Sustainable Economy

Tanna Center for The Arts by Vanuatu Pacifica Foundation — Kickstarter

The Project

Tanna Center for the Arts will be a 6-hectare/14.8-acre off-the-grid artists retreat, cultural preservation and technological education space. Its site is situated on the island of Tanna’s northern up country in the archipelago of Vanuatu.

Our vision is to build an eco-haven using a majority of local materials and talent, engineer it using energy efficient design fueled by renewables, and fortify global understanding of one another and the changes we face together by making art to share with the world in this inspiring place.

The Goals

Preserve local communities, language & pristine lands through collaborative art & tech projects. Engage Tanna’s youth in applying select mainland technologies that serve island tradition. Invite artistic and inventive exchange with a global art community in a retreat and creative lab at The Center. Create a project that is candid about navigating the competing economic, cultural and ecological aims presently confronting island nations.

The Motives

To preserve his culture, respected island leader Isso Kapum – son of Chief Jack Kapum of the Naihne Tribe – reached out to Paul D. Miller(aka DJ Spooky) to create opportunities for Tanna’s native population through an artist retreat. This can generate jobs, cultural exchange and, most importantly, training for youth who leave home in search of work. Training in sustainable construction, water & waste management, permaculture, and renewable technologies can offset this loss. These practices have been extinguished from the culture and are needed for the survival of Tanna’s eco-system, currently threatened by status quo, carbon-heavy practices.

Building skillsets for Tanna’s youth that drive a localized, sustainable economy along with international tourism remain key aims expressed by island leaders. Bringing artists who’s work and acclaim can magnify global awareness of both climate and cultural concerns faced by the Tannese is one way Paul feels such aims can be met.

Common Ground on Shrinking Islands

Of Vanuatu’s 83 charted islands, the archipelago’s 243,304 citizens inhabit 65 of them. Issues associated with rising sea levels currently affecting the islands include saltwater intrusion that has severely affected drinking water, food production and export crops. Increased storms, inland flooding and cyclones have already affected coconut harvests and coastal erosion. This increase, along with bleached coral reefs, results in lost tourism revenue that feeds island families.

The ecological impacts of unsustainable development have also brought near-shore overfishing, fish poisoning from waste disposal and deforestation in recent years. A lack of employment opportunities and inaccessibility to markets can lock rural families into subsistence mode, putting tremendous pressure on local ecosystems.
With an economy centered firmly on tourism, contributing 72 per cent of GDP, and agriculture, coconuts make up 31.1 per cent of exports, these losses devastate island society. The late 2005 relocation of an entire coastal village on Tegua Island in northern Vanuatu to higher ground rendered them among the first documented climate change refugees.

As islands lose revenue they also lose inhabitants, culture and languages, forever. According to Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages, Vanuatu is considered to be the country with the highest density of languages per capita in the world, with an average of about 2,000 speakers for each of the 100 indigenous languages. Some of these languages are endangered, with only a handful of speakers, and several have become extinct in recent times.

Every two weeks a language disappears from Earth forever and with it a completely unique view of reality. This is a natural resource as valuable as fresh water and clean air. It must be preserved as carefully as we would an endangered plant or animal species.

Shared goals of stabilizing climate and preserving cultures render Tanna an ideal location for the project’s aims.

The “Happiest People on Earth” Have Things to Teach

Amid such instability, the NEF Happy Planet Index found the Vanuatuans to be, not just happy, but the happiest people on planet earth in their inaugural research of 2006. The Tannese social bonds and ideas of interdependence are ones that the world needs now.

Our hope is that Tanna becomes a home for global sustainability that remains rooted in Melanesian society.

The Funds

Anything you contribute will cover the construction of an initial ‘outpost’ on-site, a feasibility assessment and design of the first phase solar electricity systems for one village and three new structures between now and May 2011, when our first invited artists will arrive.

In December, local leadership, DJ Spooky, Engineers Without Borders and the Vanuatu Pacifica Foundation have arranged for R. David Gibbs, a New York-based solar and energy engineer with remote-location experience, to undertake a feasibility study with local renewables engineers, village electricians and tech trainees. The first goal is to replace diesel generators with solar PV and thermal systems that can power villages and initiate the design of the Tanna Center for the Arts’ off-the-grid retreat, cultural preservation and eco-education facility.

You’ve probably noticed we’re starting at $10,000 here on Kickstarter but with $20,000 we can complete the solar design phase, engage local craftspeople to build the initial structure(s) and create an ‘outpost’ that allows us to invite collaborators from around the island and the world to begin realizing this vision. Everybody’s help with a little or a lot is welcome, needed and much appreciated! .

(Please be in touch for specs if you can offer any material donations of PV panels, inverters, marine transport, etc.)

The Leadership

Our non-profit sponsor, Islands First, is working to empower South Pacific island nations to navigate the political entropy impeding climate progress.

Our guides in this project are the people of Tanna and a board of advisers comprised of respected artists, businesspeople, scientists, tribal and global thought leaders. With time, we’ll increase local representation beyond the Naihne people to include broader representation from the archipelago.

By using our collective creativity and media savvy, we hope to create an exchange that empowers islanders to offer their unique cultural perspective as a main export and inspire visiting artists from around the world to impact their own cultures with the beauty emanating from this amazing place.

“Smart People. Smart Island. Smart Cultures. Beautiful World.”
More at www.the-vpf.org

via Tanna Center for The Arts by Vanuatu Pacifica Foundation — Kickstarter.

Announcing ECOKIDS, a project of SEA, opening Friday, September 24, 7-9pm

ECOKIDS

September 24 – November 24, 2010

Opening Friday, September 24, 7-9pm

FEATURING

Cool Coventry Club; Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO); Forest Project; Help Light NJ; Kids Face; Kids Saving the Rainforest; Kids vs. Global Warming; Plant for the Planet; Project Sprout; Pump ‘Em Up; Sahabat Alam; Tree Musketeers

NEW YORK – ECOKIDS, a project of SEA (Social Environmental Aesthetics), is an exhibition that showcases the work of outstanding youth activists who are working to raise awareness and solve environmental issues.ECOKIDS demonstrates that youth movements are leading the call for positive action on environmental challenges.

From student-run organic farms to climate change awareness campaigns, the youth organizations featured in ECOKIDS are based in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Tennessee, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Costa Rica, Germany, Canada and Indonesia. Through the exhibition, workshops and partnerships with school groups and teaching artists, Exit Art provides a public platform for the presentation of youth environmental organizations, projects, and initiatives. Founded by youth activists from elementary to high school age, these “eco-kids” demonstrate that children have the ability to solve environmental issues in the present, andnot simply the future.

Workshops, events and tours will be hosted by The Canary Project, Wave Hill, and Solar 1.

PUBLIC EVENTS FOR KIDS

GREEN PATRIOT POSTERS: Citizen Youth Design Camp NYC
Saturdays, October 2, 9 and 16 / 2-5pm

Organized by The Canary Project
with collaborations by Tara DePorte/Lower East Side Ecology Center and the Intrepid Museum
Age: High School
FREE

GREEN PATRIOT POSTERS: Citizen Youth Design Camp NYC is connected to The Canary Project’s ongoing Green Patriot Posters concept – a campaign centered on posters that encourage citizens to take part in building a sustainable economy. In this camp, youth participants will learn about cities and sustainability from guest speakers; learn how to design and create posters; and design a campaign to get their posters and message out into the world. The posters produced by youth participants will then be included in the exhibition ECOKIDS. For more information on this program, please contact Assistant Curator Lauren Rosati atlauren@exitart.org.

The Canary Project (Ed Morris and Susannah Sayler) has commissioned posters from design leaders as part of Green Patriot Posters, and developed an on-line community for sharing and voting on original designs. The project is being featured in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Triennial Why Design Now?, and will be published in a book by Metropolis/DAP in Fall 2010. For more information on the Green Patriot Poster project, please click here.

Sustainable Design Workshop
Thursday, September 30, 4pm

Organized by Solar 1
Age: 7 and up, *Parents must be present
FREE

The Sustainable Design class will familiarize students with concepts related to architecture, community planning, and product design. Students will explore the environmental consequences and benefits of design on all scales and how it affects the environment and our health. Using recycled materials, each student will design and construct a small, sustainable building. At the end of the workshop, the students will draw a map of the city and choose a place to “build.”

Parents will be able to sign up for this program beginning September 1, 2010. To sign up, please visitwww.exitart.org. For more information on this program, please contact Assistant Curator Lauren Rosati atlauren@exitart.org.

ECOKIDS exhibition and programs organized by Lauren Rosati, Assistant Curator.

ABOUT EXIT ART
Exit Art is an independent vision of contemporary culture. We are prepared to react immediately to important issues that affect our lives. We do experimental, historical and unique presentations of aesthetic, social, political and environmental issues. We absorb cultural differences that become prototype exhibitions. We are a center for multiple disciplines. Exit Art is a 28-year-old cultural center in New York City founded by Directors Jeanette Ingberman and artist Papo Colo, that has grown from a pioneering alternative art space, into a model artistic center for the 21st century committed to supporting artists whose quality of work reflects the transformations of our culture. Exit Art is internationally recognized for its unmatched spirit of inventiveness and consistent ability to anticipate the newest trends in the culture. With a substantial reputation for curatorial innovation and depth of programming in diverse media, Exit Art is always changing.

ABOUT SEA
SEA is a unique endeavor that presents a diverse multimedia exhibition program and permanent archive of artworks that address social and environmental concerns. SEA will assemble artists, activists, scientists and scholars to address environmental issues through presentations of visual art, performances, panels and lecture series that will communicate international activities concerning environmental and social activism. SEA will occupy a permanent space in Exit Underground, a 3000 square-foot, multi-media performance, film and exhibition venue underneath Exit Art’s main gallery space. The SEA archive will be a permanent archive of information, images and videos that will be a continuous source for upcoming exhibitions and projects. Central to SEA’s mission is to provide a vehicle through which the public can be made aware of socially- and environmentally-engaged work, and to provide a fo rum for collaboration between artists, scientists, activists, scholars and the public. SEA functions as an initiative where individuals can join together in dialogue about issues that affect our daily lives. SEA conceived by Papo Colo.

EXHIBITION SUPPORT
General exhibition support provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bloomberg LP; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation; Pollock-Krasner Foundation; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn; Exit Art’s Board of Directors and our members.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Exit Art is located at 475 Tenth Avenue, corner of 36th Street. Hours: Tues. – Thurs., 10am – 6pm; Fri., 10am – 8pm; and Sat., noon – 8pm. Closed Sun. and Mon. There is a suggested donation of $5. For more information please call 212-966-7745 or visit www.exitart.org.

Green Patriot Posters for Blog Action Day 09′


Today is Blog Action Day for Climate Change. Over 10,000 bloggers from 155 different countries will be uploading posts to spread the word about how our world is changing. For our contribution ecoartspace decided to highlight the Green Patriot Poster project initiated by the Canary Project founder Ed Morris early this year. This is an ongoing campaign centered on the development of posters that encourage all U.S. citizens to build a sustainable economy. These posters can be general (“We Can Do It!”) or can promote a specific sustainability action. You can vote for your favorite posters, create your own posters, distribute posters, or partner with them to develop a campaign for your specific cause. This is an accessible way to spread the word to large amounts of people.

ecoartspace gives Green Patriot’s a thumbs up!

HELP by etling

Imagine if everyone in the world lived in one dorm room, and we didn’t yet have the means to travel to the next room over… And everyone wouldn’t stop smoking. Welcome to Apartment Earth.

Go to EcoArtSpace