2012 iLAND Symposium

This post comes to you from Cultura21

New-York, USA, March 23-24, 2012

Wollman Hall at The New School | 65 West 11th Street, 5th Floor

Tickets: $5 – $25 (Sliding Scale)

The 2012 iLAND Symposium will be entitled: Moving Into the Out There: Indeterminacy and Improvisation in Performance and Environmental Practice. This event is an open forum for exploring new methods of understanding urban ecosystems through innovative collaborations between practitioners of movement, dance, science, and environmental management. iLAND cultivates a deeper engagement with urban environmental issues through its cross-disciplinary approach, and the annual symposium invites the general public to experience and explore recent works emerging from the iLAND community.


Friday, March 23

12:00 pm to 3:00 pm:  

Pre-Symposium Workshop: John Cage & The Art of Indeterminacy ;  Presented by:
Ivan Raykoff, Professor, Eugene Lang College ; Philip Silva, Program Director, iLAND

3:15 pm to 4:30 pm:  

Open Space Discussion: Moving Forward with Science + Performance
Moderator: Danielle Goldman, Professor, Eugene Lang College
(By Invitation Only)

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm: 

Plenary: PARK Presentation & the iLANDing Method
Presented by: PARK (2011 iLAB Residents) ; Jennifer Monson, Artistic Director, iLAND ; Members of the iLAND Board of Directors ; Danielle Goldman, Professor, Eugene Lang College

Saturday, March 24

10:00 am to 10:30 am: 

Open Time [Breakfast & Networking]

10:30 am to 12:00 pm:

Panel Discussion: Indeterminacy, Ecology, and Urban Design: The Performance of City Ecosystems
Presented by: Erika Svendsen, US Forest Service ; Victoria Marshall, Professor, Parsons School of Design ; Susan Sgorbati, Choreographer, Professor, Bennington College ; Philip Silva, Program Director, iLAND

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm:    

Thrown Outside – Outdoor Workshops in Research & Movement
Presented by: Liz Barry, Public Laboratory for Open Technology & Science ; Jessica Einhorn, Dancer, Choreographer ; Clarinda Mac Low, Choreographer, new media artist (iLAB 2010) ; E.J. McAdams, iLAND Board

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm:  

Panel Discussion: Performing Queer Ecology
Presented by:  Jennifer Monson, Artistic Director, iLAND ;  Ivan Raykoff, Professor, Eugene Lang College ;  Robert Sember, Professor, Eugene Lang College ;  Philip Silva, Program Director, iLAND

4:30 pm to 6:00 pm: 

Closing Plenary & Open Discussion
Moderator: Kyle De Camp, Director and Performer

6:15 pm to 6:45 pm: 

Dance Performance: Lectures on Weather
Based on a John Cage score from 1975
Created & Presented by: Athena Kokoronis, Choreographer (iLAB 2009)

For more information on the symposium, please visit, call (347) 573-5547 or email info [at] ilandart [dot] org

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– 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

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New metaphors for sustainability: a stranger’s compass

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Our co-editor Wallace Heim continues our series of new metaphors for sustainability with a guidance system that changes hands. 

Walking an unfamiliar Cumbrian fell with a compass, often without a map, links me to the land in a special way. The invisible, magnetic north that spins into place on the device is often perplexing and counter-intuitive. However reassuring it is to know there are vast forces of geology beyond any I can see, forces that co-ordinate my safe passage, I still have to negotiate the land right in front of me: that granite face, that swamped mire, that fast river. There is no picture in which to find myself, only wit, the land and the pull of a distant polar force.

A few times, I’ve come across a dropped compass. There’s a moment when clearing the mud from its face when I wonder whether it was left behind because it was broken, or not believed. Is the north that was found in a stranger’s hand the same as in mine?

I don’t think sustainability can be likened directly to a compass, as if there was a pole of certainty to it. There are orientations that guide, but they fluctuate with a landscape that is continually shifting. The incremental decisions made in response to immediate conditions themselves change the situation, alter what is possible to do. I see sustainability as a response to change, one that keeps alive the capacity to respond to further change. What kind of compass would show this light-footed improvisation that makes sure those in the future can navigate their own way?

Walking with a stranger’s compass comes closer as a metaphor. The compass is given, handed over, and it connects me to those I will never know, while helping me cross the land that I am in. The instruction is not reliable; maybe not safe. Or maybe it is, and the coordinates are sharper than on my own compass, signalling a clearer route. Is it pulling me in a direction I couldn’t have imagined? This uncertain magnetism invigorates the walk. One day, I’ll leave my compass behind.

“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.

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The Art of Improvisation – Call for Papers ASA 2012

Calendar Variations - Experiment at Woodend Barn, 2010, Photo: Chris Fremantle

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

The call for papers for the ASA Conference 2012, which will be held in Delhi on 3-6th April, is now open.

The deadline is the 6th of December, 2012.

We would like to invite you to submit an abstract for our panel ‘The Art of Improvisation’.

We are interested in securing contributions from a broad range of perspectives, e.g. anthropology, the visual arts, music and performance. We are hoping to develop a dedicated journal issue as a result.

Full details can be found here.  Queries should be directed to Amanda Ravetz.


  • Amanda Ravetz (Manchester Metropolitan University);
  • Kathleen Coessens (Vrije Universiteit, Brussel);
  • Anne Douglas (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen).

The panel is driven by an interest in understanding embodied, experiential knowledge through the lens of experimental arts practice. Taking an expanded notion of improvisation as a state of ‘being alive’ (Ingold 2011), the panel will explore trajectories between improvisation in life and improvisation in art as follows:

In life, asserts Tim Ingold, there exists no script. The primacy of experience is a form of ‘trying out’. We might think of this then as a movement from an indefinable and undifferentiated state to one of feeling our way through creating direction.

In art we cast a critical eye on the ‘givens’, the predetermined structures of social, cultural, material experience while recognising that freedom and constraint are profoundly interrelated. Improvisation in art across cultures is a specific approach to form making that centres the imagination (of the creator/ performer/spectator) precisely on managing the interplay between freedom and constraint.

In artistic research, the artist/researcher places him/herself at the sharp point of the inquiry, re-imagining, re-configuring, intensifying and scrutinising practice to create insights within and beyond the arts.

  • How might a revisiting of improvisation as a condition of life open up approaches to improvisation in art, challenging its current formulation as a specific formal approach?
  • In what ways might such an inquiry inform new understandings of embodied knowledge within and beyond artistic practice?
  • How might such knowledge sit beside anthropological formulations of improvisation and creativity?

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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