Artists

A response | Should we travel for art?

Melanie Challenger and John Kinsella’s poem series Dialogue between the body and the soul concludes with a discussion about whether artists should give up air travel for art. Contributations from Mark Lynas, Ruth Catlow, Plane Stupid, Amy Balkin, Chris Bodle, Nicholas Lezard and others.

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Radical Nature Comes to the Art Gallery : TreeHugger

Radical Nature, Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet is an exhibition that examines how nature has inspired artists and architects. The show takes a historical look at strange and experimental buildings since the 60s that have changed the way we see the world.

via Radical Nature Comes to the Art Gallery : TreeHugger.

“Global warming is as much a cultural problem as a scientific or political one…”

Robin McKie, science journalist for The Observer, has been to see Steve Waters’ The Contingency Plan, and has noticed that that there is something significant happening across the arts:

Until now, scientists, journalists and politicians have dominated the debate about the threat of greenhouse warming. Many have fought well and brought a proper sense of urgency to the debate. However, it will be our writers, artists and playwrights who will finally delineate the crisis and explore in human terms what lies ahead. Only then can we hope to come to terms with our endangered world….Thus global warming is as much a cultural problem as a scientific or political one and deserves to be addressed through the activities of those who define our culture: our artists and writers.

These individuals will be the ones who reveal to us the kinds of lives we may lead in the near future – not just in physical, but in moral and social terms – as our planet heats up. In other words, we need an Orwell or a Huxley to help us define the terrible issues that confront us – and to judge from the recent efforts of Waters, McCarthy and McEwan we can have a fair amount of confidence that our artists and writers will deliver. Whether or not we choose to listen to them is a different matter.

“Writers and artists are getting warmer” by Robin McKie

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May 21-31: Earth Matters on Stage, Eugene, OR

The mission of Earth Matters on Stage is to nurture connection and collaboration among artists and scholars who share an ecological sensibility.
 
The purpose of the Ecodrama Festival is to nurture and inspire new and innovative dramatic work that explores our ecological condition; then to showcase the best work through collaborative workshops and production.

The concurrent Symposium asks us to think more deeply about how theatre and performance might participate in a sustainable society.

Join us May 21 ~ 31, 2009 for ten days of performances, workshops, readings, and round-table discussions dedicated to nurturing theatrical work that rises out of our connection to the environments we share and love.

Wondering “what IS ecodrama anyway?”  Click here for our musings: What Is Ecodrama?

Presented by the Department of Theatre Arts  of the University of Oregon.

The .pdf of the Festival brochure

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10 YouTube videos from artists responding to the environment

Gemma Lloyd has put together this list of 10 artists responding on the Respond! site, which includes Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, a slightly scratchy talk on Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field, film of Aleksandra Mir creating her First Woman On The Moon and this one by Tomas Saraceno:

 

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John Kinsella/Melanie Challenger | Travelling by other means

I’m really pleased to say that the RSA Arts & Ecology site is hosting a new artwork. It’s a collaborative piece of poetry created by Melanie Challenger and John Kinsella called Dialogue between the body and the soul.

The idea came from a reading that both poets were invited to in New York in 2007. Though they had worked together — John had edited Melanie’s debut collection —  they’d never actually met, so the event would have given them both that chance. Kinsella lives in Australia; Challenger lives in the UK. But both were becoming increasingly uneasy about the idea of artists travelling internationally just to give readings of their own work.

In the end, neither travelled to New York. Instead, they’ve decided to create this collaborative work which comes from their decisions to eschew air travel for such events.

The first poem arrived in my email box yesterday; it’s posted on the site today, initiating the exchange. Take a look. I’m loving the idea of seeing a piece of work like this evolve in my email inbox.

You can link to the poems here tinurl.com/dialoguepoems.

Photo: Roger Bishop

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When artists fail to read the small print

Caleb Klaces makes a point in his review of Marcel Theroux’s new novel, Far North, on the main RSA Arts & Ecology website: the moment when Theroux starts to try and create a plausible scientific scenario for the catastrophic future in which his novel is set is the point where you start going, “Umm. Really?”

It takes a great writer to be able to incorporate research into a novel. Theroux opts to include a character explaining how we got into this mess:

The planet had heated up. They turned off smokestacks and stopped flying. Some, like my [Makepeace’s] parents, altered the way they lived. Factories were shut down […] As it turned out, the smoke from all the furnaces had been working like a sunshade, keeping the world a few degrees cooler than it would have been otherwise. He said that in trying to do the right thing, we had sawed off the branch we were sitting on. The droughts and storms that came in the years after put in motion all the things that followed.

See? It’s not really quite like that, is it?

Read the review here.

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