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An Ecology of Ideas Conference – July 9-13, 2012 (USA)

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) and the Bateson Idea Group (BIG), a new organization exploring Gregory Bateson’s “pattern that connects,” have joined to hold a conference on the relations among ideas as seen from multiple perspectives. In organizing this conference they seek to find a balance between the spontaneous and the planned. They intend to seed conversations with various forms of presentation, ranging from keynote speakers to workshops and performances; all of which can be considered works of art in the domain of ideas. They will provide many spaces for conversation and innovation.

The three themes of this conference are:

Paradigm

What do our current paradigms determine or enable, and what would changes to these imply? How could we guess what other things would change along with the changes we desire? How would we implement a shift in an ethical and socially acceptable manner?

Recursion

Recursion (like its fellow concepts, self-reference and reflexivity) is open to many interpretations depending on who you are, and the context you are in. We are interested in both what is held in common between these different interpretations, and what is particular to each. We wish to explore not only the implications of acting based on how we understand these ideas, but also what happens when we proceed unaware of the differences.

Praxis

Why are praxis and theory often separated; and how can they better be brought together? In what ways are the ideas of cybernetics and systems inherently concerned with practice? Does the phrase “the paradox of praxis” evoke a resonance?

Program

The program will offer a compelling network of ideas to inspire participants in creating their own ideas, insights and thoughts. There will be a mix of meeting types: plenary presentations, workshops, conversations, and evening performances taking place in the wonderful spaces (and, weather permitting, grounds) of the Asilomar Conference Facility.

The following invited speakers will be making plenary presentations:
Graham Barnes
Eric Bateson
Nora Bateson
Fritjof Capra
Humberto Maturana
Ximena Dávila
Terrence Deacon
Debora Hammond
Klaus Krippendorff
Rex Weyler
Carol Wilder

Nora Bateson will show her award-winning film, An Ecology of Mind, about her father’s life’s work. Other performances will include film, multimedia, theatre, and music. The workshops for this conference will be designed as participatory experiences that in some manner generate or demonstrate ideas and concepts. They will have theme based conversations and also provide many convivial spaces for spontaneous conversations. A full program will be published on the organizers website by early May.

Venue

Asilomar is a National Historic Landmark is located on 107 acres of beautiful and ecologically diverse beachfront land. Asilomar offers a unique and desirable conference experience in its natural setting, its conference facilities, and its suitability for conversational spaces. http://www.visitasilomar.com/
Conference participants must book with the Asilomar site for accommodation and meals.

Important Dates

Apr-30 Proposals for Abstracts (papers and workshops) due
Apr-30 Early Bird Registration closes
May-10 Referees respond to proposals
May-20 Any Revisions to Abstracts due
May-30 Abstracts published online
May-30 Program details published online
July-09 Conference starts

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

Arcola Theatre’s Carbon Footprint, April 2011

We are working with Julies Bicycle to monitor our carbon emissions using their Industry Green Tool, which involves entering figures for our consumption of electricity, water, and consumables as well as figures on staff and audience travel in to their website on a monthly basis. April was the first month in out new building on Ashwin Street where we have had enough data to start using their monitoring tool again. Arcola Theatre’s carbon footprint for April 2011 was equal to 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide, that’s 0.38 kg CO2e per seat, per show. The average person in the UK will emit 10 tonnes of CO2e per year, if Arcola Theatre continues with these emissions throughout the year our annual carbon footprint would be 36 tonnes of CO2e.

We don’t think that’s good enough, over the month of May we will be working to reduce our carbon emissions further. We will start by ensuring that we are not heating the building unnecessarily over the warmer weather and ensuring all electrical outlets are switched off when the building is closed. The Industry Green tool assumes an average travel emission for each audience member per show, unless we enter data regarding audience travel. The estimated average travel emissions are the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint at present and we’d like to be able to provide the site with more accurate data on audience travel therefore we are conducting an Audience Travel Survey this month. If you would like to help us with this then please click on the link at the end of this article.

Travel Survey

Go to Arcola Energy

RETHINK-ing perspectives: art and climate

burns
Safety Gear for Small Animals, 1994 by Bill Burns, featured in RETHINK

If you haven’t found them yet, the people behind RETHINK, Contemporary Art and Climate Change have set up a number of debate pages on their website athttp://www.rethinkclimate.org/.

There is also plenty of extraordinarily rich material on the site to debate. Take this essay fromSøren Pold which starts by namechecking Petko Dourmana’s Post Global Warming Survival Kit (mentioned round these parts earlier this year):


Digital media art like Petko Dourmana’s installation offers the opportunity to experience another, new nature, or at least it gives us a new and up-to-date perspective on nature. In addition to being a crisis for the globe and for humanity, the climate crisis is also an epistemological crisis, and we need to change our perception of our environment in order to better understand and deal with it. In other words it is also a cultural, epistemological challenge.

The nature, the weather, that previously we have regarded as something out there simply beyond our reach, as something that was in opposition to culture when we analysed poetry in high school, this has now turned into yet another structure of signs to be read and interpreted. We cannot see the greenhouse gasses or their effects directly with our senses so our understanding of the climate challenges are very much based on climate models, and we must act on this background in our daily lives as well as, obviously, politically and culturally. The climate crisis introduces us to the fact that our immediate surroundings are being mediated by complex visualisations, interfaces, statistics and carbon quotas – thus an imaginary computer interface lurks in the blue sky, even deep in the country with no computers in sight!

This isn’t the point that Pold is trying to make but there is also an inescapbable sense in which our vision has become polluted by the science we now need to understand it.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology