Consumption

Emergence presents: Resilience in the Face of Challenge Creu Cymru at WSD2013

ImageFri 13 Sept 9.30 – 11.00

AHC Conference room

Creu Cymru is the development agency for theatres and arts centres in Wales. It currently has 44 member organisations who pay an annual fee to receive a range of services. With support from the Welsh Government’s Support For Sustainable Living Fund, Creu Cymru is working with Cardiff University, Julie’s Bicycle and Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales to develop a project to support the theatres and arts centres of Wales in becoming more resilient in facing the challenges of the 21st Century, particularly addressing the following 3 areas: energy and waste – consumption & treatment, the supply chain – examining theatre production and touring, communicating to audiences the issues and potential solutions

This session is designed to give theatre makers and producers an opportunity to hear how the project is progressing and work together on collaborating over programming and artistic response. The event will be a learning seminar to share best practice and showcase this project to an international audience.

Price: £6

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Earthrise – Trashing Lebanon (performance)

A threare group aims to use powerful images of everyday garbage, humour and solid facts to examine Lebanese attitudes towards consumption, and prompt them to consider where their trash ends up. Zeina Aboul-Hosn takes a seat in the final performance.

More on the Theatre Communications Group Website here: http://www.tcgcircle.org/2012/08/detrashing-lebanon/

via earthrise – Trashing Lebanon – YouTube.

Urban Furrows

This post comes to you from Cultura21

As part of Maribor 2012, European Capital of Culture, the “Urban Furrows” programme includes several projects such as “Sustainable Local Supply” (promoting short economic circuits between food production and consumption), a seed library for local plant species and the “Rhizome collective” aiming to empower immigrants and jobless workers, among other projects.

Read more on Culture360.org: Click 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

SurVivArt – Art for the Right to a Good Life

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Berlin

7th to 24th of February 2012

From the 7th to the 24th of February the exhibition SurVivArt – Art For the Right to a «Good Life» takes place at the galleries Mikael Andersen and Meinblau in Berlin.

International artists from Ethiopia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Thailand and the Czech Republic were invited to do a reflection on the meaning of the right to a «Good Life».  From these reflections arose various works of art and related communications on what the “good life“ means to them and people around them. Often the project started off the communication between artists and local communities about sustainable practices in their home country. The artworks touch upon many aspects of our everyday life: Habitation, food, clothes as well as consumption. The works will be shown at the exhibition, which opens at the 5th of February.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation developed SurVivArt with the help of its offices around the world. The project was inspired by the initiative ÜBER LEBENSKUNST from the Kulturstiftung des Bundes and aims at connecting sustainability, climate change and gender equity with the arts and culture.

Among others the works by artists Kebreab Demeke, Robel Temesgen, Alafuro Sikoki, Segun Adefila, Adebimpe Adebambo, Oeur Sokuntevy, Neak Sophal, Tith Kanitha, Nino Sarabutra, and Phyoe Kyi will be shown at both galleries.

“The art works narrate widely differing stories – about the quest for a “good life”; the quest for balance, happiness, and contentment; about the responsible as well as creative and playful handling of resources and new modes of consumption. They also tell us about the power of communities, their potential to survive, and their strength that inspires artists to contribute to a good life through their art.”

The conference Radius of Art takes place in parallel (February 8/9, 2012) and fosters international dialogue and exchange of ideas between culture, science, and politics.

Opening hours of the exhibition are Tuesday to Friday 12 noon – 6 p.m. and Saturdays 11a.m. – 4 p.m.
Opening: 5th February 2012, 6 p.m.

For further information: www.survivart.org and www.radius-of-art.de/conference

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

New metaphors for sustainability: symbiosis

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Zoë Svendsen, theatre director and researcher, continues our series New metaphors for sustainability by turning to ‘symbiosis’ as a better term.

When I was given the challenge of thinking about a metaphor for sustainability, I realized I didn’t really know what it was, other than the idea that maybe you shouldn’t do quite so much of something so that you could do things again in the future. But then I got to thinking about the underlying questions. What do we need to sustain? What’s the idea of sustainability? It’s linked to current discourses against consumption and to ideas about austerity and about doing less.

What could you replace sustainability with as a metaphor that would allow you to do something as opposed to just not doing something? I was thinking about things like conversation and reciprocity and some kind of interaction with your environment that didn’t deny the pleasures of exchange and of use. I eventually arrived at the term ‘symbiosis’ and symbiotic thinking.

What’s interesting about the term ‘symbiosis’, is that as a metaphor it takes us away from the ‘nature versus culture’ idea or ‘human benefit versus benefit for nature or the environment’, and rather asks us to think about how there might be certain kinds of human symbiotic interactions and at the same time benefits for the environment.

The symbol for this kind of activity are bees, and bee-keeping. There can be a human relationship to these kinds of symbiotic practices that happen in the environment already – such as the spreading of pollen and the creating of honey.

And around that word ‘symbiosis’, there’s a whole series of other underlying terms or thoughts that could be replaced. Instead of thinking about ‘austerity’ – which is a negative thinking towards the future – that we can always only do less and life isn’t going to be as good – you might replace that with ‘ingenuity’. This celebrates invention and entrepreneurialism and thinks about what’s at hand and what possible in what may be limited circumstance but treats those circumstances as a pleasureable challenge.

Part of the problem with austerity is that it makes you want to rebel. I have occasional bouts of recycling rebellion – I go ‘fuck it’ and throw it away. ‘I want to waste, I don’t want to be sensible’.

This is something to do with the moral imperative around the idea of austerity – it’s just not fun. Part of the idea about  ‘symbiosis’, is that you don’t have that same kind of moral anxiety around all of your actions. You’re directed to a positive action instead of endlessly thinking about the negative – which just makes you want to be naughty and not do it.

Zoë is included in our film

 

“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)

The editors are Robert Butler and Wallace Heim. The associate editor is Kellie Gutman. The editorial adviser is Patricia Morison.

Robert Butler’s most recent publication is The Alchemist Exposed (Oberon 2006). From 1995-2000 he was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday. See www.robertbutler.info

Wallace Heim has written on social practice art and the work of PLATFORM, Basia Irland and Shelley Sacks. Her doctorate in philosophy investigated nature and performance. Her previous career was as a set designer for theatre and television/film.

Kellie Gutman worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for twenty years, producing video programmes and slide presentations for both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Award for Architecture.

Patricia Morison is an executive officer of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a group of grant-making trusts of which the Ashden Trust is one.

Go to The Ashden Directory

Making a move on eco-organisational changes

This post comes to you from the EcoMuseum


Museums and galleries, along with a plethora of other ‘event’ based organisations such as theatres, festivals and so on, have been attempting for many years now, to assess their resource use and reduce it. Sustainability is big news in the world of culture.

To integrate sustainability into an organisation’s core practices it’s important to understand why you are taking the trouble. Don’t attempt to pay a lot of money to eco-profiteers who have no understanding of your core business. Many organisations hope to buy change. Unfortunately all that does is wipe the surface of a problem that may not even be truly understood yet.

There are plenty of companies and consultants out there ready to offer a few impressive powerpoint presentations and one-liners. It looks good on paper to say you’ve had an ‘expert’ in, but what have you really achieved? Introducing environmental sustainability into an organisation where the standards equal unsustainable consumption is never going to be easy. If your colleagues have no reason to go to the trouble of introducing new and alien practises that potentially harm the quality of their output, then who can blame them if they choose to ignore the experts.

An organisation needs to carefully plan each step without rushing into change. One way to utilise external expertise is to pilot organisational change with one department.

A museum for instance, might undertake a thorough audit of practices in the Conservation department across a six month period. Materials, products, energy, and costs should all be examined. This of course can be coordinated in-house by the conservation team themselves.

It is natural for the team to harbour a strong curiosity around the results and their impacts. Don’t waste their curiosity. Build upon it. This is where external expertise – guided by the museum and not the other way around – is invaluable. After a professional environmental sustainability team has audited the impacts one of the most important elements of this exercise comes into its own. In a workshop allowing the team to ‘find’ the solutions, the assistance of professionals explaining where eco perspectives and assumptions are mistaken or correct can be an engaging and transforming experience. Most people are shocked to find out that their beliefs around what’s good and bad are totally at odds with the facts.

Some of the biggest misconceptions involve the risks of higher costs, increased effort and comparable ineffectiveness of alternatives. Your workshop will need to integrate, not ignore, colleagues’ concerns. This might mean prior research on alternatives and even a couple of demonstrations. Peeling back the layers of disguise to uncover what a material or product needs to function can be a powerful tool in altering mindsets. At least it’s an improvement on a bunch of motherhood statements!

For instance, just imagine your marketing team comes to their workshop with a figure related to how much time they spend utilising online resources such as Facebook and Twitter. Their assumption might be that the dematerialistic nature of online communications is extremely eco friendly. Until you explain the impact of cloud computing and the enormous energy needs of data centres that organisations like Facebook require. Then show them this video.

It demonstrates how cheap energy is now being sourced and purchased for some of these data centres. Many of these data centres are choosing to buy renewable energy, but not all. So when your marketing team logs on to Facebook knowing that organisation uses dirty coal to fuel their enormous data centres, at the very least they’re not living in ignorance any longer, and they are conscious of Facebook’s impact on the environment.

The museum or gallery that chooses an educational strategy over motherhood consultants will be able to demonstrate tangible organisational change, not just a meaningless sentence buried in their Annual Report.

the EcoMuseum, is a project of Carole Hammond, Exhibition Manager and museum professional: combining the complex ideologies of aesthetics, culture, objects, entertainment…and environment.

Go to the EcoMuseum

Chain of arguments for the ecological identity of the international language Esperanto (& its organizations)

This post comes to you from Cultura21

1.

Direct progress with concern to the “interna ideo” (“internal idea”) of Esperanto is the conscious integration of the concept of a “neutral international language” within the framework of the cultures of sustainability & according to the 3 criteria of

  1. Peace,
  2. Human Rights &
  3. Sustainability

2.

The criteria of sustainability (see UN, civil groups – NGOs etc.) are principally constituted & substanciated by  the limitation of the Planet’s material & detoxicating ressources. Hence sustainability means that one

  1. shouldn’t consume more of our geobisofere than can be regenerated &
  2. shouldn’t pollute the geobiosfere more than can be detoxicated by it.

A measure for the degree of consumption-pollution can be the so called“ecological footprint”, i.e. the mathematically kalkulatable excess (quantitative factor).
In addition there is a factor, which relates to the (also to a certain degree measurable) reduction of the biological & cultural diversity on this Planet & its world.
One of the mayor criteria of sustainable evolution is the so called “resilience”, a physical quantity which relates to the elasticity (or buffer capacity) of an autoekopoietic system of the geobiosfere, including the humane social systems. This, so to speak, guarantees the survival of the system. Herto belongs also the principle of prevention.

3.

Besides ecology, economy & the social, also culture is a decisive factor with concern to the ecologically sustainable evolution of the human society.

The culture of sustainability considers culture itself in all its aspects, & thus also communication, as part of a livable present & future. In regard to this transdisciplinarity & transculturality play an important role in the creation of a global  change of mindset, which finally should accomplish both social & ecological justice. This evidently relates to individuals and collectives.

4.

Nowadays all fields of human activity are submitted to examnination concerning their  adequateness in the context of a sustainable operation of our world.Retaxation of values & realignment of theoretical premisses & practical politics belong to the prerequisites of a safe & enjoyable future.  This also applies to the fundamentals of international communication & its acceptable traits & costs (ecological communication).

A nonethnical neutral international language as Esperanto represents the linguistic part of a sustainable culture in international communication.

The international languagein itself is ecologically sustainable with regad to 2 features:

  1. Qualitativly Esperanto minimizes social risks for the fact of  installing“democratic bilinguism”, i.e.  a setup of international communication, in which everybody speaks his own mother  tongue & Esperanto (Esperanto as the 2nd language for all.) Nobody suffers linguistic or communicative disadvantages.
  2. Quantitatively  Esperanto minimizes environmental risks for the fact of “ecological appropriateness”, meaning drastic reduction with concern to the dissipation of resources (consumption of material & energy in translation & interpreter services) & general pollution of the geobiosfere. (Just one figure:  within the EU every fourth official is in one way or another occupied with language & translation problems!)

A more detailed overview of the problem will be given in an article to come: “Esperanto – ecological, ecomical, social & cultural arguments for a neutral international language”.

Wolfgang Guenther (compilation)

AVE (Asocio de Verduloy Esperantistay – www.verduloj.org)

NULA HORO (Transnacia Artkoncepto kun Esperanto kile Komuna Lingvo, nula [dot] horo [dot] arto [at] web [dot] de)

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)

Cultura211 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

A Picture Can Show a Million? | Unique Scoop

Artist and activist, Chris Jordan creates amazing images that portray America’s consumption. Chris’ hope is that his images will have a different effect than raw numbers alone. Since simple numbers no matter how large can be rather abstract it can be difficult to connect with ones impact. Whereas a visual representation of vast quantities can help make meaning of 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds or two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. The underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

via A Picture Can Show a Million? | Unique Scoop.

Wind turbines and the failure of markets

twometers
Monometer by Michael Pinsky, July 2009, Kortrijk

The Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight, under occupation by a handful of workers, is set for closure at the end of this month, citing “lack of demand”; that this happened in the immediate aftermath of Ed Miliband’s Energy Transition White Paper is ironic, to say the least. Three years ago, as Seamus Milne points out, Nicholas Stern nailed climate change as “the greatest market failure the world has ever seen”. It’s time to nail the myth that “lack of demand” is a natural state, to which everything must submit.

The illustration is from an installation by the British artist Michael Pinsky at this July’sKortrijk annual all-night arts festival. The four supporting columns of Belgium’s tallest wind turbines were transformed into giant meters, monitoring the ecological impact of Kortrijk’s all-night event. The consumption of energy and water, the production waste, and noise levels were all metered by two rings of projectect light moving up and down the turbines, as if, to quote the artists’s statement, the festival was “feeding” Monometer.

http://www.michaelpinsky.com/

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Broadways First Green Theater // Current

“Henry Miller’s Theater, the first newly built Broadway house in more than 20 years — and the first so-called green theater on the Great White Way — has completed major construction and is set to open in September with Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of the musical “Bye Bye Birdie.”

The 1,055-seat theater, on 43rd Street between Avenue of the Americas and Broadway, was built on the site of a theater planned by the actor Henry Miller, which opened in 1918. Over the decades, the original theater fell into disrepair and was used as a movie house and a disco before Roundabout produced the musical “Cabaret” there in 1998, followed by a run of “Urinetown.”

Recycled materials were used in the wall panels and baseboard; waterless urinals are used in the men’s washroom to reduce consumption of potable water; and local materials were used in the marble flooring and countertops, among other touches.”

via Broadways First Green Theater // Current.