Museum Of Modern Art

Art about climate change: a new trend

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

rain-room590

“Wow, I wish I knew someone dealing with climate change. How is it that no artists are working with the most compelling issue that affects all of us?”

Jane Tsong said this to Robby Herbst when he asked her if she would direct him to an Los Angeles-based artist addressing the topic in May 2013.

“Climate change poses some tough problems for artists: as a concept, it has long seemed too big, too grim, too abstract, too political and too far away. Efforts to portray it quickly become too preachy, too scientific, too shaming. Few can make a living from making people feel bad about themselves and doomed about the world.”

An anonymous reporter wrote this in the Economist on 20 July 2013. The Economist writer sees a new trend where cultural meditations on climate change are becoming more popular, and mentions three recent examples of this:

• New York’s Museum of Modern Art has had a summer-long arts festival, ‘Expo 1: New York’, that attempts to address climate change and the ecological challenges of the 21st century. The exhibitions of the festival will be on view until 2 September 2013.

• In January 2013, Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt began what it calls ‘The Anthropocene Project’ — a two-year culture programme that considers the human impact on the natural world.

• In October 2013, Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, one of the largest in North America, will host ‘Carbon 14’ — an art exhibition and four-month programme of plays, talks and seminars about climate change.

Touch and disturb
The exhibitions, shows and festival ‘Expo 1: New York’ at Museum of Modern Art features the short film ‘The Drowning Room’, an installation by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson called ‘Your Waste of Time’, a ‘Rain Room’ by the London-based group Random International which is a room of falling water for visitors to walk through, and an exhibition of a group of large photographs of the American frontier by Ansel Adams.

Anchoring the exhibition/show/festival at Museum of Modern Art is ‘Dark Optimism’. “The name, coined by online publication Triple Canopy, encapsulates the sentiment of being on the edge of apocalypse, tempered with the hope of technological innovation. Featuring work from 35 artists, including Joseph Beuys, Adrián Villar Rojas, Meg Webster, Agnes Denes, and Anna Betbeze, a selection of landscapes by Ansel Adams, and a group exhibition curated by Josh Kline preoccupied with the human body and technology, Dark Optimism seeks to reconcile the failure of Modernism’s ideals with humanity’s capacity for an improved future,” wrote Colleen Kelsey in Interview Magazine.

The Economist interviewed Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1, the contemporary wing of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, who explained:

“After Hurricane Sandy in late 2012 — which destroyed New York’s coastline, ruined many art galleries and left locals feeling vulnerable — the show’s environmental concerns became more urgent.” At a time when climate is vanishing from the political agenda, Klaus Biesenbach believes art can “touch and disturb” in ways that charts and articles cannot.

Can artists do better?
“Climate change is one area where the communication of uncertainty has landed scientists in dangerous territory. Can artists do better?,” asks art and science blogger Johanna Kieniewicz, who herself is a ‘bridge-crosser’ between the two worlds holding a PhD in Earth and Planetary Science as well as a foundation degree in fine art.

In her blog ‘Plos – where art and science meet’, she concluded in a blogpost on 25 July 2013, titled ‘Art of Uncertainty’:

“Artists are not going to solve scientists’ problem of communicating uncertainty pertaining to climate change. This is something that scientists themselves need to do, perhaps with help from sociologists and innovative designers. But in so doing, scientists must recognise that in the communication of uncertainty, they must not just win minds, but also hearts. This does not necessarily come naturally. I suspect that there is a great opportunity for artists who are interested in collaborating with scientists to engage in this area.”

Art contest: CoolClimate
Luis Hestres wrote on 1sky.org:

The folks at the Creative Visions, Crosscurrents and Quixote Foundations realize that art has the potential to move and inspire people the way facts and figures, necessary as they are, simply can’t. After all, there’s a reason why a copy of Picasso’s Guernica is hanging at the U.N. building instead of a fact sheet about casualties during the Spanish Civil War.

That’s why they’ve launched the CoolClimate Art Contest, which has been running since 12 July and closes on 6 September 2013:

The contest seeks to generate iconic images that address the impact of climate change and spurs participation in the climate change debate. Create a work that encompasses the questions above and explores our relationship with the climate — from clean energy jobs to pollution-free oceans — the subject choice is yours.

The contest will be judged by a who’s who from the artistic, scientific and climate advocacy worlds:

  • Jackson Browne (musician)
  • Jayni Chase (philanthropist)
  • Chevy Chase (comedian)
  • Mel Chin (artist)
  • Dianna Cohen (environmental artist)
  • Philippe Cousteau (ecologist)
  • Agnes Gund (renown art collector)
  • Van Jones (environmental activist)
  • David Ross (former head of Whitney Museum and SF Museum of Modern Art)
  • Carrie Mae Weems (artist)

The deadline to submit artwork is 6 September 2013. If you’ve decided to participate, good luck!


Sources:

The Economist – 20 July 2013:
Art about climate change: Chilling
“The future is uncertain. It is also inspiring.”

Interview Magazine – 24 April 2013:
MOMA PS1’S Current Climate
By Colleen Kelsey

ArtNews – 13 November 2012:
A Climate Change in the Art World?
The art community is digging out, drying off, counting its losses, helping its neighbors–and starting to prepare for the hurricanes of the future. By Robin Cembalest

Artbound – 10 May 2013:
Who Makes Art About Climate Change?
By Robby Herbst

Plos – 25 July 2013:
‘Art of Uncertainty’
By Johanna Kieniewicz

1sky.org – 11 August 2013:
CoolClimate Art Contest sets out to inspire climate action
By Luis Hestres

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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Art and Ecology?

This post comes to you from Cultura21

LogoMay 17-8 September 2013, Make active choices. Art and ecology : How? , Museum of Modern Art

Freiburg is particularly  involved  in ecological issues; as a “Green city” it  takes part in current discussions about sustainable development. In this dynamic, artists can bring new ideas : by getting involved, infiltrating, polemicising, reinterpreting and offering alternatives.For the exhibition Make active choices. Art and ecology : How? national and international artists are taking part the reflexion. With the active involvement of the visitors, the interaction between man and the environment becomes a concrete experience.

Freiburg theatre is taking part in the project by holding a symposium and an experimental game called “Regiodrom”. In front of the museum itself, urban gardeners work together with interested visitors to create green spaces. Moreover, the documentary “Earth”, directed by Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, reveals insights into the natural world – providing a starting point and incentive for sustainable activities.

For more information click here

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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Arts for a safe climate – in Australia

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

climarte-frontdumpWhat are the Australians doing in the field of arts and sustainability? CLIMARTE is an Australian organisation which has set out to “harness the creative power of the arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change”, and their April 2013 newsletter gives you a good introduction to the numerous arts activities in the country which are dealing with issues of sustainability or climate change:

fiona_hall_heide0725a7

Newsletter from Climarte – Arts for a Safe Climate

Fiona Hall: Big Game Hunting
One of Australia’s most prominent contemporary artists, Fiona Hall is best known for extraordinary works that transform commonplace materials into vital organic forms with both contemporary and historical resonances. This trans-disciplinary survey exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art highlights her recent practice and her continuing focus on the relationship between nature and culture.

The exhibition includes trophy-style sculptures of endangered species from the International Conservation Union’s ‘Red List’, rendered in military camouflage and embellished with recycled items from contemporary culture, and a series of stunning bark-cloths, video and sculptural pieces inspired by a 2011 expedition to the unique marine environment of the Kermadec Trench on the Pacific Rim of Fire. This is a thought provoking and eerily beautiful exhibition — not to be missed!
At Heide Museum of Modern Art until 21 July 2013.

carbon-arts

Carbon Arts at Sydney Windmill
The Rocks Windmill will be host to the ElectriCITY Sparks program, which sees a windmill as the platform for exploring creative responses to our collective energy future, demanding an examination of history, community, and sustainability.

ElectriCITY Sparks focuses on energy efficiency, a journey that everyone of us can embark upon, and calls upon the creative sector and the creative in all of us to make this journey fun, rewarding and effective.

Over a week from 6-12 May, Carbon Arts will be putting on a film night, an exhibition, a panel session with leading industry, government, artist and community members, a gadget demo of all manner of home energy management devices from the kooky to the collaborative and a Hacker workshop for DIY and energy enthusiasts.

Most events are free, but need to be booked. Visit therocks.com or click on the links below for details on each event.

May 6-12 (9am-5pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Community Eco-Viz Exhibition
May 8 (5.30-8pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Panel Discussion
May 11 and 12 (2-4pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Gadget Demo
May 11 (3.30-6.30pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Maker Workshop
May 12 (6-8pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Film Night

Location: The Rocks Square, Sydney
Start date: 6 May 2013
End date: 12 May 2013
Price: mostly free

Presented by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Media Lab and Carbon Arts. Most events FREE, but places are limited so book to avoid disappointment.

climate-guardians

Climate Guardians
Climate Guardians are a political theatre troupe formed in response to insufficient Government action on increasingly alarming findings by climate scientists that we are fast approaching a ‘tipping point’ after which we will not be able to avert catastrophic climate change.

“We follow the practice of civil disobedience and all our actions and interventions are non-violent.” Check out some of the Climate Guardian’s latest actions

thin-ice

Thin Ice
Visit researchers on four continents and the ocean as they study the changes in the atmosphere, oceans and ice sheets through measurements (from instruments, satellites, ice and rock) and computer modelling.

They talk about their work, and their hopes and fears, with a rare candour and directness, creating an intimate portrait of the global community of researchers racing to understand our planet’s changing climate.  View on-line, or arrange a public screening.
Film Search
Environmental Film Festival Melbourne 2013 is looking for films highlighting the impacts of society on the environment, or the impacts of the environment on society. EFFM will consider all submissions and select films for presentation at EFFM 2013. Entries close 31 May 2013. You can get the submission form here.

Petition: Paid to Pollute
Australians are encouraged to tell the Federal Treasurer and their local MPs to stop Australia’s $10 billion annual handout to big fossil fuel polluters.

Money to Australian arts student’s study in the US
The American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia Inc., in conjunction with the American Australian Association, is offering a scholarship for an Australian graduate or post graduate student of the Fine Arts or Curatorial Studies wishing to further their studies in the United States. The AusArt Fellowship is for up to US$ 30,000 a year. More information here.

digital-change-maker

Digital Change Makers
The Collaboratory are looking for four passionate change makers to undergo an eight week intensive training program provided by some of Australia’s leading digital change makers.

Gain skills and experience in order to co-create strategy, build websites, communicate online and use social media to build movements of positive change.

Apprenticeships start on 13 May 2013. Applications close: 3 May 2013.

ClimarteWebHeadCrop

“We need a big movement, and big movements come from beauty and meaning, not columns of statistics.”
Bill McKibben

Climarte writes on their home page:
“The arts can be a catalyst for change. Those who work, live and play in the arts represent all that is creative, imaginative and hopeful in humanity. It is time for us to engage with our communities and our leaders, our peers and our audiences. It is time to let them know that we will act, and that we expect them to act on this threat to humanity and our world. It is time to have our voices heard on climate change.”

You can subscribe to CLIMARTE’s newsletter here: climarte.org

CLIMARTE’s postal address is:
P.O.Box 2429 Richmond South
Victoria 3121 AUSTRALIA

 

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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Elizabeth Demaray’s "lichaffiti"

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

In early October in New York City during Art In Odd Places, a visual and performing arts festival sited in the public sphere along 14th Street from river to river, you just might have been lucky enough to take a walking tour with artist Elizabeth Demaray to visit her Lichen for Skyscrapers Project. For this project, Demaray sought to ameliorate the lack of native vegetation found in global cities by culturing lichen on the sides of skyscrapers and other manmade structures. The artist states “Lichen, a wonderfullyadaptable plant, can grow vertically on many porous surfaces. Once propagated,it forms a protective barrier, insulating its supporting surface from harmfulelements while serving to lower the cumulative temperature in metropolitancenters.” Lichen, which barely needs any water to survive, is an ideal plant for a public work project, and also is intended by the artist to remedy the urban heat island effect. It is known to lower temperatures by absorbing sunlight and reflects heat due to its color, while also making oxygen, and it doesn’t have any roots!

Demaray concocted a lichen slurry consisting of lichen with natural protean substrate that was spread on various surfaces of buildings after gaining permission from the owners. It takes about three months for the lichen to propagate. If it doesn’t take, it simply dries up and blows away to find another place with more favorable conditions. A video of the plantings and walking tour are currently being produced featuring time-laps footage.

Demaray teaches at Rutgers-Camden. She is a recipient of the National Studio Award at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and is a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellow in sculpture.

All photographs taken by Elizabeth Cheviot

 

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

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

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

Green Light: Toward an Art of Evolution

A book to check out soon…

by George Gessert

Humans have bred plants and animals with an eye to aesthetics for centuries: flowers are selected for colorful blossoms or luxuriant foliage; racehorses are bred for the elegance of their frames. Hybridized plants were first exhibited as fine art in 1936, when the Museum of Modern Art in New York showed Edward Steichen's hybrid delphiniums. Since then, bio art has become a genre; artists work with a variety of living things, including plants, animals, bacteria, slime molds, and fungi. Many commentators have addressed the social and political concerns raised by making art out of living material. In Green Light, however, George Gessert examines the role that aesthetic perception has played in bio art and other interventions in evolution.

Gessert looks at a variety of life forms that humans have helped shape, focusing on plants—the most widely domesticated form of life and the one that has been crucial to his own work as an artist. We learn about Onagadori chickens, bred to have tail feathers twenty or more feet long; pleasure gardens of the Aztecs, cultivated for intoxicating fragrance; Darwin's relationship to the arts; the rise and fall of eugenics; the aesthetic standards promoted by national plant societies; a daffodil that looks like a rose; and praise for weeds and wildflowers. Gessert surveys recent bio art and its accompanying philosophical problems, the “slow art” of plant breeding, and how to create new life that takes into account what we know about ecology, aesthetics, and ourselves.

About the Author

George Gessert is an artist whose work focuses on the overlap between art and genetics. His exhibits often involve plants he has hybridized or documentation of breeding projects. His writings have appeared in Leonardo, Art Papers, Design Issues, Massachusetts Review, Hortus, Best American Essays 2007, Pushcart Prize XXX, and other publications.

April 2010

The MIT Press

A Leonardo Book

ISBN: 0-262-01414-9

192 pp., 30 illus.

__The Leonardo Book Series__.

AREA #9: Peripheral Vision + ART WORK: – A Discussion with Nicolas Lampert & Dan S. Wang on “Activist Art in the Era of Economic Crisis”

Date: March 30, 2010 – 19:00

Artist/writers Nicolas Lampert & Dan S. Wang, collaborators on the indie publications AREA #9: Peripheral Vision and Art Work, invite you to a presentation and discussion on the state of activist art practice in this era of economic crisis and how to enlarge the collaboration between activists and artists.

Art Work is a free, nationally distributed paper produced by the art group Temporary Services. The group had hoped to spark a national conversation about the state of labor, creative exchange, and strategies for survival, from the perspective of artists and cultural workers struggling in the precarious economy. It has taken off, with events in Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Iowa City, Chicago, Houston, Bloomington-Normal, New York, and now Madison.

AREA is a semi-annual publication by and for activist artists, researchers, and educators produced in Chicago. In AREA #9: Peripheral Vision focuses on those spaces and regions, populations and ideas frequently considered marginal in relation to the major urban centers, but which those centers depend upon for sustenance, self-definition and “sense of place” whether it be Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago.

Nioclas Lampert is an artist, writer, activist, and a member of the Just Seeds graphic arts collective. The collective was awarded the Grand Prize at the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana in 2009. His individual work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), MassMoCA (North Adams, Mass.), and the Priebe Gallery of UW-Oshkosh. He teaches printmaking and socially-engaged art strategies at UW-Milwaukee. Nicolas interviewed the Wisconsin artist Susan Simensky Bietila for AREA #9. He contributed an article titled “Organize! What the Artists’ Union of the 1930s Can Teach Us Today” for Art Work.

Hired Gun

Agitprop by Nicolas Lampert

Dan S. Wang is a printer, writer, and activist. He was a co-founder of the experimental cultural space Mess Hall. His cultural criticism and writings on political art have been widely published and he’s lectured at the Contemporary Museum (Baltimore), the Kansas City Art Institute, and the Depot (Vienna). He lives in Madison and teaches printmaking at Columbia College Chicago. He was the co-editor of AREA #9 and wrote an analytical article about Just Seeds for Art Work.

So stop in for some creative talk, collaborative schemes, and a free paper!

Rainbow Cooperative

Reposted from Art Work : Archive : Event: Rainbow Cooperative, Madison, WI, March 30.