Forests

Cool Stories for when the planet gets hot III

Video Still: Richard Jochum: Halt, 2007 (one of the finalists for COOL STORIES II in 2009)

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

The third edition of an international art video competition on Global Warming by ARTPORT_making waves deadline for submissions May 9th, 2011.

After two successful editions, launched at Scope Basel in 2007 and repeated at Focus Basel in 2009, ARTPORT_making waves for the third edition collaborates with CINEMA PLANETA, the award-winning International Environmental Film Festival in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

We invite video artists worldwide to participate with works that explore Global Warming, focusing on forests in honor of the United Nations International Year of Forests 2011. Artists are encouraged to tell us their stories about deforestation or tree planting and its positive effects; they may also opt to approach the topic from symbolic, psychological or socio-political significances of forests. Our aim is to present a convincing survey of the current artistic exploration of this topic worldwide with 20 established and emerging artists, edited into a visually and conceptually coherent compilation by ARTPORT_making waves.

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

New artist call “Cool Stories For When The Planet Gets Hot III” launched

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Richard Jochum: Halt (video still), 2007 (finalist COOL STORIES II)

ARTPORT_making waves, an international art project which raises awareness of current social and political issues worldwide through theme-oriented exhibitions, residency programs and artists collaborations, proudly presents the third edition of its video contest “Cool Stories For When The Planet Gets Hot” on global warming.

After two successful editions, for the third edition ARTPORT collaborates with CINEMA PLANETA, the award-winning International Environmental Film Festival in Cuernavaca, Mexico. We invite video artists worldwide to participate with works that explore global warming, focusing on forests in honor of the United Nations International Year of Forests 2011. Artists are encouraged to tell us their stories about deforestation or tree planting and its positive effects; they may also opt to approach the topic of symbolic, psychological or socio-political significances of forests. Our aim is to present a convincing survey of the current artistic exploration of this topic worldwide with 20 etablished and emerging artists, edited into a visually and conceptually coherent compilation by ARTPORT_making waves. The final winner will be awarded an artist residency.

Deadline for submitting proposals is May 9, 2011.

For more information: www.artport-project.org

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

Open Call for Climate Change Art

“Calling artists to sketch a climate change design that will be created

using thousands of people in an iconic place threatened by climate change.”

***Deadline: September 6 2010 (midnight PST)***

Introduction

In November 2010, 350.org will organize 20 simultaneous public art pieces that are massive enough to be seen from space and located on the front-lines of the climate crisis – our sinking coastlines, endangered forests, melting glaciers, and polluted cities. We’re looking to recruit top and up-and-coming artists to design these images.  Each public art piece will be photographed by satellite and on site. The images will be widely distributed to mainstream media outlets around the world. 350.org is one of the few organizations in the world with the grassroots network to pull off such an ambitious project. In 2009, we organized over 5,200 events in more than 180 countries, what CNN dubbed “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.”

The Goal

To pierce the consciousness of the world on the eve of the next round of the United Nation Climate Talks, that we need action from our world’s leaders to get us to 350.

What the *%#? is 350?

350 is the parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere that we need to ensure that life as we currently know it continues. Some say it’s the most important number in the world.  In 2008 NASA’s James Hansen reported that we need to keep the CO2 level in the atmosphere below 350 parts per million if we want a planet “similar to the one on which civilization developed, and to which life is adapted.”  We’re at 390 now. Yikes.

To learn more about 350 please see below or visit: www.350.org

Your Role

We invite you to sketch a climate change inspired design that we will create using thousands of people in an iconic place threatened by climate change.  Your design will be captured via satellite and shared with the world.

GUIDELINES

Below are some basic parameters to consider for creating the design.

MATERIALS – We respect that each artist works within their own medium, but for this particular project, we would like to incorporate the people in 350’s amazing international grassroots network to realize your design, in essence have people physically make up some or all of your design with their bodies. 350.org can organize several thousand people to participate.  Because the designs will be captured from the sky, designs that have sharp contrast and bright colors are more likely to pop and be picked up by satellite.  Designs can also be a combination of humans + materials.

SIZE – The ideal minimum size for capturing the art via satellite is roughly equivalent to a soccer field,

e.g. 110 meters x 70 meters (120 yards x 75 yards).

The Nitty Gritty of “Sculpting with People”:  Each pixel in the satellite photo is 60cm x 60cm which translates into all “lines” for forming the designs ideally being at least 2 meters x 2 meters. If you are using humans, this means each “line” should be at least 5-10 people wide, (note this assumes the people are standing).  If your design involves people lying down or incorporating materials into the design, these numbers might shift.

TIME OF DAY – The satellite images can be taken during the day or at night. (If you’re considering a nighttime installation involving illumination, we encourage artists to consider light sources that are not energy intensive.)

“350” We encourage (but do not require), artists to find a way to incorporate this critical number into their piece. If artists opt not to incorporate 350 into the design, we ask that the number be placed on the side as a signature.  Artists can also engage traditional number systems to display the image, or investigate the concept of ¨parts per million¨.

Note: In order for 350 to be captured by satellite, the number needs to be at least 50ft x 30ft or 15m x 40m

LOCATIONS

Below is a list of the current locations where we will be creating the designs as well as climate change issues important to these regions:

United States

Los Angeles, California

Desert, New Mexico

Gulf of Mexico (most likely on the water collaborating with fisherman and fishing boats)

Midwest – location tbd

Mexico

Mexico City

Cancun (issue – sea level rise)

Dominican Republic

Bolivia

Altiplano near La Paz

Brazil

Clearcut in Jungle (issue – deforestation) or City – Sao Paulo

Iceland

Note because of limited daylight in November this will most likely be a light installation

Spain

Barcelona

Egypt

Desert outside of Cairo

South Africa

TBD

India

Mumbai (issue water and sea level rise)

Maldives (issue sea level rise)

Philippines

China

Shanghai or Beijing

Australia

Antarctica (issue massive ice melt)

350.ORG SUPPORT

Although 350.org cannot monetarily compensate artists, we will give artists full recognition for their designs as well as support and augment artists’ work in a multitude of ways:

  • REALIZE YOUR CONCEPT

350.org has an international grassroots network of people who can realize your concept.

  • MEDIA EXPOSURE

350.org has a stellar communications team with a successful track record of garnering press for their international actions.  For example, last October, 350.org coordinated 5200 simultaneous demonstrations around the world, what CNN called ‘the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history’ on any issue.  Due to 350.org communications team, these actions were also widely covered by a wealth of media outlets from local to global media giants like CNN.

350.ORG

350.org is an international campaign that’s building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis–the solutions that science and justice demand.

Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

Our focus is on the number 350–as in parts per million CO2. If we can’t get below that, scientists say, the damage we’re already seeing from global warming will continue and accelerate.  But 350 is more than a number–it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.

CRITERIA

Entries will be judged using the following criteria:

  • a. Effectiveness in communicating a climate change message with a creative image.
  • b. Likelihood the design can be created in the specific sites 350.org has identified.
  • c. Likelihood the image will easily be captured by satellite according to the aforementioned guidelines.

ARTWORK

Designs must be original work created by the artists.  By submitting a design to 350.org’s EARTH, artists are granting 350.org permission to use this design for the 350.org EARTH project.  350.org will give full credit to the artists whose designs we use.

METHOD for SUBMITTING ART

Please note that we will only be able to accept online submissions: www.350.org/earth

FINAL DESIGNS

We will be contacting artists whose designs we will be creating, Monday, September 13, 2010.  Please note that due to our limited capacity, we will be unable to respond to non-finalists.

QUESTIONS

For questions please e-mail EARTH@350.org.  Please note it may take us several days to respond to your questions.

THANK YOU

350.org would like to thank the Artist Philip Krohn who conceptualized the EARTH logo, for granting 350.org permission to use this image for 350.org’s EARTH.

Avatar; indigenous peoples, carbon credits and the rainforest

I’m loving the commentaries that have evolved around Avatar’s themes of exploitation of natural resources, imperialism and biological diversity.

Libertarian blogger Stephen Kinsella argues here that it underscores his viewpoint that the movie demonstrates that property rights are the only way to protect the environment. Interestingly this is the logic of the UN’s REDD carbon trading scheme or to give it its long name, the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries. This is based – in theory at least – of forests having assigned carbon values and of local people having property rights over those resources. The “owners” are then rewarded for not chopping down trees.

Such solutions aren’t without their problems though. Aside for the more obvious problems of carbon credits – that they allow the industralised world to delay reducing their own emissions –  Global Witness point out in this report [PDF] that was published last October, this is an untested scheme that may well benefit Africa and South America’s kleptocrat rulers more than it does the environment, or the locals to whom this property has been assigned. Assigning property rights, suggests Global Witness, is part of the process of moving from an environment protected from logging, to a “sustainably managed” forest which allows logging to go ahead.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Avatar and the power of social media

I’m loving the commentaries that have evolved around Avatar’s themes of exploitation of natural resources, imperialism and biological diversity.

Libertarian blogger Stephen Kinsella argues here that it underscores his viewpoint that the movie demonstrates that property rights are the only way to protect the environment. Interestingly this is the logic of the UN’s REDD carbon trading scheme or to give it its long name, the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries. This is based – in theory at least – of forests having assigned carbon values and of local people having property rights over those resources. The “owners” are then rewarded for not chopping down trees.

Such solutions aren’t without their problems though. Aside for the more obvious problems of carbon credits – that they allow the industralised world to delay reducing their own emissions –  Global Witness point out in this report [PDF] that was published last October, this is an untested scheme that may well benefit Africa and South America’s kleptocrat rulers more than it does the environment, or the locals to whom this property has been assigned. Assigning property rights, suggests Global Witness, is part of the process of moving from an environment protected from logging, to a “sustainably managed” forest which allows logging to go ahead.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Jon Stewart and the Art of Responsibility

 

This will not be the first place you’ve heard of Jon Stewart’s interview with Jim Cramer, of Mad Money, on the Daily Show. This may be, in fact, one of the last places you’d expect to see it mentioned. This is a blog about environmental art. The Daily Show is a mainstream political comedy show. The interview was largely about finance, investment, and the economic crisis (which are not separate from natural resources, blah diddy you know the drill . . . )

But as comedian, Stewart provided an invaluable service. He called Cramer out. He urged Cramer and his network to use their visibility and connections for the public good, and not in service to investors, corporate interests, or mere ratings. He chided Cramer for misusing his powerful influence.

And that’s the essence of its relevance. At greenmuseum.org we’re constantly seeing artists who are using their craft as a tool for the public good, whether with education, aesthetic power, or literal utilitarianism. They’re doing it with the planet in mind, defending rivers, forests, communities, connections. Jon Stewart is defending the very nature of work, the transparency of media, and his parents’ retirement fund.

To all of those who voted to cut NEA funding: I defy you to look at the body of work on greenmuseum.org and not understand the public service that artists provide. Tell me that Jon Stewart lecturing Cramer like our nation’s Cultural Daddy isn’t achingly important. Come to grips with the incredible responsibility that comes with the work of culture. And I say: boo-yeah. Now let’s get some work done.

Go to the Green Museum