Philosophers

Peace on earth

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Ashden DirectoryKellie Gutman writes: OVERVIEW is a short documentary with near-constant views of the earth from space interspersed with comments form astronauts, philosophers and writers. The word “overview” is used to refer to the astronauts’ views of the earth. It was released December 7th, 2012 and is a prelude to a film in the making, CONTINUUM.  OVERVIEW gives a strong sense of the world being one environment, and a very fragile one, that needs to be protected.

“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)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

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Balance-Unbalance 2013

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Balance-Unbalance is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between nature, science, technology and society as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities. The organizers are thoroughly looking forward to hosting artists, scientists, economists, philosophers, politicians, sociologists, engineers and policy experts from across the world to engage in dialogue and action towards a sustainable future. Balance-Unbalance 2013 will also host “a diversity of virtual components allowing global accessibility and significantly reducing the carbon footprint of a major international conference.”

One of the main goals of Balance-Unbalance is to develop the role of the arts and artists in dealing with environmental challenges. The previous events held in Buenos Aires in 2010 and Montreal in 2011 provided a powerful platform for reflection, debate, and ideas leading towards Balance-Unbalance 2013, hosted in the UNESCO Noosa Biosphere Reserve on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. The 2013 conference theme, Future Nature, Future Culture[s] is aimed to provoke discourse around what our elusive future might hold and how transdisciplinary thought and action could be used as tools for positive change.

Submissions are now being accepted (until November 30th) for the International Balance-Unbalance 2013 conference to be held at  Central Queensland University in Noosa, Australia  from May 31 – June 2, 2013. Balance-Unbalance 2013 is being held in the beautiful resort town of Noosa, in parallel with the Floating Land 2013 Green Art festival and just prior to the ISEA 2013 (International Symposium on Electronic Art) conference in Sydney, so participants can maximize their time in Australia by attending all three events.

For more information see the website at www.balance-unbalance2013.org

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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Interactive Futures (IF) in Vancouver: Animal Influence

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Vancouver, BC
17th to 19th of November 2011

From the 17th  until the 19th of  November 2011 you are able to visit the conference „Interactive Futures (IF)“ in Vancouver, BC. The conference includes exhibitions, performances and screenings as well as a workshop with well-known speakers like the ethologist Marc Bekoff and new media artist Lisa Jevbratt. The theme of the conference is „Animal Influence“, as research referring to animal behavior, cognition, creativity and consciousness increased in the recent years and brought forth the idea of animals having emotional and cognitive lives. The focus is put on the research results on animal-human relations and how they effect new media artists in their perception and work with other species, and new ways of dealing with the new knowledge in form of for example experimental art. There will be exhibitions of interactive and new media art works which arose from the artists’ involvement in these themes.
The workshop within the frame of the conference will bring together media artists, scientists and critics as well as philosophers, who can discuss these topics further and bring about new ideas and inspiration.

For a detailed schedule of and registration for the conference,  visit the website: http://www.interactivefutures.ca/

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

a little girl and a big snake – can the arts connect us before its too late?

This post comes to you from An Arts and Ecology Notebook

Post image for a little girl and a big snake – can the arts connect us before its too late?

Was just reading the following quote from a book The Care of Creation (2000) and thinking about this ecopoem entry into last weeks British Talent show that has gone viral on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyYizYZKFtU

”When the greatest beasts before whom our ancestors shrank in terror is in danger of extinction, when the very biodiversity of the planet seems to depend on the implementation of a political treaty, the only thing to be in awe of is the dizzying power of human culture…. our problem today… is that our awe has given way to an exploitative and managerial approach to nature.”

save the humansI loved Olivia’s courage to present her ‘passion, which she knows is out of fashion’ but I couldn’t help but feel though that many in audience while applauding this audacious poetic gesture fail to see the bigger crisis that extinction is pointing to, ie that extinction doesn’t only apply to snakes! (I saw the polar bear image above earlier this week and thought, yep, the polar bears have got it – a friend of mine has it as his avatar on Facebook)

Other contributors to Care of Creation printed back in 2000, from scientists to theologians state that ‘the ecocrisis is so serious that scientists and political solutions alone are unlikely to address it satisfactorily’… which some of us are beginning to realise. One of the contributors quotes an earlier writer, Hamilton in 1993, who argued, ‘it is not the ecologists, engineers, economists or earth scientists who will save spaceship earth, but the poets (even small ones), priests, artists and philosophers’.

Here’s another creative work which dovetails Olivia’s piece above, don’t you think.

Olivia gets where science often fails and where artistic performance excels…. ‘if I say their Latin names will you listen more?’

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

Living Life in Real Time

slow-london-banner2Today, 4 May, is the final day of Slow Down London – a ten-day festival to get people to slooooow dowwwnnnnn. Personally, I walk fast, talk fast and do stuff fast, but that’s because I love things that are intense – but that is not truly at odds with the premise of Slow Down London, which is a good one:

 Slow Down London is a new project to inspire Londoners to improve their lives by slowing down to do things well, rather than as fast as possible.”  

The point is to consciously and deliberately appreciate stuff – all stuff. From our bodies, minds, creativity, each other, life itself, the world around us and establish a deeper appreciation of time itself. 

And it got me thinking.  … doing things well requires rigour and thought and that takes time… But political, social and environmental changes happen relatively fast and need practical responses.

So here is a problem that faces me and probably you too: how do we as individuals and a society get a strong balance between this point ‘to slow things down so you can do them well’ and the political point ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it?’*

The arts need to consider this as much as ever before – perhaps more. How can the soft skills and soft power of the arts be shared more widely and do they have practical application? What do the arts do well? What could the arts do better? For example, should visual art be more democratic and what would cultural democracy look like? 

It’s not a problem if you missed the Slow Down London festival – because it is a campaign that highlights that London is full of brilliant slow things…  

The Slow Down London campaign will hold a festival (24 April – 4 May 2009) offering activities and inspiration, through working with a range of partners. It will give Londoners a chance to explore slow music and arts, to try meditation and yoga, to sample slow food and crafts, to discover ’slow travel’ in our own city, to debate ideas about time and pace, and to find our own ways to challenge the cult of speed and to appreciate the world around us. You can view the full event programme here: slow-down-london-events-programme

 I heard this Marx quote again yesterday, when my iPod shuffled to an old version of the BBCs In Our Time (2005) featuring Karl Marx as winning the ‘greatest philosopher’ vote, here’s the link.
 

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology