Curiosity

Dark Skies Biosphere Residency

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Background

The Dark Skies/ Biosphere Project aims to explore the role of artists practice in a meaningful promotion of this beautiful area of Galloway, which has attracted both Dark Skies Park Status and is aiming to secure Biosphere status by Spring 2012. Dark Skies Park means it is one of the best places in the world to look at the stars due to low levels of light pollution. Biosphere refers to areas of landscape that have a good ecological balance and sustainability. There has already been much work done working closely with Mathew Dalziel and Louise Scullion (lead artists) to propose a programme of events and commission opportunities.

Residency

This residency is linked to the ongoing programme of artists’ proposals and events in Dark Skies Park/Biosphere. We anticipate that the selected candidate will work closely with Mathew and Louise to develop a promotional art/design edition for this fascinating place.

The residency gives an artist with an interest in science and arts a wonderful opportunity to work with this diverse and fascinating landscape and to be mentored by Scotland’s most distinctive ecological artists.

Who

We seek an artist or designer who is inspired and interested in the scientific aspects and opportunities in Dark Skies and Biosphere and their links to new discoveries in science. The Dark Skies Park has already links with the national astronomical society and other well-informed and exciting scientists and organisations. The selected artist’s interest or curiosity in science will ensure their practice engages with the exciting ecology and links between sky and land.

Artistic Outcome

We would anticipate that the residency would culminate with a workshop to launch the art edition and to discuss the role of artists as integral part of placemaking and their ability to recognize through research and practice the potential of place. Conversely to explore how the place has influenced the artist practice.

Budget: £8000 + European visit, mentoring and a materials budget.

Deadline for Applications: 28th November 2011

To Apply: Please submit a C.V. letter of interest and 5 images of previous work to:

jan@wide-open.net

Dr Jan Hogarth
Creative Director
Calside House,
Craigs Rd, Dumfries, DG1 4QJ

Mobile: 07801 232229

Other Wide Open projects:
www.stridingarches.com
www.gretnalandmark.com

 

 

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.
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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.

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Freespace by guest blogger Matthew Slaats

Freespace is an exploration of the relationships built between people and place, may they be urban, suburban or rural. It looks to inhabit the everyday space, the space that once was, and space that is constantly in between. The objective is to develop a network of sites, through partnerships with individuals and communities, to elucidate experiences of ownership, privacy, sustainability, and identity.

This process begins by asking about spaces that have meaning to you – may it be a vibrant moment from your past, a rethinking of a space that is familiar to all, or a curiosity along a walk. The project seeks out these spaces, using the public’s own intimate experiences. You are then able to donate to the site to Freespace through text and images, eventually being posted to a website that situates the location within a larger global network. By creating an archive of the meanings that connect people to place, relationships are built that reveals memory and challenges identity. Once the collection is defined, each site will become a node in a program to reconnect people with in space. Tours, site visits, and narratives will provide ways for engagement and expanded connections.

The concept for Freespace came while sitting at the summer home of the Vanderbilt Family in Hyde Park, NY, now a part of the National Park System. The space defines a relationship with place that most will never see or experience. The question of how this space represents the United States comes to mind? Even more specifically how does it represent my own experience? Where is the National Park site of the every day person? The ranch home or the suburban neighborhood comes to mind. What about spaces of decay? Empty lots are spattered across post-industrial cities. Going further, might we think of something more intimate, more private? Could a park reside in a memory, consist of a favorite chair, or the space between ones fingers?

Freespace asks the public to seek these spaces, defining them from their own perspective. They may be conceptual, textual, or physical; and range in size from micro to macro. The project looks to engage the range of associations that people have with space, building a collection of unique environments that take on further meaning by the fact that they are described, located and catalogued. In the end what will be defined is a breadth of perspective that shows the vitality of peoples relationship with what is around them.


To get involved go HERE and select the link “Getting Involved.”

On October 9/10th Freespace will be a part of the Conflux Festival in NYC.

Matthew Slaats is an artist based in Poughkeepsie, NY

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