Contemporary Artist

Exposure UNESCO-COAL Adapting to the Anthropocene

PAST_WORK_021-e1384858927261

EXHIBITION ORGANIZED BY UNESCO, THE UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION COAL, COALITION FOR ART AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

Monday, November 25 to Friday, November 30 from 10am to 17:30 ●

Opening Tuesday, November 26, at 18h, in continuation of the roundtable  Thinking Anthropocene from 4:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Room II

On the occasion of the World Day of Philosophy in 2013.

Fourteen projects by contemporary artists involved in environmental issues named in the various editions of the Prix COAL Art & Environment: Ackroyd & Harvey – Thierry Boutonnier and Ralph Mahfoud – Damien Chivialle – Olivier Darné – Nicolas Floc’h – Hanna Husberg, Laura McLean, Nabil Ahmed, Benedetta Panisson, Rosa Barba, Christopher Draeger & Heidrun Holzfeind Marian Tubbs and Drew Denny – Ivana Adaime Makac – Matthew Moore – Liliana Motta – Lucy + Jorge Orta – Zhao Renhui – Anna Katharina Scheidegger – Laurent Tixador – The Migrant Ecologies Project .

Entitled  Adapting to the Anthropocene , this exhibition presented art projects nominated in the various editions of the Prix COAL Art & Environment, which all have in common understanding of the major environmental issues, societal and contemporary, participating in the emergence a new culture of nature and ecology. Each year, through the COAL Art & Environment Award, the association recognizes a contemporary artist involved in environmental issues. The winner is named among the ten selected by a jury of personalities from the world of contemporary art, research, ecology and sustainable development artists, through an international call for projects.

The furnishing of this prize has now become a truly international event that attracts many renowned artists and pioneers in the art of ecology. Each year, the Coal Price Art and Environment is a theme of honor. The 2013 edition on the theme Adaptation received nearly three hundred entries from over 50 countries.

Established in 2010 by the COAL association, COAL Art and Environment Prize of EUR 10 000, is placed under the patronage of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Ecology, Sustainable Development and the Energy, and the National Center for Visual Arts. It also receives support from private partners.

For UNESCO, this exhibition provided an exceptional opportunity to promote to the public the ethical principles and responsibilities for climate change adaptation that the Organization seeks to encourage each day through its activities, and in particular through the activities developed by the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST).

These principles and responsibilities that call for humanity to ensure the sustainability of the environment, encourage people to consider biodiversity and ecosystem integrity as the foundation of life on earth.

Beyond the analytical contributions of the social sciences that may help change human behavior, there is no doubt, for UNESCO, that art can not only be suitable emotional way  to foster new attitudes towards nature and the environment, but it can also be their reflection. This is indeed provided by the example of the  COAL association, founded in France in 2008 by professionals of contemporary art, sustainable development and research to foster the emergence of a culture of ecology.

Video credit: The glacier study group, 2013. Institute of critical zoologists

Via Exposure UNESCO-COAL Adapting to the Anthropocene: COAL.

Mark Dion at Museum Het Domein

This post comes to you from Cultura21

museum-het-domeinThe Macabre Treasury

January 20–May 5, 2013 – Museum Het Domein – Sittard, Netherlands

“Increasingly, my work has become macabre and laced with dusky pessimism. Early on I believed that ecological calamity could be averted by awareness. If people knew about issues like the loss of biodiversity or global warming, they would act so as to halt the problem. (…) Now, I just don’t believe that it will all work out. Not that there will be a single great catastrophe, but rather the world will slowly become less biological diverse, more impoverished, an uglier, less remarkable place to live. (…) Ozone holes, burning rainforests, ecological wars, species extinction, landfill landscapes will become fantastic theatre, a spectacle of ecosystem collapse. (…) Coming soon—the planet earth becoming a crummier place, and like numerous other rude spectators, it’s hard for me to keep my mouth closed during the show.”
–Mark Dion, unpublished manuscript, 2001

Macabre Treasury an exhibition by the American artist Mark Dion, internationally acclaimed to be a prominent contemporary artist, is Dion´s first solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands since fifteen years. He is playing a pioneering role with his work, which focuses on ecological issues and our perception of nature. Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions like museums shape our understanding of history, the ways we accumulate knowledge, and how we regard the natural world. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between “objective” (“rational”) scientific methods and “subjective” (“irrational”) influences. The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modeled on Wunderkabinetts of the sixteenth century, are notable for their atypical orderings of objects and specimens. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.

For The Macabre Treasury, Dion will transform Museum Het Domein’s contemporary art wing into a giant Wunderkabinett. The exhibition will be divided into various departments of a fictional museum. Dion’s macabre treasure chamber will thus include amongst others Departments of Zoology and Archeology, a Bureau of Museums and the Culture of Collections, a Hunting Salon, aCinematheque and a Cabinet of Mystery. As part of the exhibition of his own work, the artist will present a selection of objects from Museum Het Domein’s historical collection and from other local museums and archives. The objects vary from local archeological findings to an eleventh-century tree-trunk coffin with a female skeleton. As is the case with all of Dion’s presentations, the exhibition in Het Domein can be considered an attempt to restore something of our earlier notion of the universal museum with its hybrid combinations of different disciplines and fields of knowledge. Newly inciting the curiosity of the museum-goer is just as essential. The artist once proclaimed that museums should be restored to their roles as “powder kegs of the imagination.”

For more information and visuals, visit the museums homepage.

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

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COAL Prize Art and Environment 2013: Adaptation

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

CALL FOR ENTRIES

Application deadline: February 28th, 2013

http://www.projetcoal.org/coal/category/prix-coal-2013/

The Coal Prize Art and Environment rewards each year a project by a contemporary artist involved in environmental issues. Its goals are to promote and support the vital role which art and creation play in raising awareness, supporting concrete solutions and encouraging a culture of ecology. The winner is selected out of ten short-listed by a jury of well-known specialists in art, research, ecology and sustainable development.

The 2013 Coal Prize will reward entries that focus on adaptation issues. The award of the 2013 Coal Prize will take place in spring 2013 at Le Laboratoire, a private art center specializing in the blending of art and science.

The prize carries an award of 10,000 Euros. Launched in 2010 by the French organization Coal, the coalition for art and sustainable development, the Coal Prize is supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, theFrench Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, the National Centre of Fine Arts (CNAP), Le Laboratoire, PwC and a private benefactor.

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

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COAL Prize Art and environment 2013 – Call for proposals

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Theme: Adaption

The Coal Prize Art and Environment rewards each year a project by a contemporary artist involved in environmental issues. Its goals are to promote and support

upport the vital role which art and creation play in raising awareness, supporting concrete solutions and encouraging a culture of ecology. The winner is selected out of ten short-listed by a jury of well-known specialists in art, research, ecology and sustainable development

The 2013 Coal Prize will reward entries that focus on adaptation issues.

The award of the 2013 Coal Prize will take place in spring 2013 at Le Laboratoire, a private art center specializing in the blending of art and science.

Application deadline: February 28th, 2013

For more information, 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

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COAL Prize 2012 – Rural

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Call for entries – Open to January 15th 2012

The COAL PRIZE Art&Environment reward each year a project about the environment by a contemporary artist. The winner is chosen by a jury of personalities from the worlds of contemporary art, research, ecology and sustainable development, out of 10 finalists selected from an international call for entries.

The COAL Prize supports the vital role of culture and creation for taking stock and then rolling out concrete solutions. COAL Prize is helping to foster a culture of ecology.

SPECIAL EDITION : in 2012, the COAL Prize will reward entries that focus on rural issues and agriculture.

The COAL Prize, worth 10 000 euros, was launched in 2010 by the French association COAL, the coalition for art and sustainable development

All details on www.projetcoal.fr

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

“Can Artists Change China?” Lecture, film and panel debate around the arrest of Ai Weiwei

This post comes to you from Cultura21

By Ronja Röckemann

Since April 3rd 2011, world-renowned contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei is detained by the police in China, sparking worldwide protests from governments, human rights groups and art insti-tutions, among others, calling for his release. How far can artists contribute to social transformations towards sustainability in contemporary China? On June 16th 2011, a special evening is being organized at Leuphana University Lüneburg (Germany), asking this and other questions, around the case of Ai Weiwei and addressing the contemporary human rights situation in China, as well as the roles of artists engaged in questions of social transformations and sustainability. An 18-minute segment produced by filmmaker Alison Klayman will be shown as part of the event, followed by a panel debate with the exhibition organizer Roger M. Buergel, international human rights activist David Knaute and conceptual artist Anke Haarmann.

The panel will be moderated by political scientist Ursula Scheid as well as Volker Kirchberg, who is the professor for cultural distribution and cultural organization at Leuphana University. The film will be preceded by a press conference by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and by a lecture on artistic initiatives for ecology and sustainability in contemporary China.

About the participating speakers:

Roger M. Buergel studied art, philosophy and economics. He is an exhibition organizer and author. In the years 1997 to 2004 he realized several exhibitions together with Ruth Noack, among them „The Government“ at the Kunstraum of the University of Lüneburg. He was director of documenta 12 in Kassel (2007), a show for which he had invited Ai Weiwei. In the last years he has been teaching at the art school of Karlsruhe. 2010 he curated an exhibitions with works by Ai Weiwei in the new DKM museum in Duisburg. He is known to be one of the persons with the highest familiarity with the artistic work of Ai Weiwei.

Anke Haarmann is a conceptual artist, curator, PhD in Philosophy and PostDoc at the ICRA/ IKKK, Leuphana University Lüneburg. Since 2004 she visited China and Japan many times for theoretical and artistic research. Her work focused recently on public urban space, art interventions and art in the public interest. In 2008 and 2010 she realized two exhibition platforms on Shanghai in collaboration with Chinese and German artists. The 2010 platform in Shanghai had to be canceled due to pressure by local authorities, and turned to the public space as its venue.

David Knaute is the Asia Director for the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). As such, he works closely with FIDH member organization in China, Human Rights in China (HRIC), which operates in exile from New-York City. David has previous human rights work experiences in conflict-affected countries in Asia.

Moderation:

Ursula Scheid studied Political Sciences with a focus on China at the LMU Munich, attended the German School of Journalism (DJS) and worked as a free writer. In 2003, she further studied at the Munich Film School (University of Television and Film). Her first documentary is an essay about the new bourgeoisie in China. While she was living in Beijing for four years, she got to know Ai Weiwei and accompanied him in his documentation project Fairytale.

Volker Kirchberg: Director of the ICRA/ IKKK, Volker Kirchberg is University Professor for Cultural Distribution and Cultural Organization in Applied Cultural Sciences at Leuphana University Lüneburg. He is the author of numerous publications on culture and urban sociology at the interface of market, state and the non-profit sector. His current research includes studies of museum visitors (e.g. “eMotion” project), cultural consumption, and multiple relations between creativity and urban development.

About the Lecture:

At 19:45 Sacha Kagan will give an introductory lecture about the engagements of contemporary artists for sustainability in China. He is Research Associate at the ICRA/ IKKK, Leuphana University Lüneburg and founder of the International level of Cultura21 – Network for Cultures of Sustaina-bility, as well as the International Summer School of Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (ASSiST). The focus of his research and cultural work lies in the trans-disciplinary field of arts and (un-)sustainability. His work in past years involved several Asian-European cultural exchanges, including a conference in Beijing in 2008 organized by the Asia Europe Foundation.

About the documentary film “Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry: Can an Artist Change China?”

The 18 minutes film we will project on June 16th at 20:30 is a preview of an upcoming feature-length documentary film About Ai Weiwei by Alison Klayman. From 2008 to 2010, Beijing-based journalist and filmmaker Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai Weiwei. Klayman documented Ai’s artistic process in preparation for major museum exhibitions, his intimate ex-changes with family members and his increasingly public clashes with the Chinese government. Klayman’s detailed portrait of the artist provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.The film’s website is: www.aiweiweifilm.org/en.

About the partnership with the FIDH: The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) will be present at the event. Apart from David Knaute (see above), the Permanent Representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), based in Bangkok, Thailand, will be attending. Shiwei Ye works closely and coordinates action with FIDH’s member or-ganizations in Southeast Asia. Shiwei has prior experience working on China-related projects for US-based human rights organizations.

About the organizers

This event is organized by Cultura21 and by several departments of the Leuphana University Lu-eneburg, i.e. the students cinema association (Unikino), the Institute of Cultural Theory, Research, and the Arts (IKKK) and the Kunstraum, in partnership with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Cultura21 – “cultural fieldworks for sustainability,” is a transversal, translocal network gathering artists, cultural practitioners and aca-demics engaged for the promotion of ‘cultures of sustainability’ in the sense of a sustainable, social ecological change process. It is constituted of an international network and of several Cultura21 organizations around the world. In Germany, where Cultura21 first emerged in 2005, the organization ‘Cultura21 Institut eV’ supports the German-speaking Cultura21 network. Website: www.cultura21.net.

The Leuphana University Lüneburg is a German University committed to humanistic values of liberal arts and sciences as basic principles for self-determined lives, successful careers, and social responsibility in a changing global society. “A university for civil society in the 21st century,” Leuphana introduced a university model which is unique within the German academic landscape. Website: www.leuphana.de.

FIDH is an international NGO defending all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, set out in the Universal Declaration of Hu-man Rights. It is also a federalist movement that acts through and for its national member and partner organizations. By remaining in per-manent interaction with local civil societies, it can rapidly identify local obstacles to the work of defenders and take the necessary steps to mobilise support for them. Website: www.fidh.org.

Unikino is Leuphana University Lüneburg’s students association for cinema. This honorary, self-organized group of students often coop-erates with seminars, courses and other groups of interest who are in need of movies to complete their aspired informational goal. During a normal semester they regularly show movies on Mondays.

The Kunstraum of Leuphana University Lüneburg is a contemporary art institution. Its exhibition program is based on collaborations of art-ists, curators and scholars of the humanities as well as the social sci-ences, including their students. Website: www.uni-lueneburg.de/interarchiv/projekte.html.

The Institute of Cultural Theory, Research, and the Arts (ICRA – IKKK in German language) pursues theoretical and empirical research on culture and the arts, the scientific and cultural transfer from academia to praxis as well as teaching from perspectives based in the humani-ties, social and economic sciences. The Institute is organized in the following units: Philosophy, Sociology of the Arts, Cultural Marketing and Communication, Literary Studies, Cultural History. Website: www.leuphana.de/ikkk.

Contacts

Organizer: Sacha Kagan (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

E-Mail: kagan(at)uni.leuphana.de; phone: (+49)1785441789

Press inquiries (event): Ronja Röckemann (Cultura21)

E-Mail: ronja_roeckemann(at)hotmail.com; phone: (+49)1608035165

Press inquiries (FIDH press conference): David Knaute (FIDH)

E-Mail: dknaute(at)fidh.org

 

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

Andrew Rogers: Time and Space

Andrew Rogers, a leading contemporary artist based in Australia, is primarily a sculptor.  His large works may be found in plazas and buildings around the world.  He is also the creator of the world’s largest contemporary land art undertaking.

Derived from an early sculpture, the Rhythms of Life project is composed of 47 land art structures, which can be found in 13 countries and on 7 continents.  The project is the result of 13 years of work, and the collaboration of 6,700 people from around the world.

The work is particularly unique in that Rogers has incorporated a great civic vision.  The structures represent a process, and local collaboration.  At many sites, a common Rhythms of Life piece is not far from a work that is local and unique to the community it represents.

For the first time, images of these works are on exhibition at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, California.  68 large scale photographs of Rogers’ Rhythms of Life project will be on display at the gallery until May 28, 2011.  You can also view the work online at www.andrewrogers.com/landart.

Rhythms of Life / Chile

Rhythms of Life / Chile

Rhythms of Life / Antarctica

Rhythms of Life / Antarctica

AWARD / PRIX COAL 2011

Description

The COAL Art & Environment prize was launched in 2010 by the French association COAL, the coalition for art and sustainable development, to reward a project about the environment by a contemporary artist.

The winner is chosen by a jury of personalities from the worlds of contemporary art, research, ecology and sustainable development, out of 10 finalists selected from an international call for entries.

The COAL Prize 2011, worth 10 000 euros, comes under the auspices of the french Ministry of Culture and Communication, the National Centre of Fine Arts (CNAP), and enjoys the support of PwC and a private benefactor.

Special mention : To mark 2011 the International Year of the Forest and promote entries on this theme in 2011, a second prize will reward entries that focus on forest issues.

Schedule

The application period closes on 30 April 2011.

The prize will be awarded in May 2011.

Environment

Today, environmental degradation represents a growing concern, covering a very wide field:

  • resource management and depletion: water, energy, waste…
  • crisis factors: system of production and consumption, pollution, demographics, land use…
  • environmental crises: climate change, rising water levels, loss of biodiversity…
  • conceptual framework: environmental law, shared assets, social justice, community harmony…

Jury and selection committee

The 2011 juryand selection committee are currently being assembled.

Are already confirmed :

Bernard Blistène, directeur du département du développement culturel du Centre Pompidou et directeur artistique du Nouveau Festival.

Dominique Bourg, philosopher;

Anne-Marie Charbonneaux, president of the National Centre of Fine Arts;

Patrick Degeorges, Biodiversity department, Ministry of ecology

Eva Hober, Art dealer;

Philippe Jousse, Art dealer;

Sacha Kagan, Founder Cultura21

Sylvain Lambert, PwC associate, sustainable development service

Laurence Tubiana, founder of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations(IDDRI)

Theresa Van Wuthenau, coordinatrice du réseau Imagine2020

Selection of entries

The entry selection criteria take stock of the artistic value, relevance (understanding the issues), originality (ability to introduce novel approaches, themes, and points of view), pedagogy (ability to get a message across, to raise awareness), a social and participative approach (engagement, testimony, efficiency, societal dynamics), eco-design, feasibility.

An artist’s specialisation on the environment is not a selection criterion. The aim of the prize is to encourage artists to focus on environmental issues.

An internationally renowned scientific committee

As part of the call for entries, COAL is organizing a meeting between artists and members of the scientific committee, with a view to providing tailored guidance. This scientific committee is made up of:

Edouard Bard, climatologist, Collège de France, science academy, CNRS

Nathalie Blanc, geographer, CNRS UMR LADYSS

Dominique Bourg, philosopher, IEP, UTT, member of the ecology watch committee of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation,

Denis Couvet, ecologist, MNHN, polytechnic,

Alain Grandjean, associate director, Carbone 4, member of the ecology watch committee of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation.

Coal prize award ceremony

The COAL Art & Environment Prize ceremony is a unique event held in a symbolic location, attended by the artist finalists and personalities from the world of art and sustainable development.

Entries by artist finalists are displayed to promote networking with bodies and authorities, which could facilitate the future realisation of projects.

Support for entries after the COAL prize

Beyond the award ceremony, the COAL prize is an opportunity to promote the entries and artists involved and to demonstrate the creative potential of fine arts with regards to the environment and related issues.

COAL fosters the networking of artists with scientists and stakeholders, and produces, encourages and promotes the numerous entries to the COAL Prize at exhibitions, events and commissions.

Application package

This should comprise the following documents, assembled in a single PDF file:

  • A Curriculum Vitae and artistic dossier;
  • A summary and illustrated description of the entry, detailing its artistic aspects and its relevance to the environment;
  • A note on the technical aspects of the entry, notably in terms of the construction and means of production;
  • An estimated budget.

Submission

Deadline 30 April 2011

All proposals should be submitted to the COAL FTP server at before 30 April 2011.

Particular conditions

By entering this competition, applicants expressly authorize the COAL association to publish, reproduce and display in public all or part of the elements of their entry, for any purposes linked to the promotion and communication of the COAL project, on all platforms, media, in all countries and for the LEGAL DURATION OF THE COPYRIGHT. Entries submitted but not selected will be held in the archives of the COAL association. They will, however, remain the property of their authors.

Participation in this call entails the full acceptance of the conditions laid out above.

Contact

COAL www.projetcoal.fr

For any further requests please write to contact@projetcoal.fr

AWARD / PRIX COAL 2011 : coal.

Ecoartspace West: Report from Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim by Patricia Watts

Last month I was invited to participate on an artist selection panel for the Grand Canyon South Rim Artist-in-Residency Program. This AIR program is only a couple years old and was inspired by the North Rim program, which began six years ago and has placed traditional representational painters in residence. The new AIR coordinator for the South Rim program, Rene Westbrook, is a contemporary artist and member of The Caravan Project, which is a collaborative of artists who have performed mobile art shows inside and outside trailers since 1992. Westbrook was interested to bring a more diverse range of artistic media to the program this year, a goal that was apparently supported by the other panelists including a local artist, executive director of a chamber orchestra, a publications specialist for the park, and current artist in residence. Together we selected 12 artists (out of 62) who have been invited to come to the Grand Canyon betweenOctober 2009 and September 2010 and spend up to three weeks creating new work. Each of these artists will be asked to donate one piece inspired by the residency to become part of the NPS Collection.



Another important goal wa
s to select artists who showed an interest in addressing one or all of the Park’s Interpretive Themes, including but not limited to: Water, Geology, Biology, Conservation, Inspiration, and Native American Connections. Westbrook felt that since recent programming at NPS has encouraged dialogue around the advocacy of environmental issues like climate change, water rights and indigenous people’s rights that it would be relevant to include more conceptual or content driven art that may have previously been considered too political. This is the new wave of Parks management, which I understand the superintendent at the Grand Canyon has embraced.

Of the 12 artists selecte
d there were two landscape painters (Susan Klein and David Alexander), three photographers (Kim Henkel, Michael Miner and Leah Sobsey), a jeweler (Erica Stankwytch Bailey), a writer (Dana Wildsmith), a yodeler (Randy Erwin – Cowboy Randy), and four multimedia artists (Bridget Batch andKevin CooleyAndrew Demirjian, and Aaron Ximm). Kim Henkel proposed to do a pinhole photography workshop with visitors at the park and Leah Sobsey solar prints of plants, which looked like they would be a valuable addition to the NPS collection. And, believe it or not, I was quite taken with the potential of Cowboy Randy’s proposal to create new yodels that reflect the Park Themes! Bridget Batch and Kevin Cooley, a husband/wife collaboration proposed to engage the Native American population in a photo/film documentary, a very contemporary ethnographic portrait.

Of particular interest to me were two sound artists, Andrew Demirjian and Aaron Ximm, who included proposals to do audio postcards of the Grand Canyon. There is such potential to engage the elemental and architectural features at this site that these more conceptual artists, I believe, will be better able to actively engage a captive audience with temporal interventions in the landscape. Also, this more media driven work can also be experienced online for those who cannot make thetrip to the “big ditch” as the locals call it. Both artists will be in residence during the peak tourist season at the Park next year.


Some interesting facto
ids about the Grand Canyon:

  • Grand Canyon National Park is located in of one the cleanest remaining pockets of air in the United States and is a Class I area.
  • Legislation passed in 1975 to enlarge Grand Canyon National Park contained the first-ever clause mandating the federal protection of “natural quiet and experience.”
  • Although Grand Canyon reveals rocks ranging from 270 to 1,840 million (1.8 billion) years old, the landscape is relatively young, having been sculpted in just the last 5-6 million years.
  • The vastness of its landscape—an average depth of 4,000 feet, width of 10-18 miles, and a length of 277 river miles—contains a seemingly infinite system of colorfully sculptured plateaus, mesas, buttes, cliffs, slopes, ridgelines, and side canyons.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Grand Canyon National Park as a World Heritage Site in 1979, recognizing it as a place of universal value under natural world heritage site criteria to be preserved as a part of the heritage of all peoples.


The South Rim National Park gets
approximately 4.5 million visitors a year, mostly from Europe and Asia. It definitely felt like visiting a foreign country.

From Left to Right (AIR Jurors): Rene Westbrook, Burt Harclerode, Patricia Watts, Kim Buchheit, Richard Chalfant, and Tom Pittenger.


Art from Top to Bottom: Detail of book cover The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World by Bert Plantenga which includes Cowboy Randy, Solar print by Leah Sobsey, Pinhole photograph by Kim Henkel, Sound installation by Aaron Ximm (the walls are listening).