Notion

Open call – Museum of Arte Útil

This post comes to you from Cultura21

dec6_queens_logoThe Museum of Arte Útil is a collaboration between the artist Tania Bruguera, theQueens Museum of Art, New York and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The Museum of Arte Útil is the result of Tania Bruguera’s decade of research into a concept that emphasizes effectiveness and implementation over representation, looking at historical and contemporary examples of alternative strands in socially informed art practice.

Útil as a term refers to something being useful. But it goes further than the English translation, encompassing the idea of a tool or device. Bruguera states that “Arte Útil moves beyond a propositional format, into one that actively creates, develops and implements new functionalities to benefit society at large.”

The project will comprise research, an online platform, an association of Arte Útil practitioners, a series of public projects, a lab presentation at the Queens Museum of Art beginning in February 2013, culminating in the transformation of the old building of the Van Abbemuseum into the Museum of Arte Útil in the Fall of 2013 and a publication. The aim is to present a survey of past and present projects that are rooted in the notion of art’s use to its users and to society at large. Central to the project’s various forms is this open call.

The notion of what constitutes Arte Útil has been arrived at via a set of criteria that Bruguera and the participating museums’ curators have formulated. These criteria will set the parameters of the project and its working methodology. Arte Útil projects should:

  1. Propose new uses for art within society
  2. Challenge the field within which it operates (civic, legislative, pedagogical, scientific, economic, etc)
  3. Be ‘timing specific’, responding to current urgencies
  4. Be implemented and function in real situations
  5. Replace authors with initiators and spectators with users
  6. Have practical, beneficial outcomes for its users
  7. Pursue sustainability whilst adapting to changing conditions
  8. Re-establish aesthetics as a system of transformation

The public is invited to submit information on past or ongoing projects that align with these criteria. Submitted projects should meet as many of these criteria as possible. The selected projects will be listed on the website, to be launched in February and will be considered for inclusion in the artist association, the exhibition at the Queens Museum, the Van Abbemuseum, and/or the publication. Projects can be submitted by anyone, from any field, and need not be submitted by the initiators of the project.

The deadline for project submissions is 15th February 2013.

Click here for the submission form.

For questions, contact: opencall [at] arteutil [dot] net

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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Wendell E. Berry Lecture | National Endowment for the Humanities

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Suzaan Boettger drew attention to Wendell Berry’s Lecture “It all turns on affection”, given to the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Wendell Berry is one of the great advocates for places and for a way of life that is committed to place and nature.  There are some standout parts of this lecture.

His critique of capitalism and philanthropy is damning,

“If you can appropriate for little or nothing the work and hope of enough such farmers [or for that matter any other workers – ed], then you may dispense the grand charity of “philanthropy.”

When arguments are made for philanthropy, remember that there is a choice: perhaps not accumulating great wealth might in some cases mean that more people have had better lives and more environments are less depleted.

But Berry’s argument for imagination is the most important, developed and illuminating aspect of this lecture.

The sense of the verb “to imagine” contains the full richness of the verb “to see.” To imagine is to see most clearly, familiarly, and understandingly with the eyes, but also to see inwardly, with “the mind’s eye.” It is to see, not passively, but with a force of vision and even with visionary force. To take it seriously we must give up at once any notion that imagination is disconnected from reality or truth or knowledge. It has nothing to do either with clever imitation of appearances or with “dreaming up.” It does not depend upon one’s attitude or point of view, but grasps securely the qualities of things seen or envisioned.

I will say, from my own belief and experience, that imagination thrives on contact, on tangible connection. For humans to have a responsible relationship to the world, they must imagine their places in it. To have a place, to live and belong in a place, to live from a place without destroying it, we must imagine it. By imagination we see it illuminated by its own unique character and by our love for it. By imagination we recognize with sympathy the fellow members, human and nonhuman, with whom we share our place. By that local experience we see the need to grant a sort of preemptive sympathy to all the fellow members, the neighbors, with whom we share the world. As imagination enables sympathy, sympathy enables affection. And it is in affection that we find the possibility of a neighborly, kind, and conserving economy.

Wendell E. Berry Lecture | National Endowment for the Humanities.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

New metaphors for sustainability: the timeless meal

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Carolyn Steel calls herself a ‘food urbanist’, and she brings a notion of the ‘good life’ to our series of New metaphors for sustainability

What is it we’re trying to sustain? For me, the meal is the emblematic, wonderful situation that sums up the whole point of sustainability.
I think in metaphor all the time and food has become this way of seeing the world not just in terms of ‘how are we going to feed ourselves in future?’ – this kind of doom and gloom thing – but also in terms of asking ‘what kind of society is it that we are trying to create as well as sustain?’.
When you talk about food, there’s a tendency to talk about ‘how much grain can you produce on that much land with that much water’. That’s very important, but you have to relate every conversation you have about food with the kind of life that you are talking about. It’s about a vision of society, an idea of the good life.
The table is a place where you don’t just share food, but you share ideas, you share love, you share conversation.
It’s a beautiful metaphor of the kinds of things that we’re trying to sustain. It’s society. It’s ‘good life’ in every possible sense – not just good in terms of wonderful food – but also good in terms of the ethics of what you eat. If I am hungry I have a practical problem. If you are hungry, I have an ethical problem.
This business of sitting around a table with other people, the decorum of the table, and the sharing food – it brings the social relevance of sustainability into the conversation.
A timeless meal, a meal that is enjoyed through time that has a past that we all intuitively understand, but a future as well, sums up for me the idea that food is life on earth.
Carolyn is included in our film.
Photo: Feast on the Bridge, 2009, curated by Clare Patey. Photo by Tim Mitchell.

 

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

The editors are Robert Butler and Wallace Heim. The associate editor is Kellie Gutman. The editorial adviser is Patricia Morison.

Robert Butler’s most recent publication is The Alchemist Exposed (Oberon 2006). From 1995-2000 he was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday. See www.robertbutler.info

Wallace Heim has written on social practice art and the work of PLATFORM, Basia Irland and Shelley Sacks. Her doctorate in philosophy investigated nature and performance. Her previous career was as a set designer for theatre and television/film.

Kellie Gutman worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for twenty years, producing video programmes and slide presentations for both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Award for Architecture.

Patricia Morison is an executive officer of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a group of grant-making trusts of which the Ashden Trust is one.

Go to The Ashden Directory

Identity exhibition eco-installation begins

This post comes to you from the EcoMuseum


An exhibition, Identity: yours mine ours will launch in March 2011 at Museum Victoria‘s Immigration Museum, and is re-imagining the benchmarks of environmental sustainability in the cultural sector.

After over 2 years of development, in November 2010 construction work finally began on our Identity exhibition, with the removal of the old occupier of the space – Station Pier: gateway to a new life. Station Pier had been in place since 2004 and had enjoyed immense popularity with visitors, especially those who arrived by ship in Melbourne at Station Pier.

One of the challenges to eco-exhibitions is to design and build for what is essentially a temporary interior building fixture. Inevitably this leads to excessive waste come the end of the exhibition. Station Pier was designed without the insights of the burgeoning eco-exhibition industry, so the challenge to the team was to dismantle the exhibition and create the least waste possible in doing so.

Pre-planning is key to this process, and the integration of processes into your normal project planning. The Identity designers Andrew and Gina embraced the philosophy of an eco-exhibition, and so it was agreed to use laminated glass from the bespoke Station Pier cases, in Identity. Currently, whilst the infrastructure for the new exhibition is being built, the glass is being stored safely until we need it. Once that happens, our glaziers will cut to size and re-fit into Identity.

The builders who won the contract quoted on the notion of our eco-principles, with requirements for reuse and recycling written into the Request for Quotation. Necessities such as de-nailing reusable timber and cutting salvageable pieces were allowed for, so no nasty financial consequences could pop up unexpectedly. Appropriate RFQ’s are a big part of the eco pre-planning process, and after creating a template it’s easy to accurately ask your contractors for the right thing and avoid any confusion as to what you need them to do.

Unfortunately, apart from the glass and some structural softwood timber, not much was able to be reused in terms of Station Pier’s built environment. Too much had been glued not screwed all those years ago. Most of the timber had to be destroyed just in liberating it from its structural supports.

However, one thing usually never able to be recycled or reused are exhibition graphics. Station Pier documents a rich history of migration around an iconic port in Melbourne – which still exists. Talks with the management at Station Pier indicate they are keen be the vehicle for the long-term reuse of the Station Pier graphic panels – of which there is at least 50kg. Hopefully the museum’s graphics will enjoy a long life providing information for Melbourne’s tourists.

Stay tuned for the build of Identity: yours mine ours. Meanwhile you can find out more about the exhibition development here.

the EcoMuseum, is a project of Carole Hammond, Exhibition Manager and museum professional: combining the complex ideologies of aesthetics, culture, objects, entertainment…and environment.

Go to the EcoMuseum

The Open : __

wearable architecture, 2010

electronics, custom software, microphone, fresh sod

A sensorial wearable device forcing to smell grass and to hear your own breath. Equipped with fresh sod and headphones, this mask inhibit the visual system while enhancing the olfactory by the proximity with soil.
The device defines also a sensory territory constructed by the rhytm of the breath, which is diffused from the headphones with a 1.5 sec. delay.

The work plays with the Deleuzian notion of “ritornell” (refrain), and about the quality of sound to define a territory. The space defined by the sound of breathing is in a state of costant imbalance between the physical act and its sensory perception and traces an unstable relationship with the intimate environment the garment reproduces.

via The Open : __.

Matthias Merkel Hess at Las Cienegas Projects until 10/2


Devil’s Tower has officially become an LA Monument, at least for a little while, until the clay dries in the exhibition of Matthias Merkel Hess‘ new work, which comes down on October 2nd at Las Cienegas Projects. The notion of recreating an iconic natural wonder (the original is located in Wyoming) in an urban setting, even in a gallery, is a novel one. Hess, who is the creator of the EcoArtBlog and editor/publisher of Mammut magazine, which he launched in 2008, is also a recent MFA graduate from UCLA (and undergraduate in Journalism and Environmental Sciences). For his first solo show in a LA gallery, he has chosen to combine his interest in art and ecology with his love of clay, in a brillant “outpost” installation where visitors can purchase handmade postcards, paperweights and miniature color glazed clay replicas of Devil’s Tower, all under $20 each. Wall posters are original works of art and go for a lot more, but still under $1,000. If you cannot afford to go to Wyoming to see the real Devil’s Tower, it is highly suggested you head on over to La Cienega near the 10 Fwy and catch a glimpse of Hess’ handmade wonder ASAP.

Go to EcoLOGIC LA

Eliasson on TED

This quote from Olafur Eliasson put me in mind of the New York Waterpod project I mentioned last week.  “Water,” says Olafur Eliasson in the excellent TED Talk he did last month, “has the ability to make the city negotiable.” In a talk calledPlaying with space and light, he was discussing his Green River project, in which he dyes the water of rivers flowing through a city a bright, startling,  green, cajoling citizens to notice the flows and eddies around which their cities grew up, and asking them to reconsider their relationship to water. (Just in case you’re alarmed, the green is  non-toxic).

Eliasson is that rare thing, an artist who is beautifully articulate not only in his work, but in what he says about his work. He talks about how his art is about changing people’s relationship with what they see, and about with how a piece of work allows the viewer to renegotiate his or her position in relation to what they see. This, he says, means that art has a role in democratising the space that art exists in:

What the potential is, obviously, is to move the border between who’s the author and who’s the receiver, who’s the consumer and who has the responsibility for what one sees. I think there is a socialising dimension in moving that border; who decides what reality is. […] What consequences does it have when I take a step? Does it matter if I am in the world or not? Does it matter whether the actions I take filters into a sense of responsibility? Is art about that? And i would say yes, it is obviously about that. It is obviously about not just decorating the world and making it even better or even worse, if you ask me…  it is obviously about taking responsibility.

Tucked away in the talk is the notion that this kind of art embodies not just a political position, but a unique one:

Art addresses great things about parliamentric ideas – democracy, public space, being together, being individual,… How do we create an idea which is both tolerant to individuality and also to collectivity without polarising the two into opposites?  Of course the political agenda in the world has been very obsessed with polarising the two against each other in different, very normative ideas, and I would claim that art and culture – and this is why art and culture are so incredibly interesting in the times we are living in now – has proven that one can create a kind of space which is both sensitive to individuality and to collectivity.

At the very least this seems to be a nice distillation of the intentions of much of the best contemporary art…

Photo: Green river by Olafur Elliason, Moss, Norway, 1998

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

The logic of carbon trading

atreem

This is A.T.R.E.E.M (Automated Tree-Rental for Emission Encaging Machine) by Nitipak Samsen, a student at the Design Interactions course at the RCA in London. Samsen’s artwork is a satire on the notion of carbon credits: by measuring the girth of the tree, this meter purports to measure carbon the tree is capturing over its lifetime. “Carbon credit brings the ‘convenience’ back to the ‘inconvenient truth’,” announces Samsen, enthusiastically on his website.

See also Francesca Galeazzi’s artwork about justifying carbon offsetting.

Thanks to Groundswellblog.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Quick Friday notes…

Transition Town innovator Rob Hopkins noted that Ed Miliband used the notion of “transition towns” a lynchpin concept in the launch of his White Paper on Energy and Climate Change Policy. Determined to discover whether his movement was being used as window dressing or not, he publishes his own review of the paper giving the proposals 6/10.

John Vidal at the Guardian has given it credit for seizing control of the levers of control of the energy industry, saying that this sort of thing has never been attempted on this scale before:

[display_podcast]

Meanwhile, LA continues to surprise by confounding its image as a megalopolis on on the road to hell. This Arts:Earth Partnership initiative, greening the city’s performace spaces, is interesting.

Follow us on Twitter here.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

blog.GreenMuseum.org: We Look Different.

There have been some blips and blurps over the past few weeks on the greenmuseum blog as we settle into this new, fancy-pants version of WordPress. It didn’t like our old theme. So we changed to this one. It’s Green. To mark the occasion, here’s a link to an excellent interview of Maja and Reuben Fowkes of translocal.org,  with discussion of everything from Sustainable Art with capital letters to curator Nicolas  Bourriaud, pictured above. A quote:

In general we prefer to talk about the sustainability of art,
rather than Sustainable Art with capital letters, as our
primary interest is in the implications of a broad notion
of sustainability for the whole of contemporary art,
rather than just a niche area, such as is associated with
the term Environmental Art. Artists that consider the
ethical aspects of their formal decisions, such as what are
the implications of the use of animals in art or of people
in community art projects, are in that sense giving
precedence to ethics, rather than aesthetics.

Fascinating. Discuss.

Go to the Green Museum