Utopia

EARTH PERFECT? Nature, Utopia, and the Garden

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Symposium and exhibitions, June 6-9, 2013

“Since time immemorial, gardens have been key in humanity’s quest to define an ideal relation to nature. Gardens have been sources of nourishment for the body and the soul, they have been symbols of wealth and power, they have served as barriers against the wild, and much more. EARTH PERFECT? Nature, Utopia, and the Garden is a four-day symposium designed for an academic audience, garden professionals, and a general public interested in the importance and meaning of gardens.”

 Event Locations

  • The University of Delaware
  • Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
  • Winterthur Estate Gardens, Delaware
  • Chanticleer Garden, Pennsylvania
  • The Mount Cuba Center, Delaware

 Events Include

Themed garden tours and exhibitions, as well as lectures, workshops, and academic paper sessions focusing on topics such as wellness and the garden, environment and society, historic preservation and land use, green textiles, CSAs, the garden in the visual arts, the garden in literature, the meaning and function of domestic and public gardens, architecture and the garden, the spiritual associations of gardens, gardening the planet in the face of ecological decline, political aspects of gardening, and economies of the garden.

 Featured Speakers Include:

  • Jane Knight, landscape architect of The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
  • Stephen Forbes, Executive Director of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, South Australia
  • Emma Marris, author of Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World
  • Margaret Morton, photographer and co-author of Transitory Gardens, Uprooted Lives
  • Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens
  • McKay Jenkins, author of What’s Gotten Into Us: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World

 Call for Papers :

Abstracts and proposals for papers and panels due Dec. 15, 2012

This interdisciplinary event focuses on the importance and meaning of gardens in the past, present, and the future, and that from a wide range of perspectives, including, but not limited to the following disciplines: art, art history, architecture, anthropology, agriculture, philosophy, literature, history, horticulture, botany, landscape architecture, garden design, nutrition, and law, as well as earth and life sciences.

For instructions regarding submission of paper abstracts as well as proposals for panels or roundtable discussions, visit: http://www.udel.edu/ihrc/conference/earthperfect/call-for-papers.html

 For More Event Information

See the symposium website for more details regarding venues, programming, lodging, and registration: http://www.udel.edu/earthperfect

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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Fear Me No More: Performance, Activism and Permaculture.

A free workshop with the Laboratory of Insurectionary Imagination.

Hamburg, Kampnagel. August 2012.

Join us in an intensive workshop merging performance, activism and the design science of Permaculture run by the infamous artivist collective The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination.  Held as part of Kampnagel’s Summer Festival in Hamburg, the workshop is Act 1 of What is Enough ? the Labofii’s 16th experiment. At the end of the workshop, participants will have the chance to perform in a live piece of art activism (Act 2 – Natural Revenge).

Fear Me No More aims to make productive connections between artists and activists within the framework of Permaculture. A set of tools for building a postcapitalist society, Permaculture teaches us to mimic the efficiency, diversity and resilience of natural ecosystems. This fulltime workshop is an ideal introduction for those wishing to explore new forms of creative resistance and horizontal politics.

“It reminds us of the time when it was still possible for free theatre to try out a loving anarchic social utopia… This is about saying goodbye to representation and is therefore the most radical form of theatre” -Frankfurter Rundschau.

For more information and application forms (deadline May 31st) click here. The workshop will be run in english.

Workshop Act 1:  12th-19th August, Kampnagel.
Rehearsal (optional):  20th-23rd August, Kampnagel.
Performance Action (optional) Act 2:  24th August, 7pm. Kampnagel.

What is Enough? is accompanied by the publication of our film/book Pfade durch Utopia (Paths Through Utopias) in Germany,  with Nautilus.

Congress: “Right to the City”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

June 2nd to 5th 2011 in Hamburg

“The urban is defined as the place where people walk around, find themselves standing before and inside piles of objects, experience the intertwining of the threads of their activities until they become unrecognizable, entangle situations in such a way that they engender unexpected situations.” (Henri Lefèbvre: La révolution urbaine)

The Network Right To The City Hamburg invites to collective confusions, encounters and diversions at different places spread over the city. You can take part in workshops to the following topics:

  • Crisis of the neoliberal city
  • Housing, social issues, migration
  • Gender, race, class
  • Appropriation, squatting, resistance
  • Participation, representation, usurpation
  • Culture, production, casualisation
  • Utopia: a city for all

The Congress is organized by Netzwerk Recht auf Stadt Hamburg and Bundeskoordination Internationalismus (BUKO) as well as many urban activists from other cities (e.g. Kairo, Caracas, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, New York as well as activists from China, South Africa and many more).

For more information visit: kongress.rechtaufstadt.net

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

On Bike Revolutions.

“Provo realises that it will lose in the end, but it cannot pass up the chance to make at least one more heartfelt attempt to provoke society.”

–from the Provo Manifesto

Free bike programs are notorious. Both practical transportation ideas and naive grabs for anticapitalistic utopia, they have roamed the streets of Portland, OR, Madison, WI, Copenhagen, and La Rochelle, France.

The latest act of karmic cyclery is part of the Glasgow International Art Festival. But these festival bikes are no ordinary bikes– they are white bikes. They are tribute bikes. Tributes, that is, to the original 50 bikes released onto the streets of Amsterdam by the Dutch Provo movement in 1966.

One of a series of “White Plans,” (including white housing, white kids, white wives/contraception and white chimneys), the White Bikes program sought to alleviate transportation issues in Amsterdam by flooding the streets with free public bikes. Basically, it was the grandaddy of all free bike programs. It was the idea of a gentleman named Luud Schimmelpennink, but enacted by gangs of “Provos.”

Provos left the original 50 white bikes unlocked on the streets of Amsterdam. After they were impounded for lack of lockage, the activists outfitted the bikes with combination locks. Each bike wore its combination like a tattoo.

The Glasgow white bikes are similarly outfitted with locks, but their combination, 2010, is publicly known. The locks are just to deter lazy bike-stealing jackasses. Everyone else can ride and share, high off of 1966 revolutionary utopian sustainability glory. A similar, city-wide bike program exists in Portland, ME.

The original Amsterdam White Bike program may not have lasted, but Provo actions and tensions between protestors and police did eventually force the mayor and police cheif to resign. Schimmelpennink was later elected to Amsterdam city council multiple times and now works as an industrial designer. His projects include modern bike and car-sharing programs. In the works: a free bike program in Amsterdam regulated by computers. Maybe the revolution has just been waiting to get digitized.

Go to the Green Museum

Stuff gets Real.

Fox News

The now-classic video Story of Stuff, a basic breakdown of our modern industrial-consumer system, recently came under fire on the now-classic Fox News Channel. Both Mike Maniates, who is on the Story of Stuff advisory board, and Christopher Horner, author of  The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming, took questions from reporter Jane Skinner for a segment called “Happening Now.”

Horner defined the video as “terrorizing children,” (not surprising, since he’s drawn thin parallels between the German head of the Green Party and Hilter) while Maniates defended it as a valid examination of our culture. Some 7,000 schools and churches have ordered copies of Story of Stuff, and though you can barely catch them through all the Fox-newsy shouting, Skinner attempts to make some valid points about conversation and context. Not spouting dogma, as it were.

Dang straight, skulls and crossbones are scary. So are most flame retardants. So is much of modern resource management. So, to many, is Fox News. Whether Story of Stuff is an effective cultural impetus to move us toward a more gorgeous green utopia or not, it’s definitely bringing the conversation into the public sphere. That’s nothing short of awesome.

Go to the Green Museum

How to Save the World: Environmental Health Clinic

There’s a fun exhibit that just closed in the Netherlands called How to Save the World in 10 Days. Rather than instantly transforming our planet to a heavenly glowing utopia, the festival instead presented an overview of worldwide cultural and artistic efforts to defend the planet from impending doom.

The artworks ranged from bikes made of car parts to emergency shelters, from reverse graffiti to car condoms. That last one involved actually sliding a condom over a car tailpipe, then watching it balloon up and sputter away. Worked practically for a minute, then served mostly as comic relief.

A performance that seemed to encapsulate the essence of the ish was the performance “Environmental Health Clinic.” The artist set up a booth in the center of a busy intersection and encouraged visitors to sit and unload their environmental concerns. She then would offer guidance, reassurance, and action tips. Environmentalism as a primary means for assuaging fears. How to Save the World was up at Vooiruit in Gent. Thanks to we make money not art.

Go to the Green Museum