Public Art

Sustainable Practice in Public Art

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Chrysalis Arts in collaboration with MIRIAD at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) present a seminar about how artists and commissioners can begin to address the ecological and sustainability issues associated with climate change through their professional practice. With: Inspirational speakers – PASA case studies – Group discussions

Seminar – April 15th 2011 – 10am to 4.30pm – Manchester Metropolitan University, Sandra Burslem Building SB 2.10

Information & programme: www.pasaguidelines.org

Bookings: chrysalis [at] artdepot [dot] org [dot] uk 01756 749222 – Directions:www.mmu.ac.uk/travel/allsaints

MMU staff and students – free ; Freelance practitioners £12 ; Organisations £30

Supported by MMU, MIRIAD, Chrysalis Arts Development, Arts Council England, Lottery Funded.

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

Mainstream ecology in public art

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Make a contribution, air your most profound lessons (or the things you rant about).

The questions raised by art and ecology, the issues of culture in a time of environmental crisis, don’t always impact on mainstream public art practices.

The public invitation to contribute to a new series of books, entitled Hints and Tips, is a chance to provoke people to think about ecology, systems, sustainability, inhabitation and dwelling, as well as the role and value of artists, designers and other creative practitioners alongside project managers, contractors, committees, inhabitants, tenants and communities.

For instance, surely all the inhabitants are important, not just the human ones?

Hints and Tips is being developed in the context of a long term residency with Glasgow Housing Association being undertaken by Peter McCaughey and Ben Spencer.  They have approached PAR+RS to collaborate on the development of these publications.  For more information and to make your contribution: Hints and Tips · Reflections · PAR+RS.

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

Nomads: From Empty Spaces Emerge Dreams – And Possibilities

Click to view slideshow.Gallery Photos by Karina Yanez- To control slideshow speed,  place your cursor over  the slide and  press the  pause/start button.

As part of the Trailer Trash Project,  Sam will be working with the Nomad Lab Art Project, a program for at-risk children aged 6-14.  and their parents from the Valle Del Oro Neighborhood in Santa Clarita, CA.  The program currently offers art classes or labs) in writing, photography, guitar and public art.  Computer and cooking classes are available for parents.   It is run under the voluntary direction of Evelyn Serrano who also teaches a class on art and activism at CalArts.

The classes focus on the meaning of home – a theme Serrano has previously explored in her work as an artist and curator.  Coincidentally, it is also the theme that Sam is focusing on in his Trailer Trash project. On November 6th, Sam brought the Spartan to the Nomads, asking for their help figuring out what makes a house (or a tin can) a home.

The following article describes how the NOMAD LAB Art Project got started.  Over time, Sam’s Spartan Revival will keep you posted on the design ideas the Nomads come up with for the trailer.

They gather in empty spaces to turn dreams into art.  And as they draw and write,  they are planting the seeds of a peaceful community.

Meet The Nomads, children aged 6-14, who gather Wednesday and Saturday mornings at The Village Apartment Complex in Santa Clarita’s Valle del Oro (VDO) Neighborhood.  Here they have time to slow down, to get to know and trust each other.

The NOMAD LAB Art Project offers labs (or classes) in photography, public art, story telling and guitar. At the same time, their parents can participate in cooking and computer labs.   But art is just a starting point. It provides opportunities for neighbors in Santa Clarita’s troubled Valle del Oro Neighborhood to come together to explore what they like and what they want to change in their community.

“If we are successful, the kids and their parents will get to know each other,” says artist and NOMAD LAB organizer, Evelyn Serrano. “They will learn to be tolerant and respectful of each other.”

The program started off modestly enough last year with 30 children and Serrano as their  teacher.  Since then attendance has doubled to 60 kids and their parents, with five teachers, some from Serrano’s class at California Institute for the Arts.  Classes are free and everyone works on a volunteer basis.

“It’s a great program,” said Cynthia Llerenas, Community Services Supervisor for the City of Santa Clarita.  “I would like to see it modeled in different locations.”

Llernas, who also head’s the City of Santa Clarita’s Anti-Gang Task Force,  was an important force in helping Serrano get the program up and running.  Two years ago she was attending meetings with the Valle del Oro Neighborhood Committee to address problems of crime and racial tensions in their community.  Neighbors were feeling unsafe and they were their fingers at the young people.

Serrano, who was living in the Valle del Oro Neighborhood at the time, was aware that youngsters were joining gangs in the 5th and 6th grade.   As an artist and teacher committed to community art,  she agreed to run a program for at-risk youth in the neighborhood.

“Having worked with kids, I knew we shouldn’t place all the blame on them.” she explained. “The truth was more complex. There were no after-school or weekend programs in that area of town.  We needed to provide positive alternatives to gangs. And the voices of young people needed to be part of the solution.”

She went in search of a venue for classes, approaching the local elementary school and a youth organization. All requests were denied until she got a green light the management company at The Village – an apartment complex where much of the trouble was taking place.  Classes could meet in a vacant apartment until it was rented out and they would have to move into another one that was vacant.   The changing venues inspired the name, The Nomads.

“It’s like we are a gang,” explained Serrano. “But what we offer is another way of being together.  A lot of our kids see violence in their homes.  Art is the starting point for them to learn how to be together respectfully, to learn to collaborate successfully when we work.”

Nomads who participate in the writing, photography and music labs sit on the floor or in folding chairs. The minimalist, temporary nature of the venue creates a setting that seems conducive to creative output.

The public arts lab, taught by Serrano, takes place outside in the apartment courtyard. They are encouraged to closely observe their community and think about what they like about it and what they would like to change.

(See photo gallery of the public art lab: The Art of Observation.)

“I want the labs to be a special opportunity for the kids to re-engage with their neighborhood.  I want them to re-consider what it takes to make their home and community safe, healthy and sustainable,” Serrano explained.

Cynthia LLerenas is pleased with how all the pieces of this program are falling into place, and she wishes similar opportunities were open to other young people.   “If we had recreational opportunities for kids in every apartment complex it would eliminate 95% of our problems,” she says.

Her experience working 17 years as a prevention specialist has taught her a thing or two. “Kids don’t want to be involved with gangs, but they get sucked in, partly because there aren’t other viable alternatives, partly because the parents have lost control at home.  But there are no easy fixes.  A program like the NOMAD LAB requires on-going commitment from organizers, teachers and parents:  “You have to be passionate and you have to have a vision.”

“These kids are finding their niche,” she says.  ”Some of them come from a background where they have no self-esteem.  Now they are raising their hands in class and trying out for sports.  It’s all about building confidence.”

A big part of her job is to help parents and youth to learn how to access resources that will help them keep their neighborhoods safe.   In meetings that take place after the labs, parents learn how to access social and legal services as well as employment opportunities.   For communities to be sustainable, so it is important the talents and resources of people who live in the neighborhood must also be utilized.

Serrano says the mothers are in the cooking lab are “incredibly bright and resourceful.” Their energy and organizing talents help make the whole project run smoothly. It’s not just the moms.  When Nomad dad Jose Chunga  proposed labs for parents, he volunteered  himself to teach a computer class which has become a success.

Serrano says the NOMAD LAB Art Project is all about breaking down walls of fear and insecurity between neighbors.   “It’s hard for people to invest in their community when they are afraid of each other.  We are trying to create a safe context for people to interact and see each other as people who are very rich in resources.”

As for the kids, Serrano hopes that the observation skills she is teaching them as artists will carry over to change the things they don’t like about their community.   “I want them to learn to be critical observers in a positive way.  I would like them to ask themselves: ‘What is my say? Even though I am young, I have a lot of power.’”

“If we do anything right at least we can give them models and other alternatives about what a home can be.  We can encourage them to become dreamers.  And their dreams can influence their lives and the lives of other people.”

———-

The NOMAD LAB Art Project is a collaborative effort between the Valle Del Oro Neighborhood Association, the City of Santa Clarita, the Los Angeles County Human Rights Commission and The Village Apartments.

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from http://spartantrailerrestoration.wordpress.com as part of our CSPA Supports Program.

OR2 demonstrates an elegant use of photovoltaics in public art – Green Public Art

OR2 is a combination shading device and solar-powered chandelier designed by London-based Orproject. The structure’s purpose is twofold: it acts as a source of shade during the day, and it turns into a dazzling chandelier at night, dispersing light collected by photovoltaic cells hours before.

The pink-tinted structure was built as part of the London Festival of Architecture in June 2010. The work is a follow-up project to the OR single-surface solar roof structure. OR2 is translucent while in the shade, but it quickly fills in with color when exposed to sunlight.

According to the designers, OR and OR2 are the first structures to use photo-reactive technology at an architectural scale. The designers explain, “The beauty of OR2 is its constant interaction with the elements, at each moment of the day OR’s appearance is unique.”

Orproject is a London based architecture and design practice set up in 2006 by Francesco Brenta, Christoph Klemmt and Laura Micalizzi. Their work explores advanced geometries with an ecologic agenda, the integration of natural elements into the design results in an eco-narrative unfolding into the three dimensional space. Past projects range from experimental small scale installations to large real estate developments.

via OR2 demonstrates an elegant use of photovoltaics in public art – Green Public Art.

Women Environmental Artists Directory

MISSION STATEMENT

Focusing on women’s unique perspectives we collaborate internationally to further the field and understanding of ecological and social justice art.

PURPOSE

  • To provide information regarding the ecoart and social justice art fields to artists, curators, writers, art and public art administrators, educators in art and ecology, cross-disciplinary professionals and others.
  • To facilitate international networking among artists working with ecological and social justice issues.
  • To further the fields of, and the understanding of environmental and social justice art.

OPEN TO ALL WOMEN ARTS PROFESSIONALS, REGARDLESS OF MEDIA, WHOSE WORK EXPLORES, EDUCATES &/OR COMMENTS ON ECOLOGICAL & SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES.

WEAD is not juried. Our goal is to be inclusive of the broadest spectrum of women’s contemporary eco and social justice art. The Wead website provides a place for women arts professionals to define themselves and their work. Each writes her own entry, describing interests, intents, materials, philosophy, and aesthetics.

ECOFEMINIST ART

WEAD does not proscribe to a single definition for ecofeminism or ecoart, nor one set of cultural, political, or social beliefs. Instead, WEAD celebrates a spectrum of differences under the colorful collective umbrella called ecofeminist art. WEAD women speak in their own voices, definite their own work and map its place in the world. Together we work toward a just, sane, healthy world for all.

HISTORY

In 1996 Jo Hanson, Susan Leibovitz Steinman and Estelle Akamine created WEAD in response to increasing requests for artist referrals and for designing ecoart exhibits and programs. Rather than create one static program, they decided it was best to develop a programming tool that others could continue to use to develop more programs. Word-of-mouth networking started in January, by WEAD’s presentation in March at the Regional N. CA. Women’s Caucus for the Arts, there were more than 100 listing artists. From 1996 to 2004, with more than 200 listees, editions were labor intensive cut-and-paste, xerox editions. In 1998 Estelle retired, and Jo and Susan were joined by a brilliant new group of 10 activist women artists, creating the WEAD Board of Directors, a collective volunteer creative force that continues to produce and direct all WEAD publications and outreach programs. In 2004-2006 editions were digitally mastered, a slick step up in the publishing world. But our website, begun in 1999 was our most successful form of communication, reaching by far the largest audience with the smallest carbon footprint and cost. In 2008 we suspended printing on paper. Now in 2010, at the ripe age of 15, WEAD launches this newly expanded and greatly improved interactive website. Please join us, spread the word, and use the site well and often.

EDITORS’ RESERVATION RE LISTINGS

WEAD reserves the right to refuse listings that are inappropriate in any way, and/or commercial in intent.

We are a member of INTERSECTION INCUBATOR

Intersection Incubator connects artists with funding resources, management consultants, discount classes, networking events, and collaboration opportunities. This is a program of Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco’s oldest alternative arts space, presenting ground-breaking work in the literary, performing, visual and interdisciplinary arts.
Info & applications are available online www.theintersection.org Or call (415) 626-2787

About Us « Women Environmental Artists Directory.

Call for Proposals: Temporary Public Art in NW Pasadena, $1,000 honoraria

The Armory Center for the Arts is seeking proposals from Southern Californian artists and architects for a temporary site-specific Land/Environmental art installation or structure in a vacant lot in Northwest Pasadena.

Proposals are due via email by May 15th. Winner will be notified by May 31st. Winning project will be installed in June and run from July – December, 2010.

A $1,000 honorarium will be provided to the selected artist/architect to cover expenses related to the creation of the work.

Download complete details and application requirements at:

http://www.armoryarts.org/pdf/transplanter_public_art_cfp.pdf

laculturenet : Message: Call for Proposals: Temporary Public Art in NW Pasadena, $1,000 honoraria.

APInews: Out Now: Journal of Arts & Communities #2

Issue #2 of the Journal of Arts & Communities is out from Intellect in Bristol, England, examining “the arts as a socially relevant practice.” Edited by Hamish Fyfe, of the faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan, Wales, the issue offers (not online) articles on “Along Paseo Boricua: The Art of Josué Pellot Gonzalez” by Sharon Irish, about a project that engages with the public on Paseo Boricua in Chicago's Puerto Rican neighborhood; “Inventing rituals; inhabiting places – ritual and community in public art” by Ruth Jones, who commissioned five temporary art events in public spaces in Cardigan, Wales, part of the project Holy Hiatus; “Riverscross – A Drama-in-Health Project with Young People, run by Spanner in the Works” by Tony Coult, which produced a soap opera with adolescents in a mental-health hospital, and more. Issue #1 is accessible online.

Posted by Linda Frye Burnham

APInews: Out Now: Journal of Arts & Communities #2.

WESTAF releases cultural policy symposium transcriptions

WESTAF, the Western States Arts Federation, is pleased to announce the release of transcriptions from two sessions of the most recent WESTAF cultural policy symposium, Engaging the Now: Arguments, Research, and New Environments for the Arts, which was held October 15-17, 2009, in Aspen, Colorado.  The sessions, titled Messaging I: Constructing the Argument, and Messaging II: Arts and Culture Redefined, are now available online at:http://www.westaf.org/publications.php. The sessions include presentations and discussion about argumentation theory as it relates to the arts, considerations of ways to construct public-sector-focused messaging about the arts, and strategies for making the case for public art funding. Speakers include experts in the fields of communication theory, public policy, advocacy, messaging, economics, and popular culture. 

A previous release from this symposium, a podcast of Steven Tepper’s presentation during the Where Are the Young People (If They’re Not at the Symphony)? Shifting Gears in a New Era of Audience Participation and Engagement session, is also available. In the presentation, Tepper shares his perspective on the participation of young people in the arts and new patterns of arts participation by the public. His remarks are  available in .MP3 audio format at http://www.westaf.org/tepper.mp3.

Complete electronic and printed proceedings will be published and available this summer. Additional excerpts will be released as they are prepared.  To receive notification of the availability of future proceedings, please email Erin Bassity, WESTAF’s director of marketing and communications, at erin.bassity@westaf.org.

About WESTAF: WESTAF’s mission is to strengthen the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West.  Utilizing technology, advocacy, grantmaking and other services, we encourage the creative development and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of customers and alliances. Based in Denver, Colorado, WESTAF is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; the state arts agencies of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming; private and corporate foundations; and individuals.

+++++++++++++
Shannon E. Daut
Deputy Director

WESTAF
1743 Wazee St. Ste. 300
Denver, CO 80202
T 303.629.1166
F 303.629.9717
www.westaf.org

LOVELY WEATHER ARTISTS RESIDENCIES DONEGAL

Donegal County Council and Leonardo/Olats are proud to announce the five projects selected for the ‘Lovely Weather Donegal Artists Residencies’, a ground breaking art & science project which will examine the issues of climate change in County Donegal, Ireland.

Leonardo/Olats : http://www.olats.org

IRELAND & CLIMATE CHANGE

A large community across the world is in agreement: the climate is changing. But what is climate change? What is causing it? And how will it affect us? These are the questions which are being asked by this unique initiative by Regional Cultural Centre / Donegal County Council Public Art Office in partnership with Leonardo/Olats.

The project has entailed a national and international competition resulting in five art/science artists or group of artists being selected to work in each of the electoral areas of the county to explore on the ground, the effects of climate change and its modifications throughout the county.

According to one of the project co-coordinators John Cunningham, “If we truly want to understand climate change, we have to realise how it works in local environments like Donegal. Art could help us to question our perceptions and relationships to weather, climate and help us to experience and reveal our inner participation with weather and climate; the rupture of their balance and its meaning for our world. The ‘Lovely Weather’ projects, which are currently being developed, will access ongoing scientific studies alongside generations of local knowledge and are important mechanisms for progressive understanding of the impact of climate change on Donegal.”

WHO?

The 5 selected artists are:

  • Peter d’Agostino (USA)
  • Seema Goel (Can)
  • The League of Imaginary Scientists (Lucy Hg & partners, USA)
  • Antony Lyons (UK/IRE)
  • Softday (Sean Taylor & Mikael Fernstrom, IRE)

See projects below

WHERE?

The 5 residencies will be situated in the five Electoral Areas of County Donegal, Ireland (One per area).

The Electoral Areas of County Donegal are:

  • Glenties
  • Donegal Town
  • Letterkenny / Milford
  • Ballybofey / Stranolar
  • Inishowen

WHAT WILL THEY DO?

The Lovely Weather projects will take an interdisciplinary approach from the outset and actively involve local people in their work, to develop artworks that raise questions about climate and its changes on a practical level, with the aim of contributing to familiarising them with cultural praxis and specifically new media, and ecologically aware behaviour.

WHEN?

The Lovely Weather Artists Residencies will run from December 2009 until December 2010.

WHO ARE THE FUNDERS?

Donegal County Council’s Public Art Programme will utilise monies from the 5 electoral areas (under the % for Housing Scheme) to initiate a series of residencies for artists to examine on the ground the effect of climate change throughout Donegal. These residencies will examine cultural approaches to weather, climate and their modifications throughout County Donegal.

WHO WILL COORDINATE THESE RESIDENCIES?

The residencies will be managed by co-curators for the project Annick Bureaud (Leonardo/Olats) and John Cunningham (Regional Cultural Centre on behalf of Donegal County Council’s Public Art Office). Workshops and seminars will be held with the artists and interested parties, throughout the run of the residencies.

ARTISTS & PROJECTS

Artists: Peter d’Agostino, Deirdre Dowdakin, David Tafler
Project: WorldWideWalks / between earth & sky / Dún na nGall
Location: Glenties Electoral Area

http://www.peterdagostino.net

WorldWideWalks / between earth & sky / Dún na nGall

This project is based on a series of World-Wide-Walks, video / web projects that combine elements of natural, cultural & virtual identities. The complimentary realities of actually walking through a physical environment and of virtually surfing the web are key components of these projects that began with The Walk Series, video documentation / performances in 1973, and have continued to the present. The project intends to explore issues of the natural environmental sciences with an emphasis on cultures and histories, including examining climate reconstructions; the science of climate; societal impacts of climate change; and cultural analyses of climate history.

Peter d’Agostino is an artist who has been working in video and new media for three decades. His pioneering projects have been exhibited internationally in the form of installations, performances, telecommunications events, and broadcast productions. Recent surveys of his work include: Interactivity and Intervention, 1978-99 exhibited at the Lehman College Art Gallery, New York; and Between Earth & Sky, 1973/2003 at the University of Paris I Partheon-Sorbonne. Major group exhibitions include: The Whitney Museum of American Art (Biennial, and The American Century-Film and Video in America 1950-2000), the Sao Paulo Bienal, Brazil, and the Kwangju Biennial, Korea. His work is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art and is distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, New York.

Artist: Seema Goel
Project: Carbon Capture Sweaters
Location: Inishowen Electoral Area

Carbon Capture Sweaters is a process-based artwork linking local phenomenon to global climate change. While the scientific data and analysis are imperative to our understanding of climate change, the project will also consider the hijacking of the term “climate” as in “the economic climate”, the concept of “low-carbon” economies, a statistical correlation analysis of Malin Head meteorological data with Ireland gross domestic product (GDP) and green house gas emissions, and a substantial consideration and use of local materials, knowledge, iconography and personal industry on a human (rather than industrial) scale. The project will attempt to make the science and issues of climate change accessible by rephrasing them in materials and contexts, which are part of the everyday experience, as well as working to reclaim local iconography.

Seema Goel is a Canadian artist and a MFA Graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and is currently completing a MA.Sc. (Interdisc) at the Fine Arts / Environmental Engineering dept, University of Regina.

Artists: The League of Imaginary Scientists (Lucy Hg & partners)
Project: The Irish Rover: Looking for Mars Off the Northern Coast of Ireland
Location: Letterkenny / Milford Electoral Area

http://www.imaginaryscience.org

The Irish Rover: Looking for Mars Off the Northern Coast of Ireland project focuses on and takes its inspiration from the legendary voyage of ‘The Irish Rover’ and the current work being carried out by NASA on Mars. The idea is to develop a scientific expedition along the Fanad / Swilly peninsula’s that will mirror the work currently being undertaken on Mars. In combining planetary storylines, the League hopes to draw a reverse timeline from Earth to Mars and question whether the Earth could end up with a Martian like climate in the future. In examining these seemingly opposite planetary climates, we hope to understand the effects of climate change on Donegal.

The US based League of Imaginary Scientists is a group of artists and scientists who engineer hybrid art works in the cross-section of their worlds, in collaboration with local communities. The League’s previous history aboard boats, barges and ferries prepares them of their Irish expedition. This includes works with the NY Water Taxi, a League residency on the Waterpod (a floating sustainable habitat).

Artist: Antony Lyons
Project: Weather Proof
Location: Ballybofey / Stranolar Electoral Area

http://www.antonylyons.net

Blog/Diary of the project : http://www.antipod.info

Weather-Proof

‘Slowness’ is the key to Antony Lyons’ project. In the Ballybofey / Stranolar area, a look- out point, which is also an existing field-gate, will be selected. The site will be close to a location where scientific weather measurements (rainfall, humidity, temperature, pressure, wind speed, wind direction) are already being taken. This will become the site for year-long observation (by the artist and some observers). At the gate / look-out site, the artist’s recordings will be highly personal weather-words/ weather-diaries recorded on paper and digitally with photos and sounds. The programmed visits by the artist will be supplemented by daily/weekly visits by members of a small volunteer observation team. Furthermore, there is the potential to extend the observer participation into the idea of a geo-caching trail, with weather-proof boxes located at points in the landscape.

Antony Lyons is an artist, landscape designer and environmental scientist based in Bristol, UK. He was the lead artist for NOVA’s 2005/6 ‘Brunel 200’ commissions in Bristol. Co- founder of Deiseal – formed in 2006 to develop sculptural and land-art projects in Ireland.

Artists: Softday (Sean Taylor & Mikael Fernstrom)
Project: Marbh Chrios (Dead Zone)
Location: Donegal Electoral Area

http://www.softday.ie

Marbh Chrios (Dead Zone)

In 2008, Virginia Institute of Marine Science Professor Robert Diaz showed that the number of “dead zones”—areas of seafloor with too little oxygen for most marine life—had increased by a third between 1995 and 2007. Diaz and collaborator Rutger Rosenberg of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that dead zones are now “the key stressor on marine ecosystems” and “rank with over-fishing, habitat loss, and harmful algal blooms as global environmental problems.” The study, which appeared in the August 15, 2008 issue of the journal Science, tallied 405 dead zones in coastal waters worldwide, affecting an area of 95,000 square miles, about the size of New Zealand.

It is currently estimated that there are 20 such ‘dead zones’ in Ireland and two were identified in the study at both Killybeg’s Harbour (1999) and Donegal Bay (2000). Geologic evidence shows that dead zones are not a naturally recurring event in marine ecosystems; dead zones were once rare, now they are common place and increasing, which poses a serious threat to indigenous marine habitats and the human food chain.

Softday proposes to examine the available data from the Irish dead zones and work collaboratively with three distinct partners, local traditional musicians from An Charraig/Amhainn a’Ghlinne (Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí) in Donegal, Met Éireann (the Irish Meteorological Service) and The Marine Institute of Ireland, to address the relationship of climate and culture to sound.

Since 1999, visual artist Sean Taylor and computer software designer Mikael Fernstrom (aka SOFTDAY) have collaborated on a number of high profile science/art projects. Both artists are interested in exploring ‘the cracks’ between various media such as expanded theatre, sound art, sculpture, music, dance and the application of new technologies.

In 2000 they presented a computer generated musical composition entitled Blian le Baisteach (A Year With Rain), with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. The project was constructed using rainfall data supplied by Met Éireann (The Irish Meteorological Agency) for the year 1999-2000. This rainfall data was converted into music using a series of specifically designed neural networks and algorithms, trained by a database of traditional Irish melodies and folk tunes. In 2002, they developed a collaborative project Coisir an Tsionann, with The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Daghdha Dance Company and the Berlin based choir ‘Der Brullchor’. The composition used data from The Electricity Supply Board from the power station on the River Shannon at Ardnacrusha and salmon stocking information from the salmon hatcheries.

For further information please contact Declan Sheehan, Assistant Public Art Officer. Tel: ++ 353 74 9129186 e: declan.sheehan@donegalcoco.iewww.donegalpublicart.com

Developing a sustainable approach to public art

JRdetail1 – artist Jane Revitt

The first ever set of FREE guidelines to help artists and commissioners embrace the sustainable as well as the artistic impact of their work has been launched by Chrysalis Arts http://www.chrysalisarts.org.uk, a public art, training and development agency based in rural North Yorkshire.

Public Art Sustainability Assessment (PASA for short) is a free interactive assessment tool available from http://www.pasaguidelines.org/ which aims to promote sustainable practice in public art to artists and commissioners and has been developed to assist Chrysalis Arts in the process of analysing and evaluating projects that they are involved in.

Kate Maddison, Director at Chrysalis Arts comments:”
“ When we set out to discover how to address sustainability within our public art practice, we were dismayed to find so little information to guide us. This prompted us to take the first step and start the process of establishing our own method of working sustainably. What we found interested us greatly because it threw the spot-light on issues that are relevant to others involved in commissioning and creating public art and beyond that to the way society values sustainability.”

“ Art has an ability to reflect and potentially influence our behaviour and public art is by its nature in the public eye. Chrysalis Arts believes it has a role to play in promoting responsible behaviour in this context. It soon became clear that we needed to disseminate this information widely, as the issues need to be dealt with by everyone involved in the process of planning, commissioning and implementing public art.”

The online interactive checklist is easy to use and covers the key issues which surround sustainable practice in public art. This checklist is supported by full guidelines and useful case studies.

To use the free PASA checklist and download the guidelines please visit and register at www.pasaguidelines.org. Registered users can answer questions about their art activity or project online and when the checklist is completed, they can download their answers as a pdf document.

PASA has been created for artists and creative practitioners as well as public art organisations, local authorities, developers, commissioners, funders, architects, landscape architects, engineers, contractors, communities, schools and anyone else who may be involved in the commissioning, development, creation, maintenance and decommissioning of public art at different scales and in different contexts.

Chrysalis Arts have developed  PASA in consultation with a wide range of partners – including artists and arts organisations, local authority officers, specialists from higher education establishments and environmental consultants Gaia Research, as well as looking to government sources and other creative practitioners such as architects for guidance on sustainable principles and practice.

“While artistic considerations should be foremost in creating public art, there is no reason why artists cannot embrace sustainable principles in the way in which they conceive and implement their ideas, as long as this is supported through the funding and commissioning process… “ Kate Maddison

Initial feedback gained from the launch of the Guidelines at “Art Ecology and Sustainable Practice” an event held Chrysalis Art’s base, The Art Depot, was very positive and include:

“Helpful to have these points presented in a useable form” Barbara Greene, artist

“(PASA) asks and answers a range of public art questions” Harry Hodgson, Hull School of Art and Design

“Very useful tool… would like to try putting it into practice” Adele Jackson, artist and project manager, Loca, Kirklees Council

Chrysalis Arts view PASA as very much the starting point in the debate around public art practice and sustainability, and hope that by throwing the debate open to others, the result in the long term will be a more sustainable way of working.

Community Mosaic, Lord Street, Southport - Chrysalis Arts Photo by Chrysalis Arts

Press contact

For more press information and images contact Jane Redfern PR tel 01845 526720 / 07724 131179 email pr@janeredfern.co.uk

to speak to Kate Maddison, Chrysalis Arts tel 01756 749222 / Mob 07976 731151   email  kate@artdepot.org.uk

Curzon Square Public Art - Chrysalis Arts - Ceramic Mosaic and Forged Stainless Steel Panels, artist and photo Kate Maddison

Editors notes

Chrysalis Arts is an artist-led public art company, training and arts development agency based in the North Yorkshire village of Gargrave. The company was founded in 1985 by Rick Faulkner and Kate Maddison.

Chrysalis Arts are keen to embrace the principles of sustainability in creating public artwork, promoting both responsible professional practice and conscientious use of materials and resources, in line with a fully developed environmental policy.

On October 2nd, Chrysalis Arts launched the PASA guidelines at the seminar event “Art Ecology and Sustainable Practice” which was held at the company’s base, The Art Depot, the subject of one of the PASA Case Studies, in Gargrave, North Yorkshire. The event was well attended by public art practitioners including artists, commissioners, local government officers, university lecturers and researchers.

“Thought provoking” Suzanne Dimmock, Lancaster City Council

“ (PASA) gives a systematic form to much of what we already do instinctively…(it) sums up a transferable approach which artists can pass on to whoever works with them” Sue Harrison, artist

Transitionboatessm - Transition Helix-Spiral-Boat, Manchester, Building Schools for the Future - St Philips and Piper Hill Schools - Chrysalis Arts

More about PASA online

Anyone wishing to use the guidelines will be asked to register before gaining free access to the PASA Checklist Online which is an immediate sustainability tool. Registered users can answer questions about their art activity or project online and when the checklist is completed, they can download their answers as a pdf document.

To accompany the guidelines, Chrysalis Arts have carried out four PASA Case Studies of how to apply the guidelines as an assessment method and to show benchmark examples of the company’s projects and current practice.

Registered users can also download the PASA Guidelines free as a series of pdf documents:
Guidelines – a detailed assessment method which incorporates the checklist and also; The (Full) Guidelines, The Assessment Process, Appendix 1: Chrysalis Arts – Steps to Sustainability, Appendix 2: Sustainable Principles, Appendix 3: Bibliography (including Websites), Appendix 4: Case Studies - Slow Art Trail, The Art Depot, Lord Street, St Paul’s & Piper Hill BSF, Appendix 5 - Template


Additional Resources

PASA Q & A – available

PASA Case Studies: Projects analysed using the PASA Guidelines (available from http://www.pasaguidelines.org/ )

  1. SLOW ART TRAIL: a pilot, public art project – a series of environmental installations (Bolton Abbey/North Yorkshire) exploring sustainability and creative practice – developed by Chrysalis Arts to raise awareness of environmental issues and explore how artists could develop a more sustainable approach to their creative practice. The installations ranged from pieces that tempted visitors to sit down and contemplate their surroundings to those which challenged perceptions about contemporary art-making in a traditional rural landscape.
  2. THE ART DEPOT is the result of a collaboration between Chrysalis Arts and architects Wales Wales and Rawson and comprises an office, design studio and workshop for the public art company in North Yorkshire. The brief was to create a building that reflects the true integration of art and architecture and provide a base for future public artwork, arts development and training activity.
  3. LORD STREET GARDENS ARTWORKS commissioned by Sefton Council to create new artworks to complement the refurbishment of Lord Street Gardens, which were originally designed by Thomas Mawson in 1906, a renowned landscape architect of the arts and crafts movement, and retain many of their original features. The artworks included a new illuminated water feature, seats and a community mosaic.
  4. TRANSITION, Artwork commissioned by Manchester City Council’s Building schools for the future programme: St Paul’s RC High School and Piper Hill High School (for students with special needs) occupied two separate sites in Wythenshawe and were being brought together as two schools that would share some facilities in new premises on the St Paul’s RC School site. Chrysalis Arts worked with the students and staff of St Paul’s RC High School and Piper Hill High School to create a new artwork to celebrate the two schools coming together and to symbolise their ‘transition’ to a new beginning. The artwork is itself an eight-metre suspended helix-boat structure of rope, wood and stainless steel, occupying the space above the reception area.