LED

LDI 2011 Green Product Award goes to ArcSystems house light

A large crowd of LDI2011 attendees and exhibitors gathered for the annual LDI awards ceremony and cocktail reception, held this year on Saturday, October 29 at 5:15pm in Orlando, FL, where LDI marked its 24th year.  The Best Green Product Award (sponsored by Showman Fabricators): ArcSystem house light manufactured by GDS.

The ArcSystem is a new range of LED auditorium lighting fixtures that are truly dimmable from 0% to 100% using the wireless ARC Mesh protocol for control. This allows you to retrofit the ARC system without the need to rewire your auditorium.

The ARC system comes in a range of options for both recessed or surface mount, single cell to multi-cell including 1,2,3,5 and 8 cells. The optics are available in a range of beam angles including 19deg 24deg and 37deg. Using high efficiency optics and LED’s, GDS ARC system is able to produce a CRI in excess of 93 with a range of colour temperatures.

100 posts on art and ecology resource site grows alongside a slow art-forest project

This post comes to you from An Arts and Ecology Notebook

Post image for 100 posts on art and ecology resource site grows alongside a slow art-forest project

Museum of Nature, 2004 by photographer Ilkka Halso

This is my 100th post on my art & ecology notebook site – amazing! I’m as shocked as probably you are and its made me realise that I have created quite an archive of the different means where arts and ecology intersect.

new ecoartfilm site

What started out in 2008 as a small personal notebook has grown – it initially was a place to put inspiring art & ecology projects and resources that I came across in one place and also a means to house the beginnings of my own long term art & ecology project. From a small rural location the site has allowed me to gather and make visible projects that often fall outside the mainstream agendas of many galleries and it has allowed my own practice to travel to many unexpected destinations.  For newer readers my artistic work is about creating small audiovisual works that touch on the small forest that surrounds our house that we are transforming from a monoculture conifer plantation into a permanent mixed species forest. Mostly my own work is about how we engage with ‘nature’ in general and its led me to pursue the idea of whether audiovisual video works can be used in a  more ecocentric way, if that is possible (if you are interested my  research on this topic can be found here).  My art & ecology site been quite an odd jumble of  things and early posts were a bit random, but my readership has steadily grown even though my posts can appear a bit infrequently. Thank you for all the comments along the way too – you have no idea how this small site has enabled my work to develop and connect with others!

new archive page

Anyway, to mark this blogging milestone I’ve spent a little bit of time and created an illustrated Archive page  and  a new dropdown Category section on the home page where you can easily see all the art

disciplines for instance that I have written about; from film to dance, to music to policy papers on culture and sustainability. You are more than welcome to share any of these posts along.

Some of you might also be aware that I wrote a research paper on networking the arts to save the earth earlier this year. It was a whopping 8,000 words, designed to reach out and comment on how cultural practitioners of all types could best use online social media networks. Social media is something I’ve worked with for several years in a past job where I helped develop a  large online arts community.  A lot of the paper was me trying to figure out the potential or not of social media, amongst all the hype and suddenness in which these

a new article

technologies have now appeared in our lives, and examine their value for art & ecology practitioners. The paper seemed to have struck a nerve – I expect it was probably the  fact that many working in this field are both isolated geographically but also isolated on the fringes of contemporary art practice.  A much shortened form of the article was printed in the Aug 2011 Irish Visual Arts Newsheet. It was then picked up by one of the editors as a feature article on the international

site HerCircleEzine.com –  an online site that for the last 6 years has been dedicated to women’s socially engaged practice. I was surprised and delighted –  to tell the truth the research paper had been turned down originally for an academic journal (not that I was too surprised about this as it was my first attempt) but of course, a paper on social media, should be circulating on social media not stuck in some academic journal. I’ve created a resource page of the many various art & ecology networks too – please feel free to tell me about other networks not listed. There’s more too, I’ve also been asked to write a regular column on the HerCircleEzine site about art & ecology and my research practice, starting in November which I must say is a bit daunting as if you examine the site you’ll see the articles written are of a very high standard. 

holly dog looking proud

Hollywood - smallest close-to-nature forest in Ireland (pictured: Holly at the forest entrance)

You might have also noticed the blue forest image above – the Museum of Nature created by Finnish photographer Ilkka Halso. I found this image intriguing; its from a larger body of works by Ilkka called Restoration (2004). While I don’t like the idea of putting a forest in a cage I could identify with this artist’s interest with forests. I have also come across a  number of artists who describe their art & ecology works as ‘restoration’ environmental projects. It’s not a term I use for my own forest project; while restoration of sites is obviously important I think much more needs to be addressed. Undoubtedly we can learn much from restoring sites/habitats, but for me,  I think there is something more interesting in transformation; transforming the ideas and practices of how we relate to nature (a tricky area when one begins to examine it though) and hence, transforming how we behave on this one finite earth. You might be wondering why I’ve added this paragraph at the end of this post – I was saving the best for last :-) . My tiny forest, nick-named ‘Hollywood’ has been getting some attention. ‘Hollywood’ is now listed on the new Irish database for forests that are being managed in a permanent way – its the smallest plantation undergoing ‘transformation’ to become a forest, in Ireland. We manage the forest following close-to-nature principles ( a low impact management system that follows nature’s own dynamics). As it is an ecological type of forest management it means that the forest is sustainable not only for our use (we get firewood, birdsong, oxygen, sanity etc from it) but as it will never be clear-felled; the overall biodiversity, soil fertility and carbon-sink values on the site will only ever increase.

Funny, how this writing about transformation has slipped into this post, as I often have a lot of difficulty in talking about my creative work – in fact, I think its much better presented by the forest itself (click on the image below if you can’t see the film).

If you have any comments, do write in!

transformation 2011

 

An Arts & Ecology Notebook, by Cathy Fitzgerald, whose work exists as ongoing research and is continually inspired to create short films, photographic documentation, and writings. While she interacts with foresters, scientists, and communities, she aims to create a sense of a personal possibility, responsibility and engagement in her local environment that also connects to global environmental concerns.
Go to An Arts and Ecology Notebook

Sustainable Solutions for a Fair Future – monthly public talks at Arcola Theatre

From April 2011 Arcola, alongside Hackney and Tower Hamlets Friends of the Earth group, are hosting a series of monthly, expert-led talks around exciting and challenging aspects of sustainability. Our overaraching theme is innovation, and tangible solutions to the sustainability issues of both today and tomorrow.

For an overview of the series of talks, please see HERE. They take place on the last Thursday of each month, from 6 – 7.30pm, at Arcola Theatre 

Our first speaker on 28 April is Sue Riddlestone, of BioRegional.  Information coming soon on her proposed topic – which will undoubtedly fire up conversation and inspire new thought.

Look forward to seeing you there.

All the best
Arcola Energy Team

ARTSADMIN WEEKENDERS 2010

Six intensive weekend workshops led by artists renowned for their approaches to making, facilitation and participation.

Artsadmin’s Weekenders are open to all practitioners regardless of level of experience; all that is required is an openness to meet, talk, play, perform and collaborate. The second series of Weekenders starts in September 2010 and runs through to April 2011. Come to one or all – each Weekender operates as a stand-alone while the series as a whole offers an opportunity to work with an outstanding range of artists.

The next series of Weekenders will be led by Station House Opera (Julian Maynard Smith), Simon Vincenzi, Kira O’Reilly, Oreet Ashery, João Fiadeiro and Karen Christopher.

Curated by the Artists’ Advisor at Artsadmin, the series reflects a wide range of performance practices. The content of each Weekender will be unique to the lead artist, reflective of their practice and responsive to the group of participants.

25 – 26 Sep 2010Julian Maynard Smith
13 – 14 Nov 2010
Simon Vincenzi
11 – 12 Dec 2010
Kira O’Reilly
12 – 13 Feb 2011
Oreet Ashery
12 – 13 Mar 2011
João Fiadeiro
16 – 17 Apr 2011
Karen Christopher

All Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm
Please be sure you can attend both days in full
£60 per weekend
Strictly limited to 16 places per lab.

Book online via http://www.artsadmin.co.uk/opportunities/bursary.php?id=17
or call 020 7650 2350

via WOOLOO.ORG – ARTSADMIN WEEKENDERS 2010.

Bandit Lites Strives for 80% Green by December 2011 | iSquint.net

From Justin Lang over at iSquint.net

Here is an interesting story from Bandit Lites in Nashville. With the huge kick to “Go Green”, Bandit Lites has taken it one step further. While most companies are working on ways to develop and manufacturer low energy usage lighting fixtures, Bandit Lites is re-thinking their entire operation, starting with the logo.  To help show that they are serious about the push to go green, Bandit Lites has changed the color of their logo and website to green.  But it doesn’t stop their.  They are also looking at their facilities as well and how to cut down on energy loss and waste as well as cutting back on printed materials and sorting for recycling.

But it doesn’t stop there, what about out on tour.  Bandit Lites has been working with GRNlite to develop energy efficient and affordable LED fixtures. Below is a photo of the LEDs that Bandit and GRNlite have developed.

You can learn more about Bandit Lites GRNlites LED fixtures by visiting their web site at www.banditlites.com.  So why is Bandit Lights pushing so hard to become much more energy efficient by December 2011?  The same reason all of us need to look at our energy usage, to help keep our world here for many years to come.

via Bandit Lites Strives for 80% Green by December 2011 | iSquint.net.

The achilles heel of climate campaigners

As American writer Barbara Ehrenreich suggests in her book Bright-Sided, it’s now OK to say that optimism may be over-rated.  If a relentless economic positivism led to the economic crash, I’d also say that an instituational inability to say how dire things really are environmentally must now be seen as one of the contributing factors to why the public are reluctant to back the kind of radical measures we need from COP15.

In private, climate experts often admit they’re scared silly about what the future’s going to be like; in public they maintain a more positive face. There are, of course, very good reasons for this. Conventionally, we assume that people don’t change unless there’s something in it for them. But what if the climate crisis doesn’t fit this paradigm for cultural change? What if we actually need to start to panic to achieve change?

A slightly comic tussle took place on Monday in the Guardian between two people – both climate campaigners – who hold opposing views on this. The new British bugle blower for looking apocalypse in the face has been the writer and activist Paul Kingsnorth, who, along with his friend Dougald Hine, established the anti-modernist Dark Mountain Project to urge us to embrace the end of civilisation, (see this blog from  a few weeks ago). Kingsnorth’s radical view is that civilisation is the disease, not the cure. Any efforts civilisation makes to combat climate change are doomed to failure, and will only prolong the descent.

Kingsnorth and the Guardian’s climate rottweiler George Monbiot went to head on this, Kingsnorth belittling Monbiot’s efforts to browbeat us to reform ourselves:

We still believe that we will be able to continue living more or less the same comfortable lives (albeit with more windfarms and better lightbulbs) if we can only embrace “sustainable development” rapidly enough; and that we can then extend it to the extra 3 billion people who will shortly join us on this already gasping planet.

It’s an odd situation for Monbiot to find himself in. Monbiot is more accustomed to coming under attack from the denial-bots of the conspiracist fringe. Now activist Kingsnorth himself is attacking his friend Monbiot forbeing a denialist. You have to feel sorry for the man. Interestingly poet and author Kingsnorth comes at the issue as much as an artist as a camaigner – and as noted earlier – art often scratches at the apocalyptic door.

Monbiot’s obvious defence is to point out that Kingsnorth’s millenarianism has a lurid seam of misanthropy to it:

I note that you have failed to answer my question about how many people the world could support without modern forms of energy and the systems they sustain, but 2 billion is surely the optimistic extreme. You describe this mass cull as “a long descent” or a “retreat to a saner world”. Have you ever considered a job in the Ministry of Defence press office?

Monbiot is right of course. Kingsnorth’s world is a dark one. It’s just whenever I hear Monbiot arguing like this, there’s something about the primness of his tone, the convolutions of his clauses and the use of words like “surely” that always makes me think of Miss Jean Brodie.

But despite the misanthropy of Kingsnorth’s position, he has hit on a real achilles heel of the climate change movement. It’s never healthy to believe one thing and say another.

Read the Guardian article.

The Dark Mountain Project

By the by, Kingsnorth himself refers to Monbiot’s love of McCarthy’s The Road as evidence of Monbiot’s own millenarianism. Kingsnorth and I have been disagreeing about that book (see comments); he doesn’t think it’s about climate change at all. It’s one of those arguments where the only solution will be to pull McCarthy off the sidewalk and ask him himself:

EDIT. Coincidentally, Bill McKibben and Steven Colbert also danced around the same maypole on the Colbert Report, with Cobert adopting a slightly lighter form of millenarianism: “It’s game over. We should all have end of the world sex, right now. We’re all going to die!”

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bill McKibben
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Dirk Fleischmann: myforestfarm

What happens when real life interrupts your fantasy life? Artist Dirk Fleischmann was an active user of the virtual world Second Life when his concerns about the impact of his presence there led him to establish a real-life farm project in the Phillippines. Out of that experience, the RSA Arts & Ecology Centrecommissioned Fleischmann to make a piece of work would address the online the community.
Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Arcola Receives Bronze Award!

Arcola Theatre received a Bronze award at the Green Tourism Awards ceremony held on 13 November 2008. According to the assessor, ‘Arcola Theatre is an extra ordinary business with a range of exemplary green practices in an old and energy inefficient building. The green team is excellent and
the staff have implemented some excellent practices as noted with the café produce,
the fuel cell technology, the LED spot lighting and the work with the local
community to establish a local transition town’.
Next year we’d like Silver and eventually Gold, so we will be continuing to work towards
making Arcola as sustainable as possible. The Green Assessment we received as part of this scheme provides a perfect basis upon which to inform our Sustainability Policy, so we would encourage others to sign up.

audit-08-arcola-theatre-13

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Greenwashing Alert: Rose Brand Neo-Flex

I receive a lot of mail, electronic and other wise, that deals with the lighting industry. My personal artistic practice is heavily centered in the discipline of lighting design and it behooves me to keep up with what is happening in the industry.

Lighting design in theater is uses alot of resources. The amount of electricity needed to illuminate a show is staggering even on the lowest levels, as compared to your average home or office.  And, since technology is not in a place where you can really design a show in a traditional sense, it will be a very hard transition to make headway in this sector of the performing arts. I won’t go into it much here, but will refer you to my paper, The Ecological Sustainability of Theatrical Lighting, on the site here.

This morning I received an email for Rose Brand, a company that makes curtains, expendables and useful items for theater production, based in Los Angeles. It is promoting their NeoFlex product.  It is a Flexible Linear Light, which may as well be called rope light. It uses LEDs and can come in different colors as well as an RGB color change model.  It is diffused to look like a solid linear light and since it uses LEDs, it is extremely energy efficient, which is to say it is marketable as “green.”

So is it green?

For any application which it is suited, yes, it is a more “green” solution that others on the market. I won’t say it’s the greenest; I’m not going to do a side by side analysis of similar products. But if you need a linear lighting solution, sure, it is.  If you’re looking for an alternative to neon, it would be a good one. Neon, relative to an incandescent bulb, is pretty efficient, so the energy savings wouldn’t be huge. But, it is safer since it is not breakable glass and doesn’t require the high voltages that neon does. And it won’t be as hot as neon. There are some design advantages too: it is flexible, reusable, doesn’t need to be made to order and the color options are greater, especially the color changing RGB.

What other applications does it have? You could use it for cove lighting… where you have a wash against a wall or the ceiling to provide indirect decorative lighting. You could use it for any light rope application as well. You’d probably only want to replace rope light that was decorative though because of the look of the NeoFlex as it is much more expensive.  But,  the point is that it is primarily decorative, not a particularly practical light source at all. As a designer, I’m more interested on what its applications are and what I can do with it. As a color changing, cool to the touch, flexible linear light source I’m interested in it. I like that it uses much less power, and my clients will like that it would save them money if they’re looking for the effect that it produces versus an alternative.

So is it green?

No.

Why? It doesn’t solve a problem. It offers an interesting solution to a design problem, but not a constructive solution to a particularly unsustainable and existing solution to that design problem.  It is a little more energy efficient than fiber optic solutions, but doesn’t do anything that you can’t already do with fiber optics. Furthermore, it uses more material and isn’t as adaptable as fiber optic solutions as I have used it.

There is a lot of lighting products out there being green washed.  LEDs aren’t yet practical or cost effective in general use, but they are pretty, colorful and you can control their use pretty extensively, so they are used a lot in theatrical settings. For putting color on stage or anywhere for that matter where you would otherwise use a lot of incandescent or halogen sources, LEDS offer a great step in the right direction on energy used and heat generated.  But, it seems that you stick an LED in something and it becomes green. It isn’t as green washed as the source four, which is marketed as green because it has high efficacy and outputs with 575w for which other instruments require 1000w, but it’s tiring.

Just because something use an LED doesn’t make it green, especially if you have developed it for the other benefits of LED use. It’s lazy marketing and a paid forward pitch for the marketing of the application, be it show or club or what have you, to pitch that application as one which use green technology over alternatives.

Using more of something which is more efficient is still using more.

Also in the email, which you can see if you click here, are the Flora Series of fabric hanging flowers, Design Master Colortool® Spray Paint, 12 oz. Cans and Panorama Tour Edition. What the first and last have to do at all with being green I don’t get and to call an aerosol paint “eco” because the can is partially recycled steel and it’s non-toxic after it dries is a  stretch (read the warnings on those labels folks). Be careful.