Sustainability Strategies

Cultural centres in Europe: ‘Sustainability? No more talking, let’s act!’

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

Trans Europe Halles – a European network of independent cultural centres – introduces several ongoing projects within the network which tackle sustainability, such as architecture residencies, collective art pieces, and the Trans Europe Halles Think Tank.

transeuropeha_threephotos“The question of sustainability has been central for a long time within Trans Europe Halles. Some of the members of the network, such as ufaFabrik in Berlin, Germany, or Kulturfabrik in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, are leaders in the development of green strategies for the cultural sector.” wrote Anaïd Sayrin in the February newsletter for the network, which had the headline:“Sustainability? No more talking, let’s act!”

“But sustainability is not only an ecological process,” Anaïd Sayrin continued: “It is also about equality and a better distribution of resources, whether they are human, economic, energetic or cultural. Key issues which Trans Europe Halles’ members are facing every day when running an independent cultural centre and working with local communities.”


What is sustainability? The Think Tank met in Paris to work on a common definition and an action plan for the network
At the end of February, several TEH delegates and Secretary General Birgitta Persson gathered in Mains d’Oeuvres (Saint Ouen, France) to discuss sustainability strategies within the network. This first Think Tank organised outside the annual meetings was very inspiring and the team came out with a suggestion for a definition of what “sustainability” means from Trans Europe Halles’ point of view.


On The Resource: 8 Steps to a more sustainable building
Small or big steps, the most important is to get started: this slideshow gives you concrete tips on how to build a sustainable building for your centre.


“Architecture of cultural centre Stanica will never be finished”: Stanica builds a new artistic space using sustainable strategies
TEH Member Stanica (Zilina, Slovakia) is a prominent centre when it comes to leading centre in the transformation of public spaces into cultural places. In 2013, they will build a new space using sustainability strategies, in collaboration with STEALTH.unlimited, discovered during their art performance in TEH Member Röda Sten Konsthall (Gothenburg, Sweden).

In 2012, their efforts have also been rewarded with the Bauwelt Advacement Award for the renovation of a synagogue in Zilina. In 2014, a new cultural centre and international gallery space will be opened in this building. There is only one condition to make this dream come true – to find one million euro.


What if bikes were not only made for biking? A new collaboration between Not Quite and Manifatture Knos
A collaboration between TEH Members: Karl Hallberg (Not Quite, Sweden), the so-called rural centre of Trans Europe Halles, is organising a workshop in Manifatture Knos (Lecce, Italy) to build bikes with alternative functions in order to make biking more attractive. It is also for him an opportunity to learn more on how manager Michele Bee and his team run their cultural centre and develop their projects. Different contexts, different points of view: no doubt that this journey will be inspiring for both of them!

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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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

Video Games + Sustainability

Video games exist for improving brain fitness, financial planning, and learning dance routines, so why not for sustainable living? The field of video games that teach sustainability strategies appears to be slowly blossoming.

  • PowerUp the Game by IBM teaches kids how to save the world by bring clean energy to communities.
  • CO2FX is a web based multi-user educational game which explores the relationship of global warming to economic, political and science policy decisions.
  • Majesco Entertainment’s “Eco-Creatures: Save the Forest” promote awareness of the perils of “…over-industrialization, deforestation, pollution, extinction and global warming.”

Post your favorite environmental video game below.

Go to Eco-Catalysts