Artists

The Three Gorges, 3rd Edition « Artwork by Sonja Hinrichsen

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

The Three Gorges, 3rd Edition « Artwork by Sonja Hinrichsen.

Sonja Hinrichsen makes ephemeral works of great beauty.  These include walking in snow to create patterns.

Sonja Hinrichsen, Snow Drawings, Chatham, NY, 2011

 

These are reminiscent of neolithic marks on stones near Kilmartin, Scotland.

image from www.themodernantiquarian.com (click on image for many more)

Her most recent work is also ephemeral, but is the result of working in the Three Gorges in China.  This is an area changing as a result of the widely reported hydro-electric scheme. Note how she positions the viewer such that they cannot avoid being present in the landscape.

Sonja Hinrichsen, Three Gorges, 3rd Edition, multi-screen video projection, 2011

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

SurVivArt – Arts for the Right to a Good Life

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung has started yet another interesting project referring to arts and sustainability. Artists from six mainly southern countries are invited to discuss the meaning of the right to a good life. Based on the fact that our daily lives and our ways of achieving a “good life” always influence the environment in a more or less negative or positive way, these artists ask themselves a simple question: Can “we find ways of living that contribute to more social equality and justice and that improve community participation and involvement?”

SurVivArt is meant to be a bridge to get to know perspectives on this question from people from the global South. On the website www.survivart.org you find an overview and detailed descriptions of these highly interesting projects, e.g. a social theater in Lagos, which is exploring the impact of climate change on daily life..

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

Review of the Cultura21 event “Can Artists Change China?”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

httpvh://youtu.be/010yAyQN2Dg

On June 16th, Cultura21 – together with partners – invited panelists with broad experience and knowledge concerning the art sector and the human rights situation in China for a discussion around the arrest of Ai Weiwei. The event was attended by more than a hundred people of all ages.

See also: Press articles on the event

One week after the event, on Wednesday June 22nd, we were very glad to hear about Ai Weiwei’s release, almost three months after the arrest at the Beijing Capital Airport.

But many questions remain unanswered – also by exceptionally quiet Ai Weiwei. The Chinese authorities’ statement that Ai Weiwei’s release is related to “his good attitude in confessing his crimes” (tax evasion) signals the ongoing threat of potential criminal prosecution.  Also, it must be kept in mind, that many human rights defenders and activists who were arrested or imprisoned for peacefully exercising their freedoms of expression, association, and assembly (rights that are guaranteed by the Chinese Constitution and international human rights law) still remain imprisoned. Read more (FIDH press release)

The topics dicussed on June 16th at Leuphana University Lüneburg remain of greatest actuality. In the following, please find a review of the debate “Can Artists Change China?”, synthesized by the FIDH in collaboration with Cultura21:

 

International Attention

The panelists debated the role of Ai Weiwei and the international media. “He may be famous in the West but within China his popularity/name-recognition is limited, which is also due to censorship”, said documenta12 director Roger Buergel. The panelists agreed that the Western media portrayal of Ai Weiwei is overly simple as it does not address the complexities of the art world in China or the human rights situation. However, it was pointed out that the media’s attention on Ai Weiwei does not alleviate the need to draw attention to the bigger picture of the current crackdown on many human rights activists.

Crossing the red lines

Ai Weiwei’s disappearance demonstrated that no one is safe from the strong arm of the government if he or she criticizes the government publicly and on issues considered ‘very sensitive’ by the authorities, such as the issue of shoddy construction in Sichuan which was deemed responsible for the deaths of thousands of students in the 2008 earthquake. The frustration and discontent of a majority of the Chinese population in the face of economic inequality and social injustice is boiling over in many ways, and in Ai Weiwei such anger finds an outlet that has tremendous reach in the international community (thus making him an increasing threat to the regime).

Spurious claims of economic growth as a human rights achievement

The Chinese government often argues that it has lifted millions out of poverty and that the Chinese people are freer now than ever before. Such propagandistic arguments mask the reality that the increasing wealth of the state strengthen the government’s ability to control domestic unrest and activism. It has been reported that for the first time spendings on public security have exceeded those of national defense/military. Even in the current context of aggregate economic growth, there are thousands of public demonstrations per year recorded.

Role of artists in social transformation

Artists take great risks to engage themselves in social activism, but they are a minority among the various groups that advocate for human rights and rule of law. Not all artists take political positions and many do not. Many artists are elitist and urban-based and their main objective is fame and profits. Some who wish to make political statements through their art also face other real-life restraints, such as finances. Foreign funding to domestic institutions, including NGOs, is heavily scrutinized, manipulated and restricted by the authorities.

Role of the international community

There is a need to better understand the complexities in China in order for external actions and advocacy be effective. There is worry that external demands may be seen as ‘colonial’ and would certainly be spinned this way by the Chinese government to generate nationalistic support among the population. On the other hand, silence is not an option. In fact, strong public outcry, including rumors that Ai has been tortured, may have forced the government to let his wife see him and prove that his physical condition was fine.

This post is also available in: German

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

Announcing the Artists for 2011 Art Project « Cheng-Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project

Thank you to all the 120 artists from 47 different countries who sent in a proposal for the 2011 Cheng Long art project.  It was difficult to select just 5 from so many good proposals.  Here is the list of the artists selected to participate in the 2011 project “Children and Artists Dream of Greener Wetlands:”

Rumen Dimitrov – Bulgaria
Firman Djamil – Indonesia
Karen Macher Nesta – Peru
Julie Chou – Taiwan
Hsin-yu Huang – Taiwan

These artists will come to Cheng Long village for the installation period, April 8 – May 2, to create their site-specific environmental sculpture installations; the opening weekend for the exhibition is set for April 30 and May 1.  You can follow the artists’ progress on this Blog.  I will be posting more about each artist and what they are planning to create in Cheng Long.

I look forward to meeting all of the selected artists and welcoming them to Cheng Long, Taiwan.  Thanks again to all of those who entered, and we hope you will consider sending another proposal next year when we have a different theme and need different artists.

via Announcing the Artists for 2011 Art Project « Cheng-Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project.

Creative Review – What does a ton of CO2 look like?

BIG VORTEX is the idea of Berlin-based artists realities:united. Waste gases will leave the chimney of the plant (which will turn waste into energy) as revolving gas clouds in the shape of smoke rings. The rings become visible due to the condensation of water in the flue gases as they slowly rise and cool, before resolving into the air. The rings produced in this way will, the artists estimate, be 30 metres in diameter and three metres thick and “constitute exactly one ton of fossil carbon dioxide, which is added to the atmosphere”. “[In] this way the rather abstract pollution aspect gets somewhat more graspable and understandable, something you can see and relate to,” the artists say.

via Creative Review – What does a ton of CO2 look like?.

The Jellyfish Theatre shortlisted for AJ’s Small Projects Award | Architecture Foundation

The Oikos Project’s Jellyfish Theatre, by artists Kobberling and Kaltwasser for The Red Room, in partnership with The Architecture Foundation, has been shortlisted for the Architect’s Journal’s 2011 Small Projects awards.

This is the second year running an AF-initiated project has been considered for the awards. Last year the AF’s new HQ designed by Carmody Groarke, was shortlisted.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday 9 February.

Photo courtesy Maja Myslaborska

via The Jellyfish Theatre shortlisted for AJ’s Small Projects Award | Architecture Foundation.

ARTSADMIN WEEKENDERS 2010

Six intensive weekend workshops led by artists renowned for their approaches to making, facilitation and participation.

Artsadmin’s Weekenders are open to all practitioners regardless of level of experience; all that is required is an openness to meet, talk, play, perform and collaborate. The second series of Weekenders starts in September 2010 and runs through to April 2011. Come to one or all – each Weekender operates as a stand-alone while the series as a whole offers an opportunity to work with an outstanding range of artists.

The next series of Weekenders will be led by Station House Opera (Julian Maynard Smith), Simon Vincenzi, Kira O’Reilly, Oreet Ashery, João Fiadeiro and Karen Christopher.

Curated by the Artists’ Advisor at Artsadmin, the series reflects a wide range of performance practices. The content of each Weekender will be unique to the lead artist, reflective of their practice and responsive to the group of participants.

25 – 26 Sep 2010Julian Maynard Smith
13 – 14 Nov 2010
Simon Vincenzi
11 – 12 Dec 2010
Kira O’Reilly
12 – 13 Feb 2011
Oreet Ashery
12 – 13 Mar 2011
João Fiadeiro
16 – 17 Apr 2011
Karen Christopher

All Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm
Please be sure you can attend both days in full
£60 per weekend
Strictly limited to 16 places per lab.

Book online via http://www.artsadmin.co.uk/opportunities/bursary.php?id=17
or call 020 7650 2350

via WOOLOO.ORG – ARTSADMIN WEEKENDERS 2010.

Dancing up Next for iPods – WSJ.com

TenduTV in the Wall Street Journal: Article

Now that the Beatles are downloadable on iTunes, the next frontier awaits: ballet.

On Wednesday, the New York-based distributor of dance programming TenduTV announced that a select group of dance performances and movement-based short films will be among the initial offerings, available in December, for download on Apple’s online service.

Though the upcoming titles may not have the reach of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the announcement marks an important step for dance, said Marc Kirschner, the general manager and founder of TenduTV.

“This is about making the work accessible to audiences —accessible in away that delivers quality,” he said, adding that the distribution also means more support for artists. “Dance was never able to develop a secondary revenue stream.”

via Dancing up Next for iPods – WSJ.com.

Sneak a Peak of the upcoming EcoArtSpace benefit sale

Apologies to our ecoartspace fans who are looking for recent posts here. Both Amy and Patricia have been flooded with a range of projects and travels the last couple months that have taken our focus away from the blog. After the benefit we will resume posts in May, promise.

We invite you to either come to the exhibition benefit at Exit Art this month or spread the word to your friends in New York who can attend. It is an affordable adventure, one that is supporting important work to help provide a platform for artists addressing environmental issues in the visual arts.

Please join us in celebrating 10 years of programming!

Go to the What Matters Most? benefit blog to get updated information HERE.

Go to EcoArtSpace

The thing we shouldn’t be asking artists to do


Heart of Darkness by Cornelia Parker, 2004 from Earth: art of a changing world, London 2009

This is Climate Action on Cultural Hertitage week – it’s an initiative championed by Bridget McKenzie as a response to the growing number of individuals and organisations calling for a more clearly defined sense of purpose from the arts and heritage sector.  People like Al Tickell of Julie’s Bicycle ask: “Why do we expect moral leadership to come from corporations and science? Surely the meaningful nature of the arts in society puts it in a position to take a lead on climate action?”

There are two aspects to this. Firstly it’s about how we behave ourselves. Art fairs, say, have become an example of the muscularity of the art industry. As curators/critics Maja and Reuben Fowkes have asked,  is this world of global art jamborees a sustainable one? Gustav Metzger’s Reduce Art Flights was one of the artist’s passionate “appeals”, this time to the art world to reconsider how they had been seduced into transporting themselves and their works around the globe. Furtherfield.org’s We Won’t Fly For Art was equally explicit, asking artists to commit to opting out of the high profile career track that conflates your ability to command air tickets with success.

Industries can change the way they behave. Tickell’s work with the music business has already shown how a cultural industry can transform itself in terms of process.

But there’s also the role of art as a spoke in the wheel of culture. Science itself changes nothing. To become a transitional society requires more than policy. The real change must be cultural. So should climate be the subject matter of art?

Pause for thought: Do we want rock stars enjoining us to change our ways? Please God, no. See? If it doesn’t work for rock music, why should it work for other art forms?

In an article being published next week on the RSA Arts & Ecology website, Madeleine Bunting will be arguing strongly against the urge to push artists into an instrumental role in climate:

“The visual arts offer a myriad of powerful ways to think and feel more deeply about our age and our humanity, but it is almost impossible to trace the causal links of how that may feed through to political engagement or behaviour change,” she cautions.

It is time to accept that artists don’t simply  ”do” climate. Even the most obviously campaigning art is of little value if it is simply reducible to being about climate. They may be inspired to create by the facts of science and economics, as Metzger and Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett of Furtherfield were in those examples above, but if you asked them to make art about climate they’d almost certainly run a mile.

What was interesting about the RA exhibition Earth: art of a changing world was the way that made that explicit. Artists like Cornelia Parker and Keith Tyson were clear in saying their pieces that they weren’t necessarily conceived with climate in mind at all, (though both are passionate about the subject). The decision to include Parker’s Heart of Darkness as an a piece of work to make us ponder the destruction of our planet was a curatorial one.

There’s a kind of separation between church and state needed here; institutions shouldn’t just be looking to their carbon footprints, they should be looking to see how they can contextualise this cultural shift with what they show their audiences – whatever the artform. It is up to the curators, directors and art directors to take on this role. In this coming era, we urgently need events, exhibitions and festivals that make us feel more deeply about the change taking place around us – and we need them to find new audiences for those explorations too.

But what we shouldn’t be doing is asking artists to make art about climate.

Read Bridget McKenzie’s Framework for climate action in cultural and heritage organisations

Follow Climate Action on Cultural Hertitage #cach on twitter

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology