Fremantle

A bright beacon in the dark winter months

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Heliotrope is a 12 minute audio and light experience about the seasons. It has been created by a team of artists, designers and scientists, working together to explore the impact of light on minds and bodies.

It’s taking place in the Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Gardens on four days at the end of November 2012 (24-27) in the late afternoons and early evenings.  It will then go on tour.  It’s free.  To book free tickets, go to Trigger » Heliotrope.

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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No Longer the Miner’s Canary

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We need to learn to adapt to the environmental crises we have created.

Zoltán Grossman’s article No Longer the Miner’s Canary: Indigenous Nations’ Response to Climate Change published on Terrain.org argues that there are significant lessons to learn from indigenous peoples.  These lessons focus on community building and sharing knowledge amongst communities, thus empowering people.  Experts are responsible to inform and engage with communities.  The article focuses on the value of work at the scale between the disempowered individual and the ineffective federal government – that is the scale of towns and cities, bioregions and tribal landscapes.

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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Platform on tour in Glasgow and Edinburgh, 21-24th October

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Platform on tour in Glasgow and Edinburgh, 21-24th October – Platform London.

PLATFORM, the interdisciplinary social and enviromental practice working across arts, activism, education and research are in Scotland next week contributing to the Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Glasgow as well as the Radical Independent Book Fair in Edinburgh. 

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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Gardens Beyond Eden: Bio-aesthetics, Eco-Futurism, and Dystopia at dOCUMENTA (13) – The Brooklyn Rail

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T J Demos’ review in Brooklyn Rail of the gardening and other ecological projects at dOCUMENTA.  He’s positive about the projects, but critical of dOCUMENTA’s lack of any overarching critical framework.

Gardens Beyond Eden: Bio-aesthetics, Eco-Futurism, and Dystopia at dOCUMENTA (13)

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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What does an Ice-Free Arctic mean?

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Stephen Leahy’s article (published by the Inter Press Service) on the “uncharted territory” of an ice-free arctic makes interesting reading.  It’s not just a problem for the indigenous peoples of the circumpolar region.  It’s not just a problem for polar bears, although they are faced with extinction as a result.  And in that context talking about it being a problem for us because it’ll change our weather seems facile.

What is interesting is reading it having just been reading Farley Mowat’s Canada North Now: The Great Betrayal.  The Second Edition was published in 1976, and whilst the impact of extraction industries on the landscape and culture of the North was foremost in the author’s mind, at that time the Arctic Sea Ice was a given.  There is no sense in this book of the Polar Ice Cap changing.  In 36 years we’ve gone from assuming that it’s a given, a permanent feature of the world, to a point where one summer it’ll be gone and the news will cover the first ship at the North Pole.  It’s quite a change.  The speed of change is what we seem to be unable to grasp.

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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Agreement entitles Whanganui River to legal identity

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Companies have ‘personhood,’ ie. a legal identity equivalent to people in the sense that they can enter into contracts and agreements (see Wikipedia article). This is a subject of considerable argument, and there are several campaigns to remove this status.

On the other hand in New Zealand there is a move (reported in the New Zealand Herald here) to give a river the status of a person, for the river to have a legal identity.  If we accept that all things have agency, not just human beings, this legal recognition of the personhood of a river, developed from the indigenous knowledge tradition and by the Whanganui River Iwi, is incredibly important.

To give a river (or presumably a mountain, valley or island) this status of personhood is important because it repositions us, human beings, within the environment, rather than over it.

Where the problem with corporate personhood is that it requires the law to respect corporate interests as equivalent to the interests of people, the positive benefits of giving at least some natural features some legal agency or status as persons is potentially transformative.

The recognition of indigenous knowledge traditions is of course also enormously positive and challenging to Western epistemologies.  If the river is a person, what does the river know, and how do we value that form of knowledge.

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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Extreme Weather

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Six years ago Professor John Schellnhuber (who had recently been appointed as Chief Government Adviser on Climate and Related Issues by the German Chancellor) talked at the RSA Art and Ecology Conference (2006) about the challenges in modelling the interactions between different critical points in global environmental systems – gulf streams, sea ice, glaciers and snow on mountains, desertification, etc.  He was addressing complexity, not looking at one thing in isolation.

The recent article, Extreme Weather, in the National Geographic explores the increasing extreme weather – flooding, storms, tornadoes, drought and fire.  The article offers an interesting analogy: climate change has a similar effect to steriods – you don’t know whether the steriods enable the batter to score this home run in particular, but you do know that they increase the overall likelihood of scoring more home runs than someone not on steriods.  So the point is not to ask whether climate change caused this storm or that heatwave, but rather to recognise that it is affecting frequency and intensity.

All analogies (and metaphors) have to be used carefully - steriods as a metaphor for ’enhancing’ and making more powerful is probably not the worst, but the other medicalised metaphor is ‘cancer’ which engenders a particular sort of fear – see Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor.

We are still learning about complex adaptive systems.  Understanding that things are connected and that there are unintended consquences is only a small step along the road.

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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CultureLab: Bio-artists who tinker with tools of science

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The New Scientist’s CultureLab blog ran a story, Bio-artists who tinker with tools of science, in early August on artists working with “the tools of science.”  The article draws in particular on the work of SymbioticA.  It doesn’t talk about Critical Art Ensemble or Eduardo Kac, but it does acknowledge the multiple possible outcomes of art working with science (and those tools).

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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PLATFORM is hiring

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From the PLATFORM newsletter:

We’re looking to hire not one, but two positions. Please share this info with anyone who you think might be interested and help us find some really great people!

The deadline for both sets of applicants is 6.00pm Friday the 14th September.

Coordinator for ‘Shake! Young Voices in Arts, Media, Race & Power’ Driving our three-year cultural activism programme with young people (16-25 years old) tackling social and environmental injustice from a race perspective. Shake! will develop a new generation of cultural activists. The new post will co-ordinate with a team of artist-facilitators, campaigners, young people and partner organisations, and oversee dissemination of Shake’s work to a wider public. More info here.

Oil & Human Rights Campaigner Investigating and challenging the environmental and human rights abuses carried out by oil companies in the Niger Delta. Supporting social movements and activists in Nigeria in exposing and holding those responsible to account. Challenging British military and diplomatic support for oil-driven militarisation. More info here.

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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Funding Natural Heritage Projects

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Scottish Natural Heritage publishes a guide to various funding sources for natural heritage projects – included are schemes that support on the ground action as well as communication and education.  This guide covers EU, Public Sector, Lottery as well as Trusts and Foundations and can be found here.

Also worth checking out is the website of the Environmental Funders Network, and in particular their publication, ‘Where the green grants went.’

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