New Perspectives

New Perspectives on Ecological Performance Making, London

This one-day symposium will bring together researchers, practitioners and students for a discursive investigation of performance approaches that explore the human relationship with the natural world. The recent Readings in Performance and Ecology (2012) and Performing Nature (2007) acknowledge that ‘conventional theatre’ may not be as well positioned to intersect with ecology as other forms of performance. Other paradigms such as eco-activism, bicycle performances, outdoor audio-walks, landscape performances, allotment performances, live art and site-based participatory performance offer unique opportunities for audiences to intimately engage with the living world and interact directly with the material environment. Recent examples of practice include Simon Whitehead’s work, Townley and Bradby’s The Bowthrope Experiment, Earthrise Repair Shop, Platform’s Oil City, the work of Fevered Sleep and FanSHEN’s Green and Pleasant Land. This symposium will assemble key people in the field of Performance and Ecology to explore how new paradigms can be developed from a number of different perspectives and expertise on the subject.

Hosted by the Theatre Applied Research Centre, confirmed participants include Wallace Heim, FanSHEN, Julie’s Bicycle, Sally Mackey, Ian Garrett, Harry Giles, Stephen Bottoms, Dee Heddon, Carl Lavery, Dead Good Guides, Peter Coates, Silvia Battista, Eve Katsouraki, Gareth Somers, Sarah Hopfinger, and Baz Kershaw.

Lunch will be provided along with tea and coffee.

Book Now: New Perspectives on Ecological Performance Making Tickets, London – Eventbrite.

CSPA Quarterly: Issue 10

768d3b4ae902374c96e1ab8d40db54e4We see our tenth issue of the CSPA Quarterly, this very issue you have in your hands, as an opportunity to renew, refresh, and even rewind a bit. Since our first issue, the CSPA has grown in reputation; we have travelled the world with special projects, have increased our global membership, and have published well over 2,000 posts online highlighting projects, tools and reports in service of sustainability through art making practices. Our Knowledge Network is expanding quickly, and this Quarterly has been a critical tool in sharing information at conferences, in-person meetings, and with our membership.

This issue contains content from contributors who were part of Issue #1, along with a few new perspectives. We have lovingly called this issue 1.0. As an experiment in looking back, we’ve re-published Sam Goldblatt’s comprehensive report on greening events from 2009, which cites the London 2012 Sustainability Plan. We’ll check in on this plan in a later issue this year. We are also re-running a call to action from Thomas Rhodes in this issue- on renewable energies in organizations. Have we progressed as a movement since these two writings were initially published?

We’ve invited updated articles from frequent contributor Meghan Moe Beitiks, now part of a new “performance research collective” based in Chicago, as well as Olivia Campbell, writing on site-specific dance and it’s relationship to sustainability. Linda Weintraub has contributed a fantastic essay on the curator’s role within our complex arts ecosystem.

And, of course, we feature Dianna Cohen’s latest works in our issue 1.0. Since our first issue, Dianna’s work has been exhibited in several galleries and museums internationally. She has delivered one of the most memorable TED talks on plastic pollution in our oceans, and continues her work with the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

We thank our collaborators in this issue, and our membership for their ongoing support. The issue is available from MagCloud, both in print (on-demand) and as a digital reader.


Call for abstracts: Ecology In Practice – Creative Conservation Symposium

This post comes to you from Cultura21

5th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Madison, Wisconsin, USA October 6-11, 2013

The symposium is convened by David Haley and Richard Scott. Haley has convened and chaired the Ecological Arts symposia at SER (Society for Ecological Restoration) World Conferences in 2000 (Liverpool), 2005 (Zaragoza) and 2011 (Merida), and contributed to Richard Scott’s Creative Conservation workshops at these and European SER conferences. In 2013 they will combine arts and science concepts through formal oral presentations concerning practical research approaches to ecological restoration. In particular, contributors to this event, will aim to shift the focus away from the common position of having to justify the art in an ecological restoration context, or even justifying ecology in an arts context. They will consider the position that art and ecology exist naturally in the world, but that many societies continue to spend much time, effort and money extracting and destroying these embodied phenomena, resources and values. While some artists’ practical interventions reveal ecology through their art, or contribute new perspectives to ecology, their art may also transform the material world, ecologically. These intentions and manifestations are very different from art that merely illustrates nature, or art as a tool to popularize scientific endeavor. Here, ecological art is a necessary component in interdisciplinary thinking and research, and through creative practices, may emerge as a new ‘transdisciplinary’ form of working towards restoration.

Deadline extended: Please make your submissions directly to SER by 15th of May 2013(click here for the conference website), but also do send them by email to David Haley (d [dot] haley [at] mmu [dot] ac [dot] uk), if you wish to be included in the Symposium – ‘Ecology In Practice – Creative Conservation’. (Please note that Haley and Scott have absolutely no access to any funding to support your attendance.)

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

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Nordic art competition: Sustainable Consumption

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

Nordic Ecolabelling launches a sustainability art competition — entitled ‘Nordic Art Insight’ — because they believe that artists are a key group in the process of changing attitudes. The main prize is 100,000 Swedish kroner.


‘Nordic Art Insight’ invites artists from the Nordic region to submit their artworks with the theme‘Sustainable Consumption’ before 31 May.

An expert jury will then select six finalist entries, which will be publicized on From 1 July to 31 August 2013, a public voting opens and the artwork that receives the most votes will be the winner.

Why is Nordic Ecolabelling organizing Nordic Art Insight?
“Artists have throughout hundreds of years made society look with new perspectives on how we live our lives, and challenged us to open our eyes to new ideas. The environmental challenges that face us today are many. One of these is sustainable consumption, and how we can reach climate and environmental goals. Often it is a question of buying the right products, and doing it the right amount of times, or perhaps, not buying at all. The Nordic Ecolabelling Art prize, Nordic Art Insight, will inspire artists to submit entries that help us consumers raise our consciousness about how we can live a more sustainable life with a sustainable consumption,” explains Nordic Ecolabelling on the competition’s home page.

Who is behind this competition?
‘Nordic Art Insight’ is organised by Nordic Ecolabelling. Nordic Ecolabelling was initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers in 1989. Each Nordic country has a secretariat that develops Nordic Ecolabelling criteria, licenses and markets the Nordic Ecolabel. In Sweden the secretariat is Ecolabelling Sweden.

Ecolabelling Sweden works on consignment of the Swedish government to administer and market the Nordic Ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel. The purpose is to work for a sustainable consumption and production. Both these Ecolabels have a life-cycle perspective, and today there are 8,500 Nordic Ecolabelled products and services in the Swedish market.

Read more about Nordic Ecolabelling on

Challenging the artist

17 March 2013
Why is the Nordic Ecolabel challenging the art world? Interview with CEO Ragnar Unge at Ecolabelling Sweden, chairman of the jury.

For the first time ever in its over 20 year history, the Nordic Ecolabel initiates an art prize. Why?
– We believe that artwork can make a change in people’s mind and behaviour. Artists have always been engaged in debates. Look at Picasso’s famous painting ‘Guernica’ about the Spanish civil war. It made a great impact.

What is the theme of this competition?
– Sustainable consumption. We are looking for artwork that can make people react and give insights on how we can use our planet´s resources in a more sustainable way.

How do you explain sustainable consumption, is it just buying Ecolabelled products?
Yes of course you have to buy the right thing, such as Ecolabelled products and services. But it is also a matter of how many times you buy a product. If you throw out your Ecolabelled couch after two years, this is not a sustainable way of consuming

What is the most important thing in this competition, the artistic expression of sustainable consumption or how the artwork is made? Can the artist use whatever material even if it is not good for the environment?
– The artistic impression is the most important but of course it has to have a connection to sustainable consumption. We also consider what materials the artist is using. Where do the materials come from? What type of paints are used? How will it be possible to recycle? Re-use? Nordic Ecolabel has a lifecycle perspective, and we would like to see this applied in the art process.

So if an artist uses a piece of lead, will it be disqualifying?
It depends how the artwork is presented. If the artist can give a good reason for using this material, for example, as a statement to show how this material threatens our ecological system and is a hinder for sustainable consumption, we might consider it as an important part of what the artwork is trying to convey.
Submission deadline: 31 May 2013

• Competition guidelines

• Facebook page

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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