Ecological Crisis

EMOS 2015 – Call for Scripts

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

Earth Matters On Stage

EMOS ~ Ecodrama Playwrights Festival & Symposium ~ 2015
Hosted by the Department of Theatre and Dance
At the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2015

CALL FOR SCRIPTS

First place Award: $1,000 and workshop production
Second place Award: $500 and possible workshop production
Honorable mentions: public staged reading

Deadline for Submissions is April 1, 2014. 

The mission of EMOS’ Ecodrama Playwrights Festival is to call forth and foster new dramatic works that respond to the ecological crisis and that explore new possibilities of being in relationship with the more-than-human world.  The central questions EMOS asks are “when we leave the theater are things around us more alive? Do we listen better, have a deeper or more complex sense of our own ecological identity?”[i]  If your play does, send to us!

The EMOS Festival includes workshop performance/s of winning script, readings, talkbacks and discussions of the scripts that are finalists in the Playwrights’ Contest.  A concurrent Symposium will includes speakers, panels and discussions that advance scholarship in the area of arts and ecology, and help foster development of new works.

Past EMOS Winners:

  • 2012– Sila, the first play of The Arctic Cycle, by Chantal Bilodeau, in which “a climate scientist, an Inuit activist and her daughter, two Canadian Coast Guard Officers, an Inuit Elder, and a polar bear—see their values challenged as their lives become intricately intertwined.”
  • 2009 – Song of Extinction, by Los Angeles playwright EM Lewis, in which a musically talented teen and his father whose mother/wife is dying come to understand the deeper meanings of “extinction” from a Cambodian science teacher.  Song of Extinction premiered in Los Angeles and was recently published by Samuel French.
  • 2004 – Odin’s Horse, by Chicago playwright Rob Koon, in which a writer learns something about integrity from a tree sitter and a lumber company executive, went on to premier in Chicago in 2006.

Judges: A panel of distinguished theatre artists from the USA and Canada will choose the winning plays from five finalists.  Finalist will be read by past EMOS festival directors, Larry Fried, Theresa May and Wendy Arons, as well as EMOS artistic staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Past judges have included:  Robert Schenkkan, playwright; Martha Lavey, Artistic Director, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, IL; José Cruz González, playwright; Ellen McLaughlin, playwright; Timothy Bond, Artistic Director Syracuse Stage, NY; Olga Sanchez, Artistic Director, Teatro Milagro, Portland, OR; Diane Glancy, playwright; Marie Clements, playwright, British Columbia.

Guidelines for Playwrights

Scripts must be original works which have not been published and have not had an Equity or “premiere” citation production.  (Readings or informal workshop productions are okay.)

Thematic Guidelines

We are looking for plays that do one or more of the following:

  • Put an ecological issue or environmental event/crisis at the center of the dramatic action or theme of the play.
  • Expose and illuminate issues of environmental justice.
  • Explore the relationship between sustainability, community and cultural diversity.
  • Interpret “community” to include our ecological community, and/or give voice or “character” to the land, or elements of the land.
  • Theatrically explore the connection between people and place, human and non-human, and/or between culture and nature.
  • Grow out of the playwright’s personal relationship to the land and the ecology of a specific place.
  • Theatrically examine the reciprocal relationship between human, animal and plant communities.
  • Celebrate the joy of the ecological world in which humans participate.
  • Offer an imagined world view that illuminates our ecological condition or reflects on the ecological crisis from a unique cultural or philosophical perspective.
  • Critique or satirizes patterns of exploitation, consumption, or other ingrained values that are ecologically unsustainable.
  • Are written specifically to be performed in an unorthodox venue such as a natural or environmental setting, and for which that setting is a not merely a backdrop, but an integral part of the intention of the play.

Submission Process

We are looking for full-length plays that are written primarily in English (no ten-minute plays, please; one-act plays are okay if 30+ minutes in length; no musicals, please).  Submitted plays should address the thematic guidelines as listed above. Deadline: April 1, 2014  ~ Early submission highly encouraged. / Electronic submissions may be sent; see #2 below for instructions.

  1. All submissions should include a cover page with:
  2. Two blind copies of the FIRST 30 PAGES OF THE SCRIPT ONLYPlease do not put the author’s name on the script, only on the title page.
  3. A synopsis of the play and cast requirements.
  • Play Title
  • Author Name
  • Contact Information
  • Additional requirements for Electronic Submissions:
    • Files must be saved in PDF; cover page may be a separate PDF file
    • Send to Jonathon Taylor at emos@unr.edu by April 1, 2014

Paper submissions must be received by April 1, 2014 to:

EMOS Festival
Jonathon Taylor, Department of Theatre and Dance,
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 North Virginia Street / MS 0228
Reno, NV 89557-0228

Evaluation Process

After reading the first 30 pages of all submitted plays, we will narrow the pool of submissions.  We will then request two full paper copies be sent to us by July 1, 2014.  Winners will be selected from this smaller pool.

Questions?  See our FAQ on the EMOS Website.  If you still have a question, email: emos@unr.edu.

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Call for Papers – Crisis, Critique and Change

This post comes to you from Cultura21

esa-150x150The European Sociological Association (ESA) is calling for papers for their 11th conference, taking place in Turin, Italy from the 28-31 August 2013. The topic of the conference is “Crisis, Critique and Change“.

There are multiple calls by all the different Research Network and Research Streams, ranging from Environment and Society or Quantitative Research to Social Theory, as well as a Call for Paper for a pre-conference PhD Workshop at the end of August.

One particular Research Network is the Sociology of the Arts RN chaired by Tasos Zembylas:

Art’s position within society and politics has always been complex and ambivalent. Artists may raise a critical voice or offer ideological legitimation for a dominant, hegemonic image of society. They may display a strong commitment or keep a distance from others’ fate. The attitude of the arts towards contemporary issues such as the ecological crisis, the debt crisis, violence against minorities and opponents, economic exploitation, and deprivation of people’s rights has never lost any relevance. Therefore, we would like to create special sessions and invite papers on this topic with the expectation that they may include a broad nexus of sub-issues around the relation and commitment of arts in society.

More information on this specific call, is available here.

The deadline for submissions is the 1st February 2013. For further information on the Conference, all the Calls for Papers and the submission procedure please visit:http://www.esa11thconference.eu/home/

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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Alternative Conference for the Rio Summit

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Taking place on June 16th and 17th, 2012 in London, UK.  At the central London Universities – SOAS, the Institute of Education (IOE) and University College London (UCL).

Organised by the Campaign against Climate Change with the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Department for Development Studies. Opening plenary in IOE, Thornhaugh Street off Russell Square, Russell Square Tube.

 Rio to Rio: 20 wasted years?

  •  Between 1992 and 2012:
  • The global surface temperature has risen by 0.38C.
  • The Arctic sea ice has decreased by 2.94 million square kilometres.
  • The CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 35.19 PPM.
  • 30 661 900 hectares of Brazilian forest have been lost.
  • More than 431,215.08 million tonnes of CO2 have been emitted.
  • The amount of CO2 emitted per year has risen from 21,421.45 to 30,398.42 million tonnes.

A wide range of workshops and seminars – and an exciting main plenary – are planned. Titles include :

  • “Food Security how can we stop a tragedy unfolding?”
  • “Green Energy versus ‘Extreme’ Energy”
  • “One Million Climate Jobs”
  • “Inequity is not only bad for society but a barrier to dealing effectively with the ecological crisis”
  • “Renewing Political Commitment to win the global battle against eco-calamity: a lost cause or is there a way forward?”
  • “We will not achieve environmental justice without a fundamental shift in values”
  • “New legal frameworks for a new era of environmental progress and justice”
  • “Can London lead the way in the fight against climate meltdown?”

and more workshops on: Green growth vs De-growth; bioenergy and land grabs; forests and biodiversity; aviation; geo-engineering; oceans; Zero Carbon Britain by 2030; arctic methane time bomb; generational justice; climate refugees;civil disobedience; “fracking”; population, gender and climate change; false solutions; TREC: energy from the deserts…and more.

To register a place at the conference click here.

This is a free event but donations to help the campaign would be appreciated.

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

Screenings of An Ecology of Mind

Screenings with Nora Bateson of her film An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson
London, Manchester, Bradford, Bristol, Dartington, Glasgow, Edinburgh

15 – 27 February 2012

“Tell me a story” … of life, art and science, of systems and survival

 Gregory Bateson’s way of thinking – seeing the world as relationships, connections and patterns – continues to influence and provoke new thinking about human social life, about ecology, technology, art, design and health. Nora Bateson, Gregory’s youngest daughter, introduces Bateson’s ideas to new audiences in her film An Ecology of Mind, using the metaphor of a relationship between father and daughter, and footage of Bateson’s talks.

Each screening, too, hosts a discussion between Nora and a wide range of people working in depth with Gregory Bateson’s ideas: artists, architects, organisation theorists, action researchers, ecological activists, mental health practitioners, scientists, urban designers, cyberneticians.

These screenings and discussions show a way of thinking that crosses fields of knowledge and experience, one that can lead out of the ecological crisis and towards a more sound way of living.

News items could feature all or any one of the following angles: culture and science, cities and ecology, biology and communication, family health and systemic therapies, technologies and religion.

Nora Bateson is available for interview; please contact Wallace Heim, as above.

Gregory Bateson, British-American anthropologist, biologist, systems thinker (1904 – 1980),  invited people to look at a thing – an earthworm, a number sequence, a tree, a definition of addiction, anything at all – by seeing the interdependencies that connect them and the processes beneath the structures. He believed, “The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between the way nature works and the way people think.”

Tour dates:

15 & 16 Feb – Manchester

17 Feb – Glasgow

20 Feb – Bradford

21 Feb – Bristol

22 Feb – Dartington

23 & 24 Feb – Edinburgh

27 February – London

UK Press:

Interview with Nora Bateson by Rachel Freeman on The Ecologist online:

http://www.theecologist.org/how_to_make_a_difference/culture_change/1198372/an_ecology_of_mind_film_interprets_a_life_of_unconventional_thought.html

“For me, watching Nora Bateson’s film was overwhelming. Her biggest achievement is in explaining abstract concepts in a clear way. Until now, Batesons’ work has been largely inaccessible outside the academic community. With this film, this is bound to change”

Jan van Boeckel, Resurgence, Jan-Feb 2012

Gobal Press:

“The double bind that we now face is this: on the one hand, we want to preserve our natural environment; on the other, everything we do to grow our economy and preserve our standard of living disrupts the natural environment and our relationships with it. Nora, like her father, suggests that we must raise our consciousness and learn to think in new ways to escape our pathology of wrong thinking…Nora Bateson presents viewers not only with an intellectually challenging and inspiring work of art, but also with a glimpse of evanescent hope.”

Marilyn Wedge, Huffington Post, 13 October 2011

“Gregory Bateson taught us how to stop having the most fundamental old ideas: the static, separating, reductionist fictions that dis-integrate an integrated world. Nora Bateson’s beautiful portrait of her father’s key insights is a stunningly effective antidote for a new generation that now needs his wisdom more than ever.”

Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

An Ecology of Mind is a spell-binding, lyrical, and very important film…”

Rex Weyler – Co-Founder, Greenpeace International

Awards for the film:

  • Gold for Best Documentary, Spokane International Film Festival, 2011
  • Audience Award Winner, Best Documentary, Santa Cruz Film Festival, 2011
  • Winner, Media Ecology Association, John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis, 2011

ashdenizen: representing the unrepresentable

In this guest post, Kellie Payne, reports on Bruno Latour's recent talk at the Tate.

The French sociologist Bruno Latour gave the keynote address at this month's Tate Britain’s symposium Beyond the Academy: Research as Exhibition. His address considered the environmental crisis as a particular challenge which would require natural history, art museums and academia to join forces. The challenge, he said, was that “climate change is currently unrepresentable”.

In an effort to address this, Latour has embarked on a number of projects. One is the School of Political Arts at the Sciences Po in Paris. The school, which will be formally launched this year, will bring together young professionals in the social sciences and arts to attempt to represent the political problem of climate change. Latour says the school will “not join science, art and politics together, but rather disassemble them first and, unfamiliar and renewed, take them up again afterwards, but differently.”

Latour is also working on establishing a new type of Biennale in Venice, which will incorporate social scientists into artistic production. By bringing together social scientists and artists, Latour wants to address these issues in new ways. He expressed interest in Avatar, calling it the first ‘Gaia’ film, beginning this task of rethinking the ecological crisis and exploring ways of making it representable.

His engagement with climate change includes his participation in the Nordic Exhibition of the year Rethink: Contemporary Art and Climate Change which was staged in Copenhagen during COP15. He contributed to the Rethink exhibition catalogue with the essay “It's Development, Stupid” Or: How To Modernize Modernization. It is a response to Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, Break Through – From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility. In this essay, Latour argues that the separation of the subjective from the real into dichotomies such as 'nature' and 'culture' must end. In order to begin to tackle the challenges we are facing, we must acknowledge just how closely human and nature are entwined. He has given a lecture on ‘Politics and Nature’ at the Rethink The Implicit venue at the Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art.

Latour spent most of his Tate talk discussing two of his previous exhibition projects which combined the talents of artists and social scientists. Both exhibits were produced with Peter Weibel at ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. The first, Iconoclash (2002), which brought together a team of curators, including Hans Ulrich Obrist from the Serpentine Gallery, examined how iconoclasts are represented in art, religion and science. The second, Making Things Public, partnered artists with social scientists to create individual exhibits. The exhibition was centred on a number of themes: Assembling or Disassembling; Which Cosmos for which Cosmopolitics; The Problem of Composition; From Objects to Things; From Laboratory to Public Proofs; The Great Pan is Dead!; Reshuffling Religious Assemblies; The Parliaments of Nature. The exhibition sought to materialise the concept of a ‘Parliament of Things’.

Latour conceptualised his exhibitions as thought experiments, but found the exhibitions themselves to be failures, saying that most of the individual projects within the exhibition failed as works of art. The books that accompanied the exhibitions, in particular, Making Things Public, a large book created after the exhibition, were more successful.

This was one of the themes that emerged from the day at Tate: whether certain exhibitions work better as books. Latour said that working on exhibitions has been one of the most interesting parts of his academic life. Exhibitions, he said, have a different rhythm and intensity of work and creating the ‘thing in the space’ adds to intellectual life. But creating an exhibition must be different to writing. When exhibitions merely illustrate a point, no gain is made.

Latour’s interests have now moved towards ecology and the role of the arts in representing our environmental challenges and the need for artists and social scientists to collaborate on these issues. He said he himself is writing a play on climate change.

Kellie Payne is a PhD student in the Geography department at the Open University researching culture and climate change.

via ashdenizen: representing the unrepresentable.

WOOLOO.ORG in ARTFORUM

An Excerpt from Daniel Boese’s article in ARTFORUM on Wooloo’s “New Life Coppenhagen”.

“We work in the medium of hospitality,” Rosengaard says. The “New Life” project created the possibility for strangers to share their homes and experiences, to thus collaborate under the broad goal of addressing climate change in a global conference and treaty. All participants created the work together, unlike public art projects in which artists serve as teachers for a lay public. Individual acts of hospitality create hope in the face of planetary ecological crisis; strangers can agree and cooperate. But our heads of state did not follow suit; they failed to usher in an age of global cooperation at the summit. “New Life” walked the line between art and activism in a new way, updating tactics pioneered by Beuys, Gran Fury, and the Russian Constructivists: Times have changed, and the problems have only become more urgent.

WOOLOO.ORG.

Sustainability and Contemporary Art Symposium Budapest

Sustainability and Contemporary Art: Art, Post-Fordism and Eco-CritiqueInternational Symposium

EU Budapest 19-20 March 2010

Ralo Mayer, Multi-Plex Fictions

Ralo Mayer, Multi-Plex Fictions

The 2010 Symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art brings together artists, philosophers, environmental scientists and activists to explore the conundrum of capitalism’s remarkable ability to absorb criticism and adapt to new circumstances. According to post-Fordist theory, in the wake of the social upheaval of May 1968 capitalism was able to recuperate radical desires for freedom, creativity and personal liberation through the adoption of the principles of flexibility, horizontality and autonomy, and the shift from industrialism to immaterial labour.

Today, the energy and idealism of the environmental movement is arguably in a similar danger of being transformed into the motor of a green capitalist resurgence that threatens to rescue neo-liberal globalisation from the economic downturn. This symposium asks whether environmentalism is in fact now facing its own ‘post-Fordist moment’, in which the language and values of ecology are at risk of being turned into an ideology of bureaucratic control and a technocratic justification for sustainable growth. It also raises the question of whether the environmental movement has anything to learn from the strategies of resistance proposed by the theorists of immaterial labour and the exploration of these issues by contemporary artists.

In the wake of the debacle of the Copenhagen Climate Summit, the question arises whether there might be more to ecological crisis than mitigating the threat posed by climate change to the current global economic system, and whether the danger posed by the depletion of natural resources and the destruction of bio-diversity deserves to be a greater priority. The symposium will try to locate a sense of eco-criticality in the approaches of contemporary artists, and also consider the implications of an ecologically-nuanced, post-Fordist critique for the international art world.

The symposium on Art, Post-Fordism and Ecological Critique is the fifth in an annual series of events organised at Central European University by Maja and Reuben Fowkes of Translocal.org, the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, and the Centre for Arts and Culture at CEU. This year’s programme will include an afternoon of presentations and critical conversations in the main auditorium of Central European University on Friday 19 March, and a workshop event with symposium participants on the following day.

A small number of additional places are available for the workshop upon application.

Confirmed speakers include: Stephen Wright (art theorist, Paris), Igor Stokfiszewski(curator/critic/playwright, Warsaw), Branka Cvjeticanin (multimedia artist, Zagreb) and Ralo Mayer (artist, Vienna).

via Sustainability and Contemporary Art Symposium Budapest.