Monthly Archives: September 2018

Aviva Rahmani’s “Blued Trees Symphony”

This News Comes From Ecological Artists, Aviva Rahmani.

I’m excited to announce my new interview with The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), fresh off the (digital) presses! “The Blued Trees Symphony” is Fiscally Sponsored through NYFA. I’m a proud recipient of a 2016 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design. Click here to read the full interview.

If you are interested in purchasing Art, Theory and Practice in the Anthropoceneedited by Julie Reiss which includes the essay, “Blued trees as policy: art, law, science and the Anthropocene,” there is a 12% discount code FLYPR12 when you order online!

Please check out the link below for upcoming events:

Feverish World Symposium, EcoCulture Lab
When: October 22, 2018
Where: Burlington, VT


Excerpts from Aviva Rahmani’s work-in-progress book on developing and applying trigger point theory and the evolving Blued Trees Symphony opera are uploaded each month for subscribers at please join!

Top Image: “Blued Trees Stands for Environmental Justice” photograph by Joel Greenberg, August 30, 2018


Blued Trees is a division of Gulf to Gulf, a project fiscally sponsored by NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts), a 501©3, tax exempt organization founded in 1971 to work with the arts community throughout New York State to develop and facilitate programs in all disciplines. NYFA will receive grants on behalf of the project and ensure the use of grant funds in accordance with the grant agreements as well as provide program or financial reports as required. Any donations made to the project through NYFA are tax deductible!

Get Your Tickets for Green Arts Conference!

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Get your tickets for the Green Arts Conference: Culture Change, the conference on how and why Scotland’s cultural sector is creatively approaching environmental sustainability, organised by Creative Carbon Scotland.

You can get your tickets for the Green Arts Conference: Culture Change which will be held on Wednesday 7 November in Edinburgh.

“Sustainability is EVERYONE’s responsibility”Green Arts Conference 2017 participant”  –  Theme for ’18

The Green Arts Conference, now in its fourth year, is this year themed around ‘Culture Change‘. Climate Change will change culture, and changes in culture are needed to mitigate and respond to climate change. This theme marks how far we have come as a cultural community, showcasing the best examples of positive changes in the sector, and looking towards how the impacts of climate change will have direct consequences for the artistic and operational work of cultural organisations.

In a year which has seen extreme snow and extreme heat (and still a dreich August!), a plastic revolution following Blue Planet 2, and a new Climate Change Plan for Scotland, climate change and environmental sustainability are higher on our societal agenda than ever before. And as our wider culture changes, so too does our cultural sector: becoming greener and more engaged with sustainability.

New for 2018

With sustainability and climate change rising up the agenda, this year will see a Board Briefing for trustees and others working at the strategic level. There will be limited spaces so snap up a place if you’re a trustee and your Green Champion is attending, or if you’re a Green Champion make your board aware!

Book your ticket now for the Green Arts Conference

A big part of saving the world is also leading by example, and sharing your actions with your different audiences. This year we’re taking learning from the first ever #GreenArts day held in March 2018 – which many Green Arts members were involved in – to help you take the initiative to communicate your sustainability work throughout the year.

We’ll also make the connection between sustainable practice and affecting sustainable change as artists, with a session on our Culture/SHIFT programme of work.

The Classics

“Always really useful to hear what other organisations are doing – really enjoyed the show & tells” – Green Arts Conference 2017 participant

Following on from the success of previous years we’ll be hearing directly from prominent figures working directly in sustainability on the major developments in climate change and environmental issues, the implications for the cultural sector, and hear how they can support us in our work.

Carbon Management Planning was announced at the Conference in 2017 and now with plans due to be submitted by all Regularly Funded Organisations on 5 October, we’ll have sessions to feedback on the plans and understand the ambition of the sector.

Our popular Green Arts Community sessions – lo-fi, quick, show & tells – will be making a come back to provide the opportunity for Green Arts Initiative members to share the projects they’ve been imagining, creating and working on.

Who’s it for

“It was valuable to see examples demonstrating that the whole organisation can be involved in sustainability”  – Green Arts Conference 2017 participant

The Green Arts Conference attracts over 100 participants from a range of cultural and sustainability backgrounds. It is aimed primarily at those working within the cultural sector, we also welcome participants from outside the cultural sector looking to learn how the sector is tackling climate change, and looking for opportunities to work together towards a better Scotland.

Book your ticket now for the Green Arts Conference

We encourage those across all different art forms, and in a variety of different roles from programming, facilities management, marketing, administration, and development – and all those doing any (or all!) of the above – to attend.

Whether you’re completely new to being a Green Champion, or are already heading up a Green Team, the conference will provide an opportunity to learn, share, create and develop your work.

“Although I am not in a senior management position, there are things I can do!” – Green Arts Conference 2017 participant

Hot Ticket

To enable as many cultural organisations to attend as possible, we have created a range of ticket options for this years Green Arts Conference, with Early Bird tickets available until 1st October 2018 and tickets for the Board Briefing pre-conference session for Board Members now available. We have also created a concession ticket for freelancers, students and those between jobs or working in organisations with turnover less than £50,000 per year. You can find all the tickets on the Green Arts Conference: Culture Change event page.

You can find out more about previous Green Arts Conferences including conference reports and the map of where delegates travelled from in 2017.

We look forward to seeing you there for a great event!

“It was valuable to learn that there are people like myself, working to create change” – Green Arts Conference 2017 participant


The post Tickets launched for Green Arts Conference! appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland


Imagining Water #13: About Tides, Rainfall, Wetlands and Watersheds

American environmental artist and sculptor Stacy Levy is a keen observer of urban tides, rainfall, wetlands, and watersheds. Tide Field and River Rooms, her current installations (through November 20, 2018) on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, are only the latest in a prolific body of work devoted to what she describes as using “art as a vehicle for translating the patterns and processes of the natural world.”

Tide Field and River Room were commissioned by the Mural Arts Philadelphia Art@Bartram’s project, which began in 2015 to support the development of public art projects connecting Bartram’s Garden — a 45-acre National Historic Landmark whose mission is to inspire visitors of all ages to protect and care for nature — and the Schuylkill River.

Consisting of hundreds of round multi-colored buoys, Tide Field has been calibrated to reflect the twice daily, six-foot change in the height of the river. As Levy explains: “At low tide, all the buoys are exposed and lie on the surface of the river. As the tide rises, the green buoys are covered and the red and aqua buoys arch over the water’s surface. When high tide arrives, the strands are covered except for the top red  buoys, which stand up from the surface.” The process reverses with the tide cycle. Levy’s installation invites visitors to engage with and reflect upon the twice-daily push and pull of the ocean and its tides within the confines of a major urban environment. She explains the project in her most recent video:

River Rooms, Levy’s companion installation at Bartram’s Garden, is comprised of six wooden rowboat-shaped “open-air rooms” placed along the Schuylkill’s shoreline. The “rooms” were designed to provide a designated physical space for visitors to contemplate the tides from a different perspective than Tide Field and to enjoy the riverfront environment from six distinct sites.

Although Tide Field and River Rooms are primarily about calling attention to what Levy refers to as “nature’s clock” operating within a vibrant urban setting, many of her projects are efforts to create solutions for environmental issues including excessive storm water and water pollution.

Stacy Levy planting a section of “Spiral Wetlands.”

In 2013, using the form of a spiral and with a direct reference to Spiral Jetty, one the earliest and most well-known Land Art works by artist Robert Smithson, Levy created Spiral Wetland with the goal of improving the water quality of Lake Fayetteville in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A 129-foot-long spiral of native soft rush growing in a closed cell foam mat and anchored to the lake’s floor, Spiral Wetland was designed to remove excess levels of nitrogen and phosphorus from the lake water as well as improve the lake’s fish habitats. An inveterate collaborator with scientists, engineers, architects and geologists, Levy worked with the Fayetteville Watershed Alliance and the Biology Department of the University of Arkansas on Spiral Wetland to monitor the water quality and the nutrient uptake of the wetland’s plants. On her website, Levy explains her motivation for the project as follows:

“After years of being haunted by Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, it seemed like time to remake that form (into one that was) more generative and kinder to the landscape. After studying floating wetlands, and finding their forms dull and mattress-like, the artist wondered how to mesh the function of floating wetlands with the beauty of a natural form. The artist took this masculine mark in the landscape and reformed it through a feminist lens, creating a project that was supportive of environmental service.”

Spiral Wetland was commissioned as a temporary installation for Artosphere: Arkansas Art and Nature Festival, an annual event sponsored by the Walton Arts Center. At the end of the project’s duration, sections of the floating structure were transplanted into regional wetlands and retention basins.

Stacy Levy, “Spiral Wetlands.” Closed cell foam, anchors, native plants, 2013.

In 2016, Levy worked with the engineers and the building and landscape architects of Pittsburgh’s Frick Environmental Center to design a way to divert the storm water at the site in a manner that was both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally appropriate. Levy calls Rain Ravine a “collaboration between the rainfall and the built environment.” Comprised of layers of local sandstone, the installation is 279 feet long by 35 feet wide with an 18-foot change in elevation. In its finished form, Rain Ravine is a terraced runnel (or narrow channel for liquid to flow through) that carries the rain from the rooftop of the structure to wetlands below. Visitors can walk up and down the installation as the water flows into a steel mesh walkway where it then falls through the mesh to hydrate the native plants, rather than be diverted by pipes into rivers and streams.

Stacy Levy, Rain Ravine. Local sandstone and rain, 2016.
Stacy Levy, “Rain Ravine.” Local sandstone and rain, 2016. The mesh walkway is visible at the bottom of the installation.

Levy’s current installation on the Schuylkill River, as well as her numerous previous projects, are impressive in the way in which they flawlessly integrate the built environment with the natural world. As she so eloquently put it, “my practice is motivated by imagining what is too small to be seen, too invisible to be considered, or too vast to be understood.”

(Top image: Stacy Levy, “Tide Field,” at Bartram Garden, Philadelphia, PA, 2018. Installation at low tide. All photos courtesy of the artist.)

This article is part of Imagining Water, a series on artists of all genres who are making the topic of water a focus of their work and on the growing number of exhibitions, performances, projects and publications that are popping up in museums, galleries and public spaces around the world with water as a theme.


Susan Hoffman Fishman is a painter, public artist, writer, and educator whose work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries throughout the U.S. Her latest bodies of work focus on the threat of rising tides caused by climate change, the trillions of pieces of plastic in our oceans and the wars that are predicted to occur in the future over access to clean water. She is also the co-creator of two interactive public art projects: The Wave, which addresses our mutual need for and interdependence on water and Home, which calls attention to homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in our cities and towns.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Using Photography to Combat Climate Change

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

In 1963, Eliot Porter showed a series of color slides at the Sierra Club that he had taken at one of the underground pools of Glen Canyon in Utah. After showing the magnificent images on the big screen, he argued that the recently completed dam at Lake Powell would completely flood these enchanted pools, and they would be lost forever. His images inspired the members of the Sierra Club, and future nature lovers, to speak out against big construction projects as they increasingly threatened natural environments.

Caring for Our Environment

Porter’s famous contemporary, Ansel Adams, capitalized on Porter’s work and successfully argued for using his work, and the work of f/64 photographers – landscape photographers using visualization and the zone system to create the first modern landscape photographs we now know and love – to promote and protect the stunning nature of the Western United States.

I read this in a book about Ansel Adams written by contemporary landscape photographer Michael Frye, who is based in the same iconic Yosemite Valley as Ansel Adams was. I remember reading the book as I was writing an article on my website about my intention to use my images and love for the environment to help support environmental groups.

Recently, I have felt the urge to use my growing portfolio of landscape images for a greater purpose. I enjoy being in nature. It helps me find balance in my otherwise hectic life. I try to look for and find isolated places – places devoid of humans, and even of human interference. This is not always easy, as I do not have the time nor the money to visit the truly empty places far, far away.

Places close by give me enough energy to reload after a hectic day, week, or month. However, over the past year, I have realized that everywhere I look, there is human interference. The nature around me is for the most part cultivated and managed to fit within constraints set by us humans. Also, I am growing angry as I see more wildlife going extinct and nature being destroyed.

Everywhere I look I see human interference…

At home, we do our best to care for our environment. We religiously separate our trash, eat organic and an increasingly plant-based diet, and support local conservation groups. Every time I am out in the field, I pick up litter and stuff that has been thrown away. I try to use public transportation instead of my car and often think about my ecological footprint. I know I can do much more, but I at least try to be considerate about how I engage with my environment, my world, and our planet.

I often feel quite alone in this. Granted, a lot of my peers and other like-minded people are doing wonderful things to create greater awareness. But I also see many people littering, wasting resources, and simply not caring about the future of our planet.

Using Images for a Greater Purpose

One day, I sat down and scrolled through my portfolio with different eyes. I tried to find images that would encourage viewers to protect what they were seeing. This proved harder than I expected. Of course, there were images that did just that but overall, I was disappointed in what I found.

I turned to my small but cherished portfolio of urbex images. Urbex is the exploration of abandoned structures and buildings. Often the locations are off-limits – the idea of briefly trespassing to explore the unknown appeals to me. Also, the adage of urbex, “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures,” resonates with me. I live by it during my nature treks.

Abandoned housing at a deserted army camp.

Urbex images give the viewer a glimpse of a transitional world – a world where nature has taken over human structures after they have been abandoned. Sometimes it feels like walking through a post-apocalyptic world, and it makes me wonder if that might ultimately be the best outcome. I recently saw a video about what would happen if Man suddenly disappeared from the Earth. Within 10 years the air would be clean again, and structures would become one with the Earth – species would thrive, and balance would be restored. A sobering thought…

Here I found better images, more in line with what I was looking for – images that communicate a need to protect our environment from pollution and decay, and show the transience of our civilization. It wasn’t a portfolio or series yet, but it was a start.

I recently went to the Dutch coastline to photograph the beautiful Waddenzee area – a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. There too, I was painfully confronted with pollution and trash. This only increased my desire to educate my fellow human beings about these dangers.

Plastic trash on the tidal plains of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Capitalizing on the Idea

I am now in conversation with several like-minded photographers about creating a coffee table book and an exhibition around these themes. I also incorporated my views and this mission in the curriculum for my photography workshops. I hope to realise these projects next year and raise awareness and possibly even some money to donate to charities that champion these causes.

With this initiative, I am taking baby steps towards using my images for nature conservation and education. I also started a similar journey on another front: I became part of a local conservation group dedicated to preserving a row of ancient Poplar trees with a deep ecological and heritage importance. I created their website and donated my images to help them recruit Friends of the Trees – supporters who can donate money towards the trees’ preservation.

After a few months, we were able to enter into an agreement with the local council for the protection and transfer of the land to the council. We also obtained a grant from the provincial council to plant young Poplar trees in the gaps between the old trees. Not only will the new trees provide support for the old trees, but they will continue to play their role in the ecosystem after the old trees die or fall during a storm.

I feel at ease in this new role and hope to take more steps towards using my photography to combat climate change and raise awareness about environmental preservation. Together we can change the world!

Industrial remains on a British coastline.

(Top image: Stone furnaces at an abandoned brick factory.)


Photographer Maurice Hertog was born and raised in the southern part of the Dutch province of Limburg. He started taking photographs as an avid aircraft spotter at the local airfield, also enjoying taking snapshots during holidays. Since 2008, he has transitioned to photographing landscapes and abandoned buildings, and learned to enjoy the wondrous world around him. “Inspired through the Lens” is his mantra. He feels most alive when he gets out into nature and can become one with the environment he so enjoys capturing on camera.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Climate Signals opening reception, 9/21 NYC

Join The Climate Museum on September 21 to celebrate their second exhibition at the Admiral’s House on Governors Island!

The reception will be held from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Please RSVP here.

The opening will celebrate Climate Signals, a multi-site public art installation by Justin Brice Guariglia co-presented with the NYC Mayor’s Office – Climate Policy and Programs and a host of partners across the City you can find here.

The Climate Museum will also be celebrating the Climate Museum hub, the Museum’s first temporary space. The hub features an interactive room where you can create and share your own climate signal. In addition, together with the NYC Climate Action Alliance, they are presenting Climate Changers of NY, a series of large-scale portraits by David Noles celebrating New Yorkers who are making a difference.

The climate crisis requires us to think, talk, and act together. The intention of both Climate Signals and Climate Changers is to move us toward that connection and engagement. Join The Climate Museum!


Danielle Eubank, a Los Angeles-based painter dedicated to painting bodies of water across the world, has been nominated for the Human Impact Institute’s 2018 Creative Climate Awards in Manhattan, NY, opening Sept 17, 2018.

“I have made it my life’s work to show audiences the preciousness of water,” says Eubank. “I have dedicated the last 17 years to showing the diversity of water and encouraging audiences to really look at it.”

Her depictions of the oceans are a mixture of realism and abstraction, inviting us to create our own ideas of water from different perspectives. Examining water from different parts of the world, she deconstructs its form into separate abstract stacks of textures, shapes, and colors.

In addition to enticing audiences to really look at distinct water sources she paints, she will ask the audience to do two practical things, now, to take action to address climate change. She has created handheld cards with her artwork on one side and suprisingly simple steps we all can take to help combat climate change, on the other. The audience is encouraged to put two on their person, in their pocket, and carry them around with them.

Eubank began painting all of Earth’s oceans in 2001. She has traveled over 30,000 miles on sea, painted more than 200 bodies of water, and visited 21 countries. She strives to facilitate public conversation about water issues through her work and experiences. Using mostly oil paints to document these bodies of water, she works to bring awareness to issues like climate change and water conservation.

She plans to visit Antarctica in February 2019 to paint her last ocean–the Southern Ocean. For more information see

Human Impacts Institute’s 2018 Creative Climate Awards runs Sept 17-Oct 12, 2018.

Opening: Sept 17, 2018 6-8:30pm. Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) 1 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017

About the Human Impacts Institute

Human Impacts Institute are social entrepreneurs who create and share innovative approaches to tackling social and environmental issues. Programs pair artists and scientists to engage new audiences in climate change solutions, bring youth to the boardroom, and get policy makers’ hands dirty as they care for local street trees. The Institute is action-oriented. The Institute helps people of diverse ages and backgrounds connect personally to the most pressing environmental issues. The Institute believes the environment is not separate from our society and that healthy communities, stable economies, and social equity cannot exist without environmental well-being. They go beyond doling out information in hope that people will change. Instead, they inspire people to transform their behavior by making issues personal to their lives.

Storytelling Strategies in Eco-Theatre

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

How do you write a play about climate change? Ocean acidification? The Anthropocene mass extinction? As a playwright working with both eco-theatre and narrative traditions, I’ve found that many of the strategies we use to create narratives around the climate crisis are still drawn from ancient and classical models—which often feel entirely inadequate when addressing the scale and nature (if you’ll forgive the pun) of the issue. How do you write about a radical new moment, the stakes of which are nothing less than the future of your species (and many others) when the form you practice seems to resist the story you want to tell? And why does climate change feel so particularly resistant to narrative techniques?

A theory I’ve found personally useful is that put forward by novelist Amitav Ghosh in The Great Derangement. While illustrating how climate change is inextricably tied to the legacies of colonialism, industrialism, and capitalism, Ghosh links the modes of thought that emerged alongside these movements (rationalism, gradualism, realism) to our climate “aporia”: Our particular inability to even recognize, let alone respond to, the challenges posed by both climate change and its narrative representation. Though Ghosh is focused on the modern novel, with its careful construction of reality through bourgeois detail, and abhorrence of the “event”—he might just as well be speaking of the realist play, where verisimilitudinous settings and a focus on mundane detail create a similar tendency to view the uncanniness of climate change as improbable and therefore narratively suspect.*

Alanna Mitchell in Seasick by Alanna Mitchell. Photo: Chloe Ellingson.

Many contemporary theatrical responses to this climate “aporia” have fallen into two narrative tendencies: The cautionary and the informational. The informational responds to the “unbelieveability” of climate change narratives with the adage that “Truth is Stranger than Fiction”. Informational pieces rely on a claim to truth to offset our narrative bias against the uncanny event of climate change. Many employ research and journalistic strategies to reinforce this claim. Seasick, for example, intersperses playwright (and journalist) Alana Mitchell’s deeply personal monologues with scientific research collected during her exploration of the effects of ocean acidification. Annabel Soutar’s work in Seeds and The Watershed also relies heavily on journalistic strategies, piecing together the stories of particular climate struggles from verbatim interviews with residents of the affected areas, corporate representatives, climate scientists, and many others. Soutar’s layering of verbatim voices offers nuanced, multi-perspective portraits of a single situation, much in the vein of journalistic or quasi-journalistic productions like This American Life, or Serial.

The cautionary tendency, on the other hand, often uses more familiar theatrical tools—tropes and structures drawn from tragedy, elegy, and dystopia—to draw the focus towards the hubris of human responses, or the human consequences of a failure to engage. Jason Patrick Rothery’s Inside the Seed, for example, takes Oedipus, and recasts the doomed protagonist as a bio-tech CEO, and the plague on Thebes as the unintended side effects of genetic modification. E.M. Lewis’ Song of Extinction relies heavily upon the elegiac mode, with the loss of a parent becoming a metaphor through which we can emotionally grapple with the losses threatened by the Anthropocene Extinction.

Patrick Sabongui in Inside the Seed by Jason Rothery. Photo: Nicole Gurney

Both tragedy and elegy, though—as Ursula K. Heise notes in Imagining Extinction—are inherently human-centric storytelling modes: We use tragedy to foreground the rise and fall of the human protagonist.** We mourn the loss of charismatic megafauna because we are mourning a shift in our own cultural identity, and ignore the very different stories that are happening for less easily anthropomorphized species. Heise suggests instead that the epic, with its multi-voiced, multi-perspective and often collective arc, and comedy, with its focus on the loss and regaining of equilibrium after upheaval, may help us to start telling new stories about extinction and climate change.

In order to address the complicated, intersectional storytelling needs arising from ecological crisis as subject matter, eco-theatre is pushing forward into collaborative, site-specific, and/or interdisciplinary work. For narrative playwrights like myself, a similar exploration is occurring, as we experiment with both classical forms and new strategies. Chantal Bilodeau’s Forward, for example, uses shifting time frames to illustrate the scale of the shifts in our climate and human responses to it. Plays like Karen Malpede’s Extreme Whether, and Byrony Lavery’s Slime, have begun to address ideas of interspecies justice through the inclusion of animals onstage, echoing Una Chaudhuri’s call for a type of interspecies dramaturgy in her Climate Lens Playbook. Each of these strategies is another attempt to move narrative playwrighting beyond the realist tendencies that foster climate aporia—and to better answer the question “How do you write a play about climate change?”


*While often laudable in their attempt to create empathy for the plight of the working class, or expose the hypocrisy of Victorian mores, early modernist climate works like Ibsen’s Enemy of the People tend to focus on human drama at a scale quite different from that of climate change.

**This seems related to the complaints that Chantal Bilodeau levels against classical structure in her article for Howlround, “Why I’m breaking up with Aristotle”, where she notes that the hierarchical focus of many classical pieces, with their emphasis on the rise and fall of the human (more often than not privileged white male) protagonist, mirrors the prioritization of the colonial experience and perspective that got us into this mess to begin with.

(Top image: The animal translators from Slime (l-r) Sophia Wolfe, Mason Temple, Teo Saefkow, Anais West, Pedro Chamale, Lisa Baran, and Edwardine van Wyk. Photo:Donald Lee.)

Portions of this article were originally presented as a paper entitled “Eco-Theatre and Storytelling Strategies in Climate Fiction” at the 2018 Earth Matters on Stage Festival in Anchorage, Alaska.


Jordan Hall is a playwright and screenwriter based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the author of Kayak and How to Survive an Apocalypse. She is currently Playwright-in-Residence at Up in the Air Theatre, where she is developing her next play, A Brief History of Human Extinction, in collaboration with Mind of a Snail Puppet Theatre, for Up in The Air’s 2018 season at the Cultch. As a screenwriter, Jordan co-created Carmilla: The Series (Winner: CSA, Digital Fiction) for SmokeBomb Entertainment, and was Carmilla‘s lead writer for three seasons and subsequent movie. She teaches screenwriting at Capilano University.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Augmented Organism: Bridging Technology and Nature

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

As a young girl, my favorite place to be was outside in the elements, greeting the familiar flowers, walking barefoot on the grass, watching the whales, and hearing deer calling in the field below. Growing up in the diverse landscape of Maui, Hawai’i shaped me, grounded me, comforted me, and became a part of me to an extend I wasn’t even aware of until I dived into the world of choreography, performance and site- specific work. As an only child, my two closest friends, which kept me occupied and curious, were art and nature. I loved picking fruit, making elaborate sand sculptures, folding leaves, stringing lei (flower garlands), and tumbling in the waves with the honu (turtles). Nature was so present in my life – I didn’t know anything different until I started to travel and live abroad. Without this separation from Maui, I wouldn’t have understood the depth of my connection to the environment, our oneness with it all. It would’ve been something I took for granted and never realized the privilege of having. Hawai’i, her nature, and cultural her-stories seeped out through poetry of movement, intertwining with mine. I remember this turning point in my creative work where I started craving performances on land. Choreography jobs, dance teaching, and staged theatrical work started to fade from my interests. There was a purpose in my performance work that I was just tapping into.

In this transition period, I met my artistic partner Cy Gorman, an interdisciplinary transmedia artist and mastermind from Australia. We first met at a dance summit in Angers, France and kept in contact every so often, talking about our latest projects, dance, art, mythology, philosophy, culture and nature. We recognized how our work overlapped, and how we were both passionate about art that identifies with landscapes. We started playing with small film assignments – for our first transnational collaborative experimentation, I was in Germany and Cy in Australia. The experimenting got serious when we were both accepted for an artist residency in Finland and received the financial backing needed to work on a project together in person. This experience culminated in a project we call Augmented Organism – something that heavily influenced how both Cy and I create work today, and even paved the way towards new life paths and explorations.

Augmented Organism (AUGORG) brought together our talents in filmmaking, dance, sound production, and design, and allowed our passions for contemporary storytelling, sustainability, and environmentalism to speak through art. Our goal during our residency was to experiment with and use methodology that challenged the “human vs. nature” perspective, looking for ways technology and nature could share a harmonious relationship. This was a strong theme for us as we heavily relied on technological tools to make our art and collaboration possible, yet our project’s focus was on nature. One of the technological tools that we experimented with came from research contributor Neil Harbisson. It involved sonochromatism (or sonochromatopsia) – a neurological phenomenon in which colors are perceived as sounds. The AUGORG project used sonochromatic data as a way of developing harmonic narratives with nature, mood, and soundscape tied with the visible landscape. Movement also developed, grounding the data into the body and back into the physical plane. This dialogue between the technological/scientific and the cultural/mythological, is Augmented Organism.

To this day, the continued purpose of AUGORG is to create engaging globally-oriented art and design that supports the voice of our natural world, using technologies of today and tomorrow to remind us of the importance of Mother Earth and our relationship to her. The project values connection and communication with land (geographically, geomatically, and geo-socially) with a mission to design, develop, and produce environmentally harmonic works and share them with digital and physical networks and communities worldwide. AUGORG’s perspective sees nature as an intelligent voice that needs to be heard and actively supported.

For the entire project, our framing choices, narration, and the way we used technology developed from an intuitive and lateral dialogue between our practice-based research areas and the natural environment. We let our creativity and technical preparation follow nature’s lead. We made ourselves as ready as possible for the perfect moment when the environment revealed narrative of itself. And She did. A lot of the work happened in spontaneous moments, captured in one shot, which was unlike the pre-set choreographed scenes and director’s shot list that we were both used to working with. This was organic and flowing, with no agenda, like my barefoot walks as a kid. This work felt like home and for the first time I understood my purpose, and felt gratitude for the talents that Maui provided me – to feel spatially, to harness earth energy, to carry awareness in my feet.

Check out trailer here:

AUGORG pushed us to not only communicate environmental wellbeing through art but also to act on it. Cy started nurobodi, a holistic healing and wellbeing practice, and I decided to pursue an MA in Sustainable Design. AUGORG was the “aha” moment that aligned and confirmed our natural inclinations towards more organic working styles, and brought to the surface deep passions we previously brushed off as mere interests. Our working intuitions were spot on: the strongest way to deliver creatively is to work with nature and her cycles. My love for Maui is now defined, the wisdom of my child self is restored, and I am curious again. I hope the work allows the child deep within you to emerge and remember too.

The AUGORG project includes diverse offerings, such as live installation and performance works, research presentations, interdisciplinary “co-design” workshop modules, and a feature film, which was released at the beginning of this year. We are eager to share these aspects of the project with others and open future AUGORG work to people interested in collaborating.

(All photos by Cy Gorman.)


Jazmyne Geis grew up in the culturally diverse environment of Maui, Hawai’i, lived abroad in Asia and Europe, and returned back to her family’s land and StudioJaz, her home design studio where experimentation runs wild. Collecting a wide variety of dance styles and visual art backgrounds, Jazmyne has tied these “languages” back to the dance, culture, and land of her homeland. Jazmyne is a sustainable designer, consultant and interdisciplinary artist (an active performer, choreographer, visual artist, creative director, curator, and writer) who uses her artwork as a tool to advocate on behalf of the natural world, bridging environmental her-stories with others around the world.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

How to Turn Music into Trees

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Can music be a solution to climate change? Is it possible to turn music into trees? Can we sing humanity into a greener future?

I would like to say yes to these questions. Music will probably not be the only solution to our climate crisis, but I think it will be part of it. Why? Because music is a language everyone can understand. It transcends culture, religious beliefs, skin color, gender, and age. I believe music is a necessary bridge that can bring us together to face climate change.

Coming together is crucial because no one can face climate change alone. It’s so big that it’s easy to feel depressed and powerless when confronting the relentless barrage of bad news. But if we find people who dare to stand beside us when we rise and fall through the pain and bliss of loving our blue planet, we can allow ourselves to dive deep and commit to making changes. With love and support, we can safely explore our gifts and talents which I believe is going to be essential for the times ahead. We’ll need every musician, poet, artist, nurturer, mathematician, craftsman, blogger, YouTuber, and politician. We’ll need all of us, using all of our skills, gifts, and talents to turn this ship around.

As a choir leader, I see the choir as a perfect arena to practice coming together to face climate change. It’s the perfect place to encourage each other to explore and raise our voices, to take a stand together. Singing in a choir is good for our health, and can create meaning and an amazing feeling of support. A few month ago, with this in mind and a longing to do something that might help keep our planet habitable for my future grandchildren, I launched Women’s Virtual Choir, an online choir experiment that gathers the voices of women across the globe to explore how we can sing together via the internet and transform our singing into trees. A few days ago, the number of members in the choir hit 600!

Our current project is to make a music video with all the voices of the women in the choir. Communicating by email, the singers get instructions, rehearsal tracks, sheet music, and tips for how to record themselves on video. The song is about sisterhood – if you’re curious about it, you can listen to the rehearsal track here.

This autumn, audio and video engineers will put the voices together to make a music video, which will be posted on YouTube. Any income from YouTube adds will be donated to the tree planting organization TreeSisters. That’s how we’re going to transform music into trees! Along the way, we’ll have some fun, challenge ourselves a bit, find new friends, and feel connected to women around the world. There is already a Facebook group for the choir members where beautiful connections are made.

Joining the choir doesn’t cost anything and it’s open to everyone who identifies as a woman. You don’t need to be a professional singer – just come as you are! That’s the beauty of choirs – blending our voices will make a unique sound, perfect as it is. If you are an experienced singer, we do have some challenges for you too, maybe you want to sing a solo part? If you want to join, you can register here.

Why the focus on trees and women?

Trees are our best friends in this age of global warming. They provide shade, oxygen, shelter, and food but also, by planting trees we buy ourselves some more time. We all know that we in the western world need to radically change how we live if we are going to evolve from a consumer species to a restorer species. And one of the most radical change we can make today is to empower women. By lifting women around the world and giving them the opportunity to fulfill their potential, we have a chance to really do this together. My hope is that singing in a choir can be a stepping stone in this process and the beginning of a greener future and sustainable planet for all of us.

Hope to see you in the choir!


Her practice deeply rooted in Swedish folk music, singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/choir leader Åsa Larsson explores how music can connect us to the earth and each other. She recently launched Women’s Virtual Choir, an online choir experiment gathering women to sing our planet green. Her solo project Resmiranda, which has been described as eco-conscious folk music mixed with ambient electronica and the ancient art of kulning, will release the album “For the trees” in 2018. In 2013, her folk music trio Blås, Bälg och Tagel released “Hosvid Hasvid.” In 2014, Resmirandas released the debut EP “Mellan stiltje och storm.” Åsa’s music can be found on YouTube.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Opportunity: Green Tease Open Call

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Are you interested in harnessing the imagination and influencing power of the arts for a more sustainable Scotland? We are seeking proposals to run Green Tease events connecting arts and sustainability across the country. Read on to find out more about the Green Tease network and how to apply!

The Green Tease Open Call is a funded opportunity which supports sustainability practitioners and artists to exchange knowledge, ideas and practices with the aim of building new connections between their areas of work and widening understanding of the role of arts in influencing a more sustainable society.

*We are currently seeking proposals to run events for up to March 2019*

What support does the Open Call offer?

  • Budget to run your event to help cover speaker fees, travel expenses, venue hire and refreshments. In many cases, costs are shared by Creative Carbon Scotland and the event partners and organisers
  • Event shaping, planning and facilitation support to ensure the event is relevant to the Green Tease network, accessible and inclusive
  • Event promotion to the Green Tease network
  • Event evaluation

Looking for ideas and inspiration?

Green Tease started in 2013 with cups of tea and biscuits around a table in the Briggait in Glasgow and has continued to support a growing community of sustainability practitioners and artists interested in working together to tackle climate change. Past events taken the form of:

  • Talks from artists, climate change and sustainability practitioners
  • Events running in tandem with wider conferences, exhibitions, festivals etc.
  • Hands-on, practical workshops
  • Film screenings
  • Focus group discussions
  • Panel discussions
  • Pecha kucha presentations
  • Site visits and walking tours
  • Occassional day-long events (such at the Abernethy Nature Reserve with RSPB Scotland)

Have a read through our events archive and Green Tease reflection blogs to find out more about past events.

Info on the Green Tease network

In a recent survey, network members highlighted that:

  • Evenings are the preferred time for events
  • They value the chance to meet people working across different sectors, exchange knowledge and gain inspiration for new, creative approaches in their work
  • They are interested in a wide range of artforms with particular focus on multi-artform, community arts and visual arts
  • They are interested in all of the goals addressed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals with some focus on sustainable cities and communities, climate action, energy, and responsible consumption and production

Proposal guidelines

Event proposals will be selected on the basis of quality of content, inclusivity and the addressing of the connections between arts and sustainability to appeal to a wide audience. We’re particularly keen to hear from practitioners working in sustainability and climate change related-roles who we don’t know (yet!)

Find out more about how to apply or contact our culture/SHIFT Producer, Gemma, on to discuss your ideas.


The post Opportunity: Green Tease Open Call appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland