Conceptual Art

EcoArt SoFla

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Mary Jo Aagerstoun has just posted the following to the EcoArt South Florida website:

Why does South Florida need EcoArt?

EcoArt SoFla believes art must be integrated into sustainability strategies. In South Florida, like everywhere else on the globe, sustainability strategies have been driven by science and political expediency. One searches in vain at all levels of the worldwide sustainability research/policy development community to find the tiniest acknowledgment of the role art could and should play in making sustainability a reality. The sustainability discourse is, therefore, very uni-centric in the knowledges it taps.

It seems self-evident that the kinds of environmental crises we face worldwide require that we tap a multiplicity of knowledges. To infuse societies with sustainability-enhancing scientific innovations, culture must be both mobilized and transformed. And communities and the general public must be inspired and educated to pursue serious and committed environmental stewardship. Artists are the expert innovators and creative thinkers most engaged with the art knowledge and cultural integration skill that help to create the cultural glue holding societies together. Art and science, as twin knowledge forms, must be tapped in tandem to create the wisdom, and activate hope, that underpin sustainability.

But not just any art will do. EcoArt SoFla will seek support for and promote artists whose practices are inspired by the precepts of Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture” and address environmental problems with creative combinations of conceptual art, process art, connective aesthetics, participatory and socially engaged practices, phenomenological and eco-philosophies, direct democracy processes and other social/aesthetic forms and techniques.

EcoArt SoFla seeks nothing less than development of a large contingent of ecoartists committed to staying in South Florida and who are, or wish to become, master cross-disciplinary learners and social system choreographers, skilled at drawing into the collaborative creation of ecoart stakeholders from grass roots community organizations, scientific institutions, public policy agencies and pioneering philanthropic entities. EcoArt SoFla will dedicate itself to development and promotion of the best ecoart projects: those that engage and mobilize community while employing, enhancing and melding techniques, knowledge and wisdom from landscape architecture, environmental biology and chemistry, planning and engineering and many other disciplines, and collaborating with their practitioners, while drawing from the deep roots of art history and the broadest lexicon of aesthetic methods.

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

Mary Jo Aagerstoun: Art from recycled objects and materials is not EcoArt

Today I received word of yet another use of the term “EcoArt” to describe artworks made partially or wholly of recycled materials. Because this is becoming a serious detriment to SFEAP's efforts to educate the South Florida public about what EcoArt is, I wanted to remind SFEAP supporters on FB and elsewhere of how SFEAP does define this work (from our website www.sfeap.org)

” practices… inspired by the precepts of Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture” and [which] address environmental problems with creative combinations of conceptual art, process art, connective aesthetics, participatory and socially engaged practices, phenomenological and eco-philosophies, direct democracy processes and other social/aesthetic forms and techniques.

SFEAP seeks nothing less than development of a large contingent of ecoartists committed to staying in South Florida and who are, or wish to become, master cross-disciplinary learners and social system choreographers, skilled at drawing into the collaborative creation of ecoart stakeholders from grass roots community organizations, scientific institutions, public policy agencies and pioneering philanthropic entities. SFEAP will dedicate itself to development and promotion of the best ecoart projects: those that engage and mobilize community while employing, enhancing and melding techniques, knowledge and wisdom from landscape architecture, environmental biology and chemistry, planning and engineering and many other disciplines, and collaborating with their practitioners, while drawing from the deep roots of art history and the broadest lexicon of aesthetic methods.”

While art works that include or are made wholly of recycled materials can be interesting objects and demonstrate how art does not have to be made of new materials, SFEAP, Inc. does not include such work in our definition of EcoArt. We see EcoArt as having an active role in environmental amelioration, and which must include direct community engagement and collaboration with scientists and environmental experts. SFEAP is dedicated to bringing many Florida based artists into EcoArt practice. This is the primary mission of the organization. We currently have our pilot community EcoArt education and artist apprenticeship well underway in Martin County. The apprentice EcoArtists there have just installed their first EcoArt work at the Florida Oceanographic Society. A video about the apprentices and this first project can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6a4VQznh8Ua

Please feel free to cut and paste this definition into an email to anyone in South Florida who is using the term EcoArt in relation to art that uses recycled objects or materials.

Thanks. MJ Aagerstoun

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Sustainability and Contemporary Art Symposium Budapest

Sustainability and Contemporary Art: Hard Realities and the New Materiality
Central European University Budapest
2-6pm 26 March 2009

Janek Simon, Niszczarka

Janek Simon, Niszczarka

Since the last symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art held at CEU in February 2008, which took as its subject the Operaist dilemma of ‘Exit or Activism?’ and examined Paulo Virno’s idea of ‘exit’ as the ultimate form of resistance, the world has witnessed an intensifying fight for resources under the Arctic, the rocketing of food and oil prices, the Russian gas crisis, and the systemic failure of international financial institutions. These ‘hard realities’ have caused a switch from concerns of immaterial labour to recognition of the ‘new materiality’ of current circumstances.

This recent turn has been addressed by theorist Slavoj Žižek, who notes that while in the last decades it was ‘trendy to talk about the dominant role of intellectual labour in our post-industrial societies, today materiality appears in an almost vengeful way in all its aspects, from a future struggle for ever-diminishing resources (food, water, energy, minerals) to the degradation of the environment.’ The 2009 edition of Sustainability and Contemporary Art therefore brings together artists, theorists and environmental activists to investigate the implications of ‘hard realities’ and ‘new materiality’ for political action, artistic theory and practice, and sustainable living in the 21st century.

SPEAKERS

Marina Grzinić, Sustainability and Capital

Marina Grzinić is a philosopher, artist and theoretician. She is Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Institute of Fine Arts, Post Conceptual Art Practices and a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in Ljubljana. She is a founder of Reartikulacija (Ljubljana) and recently published the book Re-Politicizing art, Theory, Representation and New Media Technology.

Tamás St.Auby, The Subsistence Level Standard Project 1984 W.

Tamás St.Auby was born in 1944 and lives in Budapest. In 1968 he founded IPUT (International Parallel Union of Telecommunications). He was censored for his artistic radicalism, promotion of art strikes and questioning of ideology and forced to leave Hungary in the mid-1970s. Since returning from Geneva in 1991, St.Auby has lectured at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts.

Tadzio Müller, It’s economic growth, stupid! On climate change, mad-eyed moderates and realistic radicals

Tadzio Müller lives in Berlin, where he is active, after many years of being a counterglobalist summit-groupie, in the emerging climate action movement. Having escaped the clutches of (academic) wage labour, he is currently writing a report about ‘green capitalism’ for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, and otherwise doing odd translation jobs. He is also an editor of Turbulence – Ideas for Movement

www.turbulence.org.uk

Janek Simon, How to Make a Digital Handwatch at Home

Janek Simon was born in 1977. Studied sociology and psychology at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. His artistic activity began around 2001. He is author of interactive installations, videos, objects. Simon takes inspiration from computer games, Internet and the archive (in its multiple meanings).

Sebastjan Leban, Silent Weapon of Extermination

Sebastjan Leban is an artist and theoretician from Ljubljana. His artistic practice involves the collaboration with Stas Kleindienst, the group Trie and the group Reartikulacija. He is one of the editors of the journal Reartikulacija and has exhibited in numerous national and international exhibitions, participated in many symposiums and lectures and published texts in several different publications.

Alina Asavei, A Sustainable Aesthetics: Contextual and Ethical Beauty

Alina Asavei is from Romania and currently she is a PhD candidate in Aesthetics (Department of Philosophy, Central European University, Budapest). She works principally in the areas of social philosophy, cultural studies, art and disability, the politics of aesthetics, forms of artistic engagement during and after totalitarian regimes. She published articles in the domain of Art History, Aesthetics and Social and Cultural History.

Alan Watt, Sustainability in the Face of Hard Reality

Alan Watt is a lecturer in environmental philosophy and the development of environmental thought at the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at Central European University.

Maja and Reuben Fowkes The Environmental Impact of Contemporary Art

Maja and Reuben Fowkes are curators and art historians who deal with issues of memory, ecology and translocal exchange.  They have curated and written extensively on the issue of contemporary art and sustainability.

http:// www.translocal.org

The programme of the Symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art is devised by Maja and Reuben Fowkes (Translocal.org) and co-organised with the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy and the Centre for Arts and Culture at Central European University.

For further information and booking details please see the project website:

www.translocal.org/sustainability

Rural Culture & Urban Arts: Terroir Wrap

Emily Payne Haven
(2009) site-specific installation
clay, wax, linen thread

After a three month run the Terroir exhibition in Marin County (Northern California), organized by ecoartspace west has closed. This indoor/outdoor exhibition included 28 Bay Area artists and several site-specific installations both indoor and outdoor. A few of the outdoor temporal works were already removed by the time of the closing reception. There are several posts on the Art at the Cheese Factory blog that capture the programs and artists included. Below are a few highlights and additional information.

Overall, it was a well attended exhibition with a high number of people who had not planned to see an art exhibition when they arrived to visit the Marin French Cheese Company. Of the 42 days the gallery was open to the public, attendance was approximately 70 persons per day. Outdoors there was high traffic flow, with up to 10,000 people over the three-month period. There was also a one-week residency, the very first at this site. And, a total of four events including an opening reception, curator’s tour & tasting, artist talk and closing reception. The owners of the cheese factory were closely involved and really appreciated the number of younger conceptual artists included. Our goal was to show work that visitors could relate to with regard to subject matter and that was a new aesthetic than they might expect to see in a local gallery (no landscape paintings or traditional sculpture). The consensus was that the works were engaging and that visitors were surprised to find conceptual art at their local gathering site.


Some highlights include:

Susan Leibovitz-Steinman Land(e)scape (2009) topsoil, rain and pond water all collected on the cheese factory grounds, and acrylic paint Photo ©2009 Jeannie O'Connor

Philip Krohn with Paul Reffell
The Kindling (2009)
11’ X 8’ diameter misc firewood (cypress, douglas fir, eucalyptus, monterey pine)

Mark Brest van Kempen Lineaus Line
2009 approximately 600 ft
(500 tags)

Jessica Resmond Jorge Bachman Shipped
Global Terroir (2009)
58” X 130” 4 inkjet prints/sound component

Lewis de Soto
APPELLATION: Napa 4 (10.12.07)
K3 inks on paper 26″ x 77.5” X 2″ Courtesy Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco

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