April 4

Speedier spring

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

‘Progress of Spring’ final report

Kellie Gutman writes:

The  fourth and fifth grade class at the Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia, has completed their year-long project documenting the progress of spring, as defined by the first blooming daffodil reported along the length of Route 1, from Florida to Maine.  Their results confirm the general impression that this was a very warm spring on the eastern seaboard.  At the northernmost point, Fort Kent, Maine, daffodils were spotted on April 4, 2012 – nearly a month earlier than last year, and the earliest in the twenty-two years that the class has been keeping records.  The rate that spring advanced, 1570 miles in 93 days, was approximately 17 miles a day, or .7 miles per hour, which is about average.

See also: our report on daffodil spotting

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

Living Life in Real Time

slow-london-banner2Today, 4 May, is the final day of Slow Down London – a ten-day festival to get people to slooooow dowwwnnnnn. Personally, I walk fast, talk fast and do stuff fast, but that’s because I love things that are intense – but that is not truly at odds with the premise of Slow Down London, which is a good one:

 “Slow Down London is a new project to inspire Londoners to improve their lives by slowing down to do things well, rather than as fast as possible.”  

The point is to consciously and deliberately appreciate stuff – all stuff. From our bodies, minds, creativity, each other, life itself, the world around us and establish a deeper appreciation of time itself. 

And it got me thinking.  … doing things well requires rigour and thought and that takes time… But political, social and environmental changes happen relatively fast and need practical responses.

So here is a problem that faces me and probably you too: how do we as individuals and a society get a strong balance between this point ‘to slow things down so you can do them well’ and the political point ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it?’*

The arts need to consider this as much as ever before – perhaps more. How can the soft skills and soft power of the arts be shared more widely and do they have practical application? What do the arts do well? What could the arts do better? For example, should visual art be more democratic and what would cultural democracy look like? 

It’s not a problem if you missed the Slow Down London festival – because it is a campaign that highlights that London is full of brilliant slow things…  

The Slow Down London campaign will hold a festival (24 April – 4 May 2009) offering activities and inspiration, through working with a range of partners. It will give Londoners a chance to explore slow music and arts, to try meditation and yoga, to sample slow food and crafts, to discover ’slow travel’ in our own city, to debate ideas about time and pace, and to find our own ways to challenge the cult of speed and to appreciate the world around us. You can view the full event programme here: slow-down-london-events-programme

 * I heard this Marx quote again yesterday, when my iPod shuffled to an old version of the BBCs In Our Time (2005) featuring Karl Marx as winning the ‘greatest philosopher’ vote, here’s the link.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

darkSky at Art Chicago this weekend at ecoviz.org

darkSky 2009 is an interactive installation by Tiffany Holmes which presents a series of salvaged lamps that visitors are encouraged to turn on and off, and the resulting energy consumption is presented in real-time as an animation on a single plasma screen. This exhibit was recently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art MCA, Chicago, from April 4-26, 2009 and will be shown across from the Jean Albano Gallery Booth 549 during the Art Chicago event this weekend at the Merchandise Mart.

via darkSky at Art Chicago this weekend at ecoviz.org.