Intersection

The Celebrated Trees of Nashville: Ecological Performance Action

On November 1st, Plantable (made up Meghan Moe Beitiks, Bronwyn Preece and Lisa Woynarski) performed an ecological action on the streets and state capitol of Nashville, Tennessee. As part of the American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR) conference, the performance began with a procession through the streets of downtown Nashville. Carrying large red buckets full of red wiggler worms, the performance proceeded to the grounds of the State Capitol where we surrounded a tree and “planted” the worms at the base. Red wiggler worms are prized for their fertilisation qualities and their ability to enrich the soil, providing nourishment for the tree. In conversation with State Capitol maintenance staff, we learned of previous, but not current, usage of RoundUp on these trees – necessitating further remediation, and equally not jeopardizing the life of the worms. Amidst curious looks and questions from onlookers, the performance sought to bring the research questions of the ASTR Ecology and Performance Working Session to a form of praxis, asking what the intersection of an ecologically positive action, performance and intervention would look like.

See video of the performance action here:

Sustainability in Theater conference this Monday and Tuesday

We’ve been talking about it for a couple of months, but it’s here! Tomorrow, Monday, April 30th, 2012 and the next day, Tuesday, May 1st, 2012, the Minnesota Theater Alliance, in partnership with The CSPA and the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) will be hosting Sustainability in Theater: People, Planet, Profit, Purpose at Brave New Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

In addition to the conference in Minneapolis, there will be many presenters and participants who will virtually attend with the help of Google+ Hangouts. People from across the US and from 4 countries will convening to talk about the impact of theater and its intersection with sustainable development.

It’s not too late to get involved! Head to http://minnesotatheateralliance.org/sit/about.php to learn more!

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.

* * * * * * *

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
Current PortfolioLinkedin ProfileDigital Archive

Selected Work Product by Willi Paul:

etIntersection: Scenography Expanding

etIntersection

Scenography Expanding

Symposia 1-3

Riga – Belgrade – Evora 2010

www.intersection.cz

Scenography Expanding

Invitation and Call for Papers

Throughout the past decade, scenographic practice and performance design have continuously moved beyond the black box of the theatre toward a hybrid terrain located at the intersections of theatre, architecture, exhibition, visual arts, and media. This terrain and its spaces are constructed from action and interaction. They are defined by individual and group behavior, and are contrasted by distinct behavioral patterns.

It is proposed here that spaces that are staged in such a way –  spaces that are at the same time hybrid, mediated, narrative, and transformative – result from a trans-disciplinary understanding of space and a distinct awareness of social agency. These two factors of “expansion” are seen as the central driving forces in contemporary scenographic practice and thought.

With the aim of initiating and hosting an active and trans-disciplinary discourse on the notion of an expanding scenography, the  Prague Quadrennial for Performance Design and Space issues an invitation for participation and a Call for Papers for the symposia and workshop sessions, Scenography Expanding 1-3 in 2010. Grouped under the overriding and programmatic title of Scenography Expanding, invited academic papers, artist’s presentations and expert workshop sessions will be looking to engage with notions of spectatorship, artists/authors, and curating in relation to the diverse artistic positions in contemporary spatial design.

In preparation for the Intersection Project of the Prague Quadrennial in June, 2011, we invite researchers in practice and theory (artists, curators, programers, directors, dramaturgs, critics, and theorists) to participate in 3 international scenography symposia held in Riga, Belgrade and Évora during 2010. The overall aim of these symposia is to unfold the wide range of disciplines, genres, theoretical, and artistic positions that comprise the relationships between spectator, artist/author and curator in contemporary scenographic/performance design practice.

Scenography Expanding 1-3 will be followed up by a peer-reviewed publication comprised of selected speakers` contributions in the form of academic papers and visual essays.  Guidelines for authors will be available shortly via download from www.intersection.cz.

Scenography Expanding 1: On Spectatorship

February 25 – 27, 2010

New Theatre Institute of Latvia, Riga, Latvia

Speaker presentations, panel discussions, and workshop sessions engage with effects of the proposed “scenographic turn” on notions of spectatorship in performance design and space.

How are contemporary theories of spectatorship expanding by the increasingly hybrid spaces that we inhabit – in theatre (performance), architecture, exhibition, and media?  Is “space” becoming a governing factor in the negotiation between performers and spectators?

Do hybrid spaces invite new agendas to be explored, performed, exhibited, and constructed? Does an expanding notion of scenography challenge/confirm established notions of live-ness and re-mediation?

Deadline for registration and submission of abstracts (please download the application form at ww.intersection.cz): 15.12.2009

Scenography Expanding 2: On Artists/Authors

July 9 – 11, 2010

BELEF Center and Festival, Belgrade, Serbia

Speaker presentations, panel discussions, and workshop sessions investigate the question of the identity of the artist/author in the conceptualization, construction and participation in hybrid scenographic and performance design spaces.

Who are the artists and teams responsible for creating contemporary scenographies in theatre, performance, architecture, exhibition, installation, and media? Is and/or how is the trans-disciplinary nature of scenographic teams reflected in the theoretical discourse on scenography? When does audience become a co-creator? When does a curator become a co-creator?

Deadline for registration and submission of abstracts (please download the application form at www.intersection.cz): 15.3.2010

Scenography Expanding 3: On Curating

September 27 – 29, 2010

Festival Escrita na Paisagem and Centro de História da Arte e Investigação Artística (CHAIA), Évora, Portugal

Speaker presentations, panel discussions, and workshop sessions are concerned with the complex role of the curator in exhibiting spatial practice. A range of models, examples, and future perspectives are introduced and discussed. How is scenographic practice in theatre (performance), architecture, exhibition, installation, and media framed in order to curate, program, communicate, display and reflect? When does an artist become a curator? Who is the author of the space? What are contemporary perspectives on the display of ephemeral practice? Between Badious’ call for “decidedness” (2005) and Bourriauds’ relational aesthetics (2002) – where do we stand?

Deadline for registration and submission of abstracts (please download the application form at www.intersection.cz): 15.6.2010

Symposia Conveners

Sodja Lotker, Prague Quadrennial Artistic Director

Thea Brejzek, Prague Quadrennial Curator for Theory

Please send abstracts of 300 words max, and a short bio to: sodja.lotker@pq.cz and thea.brejzek@zhdk.ch (please download the application form at www.intersection.cz).

We will inform you within two weeks of the submission deadline whether your proposal

has been accepted.

More information, including registration forms and the full program (keynote speakers and speakers, publication details, etc.), will be updated on: www.intersection.cz.

Join our mailing list to get the latest information: pq@pq.cz.

The symposia are part of the Intersection: Intimacy and Spectacle – a special international project of the Prague Quadrennial that explores performance and performativity as important elements of diverse art and cultural disciplines, focusing on performance design and scenography as interdisciplinary fields.  The project will consist of two central parts: research symposia as well as interactive installations/performance that will take place in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Latvia, Ireland, Great Britain, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Portugal during 2011 and 2012.

Intersection project is organized by the Prague Quadrennial (CZ) in co-operation with the New Theatre Institute of Latvia (LAT); the Irish Theatre Institute (IE); the Victoria and Albert Museum (GB); the BELEF Festival (RS); the Kretakör Theatre Company (HU); the National Theatre Prague (CZ); Ente Teatrale Italiano (IT); Kiasma Theatre, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (FI); as well as the Institute of Design & Technology, Design Department, Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK (CH); the Escrita na Paisagem’s Festival de Performance e Artes da Terra (PT); the Centro de História da Arte e Investigação Artística (PT).

With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.

The Prague Quadrennial is organized by Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and Arts and Theatre Institute.

State of Climate Art: On FIRE!

The Arts (music, poetry, theater and film) are one of the best vehicle in which to reach specific target audiences with your message.  Hollywood films (An Inconvenient Truth), Live Aid, and Rock the Vote are some examples that come to mind. However, I think we’re only just scratching the surface and need to more fully integrate sustainability messages into cultural programming. Someone needs to create a Sustainability Hip Hop Dance that rivals the Macarena.  Maybe the movements could simulate recycling?

I’m glad to see eco-luminary, Bill McKibben, agrees with me and is spurring a tidal wave of climate change art. Check out Bill McKibben’s article on the state of climate change art, includes references to many great works of eco-art.  Also check out his 350.org Art Page which showcases the intersection of marketing, art, and climate change.

Go to Eco-Catalysts

Mo`olelo Receives $30,000 Grant from The James Irvine Foundation

Funds will commission playwright Chantal Bilodeau to write a play on race, poverty and environment

Thursday, June 18, 2009 – San Diego, CA – Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, San Diego’s community-focused, socially-conscious, Equity theater company, today announced The James Irvine Foundation has awarded the Company a $30,000 grant over two years to commission a new play by Chantal Bilodeau. This grant is made as part of the Irvine Foundation’s Creative Connections Fund, which was designed to reach small and midsize arts organizations pursuing a diversity of projects and ideas.

The funds will support the commissioning, work-shopping and development of an original script by Ms. Bilodeau that focuses on the contemporary debate over the Northwest Passage and the intersection of climate change, commercial opportunity and the survival of Inuit peoples native to the region. Through the play development process, Mo`olelo will engage San Diego’s Native American populations and environmental organizations to contribute to the evolution of the script through public readings and discussions.

Mo`olelo launched a greening initiative in 2007 to identify how theater can be created without damaging the long-term health of our communities and the environment. In addition, central to Mo`olelo’s mission is to select plays that focus on diverse communities and allow the Company to engage local, nontraditional theater audiences.

“Commissioning this play will provide an opportunity for Mo`olelo to draw the connection between issues of race, class and the environment,” said Seema Sueko, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Mo`olelo. “This will allow us to support on stage, through content, the greening work we are doing backstage.”

The commission will launch in July 2009, with a first workshop and public reading of the script tentatively scheduled for June 2010. Revisions and adjustments will be made and a second workshop and public reading is scheduled for May 2011. The script is expected to be completed by June 2011.

Chantal Bilodeau is a playwright and translator originally from Montreal, Canada. Her plays include Pleasure & Pain (Magic Theatre; Foro La Gruta and Teatro La Capilla, Mexico City), The Motherline (Ohio University; University of Miami), Tagged (Ohio University; Alleyway Theatre), as well as several shorts that have been presented by Brass Tacks Theatre, City Theatre Company, The Met Theater, Philadelphia Dramatists, Raw Impressions, and Women’s Project. She has been a fellow in the Women’s Project Playwrights’ Lab, the Lark Playwrights Workshop and at the Dramatists Guild and has received grants from NYSCA, the Canada Council for the Arts, Stichting LIRA Fonds (The Netherlands), the Quebec Government House, Étant Donnés: The French-American Fund for the Performing Arts and Association Beaumarchais (France). Her translations include plays by Quebec playwrights Larry Tremblay and Catherine Léger, French-African playwright Koffi Kwahulé and Jean Cocteau. Current projects include the book for the musical The Quantum Fairies in collaboration with composer Lisa DeSpain and lyricist Mindi Dickstein and the translation of four more plays by Koffi Kwahulé.

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundation’s grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1 billion in grants to more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With $1.4 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $78 million in 2008 for the people of California.

About Mo`olelo – Mo`olelo means story in Hawaiian. Selected as the inaugural Resident Theatre Company at La Jolla Playhouse, Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company is a socially-conscious theatre organization dedicated to broadening the scope of San Diego’s cultural environment by telling powerful stories that are as diverse as the islands of Hawaii, by paying Equity wages to local actors and developing environmentally-friendly theatre practices. A recipient of the Patté, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, McDonald Playwriting and the Anti-Discrimination Awards, its mission is to create new works based on research within various communities, produce lesser-known works by master and contemporary playwrights, and educate youth. To learn more, visit www.moolelo.net or call 619-342-7395.

grant from The James Irvine Foundation « Mo`olelo Blog.

Mammut Magazine // Exploring the intersection of art and nature

ISSUE #2 SPRING 2009: LIVING WITH THE CITY

As the worlds population is increasingly concentrated in urban centers, how we choose to interact, develop and live in these cities will only become more important. With a variety of perspectives but by no means comprehensive, we hope this issue offers new ideas, directions and ways of understanding urban life.

Featuring contributions by Nicholas Bauch, Maya Brym, Ian Garrett, Charlie Grosso, Teira Johnson, Ari Kletzsky, Gerard Olson, Camilo Ontiveros, David Snyder, Ashwani Vasishth, and Sue Yank. Cover design by Teira Johnson.

Mammut Magazine // Exploring the intersection of art and nature.

Mammut is one of our Partners and we’ll be promoting the magazine at Earth Matters on Stage and other future conferences. Please check out the introduction to the CSPA included in the issue. Plans are in the works for the CSPA to guest edit a future issue.

Mammut Magazine // Exploring the intersection of art and nature

 

 

 

ISSUE #2 SPRING 2009: LIVING WITH THE CITY

 

As the world’s population is increasingly concentrated in urban centers, how we choose to interact, develop and live in these cities will only become more important. With a variety of perspectives but by no means comprehensive, we hope this issue offers new ideas, directions and ways of understanding urban life.

 Mammut Magazine // Exploring the intersection of art and nature.

APInews: Panel: Art + Land Reclamation, Urban Ecology

The role that art, architecture and design play in land reclamation and urban ecology is topic of an upcoming panel at Parsons the New School for Design in N.Y.C. The panel, set for April 10, 2009, will discuss transdisciplinary fieldwork in art, landscape architecture and industrial reclamation, focusing on the field methods of Land Arts of the American West at Texas Tech and the Incubo Atacama Lab in Chile. Land Arts, directed by Chris Taylor, is a field program that investigates the intersection of geomorphology and human construction beginning with the land and extending through the complex social and ecological processes that produce contemporary landscapes. The Incubo Atacama Lab project began when the curatorial exchange organization Incubo invited Taylor to bring the working methods of Land Arts to Chile. Taylor will participate along with Incubo artists and more.

via APInews: Panel: Art + Land Reclamation, Urban Ecology .

How to Save the World: Environmental Health Clinic

There’s a fun exhibit that just closed in the Netherlands called How to Save the World in 10 Days. Rather than instantly transforming our planet to a heavenly glowing utopia, the festival instead presented an overview of worldwide cultural and artistic efforts to defend the planet from impending doom.

The artworks ranged from bikes made of car parts to emergency shelters, from reverse graffiti to car condoms. That last one involved actually sliding a condom over a car tailpipe, then watching it balloon up and sputter away. Worked practically for a minute, then served mostly as comic relief.

A performance that seemed to encapsulate the essence of the ish was the performance “Environmental Health Clinic.” The artist set up a booth in the center of a busy intersection and encouraged visitors to sit and unload their environmental concerns. She then would offer guidance, reassurance, and action tips. Environmentalism as a primary means for assuaging fears. How to Save the World was up at Vooiruit in Gent. Thanks to we make money not art.

Go to the Green Museum