Art Space

Reflections on CO2 Edenburgh from Creative Carbon Scotland

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Project Summary

CO2 Edenburgh arose out of the opportunity to collaborate with ecoartscotland, Art Space Nature, artists Tim Collins and Reiko Goto and programming professional Chris Malcolm on an exhibition in the ECA Tent Gallery during the Edinburgh Art Festival 2013. Broadly the project sought to uncover the invisible effects of Edinburgh’s festivals on the city’s CO2 levels, engaging audiences in local CO2 levels affected by various factors; topography of the city, traffic, audiences breathing out, green spaces etc. The project used cutting edge technology to capture CO2 levels provided by two Scotland-based companies, Gas Sensing Solutions and Envirologger.

What did we do?

For the duration of the exhibition Creative Carbon Scotland moved their office to the Tent Gallery to invigilate the exhibition and make the most of the public presence of CCS during the festival.

The project consisted of four main elements:

  • The Tent Gallery exhibition with real-time data displays for stationary CO2 monitors placed in various outdoor locations including Princes St Gardens and Arthur’s Seat and indoor venues such as Fruitmarket Gallery and National Gallery of Scotland
  • Guided tours of the city with portable CO2 sensors and LED displays led by Carbon Catchers Catriona Patterson and Dave Young
  • Four discussions curated by ecoartscotland asking the question – Can art change the climate?
  • An online blog and summary of discussions.

What did we achieve?

Having reflected upon the project, we feel that one of the key achievements has been to establish CCS as a more public-facing organisation as well as rooting the organisation more firmly in the space of arts and sustainability. We feel the discussions were a big success, serving as an important platform for bringing together individuals and organisations in our area of work and binding the different elements of the project through the exploration of some key themes.

Here are some key points from the discussions

Discussion 1: Bringing the emotion of the arts to bear on the rigour of the sciences

  • Harry Giles made the point that much of what artists and scientists do is the same and they are comparable in their ‘making sense of the insensible’. CO2 Edenburgh was considered in terms of finding a new aesthetic for new experiences such as invisible rising CO2 levels.
  • It was discussed that there is currently a lack of feedback loop particularly in cities which serves to make us aware of the environmental consequences of our actions. Artists can therefore play a role in making these consequences more visible.

Discussion 2: Art, technology, activism and knowledge in the age of climate change

  • Wallace Heim referenced Alan Badiou for whom there are four critical kinds of event which change people – love, politics, art and science. Amongst these art can create the conditions which change our perception of reality and cause us to change our behaviour.
  • Architect Simon Beeson raised the point that CO2 isn’t in itself ‘bad’. In fact it’s only the release of currently fossilised carbon into the atmosphere as CO2 that is a problem. Carbon and CO2 is what we and allof the living world is made out of. CO2 Edenburgh allows us to perceive the complexity of the pattern of CO2 in central Edinburgh.
  • We also discussed the need to be clear about the distinctive contribution artists can make to social and environmental issues without falling into categories such as communicators of science or public engagement.

Discussion 3: Environmental monitoring: Tracking nature in pursuit of aesthetic inter-relationship?

  • Prof Andrew Patrizio took Renaissance Florence as an example of a time at which artists and audiences were attuned to a similar mercantile approach to understanding the form and content of a work of art. Parallels were drawn between Renaissance Italy and now – both times at which paradigm shifts were taking place in terms of how humans understood themselves in relation to the environment.
  • Jan Hogarth provided the example of Dumfries and Galloway as an exciting new region for the links between arts and policy making. Its rural setting allows for a particular proximity between artists, local authorities and organisations such as the Forestry Commission and therefore a stronger influencing role on the part of artists and arts organisations.

Discussion 4: Going beyond the material: Environment and Invisible Forces in the literary, performing and visual arts

  • Lucy Miu opened a discussion about how information + insight or emotion can help engage people more than information alone and may be able to help transmit the essence of something to those who weren’t able to experience it directly. She touched upon the fact that performing arts events are invariably group events, whilst visual art can be experienced more solitarily.
  • We also discussed the idea that in the performing arts and literature the ‘work of art’ is less concrete, existing in the ether between performer and audience or in the mind of the reader and not wholly contained in the reproduction of the words – as demonstrated by the breadth of ways in which literary works are transmitted, from the e-reader to the audio book.
  • Sam Clark noted that scientists working on matter connect the visible and the invisible, just like artists connecting the knowable and the ineffable. But whilst scientists aim to make the strange familiar, perhaps artists’ desire is to do the opposite and make the familiar strange…

The post Blog: Reflections on CO2 Edenburgh appeared first on 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

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CO2 Edenburgh: Can art change the climate? – Spirited discussions Pt. 1

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

922087632f7564901a6892281f6cadc2In amongst the people handing out leaflets for shows and holding up placards for restaurants, there are a couple of people wearing white coats walking around bearing standards reminiscent of Roman Legions, though these are not surmounted by eagles, but rather by LED displays reporting CO2 levels.  These are ‘Carbon Catchers’.

They are part of the Collins and Goto Studio‘s project called CO2 Edenburgh: Can art change the climate? and are working out of the Art, Space and Nature MFA‘s Tent Space at Edinburgh College of Art.  The data that the Carbon Catchers are collecting plus the data from a number of Festival venues (theatres, galleries and public spaces) is all feeding into a wall of information.  Creative Carbon Scotland, commissioners of the project, have relocated their office to the space so they are living with the blinking red LED’s as well as a background pattern of noise generated from the data and emitted into the space.

Yesterday, at the first of a series of discussions (see below for details of the next ones), Tim Barker, a media theorist from Glasgow University, talked about the history of interference – the point at which we became aware of the invisible. So in 1886 there was unexpected interference on the new Austrian telephone system. This was electromagnetic radiation from the sun was picked up by the copper wires. (Also Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant used to just sit and listen to the noise on the wires.) So there’s something about noise overpowering signals that’s pretty important in the history of science. Or maybe its the converse – as someone said yesterday afternoon, what’s important is, “…the desire to uncover the new by a disruption and treatment of the real.”

Why does this matter? Because our relationship to CO2 is pretty much at a similar stage – scientists are monitoring it (and it was a research station in Hawaii which first recorded passing 400ppm earlier this year). But we only think we understand what all this means. Actually the sensors that form part of this project are taking readings ranging from 320ppm to over 1000ppm. Walking around the City Centre yesterday with one of the team of ‘Carbon Catchers’ taking readings, we were getting different levels along the Cowgate. Someone commented during the discussion in the afternoon that they were surprised that the CO2 level in the room was going down because there were 10 people talking and no obvious carbon sink.

Harry Giles, the other invited speaker, challenged us to set aside the two cultures argument and pay more attention to the militaristic nature of the territory we are in (and he wasn’t talking about the Edinburgh Tattoo). The maps and sensors being used enable the surveillance of the environment in ways that has both tactical and strategic purposes. Art has often been allied with power

We might argue that the arts are engaged in both tactical and strategic purposes. There is an avowed intention on the part of Collins and Goto to challenge assumptions about aesthetics. There is not a lot of ‘sublime’ or ‘picturesque’ in this environmental art work. We might well ask where is the aesthetic? Surely this is just public engagement in science – how is it different from something that the Science Festival might put on? And if it’s public engagement with science, is it effective? Is this a Kaprowesque blurring of art and life? Is this like Burrough’s cut-ups, something as normal as a book cut up to offer new meaning, and at once so strange that it appears as just noise without meaning? If we are dealing with things that we can’t perceive with our senses, and which have timescales that we find difficult to comprehend, then should the aesthetic be that of, as someone suggested, a horror movie?  Don’t we need a new aesthetics for a new experience and a new scale?

On the strategic level Creative Carbon Scotland aims to green the cultural sector supporting organisations and institutions to reduce their carbon footprints. This is of course part of a pattern of attention on environmental issues which means that climate change comes up in pretty much every conversation, every organisation has a climate change policy (and it would be fun to make a collection of these), and the sustainability question in grant applications may in the future include environmental alongside economic criteria. But usually these programmes are ‘business to business’ rather than ‘business to consumer’ (if we accept that an exhibition in the Edinburgh Art Festival is by and large a ‘consumer’ facing affair).

So the events programme, a series of four conversations which ecoartscotland has helped to put together, is perhaps the point where we break out of these sorts of dichotomies.

  • On Saturday (10th August) the conversation will track across art, technology, activism and knowledge with the help of Dr Wallace Heim (of the Ashden Directory) and Joel Chaney (from the Energy Research Group at Heriott Watt).
  • The following Wednesday (14th August) focusing on “Environmental Monitoring” we be joined by Prof Andrew Patrizio (art historian and head of research at Edinburgh College of Art) and Jan Hogarth, (Director of Wide Open and one of the key people behind the imminent Environmental Art Festival Scotland).
  • An for the last event “Going beyond the material” (21st August) we’ll be joined by Samantha Clark, artist, and Lucy Mui, student, activist and Theatre Manager for Bedlam.

Full details on the CO2Edenburgh website.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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Sprit in the Air Exhibition Opening Invite

co2_eden_burgh_banner_550Creative Carbon ScotlandCollins and Goto Studio with Chris Malcolm, ecoartscotland and Art Space Nature are pleased to invite you to

Spirit In The Air

Opening: Friday 2 August 6-8pm

at the Tent Gallery, Edinburgh College of Art, Westport, Edinburgh EH3 9DF

(refreshments will be provided)

Spirit in the Air is a visual art, technology and performance project exploring the impacts of the Edinburgh Festivals on climate change. Working with ground-breaking technology generously supplied by Gas Sensing Systems and Envirologger to measure real-time carbon dioxide (CO2) levels when Edinburgh is packed to bursting with artistic activity and people, eminent environmental artists Tim Collins and Reiko Goto will work with Chris Malcolm to ask ‘Can art change the climate?’

‘Carbon Catchers’ will roam the streets and parks of Edinburgh to seek out CO2 hotspots whilst the artists at the Tent Gallery use the measurements to make the invisible comprehensible through visual and sound works.

Spirit in the Air is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival and will be open Monday to Friday, 12 noon-5pm, from 2 – 22 August at the Tent Gallery on Westport, Edinburgh EH3 9DF. For more information click here.

In addition to the exhibition, a discussion programme curated by ecoartscotland will consider questions of art, science, activism and environmentalism in a Festival-long conversation.

Wednesday 7 August 3-5pm, Tent Gallery

Bringing the emotion of the arts to bear on the rigour of the sciences

Saturday 10 August 1.30 – 4pm, Tent Gallery

Art, technology, activism and knowledge in the age of climate change (book here for this event)

Wednesday 14 August 3-5pm, Tent Gallery

Environmental monitoring: Tracking nature in pursuit of aesthetic inter-relationship?

Wednesday 21 August 3-5pm, Tent Gallery

Going beyond the material: Environment and Invisible Forces in the literary, performing and visual arts

For more information contact ben@creativecarbonscotland.com

 

Please forward this invite to anyone who might be interested.

WHYLD

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Flyer (A5) Whyld

Join the Masters students of Art, Space, and Nature (ECA) for a private viewing of our exciting final show. WHYLD is an exhibition of works that manifest our various interpretations of the concept of wilderness. The show opens 23rd of May from 5pm to 8pm at Patriot Hall Gallery. Speak with the artists and enjoy food and refreshments. 

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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Eden3: Trees are the Language of Landscape

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Eden3: Trees are the language of landscape exhibition image

Exhibition – April 22 to May 25, 2013
Tent Gallery, in Art Space and Nature
Edinburgh College of Art
Evolution House (corner of Westport and Lady Lawson Street)
Edinburgh, EH1 2LE, Scotland
Phone: 0131 651 5800
Hours: Tues-Fri 12noon to 4:45PM or by appointment on Saturday.

The Collins & Goto Studio presents an on-going series of works with trees, including Eden3 an installation of trees and technology that provide an experience of photosynthesis through sound, and Caledonia: The Forest is Moving a series of expeditions and related inquiry about specific forests. The exhibition includes a brief overview of previous work from Pennsylvania and California to provide context for the current creative inquiry.

This work has evolved through collaboration with other artists, musicians, scientists and technicians. The exhibition is partially sponsored by Trilight Industries, Glasgow. Engineering support for the development of Eden3 is provided by Solutions for Research, Bedford. Special thanks to Helen de Main, Sogol Mabadi and Chris Fremantle.

Opening – Thursday April 25, 4 to 6 PM
Artist’s Talk – Thursday May 16, 4 to 6 PM

Collins and Goto will host an open discussion with friends and colleagues about their work and the role of art in relationship to a changing environment.
Space is limited please RSVP if interested in attending the artist talk rsvp@collinsandgoto.com

Eden3 Exhibition Flyer w Image

Eden3 Exhbition Press ReleaseSM

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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Exhibition: Burnt Stars by Jenny Brown

This post comes to you from Cultura21

statt-berlin-invitation-JBAustralian Artist Jenny Brown, currently residing in Berlin, Germany on a DAAD scholarship, is inviting to her exhibition Burnt Stars  – Meditations on resistance, resilience and systems, curated by Adam Nankervis atstattberlin, an art space (in Berlin) dedicated to new forms of artistic expressions.

The opening event is on Thursday 17 January 2013 at 7 pm and the exhibition will stay open until Sunday 20 January from 2pm until 7pm.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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ecoartscotland in Tent at ECA – 6-10 March

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

ecoartscotland will be in residence in the Tent space at Edinburgh College of Art, during the week 6-10 March 2012.

Art, Space & Nature students and staff have worked with ecoartscotland to develop a programme of discussions and events during the week:

Tuesday 6 March
16.00-17.30 Discussion on the Ecology of the Body, Healing and the Environment, and Holistic Spirituality with Sandra Long and Betsy Davis.

Wednesday 7 March
10.00-12.30 “What is the ecology of the practices of arts and ecologies: Art, Space & Nature students and members of the ecoartnetwork.

14.00-17.30 CORE Forum (by invitation only)

Thursday 8 March
16.00 Discussion on Translating Spaces with Catriona Gilbert and Laura Trujillo Muñoz.

Fri 9 March
TBC

The Tent Space is in Evolution House at the junction of West Port and Lady Lawson Street.  Opening Hours for ecoartscotland will be 12.00-17.00 Tues, Thurs and Fri or by arrangement

The ecoartscotland library is available for consultation during these hours.

Documentation of the programme will be posted to http://ecoartscotland.net during the week and following

If you’d like to attend a discussion, please contact chris@fremantle.org +44 (0) 7714 203016

PS Thanks to Betsy Davis (Art, Space & Nature) for remixing the ecoartscotland logo.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

Trash Piles On the Acts

Graffiti artist Jose Estrada

Click Here The events at Sam’s trailer kept on coming throughout the Arts In the One World Conference, January 27-29. The 1951 Spartan trailer  moved to the CalArts’ front lawn for the event.  The trailer is still a work-in-progress; the scheduled completion date is June, 2011. Some of the artists were so happy with the trailer they returned to the stage for repeat performances – film, dance, music and multi-media productions – throughout the weekend.

Many remarked that the space was inviting – even the inside in its unfinished state seemed to welcome artists and audiences alike.  Night time performances inside the trailer were especially intimate and light-hearted.  Daytime events staged outside under an awning in the warm provided a welcome space to relax on three sunny California days. Several dancers mentioned that they liked the way the floor (still only a subfloor) swayed with their movements during indoor performances.  Multimedia Interdisciplinary Artist  Kenyatta Hinkle said as she worked inside the trailer, she felt it had a life of its own.

Arts In the One World is a gathering of artist-activists interested in using their art to help bring about social change. First convened in January 2006 by Erik Ehn, AOW at CalArts is linked to it’s sister Arts in the One World conference at Brown University.

The CalArts blog Seen and Heard recently posted two articles about The Trailer Trash Project. Tatiana Williams wrote that many students at CalArts have gotten involed with the project.  And Lindsey Lollie wrote this post about an encounter she had at the trailer during the Arts In the One World Conference:

This past weekend Sam Breen and his amazing trailer was a great hit.  He renovated an old trailer which kind of looks like a space ship and transformed it into an art space.  Musicians, dancers, artists, singers, animators, filmmakers and photographers came to gaze and participate in what was a series of performances and installations.  It started on Thursday and ended Saturday.  I along with some other dancers choreographed small pieces to be performed inside and around the trailer.  meanwhile, in between performances, a bunch of us were waiting for more people to arrive and we started our own little dance party/show on the stage.  We took turns going up and making a fool of ourselves.  We were having fun in the moment.  There was a stage, and nobody around to judge us, just close friends and the opportunity was taken.  I filmed various people dancing and I hope you will enjoy.

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from http://spartantrailerrestoration.wordpress.com as part of our CSPA Supports Program.

Values of Environmental Writing – Welcome

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

There are at least three research networks looking at environmental and cultural issues currently meeting in programmes of workshops.

CORE, the research network on Creative Research and the Environment, was launched last week in the Art Space Nature rooms at Edinburgh College of Art.  This network spans fine art and landscape architecture and is linked with a larger research project on Antarctic Earth Sciences. Post on launch.

Reflecting on Environmental Change through Site Based Performance held its second meeting in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago.  Post of notes from that meeting.

Values of Environmental Writing Research Network takes its cue from Robert Macfarlane’s 2009 comment, “Many of the new activists are young, and a significant number are recent graduates, emerging from universities across Britain and moving immediately into environmental action.  It would be fascinating to know what literary works have shaped the message and medium of their politics…”

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland

CORE

Image from Elizabeth Ogilvie's website

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Edinburgh College of Art launches its Creative Research into the Environment on Thurs 3rd March 2011 in the Evolution Building.  There will be presentations from 3-5pm followed by refreshments. Key members are artists Elizabeth Ogilvie & Anne Bevan, and landscape architects Ross Mclean & Lisa Mackenzie.

Elizabeth Ogilvie contributes regularly to ECA’s Art, Space, Nature course which is featured in our Study section, and Donald Urquhart, one of the co-directors of the course, is featured in our Artists section.

Information on CORE on the Climate Histories website.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland