Changing Climate

Millennial Abstractions, curated by Patricia Watts

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

cfcc502033163d0af0b78e1d6777e1b9“Abstractions are seductive and evocative and invite contemplation and reverie. In the liminal space of an abstract work of art, our perceptions are free flowing and transitional. We know the world is changing and growing rapidly, with seven billion people and counting. How we respond to these changes and cope with them can be supported by art that makes room for our deepest cultural and personal concerns.” Patricia Watts

In 2011, I began researching artists who were doing abstract paintings, mainly in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. It was my suspicion that what might be happening with this new vibrant and energetic work was a response to extreme weather events or climate change, if not explicitly, subliminally. I wasn’t sure if my hunch was right, but eventually found a few artists painting fragmented landscapes that evoke our most pressing environmental issues. Of course, the outcome was a much broader representation for an exhibition titled Millennial Abstractions including 22 artists and over 90 paintings (a few sculpture) presented at the Marin Community Foundation in Hamilton Field, Novato, California (Feb. 15 – May, 31, 2013).

 

Artists such as Marie Thiebault, Samantha Fields, Gina Stepaniuk, and Judith Belzer (from top to bottom, left to right, above) each have been very outspoken about how our changing climate influences their work. And, each has captured the intensity and dynamism of the flux we find ourselves in–working through whose to blame, whose responsible, and how can we hold on to what we have before it becomes indistinguishable. For example, Thiebault with her series on the devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; Fields will her blurred windshields with pounding weather events; Stepaniuk with her satellite perspective of a fragmented planet; and Belzer with her topographical lands eroding off in the distance.

Although not all the artists in the show felt that their works were identifiably related to events of the new millenia–9/11, the Iraq War, or climate change–they are each a part of what appears to be a revival in painting that hasn’t been seen since the 1980s.

Artists from Los Angeles and the Bay Area included: Kim Anno, Judith Belzer, Val Britton, Chris Duncan, Samantha Fields, Sherie Franssen, Justine Frishmann, Benicia Gantner, Christopher Kuhn, David McDonald, Yvette Molina, Ali Smith, April Street, Julia Schwartz, Blandine Saint-Oyant, Gina Stepaniuk, Sylvia Tidwell, Catherine Tirr, Marie Thibeault, Cassandra Tondro, Ruth Trotter, and Adam Wolpert.

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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Conference “Cultural Dimensions of Climate Change and the Environment in North America”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The Conference will take place at the  Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen, Germany (June 28-29 , 2012)

Climate change is an inherently global problem. However, climate change impacts as well as mitigation efforts are always perceived and dealt with locally and in a culture-specific way. Global warming interacts in multiple ways with North American ecological and social systems. On the one hand, the U.S. and Canada belong to the world’s largest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases. On the other hand, the Arctic north of the continent as well as the Deep South is already heavily affected by a changing climate. Despite the US’s and recently also Canada’s rejection of international binding climate targets, on the local and regional level, some of the world’s most ambitious climate initiatives can be found in North America.

Striking about the symbolic representation of climate change in the USA is a relatively huge cultural variety. While in Europe climate change deniers are largely marginalized and without influence on mainstream politics, American views on climate change and the environment become increasingly polarized according to political beliefs. And whereas the U.S. hosts some of the world’s leading climate science institutions, religious explanations of why global warming is or is not happening, repeatedly have found supporters in media and politics, too.

How can these contradictions be explained? The participants will deal with these questions in the course of the conference that focuses on the human dimensions and cultural representations of climate change and the environment in North America.

You can read the program here.

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

New on our news page

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

In Nottingham, there’s a three-day celebration of the apple.In Edinburgh, David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous, and Being Animal: An Earthy Cosmology,  gives a public talk.

In London, Arcola’s Green Sundays return with a focus on recycling and upcycling.

In the bookshops, David Rothenberg’s Survival of the Beautiful investigates why nature is beautiful and how it has influenced science, Brendon Larson explores how metaphors entangle scientific facts with social values and Mojisola Adebayo’s Plays One includes ‘Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey’.

There’s a new funding stream for public art by Creative Scotland, and a call for runners to participate in NVA’s Speed of Light at the Edinburgh Festival.

On the international scene, Conversation between Trees  uses sensors and mobile phones in the forest canopies in Brazil and the UK to communicate the light and colour of the trees and the changing climate around them.

Closer to home, Culture and Climate Change: Recordings is available as an online pdf and publication.

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory