Social Practices

US town to turn drainage basin into public art

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

image from Jackie Brookner's page on the Women Environmental Artists Directory

Minnesota Public Radio recently reported that Jackie Brookner is advising and supporting the inhabitants of the City of Fargo in North Dakota on a major ecological art project funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.  The focus of the project is making use of a drainage basin, built to deal with heavy summer rains, as year round facilities for the community.

There’s an interview with Brookner on the NEA blog and if you prefer listening to reading, you can hear her on the Social Practices Art Network.

image from Heart of Reeds website

In the UK Chris Drury’s Heart of Reeds in Lewes, West Sussex, is probably a comparable project.  This constructed environment remediates industrial pollution whilst providing recreational space and managing rain water.

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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Culture|Futures Invitation: Eco-Leadership by Cultural Institutions Venue: São Paulo Cultural Centre 30 May 2011

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

Invitation: Eco-Leadership by Cultural Institutions
Venue: São Paulo Cultural Centre
30 May 2011

Download Sao Paulo Culture|Future Conference – Program

Workshops for cultural managers and practitioners
31 May 2011

Venues: Goethe Institute, British Council & Centro Cultural da Espanha em São Paulo

Organized by:

Culture|Futures and the City of São Paulo in cooperation with
C40 cities, EUNIC Brazil, Danish Cultural Institute, Spanish Culture Centre/AECID, British Council, Goethe Institute, Crie Futuros, Arup and other partners at the occasion of the World Summit of the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40)

Culture|Futures Sao Paulo 2011 and partners logos

Conference Program

Eco-Leadership by Cultural Institutions - May 30th 2011, Cultural Centre of São Paulo

Aims and objectives

The overall aim is to foster cultural actions for the transition to an Ecological Age by 2050.

The objectives are:

  1. To inspire cultural institutions in São Paulo to consider new eco-social practices and leadership.
  2. To provide international mutual inspiration and exchange on the vision of an Ecological Age and how cultural institutions in their normal own practice can provide eco-leadership.
  3. To mark the initiation of a new global network for large cultural institutions on eco-leadership.


MC: Wellington

8:45 – 9:15 Arrivals and registration

9:15 – 9:30 General explanation about Culture|Futures, the conference & workshop programs and the whole process

  • •Olaf Gerlach-Hansen, Director of Culture|Futures.

9:30 – 10:00: Opening Address

  • EUNIC President Ana Paula Laborinho
  • Ministry of Culture Secretary Marta Porto
  • City of São Paulo Cultural Secretary CALIL

10:00 – 11:30: Global Key Notes on Connecting Culture and Ecology

  • Mark Watts, Arup (expected): International key note on Entering an Ecological Age.Mark Watts is managing the C40 team in Arup, advising cities around the world on sustainable urban development. His presentation is based on a research done on what the global transition to an ecological age, will require for cities around the world.
  • Lala Dehenzelin: South-South key note on the Creative Economy and sustainability.Lala Dehenzelin is UNDP Special Advisor on the Creative Economy South – South Programme, founder of Cries Futuros and has a background in arts and culture.

Questions & Answers

11:30 – 12:30: Lowering carbon and ecological footprint and benefitting from it

Moderator: Ricardo Voltolini (tbc)

  • Justine Simons, Head of Culture, Greater London Authority: The creative industries green programme in the context of the London Mayor’s Cultural Strategy. The experience of working with the creative sector to lower carbon footprint through goals, practical guides, tips etc. So far with sub-sectors of music, visual arts, film, theatre and now fashion and others coming.
  • Danilo Santos de Miranda, Director SESC São Paulo (tbc): The experience of SESC São Paulo on lowering carbon and ecological footprint in their centres

Question & Answers / dialogue with audience on greening cultural sector based on experiences of institutions in different disciplines.

LUNCH: 12:30 – 14.00

14:00 – 15:00: Re-thinking culture/nature and communication with audiences

Moderator: Paulina Chamorro (Eldorado) ou Denis Russo (Revista VEJA)(tbc)

  • •Janek Müller, fmr. theatre director, current curatorial team-member and dramatic adviser for the Über Lebenskunst festival. Über Lebenskunst is a project initiated by the German Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
  • Ana Dip, Somos um Só Project

Q & A/dialogue with panel from Sao Paulo/international persons on connecting cultural content and communication with ecology

15:00 – 16:30: Culture – Ecology and Community

Moderator: Felipe Chaimovich, curator from MAM (tbc)

  • Philip Vencken, architect advising founder of Cradle to Cradle, Baumgartner.Introduction on applying cradle to cradle approach to city/community development. Dutch cities are now leading this worldwide
  • Hernani Dias, artist, founder of “re:farm the city”. Refarm the city (aka re:farm) is a collective project started and led by Hernani Dias with the purpose of developing open source software and hardware tools for urban farmers. Its now linking groups in Barcelona, Lisboa, Buenos Aires, New York and Beijing.
  • Questions & Answers/dialogue with panel from SP/int‘ on how culture can be part of community, city, regional or sector greening programs

16:30 – 17:30: Closing panel on the power of culture for green growth

  • Apresentacao dos workshops – MC
  • Olaf Gerlach-Hansen – Presenting Culture|Futures global eco-leadership network for cultural institutions and cities
  • Eduardo Jorge, Secretaria do Verde (tbc)
  • Ricardo Resende, Director of Cultural Center of São Paulo

17:30 – 19.00 Reception and social networking

Please note program is subject to change

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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Aesthetics, Art, and Politics at University of Helsinki

Finnish Society for Aesthetics

“Aesthetics, Art, and Politics,” 6.5.-7.5.2010, University of Helsinki

The Finnish Society for Aesthetics together with the research project Artification and its Impact on Art ( will arrange a two-day seminar on the theme “Aesthetics, Art, and Politics” from the 6th of May to the 7th of May 2010 at the University of Helsinki. The keynote speaker of the seminar is Professor Aleš Erjavec (Slovenia).

Significant connections between aesthetics, art, and politics continue to exist in the new millennium. However, alongside traditional questions about art’s relationship to politics and the political aspects of aesthetic phenomena, a new set of issues has gradually arisen which are as much a
result of changes occurring in aesthetics and art as they are a result of changes that have recently shaped politics. The criticism that different traditions of contemporary aesthetics have aimed against the idea of “pure aesthetics,” i.e., an aesthetics severed from political considerations, has been widely accepted. But what is the position of aesthetic theories which emphasize the social function of art and aesthetics today? Do the main traditions of contemporary aesthetics any longer manage to account for the current forms that the relationship between aesthetics, art, and politics takes or are novel approaches required for analyzing those connections?

Many other social practices besides art are to a growing extent characterized by features which have traditionally been associated primarily with art. What sorts of aesthetic and political consequences could this process known as “artification” involve? What are the effects of this development, for
example, to the alleged autonomous nature of art or is this supposition a mere fallacy anyway? Different artistic traditions and movements embody different kinds of ideologies. How should one understand the relationship between art and politics in a world where faith in the impact of politics is
increasingly diminishing? Changes of approach in recent art research also provide a new outlook on the theme of the seminar. Do the different research approaches articulate specific views of the connection between aesthetics and politics and what sorts of political underpinnings, if any, could these approaches themselves involve?