Guided Tour

Backstage Sustainability Workshop, Roskilde Festival 2012

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Roskilde Festival and Backstage invites you to Backstage Sustainability Workshop on July 3rd from 10:00-14:00. Get a guided tour of the festival ground and experience quirky experiments, green installations and sustainable solutions.

For registration, see:

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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Review of the 1st Cultura21 Forum – “The cultivation of ecology/-ies: Gardens and complexity in rural and urban landscapes”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

The following review was written by Janna Gehrke (you can find out more about Janna at the bottom of this post):

From the 23rd until the 25th of September the first Cultura21 Forum (by the German platform of Cultura21) took place in the “Studio Kunst und Landschaft” in Hude near Oldenburg in Germany. The forum was the opening for more events of its sort, which will occur on an annual rhythm in Germany. This year’s theme was: “The cultivation of ecology/-ies: Gardens and complexity in rural and urban landscapes”. It created an ideal platform for exchange between Cultura21 members, interested attendants from the vicinity and international guests. The aim of the event was to create networks, combine art and sustainability and get people interested in the theme of gardening.


A lively opening was guaranteed by Insa Winkler’s guided tour through the garden in the evening sun. Besides the white Garden and the classical English Garden, the participants were also able to see a mediterrenean garden and the ‘Wildparterre’, an area where wild herbs grow. All these garden treasures span over 7000m² and are accompanied by art objects. Among these the „Tamagotchis“ can be found, whom the artist Insa Winkler gave their names because they required a lot of care during an exhibition in Hamburg.

Further objects called Vegitabilibus are an eyecatcher, because they seem to grow directly out of the earth, without  a pedestal. Their genesis leads back to the artist’s involvement with Albertus Magnus, who said: The root is the mouth of the plant.

After this introduction, three referents gave some insights on the leading theme:

„Gardens and aesthetics of sustainability” (Sacha Kagan, Cultura21 Institut e.V., Lüneburg)

Gardens can be seen as approaches in order to reach the status of „cultures of sustainability“. They describe the search process for models of civilisation and dynamic balance. Following Edgar Morin, they yield the opportunity to think of unity and multiplicity together, rather than being mutually exclusive. Furthermore disorder can raise attention to the beauty of antagonisms. This creates an acute sensibility to the complexities in life.

According to Gilles Clément,  nature as constant transformation is what we should see in gardens. The following three concepts underlie his considerations:

  • The Moving Garden as an formerly used, but neglected garden, that does not undergo constant control. The task of humans is observation before intervention, so that a balance is created and diversity increased.
  • The concept of the Planetary Garden considers the whole world as a garden and points out the ecological limits of the biosphere and the advancing planetary mixing, which generates positive as well as negative effects due to invasive species. Concerning this matter it is important to use diversity without destroying it.
  • Third landscape is about subtle, non-interventionist interventions that highlight fallow lands and left-apart lands of all sorts as spaces for the undecided, spaces for the future. To use the words of the Abbé Sieyès: “What is the Third Estate? Everything. What has it been in the political order until now? Nothing. What does it want to be? Something.”

„On Urban Gardening“ (Dr. Christa Müller, Network „Interkulturelle Gärten“, Berlin/Munich)

In 2007 there were already more people living in cities than in rural areas. As a logical consequence emerging from this development gardens reclaim space in the cities and a (re-)discovery of the desire to garden becomes visible. This success of gardens is not a new phenomenon, but it gets more and more attention by the media. Thus it leads to a new understanding of urbanity since nature and city no longer exclude each other but build spaces in which natural and social environment can melt and create a new awareness concerning the value of time, consumption and community. This opens the opportunity of an integrative and community creating impact of gardening in cities.

The main reasons for the increasing popularity of urban gardens can be found in the desire to experience something that is perceptible to the senses, and in the wish for new forms of togetherness due to mounting individualisation, virtualization and marketization of the world.

Urban areas provide the basis for testing new social structures of sustainability and visualise alternatives in light of the imminent food crisis. Additionally it triggers off the political discussion, whether it might be possible to “plant” a new world.

„Sustensive Gardens“ (Dr. Oleg Koefoed, Cultura21 Nordic, Copenhagen)

De-composition and de-totalisation of certainties provide a constant transformation of the world and pave the way for a process of change. This process generates an area of tensions, which encompasses the maximal diversity of forms without destroying them. The opportunities can be enhanced in this way by gaining capacity for complexity.

The imperfection of mankind invites to open processes, as we have to connect to things that are outside of us. With reference to gardening, this implies a step out of everyday life, appropiated by various forces. Sustensive spaces are created for creativity, ancient knowledge, community and participation. Altogether they provide the basis for alternative lifestyles. Furthermore there is the possibility of making a connection between past and future, for instance by means of cultivating old sorts or rare species.

Examples of garden projects from Denmark emphasize this process: ‘Prags Have’ is an old factory site, which gradually changed and gained attractiveness induced by a process of gentrification. Meanwhile even the city of Copenhagen decided to support the project and enables citizens to grow their own vegetables there. A community kitchen was established as well as a meeting room in form of a caravan in the trees. ‘Amager Commons’ is an area in Copenhagen, which is partly used as an area for the development of the district Ørestaden of Copenhagen. Recently this vast fallow land was used for urban gardening projects, too. Thus a fight between landscape and urban development was inflamed. In most cases the garden projects are very vulnerable, as they rely heavily on support and investment.


On Saturday Shelley Sachs and Hildegard Kurt proceeded with a workshop, which took place in the framework of a mobile, alternative university, the “University of the Trees”. This network focusses on the question: What is knowledge and how do we know? It rests on the basis, that we are all students and teachers at the same time, but additionally the trees are also our teachers. Regarding this it is necessary to call forth the sleeping potential that is in everyone of us.

On a walk through the garden, the vicinity and the forest nearby, the participants were able to bethink of the trees and create a field of awareness by the use of bands. In the following group session the focus was put on the soil in the created awareness field. Within the group the participants were able to make a connection to the soil and foster the consciousness for this valuable resource. A very pleasant atmosphere for these processes of thinking was created by the use of the practice of active listening, which encouraged awareness-raising and reflection.

In the afternoon, the participants had time to take up questions that were partly already generated on Friday evening. These could be discussed and enlarged upon in Open Space sessions. The following themes were discussed: Gardens as experimental spaces for alternative lifestyles, Traveling/Walking – Why do we appreciate landscape as beautiful? and Privatisation of public spaces. It was possible to follow different discussions as the working method was shaped openly.

The second day was rounded off by a Guerilla Gardening Workshop lead by Rana Öztürk. The special background of Guerrilla Gardening is the idea of the beautification of public spaces such as fallow land in collective actions of planting. This can be interpreted as a political movement without being obvious or as an artistic intervention. It adds to identity creation and counteracts insufficiency and delapidation by restoring fallow land, and partly supports self supply.

After a first input about the history and emergence of the Guerilla Gardening movement, which developed as early as the 1970s as a form of political resistance, the participants got the chance to take action themselves. Seeds were sieved and mixed, so that the group could contribute its share to the beautification of the village afterwards. Hopefully first results can be seen in spring.

The evening faded away with the presentation of different garden and art projects together with a nice get-together around the fire.



On Sunday Nikos Anastasopoulos presented his activist engagements in Greece, which include the throwing of seedballs to improve the character of the soil and to green part of the landscape in Greece again, following the principles of ‘Natural Farming’. In this way a hub for change shall be created in order to achieve a long-term success. The  locally rooted initiative runs the right path which can be seen in first successes thanks to the involvement of the participants.

Insa Winkler called attention to her project „Artenvielfaltroute“ in Wüsting, which aims to strengthen the local awareness for what is happening with biodiversity in the locality through cooperative work with the neighbourhood and the school nearby.

Finally Dr. Christa Müller gave an overview and a summary of the contents for the guests. Thanks to the hosts, sponsors and participants, the first Cultura21 forum was a great success.

This review was written by Janna Gehrke, who will be Cultura21′s intern in Germany for the next 6 months, starting in mid-October 2011. Janna’s internship is taking place within Leuphana University Lueneburg’s “Leuphana PLUS” program.

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

The 1st Cultura21 Forum in Germany

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Cultura21 e.V. is happy to announce the first „Cultura21 Forum“ in Germany:

The Cultivation of Ecology/-ies:
gardens and complexity in rural and urban areas

September 23rd to 25th, 2011 – “Studio Kunst und Landschaft” in Hude (aprox. 13 km from Oldenburg)

Registration is required (see below) – Please notice that this event will be bilingual, but the main language will be German (and there will be no translation service)!

The “Cultura21 Forum” starts on Friday evening with a public event in the “Studio Kunst und Landschaft”. The ecological artist Insa Winkler will offer a guided tour on the terrain. Three guest speakers will give an introduction to “culture(s) of sustainability (the role of gardening culture)”. On Saturday registered participants of the “Cultura21 Forum” will get the chance to take part in specific workshops and open space sessions. The Sunday also is a public event and will contain three speeches and a panel discussion. The speakers will deal with the vision of participative and collective cultivation of ecology in rural and urban areas. The forum will end with a “guerilla gardening” intervention, which will be prepared the day before.

The concept of the “Cultura21 Forum”

By organizing an annual “Cultura21 Forum”, Cultura21 in Germany wants to concentrate all the positive energy of its members and also of like-minded organisations. The aim is to make possible a regular exchange between the participants. Furthermore, other initiatives treating the issue of a “culture of sustainability” should be given room to grow and develop. The basic idea of the forum is to have both a thematic focus and an open space part in the program. The open space part is meant to be the source for new project ideas, created in free exchange and discussions. These parts are linked with each other in the program and complement one another.

2011 edition: the cultivation of ecology/-ies

The main topic of the “Cultura21 Forum” 2011 is: “The cultivation of ecology/-ies: gardens and complexity in rural and urban areas”. Our attention will be especially turned to “guerilla gardening”: guerilla gardening is known as a creative-subversive type of civil disobedience and political protest from the 1970s in New York. Over the years a development has taken place, and nowadays guerilla gardening can be seen with the perspective of “urban agriculture” and “urban gardens”. This type of protest combines the adornment of concrete-dominated urban areas, the temporary use, the greening of idle areas and also the possibility to harvest.

Besides planting “surprise gardens”, seed bombs are the most familiar type of creative protest. They contain a mixture of seeds, soil and clay, shaped like a ball. You then normally just drop these bombs wherever you wish. Further aims are the enforcement of self-supply, protest against the agro-industry and the sowing of unusual seeds. Guerilla gardening is quite controversial and therefore will be discussed in the panel discussion. There will also be a workshop on “seed bombs”. On Sunday, they are supposed to be launched/sowed by the participants next to a piece of farmland.


The complete program can be downloaded as a PDF file: Cultura21Forum_Program(ENG)

Preparatory online exchanges for the “Open Space” sessions are conducted on this website, on our online forum: Click here

About the speakers

Sacha Kagan, Lüneburg
Research Associate at the Institute of Cultural Theory, Research, and the Arts (ICRA/IKKK) at the Leuphana University Lüneburg ; member of Cultura21 e.V. since 2006 ; founding coordinator of the international platform of Cultura21 and founding director of the International Summer School of Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (ASSiST). The focus of his scientific and cultural work is on the transdisciplinary field of arts an (un)sustainability.

Oleg Koefoed, Copenhagen
Oleg Koefoed, action philosopher, is the founder of the “Gravitations Center for Action Philosophy” and founding director of Cultura21 Nordic (with its headquarters in Copenhagen).

Hildegard Kurt, Berlin (Workshop “Jeder Mensch ein Künstler?” [Every human being an artist?])
Hildegard Kurt, cultural scientist, author and working on social sculpture, is one of the key figures for the intercession of arts and sustainability in Germany. She is head of the Berlin “und.Institute für Kunst, Kultur und Zukunftsfähigkeit“ (und.Institut) [ for arts, culture and sustainability] which she was a co-founder of. She is also working at the “Social Sculpture Research Unit (SSRU)” at Oxford Brookes University in the UK (which is led by the artist and former Beuys-student Shelley Sacks).

Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen, Berlin (Community Gardens in New York)
Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen works as an independent journalist and sociologist in Berlin, doing research, editing, teaching and consulting. (In former days, self-help agriculture was ill-reputed as informal self-help economy of women. Today it returns to the cities and to the mind of the people: wild vegetable cultivation on fallow, guerilla gardening, “hard core vegetable cultivation”, “intercultural gardens” from New York to Berlin…)

Christa Müller, Berlin/Munich
For the “anstiftung & ertomis” foundation, Christa Müller did research on the intercultural potential of urban gardening in the international gardens of Göttingen. She co-founded the network “Interkulturelle Gärten” [intercultural gardens] and the “Interkultur” foundation.

Rana Öztürk, Berlin
Cultural scientist, Rana Öztürk did her MA Thesis on “Sustainable Fashion: New Approaches within the Fashion Industry”. Member of Cultura21 e.V. since 2007 ; Chairwoman of the German organization since 2010., Rana Öztürk is the Communication Administrator at the artist’s workshop of Anselm Reyle.

Insa Winkler, Hude/Wüsting
Insa Winkler works as a landscape architect and environmental artist. “Die Artenvielfalt-Route” [the biodiversity route] is a participative project “in my neighborhood” about art and ecology. By means of education and visualization of life-forms, a mapping exercise of biodiversity is conducted. The result is a new corridor between the agrarian landscape and the urban areas, which is perceived as an ecological and public area. People are actively motivated to protect areas or even to increase the biodiversity in their own garden.

Practical Information

The participation fee (including coffee, drinks, snacks) for 3 days is:
– participants who are not paying members of Cultura21 Germany: 30€/20€ reduced
– participants who are members of Cultura21 Germany: 10€/15€ reduced

… for 1 day:
– participants who are not members of Cultura21 Germany: 15€/ 8€ reduced
– participants who are members of Cultura21 Germany: 10€/ 5€ reduced

Reduced participation fees are only for students and unemployed persons (please provide supporting documents by email).

Please transfer the participation fee until September 10th (please write “Cultura21 Forum” in the comment field) to this bank account:

Cultura21 e.V., Kto-Nr. 40 18 97 17 00, GLS-Bank, BLZ 43060967 ; BIC: GENODEM1GLS ; IBAN: DE35 4306 0967 4018 9717 00


To make the planning easier, please register online for the event: Click here

Accommodation and travel must be organized by yourself. We recommend to book a room early enough and are happy to help you if necessary. Please find here a list with accommodations near Hude: PDF file (in German language).

The Organizers

The Forum will take place in cooperation with the “Studio Kunst und Landschaft” in Hude and is kindly supported by the city of Oldenburg.

The „Studio Kunst und Landschaft” invites you to look at various theme gardens and park elements on their 1ha territory. Furthermore can be found several sculptural works and objects created by Insa Winkler and other artists. This is also the main office of “artecology-network”, founded in 2010. The Winkler family, who runs the place, also offers space for seminars, exhibitions, concerts, readings and conferences. As well, Insa Winkler’s landscape architecture office and her studio are situated on the premises.






Crowfunding : Help us finance the event!

If you cannot come to the event but wish to help finance the Cultura21 Forum, please contribute to our Crowdfunding effort: Click here (the crowdfunding webpage is currently available only in German language).

This post is also available in: German

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

Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú | Current Exhibitions | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú
April 27, 2010–October 31, 2010 (weather permitting)
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden

Go to Flickr for behind-the-scenes photos and installation views. flickr
Read the Guided-Tour Guidelines.
Curator Anne Strauss talks to Doug and Mike Starn about the exhibition.
Download the audio file. MP3 (7.97 MB)

Invited by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to create a site-specific installation for The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, the twin brothers Mike and Doug Starn (born in New Jersey in 1961) will present their new work, Big Bambú: You Can’t, You Don’t, and You Won’t Stop, opening on April 27. The monumental bamboo structure, ultimately measuring 100 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 50 feet high, will take the form of a cresting wave that bridges realms of sculpture, architecture, and performance. Visitors will witness the continuing creation and evolving incarnations ofBig Bambú as it is constructed throughout the spring, summer, and fall by the artists and a team of rock climbers. Set against Central Park and its urban backdrop, Big Bambúwill suggest the complexity and energy of an ever-changing living organism. It will be the thirteenth-consecutive single-artist installation on the Roof Garden.

Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú

Above: Installation in progress, March 2010. Photo by Doug and Mike Starn. © 2010 Mike and Doug Starn / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

More about the Exhibition
Big Bambú is a growing and changing sculpture―a vast network of 5,000 interlocking 30- and 40-foot-long fresh-cut bamboo poles, lashed together with 50 miles of nylon rope. It will continue to be constructed throughout the duration of the exhibition. The first phase of the structure―measuring about 100 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 30 feet high―will be completed by opening day, April 27. Subsequently, the artists and rock climbers will build up the eastern portion of the sculpture to an elevation of 50 feet. By summer, the western portion of the sculpture will be about 40 feet high. An internal footpath artery system will grow along with the structure, facilitating its progress. The evolving state of the work will be documented by the artists in photographs and videos.

Visiting the Exhibition
Visitors will be able to experience Big Bambú from the Roof Garden level, open to everyone during regular Museum hours, weather permitting, and to walk among a forest of bamboo poles that serves as the base of the sculpture. Alternatively, visitors will be able to explore the artwork on brief tours led by Museum-trained guides. On the guided tours, held during regular Museum hours, weather permitting, small groups of visitors will be able to walk along the elevated interior network of pathways roughly 20 to 40 feet above the Roof Garden. Tickets will be required for the guided tours, and specific guidelines will apply to those interested in participating. Please read them for details and requirements.

Tickets for guided tours will be able to be obtained only in person and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis with Museum admission at the Big Bambú Registration Desk, in the Uris Center for Education, located at the 81st Street ground-level entrance. Tickets will be available twice a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays, andHoliday Mondays, when the Museum is open to the public, and three times a day on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets for morning tours will be released at 9:30 a.m. Tickets for afternoon tours will be released at noon. On Fridays and Saturdays, tickets for evening tours will be released at 3:30 p.m. There will be a limit of one ticket per person, and tickets will be nontransferable. All tour participants (other than children without identification) will be required to present photo identification to obtain a ticket.

About the Artists
Born in New Jersey in 1961, the identical twins Doug and Mike Starn work collaboratively and defy categorization, combining traditionally separate disciplines such as sculpture, photography, painting, video, and installation. In spring 2009, the Arts for Transitprogram of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York City unveiled See it split, see it change, the Starns’ first public commission. The work, which is installed permanently at the South Ferry subway station, won the Brendan Gill Prize. Their work has been exhibited internationally and is included in public and private collections worldwide. Their solo exhibitions include Gravity of Light (2004, 2008), Absorption + Transmission (2005, 2006), Behind Your Eye (2004), Sphere of Influence (1994), Mike and Doug Starn: Selected Works 1985-87 (1988), and The Christ Series (1988). The artists live and work in the New York area.

Exhibition Organization and Credits
The exhibition is organized by Anne L. Strauss, Associate Curator of the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum.

The exhibition is made possible by Bloomberg logo
Additional support is provided by Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky.
The exhibition is also made possible in part by the Jane and Robert Carroll Fund.
Rope is provided by Mammut Sports Group, Inc.

Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú | Current Exhibitions | The Metropolitan Museum of Art.