Public Art Projects

OPEN CALL: CSPA Quarterly:  An Open Call for Essays, Artwork, and Reports 

CSPAQ 8The CSPA Quarterly has embarked on what has turned into an incredibly challenging series of publications:  four issues focused on each of the four dimensions of sustainability (as recognized by UNESCO).  Our first issue in the series on Art + Economy was published at the beginning of the year, and our issue on Environment will be released soon.

The remaining issues in the series are open for submission.  Please send us tips, projects, essays, scripts, photographs, etc that represent the two remaining dimensions:

SOCIAL EQUITY / performances, artwork, or public art projects that address issues of social equity- local or global!

CULTURE / Yes, we know this is broad.  We’re looking for essays, projects, etc that evaluate the value of culture, and the role of art and culture in a sustainable society.

Please address submissions to:  Miranda@SustainablePractice.org

For Previous editions, please CLICK HERE

HighWaterLine ACTION GUIDE available for download

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace
8fa08275b39fbedc48673341a0921de4ecoartspace is excited to present Eve Mosher’s HighWaterLine ACTION GUIDE, the first in a series of ten art and ecology learning guides presenting replicable social practice public art projects. In 2007, Mosher spent the summer marking the ten feet above sea level line throughout Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn to make visible for residents living along the coastline what scientists had been projecting as an increase in sea level in the next century. Little did she know when she conceived of this project that in 2012 Hurricane Sandy would pound the east coast with storm surges in some places beyond what anyone thought was possible.

With this guide we are inviting educators, organizations and individuals to replicate what Mosher did in New York City anywhere in the world, to tell her story and to mark a line as appropriate for each individual locale. In the guide, other waterline marking materials and examples are provided, as well as Mosher’s step-by-step process involved in developing and performing the project. Plans are in place to create a website portal where this guide and others can be viewed online and downloaded for FREE by anyone in the world to use.

For now we invite you to download the PDF from DropBox and distribute freely, as well as create your own HighWaterLine in your communities and neighborhoods where climate change has and will be impacting your natural environment in the future.

DOWNLOAD GUIDE HERE

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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Green Public Art Lands on List of Top 50 Public Art Projects in US

This post comes to you from Green Public Art

601f373719f82d0dc8c6a93864b96067The artwork, Orit Haj by artist team Didier Hess (Project Manager, Rebecca Ansert of Green Public Art Consultancy), selected by a jury of arts professionals from over 350 submissions as one of the Top 50 most exemplary public art projects of 2012, was announced at the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network conference in 2013.

The American for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review program recognizes exemplary and innovative, permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in the previous calendar year. It is the only national award that specifically recognizes public art projects. Three independent public art experts—John Carson, artist and Head of Carnegie Mellon University School of Fine Art, Norie Sato, artist, and Justine Topfer, Project Manager, San Francisco Arts Commission and private curator—juried the 2013 Year in Review. Their selections were announced on June 13, 2013 at the Americans for the Arts Public Art Preconference in Pittsburgh. Over 350 projects were submitted for review and 50 final projects selected. For full list click here.

Orit Haj, a site-specific artwork at Vasquez Rocks Park in Acton-Agua Dulce, California is a tribute to the Native American culture of the Tatavium people from the Santa Clarita Valley. Designed by artist team Didier Hess (a Los Angeles based collaborative led by Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess) as a slow release time capsule. To construct the sculpture, the artist team invited the community to participate in a workshop series where they learned about the ancient architectural building material called rammed earth, which is a mixture of soil and cement compacted into forms to create a solid earthen structure. The community was invited to bring personal artifacts to insert into the earth as the workshop participants added the rammed layers. These artifacts will reveal themselves over time as the rammed earth slowly erodes. Deeply hidden within the form is a secretive bronze sculpture designed by the artists for a generation to discover in approximately 200 years.

The sculpture evokes the shape of the unique formations at Vasquez Rocks and is inviting to the human hand to touch it and visitors to climb on it. As people return to the Vasquez Rocks at various points in their lives, the sculpture, like the rocks, will be changing, their contours and the artifacts they contain altering in response to both human and natural forces.

Commissioned by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Orit Haj is the County’s first “green” public art project and the Interpretive Center, designed by Gruen Associates, is Los Angeles County’s first Platinum LEED building.

To read more about the project follow these links:

USGBC LA Chapter Tours Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks Rammed Earth Workshop – photos

Vasquez Rocks Rammed Earth Workshop

 

Rebecca Ansert, founder of Green Public Art, is an art consultant who specializes in artist solicitation, artist selection, and public art project management for both private and public agencies. She is a graduate of the master’s degree program in Public Art Studies at the University of Southern California and has a unique interest in how art can demonstrate green processes or utilize green design theories and techniques in LEED certified buildings.

Green Public Art is a Los Angeles-based consultancy that was founded in 2009 in an effort to advance the conversation of public art’s role in green building. The consultancy specializes in public art project development and management, artist solicitation and selection, creative community involvement and knowledge of LEED building requirements. Green Public Art also works with emerging and mid-career studio artists to demystify the public art process. The consultancy acts as a resource for artists to receive one-on-one consultation before, during, and after applying for a public art project.
Go to Green Public Art

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BiodiverCITY for 5 x 5 in Washington D.C.

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace
Amy Lipton curator for ecoartspace NY has been busy working on BiodiverCITY, her curatorial public art project for 5 x 5 in Washington D.C. opening on March 24th. Hosted by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, 5 x 5 includes five international curators who have each selected five artists to participate. The 25 temporary public art projects will encompass all 8 wards of D.C. and the stated goal of the project is to activate and enliven publicly accessible spaces and add an ephemeral layer of creativity and artistic expression to neighborhoods across the District. The 5 x 5 will be presented in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, one million plus people are expected to take part in the nation’s greatest springtime celebration.

March 2012 marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. The cherry blossoms are a symbol in Japanese culture that indicates rebirth. The Festival commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC.

Amy has chosen to work with five artists whose focus is on biodiversity both in scientific and cultural terms. Biodiversity refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms including humans, animals, plants, their habitats and their genes which all contribute to life on Earth. These five artists all take a participatory approach and intend for their projects to engage, inspire and raise awareness about various issues related to the natural environment in the urban setting of Washington D.C. The common goal of these works is to connect people and communities aesthetically by bringing attention to the sometimes hidden relationships between city dwellers, urban nature, human and non human life forms.

If we wiped out insects alone the rest of life and humanity with it would disappear in a few months  – E.O. Wilson, biologist and author of BioDiversity

Tattfoo Tan will create p:ARK, (March 24 – July 20) a large-scale, walkable labyrinth in an open grass field at Yard’s Park along the Anacostia riverfront. The field will be planted with weeds, grasses and whatever volunteer plants grow and left unmowed. Just before the 5 x 5 opening the field will be mowed into a labyrinth pattern. Visitors to the site can walk into this path and consider the differences and relationships between public space, cultivated lawns and weeds. Tattfoo wants his audience to understand that we are all part of nature and migration (including weeds and invasive plants) is a natural process that will continue regardless of the changing positions on immigration. In this way his art hopes to inspire thinking about ways we can all live together in a world that is getting smaller as population increases and people move around globally.

The term weed in its general sense is a subjective one, without any classification value, since a “weed” is not a weed when growing where it belongs or is wanted. Indeed, a number of “weeds” have been used in gardens or other cultivated-plant settings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weed

Tattfoo received a 2010 “Annual Awards for Exellence in Design”, Public Design Commission of the City of New York, for the Rehabilitation of the Bronx River Art Center. He received a public art commission from Percent for the Arts and New York School Construction Authority at PS 971, Brooklyn, New York for his permanent wall installation “SOS (Sustainable Organic Steward) Pledge” in 2010. Tattfoo’s work has been shown by various institutions including; The Queens Museum of Art, The City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Fashion Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute and Project Row Houses, Houston, TX. Tattfoo received a Proclamation Award from City Council, The City of New York for his for his effort, service and artistic contribution to the community.

Let’s change our aesthetic of what is beauty and stop trying to tame nature by poisoning it. Ultimately, we are slowly killing ourselves in the name of cohesiveness, dare to be different and embrace diversity. – Tattfoo Tan

Natalie Jeremijenko will suspend her work, B Bridge (March 25 – July 25) to help butterflies cross obstacles in a busy urban street location. The B Bridge project creates a quiet spectacle that facilitates the lifestyle and environmental services of these beautiful and popular urban cohabitants and demonstrates how we might re-imagine our infrastructure to account for the diverse nonhumans with whom we share territorial resources. Butterflies will bounce along the bridge which makes use of enticing flowering vegetation to safely guide them over a heavily trafficked intersection in order to connect to fragments of habitat. The presence of different species of butterflies and moths is vital to maintain and preserve the biodiversity in urban areas. They represent a significant proportion of pollinators, thus maintaining the diversity chain and gene transfer between plant species.

Urban contexts, surprisingly, are islands of biodiversity — or as we like to spell it: biodiverCITY. This characteristic of our urban systems is perhaps the most critical in producing a healthy and resilient urban future that is robust to climate destabilization and ecological transformations. – Natalie Jeremijenko

Natalie Jeremijenko is an artist whose background includes studies in biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering. Jeremijenko’s projects which explore socio-technical change have been exhibited by several museums and galleries, including MASSMoCA, The Whitney Museum and Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt. A 1999 Rockefeller Fellow, she was recently named one of the 40 most influential designers by I.D. Magazine. Jeremijenko is the director of the environmental health clinic at NYU, Assistant Professor in Art, and is affiliated with the Computer Science Dept.

Embracing the international status of Washington, DC as the capital of the United States, Chrysanne Stathacos will present a public art project titled Natural Wishing (March 20- July 20) to enable participants to connect with “wishing actions” from around the world. The viewing public will be able to take a journey using their own cell phone while riding a city bus or by tying a wish to a tree at various locations throughout DC. Printed wishes will be available to be hung on trees or kept, in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Some of the included trees in this project can be seen at: The Textile Museum, Sasha Bruce, and The Hill Center/ Old Navy Hospital. One can participate in this project by leaving a wish by voice or text, accessed by mobile phone to a QR code or phone number seen on printed posters. Over 200 of these posters will be installed on DC Metro buses from March 20 – April 30th.

Wishing rituals are personal performances; blowing, throwing, speaking, drinking, singing, holding, to name a few. In today’s challenging landscape, one finds the need for hope and wishing as fundamental in order to create a better world . People’s need for hope cannot be underestimated, as often hope provides us a deeper understanding of our mutual interdependence, and results in our world flourishing . – Chrysanne Stathacos

Toronto and NYC based Chrysanne Stathacos’ interdisciplinary art practice draws on photography, printmaking, book-works, video, installation, public art, and participatory interaction. She aims to make new connections between cultures, historical periods, technologies, and environmental issues, which mirror the human processes of change, hope, healing and mortality. Stathacos has exhibited her work extensively in museums, galleries, sculpture gardens, and public spaces internationally including The Wish Machine, presented by Creative Time in Grand Central Station, New York City. She received a 2001 award from the Japan Foundation, for The Wish Machine project, which enabled her to do creative research in India and Japan for six months.

Love Motels for Insects (March 24 – June 10) is an outdoor light installation by Brandon Ballengée for the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. The Love Motel uses ultra-violet lights on enormous blank fabric to attract insects and creates an opportunity for public interactions with nocturnal arthropods, which are not often seen. The sculpture is fabricated in the form of giant dragonfly wings and is intended to construct situations between humans and non-human life-forms. Versions of Ballengée’s black-light sculptures and public nocturnal field-trips have taken place in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. At each location the arthropods leave traces and create abstract pheromone paintings on the fabric surface.

Exploring the boundaries between art, science and technology, Brandon Ballengée creates multidisciplinary works out of information generated from ecological field trips and laboratory research. Ballengée has collaborated with scientists, members of the public and students to conduct environmental research and ecological artworks. His transdisciplinary works involve collaboration with participants from diverse age, economic, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. His artworks have been exhibited in museums, galleries, sculpture parks and public spaces in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. He currently is finalizing his Ph.D. through a collaborative program between the University of Plymouth, England and Hochschule für Gestaltung in Zürich, Switzerland. He is a Professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Working and communicating with diverse groups is vital to the creative process. It allows the works to function as site-specific- not only in geographic terms, but also culturally. This intellectual exchange also permits the work to grow in novel directions guided by group ideas instead of a solitary artist’s hand — like organisms evolving to changing environmental stimuli.
-Brandon Ballengée

Habitat For Artists is a collective project that uses the idea of the artist’s studio as a catalyst for mutual engagement between artists and communities. The “habitats” are small, temporary, 6 by 6 foot art studios installed at a variety of locations. HFA invites local and member artists for periods of residency to work in these small studios. The studios are made from recycled and reclaimed material and are reused for each new iteration of the project. From March 20 – April 27th, HFA at THEARC in D.C.’s 8th Ward will invite D.C. artists and local youth, after school programs and community groups to participate on weekly projects both inside and outside the studio to explore creative expression in a collaborative setting with a changing member of the HFA team each week including artists Simon Draper, Matthew Slaats (Freespace), Chere Krakovsky, Todd Sargood, Michael Natiello, Michael Asbill, and Jessica Poser. An exhibition of works created throughout the HFA residency will be exhibited at the end of April at THEARC’s Corcoran Gallery through the Corcoran Art Reach program.

These intimate work spaces not only ask artists working in them to explore their creative needs, BUT also act as a metaphor for our OWN domestic needs. How might we be more creative about our consumption of materials, our use of energy and land? Could we be doing more with less, yet still create a vibrant, relevant society and culture? – Simon Draper, founder of Habitat for Artists.

The four other selected curators for 5 x 5 are: Richard Hollinshead, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK; Laura Roulet, Washington, DC; Justine Topfer; San Francisco, CA and Steve Rowell, Culver City, CA

http://www.the5x5project.com/25-citywide-public-art-installations-to-be-unveiled-in-partnership-with-the-national-cherry-blossom-festival/

TWITTER: @thedcarts @CherryBlossFest
FACEBOOK: /thedcarts /CherryBlossomFestival
WEBSITE: dcarts.dc.gov nationalcherryblossomfestival.org

 

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

ISEA 2011 Istanbul, Turkey

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

This post is long over due by a couple months! To summarize, ecoartspace was invited to speak at the International Society of Electronic Arts or ISEA 2011 symposium in Istanbul in September on a panel called Public Art in the Sustainable City by Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry from Dubai who also recently invited us to be jurors on the upcoming Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Freshkills Park (the former Fresh Kills landfill) in Staten Island. Other panelists included Glen Lowry who presented a project he is working on with a large team of architects and artists linking Dubai and Vancouver; and Nacho Zamora from Spain gave a talk about Solar Artworks. ecoartspace presented examples of sustainable public art projects in North America including references for developing public art master plans that focus on ecological systems, much of what was posted HERE on the ecoartspace blog back in May 2011. It was a very productive trip and was made possible through supporters who donated money for artworks via IndieGoGo (Take Me To Constantinople). Patricia Watts kept a personal blog of her journey which you can read HERE.

We also had the opportunity to meet two Turkish artists suggested to us that are doing video work addressing environmental issues, Ethem Özgüven and Genco Gülan. Özgüven has directed short films, videoart and documentaries since 1986 and currently teaches students at Istanbul’s Bilgi University how to harness media for environmental education.

Synopsis: Shopping Water is a fairy tale prophesizing capitalisms deliterious effects on global warming. Woman (Katherine Müller) finds herself in an ancient sunken city (Myndos) while shopping for bottled water. The installation points out that, if we continue along our current path of comsumption, we might all need to learn to live underwater.

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Research and Development

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Creative Scotland have announced a call for proposals for public art research and development projects.

“The fund’s purpose is to support the initial research and scoping of a range of public art projects and approaches to provide opportunities for communities across Scotland to engage with the development of creative places through imaginative, artist-led projects.   The aim of the investment is to open opportunities for the public of Scotland to engage with artists in a wide range of public art activity.  We want to encourage high quality and imaginative projects that contribute to successful places, build new audiences and extend the diversity of public art practice.   In 2011/12 there is a budget of £150,000 available.”

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

Beyond Planning

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland
Nine Mile Run Greenway Project (1996-2000), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Image courtesy Reiko Goto, Tim Collins, Robert Bingham, John Stephen.

www.publicartscotland.com published a ‘Thoughts and Responses’ piece entitled Beyond Planning by two long time colleagues from Pittsburgh, Denys Candy and Reiko Goto. Candy was in Scotland to consult on the Helix project in Falkirk and Goto has been doing her PhD with On The Edge at Gray’s School of Art. Both represent long term grassroots, localist and pedagogically radical approaches to working with communities. Neither flit between public art projects telling stories of how their work transforms communities, nor do they place primary value on ambiguity.

Denys Candy paints an idyllic picture of Vermont in the snow, whilst at the same time contextualising it within a longer term understanding of the likely impacts of global warming on one local industry – the production of maple syrup. For anyone who enjoys that epitome of North American cuisine, pancakes, bacon and maple syrup, the loss will seem one of personal luxury, but as Candy points out others will lose jobs, income and cultural identity.

He then shifts focus, bringing us back to Pittsburgh, to the history of a steel town. The key juxtaposition in this movement from Vermont to Pittsburgh is the ability to ‘touch nature.’ From a location where that is easy, to one where it has been much harder, he’s not concerned with theoretical questions about what nature is, or what wildness is, but rather the simple pleasure and documented benefits to health and well-being of access to nature.

Denys drills down into the specific history of ‘urban renewal’ in Pittsburgh, of de-population, freeways creating isolation, ‘white flight’ and suburban sprawl. His position is that,

“…we need to embellish, improve upon conventional or apparently rational planning methods by adopting attitudes and practices that I call creative regeneration, predicated on asking deep questions and addressing them in practice, collaboratively and collectively.”

His methodology is grounded in two questions framed by Terri Baltimore, who co-founded Find the Rivers! with him,

“How do we heal post industrial cities rent by the trauma of demolition, discrimination and displacement,” and, “What strategies and methods bring more well-being, defined as improvements in economic, ecological, physiological and cultural health?”

He characterises three stages of “unfolding action,” involving “Re-experiencing, Re-imagining, Re-making,” and he touches on the application of this process in an area called “the Hill” in Pittsburgh. His process is exemplary and bears much deeper reading to really understand.

Reiko connects Denys’ project on “the Hill” to her and her partner Tim Collins’ work in Pittsburgh where, over a similar ten year period, they undertook two related projects, Nine Mile Run and 3 Rivers 2nd Nature. She connects by describing the experience of being invited to participate in Denys processes, and reciprocating by inviting him to participate in her and Tim’s processes.

Reiko and Tim’s methodology, like Denys’, is rooted in ecological and cultural understanding. All are intimately familiar with the history of the place and people they are working with. All place the highest value on working within communities, All have strong aesthetic understanding driving their work. Reiko highlights the work of Suzanne Lacy, artist and teacher, and Grant Kester, art historian and theorist, who provide a framework for understanding the conversational as an aesthetic mode, and the convivial as a form rather than a method or intention.

When artists such as Lacy, Goto and Collins, Candy and others specify conversation as an aesthetic, they are not primarily focusing on the instance of the conversation, the immanent experience of it at any one point, but rather the conversation as a durational performance.

For these artists, the conversation is the 10 year conversation in a place, with many, many people through formal and informal processes. Within the conversation there will be formal public meetings; there will be intentional activities such as trips to see and experience places and all the associated experiences; there will also be the informal and chance encounters. Some elements of the conversation will be about the artists learning both from the locals and specialists. Other elements of the conversation will be about the community learning from itself, sometimes reflected through the artists. There will be tough moments and convivial moments, but the convivial will be what is remembered.

The idea that conversation is an aesthetic is informed by performance art more than visual art. The cues are in Allan Kaprow’s scores for Happenings, intentionally purposeless activities that engage participants in a negotiation of shared experience. By way of an aside, the researchers of On The Edge, at the instigation of Anne Douglas, took Kaprow’s score Calendar (1971) as focus for work over the last year. The way that Kaprow’s scores function as a boundary and orientation point around which a number of people with disparate interests negotiate creative action and creative relationship became sharply clear.

Another cue is in the radical/critical pedagogies of in particular Paolo Friere. Friere’s concern that learning needs to acknowledge power relations, and through developing an understanding of the historical context (which of course in his context was colonialism and in these artists’ capital, industry and racism) enable and empower individuals and communities to shape their own futures. This had a significant influence on late 60s and 70s feminist methods such as consciousness raising, and more recently Ranciere’s text The Ignorant Schoolmaster revisited these ideas.

The role of the artist and teacher is critical in these processes, and both Reiko and Denys are at pains to avoid constructing this in any heroic or charismatic mode.

Reiko articulates Denys’ role in a way that is normally framed in terms of glue or connecting,

“His work is like the essential but tiny knots between the pearls in the necklace. He keeps many different stakeholders and interests from rubbing against each other. It also keeps the whole project secure by maintaining each activity as a connected but separate entity. Denys helps to hold the integrity of a community that consists of many kinds of people.”

Her nuanced analogy of a string of pearls, being both the string that connects and also the knots that keep elements from rubbing together, is very effective.

Another relevant aspect of understanding the aesthetic of conversation comes from the work of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison. They describe learning from their project Atempause Für Den Sava-Fluss that something they have come to call ‘conversational drift’ is a beneficial outcome. The project developed a discursive approach to the riparian landscape which increased the amount of clean water in the river Sava. Although interrupted by the Yugoslav war, their proposals were implemented with EU funding. Their assistant on the project went on to employ, iterate and evolve the approach developed by the artists on another nearby river, the Drava. The Harrisons’ concept of ‘conversational drift’ articulates the way that a conversation (in this larger sense) can move away from you, but carry on, and then come back into your life having developed in its own way. This throws into sharp relief the values and characteristics of a conversational aesthetic.

This short thought and reflection, written by two masters, barely touches the surface of the knowledge, wisdom and experience of the writers.

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

Panel Discussion: Agents of Change: Artists and Sustainability

STACY LEVY, Melting Point, 2008 - Acrylic cylinder, glass balls, glass vessels, vegetable oils.

FREE | PUBLIC EVENT
Direction | Parsons The New School for Design,
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center

RSVP LIST (use Event ID 204)

Panelists: Brandon Ballengee, Jackie Brookner, Eve Andree Laramee, Stacy Levy, and Tattfoo Tan
Moderated by Amy Lipton and Patricia Watts of ecoartspace

Agents of Change is a panel discussion focusing on five artists who explore issues of sustainability and ecology, often to create community-based or public art projects. Their work sits at the nexus between art, life, science, and nature and finds direct, effective ways to engage its viewers. These artists use diverse methods–including dialogue and interaction—to deal with everyday life situations and solve real-world challenges. They often work collaboratively on multi-disciplinary projects that include scientists, ecologists, botanists, landscape architects, and engineers to create large-scale works or interventions in the social sphere. This discussion will focus on their intention to activate the public into making positive changes in their own lives and communities.

Co-hosted by ArtTable, ecoartspace, and the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design.
This panel is in conjunction with the exhibition Living Concrete/Carrot City at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.

6:00pm | – 8:00pm December 10, 2010
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Fifth Avenue at 13th Street
New York, NY

via ArtTable | Home.

DECEMBER: ecoartspace SOHO HOLIDAY STORE & Agents of Change panel discussion

ecoartspace HOLIDAY STORE in SOHO!

December 4th – 12th

53 Mercer Street, 3rd floor

open from noon to 6pm

Come do your holiday shopping at the ecoartspace office in Soho! We will be exhibiting the remaining artworks donated to our Spring benefit What Matters Most. Works can also be viewed and purchased online HERE and are ONLY $150 each. We will also have additional prints, books, stickers and select paintings and sculpture. Perfect holiday gifts!

AND, on December 10th Amy Lipton and Patricia Watts will moderate a panel discussion: Agents of Change: Artists and Sustainability focusing on five artists, Brandon Ballengee, Jackie Brookner, Eve Andree Laramee, Stacy Levy, and Tattfoo Tan who explore issues of sustainability and ecology, often to create community-based or public art projects. Their work sits at the nexus between art, life, science, and nature and finds direct, effective ways to engage its viewers. These artists use diverse methods–including dialogue and interaction—to deal with everyday life situations and solve real-world challenges. They often work collaboratively on multi-disciplinary projects that include scientists, ecologists, botanists, landscape architects, and engineers to create large-scale works or interventions in the social sphere. This discussion will focus on their intention to activate the public into making positive changes in their own lives and communities.

The panel is Co-hosted by ArtTable, ecoartspace, and the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design and presented in conjunction with the exhibition Living Concrete/Carrot City at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.

Registration Information

Click here to register now
6:00pm | – 8:00pm December 10, 2010
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Fifth Avenue at 13th Street
New York, NY

Go to EcoArtSpace

ecoartspace joins Destination Schuylkill River at the Manayunk Eco Art Fest


Recently I’ve been traveling back and forth to Philadelphia working with five artists who are installing temporary public art projects along the Manayunk Canal in Philadelphia. These projects open on September 25th and 26th in conjunction with Destination Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Eco Arts Festival. Destination Schuylkill River is a NPO whose mission is to celebrate life along the river and to connect communities to the river through planning, programming and projects. The weekend event brings together artists, crafters, green businesses, and ecologically-concerned community groups to share resources and education about green and healthy living and will be a celebration of artistic, sustainable, and local green initiatives. Manayunk is located a few miles west of Center City, Philadelphia.


The Manayunk Canal is part of the Schuylkill River Trail and is designated as a National Historic District. Once a navigable waterway for industrial cargo, the Canal was completed in 1818 and runs for several miles adjacent to banks of the Schuylkill. The river ends its 128-mile journey in Philadelphia, passing through East Falls and Manayunk before emptying into the Delaware. A recently restored towpath on the banks of the canal is the site for five artist’s projects that address issues of sustainability.

For some background history of the site – in papers dated 1686 between William Penn and the Lenni-Lenape, the Lenape referred to the Schuylkill River as “Manaiung”, their word for river, which literally translates as “place to drink”. As fate would have it, this once industrial mill town has become a trendy bar and restaurant destination.Early settlers farmed the land above the hills of Manayunk, and the abundance of natural resources and the Industrial Revolution spurred development of the community. Along the Schuylkill mills sprung up with products as varied as cloth, paper, gunpowder, lumber, milled wheat and corn, and pressed oil from flax. The Schuylkill Navigation Company Canal provided power to the mills along the river and allowed coal to be transported to the steam engines of Philadelphia from a hundred miles upstream. The original towpath was the path used by mules as they pulled canal boats carrying coal and passengers through the water. As a part of Pennsylvania’s earliest slackwater canal system, the original navigation system was a 108-mile series of dams, locks, slackwater and canal segments created to bring coal from Schuylkill County to Philadelphia.


Today, the Canal is no longer in use for industry, most of the mills have closed and the city has eventual plans to open the locks and revitalize the water system.The original mule path has been restored for pedestrians and bicyclers to become part of a river greenway system that stretches for miles. Destination Schuylkill with funding from the William Penn foundation asked ecoartspace to invite several artists to create temporary site-specific works along the canal for the festival.


Wisconsin based artist Roy Staab spent over two weeks working at the site. First he carefully selected the best location along the Canal where his ephemeral sculpture would be most visible, while at the same time protected from strong winds. He chose to work between two trees whose branches overhang the water, and in between two bridges so that visitors would have different perspectives for viewing the work. He then set out to find wild plants nearby that he harvests in order to create the lines to make his sculpture. He used invasives such as Japanese Knotweed and Purple Loosestrife which were both flowering and actually quite beautiful, (though no one wants these invasive and fast spreading plants – so it was great that he could make use of them.) Roy also used Goldenrod and other native plants. He then created 4 long lines using a weaving and knotting procedure with biodegradable sisal rope. The lines measure approximately 180 ft long in length and suspend 20 ft from the trees. He titled the work, “Suspended Between the Living and the Dead” referring to the two trees being used as his support. Roy mostly worked alone but he had a few college interns and great support from Destination Schuylkill and the Manayunk Development Corporation staff, in particular, board member Garrett Elwood spent a lot of time on the water. Roy entertained neighbors in the community and got a lot of attention, both positive and negative (local fisherman were not happy). However, mostly the town appreciated having a world traveler like Roy working in their midst. He has created ephemeral installations such as this one around the world for the past 30 years in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia. His works may last days or a couple of weeks, or months depending on weather and the forces of nature.


Chrysanne Stathacos has traveled to Philadelphia from Toronto to create an 8ft wooden flower poem which she plans to float on the Manayunk Canal. For the past several weeks she has been researching water plants such as Lilies and Lotus Flowers to determine which plants will be best to tag a ride in her floating sculpture, which spells the word PURIFY. She chose this word as a reminder of the importance of wetlands and clean water, and that we can all do our part to help heal the environment. Chrysanne is a multi-media artist whose artistic concerns intersect with spirituality and a communion with the natural world. Her art is influenced by Eastern and Western traditions and she works to connect indigenous ritual to contemporary art.


Habitat for Artists is a Hudson Valley-based collaborative group initiated by artist Simon Draper in 2008. ecoartspace has worked with HFA on several previous projects including last summer in the exhibition Down to Earth at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. One of HFA’s studio/shed structures will be located in a park in between the Canal and Main St. Parts of this shed were previously used at SCEE, so they have a small travel footprint. The sheds are comprised of recycled material, old lumber, windows and doors and are used by artists as studio spaces (each only six by six feet) both inside and out to examine how they might redefine their creative space, needs and process. The Manayunk HFA shed will be open during the Festival, artists Simon Draper, Todd Sargood and others will be on site for visitors to engage with and participate in the making of art.


Women’s Work by NYC performance artist Chere Krakovsky will be an extension of her recent Clothesline performance held at Solar One, overlooking NYC’s East River. This will be her third performance piece in Philadelphia, following her 2008 work, The Neighbors Next Door at International House at UPenn. All of Chere’s works are situated where the everyday

and the creative co-exist. She will wash her clothes and hang a clothesline along the Manayunk Canal to address issues of energy conservation, domesticity and traditional women’s work. Looking back to her own grandmother, Chere reminds of a not too distant past where wind and sun power were harnessed to dry the laundry. The work asks us to reflect on our over-consumption of energy in a time of economic decline. Chere has invited the community to participate by bringing an item of clothing that will be hung on the clothesline.


RAIR (Recycled Artist-In-Residency) is an exciting, new non-profit in Philadelphia located within a construction and industrial materials recycling facility. Initiated by Fern Gookin, a recent graduate from Philadelphia University’s Sustainable Design Program, RAIR’s mission is to create awareness about environmental issues by encouraging creative ways to divert waste from landfills. RAIR works to bring art and sustainability together through an artist-in-residency program. RAIR currently has two artists piloting the program, Billy Blaise Dufala and Machele Nettles, and they will be located on Main Street exhibiting their works and hosting a kids art making project.


The Manayunk Eco Arts Festival is a joint effort of the Manayunk Development Corporation and Destination Schuylkill River funded by the William Penn Foundation.



Images top to bottom:

Historical Canal photograph, 1918

Roy Staab, Suspended Between the Living and the Dead

Chrysanne Stathacos, Purify (work in progress)

Habitat for Artists at Schuylkill Center

Chere Krakovsky, Clothesline at Solar One

RAIR, Billy Blaise Dufala, Tricycle

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