Educator

‘Ten Billion’ from another side

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Wallace Heim writes:

Michael Billington, in his nomination of Ten Billion as the best theatre event of 2012, claims that all the people he knows who saw the production found it life-changing. From my unscientific poll of the dozen people I know who saw the production, including myself, it’s possible we were in a different theatre. The lecture was well-crafted, the production tight, but the event was neither moving, informative or motivating. It was ‘old news’, a ‘first-year introductory lecture’, ‘Al Gore without the cherry picker’.

Billington’s lauding of the production is encouraging. That he, and others, were deeply affected is even more so, although one wonders what he has avoided reading or seeing for the past 20 years if the information presented was shocking. But Billington finds that it is not merely the accumulation of statistics, but the presence – the performance – of Stephen Emmott, the verifiable scientist, the speaker with a creditable reputation outside the theatre, that gave the production its urgency.

For this audience, the fluid realm of belief and disbelief that makes theatre work had to break down for the shock of climate instability to be heard. At the same time, the very theatrical occasion of sitting in that darkened room redolent of emotions of past productions, listening to another human speak, heightened any effect.

Asking again of those who found the production lacking, I found in each person’s experience at least one, if not many moments when the numbers add up, when the terror hits, when someone trusted speaks about a future irreconcilable with what one could bear. These events can be motivating and if Ten Billion provided that for some, then theatre’s role as educator has been met.

But if you’ve already had that experience, theatre is where you want to go to understand it, and a collocation of facts will not do that. This is a far more confused territory, requiring human imagination and many avenues of intelligence, deliberation, conflict and consent. It requires doing something like the processes of science, itself – its questioning and cross-questioning, experimentation, doubt and informed agreement.

Theatre may not be the place to present firm courses of action; Emmott’s advice to get a gun falls especially short. Conventional forms of theatre may, or may not, be adequate to the combination of reality and fiction that understanding climate change demands. But theatre, or something like it, continues to be a place where collectively, humans find a way through. There will continue to be many kinds of productions for many kinds of audiences. The hunger for a theatre by the audience that gets the facts but wants more continues to be strong.

“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)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.

The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

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AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver – discussing “Science, Sustainability, and the Arts”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an international non-profit organization and the world’s largest general scientific society. Its mission is to “advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people” by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association.

Read on for more information about the themes of the 2012 AAAS Meeting and about a specific session on Science, Sustainability and Art…

In order to fulfill this mission, AAAS promotes cooperation among scientists and the public, defends scientific freedom, encourages scientific responsibility and supports scientific education. Furthermore, it is the publisher of the well-known scientific journal Science.

The AAAS Annual Meeting, scheduled for February 16-20 in Vancouver, is a multi-disciplinary gathering of international leading scientists. Its leading theme is “Flattening the World: Building a Global Knowledge Society”. For this occasion an array of speakers will gather in Vancouver, B.C. for four days of symposia, lectures, seminars, workshops, and poster sessions that cover every area of science, technology, and education.

One of the symposia will bring together three panelists who work at the intersection of science, sustainability, and art. They will focus in their discussion on the question how artistic work engages with leading issues in sustainability science, including preservation of biodiversity, the human ecological footprint, climate change, and contemporary urban life.
For more details on this session, see: http://aaas.confex.com/aaas/2012/webprogram/Session4478.html

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

APInews: Call: Arts/Justice Symposium, Toronto, May

Open Call

The Laurier Centre for Music in the Community calls for presentation proposals for “Arts for Social and Environmental Justice,” a symposium at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory, May 15, 2010. The one-day symposium features as keynote speakers arts-integration educator Rena Upitis; Stephen K. Levine, dean of the doctoral program in Expressive Arts: Therapy, Education, Consulting and Social Change at the European Graduate School; and cultural critic Max Wyman. The conference invites submissions dealing with the symposium themes in the form of research papers, interactive workshops and narrative papers describing practices in the educational or arts community. Deadline is February 15. The symposium is co-hosted by ISIS-Canada and the European Graduate School.

via APInews: Call: Arts/Justice Symposium, Toronto, May.

APInews: iLAND Announces 2009 iLAB Residencies

iLAND Announces 2009 iLAB Residencies

BIG CAAKe and the League of Imaginary Scientists + E.K.K.O have been awarded the 2009 iLAB residencies by iLAND, the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature and Dance. BIG CAAKe, a collaborative team including an artist/engineer/educator, a choreographer/cook, an artist/designer, an architect and a mycologist, will conduct “StrataSpore,” a project using mushrooms to develop dialogue about local New York City ecosystems and urban sustainability. The League of Imaginary Scientists and E.K.K.O., a collaborative team including an artist, a composer, an architect, an environmental researcher and a choreography collective, will develop “Waterways: fluid movements in a liquid city,” a project that examines water through environmental and sociological study and “transforms that information into choreographic actions that engage New Yorkers.” Get connected through the ongoing discussion on the iLAND Symposium blog.

via APInews: iLAND Announces 2009 iLAB Residencies .

2/28/09 Closing Reception response:

Smiles are not easily generated when thoughts lodge on the precarious state of our planet. Life hovers on a precipice of incalculable dimensions. While its scale, time, and location cannot be predicted, the direction of the fall over the precipice seems clear. It is pointing toward disaster. Without diverting us from this worrisome scenario, Joel Tauber delights his audience by offering them an opportunity to smile. We delight in his efforts to rescue a pitiful and lonely tree from its plight in the middle of a parking lot. The care and affection he lavishes upon this tree, as shown in his video installation, is more than endearing. It is a lesson in good environmental stewardship.

Linda Weintraub, writer, curator, educator, and artist and author of a series of college textbooks entitled Avant-Guardians: Textlets in Art and Ecology.
Go to EcoArtSpace