Free Exchange

Urban Sustainability by Jessica Kimmel, ecoartspace intern 2011-2012

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

The Urban Sustainability program at Antioch University in Los Angeles encourages a multi-disciplinary approach to solving issues of scientific and societal importance. The core requirements for the degree include courses in systems thinking, environmental literacy, social justice and a hands-on approach to fieldwork. The program also provides graduate study in urban ecosystem science, activism and advocacy, environmental education, sustainable practices, and research methods. A large component is our fieldwork studies– contributing an opportunity to explore and develop skills to our rigorous studies and the experience to prepare for our ambitious futures. In my first semester of fieldwork in 2011, I selected two site projects including ecoartspacewith Patricia Watts and Green Public Art with Rebecca Ansert, both out of Los Angeles.

During the 36-unit degree program, I am participating in a series of residencies that consist of classroom instruction, guest lectures and elective seminars. Antioch has a long-standing commitment to social justice in the community that has allowed me to consider utilizing methods and theories of social sciences toward solving complex sustainability related concerns. The class has toured the port of Los Angeles, examined L.A.’s publiclands struggle the beach in Malibu and hiked through Ramirez Canyon, toured Venice on bikes with Bikerowave, and visited the Burbank Recycling Center and Puente Hills Landfill. These tours have created a really valuable platform for the free exchange of ideas pertaining to making our contribution more sustainable.

Antioch’sUrban Sustainability program will operate as a vehicle for the study of urbanization and its ecosystemic impacts. As social scientists, educators and communicators, I believe we must similarly examine how environmental hardship is socio-economically distributed. Environmental justice, climate change and land use provide us with excellent context. In the multi-disciplinary tradition, I have long studied and admired leading environmental artists suchas Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter. I applaud how progressive-intellectuals have successfully used various mediums to communicate complex ideas in accessible terms. Adams used photography to capture the beauty of the American landscape and bring awareness to the necessity of its protection. Photography is one of my academic and personal concentrations and as a master’s student my hope is to create an intersection of creativity and activism to initiate lasting changes.

This year was also my first experience curating an art show. I was the student organizer of this years annual ArtisticUprisingat Antioch, which took place on November 18, 2011. It was such an incredible experience for me to have and has allowed me to grow in ways I never dreamed of. Working on a project of such importance to the campus and AULA community, continuing the tradition as the fourth annual exhibit, and leading my peers through a successful show has given me a sense of fulfillment and validated the direction I’ve chosen. The art show was started by Cindy Short in 2008. Proceeds from art sales and other activities at the event benefit The Bridge Program. Bridge provides a college education for low-income adults in the Los Angeles area, at no cost to the student. The program pays their tuition for 15 college credits with all other necessary expenses included: books,supplies, bus tokens, and even meals on the evenings of classes.

Through the opportunities Antioch has given me, I have been able to witness first-hand the impacts and influence art can have in support of a sustainable existence on the goals of urban sustainability. It is my hope to contribute my efforts to mobilize artists in the pursuit of spreading the message of environmental consciousness. I will also be exposed to professionals outside of science and academia that are working to promote the goals of sustainability by participating in the environmental movement. My goal is to encourage environmental discourse in the local community and solidify artists as relevant stakeholders in the environmental dialogue. Through project management, artist interaction and social media, I have a unique opportunity to contribute toecoartspace’s operation, success and continued legacy as an invaluable and effective environmental resource. I admire what ecoartspace stands for and am thrilled by their initiatives for promoting and reaching sustainability. I am excited to be a member of their team and hope that our efforts together can transcend social, economic and political boundaries.

 

ecoartapace is one of the leading international organizations in a growing community of artists, scientists, curators, writers, nonprofits and businesses who are developing creative and innovative strategies to address our global environmental issues. We promote a diverse range of artworks that are participatory, collaborative, interdisciplinary and uniquely educational. Our philosophy embodies a broader concept of art in its relationship to the world and seeks to connect human beings aesthetically with the awareness of larger ecological systems.

Founded in 1997 by Tricia Watts as an art and nature center in development, ecoartspace was one of the first websites online dedicated to art and environmental issues. New York City curator Amy Lipton joined Watts in 1999, and together they have curated numerous exhibitions, participated on panels, given lectures at universities, developed programs and curricula, ad written essays for publications from both the East and West Coasts. They advocate for international artists whose projects range from scientifically based ecological restoration to product based functional artworks, from temporal works created outdoors with nature to eco-social interventions in the urban public sphere, as well as more traditional art objects.

ecoartspace has been a project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in
Los Angeles since 1999.
Go to EcoArtSpace

The 1st Cultura21 Forum in Germany

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Cultura21 e.V. is happy to announce the first „Cultura21 Forum“ in Germany:

The Cultivation of Ecology/-ies:
gardens and complexity in rural and urban areas

September 23rd to 25th, 2011 – “Studio Kunst und Landschaft” in Hude (aprox. 13 km from Oldenburg)

Registration is required (see below) – Please notice that this event will be bilingual, but the main language will be German (and there will be no translation service)!

The “Cultura21 Forum” starts on Friday evening with a public event in the “Studio Kunst und Landschaft”. The ecological artist Insa Winkler will offer a guided tour on the terrain. Three guest speakers will give an introduction to “culture(s) of sustainability (the role of gardening culture)”. On Saturday registered participants of the “Cultura21 Forum” will get the chance to take part in specific workshops and open space sessions. The Sunday also is a public event and will contain three speeches and a panel discussion. The speakers will deal with the vision of participative and collective cultivation of ecology in rural and urban areas. The forum will end with a “guerilla gardening” intervention, which will be prepared the day before.

The concept of the “Cultura21 Forum”

By organizing an annual “Cultura21 Forum”, Cultura21 in Germany wants to concentrate all the positive energy of its members and also of like-minded organisations. The aim is to make possible a regular exchange between the participants. Furthermore, other initiatives treating the issue of a “culture of sustainability” should be given room to grow and develop. The basic idea of the forum is to have both a thematic focus and an open space part in the program. The open space part is meant to be the source for new project ideas, created in free exchange and discussions. These parts are linked with each other in the program and complement one another.

2011 edition: the cultivation of ecology/-ies

The main topic of the “Cultura21 Forum” 2011 is: “The cultivation of ecology/-ies: gardens and complexity in rural and urban areas”. Our attention will be especially turned to “guerilla gardening”: guerilla gardening is known as a creative-subversive type of civil disobedience and political protest from the 1970s in New York. Over the years a development has taken place, and nowadays guerilla gardening can be seen with the perspective of “urban agriculture” and “urban gardens”. This type of protest combines the adornment of concrete-dominated urban areas, the temporary use, the greening of idle areas and also the possibility to harvest.

Besides planting “surprise gardens”, seed bombs are the most familiar type of creative protest. They contain a mixture of seeds, soil and clay, shaped like a ball. You then normally just drop these bombs wherever you wish. Further aims are the enforcement of self-supply, protest against the agro-industry and the sowing of unusual seeds. Guerilla gardening is quite controversial and therefore will be discussed in the panel discussion. There will also be a workshop on “seed bombs”. On Sunday, they are supposed to be launched/sowed by the participants next to a piece of farmland.

Program

The complete program can be downloaded as a PDF file: Cultura21Forum_Program(ENG)

Preparatory online exchanges for the “Open Space” sessions are conducted on this website, on our online forum: Click here

About the speakers

Sacha Kagan, Lüneburg
Research Associate at the Institute of Cultural Theory, Research, and the Arts (ICRA/IKKK) at the Leuphana University Lüneburg ; member of Cultura21 e.V. since 2006 ; founding coordinator of the international platform of Cultura21 and founding director of the International Summer School of Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (ASSiST). The focus of his scientific and cultural work is on the transdisciplinary field of arts an (un)sustainability.

Oleg Koefoed, Copenhagen
Oleg Koefoed, action philosopher, is the founder of the “Gravitations Center for Action Philosophy” and founding director of Cultura21 Nordic (with its headquarters in Copenhagen).

Hildegard Kurt, Berlin (Workshop “Jeder Mensch ein Künstler?” [Every human being an artist?])
Hildegard Kurt, cultural scientist, author and working on social sculpture, is one of the key figures for the intercession of arts and sustainability in Germany. She is head of the Berlin “und.Institute für Kunst, Kultur und Zukunftsfähigkeit“ (und.Institut) [und.institute for arts, culture and sustainability] which she was a co-founder of. She is also working at the “Social Sculpture Research Unit (SSRU)” at Oxford Brookes University in the UK (which is led by the artist and former Beuys-student Shelley Sacks).

Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen, Berlin (Community Gardens in New York)
Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen works as an independent journalist and sociologist in Berlin, doing research, editing, teaching and consulting. (In former days, self-help agriculture was ill-reputed as informal self-help economy of women. Today it returns to the cities and to the mind of the people: wild vegetable cultivation on fallow, guerilla gardening, “hard core vegetable cultivation”, “intercultural gardens” from New York to Berlin…)

Christa Müller, Berlin/Munich
For the “anstiftung & ertomis” foundation, Christa Müller did research on the intercultural potential of urban gardening in the international gardens of Göttingen. She co-founded the network “Interkulturelle Gärten” [intercultural gardens] and the “Interkultur” foundation.

Rana Öztürk, Berlin
Cultural scientist, Rana Öztürk did her MA Thesis on “Sustainable Fashion: New Approaches within the Fashion Industry”. Member of Cultura21 e.V. since 2007 ; Chairwoman of the German organization since 2010., Rana Öztürk is the Communication Administrator at the artist’s workshop of Anselm Reyle.

Insa Winkler, Hude/Wüsting
Insa Winkler works as a landscape architect and environmental artist. “Die Artenvielfalt-Route” [the biodiversity route] is a participative project “in my neighborhood” about art and ecology. By means of education and visualization of life-forms, a mapping exercise of biodiversity is conducted. The result is a new corridor between the agrarian landscape and the urban areas, which is perceived as an ecological and public area. People are actively motivated to protect areas or even to increase the biodiversity in their own garden.

Practical Information

The participation fee (including coffee, drinks, snacks) for 3 days is:
– participants who are not paying members of Cultura21 Germany: 30€/20€ reduced
– participants who are members of Cultura21 Germany: 10€/15€ reduced

… for 1 day:
– participants who are not members of Cultura21 Germany: 15€/ 8€ reduced
– participants who are members of Cultura21 Germany: 10€/ 5€ reduced

Reduced participation fees are only for students and unemployed persons (please provide supporting documents by email).

Please transfer the participation fee until September 10th (please write “Cultura21 Forum” in the comment field) to this bank account:

Cultura21 e.V., Kto-Nr. 40 18 97 17 00, GLS-Bank, BLZ 43060967 ; BIC: GENODEM1GLS ; IBAN: DE35 4306 0967 4018 9717 00

Registration

To make the planning easier, please register online for the event: Click here

Accommodation and travel must be organized by yourself. We recommend to book a room early enough and are happy to help you if necessary. Please find here a list with accommodations near Hude: PDF file (in German language).

The Organizers

The Forum will take place in cooperation with the “Studio Kunst und Landschaft” in Hude and is kindly supported by the city of Oldenburg.

The „Studio Kunst und Landschaft” invites you to look at various theme gardens and park elements on their 1ha territory. Furthermore can be found several sculptural works and objects created by Insa Winkler and other artists. This is also the main office of “artecology-network”, founded in 2010. The Winkler family, who runs the place, also offers space for seminars, exhibitions, concerts, readings and conferences. As well, Insa Winkler’s landscape architecture office and her studio are situated on the premises.

 

 

 

 

 

Crowfunding : Help us finance the event!

If you cannot come to the event but wish to help finance the Cultura21 Forum, please contribute to our Crowdfunding effort: Click here (the crowdfunding webpage is currently available only in German language).

This post is also available in: German

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