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Art about climate change: a new trend

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

rain-room590

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This post comes to you from Cultura21

uranio-a-300x196After taking place twice in Brazil, the International Uranium Film Festival came to Berlin in October 2012. The highlight of the festival was the screening of four movies about the nuclear disaster of Goiânia, 1987, one of them Cesium 137: The Nightmare of Goiânia (1990), a movie by already deceased Roberto Pires which had already won several awards at the 1990 Brasilia Film Festival. The present Brazilian directors Jorge Luiz Eduardo and Angelo Lima as well as producer Laura Pires took this opportunity to speak up against the Brazilian government and lacking response to the disaster.

The International Uranium Film Festival is the only film festival in the world dedicated to films about the whole nuclear fuel chain and radioactivity, from atomic bombs to Fukushima. The show in Berlin, 04-12 October, showcased more than 60 films. Besides the Brazilian, many other directors from other countries were also present and took part in an active discussion with the public. TheYellow Oscar, an award for the best and most important productions, went to Swedish film director Marko Kattilakoski and his crew for the short film Fikapaus (Coffeebreak). The next stop of the festival will be India in January and February 2013 visiting seven different cities.

Call for Entry – Third Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro, May 2013

The International Uranium Film Festival of Rio de Janeiro accepts short and feature length films and videos in the following categories: narrative, documentary, experimental, animation for the competitions.
Deadline for the Film Entry: January 31, 2013.

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

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Eat your view – The Landscape of our food

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An interesting research project, organized by the Diepenheim art society, is taking place throughout this year in Diepenheim, NLJeroen van Westen, visual artist and participant in this artistic study shortly describes it:

Eat your view has its focus on how our food is related to our landscape. If food builds our body and mind, and food production defines our landscape, it must be that our food is an expression of our landscape. But, when we eat, we don’t recognize our landscape. There is a blind spot for where our food comes from. In Eat your view we try to ‘define’ that blind spot in its different forms.
We hope to be able to produce strategies to minimize the blind spot, make it more transparent, and thus to release energy and create focus to work on a healthier relation people-food-landscape.

Four experts, ranging from anthropologists to Trappists, were released on an exploration day in Diepenheim, respectively in Spring, Summer and Autumn, with the assignment: “What does the landscape have to offer?” and afterwards discussing their findings with inhabitants, interested public and a panel. The short film, by documentary film-maker Sacha Barraud, shows footage of these three days.

The concluding Winter exploration day on January 12th, will consist of a public discussion of the 12 “scouts”, the panel, inhabitants, general public and invited experts.

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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launch of ADRIFT – a new project by Cape Farewell

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Tom Chivers – Cape Farewell’s Climate Poet-in-Residence

Art and climate change organisation Cape Farewell is launching ADRIFT – an interrogation of climate as culture, devised by Cape Farewell’s poet in residence, Tom Chivers (in London, UK). They invite the public for a drink, performance and short film, as Tom Chivers maps the natural territories written into urban space. Free admission.

“Discover what’s hidden underneath the streets and find out what an ‘urban pilgrimage’ is. Join us in the Main Space at Rich Mix from 6.30pm on Friday 5th October. Appearing with the director of Cape Farewell, artist and photographer, David Buckland, Tom will be presenting ongoing research and new writing.  Over the next 12 months, follow ADRIFT at capefarewell.com/adrift as Tom undertakes a range of mixed-media investigations: text work, live performance, debate and collaborations with other artists, writers, and poets. ADRIFT builds towards the presentation of a major new poetic project, in Spring 2013, supported by a series of live events across East London.”

Tom Chivers’ commission is launched as part of Cape Farewell’s new series of Urban Interventions. This will include the summer launch of SWITCH, a youth inquiry into poetics, culture, migration and climate.

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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Bolivian Animated Film “Abuela Grillo” Highlights Water Issues

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http://youtu.be/YMM7vM7aiNI

Abuela Grillo, an adorable – though equally tear-jerking – animated short-film, calls attention to Bolivia’s fraught history with water privatization.

The film is a collaboration between Bolivian animators and the Animation Workshop of Denmark. The Abuela Grillo character is based on a myth from the Bolivian lowlands, but the film tells the story of a historic moment in Bolivian water politics.

Water issues reached a boiling point in 2000 after water privatization legislation led to a significant spike in prices for Bolivian citizens. Demonstrations rocked Cochabamba in what is also known as the Cochabamba Water Wars. Though they began as peaceful protests, demonstrations quickly grew violent, leading to dozens of civilian and police injuries and casualties. Then President Hugo Banzer was forced to resign.

This animated film takes you on journey with Abuela Grillo (Grandmother Grasshopper), who walks through rural and urban landscapes with a raincloud constantly looming over her shoulder. She encounters various obstacles as the film weaves a sad – and deeply symbolic – tale of environmental exploitation and government corruption.

Reposted from the Center for Latin American and Caribean Studies at NYU blog.

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

Innovation, The Kaleidoscope Video

This post comes to you from Engage by Design

What is the Kaleidoscope Project?

Interviews and conversations with experts on sustainability, design and innovation, reflecting theory and generating actions between a diverse range of disciplines including design [product, fashion, graphic, web, architects and interiors], science, art, activists, business, psychology and academia.

The 5 Kaleidoscope Videos, split into four different values; Balance, Meaning, Innovation and Culture. During each interview we asked how each value is seen and practised today and how they should be practiced in order to move towards a better future. The last video focuses on the tools and skills that we need to get to that better future, acting as a call to arms for designers and professionals about the need for rethink the way we practice our disciplines.

This short film is about Innovation.

 

Engage by Design is a social enterprise developed through the final Master research of Rodrigo Bautista and Zoe Olivia John in sustainability and design. As a consultancy they specialize in strategic interventions that aim to support the transformation of your product or service into a more sustainable one.

Engage by Design’s research arm intends to act as a platform which enables dialogues and actions between a diverse range of disciplines around sustainability and design.

Rodrigo Bautista – Rodrigo is an Industrial Designer and has worked in many different industries including media, products, services and telecommunications. Today his work focuses on strategic interventions and tools to apply sustainability and design instruments within a company.

Zoë Olivia John – Zoë’s background in Fashion & Textiles has lead her into the research and development of better ways to integrate learning about sustainability for Higher Education students and tutors, particularly within the F&T programme. She is interested in finding new ways to readdress our value structure from one of linear economic quantity to one of circular quality.

Go to Engage by Design

Meaning, The Kaleidoscope Project.

This post comes to you from Engage by Design

What is the Kaleidoscope Project?

Interviews and conversations with experts on sustainability, design and innovation, reflecting theory and generating actions between a diverse range of disciplines including design [product, fashion, graphic, web, architects and interiors], science, art, activists, business, psychology and academia.

The 5 Kaleidoscope Videos, split into four different values; Balance, Meaning, Innovation and Culture. During each interview we asked how each value is seen and practised today and how they should be practiced in order to move towards a better future. The last video focuses on the tools and skills that we need to get to that better future, acting as a call to arms for designers and professionals about the need for rethink the way we practice our disciplines.

This short film is about Meaning.

 

Engage by Design is a social enterprise developed through the final Master research of Rodrigo Bautista and Zoe Olivia John in sustainability and design. As a consultancy they specialize in strategic interventions that aim to support the transformation of your product or service into a more sustainable one.

Engage by Design’s research arm intends to act as a platform which enables dialogues and actions between a diverse range of disciplines around sustainability and design.

Rodrigo Bautista – Rodrigo is an Industrial Designer and has worked in many different industries including media, products, services and telecommunications. Today his work focuses on strategic interventions and tools to apply sustainability and design instruments within a company.

Zoë Olivia John – Zoë’s background in Fashion & Textiles has lead her into the research and development of better ways to integrate learning about sustainability for Higher Education students and tutors, particularly within the F&T programme. She is interested in finding new ways to readdress our value structure from one of linear economic quantity to one of circular quality.

Go to Engage by Design

Culture The Kaleidoscope Video

This post comes to you from Engage by Design

What is the Kaleidoscope Project?

Interviews and conversations with experts on sustainability, design and innovation, reflecting theory and generating actions between a diverse range of disciplines including design [product, fashion, graphic, web, architects and interiors], science, art, activists, business, psychology and academia.

The 5 Kaleidoscope Videos, split into four different values; Balance, Meaning, Innovation and Culture. During each interview we asked how each value is seen and practised today and how they should be practiced in order to move towards a better future. The last video focuses on the tools and skills that we need to get to that better future, acting as a call to arms for designers and professionals about the need for rethink the way we practice our disciplines.

This short film is about Culture.

 

Engage by Design is a social enterprise developed through the final Master research of Rodrigo Bautista and Zoe Olivia John in sustainability and design. As a consultancy they specialize in strategic interventions that aim to support the transformation of your product or service into a more sustainable one.

Engage by Design’s research arm intends to act as a platform which enables dialogues and actions between a diverse range of disciplines around sustainability and design.

Rodrigo Bautista – Rodrigo is an Industrial Designer and has worked in many different industries including media, products, services and telecommunications. Today his work focuses on strategic interventions and tools to apply sustainability and design instruments within a company.

Zoë Olivia John – Zoë’s background in Fashion & Textiles has lead her into the research and development of better ways to integrate learning about sustainability for Higher Education students and tutors, particularly within the F&T programme. She is interested in finding new ways to readdress our value structure from one of linear economic quantity to one of circular quality.

Go to Engage by Design

Balance The Kaleidoscope Video

This post comes to you from Engage by Design

What is the Kaleidoscope Project?

Interviews and conversations with experts on sustainability, design and innovation, reflecting theory and generating actions between a diverse range of disciplines including design [product, fashion, graphic, web, architects and interiors], science, art, activists, business, psychology and academia. This project tackles these conversations with two supporting outcomes.

The first is the 5 Kaleidoscope Videos, split into four different values; Balance, Meaning, Innovation and Culture. During each interview we asked how each value is seen and practised today and how they should be practiced in order to move towards a better future. The last video focuses on the tools and skills that we need to get to that better future, acting as a call to arms for designers and professionals about the need for rethink the way we practice our disciplines.

This short film is about Balance.

Engage by Design is a social enterprise developed through the final Master research of Rodrigo Bautista and Zoe Olivia John in sustainability and design. As a consultancy they specialize in strategic interventions that aim to support the transformation of your product or service into a more sustainable one.

Engage by Design’s research arm intends to act as a platform which enables dialogues and actions between a diverse range of disciplines around sustainability and design.

Rodrigo Bautista – Rodrigo is an Industrial Designer and has worked in many different industries including media, products, services and telecommunications. Today his work focuses on strategic interventions and tools to apply sustainability and design instruments within a company.

Zoë Olivia John – Zoë’s background in Fashion & Textiles has lead her into the research and development of better ways to integrate learning about sustainability for Higher Education students and tutors, particularly within the F&T programme. She is interested in finding new ways to readdress our value structure from one of linear economic quantity to one of circular quality.

Go to Engage by Design

The impossible hamster & RSAnimate: thoughts on “nubs”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqwd_u6HkMo

Yesterday, the New Economics Foundation released this video to support their report about the irreconcilability of the idea of sustained economic growth with the idea of sustainability itself,  Growth Isn’t Possible. It’s made by Leo Murray, one of the makers of The Age of Stupid and the short film  Wake Up Freak Out.

The Impossible Hamster is a clever way of drawing attention to an idea, using a short viral video. In some circles this would be called an agit-nub, nubs being “short videos that explain or bring an idea to life“.

In the last couple of years, nubs have increasingly become the means by which new ideas are spread around the web. They encapsulate how the web works; by making them embeddable, they become a freebie for other content producers. Spreading ideas and messages on the web is about reciprocity; you have to give in order to receive attention.

Nubs raise a few questions. Firstly, at the moment wit is still prized as much as quality, but will the increasing standards of advertising viral videos begin to crowd out the more low-fi productions like Leo Murray’s? Take a look at this ad about the persuasive technology of a musical staircase which turns out to be an advertisement by Volksvagen. Made to look low-fi by the adevertising agency DDB Stockholm, it became one of the most successful virals of last year. Advertisers are spending increasingly large sums producing these virals.

Secondly, if nubs are the repository for political messages, will we soon have “nub wars”? As somebody in the office pointed out the moment they saw The Impossible Hamster, a climate sceptic might have made a video of a hamster growing not only fat but clever enough to start building new worlds.

Thirdly, do they respresent a kind of Darwinism of ideas; if an idea is not reducible to a three minute nub will it become worthles?

Myself, I don’t think so. I think their mix of expression and intellect makes them an incredibly powerful new genre.

On the last point, the RSA’s own RSAnimate series shows that nubs don’t need to be reductionist. Take a look at Matthew Taylor’s Left Brain Right Brain which is just out this week:

Look out for new videos coming up on the new RSA Comment pages:http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology