Paradise: Sustainable Oceans (Taiwan)

Updated Call for Proposals_2015 International Environmental Art Project-ParadiseArtists from all countries are invited to send a proposal for a site-specific outdoor sculpture installation that will be interactive and raise awareness about protecting our marine environment.

Deadline for proposals 20 February 2015

For more details:
Updated Call for Proposals_2015 International Environmental Art Project-Paradise

What’s Left of Nature: Art and Wilderness in the Anthropocene

cecyliamalik,sixrivers_mdOpen call for participation in an Experimental Reading Room seminar to be held at Translocal Institute February-May 2015.

The seminar on What’s Left of Nature: Art and Wilderness in the Anthropocene at Translocal Institute is organised as part of the Experimental Reading Room, an ongoing series of public seminars and guest lectures on art and ecology. A number of places are available for the seminar group which will meet on alternative Mondays beginning on 9 February and those wishing to participate are invited to send a short motivation letter to the organisers.

At a time in which nature appears thoroughly exploited, subjugated and managed, reflecting an anthropocene era in which humans have usurped planetary processes and used technology to turn their dreams of mastery over nature into a nightmarish prospect, a counter urge to reconnect with what is left of wild nature is beginning to emerge. Challenging the supremacy of science over the study of nature, drawing on the insights of both the new transdisciplinary field of the posthumanities and the non-anthropocentric knowledge of indigenous peoples, and unlocking the radicalism of the ecological paradigm, contemporary art and theory are on the lookout for avenues to where wilderness remains.

For more details see:
http://www.translocal.org/readingroom/nature.html

cmag

A wide ranging article on sustainability in the context of artist residencies by Laura Kenisns published in the Canadian art journal C Magazine in autumn 2013 and entitled ‘Escapists and Jet-Setters: Residencies and Sustainability’:

The idea of the artist colony emerged in the early 19th century alongside Romanticism, and the idea of artists going into the wilderness or to a place free from societal restraints persists in today’s residencies, whether they be urban or rural…These early artist colonies were established as utopias of sorts, a place where experiencing natural beauty and creating work could be artists’ primary concerns. In these spaces, artists could be free from many of the usual restraints of everyday life and everyday behaviour. Much like these colonies, today’s residency centre is a sort of permanent temporary community where individual members may change, but one can always find a community of artists.

For the whole text see the online issue of C Magazine:
http://cmagazine.com/2013_119_kenins.htm

Peak Oil, Peak Art

Reading the announcement for artist Heath Bunting’s ‘festival of not-surviving’ (see below), which highlights the crisis in energy, economy and ecology and suggests that since c.2007 we’ve been living in a strangely different post-peak world, it might be worth mentioning that there are also implications here for contemporary art, which in a way also ‘ended’ at the same time as cheap oil production peaked, with a tempering of enthusiasm about the global and the bursting of the unsustainable art-hype bubble.

festival of not surviving
2012 nov dec 2013 jan
bristol

the meaning of life for individual human beings can be defined as:

‘compulsory individual survival, with optional social reproduction’

currently, humanity is faced with three simultaneous challenges, each of which alone is enough to end life as we know it:

1. energy crisis

since 1950’s, our societies have been based on cheap oil

this oil took 120 million years to create and 60 years to deplete

we reached peak cheap oil production in 2007 and (with careful management) will now return towards 1900 energy consumption levels (a contraction of a factor of 20)

careful management doesn’t appear to be in action though

2. economy

since the 1950’s, our societies have been based on cheap money

this money took thousands of years to create and 60 years to debase

we reached peak money value in 2007 and (with careful management) will now return towards 1960’s money value levels (a contraction of a factor of 25)

careful management doesn’t appear to be in action though

3. ecology

since 1950’s, our societies have been based on unsustainable resource extraction

if we ignore climate change, for us to return to sustainable relationship with nature (with careful management), the extinction rate should drop from 50,000 species to 5,000 species (a contraction of a factor of 10)

careful management doesn’t appear to be in action though

if we consider climate change, then we are facing an species extinction event (a contraction of a factor of at minimum 6)

extinction events occur in factors of roughly 60 million years

with these challenges combined, we are facing the extinction of the human species and any land mammal larger than a squirrel

individually, we generally die alone, but we are now facing the prospect of dieing with our species

the death of our species should be a moment of reflection and peace instead of delusion and panic

without a firm link to nature, our descent will be far from graceful

festival of not surviving intends to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to fully experience the death of themselves and their species

Not “Sustainable Art”, Sustainability of Art (interview)

An interview with Maja and Reuben Fowkes published in the Turkish magazine ECOIQ in June 2012:

As in all areas, wind blows towards sustainability in art also. Thus a new concept was born: Sustainable Art. This concept consists of social justice, direct democracy and antiviolence in addition to environmental issues. We discussed the history, present and tomorrow of Sustainable Art with contemporary art historian and curator couple: Maja-Reuben Fowkes.

For the Turkish version click here, or for English follow the link below:
http://ekoiq.com/%E2%80%9Csurdurulebilir-sanat%E2%80%9D-degil-sanatin-surdurulebilirligi/2/

Symposium: Rethinking Robert Smithson

Art and Ecology related symposium at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague on Friday 30 March:

In many ways, the artistic debates prevalent in the 1970s are recurring in our time: the relation between art and ecology, the position of the artist within a information and media society and the crisis of (neo)liberalism. Although the societal context and diameters of these discussions have changed profoundly, their basis can be found in the period from 1965 to 1975, considered a paradigmatic shift in art and society. But how well do we actually know our immediate past and what can we learn from it? Smithson’s artistic heritage provides an interesting and relevant case study in this respect. Rethinking Robert Smithson aims to open up a discussion about current concerns in art and theory at the intersection of art historical debate and contemporary art practice. Along the line of two thematic approaches related to Smithson’s work, Art and Ecology and The Cinematic Condition, topical concerns in artistic practice are reconsidered by internationally renowned theorists and artists.

For more details see:
Rethinking Smithson Symposium

 

 

 

The Animal Gaze Returned

This should be good…
Following the success of the first Animal Gaze symposium three years ago, London Metropolitan University presents The Animal Gaze Returned – a second symposium on contemporary art and animal-human studies to take place 27-28 October 2011 at the university’s School of Fine Art, Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Media & Design, in Whitechapel, London (UK).

Ruri

The first comprehensive monograph about Icelandic artist Ruri has just been published Ruri_Book-1

“For me art is philosophy. My works are concerned with the connections between man, the earth, and the universe; between the existence of mankind and the inestimable age of the universe; human perceptions.” RÚRÍ

Animal Ecologies Symposium

ANIMAL ECOLOGIES IN VISUAL CULTURE

8th of October 2011
UCL, London

The symposium proposes an exploration of artistic practices involved with animals and environments.  In the recent re-surfacing of the animal in contemporary art, emphasis has been given to mammals, mainly because of the most immediate relational opportunities that these animals offer to us.  However, a number of very interesting artists has been recently trying to bridge the abyss between ‘us’ and more ‘taxonomically remote’ creatures through the use of art and science as active interfaces.  This new focus reveals the interconnectedness between humans, amphibians, reptiles and insects, and the environments in which we all live.  Through a multidisciplinary approach, the symposium aims at facilitating a dialogue between artists, scientists and academics interested in informing wider audiences through visual communication.

Speakers Include: Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey / Ron Broglio / Maja and Reuben Fowkes /Rikke Hansen / London Fieldworks / Joyce Salisbury / Linda Williams

For tickets are further details see:
www.antennae.org.uk

the concept of (un) sustainability

A new book promises to explore how modernity has ‘degenerated into a culture of unsustainability’

Sacha Kagan. Art and Sustainability: Connecting Patterns for a Culture of Complexity. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2011.

The publication proposes an understanding of ‘culture(s) of sustainability’, ‘aesthetics of sustainability’ and ‘art and sustainability’,  based on an in-depth theoretical elaboration and a critical discussion of several artists.

http://www.cultura21.net/literature/publications/art-and-sustainability-connecting-patterns-for-a-culture-of-complexity/

From Stockholm to Copenhagen via Rio: Art and Ecology in the Wake of the Global Summits

Talk at Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz on 2 September 2010

The pattern of world environmental summits has been one of raised hopes for global action in tackling ecological crisis, followed by disillusionment as dominant political and economic interests reassert themselves to block radical change. Contemporary art’s recent enthusiasm for environmental questions, which peaked during the media hype preceding the Copenhagen Summit, has an instructive prehistory in the interconnection of art and ecology in the 1970s, with the 1972 Stockholm conference slogan ‘only one earth’ a powerful rallying call for artistic collaborations. In their talk at Muzeum Sztuki, art and sustainability theorists Maja and Reuben Fowkes explore the lessons of art’s engagement with ecology, from the first understanding of the crisis of human environment in the early 70s, to the global perspective ushered in by the end of the Cold War, with the popularisation of the idea of sustainable development at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and the crystallisation of the debate between technocratic and radical approaches at the ill-fated Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009.

See  website

Art and Ecology in Artecontexto


Special issue on issues of art and ecology in contemporary art in the Spanish art journal Artecontexto, including a feature article by Maja and Reuben Fowkes entited Reclaim Happiness: Art and Ecology Unbound. Available to read online in both English and Spanish here

Ecology and Ideology: In Search of an Antidote in Contemporary Art

VERGE no.1 (February 2010)

Sustainability has become a buzzword of politics and commerce, and with its spread from the field of environmentalism into society there has been some dilution of its radical implications. Ecological sustainability is also mentioned with increasing frequency in discussions of contemporary art and there is a parallel lack of awareness of the history of environmental thought, which in many accounts begins and ends with the early 60s classic of poetic, anti-pollution literature, The Silent Spring. If we begin with an understanding of sustainability derived from green capitalism, then the widespread belief amongst critical theorists that sustainability was invented by big corporations to create new markets for environmentally-friendly products seems a logical conclusion. Unravelling the confusion between ecological sustainability and greenwash, in other words between the solution and part of the problem, requires revisiting theoretical debates within the field of ecology, in order to open up our understanding of sustainability and its relevance for both society and contemporary art (full text here).

Sustainability and Contemporary Art

Sustainability and Contemporary Art:
Art, Post-Fordism and Eco-Critique

International Symposium at Central European University Budapest
19-20 March 2010


Ralo Mayer, Multiplex Fiction, 2008

This symposium focuses on the intersections between globalisation, ecology and contemporary art and examines the relevance of post-Fordist theory for both environmentalism and artistic practice.

The symposium is organised as a series of critical conversations between speakers from the fields of art, philosophy and environmental science that respond to urgent questions such as:

What is the way forward after the failure of the Copenhagen Summit and in the face of growing public scepticism about the science of climate change?
How has the spread of flexible post-Fordist practices effected the way artists, cultural producers, academics and environmentalists work?
How might artists develop ways to critique capitalism with an awareness of ecology and the complexity of globalisation?

With Stephen Wright (art theorist, Paris), Igor Stokfiszewski (curator/critic/playwright, Warsaw), Branka Cvjeticanin (multimedia artist, Zagreb), Ralo Mayer (artist, Vienna), Maja and Reuben Fowkes (Translocal.org), Ruben Mnatsakanian and Alan Watt (CEU Department of Environmental Science and Policy).

For more information see: www.translocal.org/sustainability