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The UK’s Live Production Industry Comes Together to Change the Foundations of Our Culture

“We have set ourselves ten challenging goals for the decade ahead. Only by working together will we be able to solve our biggest issues. These goals set the pace for the live production industry and reflect our shared aspirations and needs.” SiPA’s Craig Bennett

On 8th September, The Unicorn Theatre, the UK’s theatre for young audiences, provided a symbolic venue for the press launch of SiPA – The Sustainability in Production Alliance.

SiPA has been created by the industry to provide a central hub for collaboration and culture change. Its initiative encompasses issues around equality, well-being, education and development, waste, procurement, renewable energy, transparent reporting of environmental and social impacts, fair pay and resilient industry economics. The SiPA goals create an aspirational, active and practical framework that is common to all. www.sipa.org.uk/goals

As an industry that is integral to the creative and cultural sector, we must recognise the power of culture and the cultural narrative to the delivery of change. SiPA will work with the existing networks of industry membership organisations; professional bodies and environmental sustainability organisations such as Julie’s Bicycle and Creative Carbon Scotland.

For years individuals and companies have been battling some of the 21st century’s biggest challenges alone. By 2025, the period covered by the SiPA initiative’s goals, today’s 8 year olds will be entering adulthood. As an industry, we want to ensure that we have provided the foundations for them to achieve their potential.

SiPA’s Industry Sustainability Goals will be ratified, discussed and signed at the PLASA London trade show, October 2015. Individuals, businesses and organisations can sign digitally at www.SiPA.org.uk/sign from 1st October 2015.

PLASA London, ExCeL Centre

Sunday 4 October 1415 – 1500 SiPA Goal Launch

Sunday 4 October 1615 – 1700 Social Sustainability Panel

Monday 5 October 1615 – 1700 Economic Sustainability Panel

Tuesday 6 October 1015 – 1100 Environmental Sustainability Panel

http://www.sipa.org.uk/events

www.plasashow.com/seminars

Matthew Griffiths, CEO Professional Lighting and Sound Association commented: “The approach to this is key because it’s about the collective. It’s about everybody’s problem – it’s about everybody’s solution. SiPA’s approach mirrors all of our experience of working in theatre and live events which is that nothing happens in isolation – anything that happens on stage can’t happen without a whole supply chain behind it.”

SiPA’s Craig Bennett said: “For 12 months, SiPA has partnered with over 70 individuals and organisations from all areas of the live production industry. SiPA has worked to identify ten goals that universally represent the issues we face as individuals and organisations. We have explored the stories of the live production industry and together we have uncovered ten major shared goals.”

Lucy Kerbel, Director, Tonic Theatre commented on the goals:

“…ensuring our industry attracts the breadth of talented individuals out there is vital but the second important thing is making sure we can keep hold of them, re-imagining how we work and how we structure our organisations – it’s about how we set the industry up for the next few decades rather than operating in a way that suited the world as it once was.”

Tom Harper, Resource and Sustainability Manager, Unusual Rigging explained:

“In our sector, there’s a really essential requirement to look at how we value resources. There’s a massive gulf between acknowledging and accepting that change needs to take place in the industry and knowing how to practically apply it. It comes down to narrative and storytelling and SiPA encourages a shift forward on a much bigger scale.”

Mhora Samuel, Director of The Theatres Trust said:

“…people from various facets of the industry have come together to make and really interrogate what this declaration means to us all – as we’ve done that we’ve talked about the power and importance of the stories we tell through theatre – theatres are where our creativity, curiosity and understanding can be challenged. Our creativity must not be disposable.”

Juliet Hayes, Risk and Sustainability Manager, Ambassador Theatre Group stated:

“With SiPA entering the picture, it’s a very good opportunity to join these very strong, like-minded people together – all passionate about the goals SiPA has put forward. We need collective expertise in response to these challenges so I’m very much for SiPA and what it stands for.”


About SiPA:

The Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA) was formed in 2014 following a panel discussion assembled by the Association of Lighting Designers. During the debate it became apparent that sustainability had not moved forward substantially within the industry since 2008. Furthermore, it was recognised that each facet of the industry working disparately could not affect the necessary culture change. This realisation created a wave of concern and ultimately led to the creation of the cross industry initiative SiPA.

Split into three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental, and economic, the ten SiPA goals have been devised, interrogated, de-constructed, debated and agreed by a working group numbering over 70 freelancers and representatives of organisations, businesses and professional bodies including:

PLASA, ABTT, PSA, The Theatres Trust, Stage Management Association, ALD, Women in Stage Entertainment, Entertaining Sustainability, Ambassadors Theatre Group, National Theatre Wales, Tonic Theatre, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd., SOLT/UK Theatre, Julie’s Bicycle, London Theatre Consortium (13 London theatres), National Theatre, Unusual Rigging, White Light, Arts Council England, The Society of Theatre Consultants, Manchester Arts Sustainability Team, Dance Consortium, SBTD, Creu Cymru, The Audience Agency, Show Force, Creative Carbon Scotland and various training and educational institutions.

More information can be found in the goals document www.sipa.org.uk/goals

SiPA is 100% unfunded but has been supported in-kind by:

  • Entertaining Sustainability – for sharing of their web space and forums
  • PLASA – for provision of space and a show stand at the PLASA trade show
  • The Association of Lighting Designers – for initiating the debate
  • The Theatres Trust – for provision of meeting space
  • White Light Ltd – for support and provision of materials

About PLASA: PLASA is the lead international membership body for those who supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries. PLASA’s activities include lobbying, organising trade show events, publishing, developing industry standards and developing industry certification schemes.

About The Theatres Trust: The Theatres Trust is a statutory consultee on theatre buildings in the planning system. It provides expert advice on the sustainable development of theatres, distributes capital grants and helps to promote awareness and solutions for theatres at risk. The Theatres Trust champions all theatres, historic, contemporary and new, in theatre-use, in other uses or disused.

About Tonic Theatre: Tonic Theatre was created in 2011 as a way of supporting the theatre industry to achieve greater gender equality in its workforces and repertoires. Today, Tonic partners with leading theatre companies around the UK on a range of projects, schemes and creative works. Its goal is to equip UK theatre with the tools it needs to ensure a greater level of female talent is able to rise to the top.

About Unusual Rigging: Established in 1983, Unusual Rigging is the UK’s most experienced provider of rigging and stage engineering solutions, working across Europe, principally in the entertainment, special event, exhibition and presentation industries.

About The Ambassador Theatre Group: Founded in 1992, the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG) is the world’s number one live-theatre company with 45 venues in Britain, the US and Australia. ATG is also one of the most prolific and internationally recognised award-winning theatre producers in the world.

The Gower Harvest Walk & Talk: sharing the gifts of Gower

The Harvest Festival is one of the oldest known festivals in the UK. It is traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon – the full moon closest to the Autumn equinox.

TICKETS

Emergence invites you to a walk, a talk and a feast to celebrate Harvest time on Gower.

An invitation to a harvest supper with local produce…A time to mark the turning of the year…Meet with old friends and make new ones…Time and space to reflect, talk and share silence whilst walking…Make a pilgrimage to Arthur’s Stone, ancient heart of Gower… Share news about your community project…Be part of the Great Gower Veg Swap!

Plus….Listen to a fascinating talk about the deep mythology of Gower and Arthur’s stone from scholar, psychotherapist and teacher, Ian Rees of the Annwn Foundation.

Plus… A chance to visit the recently renovated Grade II listed,Stouthall Country Mansion one of the most beautiful buildings on Gower.

The Walk – Stouthall to Arthur’s Stone, Cefn Bryn

We walk together to Arthur’s Stone. There we celebrate the harvest by offering thanksgiving to the land. The walk is 4 miles, lasts roughly 45 minutes each way and covers uneven terrain. We stop for a picnic lunch on top. Wear suitable shoes and dress for the weather (sunscreen, waterproofs and a spare jumper!). Please bring packed lunch and water.

The Talk – The Ugly, Lovely Town, The Black Apple of Eden & Arthur the King, Ian Rees, BSc(Tech) DipSW CQSW UKCP REG.

This talk explores the importance of the embodied imagination, mythic consciousness and the power of place. A particular focus will be Arthur’s stone on Cefn Bryn; we will explore the imaginal significance of this ancient chamber tomb and the mythical Ffynnon Fair or Lady’s Well that ebbs and flows with the tide. Drawing on these ancient images of loss and connection we will consider the connection to depth, flow and ancestry in our own lives and in the collective life of community. The talk begins with a short experiential exercise centred on the body and the imagination.

The Feast – Harvest Supper

We come together to share a tasty and simple harvest supper of fresh bread, Welsh cheese and vegetable cawl.

Food Bank & Veg Swap!

As a harvest gift for others, we are collecting food for local food banks. Food banks rely on food donations to feed local people in crisis. From pasta to puddings, if you can, please bring a gift of in-date non-perishable food.  Also – do bring your home-grown produce for the Great Gower Veg Swap!! Bring your courgettes and go home with a cumcumber!

Booking Tickets

There are just 50 tickets available for this event priced at £10 waged, £5 no/ low wage. This helps cover the cost of supper for each guest. The event is not aimed at children, however we welcome young people at the discretion of, and if accompanied by an adult.

The Venue, Directions and Parking

Carreg Adventure, Stouthall, Reynoldston, Swansea, SA3 1AN. Phone (01792) 391386. Parking is very limited at Stouthall. We encourage lift sharing and biking to the venue. This map shows you how to get there.

Outline of the Day

11      Arrivals, Welcome, Introductions

12      Walk to Arthur’s Stone, Harvest Thanksgiving, Picnic

3        Refreshments back at Stouthall

3.30    Ian Rees Talk

5.30    Harvest Supper

6.30    Share news of Gower projects and Great Gower Veg Swap

7        Departures

Our Gratitude

This event is made possible with support from Gower Landscape Partnership, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Natural Resources Wales, and the Welsh Government Sustainable Development Fund. It is part of a series of Emergence events entitled Marking the Past, Making the Future – creating spaces for a closer connection to the land and community.

Do you have questions about The Gower Harvest Walk & Talk: sharing the gifts of Gower? Contact Emergence

The Climate Museum

Creating a hub for climate science, art and dialogue:a beacon for solutions.

From: http://www.climatemuseum.org/

Approach

A center for shared immersion in the breakthroughs of the present and future.

The Climate Museum will use interactive design and storytelling to inspire a climate–educated and engaged public. Its mission of kindling solutions-focused civic engagement will build on traditional museum strengths—signaling legitimacy, memorably conveying complex information, and providing a forum for community experience.

The Climate Museum will catalyze public discourse and spark the optimism, ambition, and teamwork needed to ensure, in the decades to come, leadership in a climate-safe, vibrant world.

The power of museums

Audience

A compelling opportunity to create a sustainable institution with impact.

The audience for the Museum is robust. The market for museum visitation is large, and museums focused on science and technology in particular generate great and growing public interest.

The American public wants to learn more about climate change, an interest that will grow. And we see museums as trustworthy sources of information on this vital subject. Nevertheless, climate change is insufficiently represented in existing museums. The Climate Museum will fill that market gap.
Read with Citations

Leaders from numerous fields have responded to the Museum initiative with enthusiasm and generosity.

Pathway

Continual growth of programming will build the Museum’s audience and lead the way to a beautiful permanent institution.

Endorsements

Eddie Bautista

“The Climate Museum will be a tremendous resource for Environmental Justice communities in New York City and beyond—the communities that have contributed least to climate disruption and stand to suffer most. I’m proud to have been part of this initiative from the beginning.”

Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance; Climate Museum Advisory Board Member

Serene Jones

“Creating a climate-safe world is a moral imperative. Faith communities—and all communities—need institutions like The Climate Museum to learn and move forward together.”

President, Union Theological Seminary; Climate Museum Advisory Board Member

Cecilia Lam

“A wise man once said: ‘We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children.’  It’s up to all of us to protect our world, and the more we can do to educate society about the reality of climate change, the better.  Best wishes from all of us at the Chinese University of Hong Kong!”

Programme Director, Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change, Office of CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

James Stewart Polshek

“The Climate Museum presents the exciting challenge of creating responsive public design to serve an imperative cause: fostering community and responsibility on a grave global challenge.”

Founder, Polshek Partnership; former Dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture; Founding Trustee of the Climate Museum

Cynthia Rosenzweig

“Climate scientists will continue to play our critical role, but we need the public at large to participate, too. That’s the well-strategized aim of The Climate Museum—and why I’m proud to be a founding Trustee.”

Senior Research Scientist, Columbia University Earth Institute; Co-Chair, NYC Panel on Climate Change; and Founding Trustee of the Climate Museum

Gus Speth

“By serving as a center for public engagement, The Climate Museum will play an important role in the massive suite of efforts we must undertake as a society to address climate risks.”

Founder, World Resources Institute; former Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Climate Museum Advisory Board Member.

Register your climate-related event as part of ArtCOP21: The global festival promoting climate-awareness and positive change!

From 30th Nov – 10th December 2015, Paris will host the 21st UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21). These are the crunch talks in negotiating the vital international agreements in the battle against climate change.

ArtCOP21 brings together all cultural and artistic initiatives taking place around (and in the lead up to) COP21 – comprehensively mapping all climate-related events happening across Paris and worldwide. It is a platform for change, and a huge global movement. ArtCOP21 is certified by the Secretariat General of the COP21, the City of Paris and supported by major French and International institutional partners.

As an artist, organisation or collective, you can participate in ArtCOP21 by promoting your own event here for free. Exhibitions, installations, meetings, performances, screenings, concerts, readings, participatory workshops, competitions or any other cultural events that address climate change in an inspiring way will benefit from the huge visibility and impact of this shared platform.

The programme of events will also be promoted widely at our ArtCOP21 Hub at the Lyric Gaîté, Paris (3rd arrondissement), which will be transformed into the essential meeting place for media, environmental and arts cultural professionals for the duration of the festival. Every day the hub will bring its own programme of debates, screenings, concerts, workshops and an interactive resource center open to all, enabling better understanding of the complexity of the climate challenge and offering inspiring solutions for a creative, sustainable future.

A selection panel composed of members of COAL and Cape Farewell will also highlight events as “editors picks” on the website daily. This selection process will be guided by the consideration of artistic value, entertainment and relevance to the issues of climate change and COP21. ArtCOP21 labelled events can take place anytime between September and December 2015.

NB: ArtCOP21 does not participate in the financing and production of associated events, which is the sole responsibility of the organiser.

The programme will be officially launched on the 17th September, so register your event as soon as possible! Go to the registration form HERE

Blued Trees

Aviva Rahmani discusses Blued Trees with Judy Eddy of Radio2Women and Linda Leeds of Frackbusters, for the  Radio2Women show, Thursday, July 23 between 1-2 pm on WBCR-LP 97.7 Great Barrington, MA. The broadcast will be archived at: http://www.radio2women.com

(search by date). It will include the Blued Trees musical measure for installation, sung by soprano, Debra Vanderlinde.

In Judy Eddy’s radio show, Rahmani explains the moral and legal questions this project addresses and with Leeds describes the inception of the project. She touches on the ideas of ecofeminist pioneers like Donna Haraway, author of Primate Visions, whose work pointed to parallels between the oppression of women, people of color and the exploitation of other species, to the global detriment of all humanity.

Summer Solstice, June 21, 2015, Blued Trees launched as an overture to a public symphonic opera and a site-specific installation. The launch took place within view of a public road in Peekskill, New York, on private land, along a 1/3 mile measure of 50 woodland acres in the path of the proposed high-pressure Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline expansion. AIM’s expansion would transport volatile fracked gas within one hundred five feet of the Indian Point nuclear facility.

A five minute Blued Trees film of the launch will premiere in Europe at “Gaia: Resonant Visions,” an exclusive one day event curated by James Brady at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK, alongside screenings of films by Ursula Biemann, Oliver Ressler, and Basia Irland. The public is invited to view the Blued Trees launch on line now at: https://vimeo.com/channels/943134

The Blued Trees conceptual symphony and site-specific ecological art project is filing for copyright protection against eminent domain takings by fossil fuel corporations in Peekskill, NY. That filing will include protection for an international Greek Chorus of Blued Trees participants. Crowd-sourcing to raise funds to assert that protection in the judicial system will be announced shortly. It has been estimated that a legal process that may eventually go to the Supreme Court could take six years and cost six million dollars. The full symphony will be performed for the Fall Solstice. Meanwhile, participants may continue to join the Greek Chorus. “Make waves! Paint a tree; make waves in the woods!

Blued Trees initiates a new conversation about public good and morality, earth rights and environmental justice. For the launch, approximately twenty trees were painted along the AIM pipeline corridor over the course of two days. The distribution of notes for the Blued Treesmeasure was composed of designated trees in the landscape painted with a sine wave, beginning at the tree’s roots, and winding up the trunk. The paint was a non-toxic ultramarine blue pigment and buttermilk slurry that could encourage moss growth on the trees. About twenty-six participants from local children and elderly residents to others from as far away as Switzerland joined the event, as well as members of the Earth Guardians. After the painting, participants performed a chorale as they passed through the woodland. When the human performers left, the installation remained with the trees as a permanent work of art. The Greek Chorus launched in simultaneous international locations, including Lisbon, Portugal and Seattle, Washington. It included works by composer Maile Colbert, Deanna Pindell and Jesse Etelson.

Blued Trees asserts the language of the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), for the moral rights of the art over condemnation of private land. In Peekskill, pipeline construction would threaten the rights of Blued Trees. The art cannot be destroyed by moving, or otherwise destroying the trees with which it was created, without infringing on VARA. Protecting Blued Trees as a work of art will test corporate eminent domain takings in the name of “public good” in the judicial system. If that copyright suit is successful, it could impede the proposed AIM expansion.

Help Make Waves!

Any willing landowner may join the “Greek Chorus,” as part of the Blued Trees Symphony, by painting a wave “note” on one or more trees, preferably roadside for visibility. Send a photo of your “blued” tree with GPS coordinates to Aviva Rahmani, who will continue — throughout 2015 — to gather and map the Blued Trees.

Preview comments for Blued Trees overture film:

“It is powerful and beautiful.” – Betsy Damon, ecological artist

Blued Trees is a brave and consequential work. It’s remarkable and compelling in this juxtaposition of luscious aesthetics and desperate ecological threats.” – Carolee Schneemann, media artist

“We need nature – now nature needs us.” – Nancy Vann, property owner

“How exciting to see you walking down the woodland path in defense of a bunch of trees!” – Alison Knowles, Fluxus artist

“The images are beautiful, the camera work excellent, the idea great!” – Anthony Ramos, videographer and painter

“… good and slow enough to get the point without the emotionalism that has sparse content. Simple, common sense. Fast and speedy is what got us into this mess.” – R. Eugene Turner, ecological scientist

“Very cool. Such a soothing artistic video for such an in your face bold type of problem/issue.” – Crystal Day, film student

Fringe Sustainable Practice Award longlist is revealed | Edinburgh Festival

The longlist for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 2015 has just been announced. The award recognises the shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that do the most to raise the audience’s awareness of, and responsibility for, their own environmental impact, and is run by the Los Angeles-based Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Creative Carbon Scotland.

The winning show is announced on the final Friday of the Fringe. Last year’s winners were The HandleBards, for their innovative bike-powered approach to performing Shakespeare, and in 2015 they’ve been nominated once again.

The 2015 longlist includes:

The Braw Buoys: A Cinema in South Georgia
Kompanie Greg McLaren: Atomkraft
CalArts Festival Theater: Bayou Blues
Edinburgh Traditional Building Forum: Calton Hill Geology Walk
FellSwoop Theatre: Current Location
Old Deerfield Productions: Frankenstein
Asylon Theatre: Fraxi Queen of the Forest
Lucy Grace: Garden
Martin Kiszko: Green Poems for a Blue Planet
Paines Plough: Lungs
3Bugs Fringe Theatre: Maiden – A Recycled Fairy Tale
Smoke and Mirrors Collaborative: Ndebele Funeral
Tropism: Photosynthesis
Citizens Theatre: Scarfed for Life
The Vaults: Sing For Your Life
Tim Spooner: The Assembly of Animals
Peculius: The HandleBards – Secret Shakespeare
Rust and Stardust: The Wild Man of Orford
Niamh Shaw: To Space
2Magpies Theatre: Ventoux
Emma Hall: We May Have To Choose

The winner is announced at Fringe Central, Appleton Tower, at 4pm on Fri 28 Aug.

Source: Fringe Sustainable Practice Award longlist is revealed | Edinburgh Festival

Update about the Singapore Art Museum

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is a contemporary art museum which focuses on art-making and art thinking in Singapore, Southeast Asia and Asia, encompassing a worldwide perspective on contemporary art practice. SAM advocates and makes accessible interdisciplinary contemporary art through research-led and evolving curatorial practice. Since it opened in January 1996, SAM has built up one of the most important collections of contemporary art from the region. It seeks to seed and nourish a stimulating and creative space in Singapore through exhibitions and public programmes, and to deepen every visitor’s experience. These include outreach and education, research and publications, as well as cross-disciplinary residencies and exchanges.

SAM occupies two buildings: the old St Joseph’s Institution on Bras Basah Road, built in 1855 and now a National Monument; and SAM at 8Q, a conservation building across the road on Queen Street that was the old Catholic High.

In 2011, SAM was the venue organiser of the Singapore Biennale, becoming the main organiser in 2013. SAM was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee on 13 November 2013, operating under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. It is no longer part of the National Heritage Board. To find out more, visit  www.singaporeartmuseum.sg

Current exhibitions – Photos / Media Release

Imaginarium: A Voyage of Big Ideas is inspired by the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, symbolising a young nation on the rise and its capacity to dream big and think large. It focuses on themes of adventure, discovery, new possibilities and ‘Big Ideas’. This exhibition runs from 14th March 2015 to 19th July 2015

Link : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/skerijrmfema05q/AAAiWkt-omLWYccrL87bcB1Ea?dl=0

Once Upon This Island explores the stories and the lives that surround us on this island-nation. The exhibition presents a series of contemporary works by Singapore artists that navigate ideas of home, community, identity and memories, to coincide with Singapore Jubilee celebrations in 2015. This exhibition opens on 7 November 2014.

Link : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9bbue7alifyueb7/AABsl3i2KiDS94qcHdK_tzXra?dl=0

After Utopia: Revisiting the Ideal in Asian Contemporary Art is Singapore Art Museum’s latest exhibition that examines humanity’s eternal yearning for a better world. This exhibition runs from the 1 May 2015 – 18 October 2015

Link : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gdkiy4keog546el/AABmVInM9AsB0FyY3QlcIkqha?dl=0

Current and Upcoming Exhibition: The Water Knows All My Secrets

The Water Knows All My Secrets

Curated by Ceren Erdem at Pratt Manhattan Gallery

 

Admission is free.

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

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

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

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

144 West 14th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10011
212.647.7778
exhibits@pratt.edu

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

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

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

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

Download the Essay Here

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

CLIMATE JOURNEYS PART II: SAILING THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S. AND THE CARIBBEAN

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

by Guest Blogger Natalie Abrams

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

Coast

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

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

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

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

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

Creatures 1

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

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

Creatures 2

Jacques Cousteau said “People protect what they love.”

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

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

Read Climate Journeys Part I and Part III.

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

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog