This summer, artist Justin Shull has been touring the U.S. in his Porta Hedge, a mobile artificial hedge with an exterior of recycled artificial Christmas trees. The interior conceals a remote observation system and satellite Internet uplink, mobile solar electric power, observation/escape hatch, bird camera, swings, chalkboards and Porta-Potti. Smudge Studio describes it as a “critical vehicle” that “seems to question icons of environmentalism. The design mobilizes, after all, a number elements that are popularly associated with ‘sustainability’ or ‘green design.’ But it does so in ways that don’t quite add up.” See a cross-country tour map and blog on the project Web site. There’s a second Porta Hedge “Backyard Naturalist Study” installed at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., part “Flora: Growing Inspirations.”
via APInews: Porta Hedge in D.C. + Cross-country Tour .
The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts will be publishing its first quarterly publication this fall.Â The publication will explore sustainable arts practices in all genres (performance, visual art & installation, music, and film/video), and will view sustainability in the arts through environmentalism, economic stability, and cultural infrastructure. The periodical will provide a formal terrain for discussion, and will evaluate diverse points of views.
The questions we hope to explore in the first issue are two questions weâ€™ve been asking ourselves since the inception of the organization:Â What does sustainable art really mean?Â And, What needs to be sustained?
What is the lifecycle of the arts?Â What is the lifecycle of certain works?Â How can artists and art-making organizations sustain themselves?Â When is it appropriate to be temporary, and unsustainable?Â What are we working so hard to sustain?Â What must go on in perpetuity?
We are looking for essays, research papers, reports and visual examples from photography to info-graphics that either identify practical solutions, or explore sustainable theory as it pertains to the arts. Send us your research on how to integrate sustainable thinking into arts practice, documented case studies of projects attempting to be more sustainable (with any degree of success) and critical responses to work being created.
We welcome all lengths and styles for this inaugural edition of the CSPA Quarterly. Submissions that are not used for this edition may be used in future issues, our electronic newsletter or appear on our main website. We hope to see as many and as varied submissions as you can throw at us.
Itâ€™s interesting to see how the best media art moved on from the idea of creating networks in the virtual world, to seeing how those networks could affect the real world. Early net communities were full of idealism; how far does that ability to change the way we interact with each other spill over into the physical?
Earlier this year I talked to Amy Francheschini about the way ideas from her art practice asFuturefarmers informed the creation ofÂ Victory Gardens 2008+ in San Francisco. On Friday I dropped into North Londonâ€™sÂ HTTP Gallery, where media artists/gallerists Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett have created theÂ Feral Trade Cafe implemeting artist Kate Richâ€™sÂ Feral Tradenetwork in their gallery space.
The cafe is sourced by real personal trade networks – artists bringing back Turkish Delight from Montenegro or discovering a source of honey in Rotherhithe. By using virtual space to record each trade route, every item you consume in the cafe comes with aÂ narrative. the bland, impersonal act of trade can suddenly come alive with stories, showing us how the items we buy under the normal rules of trade disconnect us from the world in which we live.
Like Brian Sewell at a Jeff Koons show, BBC Radio 4â€™s John Humphrys seemed baffled by the idea of Bill Viola creating a video installation altarpiece for St Paulâ€™s cathedral when he interviewed him a couple of weeks ago.
Itâ€™s interesting, in this secular age, that art keeps its privileged position to engage with the spiritual. Religion makes the British twitchy. Increasingly, weâ€™re more at ease with Richard Dawkinsâ€™ shouty there-is-no-God-and-anyone-who-suggests-there-is-is-an-idiot line. I am a nullifidian to the bone, but 10,000 years and more of human culture suggests Pascalâ€™sÂ God Shaped Hole may well exist, as someÂ neuroscientists seem to be saying, and this uncertainty is territory that art has always been perfectly at ease in.
Art has always represented the shape religion takes but at the moment it appears weâ€™re not too sure what that shape is. The Romantic-eraÂ God, glimpsed in the sublime of the perfect landscape has taken a hike, gasping for breath. The foot-stamping God of vengence is making a come-back, true, but here is plenty of space for art to build a new God.
A nice nod to friends of the the CSPA Enci and Stephen Box on their sustainable film making!
â€œI would like to believe that because Iâ€™m starting it out right I will have it better and easier.â€ says Enci Box, actress, co-founder of Rebel Without A Car Productions and the green-minded first-time director of a short film â€œAt What Price?â€ The project is one of the very first film productions that apply the rules of the Code of Best Practices in Sustainable Filmmaking in the production process. â€œI donâ€™t believe in purchasing offsets because I think that is bull!â€,â€ says Enci. â€œEverybody who has money can pretend to be green by paying other people off and that, to me, is bribery. It doesnâ€™t do the community or the planet any good.â€
via A Rebel Without A Car Productions Green Production | StubDog // Events.
Rob Greenland atÂ The Social Business blog wrote, a couple of days ago:
Itâ€™sÂ in the news today that supermarkets just missed their target of 50% reduction in plastic bag use (they got to 48%). Â Iâ€™m not a big fan of supermarkets but I think on this one they need to be congratulated. Â Remember the reaction against proposals to tax plastic bags, and how, many believed, people would never change their habits.
Far too many bags are still used but a 48% reduction is a massive improvement. Â If businesses and the public can get their act together on this issue, what other seemingly impossible environmental problems might we solve? Â It may also suggest that itâ€™s better tonudge people into doing the right thing (like the clever question the checkout assistant was trained to ask), rather than taxing them into behavioural change.
50% sounds great, doesnâ€™t it?
But in Ireland the introduction of a plastic bag tax inÂ 2002 cut the use of plastic bags immediately by 90%, and created millions of Euros in government revenues which were pledged for use in environmental projects. Cutting ours by 50% is nothing to be proud of in comparison to that figure, especially as much of that 50% is people like Rob, me, and you, dear reader. The remaining 50% are inevitably going to be much harder to reach. Even with Tesco offering the carrot of Nectar card points for every bag reused, this is still too slow. Itâ€™s time to get out the sticks.
Like it or not, taxation is the most effective behaviour change lever government has. As Anthony Giddens suggests is inÂ The Politics of Climate Change these are levers weâ€™re going to have to use, and not be afraid of using. But the revenue used from these taxes must be used creatively and positively if weâ€™re going to trust the system. Denmarkâ€™s carbon taxes, introduced in the 90s, have created an absolute fall in Co2 emissions from that country not only because they disincentivise carbon use, but because the revenue created by the fed directly back into subsidising energy-saving measures.
This post is part of a collaborativeÂ initiative at bloggerscircle.net
Some friends of the CSPA, Stephen and Enci Box, are leading this fantastic project to produce a film sustainably. Here is an excerpt from the article on Greenwala:
On the set of “At What Price” made possible by Rebel Without A Car Productions, you wont see any cars parked around but you will see bikes galore! All ranging from beach crusiers, to Xtracycles to homemade bicycles with trailers.On the first day, everyone showed up on their bike, introductions where made, speeches said then it was off to get the equipment. I was given an Xtracycle to ride across town since it was capable of holding A LOT more then my little basket could and we needed to pick up some heavy equipment. Most of the cast and crew got to andÂ from set using a bike or by taking the bus I must admit, living over 30 miles away made me the black sheep on this crew, as I drove to set everyday but everyone put in the effort not to make a huge carbon footprint.
After venturing through the back streets of Hollywood, we showed up to Castex Rentals to very surprised looks from the Castex employees. At first they didnt really believe we where going to haul all of this film equipment on just bicycles alone, they even started laughing as we started figuring out what could go where. We got to work on loading up the bikes, strapping down c-stands, piling up sand bags, finding room for apple boxes, etc. After the nice men at Castex finally realized we where the real deal, they jumped right in and started helping load stuff, then of course started taking pictures to share with everyone from their camera phones. I dont blame them; we ARE the first generation Greenseters after all.