association Art of Change 21.
For Art of Change 21, the creativity of artists, the driving spirit of entrepreneurs and
the forward thinking of young eco-leaders represent three complementary forces.
The Conclave of Art of Change 21 is the only initiative in the world that brings together
these diverse groups and fosters the spirit of of ‘‘cross-fertilization.’’

The first Conclave of Art of Change 21 was organized in 2014 at the Gaîté Lyrique
in Paris prior to the COP21 held in Paris.It brought together twenty-one exceptional
personalities some of whom were: Kenyan entrepreneur David Kobia (founder of
Ushahidi), French entrepreneur Cédric Carles (founder of the Solar Sound System
and Regen Box), artists Lucy Orta, Wen Fang and Laurent Tixador. Together they
conceived the Maskbook action (www.maskbook.org) which focuses on air pollution
and it’s effect on the climate. Maskbook, in partnership with the UN Environment,
has organized over 60 events world-wide, mobilizing tens of thousands of active
citizens.


About Art of Change 21
Art of Change 21 is an association founded in 2014 that combines art,
social entrepreneurship and youth in favor of sustainable development and
the environment, intervening at major events for the climate. The multi
cultural team is based in Paris. The association is strongly supported by
artist Olafur Eliasson (@olafureliasson) and entrepreneur Tristan Lecomte
(@tlecomte). Its main partner is the Schneider Electric Foundation and is also
supported by the UN Environment.

Art of Change 21
www.artofchange21.com
info@artofchange21.com
@artofchange21

Winner Announced for 2017 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

Creative Carbon Scotland and The Center of Sustainable Practice in the Arts announced the winner of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award at the Scottish Poetry Library this morning.

Poet Harry Giles presented the winners, Outland Theatre with the award for their 2017 production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Towers of Eden. Founders of the company, Simon Christian and Melissa Dalton received a hand-crafted piece from Glasgow based designer, Chris Wallace, which was made with reclaimed copper wire and reclaimed roof slate. Ceremony attendees included Fringe participants and others from the Scottish and international cultural and sustainability worlds.

With applications open to all 3,398 shows performing at this year’s Fringe, a high number and quality of applications were received, and whittled down to 18 shortlisted productions, 5 finalists and one overall winner. Judges assessed shows based on their artistic quality as well as their engagement with themes relating to social, economic and environmental sustainability, and sustainable practices they adhered to. This year there were many unique ideas and concepts which engaged audiences, both young and old.

Winner Announced for Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 1The award winner, Outland Theatre’s production of Towers of Eden, portrays a dystopian future where environmental disaster has struck, traditional agriculture is no longer sufficient to feed the ever-growing population and the government offers a solution which becomes corrupt. They convinced judges with their unique concept and gripping theatrics which accurately conveyed their sustainable messages. Moreover, they were conscious of the sustainability of their production by considering the carbon footprint of their show, including the impact of their marketing, travel options and sustainable engagement through a crowd funding initiative to support their trip to Edinburgh.

Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, said:
“The award recognises the very best in sustainable practice at the world’s largest arts festival, and we hope that it will encourage future performers, producers and venues to consider social, economic and environmental best practice in the future. We’re delighted to be able to present this award, and are enormously grateful to our partners the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, PR Print and Design, and The List to enable this to happen.”

Four other finalists were also recognised at the ceremony for their significant contribution to sustainable practice at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. These were:
• Home Sweet Garden by Asylon Theatre at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – John Hope Gateway
• Last Resort by 2 Magpies Theatre at Summerhall
• Me and My Bee by This Egg and the Pleasance at Pleasance Courtyard
• Tribe by Temper Theatre at Zoo Southside

The Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award is a collaboration between its founder, the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), and Creative Carbon Scotland (CCS), working together with the List magazine and supported by PR Print & Design.

Exhibition Open Call, Keelung Ciao

Keelung is a harbor city located in north-eastern Taiwan. The city is surrounded by mountains and oversees the Pacific Ocean. The diversity of landscape and historical heritage is the treasury of Keelung. This initiative seeks to build an art program which is compatible with marine culture, harbor tradition, and the landscape of Keelung with your participation.

During a 3 week residency artists will bring a very unique living and exhibition experience to Keelung. With the help of Keelung Ciao, help to carry a cultural movement into the next stage for the city and its citizens.  Download the open call for More Information.

This Call is Seeking a Participant Who Is:

  • An Artist (individual, group or collective). No limit of creation form.
  • Able to propose a project/artwork which responds to the curatorial statement.
  • Able to executive the proposed project. The project should be site specific.
  • Willing to work with local team including technicians, volunteers and local communities.
  • Highly interested in Keelung’s history, landscape, environment and cultural scape.
  • Able to communicate effectively in either Chinese or English.
  • Open minded with different cultures, has a positive attitude, and is willing to share experiences.
  • Able to participate in the exhibition schedule including installation period (10th/Sep/2017-4th/Oct/2017) and press release & opening (5th/Oct/2017-7th/Oct/2017).

Budget:

Once selected, artists will be invited to be featured in 2017 Keelung Ciao Exhibition and receive NT$70,000 to execute his/her proposal. The budget includes production and installation fees.

Transportation:

For International Artists: A return economy class ticket from where artist live toTaipei Airport, Taiwan. and domestic transportation from airport to Keelung is covered.

For Taiwanese Artists: A return ticket of train/HSR/bus transportation from where artist live to Keelung is covered.

In Keelung:

During installation period, the curatorial team will provide Keelung’s travel info and suggested public transportation from accommodation to exhibition site.

PLEASE NOTE:

  1. Please get approval from curatorial team BEFORE making any reservations.
  2. DO KEEP RECEIPTS and INVOICE for reimbursement.
  3. Visa, passport, application fee, and travel insurance are NOT included.

Accommodation:

Arranged by exhibition organizer and executive, all participating artists will have individual accommodation and working space.

Supporting Staff:

Keelung City Cultural Affair Bureau will recruit volunteers who have English/Chinese speaking ability to support artists during the installation period.

Selection:

The jury panel will consist of professionals from contemporary art, exhibition management, art, critics and art organization. The final selection will be announced online, and informed individually according to the exhibition schedule and budget.

Submission:

Only online submission is accepted. Please submit the application and supporting material before 23 rd June 2017, 00:00 (GMT+8). For detail, please visit: https://keelungciao.tumblr.com

If you have any inquiries, please email: nightviewkeeung@gmail.com

Schedule:

Deadline of submission: 23 rd June 2017, 00:00 (GMT+8)

Final list announcement: 30 th June 2017

Artist arrival in Taiwan: 10 th September 2017

Installation Period: 10 th September to 4 th October (25 days in total)

Press conference: 5 th October 2017 (To be confirmed)

Opening: 6 th October 2017 (To be confirmed)

Exhibition Period: 6 th October 2017 – 5 th November 2017


Submit Online Now!


 

CONFERENCE CULTURA/NATURA Open Call

Friday 29th – Saturday 30th, September 2017 – Guimarães

The Organising Committee invites you to attend the Conference Cultura/Natura 2017. This meeting welcomes both scientific and artistic contributions, from all areas of knowledge, and considering the diversity of artistic formats, that embody or reflect on this theme. This is an initiative of Teatro do Frio in partnership with the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Porto (FPCEUP) and the Centre for Research and Intervention in Education (CIIE/FPCEUP), and in association with the A Oficina (Centro de Artes Mesteres Tradicionais de Guimarães) and the Directorate-General of the Arts.

The deadline for submissions of abstracts is Thursday 15th June 2017.

The aims of the Conference are to:

  • Reflect about the potential and limitations of adopting creative and dynamic models of artistic creation, in the pursuit of sustainable cultures.
  • Reflect about the potential and limitations of adopting models of scientific consensus, in the construction of sustainable cultures.
  • Open an experimental space where artists, scientists and other knowledge producers could share, connect and expand experiences, projects and dialogues in different fields of arts and sciences.
  • Promote communities of learning, practice and mutual support between researchers.
  • Promote experiences of interdisciplinary hybridisation.

Whether in the form of artistic dramaturgies built from scientific, philosophical, environmental, socio-economical stimuli (amongst others), or in the form of methodological procedures that address the diversity of forms and artistic practices, this encounter is conceived as an experimental site, in which, during two days, we will dedicate ourselves to the exploration and enhancement of dialogues between arts and sciences.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

Proposals for presentations in different formats and from all areas of knowledge will be accepted (presentation time aprox. 20 minutes each):

  • Oral communications
  • Posters
  • Workshops
  • Works in all formats
  • Exhibitions of artistic works in all formats

If you are interested in delivering a paper, please submit your paper abstract by midnight on Thursday, 15th June to the email culturanatura2017@gmail.com. Abstracts should not exceed 400 words (excluding references, if any: max. 10 references). A short biographical note (fewer than 200 words) for each author must be included in the submission.

All papers will be fully refereed. We aim to notify acceptance decisions on 17th July 2017.

Works will be selected for inclusion in a publication launched in March 2018.

More information in: http://www.fpce.up.pt/ciie/?q=en/content/encontro-culturanatura-2017

If you have any issues please contact: culturanatura2017@gmail.com.

Call for Papers: The Art Residency in Context

This Open Call Comes from the Seismopolite Journal of Art and Politics 

While art residencies are often used as experimental sites for cultural exchange and social engagement, and sometimes also as “laboratories” for ecology or cooperation between art and sciences, their relevance has also been questioned due to the infinitely overlapping, global and seemingly inconsequential political territory they inhabit.

For Seismopolite’s next issue, they invite contributors from diverse disciplines to submit essays and reviews that discuss the global phenomenon of the art residency from a high variety of possible angles, including (not restricted to):

  • The political meaning of cooperation in art residencies as international forms of cultural exchange.
  • Types of residencies; themes, formats and ways of organizing residencies; their public programmes, exhibitions and events.
  •  The idea of “site” and of local political and cultural interaction in art residencies.
  • Art residencies in context: art, geopolitics and neoliberalism.
  • The relationship between residencies and local art “scenes”.

Submissions are accepted accepted continuously, but to make sure you are considered for the upcoming issue, please send your proposal/ draft, a brief bio and samples of earlier work to submissions@seismopolite.com within June 14, 2017. All articles will be translated into Norwegian and published in a bilingual version.

Current issue: http://seismopolite.com/

Back issues: http://seismopolite.com/artandpolitics

Fueled by Fury: Finding the Language to Fix Us

This Post Comes From HowlRound:

This week on HowlRound, we continue our exploration of Theatre in the Age of Climate Change with more urgency than ever. With the looming eradication of climate science data from US government websites and the appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump has indicated in no uncertain terms that the health of the planet and its inhabitants are of no concern to him. As theatre artists, how do we respond? Playwright Tira Palmquist and dramaturg Heather Helinsky offer their respective point-of-view on the writing and production of Two Degrees, a world premiere at the Denver Center, season 2016-2017, and how the elections impacted the development of the play.—Chantal Bilodeau

 Tira Palmquist: The notion that I would write a play in which someone discovers the solution to climate change was never the point of Two Degrees (though I believe that climate change is a fixable, solvable problem). After all, there is no silver bullet, no singular, magical solution for this issue.

More to the point, how to fix climate change wasn’t really the question. To fix climate change, we have to move people from inaction to action, from doubt to conviction. Finding the language and the arguments to do this is clearly important, but in order to do that we have to ask the more important question: How do we fix us?

Climate Lens: Birth of a Post-Nation!

The article Climate Lens: Birth of a Post-Nation! appeared first on HowlRound

At HowlRound, we continue our exploration of Theatre in the Age of Climate Change with more urgency than ever. With the looming eradication of climate science data from US government websites and the appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump has indicated in no uncertain terms that the health of the planet and its inhabitants are of no concern to him. As theatre artists, how do we respond? NYU professor Una Chaudhuri writes about a group of theatre makers and educators who have committed to looking at the world through a climate lens in the hope of acquiring new wisdom.—Chantal Bilodeau

Under ordinary circumstances, we’d probably have resisted the temptation to announce ourselves with such a grandiose sub-title—or at least followed it with a self-deprecating question mark. But these are hardly ordinary times, and we’re “going big”—and exclamatory!—to counter the odious enormity that’s suddenly at the nation’s helm.

Trump Nation, however, only intensifies our post-national impulse; its real source, dating from well before the last election, is the fact that the most pressing political issue of our times crosses all national boundaries. The accelerating symptoms of ecological devastation and climate chaos are global, planetary—post-national.

 

CLIMATE LENS sprouted on January 5, 2017, when a group of theatremakers and educators gathered in New York for a retreat on the topic “Theatre and Climate Change.” The seeds of CLIMATE LENS were the various projects these people had been involved in, over the past several years, that engaged with environmental issues in general and climate in particular. These included Chantal Bilodeau, Una Chaudhuri, Elizabeth DoudLanxing Fu, Derek Goldman, Julia Levine, Roberta Levitow, Jessica Litwak, Erwin Maas, Jame McCray, Erin B. Mee, Emily Mendelsohn, Katie Pearl, Jeremy Pickard, and August Schulenburg.

We began by acknowledging that our previous attempts to get the larger theatre community engaged in this topic had been difficult. People tended to “shut down” when they heard that a theatre piece dealt with climate change. They tended to assume they knew what that would entail, and that it would be depressing, even when it came in the form of a sugarcoated pill, or a deft and elegant presentation of scientific information, or a lyrical ode to the vanishing green world. Climate change, we feared, was turning into a dreary theatrical theme, prejudged and too easily “slotted.”

To loosen this sense of intellectual impaction, we’d framed the following questions to guide our discussion:

How can theatre truly register the most important thing about climate change: the fact that (as Naomi’s Klein’s book puts it) “this changes everything”? How can we evolve a “climate dramaturgy” which goes beyond addressing the symptoms of climate chaos and instead begins to forge the new imaginations we will need in order to confront the long-term, unpredictable effects of those symptoms on our lives?

The ubiquity and scale of the effects of climate change are shifting the terms and tone of the discussion around it. While once there was argument about its existence, followed by argument about its causes, followed by arguments about what might be done in response to it, the discussions now focus squarely on how to get people and governments world-wide to act in time to avert the very worst of the predicted effects. A recent instructive contribution came in the form of a New Republic article by Bill McKibben, a leading voice in the climate movement. McKibben characterized climate change as a series of hostile attacks, amounting to a “world war.” “Carbon and methane are seizing physical territory,” he wrote, “sowing havoc and panic, racking up casualties, and even destabilizing governments.”

Balancing our respect for McKibben against our revulsion towards militaristic rhetoric, we explored this perspective, comparing it with alternative models, like peace-making, diplomacy, education, care-giving, etc. Underlying many of these metaphors we sensed an invitation to move beyond an exclusively defensive posture, to realize that while global climate change is indeed an unfolding catastrophe, climate itself is simply an abiding feature of planetary reality, one that our species has—in recent centuries—tended to ignore (at least in our political and ethical formulations).

What would it mean for art to get interested in the climate—both as it is in itself and as it shapes human lives and societies? What might be gained by the arts in thinking about human lives beyond the familiar analytical frames of biography, psychology, sociology, politics, history—to understand them also as shaped by biology, physics, geology? In other words, what would be the value of drawing into cultural and artistic production the frameworks that have long been sequestered as “science”? Many artists, including theatremakers in our group, have already been working closely with climate scientists, translating their information into expressive imagery and narrative. How might that practice grow more expansive and also more dialectical, moving beyond staging scientific facts to exploring how individual and social lives are related to the planetary forces that modernity has so systematically “backgrounded”?

The founding members of CLIMATE LENS.

The most energizing turn of this conversation came as we located our project in a lineage of progressive discourses that approached issues not only by focusing on their ill effects but by identifying key terms to use as new analytical frameworks. Just as feminism used gender as a lens not only to combat sexism but also to uncover its foundations in patriarchy, we propose to use climate as a lens not only to confront climate change but to uncover its foundations in anthropocentrism.

As often happens, the mention of anthropocentrism quickly plunged us into a familiar and frustrating conversation about the impossibility—for us humans—of escaping a human outlook. One solution—and one we hope CLIMATE LENS will help bring forward—is to distinguish carefully between anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism. Anthropomorphism—the projection of human ideas on non-human subjects—is indeed hard to avoid; nor is it always desirable to avoid it. A great deal of contemporary animal welfare and animal rights thinking, for example, relies on encouraging us to empathize with the suffering of non-human animals. The need to deploy a “strategic anthropomorphism”—that is to say, an anthropomorphism practiced mindfully, with awareness of the pitfalls and limits of cross-species identification—has long been sensed and practiced by eco-philosophers, as has its counterpart (not opposite): zoomorphism, the projection of animal characteristics on humans. These modes of imagination and figuration seem to exist at deep levels of human nature, and can be used in diametrically opposed ways: as ways of erasing or discounting nature, or ways of nurturing deep affiliation with nature. The guiding principle for those who want to avoid the former and achieve the latter is: make sure your practice of anthropomorphism is free from implications of anthropocentrism—the world view that puts humans and their interests at the center of all reality, and participates in the kind of hierarchical-binary thinking that also sustains sexism and racism. In short, practice anthropomorphism (and zoomorphism, and even biomorphism) in the service of an ecological, biocentric world view, one that includes human but vigorously opposes the fantasy of human exceptionalism.

CLIMATE LENS is committed to multiplying the playful, delightful, surprising ways that humans can “play the non-human,” and vice-versa. As an example of the latter: we’re planning a project inspired by that eco-classic “Thinking Like a Mountain,” by Aldo Leopold. In “Tweeting like a Mountain,” we hope to help some non-human partners (including a glacier, a species of mushroom, a speak back to Twitter-Tyrants) while also keep their many human friends informed of life around the planet.

Naming our project CLIMATE LENS, we initiate a conversation and collaboration to use the distinctive elements of the arts of theatre and performance—in particular, their use of actual spaces, times, and bodies as their primary medium—to put human stories in a more-than-human frame. By paying attention to the entanglements, contests, and partnerships that humans habitually (though often unwittingly) undertake with other species, and with natural forces, we want theatre to help counteract the prevailing human exceptionalism that has contributed so much to the current crisis.

A climate lens can work through something as simple as paying attention to the physical life of dramatic characters (in addition to their social and psychological lives), pushing against one of the origins of ecological alienation: rationalism, with its twin derogations of the human body and the non-human world. From this perspective, such recent plays as Bess Wohl’s Small Mouth Sounds and Adam Bock’s A Life, neither of which appear to be “climate change plays,” can be thought of as “climate lens” plays, helping to nudge us towards an awareness of those levels of life we share with other animals and even (in the latter case) with the earth itself. These plays contribute to an “affirmative biopolitics” that may prove vital and inspiring in the age of climate change, a way to resist the “biopower” that French philosopher Michel Foucault identified as a defining feature of the modern state.

 

A climate lens can also uncover ecological perspectives in classic plays, vastly expanding the repertory for climate-concerned performance. Imagine a Tempest that foregrounds the fact that Prospero is, like contemporary humanity, a weather-maker as much as he is (as previous lenses have proposed) a patriarchal and colonizing tyrant, or A Wild Duck anchored in Old Ekdal’s cry—“The woods take revenge!” These dots seem easy enough to connect. More challenging—and perhaps more interesting—would be productions that brought biocentric perspectives to bear on plays that seemed utterly disconnected from ecological matters, classic plays that seem to be exclusively about human institutions like justice (Merchant of Venice), sociological concepts like gender (Shrew), or political history.

CLIMATE LENS, then, is interested in developing a creative and expansive perspective on the unfolding environmental realities that go under the name of “climate change.” While not avoiding the more frightening aspects of these, we are committed to making theatre that asks broadly about the current state of the earth, and the human place in it, and frames that vast subject in ways that are politically empowering, socially regenerative, and artistically joyful.

CCS awarded funding for new environmental performance

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

CCS is one of 14 Edinburgh-based groups to receive support through the City of Edinburgh Council’s new culture fund, running for the first time this year to support of the development of up-and-coming performing work in the Capital City.

The £5000 grant from the fund will support Edinburgh-based actor, clown and theatre-maker Alice Mary Cooper to develop a new performance work Blue Cow in association with Imaginate and Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, as part of CCS’s culture/SHIFT programme.

CCS and Alice have collaborated on a number of projects in the past including our 2015 Arts & Sustainability Residency and ArtCOP Scotland, and more recently exploring community engagement in climate adaptation through the arts in Aberdeen.

Blue Cow will address the question what it means to be ‘contaminated’, evolving from Alice’s passion for environmental issues and desire to make work which helps to shift our wider societal culture towards a more sustainable one.

The new work will contribute to one of CCS’s culture/SHIFT themes – ‘making the invisible visible’ – which seeks to understand how the arts and culture can foster new awareness and understanding of our relationship to the environment and climate change.

Through the Culture Project Fund award, CCS will commission Alice to develop the sonic and video possibilities of Blue Cow, working with award winning Edinburgh based director Caitlin Skinner, Sound and Video Designer Rob Jones and musician and composer Thomas Butler.

CCS will also engage local sustainability practitioners and environmental organisations in the project with the aim of building new understandings of how the arts can contribute to a more sustainable city.

Other award recipients include the Village Pub Theatre, Strange Town and Red Note Ensemble. A full list of 2017/18 Culture Project Fund recipients is available on the City of Edinburgh Council website.

The Culture Project Fund supports the priorities of the city’s new Culture Plan, adopted by the Council last year. The plan was developed through the Desire Lines consultation process with input from creative industries, funding bodies, festivals, performers, artists, producers and venues.

It highlighted a need for greater support of emerging artists and ‘a shared city-wide agenda’ for culture in the Capital, which the Project Fund will help address.

Keep an eye out on CCS news for more information on Blue Cow over the coming months!

 



The post CCS awarded funding for new environmental performance work in Edinburgh appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



About Creative Carbon Scotland:

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

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

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

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

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

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

World Premiere: PLUTO (NO LONGER A PLAY)

The World theatre premier for PLUTO (No Longer a Play) has successfully entered into its second week of performances at The Brick in NYC. You can reserve your tickets for these performances up to June 3.

DESCRIPTION

PLUTO is an allegory about extinction… or it used to be, maybe. Three humans attempt to give a presentation about the remains of a play that no longer exists. The fragments seem to suggest the story of a unicorn, a hunter, and a wizard, all struggling to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Facing similar dilemmas, the three humans reenact their findings, searching for hope among the bones.

IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION

Is a “doomed” species worth fighting for?

ARTISTS & HISTORY

Co-created by Jonathan Camuzeuax, William Cook, Lani Fu, Nikki Holck, Megan McClain, and Jeremy Pickard
Directed and Written by Jeremy Pickard and Lanxing Fu
Performed by William Cook*, Lanxing Fu, Brittany N. Williams*, and Courtney Williams
Lighting Design by Jay Maury
Sound Designer and Music Producer Trevor New
Music composed by Jonathan Camuzeaux
Choreography by Nikki Holck
Dramaturgy by Megan McClain
Project advisors: Sergio Botero and Una Chaudhuri

It was developed over the course of December 2015-December 2016, thanks to Creative Space grants from ART/NY and residencies with Stony Brook University and Lacawac Wildlife Sanctuary & Field Station.


“Over the last half billion years, there have been five major mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us.”— Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction


 

FROM DRAMATURGE MEGAN MCCLAIN

Scientists suggest we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals in Earth’s history. Unlike other mass extinctions, this current crisis is caused almost entirely by people. Human activities impact 99% of currently threatened species. Extinction is natural, but scientists estimate this rapid loss of species is happening at between 1,000 and 10,000 times the normal rate. Ways to prevent further damage would involve decreasing pollution of all kinds (chemical, sound, light), reducing our contribution to climate change, and protecting and restoring wild areas. It would also require a serious recalibration in our thinking to consider the future of the world from outside of our anthropocentric point of view. How do we balance the fact that humans are a part of nature and extinctions are part of the constant adaptation of life, while taking accountability for our role in severely decreasing biodiversity on the planet? While we’re busy lighting fires to thrive and survive, what else might we be permanently extinguishing?

What do we do with what Per Espen Stoknes calls the “Great Grief” that comes with facing the rapid disappearance of species and irrevocable changes to ecosystems on our planet? Stoknes suggests we open ourselves up to mourn collectively, to move through the anger and indifference and sit in a space of loss. And from this place, perhaps we can find the strength together to look for new ways forward.

READ MEGAN’S BLOG “ON STUFF AND STUFFING”, TRACING SOME OF PLUTO’S PRODUCTION ELEMENTS BACK TO THE RAW MATERIALS AND ECOSYSTEMS FROM WHICH THEY CAME

 


Buy Tickets Here

 

ARTIST BIOS:

Jonathan Camuzeaux (Co-Creator/Composer) is a French-American musician, theater artist, photographer and environmentalist. Jonathan is the Co-Artistic Director of Kaimera Productions and a core member of Superhero Clubhouse. He created the multi-disciplinary photography project Stack of Fives and is the resident music director for The Live Lunch Series, as well as the bassist for the Brooklyn-based soul band Lady Moon & The Eclipse. Jonathan holds a Master of Jazz History from Bordeaux III University and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. By day, he works at Environmental Defense Fund in New York.

William Cook (Performer) has worked with Superhero Clubhouse on Mars (A Play about Mining), Saturn (A Play about Food), as well as Sci-Art Labs, Big Green Theater, and other development projects. He appreciates how SHC foregrounds climate issues in creating work for their audiences. He has performed in regional and professional theaters around the country. Training: SITI Company, Shakespeare & Co., HB Studio, and T. Schreiber Studio. Deepest gratitude to David.

Lanxing Fu (Co-Creator/Assistant Director/Writer) is a Chinese-American writer, director, and performer. In addition to being a lead administrator, Lani is the project director for the Living Stage and a co-creator of PLUTO and JUPITER. She holds a B.A. in Humanities, Science, and Environment and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Virginia Tech. She has collaborated and led interdisciplinary theater projects about contemporary consumerism, globalization, and the environment in Sri Lanka, Morocco, Turkey, and the United States, with work commissioned by Virginia’s New River Valley Planning District and a grant from The Center for 21st Century Studies. In 2015, Lanxing was selected to participate in JACK’s “Creating Dangerously” workshop (led by Virginia Grise and Kyla Searle), and was a member of Orchard Project’s 2015 Core Company.

Nikki Holck (Choreographer) is a dance artist, choreographer, and teacher based in New York. She was trained at North Carolina School of the Arts and Canada’s National Ballet School, after which she began her dance career with the National Ballet of Canada. Upon moving to New York with intentions of focusing on contemporary dance, Ms. Holckjoined Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and began a close collaboration with Artistic Director Igal Perry and the choreographer Korhan Basaran, both that continue on today. Ms. Holck currently splits her time between New York and Istanbul, where she teaches, choreographs, and performs both original and others’ work.

Emma Johnson (Stage Manager) is a Brooklyn-based stage and production manager, specializing in reinterpretations of classical texts and the creation of new works in collaborative, devised settings. Receiving training at SUNY Oswego, the New York Theatre Workshop, and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, she also works regularly at the Public Theater in various capacities as well as with Target Margin Theater and at the New York Theatre Workshop. She is also a photographer and poet with a seasonal green thumb.

Jay Maury (Lighting Designer) is a sound, lighting, video, and scenery designer working out of Brooklyn. As the designer of the Bushwick Starr infrastructure and equipment, he has been working to raise the standards for control, efficiency, and artistic possibilities. Notably, BWS is now running ultra-efficient LED worklight system with unparalleled control and light coverage. Recent design credits include Yackez (Video Design),  Saratoga Opera (Sound Design, Lighting Design), BAWeaselOAPOYOB (Lighting Design) at Jack, and Superhero Clubhouse’s JUPITER (Solar Lighting Design) & Big Green Theater (Lights) and BWS annual puppet festival (Lights & Media). www.thebushwickstarr.org

Megan McClain (Co-Creator/Dramaturg) is the Resident Dramaturg for Superhero Clubhouse’s series of Planet Plays, Flying Ace, and other projects. She also leads the R&D Writing Group for The Civilians and works at The Lark. Megan has developed new work during artist residencies at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Drama League, NACL Theatre, Catwalk Institute, and LMCC. Dramaturgical support/literary work for Goodman Theatre, Disney Theatrical, Hartford Stage, PoNY, Playwrights Realm, LMDA, Target Margin, New Georges, and PlayPenn. M.F.A Dramaturgy: UMass Amherst.

Trevor New’s (Sound Designer) work as a sound designer, engineer/producer, and performer can be found in a variety of media, including film scores, arranging, electronic music, TV, and in his newly release album “New Flow” music for yoga and meditation. Trevor also performs classical and contemporary music as a soloist, original music playing his viola and singing, and electronic music using Ableton Live for looping and effects. He plays Yoga workshops around Brooklyn and the Northeast, and will be releasing a vocal album later this year. Find more of his music at www.trevornew.com.

Jeremy Pickard (Co-Creator/Director/Writer) founded Superhero Clubhouse in 2007, and has since become a leading voice on theater and environmentalism. In 2015 his essay “On Eco-Theater” was published by TCG in the book Innovations in Five Acts, edited by Caridad Svich. Jeremy is the lead playwright, co-creator, and co-director of the Planet Play series, Flying Ace and the Storm of the Century, and Salty Folk. He remains the Program and Production Director for the annual Big Green Theater Festival, which he co-created with Maria Portman Kelly and The Bushwick Starr in 2009. Originally from a small town outside Syracuse, NY, Jeremy is an alumnus of Ithaca College and the National Theater Institute, and trained extensively with SITI Company for eight years. He wears many hats including director, performer, writer, and producer.

Cassiope Sydoriak (Assistant Stage Manager) is an Events, Theater, and Dance Producer and Creative Director living in Brooklyn. Since receiving her Masters degree in Art History from Oxford University in 2012, she has started a successful business teaching bicycle mechanics, worked in premium whiskey marketing, and choreographed for Darkfest at The Tank NYC. She has been teaching Lindy Hop since 2007, founded the Oxford Swing Festival, performed with the Hotfoot Strutters in London, and once had a 0.5 second appearance as an extra in a Guinness commercial. Most recently, she was the ASM for Superhero Clubhouse’s 2017 Big Green Theater Festival at the Bushwick Starr.

Bailey Williams (Producer) is a producer, writer, performer and sometime associate literary agent of dead German playwrights and others. Productions include SKI END by Piehole at the New Ohio Theatre (through May 19), Your Hair Looked Great by Tiny Little Band at Abrons Arts Center, Alex Rodabaugh’s AmeriSHOWZ at American Realness/Gibney Dance, and On a Clear Day I Can See To Elba by Eliza Bent at ICE Factory 2016.

Brittany Williams (Performer) Unimpressed Shakespearean Blerd, Belter of High Notes, & a New Yorker by way of Baltimore, DC, Hong Kong, and London. Favorite credits: Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds (Nansi – Helen Hayes Award Nom.), Mac Rogers Universal Robots (Helena), Antony and Cleopatra (Soothsayer/Clown), & Lear (Cordelia/Fight Captain). MA: Royal Central School of Speech & Drama; BFA: Howard University. Twitter & Instagram: @BrittanyActs www.brittanynwilliams.com

Courtney Gabrielle Williams (Performer) Courtney loves working on pieces that show complex and diverse stories that encourage conversation with the present times. Theater credits include: Pussy Sludge (HERE Arts Center), Beyond the Horizon (The Brick Theater),The Clockwork Boy (Hudson Guild Theatre),The Voyeurs (Saturdays at Brooklyn Bridge Park), The Tear Drinkers (The Kitchen NYC), Go Forth (PS122 Coil Festival). Educational : The Owl Answers (Daniel Alexander Jones), Agamemnon (Tea Alagic), Ruined (Isis Misdary). Theater BA Fordham University. courtneygwilliams.com.