Social Sculpture

Bug Cinema USA – An ecological forest art project

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Bug Cinema’s work-in-progress is located in the Siuslaw Model Forest, from 25 June to 9 July

Bug Cinema is a new ecological forest art commission for the Whale Oil to Whole Foods summer eco-arts festival in Greene County (Hudson Valley), on the edge of the Catskill Mountains, upper New York State. The eco-arts festival consists of a large group exhibition, site specific artworks, and accompanying public events in June/July 2012. Manifest through a collaboration between Greene County Arts and the Cornell Agroforestry Centre, it is curated by eco-artist Christy Rupp and GCCA Catskill Gallery Director, Fawn Potash.

Bug Cinema is revealed to the forest as a portable ‘glow-lab’ ultraviolet solar light sculpture: a trans-disciplinary hybrid of art/entomology and functions as an integrated, collaborative inter-species ‘social-sculpture’ and biodiversity research project. Essentially, this sculpture embodies a distinctive minimalist aesthetic, playfully combined with a desire to facilitate the observation of moth species living in the forest. Bug Cinema transforms areas of the forest into a film/theatre-like staging of light and shadow, subsequently becoming a social space for moths, humans and other wildlife, through which the ‘performance of life’ is played out.

If you want to know more about the project, please visit http://bugcinemausa.wordpress.com

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

NOW – Permaculture in Europe

This post comes to you from Cultura21

11th European Permaculture Convergence, 1-5.8.2012

Gastwerke Kassel, Germany

Now! This year the EuPC will focuss on Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share in August. For five days 300 activists and designers gather together to start a dialogue on permacultures. Interdisciplinary workshops, lectures and art will be part of the program and will promote European networking and grand celebration.

EuPC stands for ideas themselves, not only for  financeable ideas. Communication is more important than reactions of others.

Speakers from all over the world will dedicate their focus on methods and the design of transition processes. Workshops on many different topics such as Deep Ecology, Wandelnde Gärten and Social Sculpture will be held in Englisch and German.

Adjacent to the Convergence, the traditional international Permaculture Design Course takes place in Kassel: Its challenge is to bring in ‘Permaculture, Art & Society’ as an innovative focus and approach.

Tickets and more Information can be found on the website of  EUPC or in the leaflet.

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

Invitation to participate in an Earth Forum with Shelley Sacks

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Within the framework of the Citizen Art Days Shelley Sacks offers twice a day the possibility to take part in an Earth Forum „Social Sculpture“ Process at the Freies Museum_öffentlicher Raum Berlin. From February 20th to 24th, in each case from 11 am to 2 pm and 3 to 6 pm, people are given the opportunity to create a humane and ecologically just future in groups of 8 to 12.

Artist and former scholar of Joseph Beuys, Shelley Sacks, invites people of every age and background to a process of creative imagination and exchange in order to bring room for new approaches of thought and action into being. After building an awareness in the group, the focus shall be put on questions directly related to the environment, the neighborhood, the city of Berlin and even the world.

Everyone is invited to participate in the Earth Forum process, whether as an individual or as a network of individuals and organisations who have diverse interests or as an organisation or group of individuals who have similar aims and views of sustainable development, but may have different ideas of how to achieve these aims.

Possible languages are English and German.

Background: The Citizen of Art Days from the 19th to the 24th of February 2012, offer the possibility for citizens to participate directly in the designing of their city by means of workshops, lectures, discussions and city excursions.
Registration and further information here:
www.citizenartdays.de / earthforum [at] citizenartdays [dot] de / 030-49 914 661
———————————————
Further projects of Shelley Sacks:
www.social-sculpture.org
www.universityofthetrees.org
www.exchange-values.org
www.ortdestreffens.de

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

Ploughshares from Swords – Social Sculpture and Cultural Agency

This post comes to you from Cultura21

November 07th, 2011 MIT (USA)

“How does creative activism contribute to society? How do we moderate crises through individual and collective art practice? How do we reconcile the arts, activism, and pedagogy? Stella McGregor, Founder and Director of Urbano Project, will share her experience of working with inner city youth and introduce projects such as Violence Transformed, and Pedro Reyes’ Palas por Pistolas. Stella McGregor has been an artist and a cultural worker for over 25 years, working on projects in Boston, New Orleans, Macedonia, and Taiwan.”

Urbano Project:  http://urbanoproject.org

The “Zones of Emergency: Artistic Interventions – Creative Responses to Conflict & Crisis” Fall 2011 lecture series investigates initiatives and modes of intervention in contested spaces, zones of conflict, or areas affected by environmental disasters. The intention is to explore whether artistic interventions can transform, disrupt or subvert current environmental, urban, political, and social conditions in critical ways. A crucial question is how can such interventions propose ideas, while at the same time respecting the local history and culture.

More information at the Zones of Emergency Blog: http://zonesofemergency.mit.edu/

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

EcoArt SoFla

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Mary Jo Aagerstoun has just posted the following to the EcoArt South Florida website:

Why does South Florida need EcoArt?

EcoArt SoFla believes art must be integrated into sustainability strategies. In South Florida, like everywhere else on the globe, sustainability strategies have been driven by science and political expediency. One searches in vain at all levels of the worldwide sustainability research/policy development community to find the tiniest acknowledgment of the role art could and should play in making sustainability a reality. The sustainability discourse is, therefore, very uni-centric in the knowledges it taps.

It seems self-evident that the kinds of environmental crises we face worldwide require that we tap a multiplicity of knowledges. To infuse societies with sustainability-enhancing scientific innovations, culture must be both mobilized and transformed. And communities and the general public must be inspired and educated to pursue serious and committed environmental stewardship. Artists are the expert innovators and creative thinkers most engaged with the art knowledge and cultural integration skill that help to create the cultural glue holding societies together. Art and science, as twin knowledge forms, must be tapped in tandem to create the wisdom, and activate hope, that underpin sustainability.

But not just any art will do. EcoArt SoFla will seek support for and promote artists whose practices are inspired by the precepts of Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture” and address environmental problems with creative combinations of conceptual art, process art, connective aesthetics, participatory and socially engaged practices, phenomenological and eco-philosophies, direct democracy processes and other social/aesthetic forms and techniques.

EcoArt SoFla seeks nothing less than development of a large contingent of ecoartists committed to staying in South Florida and who are, or wish to become, master cross-disciplinary learners and social system choreographers, skilled at drawing into the collaborative creation of ecoart stakeholders from grass roots community organizations, scientific institutions, public policy agencies and pioneering philanthropic entities. EcoArt SoFla will dedicate itself to development and promotion of the best ecoart projects: those that engage and mobilize community while employing, enhancing and melding techniques, knowledge and wisdom from landscape architecture, environmental biology and chemistry, planning and engineering and many other disciplines, and collaborating with their practitioners, while drawing from the deep roots of art history and the broadest lexicon of aesthetic methods.

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

AGENTS OF CHANGE AND ECOLOGICAL CITIZENSHIP – new summer school programme from 10 to 22 July 2011

This two week workshop:

  • provides an opportunity to explore the many different ways and levels on which we can be or become better `agents of change´ and how we can deepen our understanding of ecological citizenship
  • provides a form for exploring the importance of imagination in transformative work
  • enables participants to  develop forms of creative cultural action that relate directly to each of our own life-work situations

The workshop is embedded in the exploratory practices and research of the Social Sculpture Research Unit and informed by its network of active members and associates. In this sense it also provides an introduction to social sculpture and its role in bringing about a viable word.

The program me is led by artist Shelley Sacks, head of the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University, and Dr. Hildegard Kurt from and. Institute for Art, Culture and Sustainability in Berlin.

Please enrol as soon as possible. Places are limited.

Question Time

A project by David Berridge, Rachel Lois Clapham, Alex Eisenberg and Mary Paterson as Open Dialogues.

www.questiontime.me

Published in the Winter edition of the CSPA Quarterly, which was focused on the 2009 United Nations Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen.  To view or order back issues, visit http://magcloud.com/browse/Magazine/38626.  To subscribe to the CSPA QUARTERLY, join us! http://www.sustainablepractice.org/join-the-cspa/

 

A set of cards is laid out in front of you. A word is written on each card. You are asked to pick a card. You might pick ‘Home’, ‘Personal Knowledge’ or ‘Wild Card’. You are asked some questions. The interviews are recorded, they are 2-5 minutes long and later appear, as anonymous recordings, online. Go to the website and a random interview is played. Listen to two or more and it becomes a series of moments and voices, young and old, in different ways public and private, and all a snapshot of how people were thinking – or, at least, talking to four English strangers wielding cards and dictaphones – during the two weeks of the COP15 climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.

This was the premise of Question Time, a collaboration between four UK based artists which took place under the auspices of New Life Copenhagen, a social sculpture project that saw 3000 visitors to COP15 hosted by 3000 Copenhagen households, at a time when every hotel in the city was fully booked. Whilst Question Time didn’t choreograph social dynamics in such an explicit way we sought, through our series of questions, to mould an encounter that might reveal something about attitudes, beliefs, and opinions, over two weeks that – the advertising hoardings and inflatable globes all around the city told us – was “a last chance to save the world.”

Listen to all the Question Time interviews on the website archive and there are considerable differences of style and mood. This not only reflects the different places we went to find interviewees – from the alternative ‘Klimaforum: the people’s summit’, to the official UN negotiations at the Bella Centre, to NGO receptions, protest marches, the Christiana commune and various bars and cafes throughout Copenhagen – but also how our own questions changed. To start, we asked people’s views on climate change, on why they were in Copenhagen, on how they thought change might happen. But people’s responses to these questions were often well rehearsed, ready-made or of a rhetorical nature. This left us unsatisfied, and so at the Question Time daily summit meetings we re-wrote the questions. The sheer pervasiveness of the conference and climate related issues during COP15 meant an oblique approach to our subject might be profitable instead: How do you feel about the ground? How are you in the future? How do you think? 

Our role in Question Time was under the same scrutiny as our encounter with the people of Copenhagen and their  responses to our questions. As such we decided early on to not edit the resulting interviews or the website archive. This is not to deny our position (as artists, activists, interviewers, climate documenters) within this deeply participatory artwork – simply that our agency was more located in the before; orchestrating the encounters, setting the questions, laying out the cards, pressing RECORD and asking, in our own particular ways: ‘Would you like to pick a card?’. The rest was left to the live.

Reading these excerpts on the page is very different to hearing the sound files, which differ again from the actual experience of each encounter. The interviews can be read as sources of ideas, opinions, activist tactics, anecdotes, obsessions and platitudes, by a range of world citizens, speaking variously as activists, delegates, shoppers, politicians, shamans, drinkers, and/or mothers. Or, ignore the content, and what emerges as important is the tone of a voice, rhythms of speech and breath, the hesitations and silences, the background muzak. 

Listening to the interviews now COP15 is over, may contain wonderful and insightful moments. Others, at times, bore us with their cliches and lack of imagination. Our own interactions and questions seem a similar mixture of surprising and strange, provocative and awkward, the insightful and the productively inept. Question Time proposes that all these ways of speaking and listening tell us something, not only about COP15 but also about how climate change is figuring right now in our experience, imagination and language. 

What follows are partial responses to ‘Wild Card’, ‘Future’ and ‘Ending’, selected by the Question Time archive’s inbuilt randomizer.

Is everything ok?

Yes, yes everything is fine.

No not at all. But it changes. Yesterday is was 65, which is OK. Today it’s a little bit more. I’m very influenced by the immediate climate.    Yesterday it was very frenzied, today it is evil.

On a very, very, very spiritual level yes, but if you are grounded and you look around then there is a lot of sadness. I would like to help other people be less sad.

Do you mean in the world outside, or in my world?

It’s not OK as we forgot who we are and why we are on mother earth. There is a chance now to recognize who we are. When you know who you are and accept your divinity you see it in others equally, and when we meet at this level God is not somewhere outside, we are all God. We could save so much money, use new technology, and build a beautiful place if people recognized that we are the chosen ones and took the responsibility to live together in peace.

Not quite, but eventually I hope it will be.

Yeah, everything is alright, even better than before, but I think that’s due to some steps that I have taken. 

No, especially not when you talk about the earth, or… ‘Yorskal’.

For me, everything is OK. I’m Buddhist.

It’s very good yes. I’m happy flying around.

Yes.

How do you feel about the ground?

The ground…? I would like to be more grounded

The ground. The mother earth? It’s beautiful to be on this ground. Without being in a body, here on this ground, the mother earth we could not experience this beautiful journey that we are all on. It’s necessary to have a body, to be on mother earth, with mind, spirit and heart energy we can do better.

Good. It’s good to feel that something is solid.

About the ground? Like in what sense- the world, or being grounded? That’s a really hard question.

The ground. Any ground?  …In one way I feel very supported by the ground and I want to be here. At the same time I feel a large concern for the earth, I understand the ground as the earth I want to reach out and help humans that share the earth

The ground? How do I feel about the ground? I guess I’m down to earth. I haven’t thought about it that much. I’m an air person myself.

I really don’t know. Not yet. You mean earth or ground? It’s a big question.

I feel more comfortable with soil and farming land.

Shaky. The ground is not open, it’s closed. We could have used the ground more artistically for the climate conference.

The ground? I don’t have any relation to the ground, I guess I am floating a lot.

I don’t know how to respond to your question.

How does this end?

It ends by you turning off the recorder

There are no enemies, enemies are something that you create when there is a conflict of interest and two interests are not being met in the same way. You create through the label of enemies someone you pit against yourselves because you need to defend your interests, so in essence they become enemies but I don’t think there is such a thing.

By death

What disaster or emergency level are we currently at?

What disaster or what…?

It’s one second to twelve. But I would like to think about that one second in a positive way – that we are actually turning around in that one second. We are becoming aware, stopping financing war, stop eating meat, stop cutting down forests.

What sorry?

We are on an 8, not just for the climate but also for people, how we have been overspending, we need to pull the handbrake and reconsider ways of doing things.

We are the top level, like the end of the world, something like that.

Maybe 7

Too high. You can barely walk the street without the police looking at you. It’s overreaction.

Do you have a question you would like to ask?

No

What are you doing?

Yes, I have a lot of questions, of course.

Me? No. I don’t know. Sorry.

I question how long the earth will continue to be here

To you? I would ask, what is the most important question to ask.

What is good design? It’s not really related to climate change but it is something I have been thinking about a lot.

How do you choose these words?

What is your passion?

How do you hope?

How do you hope? – Is that the question? I guess I…um…how…how I hope…I guess if we are talking about the  phenonology or my methodology of hoping…I guess I go for something that seems plausible but also reasonable and then I hope for that…but the framework of what is plausible and reasonable for me is quite wide…for example with COP15 I think I am far more optimistic than the world leaders.

 That’s a difficult question…we don’t know what it’s going to be like but that it has to change is clear…

By not hoping. I don’t hope for anything…just go along…but don’t get your expectation too high. Actually that’s a lie… you’ve got to have high expectations…I think there is a difference between expectation and hope…

I hope…err….I have hope for the future…I think it’s going to be really good.

I hope with my positive thoughts…I believe in people…I believe in good things…that’s it for me.

Question Time is a project by David Berridge, Rachel Lois Clapham, Alex Eisenberg and Mary Paterson as Open Dialogues. It was programmed as part of New Life Copenhagen in December 2009. Open Dialogues is a UK based collaboration that produces critical writing on and as performance.

www.questiontime.me 

www.opendialogues.com

Agent of Change – James Reed in San Francisco

In 2008, ecoartspace co-curated an exhibition for Exit Art in NYC entitled Environmental Performance Actions, which included a video documentation of Agents of Change, a Unit Earth Agenda project developed by Shelley Sacks and James Reed of the Social Sculpture Research Unit, Oxford Brookes University (UK). Although I was familiar with the work, yesterday I had the opportunity to meet Reed in San Francisco and to experience first hand what it might be like to be an “official” agent of change.

A group of five participants met at noon at the new Intersection 5M gallery, located in the San Francisco Chronicle building at Mission Street and 5th, where we spent three hours in an open discussion on what is agency and sharing personal experiences that catalyzed change in our lives. We then heading down to 4th at Mission Bay where we put on customized Agents of Change life preserver vests and held large wooden measuring sticks that illustrated the depth of several meters of potential water encroachment due to climate change. Each participant stood on their own along the waterway and was encourage to reflect on our own sense of agency in this situation, the site, and to record others concerns. Attached to the life preserver was a booklet where we could register and offer a receipt to passersby, confirming their concerns about climate change.

Reed studied under Shelley Sacks, a former student and collaborator of Joseph Beuys at Oxford Brookes from 2005-2007. It was during this time that they developed the Agents of Change climate change kits and began what has become a series of workshops and public interventions initiated at the Social Sculpture Today exhibition in Basel, Switzerland in April 2007.



Questions this project asks are:

How do we develop a wider personal and philosophical framework that cultivates a deep sense of personal and shared meanings?

How do we develop a culture of transforming our mode of consciousness?

How can we begin to realize our full potential as human beings and work as transformers of the materialist thought systems that shape our world?

How do we excavate the insights of the heart?

Go to EcoArtSpace

Mary Jo Aagerstoun: Art from recycled objects and materials is not EcoArt

Today I received word of yet another use of the term “EcoArt” to describe artworks made partially or wholly of recycled materials. Because this is becoming a serious detriment to SFEAP's efforts to educate the South Florida public about what EcoArt is, I wanted to remind SFEAP supporters on FB and elsewhere of how SFEAP does define this work (from our website www.sfeap.org)

” practices… inspired by the precepts of Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture” and [which] address environmental problems with creative combinations of conceptual art, process art, connective aesthetics, participatory and socially engaged practices, phenomenological and eco-philosophies, direct democracy processes and other social/aesthetic forms and techniques.

SFEAP seeks nothing less than development of a large contingent of ecoartists committed to staying in South Florida and who are, or wish to become, master cross-disciplinary learners and social system choreographers, skilled at drawing into the collaborative creation of ecoart stakeholders from grass roots community organizations, scientific institutions, public policy agencies and pioneering philanthropic entities. SFEAP will dedicate itself to development and promotion of the best ecoart projects: those that engage and mobilize community while employing, enhancing and melding techniques, knowledge and wisdom from landscape architecture, environmental biology and chemistry, planning and engineering and many other disciplines, and collaborating with their practitioners, while drawing from the deep roots of art history and the broadest lexicon of aesthetic methods.”

While art works that include or are made wholly of recycled materials can be interesting objects and demonstrate how art does not have to be made of new materials, SFEAP, Inc. does not include such work in our definition of EcoArt. We see EcoArt as having an active role in environmental amelioration, and which must include direct community engagement and collaboration with scientists and environmental experts. SFEAP is dedicated to bringing many Florida based artists into EcoArt practice. This is the primary mission of the organization. We currently have our pilot community EcoArt education and artist apprenticeship well underway in Martin County. The apprentice EcoArtists there have just installed their first EcoArt work at the Florida Oceanographic Society. A video about the apprentices and this first project can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6a4VQznh8Ua

Please feel free to cut and paste this definition into an email to anyone in South Florida who is using the term EcoArt in relation to art that uses recycled objects or materials.

Thanks. MJ Aagerstoun

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Weimar Art and Sustainability Summer School « Sustainability and Contemporary Art

Learn about the Beuysian school of art and sustainability on this progressive summer course.

ART AND SUSTAINABILITY – new Summer School program in English within theInternational Weimar Summer Courses from 27 June – 10 July 2010.
This 12 day `theory-practice´ program runs annually in the summer. It actively engages participants in an introductory exploration of social sculpture and aesthetic questions relevant to the shaping of an ecological and socially just future. It looks back to Goethe, Schiller, the Bauhaus and Joseph Beuys and forward to developing new forms of social sculpture / connective practive appropriate to the challenges of the 21st century.
The program is led by artist Shelley Sacks, head of the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University, and Dr. Hildegard Kurt from and. Institute for Art, Culture and Sustainability in Berlin.
Enrolment closes on 30 April 2010. Please enrol as soon as possible. Places are limited.

via Weimar Art and Sustainability Summer School « Sustainability and Contemporary Art.