Creative Spaces

Artists’ Plans for Sustainability – June 5th at Warwick Arts Centre

Wednesday 5th June 2-4.30pm

beuysimageOne of the Creative Spaces’ research focuses has been the role of the arts and artists in developing sustainable cities. Following our curiosity, we would like to take the opportunity of Mead Gallery’sexhibition “Artists’ Plans for Sustainability” to invite three artists to give 15-minute presentations of their work. This will be followed by a roundtable discussion with Warwick academics, addressing the question of:

The Role of Art in Developing the Sustainable City’

Visitors attending the roundtable will have the opportunity to comment or ask questions.

The event is free but places are limited, so please reserve a place in advance by phoning Warwick Arts Centre box office: 024 76524524.

Artists:

  • Nils Norman, Ion Sørvin (N55) and Carolyn Deby (sirenscrossing)

Academics:

  • Dr Nicolas Whybrow (chair, Theatre and Performance Studies)
  • Dr Cath Lambert (Sociology)
  • Dr Jonathan Vickery (Cultural Policy Studies)
  • Dr Ria Dunkley (IATL and Cardiff University Sustainable Places Institute)
  • Dr Susan Haedicke (Theatre and Performance Studies)
  • Nese Tosun (PhD candidate, Theatre and Performance Studies)

Creative Spaces is a network member of the AHRC-funded ‘Making Sense of
Sustainability’ arts and social sciences collaboration based at Cardiff
University.(PDF Document)


Creative Spaces Research at the moment focuses on two main areas:

The Role of the Arts in Developing Sustainable Cities

For Rosalyn Deutsche urban space is not only socially-produced but agonistic. Thus, the practices of urban societies – that which its various constituencies do or are allowed to do – defines or creates the space of the city, and such space is dependent for its very condition of existence on that which is produced by ‘conflicting interests’. As Henri Lefebvre puts it with regard to the abstract space of modernism and capital: ‘Inasmuch as [such space] tends towards homogeneity, towards the elimination of existing differences or peculiarities, a new space cannot be born (produced) unless it accentuates differences’ (1991: 52).

Read more (PDF) >  (PDF Document)

Venice and Sustainability

The city of Venice conveys an impression of sinking. It is known to be doing so literally – some twenty-three centimetres in the last century – with the fabric and foundations of buildings gradually dissolving and the seasonal floods of the acqua alta on the increase, whilst figuratively the sheer weight of tourists – estimated at 16.5 million annually – can be said to be forcing the city down and its citizens to ‘jump ship’ in a desperate bid to save their futures.

Read more (PDF) > (PDF Document)

Minutes of the previous meetings are available here:

24.10.2012 (PDF Document)

30.01.2013 (PDF Document)

Turning archives into social media spaces

Just spent a little while taking  a brief but enjoyable gambol in  this new gallery/museum-based social media project, Creative Spaces. It’s a beta version, but already creates a great model of how to make collections more accessible, and how to let the public use material that might otherwise be gathering dust.  I should get out more, I know, but I do like the idea of not having to travel to museums.

Creative Spaces is based on the idea of creating groups and notebooks around subject areas. They have access to the digital archives  of  nine major galleries and museums, including the Tate, the Imperial War Museum, the V&A, the Natural History Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. The photo on the right is from a notebook  created by one user titled My Dream Green Home, which uses the collections to find inspiraton for modern green living. It shows a wartime community garden in Worcestershire in 1943, courtesy of the Imperial War Museum. The original caption reads:

The English village is a closely knit community, its inhabitants good neighbours who share their labours and their surplus produce. It is thus good ground on which to organise wartime Food Production Clubs to produce more food and save shipping space and transport. Clubs are run by villagers, with help from County Authorities. At Rowney Green, Worcester, a club helps villagers to cultivate more land, keep pigs, poultry and bees. Seeds and fertilizers are bought wholesale through the club, advice comes from the County Authority through Mr S T Buckley assistant instructor in horticulture.

It was a similar photograph taken in the US that inspired artist Amy Franceschini to start the Victory Gardens project in 2007. Amy was one of the artists I met in California last week; more of that soon.

Anyway, Creative Spaces is a really excellent project. They’re looking for people to get stuck in and beta test it, so go along and try it out. Myself? I’d like to see an advanced search facility, but I’m sure there are plenty of other tweaks that you could suggest…

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology Blog