Garrett

Sustainable Lighting for the Theatre with Henk van der Geest and Ian Garrett at WSD2013

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Sat 14 Sept 16.30 – 18.00

Willow Theatre

Sustainability is important for everyone working in design today, but to be sustainable is also often required by your clients.  What is real sustainability and can the energy saving in theatrical lighting save the world? Exploring what to do, and what not to.

Who should attend?

Opent to all with an interest in lighting

Price: £6

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Daniel Bye’s How to Occupy an Oil Rig receives 2013 Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe #edfringe

Daniel Bye receives the 2013 award for Sustainable Production from Creative Carbon Scotland's Ben Twist.

Daniel Bye receives the 2013 award for Sustainable Production from Creative Carbon Scotland’s Ben Twist.

Creative Carbon Scotland and the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, in partnership with the List, presented Bye with Award at Fringe Central on August 23rd.

In a ceremony in the concourse at Fringe Central on Friday, August 23rd at 4:00 pm, Ben Twist of Creative Carbon Scotland awarded Daniel Bye the 2013 Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe after presentation by Ian Garrett of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Sholeh Johnston of Julie’s Bicycle. This was the fourth year of the award’s presentation. Applicants and fringe participants alike enjoyed complimentary beverages and snacks with support from Vegware, producers of compostable food containers.

The Sustainable Production Award is an annual celebration of performance that’s working for an environmentally sustainable world. Open to all Fringe Festival productions by application, the award assesses all aspects of a production’s sustainability, from design to content. This award ceremony recognizes the best in this year’s sustainable productions, alongside inspiring presentations from Creative Carbon Scotland, the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, and Julie’s Bicycle. The Sustainable Production Award is presented this year in partnership with The List, which is reviewing all shortlist shows and promoting the awards events.

The award is determined by the submission of a questionnaire about how the show was produced, and how environmental and sustainable themes were considered along the way. Assessors selected a short list of 23 productions, which appeared in the weekly editions of The List. These 23 shows were reviewed based on their questionnaires and the assessment team voted for the production which most aligned with the priorities of the award. Five finalists–Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, The Garden, and Garden O’ Delight, How to Occupy An Oil Rig, Sacred Earth–were identified as outstanding entries before the winner was selected last week.

How to Occupy an Oil Rig was selected due to its conscientious production and themes related to sustainability in our present world. In their assessment  the reviewer for the show said,”It tells stories of journeys through environmental activism engagingly, wittily, movingly… It’s all about sustainability, and is making very bold points about the scale of the problem and the necessity of radical solutions.” Also praised by the press, the Financial Times said that How to Occupy an Oil Rig was, “The real thing. Clever, engaging and important.” The Guardian said it is, “Fantastic work. Invigorating and playful. Both beautiful, and wants to change the world.” Accepting the award, Bye said “It’s great for the work to be recognized for its impact outside of the theatre itself, in the wider world.”

“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that,” adds CSPA Director Ian Garrett.

The award for Sustainable Production on the Fringe was first launched in 2010 at the Hollywood Fringe and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Previous recipients include:  The Pantry Shelf (Edinburgh 2010), a satirical comedy that takes place in any ordinary pantry shelf, produced by Team M&M at Sweet Grassmarket; Presque Pret a Porter (Hollywood 2010), produced by Dreams by Machine; and Allotment (Edinburgh 2011) by Jules Horne and directed by Kate Nelson, produced by nutshell productions at the Inverleith Allotments in co-production with Assembly. Last year recipients were D is for Dog by Katie Polebaum and the Rogue Artists ensemble, directed by Sean Calweti (Hollywood 2012) and The Man Who Planted Trees (Edinburgh 2012) adapted from Jean Giono’s story by Ailie Cohen, Richard Medrington, Rick Conte and directed by Ailie Cohen, produced by the Edinburgh’s Puppet State Theatre.

Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright founded the CSPA in early 2008. The organization provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theatre, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others.

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. CCS believes cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

More Info

Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts: http://www.sustainablepractice.org  

Creative Carbon Scotland: http://www.creativecarbonscotland.com/

CSPA Fringe Initiatives: http://www.sustainablepractice.org/programs/fringe/

2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Questionnaire: http://bit.ly/cspafringe13

The List’s Edinburgh Coverage: http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk

Sustainability at World Stage Design with Ian Garrett

logo-colorSMLWed 11 Sept 16.30 – 18.00

The Willow Theatre

Ian Garrett, Sustainability Programme Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Ecological Design for Performance (York University, Toronto) and Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and World Stage Design 2013 Programme Assistant Kevin Smith to discuss how sustainability is being addressed at World Stage Design.

Open to all.

Price: £6

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Key contributors

Ian Garrett – Co-Director CSPA, Assistant Professor of Ecological Design for Performance, York University.

Links:
http://www.sustainablepractice.org

THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES Announced as Recipient of the 2012 Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) has awarded the third CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to The Man Who Planted Trees adapted from Jean Giono’s story by Ailie Cohen, Richard Medrington, Rick Conte and directed by Ailie Cohen. It is produced by the Edinburgh’s Puppet State Theater, and is currently on tour in North America.

Giono, who passed in 1970, has said about The Man Who Planted Trees in 1957: “I wrote this story to make people love trees, or more precisely to make people love planting trees. Of all my stories it is one of the ones of which I am most proud. It has never earned me a penny and for that reason it has accomplished the very purpose for which it was written.”

The Man Who Planted Trees was chosen because of the synchronicity of the themes and the physical production of the show.” comments Ian Garrett, co-founder and Director of the CSPA. “ The award is intended to reward both smartly addressing issues of sustainability and production practices. Further, we recognize that in the Fringe environment, the physically production is often partially determined by the resources and time made available by the venues. What made The Man Who Planted Trees stand out is that it was able to successfully combine these factors into one of the most consistently lauded productions of the festival.”

The award is determined by the submission of a questionnaire about how the show was produced and audience response. The Man Who Planted Trees’ production team was able to provide comprehensive technical information for the production, which showed a commitment to design and resource efficiency. This considered approach also factored into their communications and marketing. All of these factors were further supported by the themes of the play.

The CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright adjudicated the award, along with select CSPA affiliates and friends. This year marked the beginning of a closer relation with Festival Edinburgh, which supports all of the festivals throughout August and the rest of the year. For the original Edinburgh Fringe application, Mhora Samuel and Tim Atkinson from The Theatres Trust’s European Regional Development Fund-backed Ecovenue project helped the CSPA adapt the criteria for a UK audience, providing guidance on UK equivalents to US name brands, as well as providing insight on measuring conventions and policy.

“The CSPA is not just another ‘go green’ organization,” says Wright.  “We hope to gather and distribute information that aids in the sustainability of the earth, the sustainability of our communities, and the sustainability of our art.  And so, the purpose of this award is not to recognize the greenest production.  Our objective in offering this award is to ask questions of ourselves, as theater artists, about the greater impact of our work on the world around us. The fringe model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows.”

“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that,” adds Garrett.

Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright founded the CSPA in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. The organization provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theater, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others.

D IS FOR DOG Announced as Recipient of Award for Sustainable Production at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) has awarded the second CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production at the Hollywood Fringe to D is for Dog by Katie Polebaum and the Rogue Artists ensemble, directed by Sean Calweti. It is produced by the Rogue Artists Ensemble at the Hudson Theater and continues to play through August 4th.

D is for Dog explores the themes of family loyalty and compassion using iconic imagery from 1950s television blended with startling elements of horror and science fiction. Mixing puppetry, live actors, original music and video projection, the play takes audiences from the absurd to the terrifying, and everywhere in-between.

D is for Dog was chosen because of how the Rogue Artists Ensemble careful considered their entire production.” comments Ian Garrett, co-founder and Director of the CSPA. “The nature of our process for determining the winner of this award doesn’t just focus on what a show is about; though there are mainly elements of D is for Dog which do speak to thematic to sustainability. But, it is also about the importance of being conscientious in how a show is made and addressing those questions across all elements of production and presentation, which is what led to this award going to this show.”

The award is determined by the submission of a questionnaire about how the show was produced and audience response. D is for Dog‘s production team was able to provide comprehensive technical information for the production, which showed a commitment to design and resource efficiency. This considered approach also factored into their communications and marketing. All of these factors were further supported by the themes of the play.

The CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright adjudicated the award, along with select CSPA affiliates and friends. The CSPA also supports a similar award for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, going into its 3rd year. For the Edinburgh Fringe, Mhora Samuel and Tim Atkinson from The Theatres Trust’s European Regional Development Fund-backed Ecovenue project have helped the CSPA adapt the criteria for a UK audience, providing guidance on UK equivalents to US name brands, as well as providing insight on measuring conventions and policy. This year, the CSPA will be working with Festivals Edinburgh to further expand the impact of this program.

“The CSPA is not just another ‘go green’ organization,” says Wright.  “We hope to gather and distribute information that aids in the sustainability of the earth, the sustainability of our communities, and the sustainability of our art.  And so, the purpose of this award is not to recognize the greenest production.  Our objective in offering this award is to ask questions of ourselves, as theater artists, about the greater impact of our work on the world around us. The fringe model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows.”

“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that,” adds Garrett.

Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright founded the CSPA in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. The organization provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theater, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others. www.sustainablepractice.org

It should be noted that director Ian Garrett has previously worked with the Rogue Artist Ensmeble. He was production manager on Gogol Project and Lighting Designer for Hyperbole:Origins. He was in no way involved with D is for Dog or other Rogue project since his work on Hyperbole: Origins.

Readings in Performance and Ecology (What Is Theatre?)

This ground-breaking collection of essays focuses on how theatre, dance, and other forms of performance are helping to transform our ecological values. Leading scholars and practitioners explore the ways that familiar and new works of theatre and dance can help us recognize our reciprocal relationship with the natural world and how performance helps us understand the way our bodies are integrally connected to the land. They also explore how environmentalists use performance as a form of protest; how performance illuminates our relationships with animals as autonomous creatures and artistic symbols; and how performance can help humans re-define our place in the larger ecological community.

CSPA Director Ian Garrett contributed a chapter about the carbon footprint of theatrical production.

Purchase here Amazon.com: Readings in Performance and Ecology (What Is Theatre?) (9780230337282): Wendy Arons, Theresa J. May: Books.

Considering Sustainble Design @ PQ 2011

Historically, the Prague Quadrennial has been an international exhibition of scenography (stage design), where countries come together to display the best of their theater work and the spirit of their design methodologies. It’s a mass of gatherings. It’s discussions and performances and lectures and guerilla moments in the streets (is that a performance or a conversation? Is she injured or just creating an interesting shape? Is that a flamboyant dress or a costume?). It’s also Scenofest, the educational arm of the Quadrennial, featuring a series of workshops and organized talks.

At DAMU, the Czech Academy of Dramatic Arts, CSPA Executive Director Ian Garrett gathered with Nick Moran of the Central School of Speech & Drama and myself to discuss sustainability in design on a panel led by William Mackwood of York University (best known for hosting the Staging Sustainability conference earlier this year). While no one walked in with a paper dress or noisemaking speakers, some fascinating discourse ensued regarding the nature of performance.

Ian Garrett started off with a powerpoint overview of green practices in the arts. He’s extensively acquainted with the overall carbon impact of the average theater production: length of run, power consumption, material. In the years that he’s been building the CSPA, he’s also been gathering a mass of information on the complexity of the arts’ environmental impact. Garrett brings into the discussion issue of audience transportation (a huge factor in carbon footprint) vs. the potential impact of audiences if they had just stayed at home that night. He also discussed the work of groups like Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company and the Broadway Green Alliance.

Following him was Nick Moran, who focused on the resources on the site Julie’s Bicycle and the need within the green movement to make changes on a small (and totally unsexy) level, like type of toilet paper, while continuously pressing for systematic change in arts production culture. He discussed everything from tungsten lamps to fuel cells from the standpoint of a lighting designer who fiercely believes in sustainability.

I stepped up and discussed my obsession of the past several years—ecologically restorative art, including works from Xavier Cortada and Mierle Ukeles, and some of my own work.

Then Mackwood wrapped up presentations with examples of his current work and research at York and Out of the Box Productions, including a greening of “Opera Erotique,” which used all-LED lighting. He discussed design qualities unique to the famously energy-efficient lighting, including cut-lines on dancers, strobe capabilities, and the ability to fit an entire lighting rig in the trunk of a car. What followed was an interesting and brief discussion of LED design. Nick Moran brought up the fact that, unlike tungsten, LED color properties don’t change as they fade. “Imagine that you’re in a world where, for the first time, your lights change color as they fade out. WHAT?! What have you done? Change it!”

In the roundtable following, balance was a key issue in discussion: between medium and message, between creative and financial needs, between work and decompression.“You’ve gotta make good work, otherwise there’s no point: worthy, dull, theatre does not change anyone’s mind,” said Moran. The audience was a point of debate. Are we trying to change their minds, or just give them more sustainable spectacle? Are we trying to address the needs of their transportation, or just present eco-theater? In a field of limited resources it’s all about priorities, and needs are complex. As performances exploded all over the streets of Prague, a very grounding discourse took place at DAMU. Like every conversation about sustainability, it leads to more questions, more conversations, and a grab-bag of actionable items. Regardless, it’s refreshing to be in a room with sharp minds that are focused on this issue, and there is potential for a wider impact at the next PQ.

Hollywood Fringe Sustainable Production Award Announced

LOS ANGELES — The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) awarded the first CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production to Presque Pret a Porter, produced by Dreams by Machine on Sunday night at the Hollywood Fringe Festival Awards Ceremony.  The award was designed to reward ecologically sustainable practice in the production of a fringe performance.

The award was adjudicated by the CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright, along with select CSPA affiliates. The recipient was chosen based on an online data form created by the CSPA, and informed by the Mo’olelo Green Theater Choices Toolkit.

“The CSPA is not just another ‘go green’ organization,” said Wright at the ceremony Sunday night.  “We hope to gather and distribute information that aids in the sustainability of the earth, the sustainability of our communities, and the sustainability of our art.  And so, the purpose of this award is not to recognize the greenest production.  Our objective in offering this award is to ask questions of ourselves, as theater artists, about the greater impact of our work on the world around us.  The winner of this year’s award not only limited material waste in production, but asked audience members to consider sustainability in their lives.”

Laura Brody, this year’s winner, stated the primary goal of her project as “to create awareness of and to encourage re-use through entertaining and participatory demonstration.”  In the performance, materials were re-purposed from thrift stores and cutting room floors.  Materials were donated by friends and colleagues of the project.  And, the musician’s set up was made of found objects strung together to create a percussion rig.

While debuting at the Hollywood Fringe, the CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production will also be offered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August, where the CSPA will be presenting a panel on sustainability in theater at Fringe Central in Edinburgh on Monday Morning, August the 16th.

“We’ve been working since we started the CSPA on how to provide resources and guidelines for sustainable production to the theatrical community. Both Miranda and myself come from theatrical backgrounds and it is important to us. The fringe festival model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows. It is easier to start the conversation at a fringe level of production than Broadway. By starting with the Hollywood Fringe, our local and the newest fringe festival, and immediately moving to the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest and oldest fringe in the world, we are looking to create the greatest visibility and excitement around the introduction of ideas of sustainability to the largest number of theater artists at home and away,” says Executive Director Ian Garrett.

“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that.”

The CSPA was founded by Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. The organization provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theater, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts to Present Award for Sustainable Production at Hollywood and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) announces the inaugural Fringe Festival Award for Sustainable Production, debuting at the Hollywood Fringe Festival June 17th – 27th. The CSPA Fringe Festival Award for Sustainable Production is designed to reward ecologically sustainable practice in the production of a fringe show. The winner will be announced at the Fringe Awards Ceremony on June 27th at 7:00pm, and will receive a plaque and a feature article in an upcoming edition of the CSPA Quarterly, the CSPA’s print publication highlighting the most exciting work being done in sustainability and the arts.

The award will be adjudicated by the CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright, along with a number of CSPA affiliates. It will be looking at public communication and education, resource use and transportation in support of presenting a fringe show based on methodology developed by the CSPA itself and San Diego’s Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, who has created a comprehensive Green Theater Choices Toolkit with a generous grant from the Theater Communications Group.

While debuting at the Hollywood Fringe, the CSPA Fringe Festival Award for Sustainable Production will also be offered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August, where the CSPA will be presenting a panel on sustainability in theater at Fringe Central in Edinburgh on Monday Morning, August the 16th.

“We’ve been working since we started the CSPA on how to provide resources and guidelines for sustainable production to the theatrical community. Both Miranda and myself come from theatrical backgrounds and it is important to us. The fringe festival model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows. It is easier to start the conversation at a fringe level of production than Broadway. By starting with the Hollywood Fringe, our local and the newest fringe festival, and immediately moving to the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest and oldest fringe in the world, we are looking to create the greatest visibility and excitement around the introduction of ideas of sustainability to the largest number of theater artists at home and away,” says Executive Director Ian Garrett.

To be considered for the award, a production fills out an online questionnaire. Questions range from an inventory of materials used to what public transportation lines run close to venues to how themes about sustainability are addressed in their shows. Because venues vary so greatly, various sections may not be included in a single evaluation to provide equal footing for the shows on a case by case basis. Shows are encouraged, but not required to provide a CSPA affiliate with tickets to their production to allow a trained eye to look at shows and projects as they exist in the real world.

As an independent producer and designer, outside of the CSPA, Garrett is also involved in bringing shows to both the Hollywood and Edinburgh festivals. He will be designing for the Rogue Artist Ensemble’s ‘Hyperbole: Origins’ workshop at Art\Works Theater on Santa Monica for the Hollywood Fringe (To be premiered in full production at Inside the Ford this Fall) and is the conceiver and producer for the devised physical theater piece on memory, aging and identity ‘At Sundown’, which will be at the Edinburgh Fringe at Venue 13. Garrett also serves as the Festival Producer for CalArts Festival Theater, a program of California Institute of the ArtsSchool of Theater that enables students and alumni to bring work to the Edinburgh Fringe, now in it’s 7th year. In the interest of fairness, these shows will not be eligible for the CSPA’s award.

“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that.”

To apply, fringe show producers can head over to the CSPA’s website at http://www.sustainablepractice.com/fringe or email fringe@sustainablepractice.org. Applications for evaluation will be taken up until the end of the festival, though it is encouraged to apply while it is still possible for a CSPA affiliate to view the show. All questions regarding the award by also be be directed to fringe@sustainablepractice.org.

The CSPA was founded by Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. It provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. We support the infrastructure of this network by supplying artists with the information, education and intellectual community they need to make the best choices for their sustainability. We do this through three independent programs: CSPA Online Resources, annual CSPA convergence and the CSPA Institute’s curriculum building. We extend these efforts with key partnerships with like minded organizations. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theater, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others. Under the umbrella of the CSPA, each program and partnership uses different tactics with their own mission to create a comprehensive and cooperative synthesis in artistic sustainability.

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The PlanetShifter.com Interview with Ian Garrett, Executive Director: The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, Los Angeles | www.planetshifter.com

Where are you? In the present? In the future? See my lament for clues:

Things only happen here to make what happens next.

Is LinkedIn a viable artistic community in your opinion? How would you improve it?

I don’t think so, and I don’t think i wish it to be. I don’t know if LinkedIn represents a community really as much as an infrastructure. I think it exists separate from something like Facebook without competition because one is about social networks and one is about businesses networks. I also don’t see how it accommodates the needs of an artistic community.

I don’t think there is a social network that does effectively represent an artistic community out there. How specific do you allow it to sort itself? the arts are too expansive with too many points of access to be represented effectively through a network with a defined set of sortable criteria. For self-sorting facebook is more effective because it is focused on individuals not labels. For curated sorting a wiki is better since everything is of equal weight.

That’s the issue with getting past post-modernism isn’t it? Modernism was about the universal, post-modernism was about the categorized, and post-post-modernism is about the unique.

What is at the intersection of mythology, innovation and sustainability?

From now on.

What new symbols, songs, secrets, myths are you driving in the green movement?

I can tell you that I’m trying to drive it away from the color green and images of leaves. The image that bugs me the most is actually grass, since in most places it’s impractical and wasteful regardless of it’s green-ness. I think an era’s aesthetics speak to values and I think we’re pushing the value of the first nature and something more raw, less processed. It’s happening in design, supply chains and our food. I’m also trying to break the myth of technological solutions.

I’m irked by the layering of systems over existing systems to solve problems with the existing system. I’d rather break it down to it’s elemental parts. I’m a big promoter of archaic technology, like using steamed banana leaves or not vitrified drink ware in Indian. Things that were discarded as incorrect in a modern manufactured world that persists into the contemporary era.

Are you an alchemist?

No, there is plenty of magic in real science.

Tell us about your favorite modern painter and how you feel when you gaze at the work.

Are we saying modern or contemporary. I’m a traditionalist when I define the Modern era as something that happened in the beginning of the 20th century out of industrialization. If we’re talking painters though I can name a few. Magritte for being clever and questioning the mudane, Haring for balancing accessibility, message, and challenging art world constructs. I do however find myself most drawing to the infrastructural and phenomenological though and insofar as that is concerned am more trilled by visual are that engages those parts of my brain. That’s not always present in painting, so I have to mention Olafur Eliasson, who fascinates me.

How do you manage the bureaucracy that you’ve created at The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts? How do you personally support your members?

There isn’t much Bureaucracy. We’re extremely small and nimble. We’re the least incorporated we can be and have foregone 501c3 status to stay lean. I suppose we deal with the bureaucracy of partnership with more cumbersome organizations and then it’s oftentimes working within their structure.

We can make our decisions and change methodology rapidly to best accommodate our members and partners since all of the power rests between two equal executives. We’ve yet to expand our power-sharing, outside of partnerships, and those are all project based. It’s not the most profitable, but it’s in line with our core mission, which is really about information and infrastructure. We’re like the opposite of the CIA, we don’t see value in protecting our information, and support ourselves through others valuing sharing information as a desired act.

For the second part of the question though, it’s hard to say. I mean, we don’t have funds to directly support their activities. But, we try and talk directly to all of them. They have our address, phone numbers, email addresses, and ultimately all of our lines of communication like our website, social networks, twitter and so on is all us personally. If you get in touch with the CSPA, you’re getting in touch with us directly. We don’t filter that, and don’t understand ecologically mind organizations that put up blocks, since we gain absolutely zero (aside from profit I guess) from not talking and being transparent if we plan to not destroy the planet and the billions of lives that will impact.

And, ultimately, it helps that I’m the web guy too. It’s part of what I do, so there is nothing standing in the way of our web presence, we do.

What were the 3 – 5 best innovations from last year’s CSPA Convergence?

Well we did this in partnership with the University of Oregon’s School of Theater, so mind you a couple of these might be theater centric.

  • The Convergence itself. I go to a lot of conferences and I deal with but don’t like the hierarchy and artifice that often surrounds them. I prefer the camp model which, like wikis, aims to gather people around a topic and allow all of them to offer something. So I think it’s in expanding the convergence model to get between these models of conference and camp and add on more doing, not just talking.
  • Marbles in a Jar – This is Avery simple re-use model we’ve been working on. It looks at volume of material used as a marble in a jar. You fill the jar until you’re done and then add a second jar for the next and so on to next iterations. For each unit of reused material you move a marble from the first jar to the one for the current project, if you use new material you add new marbles. It doesn’t have to be marbles and jars, but it’s a very simple way to engage your use of raw material
  • Energy Budgets – We’re trying to get theaters to incorporate the expenditures of energy into budgets for making. It incentivizes energy innovation by the user. If no one uses energy efficient devices, it doesn’t matter.
  • Eliminating recycling programs – this idea started at this convergence in response to the 6 receptacles the University of Oregon had for waste. It’s too much. The idea waste receptacle is only one for compost-ables. It’s not entirely feasible though. When speaking at APAP last month I brought this into a more realist goal. Not recycling because you don’t have anything to recycle. At the CSPA we print proofs of the Quarterly for editing that we share and otherwise we don’t generate material waste by our business. That sort of blows people’s minds.

I think Jack Capitalism and Eli Sustainability are headed for a blow-out, down and dirty fist fight in the months ahead? Ready?

I’m ready, but I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be particularly violent. I think that the necessity of sustainability will be the biggest check on a capitalist future. I think about the labor movements of the post-industrial world and the evolution of that “conflict”. I also think about the 4 roles in the actor-centric model of political change and the political pendulum. Sustainability is different still, it’s an opportunity if we want it to be, but as with all of these models of shift, the future is hybrid, not contrary.

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Ian Garrett Bio –

Executive Director of The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), a non-non-profit arts infrastructure organization where he collaborates with others like the LA Stage Alliance, University of Oregon, York University, The Arcola Theater, EcoArtSpace, the Royal Society of the Arts, Diverseworks ArtSpace and others to work towards sustainability in the arts, ecological and otherwise.

Programs at the CSPA include a rich online resource guide, curricular development, a quarterly journal, annual convergence, and the development of collaborative local materials re-use programs and a certification program for arts making being initiated through an international partnership between US, Canadian and British producers. The center was founded by funds received through the 2007 Richard E. Sherwood award for emerging theater artists from the Center Theater Group (CTG) awarded to be used forming a working relationship consulting with CTG on the integration of ecologically sustainable practice into their production.

Ian teaches Sustainable Theater and Management Technology courses at the California Institute of the Arts and has been featured in American Theater, DramaBiz, and The Design Magazine and has spoken at The Central School for Speech and Drama, St. Louis University, and the Indy Convergence along with most arts conferences in the United States.

He originally studied architecture and art history at Rice University in Houston, Texas, but has since come to build an awarding winning practice in live performance and installation art, having also attended California Institute of the Arts to complete MFAs in Lighting Design and Producing.

Connections –

Ian Garrett
Executive Director
Ian at sustainablepractice dot org
The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts
c/o LA Stage Alliance
644 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Profile Summary: William “Willi” George Paul Green Business Certified Sustainability Consultant and strategic vision planner, writer and program designer for environmental planning, civil engineering and non-profits for over 15 years. Executive producer at PlanetShifter.com generating 125+ thought leader interviews and 1200 posts to-date since EarthDay ’09. Produced two innovative online community building projects as a PhD Student in Environmental Planning and Design at Virginia Tech. Designed the electronic charrette while earning MA in Urban Planning. Developed marketing and online community building strategies for over thirty Internet start-ups.

Willi Paul, Art and Sustainability Consultant
415-407-4688 | willipaul1 at gmail dot com
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