Bill Mckibben

Canada: Artist publishes book about ‘dirty oil and government censorship’

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

FrankeJamesDoNotTalk_260In 2011, the Canadian artist Franke James was supposed to have her work exhibited in 20 European cities. But the local NGO that was sponsoring her was allegedly bullied and intimidated so badly by Canadian officials that it pulled out and the entire show was canceled. A spokesperson for the government had explained that Ms. James’ show was about climate change and her opinions were contrary to those of the government.

However, Franke James does not intend to keep quiet about what she experienced — now she is publishing a graphic 368-page book, ‘Banned on the Hill: A True Story about Dirty Oil and Government Censorship’, about the ordeal which features passages from more than 2,100 pages of official memos, internal federal emails, and other records.

125 funders supported her crowdfunding-initiative onIndiegogo.com to advertise her cause in the Hill Times, an Ottawa political weekly, and to launch an outdoor campaign Monday in the capital. She managed to raise over 5,000 US dollars already a month before the fundraising deadline, and her ad began appearing in the Hill Times on 20 May 2013 with the headline: “Do not talk about climate change. It is against government policy.”

American climate activist and founder of the organisation 350.org, Bill McKibben, was quoted as saying: “The Canadian government has clamped down on scientists who tell the truth about the tarsands, and it’s tried to shut up artists too. Happily, Franke James is indefatigable.”

Franke James hopes her book will be a how-to guide for other activists.
Read more and see Franke James’ artwork:

The Guardian – 17 May 2013:
Artist finds inspiration in Canadian government’s attempt to silence her
Visual essays by Franke James reveal how the ‘troublesome artist’ was targeted because her views on climate change clashed with the push to develop Alberta’s tar sands. By Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent 

The Toronto Star – 26 May 2013:
Climate activist’s book claims Conservatives tried to silence her
A new book by Toronto artist Franke James says her frequent criticism of Conservative climate change policy cost her federal funding for a European tour. By Raveena Aulakh

Franke James

This blog-post is re-published from artsfreedom.org.

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
Go toThis post comes to you from Culture|Futures

Powered by WPeMatico

Economics of Happiness Conference 2013

This post comes to you from Cultura21

March 15-17, 2013 – Byron Bay, Australia

The not-for-profit organization ISEC (International Society for Ecology and Culture) is, after the success of the first conference held last March in Berkeley, California, hosting the second international Economics of Happiness Conference in Australia. The conference is an annual event of the global grassroots movement whose mission is to promote systemic solutions to today’s environmental, social and economic crises led by ISEC, which has also led to the production of the corresponding documentary in 2011(trailer included in this post).

The interactive program will consist of plenary sessions, workshops, and social and creative time, participants will have a rare opportunity to learn from and share with some of the foremost leaders in the worldwide localization movement. The conference also offers the chance to make new connections, build on current projects and find new inspiration.

The list of speakers includes: Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, Donnie Maclurcan, Michael Shuman and Helena Norberg-Hodge.

For more information, the full list of speakers and to register, visit theeconomicsofhappiness.org

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

Powered by WPeMatico

The High Water Line: The New Yorker

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Eve completes the Manhattan portion of the line near the West Side Highway & West 14th Street. Photo: Hose Cedeno (Permission Eve Mosher)

In 2007 the artist Eve Mosher, interested in climate change, followed the 10ft elevation above sea level around Brooklyn and then Manhattan.  She called the work High Water Line.  She used one of those push along carts that are used to mark football, baseball, rugby and other pitches with chalk (in the US called a heavy hitter, believe it or not).  The New Yorker magazine carried the story post-Sandy.

Greenhouse Britain: Losing Ground, Gaining Wisdom started from the question, “The waters are rising.  How can we retreat gracefully?” and the first works that the artists produced were the re-drawing of the UK coastline at the 5m, 10m and 15m marks.

Artist Chris Bodle did a similar exercise in Bristol – you can see documentation here.

Bill McKibben recently said that where artists cluster around issues you know something important is happening.

He’s been quoted as describing artists as ‘the antibodies of the cultural bloodstream”.

“Artists”, he says “sense trouble early, and rally to isolate and expose and defeat it, to bring to bear the human power for love and beauty and meaning against the worst results of carelessness and greed and stupidity. So when art both of great worth, and in great quantities, begins to cluster around an issue, it means that civilization has identified it finally as a threat.” (thanks to Roanne Dods/Clare Cooper for this quote)

Please comment with other examples of artists marking high water lines.

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

Powered by WPeMatico

2° Celsius = 565 gigatons but 2,795 gigatons = $27 trillion

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

I normally criticise environmentalists using financial numbers, but Bill McKibben’s argument in August’s Rolling Stone is based on really interesting numbers:

167 countries are signed up to the 2° target (keep the impact of climate change within this range).

565 gigatons is the amount of carbon we can release into the atmosphere (roughly speaking) before we cross the 2° threshold (maybe).  That’s just 16 years on current projections.

2,795 gigatons is what the current reserves of coal and oil based on fossil fuel industry reporting.

$27 trillion is what this represents on the balance sheets of the fossil fuel companies.

Read on here.

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Brief to make KEYSTONE XL an international issue

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Brief for a campaign extension

Bill McKibben‘s team along with a number of other NGOs and activist groups in the US and Canada have been campaigning to stop Obama signing off the Keystone XL project.  The extension of the Keystone pipeline is a fundamental to the development of tar sands oil.  Tar sands are one of the most polluting forms of oil extraction and only viable because of the approach of peak oil.  We are faced by a choice: get off our addiction to fossil fuels, or continue into even dirtier and more destructive habits.

The Keystone Pipeline and its extension run from up near Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, down to Houston, Texas (see transcanada’s map).  They are literally a throat down the middle of North America with which to feed the addiction.

The Tar Sands Action campaign in the US is well supported and reaches out to a large environmental community, but there is relatively low awareness in other parts of the world.

In an email exchange with members of McKibben’s team it became clear that there was a need for creative and environmentally active people outside the US to create artworks, actions, logos, graffiti and other forms of intervention in order to raise awareness and show solidarity.

Current campaigning in Washington seems to be focused on encircling the White House, visibility at all Obama’s public engagements, securing mass arrests of celebrity figures to maximise news coverage.

If you are interested in responding to this (unofficial) brief then do something.  If you want to, you can send proposals to ecoartscotland.net and also to the Tar Sands Action team, but we’ll just say “get on with it”.

Budget: whatever you can invest in time and materials.

Timescale: sooner the better – 6th November is a key date when it would be good to have some shared plans.

Insurances: none required.

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

C&S with Bill McKibben in Cancún #COP16

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRFgru1E1ng

Friends of the CSPA, Linh Do and Tim Hall interview Bill McKibben on the 28th of November in Cancún, Mexico before COP16, the UN climate change negotiations.

Bill talks about his work at 350.org and as a writer, before discussing the future of the environment movement, the virtues of young people and his expectations of COP16.

via YouTube – C&S with Bill McKibben in Cancún.

Creativity, Action and Rhetoric.

Any fellowship program that respects artists will not set out like missionaries to train them to be good citizens, which will do as much to reinforce the popular assumption that artists are irresponsible children as supporting facile aesthetic tantrums . . . The visual arts field should be seen as en ecosystem in which many different kinds of art must be able to flourish.

– Michael Brenson, “Visionaries and Outcasts”

Last year at the UN talks in Copenhagen there was an awful lot of art. I mean a big glorious bucketful. I mean exhibitions and performances and people-hosting-people-as-art, and there was a great amount of debate as to how that was going to affect policy. If at all. In an interview with me for Inhabitat.com, Ian Garrett of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts reported that in Copenhagen, “These creative ventures, in talking about climate change, are reinforcing what people are feeling around town here and they have an increasing voice with the policy makers of the world,” while admitting that the influence art had on policy was indirect at best.

So now what? Tonight, in New York, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there was a gathering of minds looking to answer exactly that question. Part of the PEN World Voices of International Literature, the even was called Weather Report: What Can We Do? and featured, among others, Bill McKibben, author of the 350.org campaign, Skeptical Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg, Climatologist James Hansen and Dot Earthist Andrew Revkin.

Would love to read somebody’s lecture notes. In the meantime, I’ll be “doing” some blogging and art-ing.

Go to the Green Museum

PEN American Center – Weather Report: What Can We Do?

When: Thursday, April 29

Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, 83rd Street and Fifth Avenue, New York City

What time: 8–9:30 p.m.

With Jostein GaarderJames HansenFrederic HaugeBjørn LomborgBill McKibbenAndrew Revkin, and Cynthia Rosenzweig; moderated by Robert Silvers

Tickets: $25/$20 PEN Members/The Metropolitan Museum of Art Members and New York Review of Books subscribers; www.smarttix.com or (212) 868-4444. For Member discount code, please contact Lara Tobin at lara@pen.org or (212) 334-1660 ext. 126.

“What Can We Do?” brings together on one panel some of the premier scientists and writers from the U.S. and Scandinavia: Frederic Hauge, founder and director of the international environmental organization the Bellona Foundation; Bjørn Lomborg, an Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School and author of the controversial The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming; Jostein Gaarder, author of the internationally-acclaimed novel Sophie’s World and creator of the Sophie Prize; Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, and numerous other books; James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climatologists and author of Storms of My Grandchildren; and author and environment journalist Andrew Revkin, whose biography of Chico Mendes, formed the basis of the feature film The Burning Season. Cynthia Rosenzweig is co-chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the mayor advising the city on adaptation for its critical infrastructure. The New York Review of Books editor, Robert Silvers will guide the discussion about how we can turn back the tides of global warming.

For more information: PEN American Center – Weather Report: What Can We Do?.

The Earth Awards Launches a Global Search for Sustainable Innovations

From May 3rd to May 10th, submissions are open for the 2010 Earth Awards—an opportunity for innovative designers to win between $10,000 and $50,000. Awards will be handed out at a ceremony in London on September 16th, 2010.

Submissions will be judged by an illustrious panel that includes Yves Behar, Richard Branson, David DeRothschild, Bill McKibben, and TreeHugger Founder Graham Hill.

Designs must fit into one of six categories—Built Environment, Fashion, Products, Systems, Future and Social Justice—and will be judged on achievability,

scalability, measurablility, usefulness, originality, ecological value.

For more information, visit theearthawards.org

The Earth Awards Launches a Global Search for Sustainable Innovations : TreeHugger.

Land Art Internet Coma

Thanksgiving long past, and holiday feasts ahead, but I’m already stuffed, thank you, with this years’ steady eco-art diet of Land Art adventures and COP15 coverage. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed with art-nerd-glee. There is such a thing as an information coma, I swear.

The art-and-landscape dishes started churning out of the Nevada Museum of Art kitchen with its LAND/ART symposium way back in June: that event kicked off a summer-into-fall series of lectures, performances, exhibits and tours that made NMA the best excuse to want to go to Nevada since Burning Man. Later in the year Land Arts of the American West, a field program directed by Chris Taylor, took some lucky followers on a tour of renowned site-specific installations and Land Artworks. Unfortunately, some of us had to stay at home with our Winnebagos, experiencing most of the glory over the internet.

This month, while the delegates at COP15 tried to negotiate our way into a non-binding middle ground, Ian Garrett and William Shaw told us what artists were doing to mitigate the damage. There’s great coverage of actions, protests and memes by Shaw on the RSA blog– Garrett did comprehensive exhibition coverage and interviews for CSPA. It seems the artworks that struck the most resonant chord were also political actions: New Life Copenhagen, The Yes Men’s fake press release, actions that addressed COP15’s inaccessibility and ineffectiveness. Comedian Eugene Mirman voiced a couple of unanswered questions. The philosophical culmination is GOOD COP, an alternative Bella Center installed at Gallery Poulsen Contemporary Fine Arts in Copenhagen, where everyone from Daryl Hannah to Bill McKibben got some time on the mic to make their international declarations. If the dialogue keeps running this fierce, I’m not worried. That is to say: Burp.

Go to the Green Museum