Apocalypse

CALL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECOLOGICAL ARTISTS « Spring Creek Project

CALL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECOLOGICAL ARTISTS « Spring Creek Project.

CALL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECOLOGICAL ARTISTS
Proposals Due January 13, 2014
Transformation without Apocalypse: How to Live Well on an Altered Planet

Gore.Ramble-pic.Oct2013-225x300

PHOTO: Marie Gore, “spiderweb and rain drops”

Concept: The Spring Creek Project invites artists to submit proposals for interactive art projects that radically re-imagine how to live well on an altered planet. We know that humans will be living differently in the very near future, perhaps occasioned by catastrophes brought on by forces of greed and climatic disintegration. We also know that we can choose, by acts of imagination and collective will, to create new narratives of how to inhabit the planet. The Spring Creek Project invites proposals that create these tangible visions of new/old ways to live. Projects should explore who we are in relation to the world and how we ought to live without exhausting the Earth.

The ideal project will:

  • Thoughtfully explore the concept “Transformation without Apocalypse.”
  • Include an interactive component during the Transformation without Apocalypse symposium on February 15, 2014 at LaSells Stewart Center in Corvallis, Oregon. The interactive component will invite students and community members to help in the creation of your artwork. Artists are asked to create a hands-on experience for symposium visitors. Options include inviting visitors to experiment with the materials and/or process, to design a collaborative work of art that visitors will help create, to design a component of the work of art that is inspired by the interactive experience at the symposium, etc. To this end, artists must be willing to speak with visitors, answer questions, and to invite visitors into the creative process. The interactive component should last from at least noon to 7:00 p.m. on February 15. The artist is encouraged to continue the interactive aspect of the project after the symposium, however the artist may also choose to work independently.
  • Invite students and the community to think deeply about how to live well on an altered planet.
  • Take any form including, but not limited to painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, mural, collage, etc.
  • Not exceed 4 x 6’ for 2D proposals and 3 x 3 x 6’ for 3D proposals.
  • Be completed and installed in a prominent location on campus (TBD by Environmental Arts and Humanities) by March 21, 1014.

Project timeline:

  • January 13: Proposal submission deadline.
  • January 20: Winners announced.
  • February 15: Community engagement during the Transformation without Apocalypse symposium at OSU.
  • February 16 – March 20: Continue to work on your project at your studio. You may choose to continue the community engagement aspects of your project during this time or work on the piece independently.
  • March 21: Installation complete.

Eligibility: The Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative will consider applications by student artists, professional artists, or artist teams. The artist (or at least one of the artist if working on a team) must live or work within a 100-mile radius of Corvallis, Oregon and be available to attend the Transformation without Apocalypse symposium on February 15. Each applicant, or each team, may submit one design for consideration.

Compensation: The artist or artist team will be awarded a $2,000 artwork contract plus up to $1,000 for materials. Materials reimbursement will be for actual costs of materials and require detailed, original receipts. The $2,000 will be awarded after March 21 and be dependent on the completion of the contract.

Submit a proposal: Artists are invited to submit a proposal on or before January 13, 2014 by 1) emailing a single PDF document to Carly.Lettero[at]oregonstate.edu or 2) mailing one copy of your submission to: Environmental Arts and Humanities; c/o Carly Lettero; 208 Gilkey Hall; Oregon State University; Corvallis, Oregon 97333. Please note that mailed submissions must arrive on or before January 13. Late submissions will not be considered.

Proposal must include the following:
1. Artist’s statement
2. Current resume (for each artist, if working as a team).
3. Visual documentation in digital format of previous works, with all images clearly annotated.
4. Specifications and installation information including:
a. Details of proposed project: Describe the proposed project with text, sketches, models, or other documentation. Each artist or artist team may submit one design.
b. Student and community involvement: 1) How will you involve students and community members in the creation of your piece during the Transformation without Apocalypse symposium on February 15, 2014? 2) Approximately how many students and community members would be involved? 3) If you will continue to involve the community in your project after February 15, how will you involve them?
c. Work plan after the symposium: Where will you work on the project after the symposium (e.g., in your own studio)? How will you transport your materials from the symposium to your workspace and finally, to the installation space?
d. Timeline: What is the timeline for your project? Please note that the installation must be complete by March 21, 2014.
e. Long-term maintenance: Will the installation require any long-term maintenance? If so, what maintenance is required and how often will it need to be done?
f. Space: How much space will your installation require 1) during the interactive portion of the Transformation without Apocalypse symposium, and 2) when it is installed (not to exceed 4 x 6’ for 2D proposals and 3 x 3 x 6’ for 3D proposals)?
g. Budget: What is the budget for your project (not to exceed $2,000 for the artwork contract plus up to $1,000 for materials)?

Artist selection criteria include:

  • Thoughtful engagement with the theme “Transformation without Apocalypse.”
  • Artistic excellence including technical competency and aesthetic content.
  • Community engagement in the creation of the piece during the Transformation without Apocalypse symposium on February 15, 2014.
  • Plan for long-term maintenance of the artwork if applicable.
  • The project’s timeframe and budget.

For more information
• About the Call for Artists: Contact Carly Lettero at Carly.Lettero[at]oregonstate.edu
• About the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative visit: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/centers-and-initiatives/environmental-humanities-initiative
• About the Transformation without Apocalypse symposium and the Spring Creek Project visit: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/node/953

The achilles heel of climate campaigners

As American writer Barbara Ehrenreich suggests in her book Bright-Sided, it’s now OK to say that optimism may be over-rated.  If a relentless economic positivism led to the economic crash, I’d also say that an instituational inability to say how dire things really are environmentally must now be seen as one of the contributing factors to why the public are reluctant to back the kind of radical measures we need from COP15.

In private, climate experts often admit they’re scared silly about what the future’s going to be like; in public they maintain a more positive face. There are, of course, very good reasons for this. Conventionally, we assume that people don’t change unless there’s something in it for them. But what if the climate crisis doesn’t fit this paradigm for cultural change? What if we actually need to start to panic to achieve change?

A slightly comic tussle took place on Monday in the Guardian between two people – both climate campaigners – who hold opposing views on this. The new British bugle blower for looking apocalypse in the face has been the writer and activist Paul Kingsnorth, who, along with his friend Dougald Hine, established the anti-modernist Dark Mountain Project to urge us to embrace the end of civilisation, (see this blog from  a few weeks ago). Kingsnorth’s radical view is that civilisation is the disease, not the cure. Any efforts civilisation makes to combat climate change are doomed to failure, and will only prolong the descent.

Kingsnorth and the Guardian’s climate rottweiler George Monbiot went to head on this, Kingsnorth belittling Monbiot’s efforts to browbeat us to reform ourselves:

We still believe that we will be able to continue living more or less the same comfortable lives (albeit with more windfarms and better lightbulbs) if we can only embrace “sustainable development” rapidly enough; and that we can then extend it to the extra 3 billion people who will shortly join us on this already gasping planet.

It’s an odd situation for Monbiot to find himself in. Monbiot is more accustomed to coming under attack from the denial-bots of the conspiracist fringe. Now activist Kingsnorth himself is attacking his friend Monbiot forbeing a denialist. You have to feel sorry for the man. Interestingly poet and author Kingsnorth comes at the issue as much as an artist as a camaigner – and as noted earlier – art often scratches at the apocalyptic door.

Monbiot’s obvious defence is to point out that Kingsnorth’s millenarianism has a lurid seam of misanthropy to it:

I note that you have failed to answer my question about how many people the world could support without modern forms of energy and the systems they sustain, but 2 billion is surely the optimistic extreme. You describe this mass cull as “a long descent” or a “retreat to a saner world”. Have you ever considered a job in the Ministry of Defence press office?

Monbiot is right of course. Kingsnorth’s world is a dark one. It’s just whenever I hear Monbiot arguing like this, there’s something about the primness of his tone, the convolutions of his clauses and the use of words like “surely” that always makes me think of Miss Jean Brodie.

But despite the misanthropy of Kingsnorth’s position, he has hit on a real achilles heel of the climate change movement. It’s never healthy to believe one thing and say another.

Read the Guardian article.

The Dark Mountain Project

By the by, Kingsnorth himself refers to Monbiot’s love of McCarthy’s The Road as evidence of Monbiot’s own millenarianism. Kingsnorth and I have been disagreeing about that book (see comments); he doesn’t think it’s about climate change at all. It’s one of those arguments where the only solution will be to pull McCarthy off the sidewalk and ask him himself:

EDIT. Coincidentally, Bill McKibben and Steven Colbert also danced around the same maypole on the Colbert Report, with Cobert adopting a slightly lighter form of millenarianism: “It’s game over. We should all have end of the world sex, right now. We’re all going to die!”

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