Aesthetic Experience

MICRONATION/MACRONATION Democratizing the Energy

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

How can a social cultural organisation take on issues that are creating social unrest? Earlier this year Indonesia experienced demonstrations and clashes between protesters and police over proposed price hikes in fuel.  Indonesia, like most of the rest of the world, is highly dependent on fossil fuels.  Whilst the immediate crisis was averted by a the Government withdrawing the price hike, the challenge remains.

HONF (House for Natural Fiber) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia has responded to the energy crisis and the results are presented at the Langgeng Art Foundation.  The project draws on local knowledge of plants as well as ways to use new media and technology.  They have framed the project as follows:

The presentation—as a sustainable design prototype—consists of 3 core components: a) Installation of a fermentation/distillation machine to process hay (raw material) into ethanol (alternative energy to substitute fossil fuel); b) Satellite data grabber: to obtain data related to agricultural production (weather, climate, seasons); c) Super-Computer: to process data (weather, seasons as well as ethanol production capacity), which is also capable of predicting when Indonesia can reach energy and food independence if this MICRONATION/MACRONATION sustainable project design were to be implemented as a public strategy and policy to achieve the condition of energy and food independence in Indonesia.

This presentation is a good opportunity for us to reassess basic performative premises of various practices combining science, technology and arts. HONF’s project—as with their previous projects—actually blurs the boundaries that have thus far been setting apart science, technology and arts. They combine all three, which to us brings home the question: where is the boundary between aesthetic experience and function? What possibilities could the relationship among science, technology and arts bring when confronted to actual problems in today’s communities?

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge Research, Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
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Date: October 5-19, 2012

Venue: Sang Arts Village, Sang near Tamale in Northern Region of Ghana

Date: February 10-24, 2012

Venue: Abetenim Arts Village near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana

International Land Art Workshop is a two-week group residency.  It is designed to bring together creative persons such as artists, architects and engineers to create works by use of materials from the environment.  The participants will live and work together in an Arts Village in a rural township for knowledge sharing and cross-fertilization of skills over the two-week period.  By land art (or earthworks, environmental art) we imply: (1) Works created with materials from the environment involving air, water, earth, stone, and wood, or (2) Site-specific installation (with natural or industrial materials) within a landscape to create an aesthetic experience.  Thus, the theme is open; but permanency of work is encouraged, ephemeral would be only if it is the most appropriate means to communicating the idea.  The realized work may become a part of the Arts Village or sited in a public space in nearby village.

Organizers will provide accommodation and food; an accepted applicant will contribute participation fee of $100 / €70 toward food.  The international participant is responsible for own travel costs and proposed project.  We suggest that participants apply for travel grants through their national art councils or other sources.  To apply, send CV, statement/sketch of your proposed work, and a sample of your existing work to  Submissions will be reviewed until space is filled.  For details on our projects go to

In Ghana: Nka Foundation, Box Up 1115, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.

In Burkina Faso: Nka Foundation, 04 BP 399, Ouagadougou 04.

PDF Land Art Workshop


December 17, 2009, San Francisco, CA, USA / Copenhagen, Denmark – The San Francisco Bay Area based team of Obscura Digital, YouTube, Google, and Millennium ART, joined forces with the United Nations Department of Public Information to launch a first-of-it’s kind digital media hyper cube installed at COP15 in Copenhagen. The CO2 Cube is a contemplative art sculpture of light and sound mirrored in a lake, displaying stunning imagery of the planet, info-graphic animations, and solutions for reducing our carbon footprint.

13YouTube provided the technology to power the cube and is continuously streaming videos into this international communications platform; Obscura Digital’s technologists and designers created the visual content and employed a number of software techniques to help visualize CO2 on the cube; and Millennium ART harnessed this customized media system to transform carbon dioxide facts and figures into an inspiring aesthetic experience helping people visualize the invisible… what 1 metric tonne of CO2 looks like, which is the amount of CO2 the average American emits into the atmosphere every two weeks. The United Nations Department of Public Information activated the CO2 Cube as a vehicle to attract, engage, and mobilize the public in reducing CO2 emissions locally and globally.YouTube videos about climate change are brought to life on the facades of the 27ft x 27ft x 27ft cube through an array of artistic transition techniques, such as DNA strands, CO2 molecules, and many more. “YouTube is delighted to be the technology partner for the CO2 Cube and to bring to life in a new and innovative way the video content created by citizens, filmmakers, NGOs and activists to address the important issue of climate change,” stated Chris Di Cesare, Chief Marketing Officer of YouTube.

“Obscura has deployed a 4-D Hypercube User Interface System as a dynamic media portal that is capable of presenting web based, real-time, and produced content integrated into the CO2 Cube public art sculpture, offering new dimensions for audiences to interact with visual concepts and content sources from around the world,” said Travis Threlkel, Creative Director of Obscura Digital.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon premiered his public announcement to Copenhagen via video on the CO2 Cube during an on-site reception. “This cube shows 1 tonne of carbon dioxide. Science has made it clear, we have a chance here in Copenhagen to turn the tide, to cut emissions, to help people adapt. We know what to do, all we need is the political will,” announced Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General.

The cube is constructed of 12 shipping containers stacked in an interlocking pattern on a custom engineered floatation barge. Two sides are covered with an architectural mesh fabric for video projection illuminated with Obscura Digital’s FireFrame graphic and digital media system, while the other sides remain as open exposed shipping container surfaces with LED lighting design by The Do Lab. “Using motion graphics, 3-D animation, and live action, we were able to communicate the impact CO2 has through both literal and abstract visualizations; also keeping in mind the architecture of the physical cube and reflections on the lake as canvases for our media” stated Ron Robinson, Art Director at Obscura Digital.

“The beauty behind this work of art is the collaborative spirit, will and determination that went into creating something that is an artistic and architectural feat, designed to inspire change in the hearts and minds of people across all geo-political boundaries” expressed Mia Hanak, Executive Director of Millennium ART. CO2 CUBES: Visualize a Tonne of Change is a Millennium ART installation presented in partnership with the United Nations Department of Public Information, powered by Google and YouTube and produced by Obscura Digital. This is a CO2 neutral exhibit.

Contact: Mia Hanak +1-415-637-0525

Download Photos and Video:

View the video from the opening celebration of the CO2 Cube.

View the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon premiering his announcement to Copenhagen via the CO2 Cube.