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February 01, 2008

Nature Version 2.0: Ecological Modernities and Digital Environmentalism

 

Nature Version 2.0: Ecological Modernities and Digital Environmentalism
Jan. 21 ­ Feb. 16,  2008 @ Colgate Universityis Clifford Gallery, Hamilton,
New York.

http://www.ecoarttech.net/sustainablefutures

Featuring works by Natalie Jeremijenko, Brooke Singer, Joline Blais, Jane
Marsching, Colin Ives, Alex Galloway, Amy Franceschini, Tom Sherman, Michael
Alstad, Don Miller (aka no carrier), and Andrea Polli. Curated by EcoArtTech
(Cary Peppermint & Christine Nadir)

---------------
Nature Version 2.0 is a survey of artists who reinvent environmentalism for
a digital age in a number of ways: by examining how digital technologies can
make ecological problems more salient, by reusing and recycling obsolete
technologies for new uses, and by exploring how digital spaces and the
public domain may require environmental protection much like nature.
Re-imagining the relationship between nature and technology, Nature Version
2.0 suggests an ethics of the network and an environmentalism of natural,
built, and digital spaces.

This exhibition is in conjunction with Environmental Art and New Media
Technologies: Imagining Sustainable Futures, a two-day symposium on
interdisciplinary, digital, and networked art and research that draws upon
environmental science, computer science, design, hacking, gameplay,
engineering, and ecocriticism. Following the Nature Version 2.0 artists¹
reception on February 8, keynote speaker Natalie Jeremijenko will launch the
two-day Environmental Art and New Media Technologies symposium in Golden
Auditorium, Little Hall, at 7pm. ³90 Degrees South,² a multimedia
performance by Andrea Polli will follow at 9pm in the Clifford Gallery. The
symposium will resume in Golden Auditorium on February 9 for a day of talks
and presentations by critics and exhibiting artists, 9am-5pm.

Hosted by Colgate University¹s Clifford Art Gallery, the Department of Art
and Art History, and the Environmental Studies Program, these events were
made possible through funding provided by the Institute for the Creative and
Performing Arts, the Film and Media Studies Program, the Environmental
Studies Program, and the Center for Ethics and World Societies at Colgate
University. All events are free and open to the public.

---------------
Exhibition & Symposium Events for Friday February 8th, 2008:

Artists' reception
5­7pm, at Little Hall, Clifford Gallery

Environmental Art and New Media Technologies Symposium, Keynote Presentation
Natalie Jeremijenko
7-9pm, at Little Hall, Golden Auditorium

'90 Degrees South,' a multimedia performance by Andrea Polli
9pm, at Little Hall, Clifford Gallery

----------------
Located on the first floor of Little Hall, the Clifford Art Gallery presents
approximately six exhibitions a year. A teaching gallery, all exhibitions
are selected by Colgate¹s art and art history faculty to provide examples of
work executed in a variety of media that demonstrate issues originating in
the academic curriculum. Another focus of the gallery is the display of
professional work by contemporary artists, who are often featured in the
weekly public lecture series.

The Clifford is free and open to the public from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
on weekdays and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends.

September 11, 2007

Green Medium

 

via Rhizome.org:

While scientists calculate the long-term prognostics for the health of the planet, artists continue to take the natural world–and its fate–as both a medium and a subject in their work. The Natural World Museum and the United Nations Environment Programme have gathered a group of 79 such examples in the volume Art in Action: Nature, Creativity, and Our Collective Future. Representative projects range from the crowd-pleasing site-specific work of Christo and Jeanne Claude to Olafur Eliasson’s immersive provocations–just in time for a recently-opened mid-career survey of his work at SFMOMA–and the book is separated into sections that track artists rendering nature as everything from a fantasy Eden to a fallen wasteland of unchecked human development. The title makes the book’s overall purpose clear. As much as it documents individual projects that engage with and manipulate ecology, the intent is a cumulative attempt to draw awareness to the ever-more fragile state of the planet.

[Link]

April 05, 2007

Agnes Denes: Uprooted & Deified - The Golden Tree

 

Agnes Denes

Uprooted & Deified - The Golden Tree
February 16— March 17, 2007
 
BravinLee programs

526 West 26th Street, Suite 211
New York, New York 10001
phone 212 462 4404
fax 212 462 4406
inquiry@bravinlee.com

MANIFESTO

working with a paradox

defining the elusive

visualizing the invisible

communicating the incommunicable

not accepting the limitations society has accepted

seeing in new ways

living for a fraction of a second and penetrating light years

using intellect and instinct to achieve intuition

achieving total self-consciousness and self-awareness

being creatively obsessive

questioning, reasoning, analyzing, dissecting and re-examining

understanding the finitude of human existence and still striving to create beauty and provocative reasoning

finding new concepts, recognizing new patterns

desiring to know the importance or insignificance of existence

seeing reality and still being able to dream

persisting in the eternal search


© l970 Agnes Denes

 

Tree Mountain - A Living Time Capsule:
11,000 Trees, 11,000 people, 400 years
1992-1996

 

 

March 06, 2007

Ballengée's Silent Migration

Silent

 via NEWSgrist:

SILENT MIGRATION
Brandon Ballengée
The Arsenal Gallery in Central Park
5th Avenue at 64th Street, 3rd Floor

Please join us for the opening of artist Brandon Ballengée's Silent Migration exhibition at the Central Park Arsenal Gallery on Weds March 7th at 6pm. This exhibition is the fourth event of the Human/Nature series, a joint partnership of the organizations Ecoartspace, The Nature Conservancy and New York City Audubon in conjunction with the New York City Department of Parks.
 
Ballengée explores local issues threatening New York City’s bird populations. Over 300 species of birds visit New York City each year. Birds fly from as far away as Patagonia and Greenland to visit our metropolis. NYC is located along the Atlantic Migratory Bird Flyway and during the spring and fall thousands of birds pass through the city. Many species of birds migrate at night, and can be disoriented by illuminated structures—particularly when weather conditions force them to fly at lower altitudes. 

In this exhibition, Ballengée explores to local issues threatening our bird populations. Using actual historic prints by John James Audubon, Ballengée has cut and removed extinct and declining birds. In a photographic series titled Electric Stars at Dawn, the artist will demonstrate the light pollution problem that New York City buildings create for birds. The Great Atlantic Fly-way is a large collaborative artwork generated from hundreds of migratory bird photographs taken by the public throughout the Americas and placed along a painted mural of the Atlantic coastline. In addition the artist has created three tropical dioramas contrasted by video footage of exotic birds attempting to survive in the concrete jungle of New York City.

 
A panel discussion with Brandon Ballengée, Mike Feller, NYC Park's Chief Naturalist; Denise Markonish, Curator, ArtSpace, New Haven and Rebekah Creshkoff, the founder of NYC Audubon's Project SafeFlight program will take place on Tuesday, March 20th at 6pm. The panel discussion will be moderated by Ecoartspace curator, Amy Lipton. 
 
This lecture is free, reservations are not necessary. For additional information, please contact 212-381-2195 or nycevents@tnc.org

more info on Brandon Ballengée:

www.greenmuseum.org/ballengee
www.wavehill.org/arts/brandon_ballengee.html
www.scicult.com/artists/brandonballengee
www.disk-o.com/malamp
http://media.nyas.org/content/podcasts/snc/ballengee.m4b

December 27, 2006

Leaving empty space behind

reBlogged via Eyebeam:
(Originally spotted at Kosmograd).
Originally posted by Geoff Manaugh from BLDGBLOG, ReBlogged by Paul Amitai on Dec 26, 2006 at 11:58 AM
 
 
[Image: From At This Rate, by Giles Revell and Matt Wiley].

Logging roads in tropical rainforests expose whole landscapes to disease, fire, drought, longterm human settlement, and uncontrolled future deforestation.
"Every second we lose an area the size of a football pitch," Giles Revell and Matt Wiley write, describing the ecological motivation behind their new photographic series, At This Rate. "Every day we lose an area larger than all five boroughs of New York City... Every year we lose an area three times the size of Sri Lanka."

 
[Image: From At This Rate, by Giles Revell and Matt Wiley].

Revell and Wiley produced At This Rate for a publication by the Rainforest Action Network; the project is "aimed at increasing awareness of the rapid destruction of our rainforests. If this destruction continues, half our remaining rainforests will be gone by 2025 and by 2060 there will be absolutely nothing left."

 
[Images: From At This Rate, by Giles Revell and Matt Wiley].

However, what at first appear to be satellite images of obliterated rainforests are actually lone photographs of disintegrating leaves.
These "resemble maps of cities, emphasising the rate of deforestation," fellow architecture blogger Kosmograd writes.

December 26, 2006

Geography of Nowhere

 


Bruce Sterling writes:

    I never realized that James Howard Kunstler, prophet
    of suburban oil-peak doom, is a painter.  The guy is
    a pretty darn good painter, actually.

Here's a snippet from the interview and some info on his '93 book, Geography of Nowhere:

An Interview with James Howard Kunstler
Bring It On Home

by Mark Givens

James Howard Kunstler has written four books on Urban Design and Suburbia including the ground-breaking "Geography of Nowhere" in 1993. He has also written nine novels, the newest of which is entitled "Maggie Darling" and it's a doozy. He is a passionate author, a painter, an insightful social critic, and a sharp-witted observer. His latest book is called "The Long Emergency" and it talks about life after "peak oil" - or, as he describes it in this interview, "the cheap oil fiesta of the late 20th century". His "Clusterfuck Nation" is loaded with his commentary on our social condition and his "Eyesore of the Month" serves to remind us, with wit and sincerity, of the horrible things we're doing to our surroundings. But most of all, James Howard Kunstler gives voice to the uneasy feelings that bubble up within us, from the discomfort and confusion regarding our current urban environment to the uncertainty regarding our future post-cheap oil.

MungBeing: Your background is not in urban planning or architecture. Where does your passion for urban design come from?

James Howard Kunstler: Well, I've had to live in the shitty environments of daily life here in America for half a century, and I have strong feelings about it. The books I wrote represented to a large extent a personal struggle to understand why we could do such damage to our civilization.

MB: What attracted you to New Urbanism?

JHK: When I was writing "The Geography of Nowhere," I went up a lot of blind alleys. I talked to a lot of people who were, in fact, part of the problem -- for example, "star" architects like Bob Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown, who thought all the suburban crap was wonderful, playful, marvelous. When I finally encountered Andres Duany, I realized I had finally come to the right source. That very year, 1993, Andres along with his wife Lizz Plater-Zyberk, Doug Kelbaugh of the U of Washington, Peter Calthorpe, Stefanos Polyzoides, and a bunch of other dissatisfied architect / urbanists were organizing the official group that came to be called the Congress for the New Urbanism  -- the name was supplied by it's founding director, Peter Katz. These guys knew the score. I had found my way home.

[read on...]

The Geography of Nowhere:
The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape (Hardcover)
by James Howard Kunstler
303 pages
Simon & Schuster (June 1993)
ISBN-10: 0671707744
ISBN-13: 978-0671707743

From Library Journal
In this spirited, irreverent critique, Kunstler spares none of the culprits that have conspired in the name of the American Dream to turn the U.S. landscape from a haven of the civic ideal into a nightmare of crass commercial production and consumption.

Kunstler strips the bark off the utopian social engineering promoted by the machine-worshiping Modern movement of Gropius, Le Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright and skewers the intellectual camps (e.g., Venturi) that have thrived on making academic glory of the consumer wasteland.

With the fervor of an investigative reporter and in the vernacular of a tabloid journalist, Kunstler exposes the insidious "car lobby" and gives case studies of landscapes as diverse as Detroit, Atlantic City, and Seaside, Florida, to illustrate both the woes and hopeful notes.

The ideas in this book are not new (Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte Jr. were bemoaning the loss of civic life a quarter-century ago), but Kunstler gives their case an urgent, popular voice. An eminently relevant and important book; highly recommended.

- Thomas P.R. Nugent, New York
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Worldchanging: User's Guide

reblogged via NEWSgrist, 10/26/06:

User's Guide for the 21st Century

Worldxing_1
New Book:
Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century
by Alex Steffen, Al Gore (Foreword), Bruce Sterling (Introduction)
Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (November 1, 2006) [Link]
ISBN: 0810930951

via Bruce Sterling's Viridian Notes 00477 email:

If you are into cybergreen issues you can't call yourself informed without WORLDCHANGING.  Furthermore, the people involved in this effort are the absolute salt of the earth. They're bright, fluent, capable and they genuinely get it.  They don't merely "get it," they are inventing that which it is necessary to get. These are people you need to know a lot more about.

via Amazon : [links courtesy of ng]

Worldchanging is poised to be the Whole Earth Catalog for this millennium. Written by leading new thinkers who believe that the means for building a better future lie all around us, Worldchanging is packed with the information, resources, reviews, and ideas that give readers the tools they need to make a difference. Brought together by Alex Steffen, co-founder of the popular and award-winning web site Worldchanging.com, this team of top-notch writers includes Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity, Geekcorps founder Ethan Zuckerman, sustainable food expert Anna Lappé, and many others. Renowned designer Stefan Sagmeister brings his extraordinary talents to Worldchanging, resulting in a book that will challenge readers to personally redefine the conversation about the future.

November 10, 2006

Arts & Ecology: conference and book launch

 

eft image: ”No Way Back?” poster. Design by César Sesio.
Right image: “Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook” book cover. Design by SMITH. 

via e-flux:

Arts & Ecology announces forthcoming conference and book launch

For more information on these events and the Arts & Ecology programme visit
http://www.rsaartsandecology.org.uk

No Way Back?
A two day international conference at the LSE, London
11 & 12 December 2006
Tickets available here
Book before 10 Nov for a discounted ticket.

Speakers include Maria Thereza Alves, Lara Almárcegui, Jeremy Deller, Andrew Freear, Tue Greenfort, Peter Head, Peter Hewitt, Patrick Holden, Professor Zou Ji, John Jordan, David Lammy MP, Heather & Ivan Morison, Ruth Padel, Marjetica Potrc, Claudio Prado, Ralph Rugoff, Tomás Saraceno, Professor John Schellnhuber, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Matthew Taylor, Klaus Weber, Dr Ken Yeang

No Way Back? is a two day international enquiry organised by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, London, in partnership with Arts Council England and the London School of Economics and Political Science. As part of the Arts & Ecology programme, the conference aims to provide different perspectives on ecological issues from major thinkers of our time. Bringing together artists, geographers, ecologists, economists, sociologists, architects, philosophers, anthropologists and others, it will focus on real places and issues. The exploration will include keynote presentations, workshops, panel discussions, walks, readings, screenings, artists’ interventions and will encourage dialogue with and among the delegates.

LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook
Edited by Max Andrews


Published by the RSA in partnership with Arts Council England.
Designed by SMITH. Distributed worldwide by Cornerhouse Publications and available from http://www.cornerhouse.org/publications
ISBN 0 901469 57 2 / 280pp / Full colour throughout

Publication date: 12 December 2006

Contributions by Lara Almárcegui, Francis Alÿs, Amy Balkin, James Boyle, Fernando Bryce, Susan Canney, Chu Yun, Donna Conlon, Jimmie Durham & Maria Thereza Alves, Feng Yuan, Futurefarmers & Free Soil, Tue Greenfort, Henrik Håkansson, Thomas Hirschhorn, Katie Holten, Marine Hugonnier, Alfredo Jaar, Jiang Jun, Brian Jungen, Jeffrey Kastner, Winona LaDuke, Learning Group, Lucy R. Lippard, Wangari Maathai, Jonathan Meuser, Jason Middlebrook, Aleksandra Mir, Nils Norman, David Naguib Pellow & Lisa Sun-Hee Park, PLATFORM, Richard Prince, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Tomás Saraceno, Paul Schmelzer, Peter Schmelzer, Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus, Cameron Sinclair, Stephanie Smith, Simon Starling, Bruce Sterling, Kirstine Roepstorff, Rirkrit Tiravanija, David Toop, Vitamin Creative Space, Insa Winkler, the Worldwatch Institute and Zheng Guogu.

The RSA and Arts Council England are pleased to announce the publication of LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook. Edited by writer and curator Max Andrews, the book presents a compendium of essays, dialogues and commissioned projects by artists, ecologists, cultural theorists, activists and curators exploring art’s varied modes of response to notions of territory, cultural production and the emergencies of the 21st century. Original contributions from international practitioners as well as reproductions of existing artworks will accompany artists’ on-the-page ‘studio visits’.

In part a genealogy of ‘land’ and what has been understood by ‘the environment’ since the 1960s—with the activities of ‘Land artists’ and the emergence of a popular ‘eco’-consciousness—LAND, ART… proposes and tests if and how our conceptions of art and artists are relevant to a global debate about the future of the planet, and where, how and why art might operate—at the grass roots, at a tangent, as propaganda, activism or as resistance, for example.

About RSA Arts & Ecology
Arts & Ecology was launched by the RSA and Arts Council England in April 2005 to support the work the work of the arts in examining and addressing social and environmental concerns in an interdisciplinary and international arena.

Arts & Ecology consists of a series of initiatives including conferences, networking, ongoing discourse, international research trips, education pilots, artists’ projects and commissions, a website and a publication. Information can be found at http://www.rsaartsandecology.org.uk

October 26, 2006

Tavares Strachan's Arctic Ice Project

 

TAVARES STRACHAN
The Distance Between What We Have and What We Want (Arctic Ice Project), 2004-06

Preview Date: Dec. 5th, 5–8pm
Dec. 6–10, 2006
(11am–8pm, except Sun, 11am–4pm)
2010 North Miami Ave (between 20th / 21st St)

http://www.distancebetween.org
http://www.pierogi2000.com
http://www.feldmangallery.com
 

via art-agenda:

Pierogi Gallery and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts are pleased to present the exhibition of Tavares Strachan's The Distance Between What We Have and What We Want (Arctic Ice Project) in the Wynnwood section of Miami, FL, opening December 5th, 2006 (5-8pm).

In March 2005 Strachan traveled to the Alaskan Arctic in search of a frozen river. Within several days he located one under the Arctic Circle. With the help of a skilled team, he cut into the frozen water to extract a 4.5 ton portion. This block of ice was shipped to Nassau, Bahamas for exhibition in July 2006, an extremely hot summer month in the Bahamas. While on exhibition, the ice sits in a glass freezer, which derives its power from a solar energy system. In effect, the power of the sun keeps this remnant of the Arctic intact, stable, and on view. After the exhibition in Miami the work will travel for further exhibitions.

Strachan's work in general, and the Arctic Ice Project in particular, touches on many different issues: environmental, geographical, social, cultural, and historical. Perhaps the most obvious reference is environmental, relating to global warming and the recent recognition (or denial) of current and potential climactic changes—the reality and the politics of global warming. Geographically and culturally, the work references multiple levels of displacement that draw on human experience. Socially, Strachan has been working to involve communities of school children in the Bahamas through lectures, the tradition of oral story telling, and performances. The act of retracing this expedition is a way of imbedding this arctic experience into the imagination of the community. Using phenomena as a vehicle, this project involves systems of myth, and the products of these experiences are the basis for Strachan’s new works that will be incorporated into later exhibitions.

Continue reading "Tavares Strachan's Arctic Ice Project" »

September 29, 2006

Ecotopia: the future is now

  Epstein
Mitch Epstein, Biloxi, Mississippi, 2005

ReBlogged via NEWSgrist; via Artforum online:

Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video
By Lauren O'Neill-Butler

INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY
1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street
September 14–January 7

The frank sentiment of "A Global Warning," one of the prescriptive taglines for Al Gore's recent documentary An Inconvenient Truth, is at the heart "Ecotopia," the second ICP triennial of photography and video. Yet the descriptive and thorny ideas in this sizable exhibition—from the "nomadic postconsumers" of the future (Mary Mattingly) to the black-market trade in endangered species (Patrick Brown)—save it from moralistic didacticism and fear-inducing value judgments. With an empathetic approach, the one hundred works sustain a broad discourse on the politics and aesthetics of nature. There are several affinities among the works on display here, but they are not to be found in utopian thinking. Depicting the fragile state of the American environment in their photographs, Mitch Epstein and Clifford Ross invigorate the exhausted genre of landscape painting. Diana Thater and Mark Dion, symbolically toeing the line between obsession and conservation, provide surveillance views of wild animals. A digital slideshow of recent ecological disasters is harnessed inside one room, with images of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath by photojournalist Vincent Laforet and of the Inupiat people (the first victims of global warming) by Gilles Mingasson. Marine Hugonnier and Doug Aitken hint at the paranoid isolation of blank space and futuristic "meta-cities." But is it really so strange? In this long-winded ride through the knee-shaking sublimity of flora and fauna and the disastrous exploitation of both, the curators seem to question how far empathy really takes us, and how much longer it will be before the future is now.

September 05, 2006

Hybrid Fields at the Sonoma County Museum

Alexis Rockman
Carol Selter
Christy Rupp
Free Soil
Free Fruit/Fruta Gratis
JohnKo Systems Unlimited/Old World Productions
Laura Parker
Matthew Moore
Rachel Major
Shada/Jahn
Susan Leibovitz Steinman
Temescal Amity Works
Wowhaus

 

Hybrid Fields is a group exhibition of contemporary artists creating socially engaged art that explores philosophies for growing food, distributing food, and consuming food. Their art inhabits a hybrid space where art and life, art and agriculture, converge. Sonoma County is a unique agricultural community supporting small farmers who have raised livestock and a multitude of crops through the years, including apples, hops, prunes, and increasingly, grapes. As new technologies expand our capacity for producing more food, faster, through mechanization, hybridization, and genetic engineering, questions are being raised as to the environmental and social impact of such practices.

For more information CLICK HERE

Contemporary Project Space

In conjunction with Hybrid Fields, artists Marisa Jahn and Steve Shada of Shada/Jahn present Swan Song, a lyrical contemporary art installation with a live fruit tree and constructed xylophone that renders the sound of falling fruit as a metaphor for the disquieting loss of un-harvested foods.


The Mezzanine: Selections From the Permanent Collection

Fields of Change
Agricultural Highlights from the Permanent Collection

Fields of Change will highlight the objects, stories, and images of Sonoma County’s agricultural past from the Museum’s collection, and provide an opportunity to consider important transitions.

CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE: THE LAND
Selections from the Tom Golden Collection

April 22 - December 2006

Sonoma County Museum is home to one of the largest collections in the nation of works by environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Land features the preparatory drawings for their large-scale, temporary works envisioned to interact with the land and its inhabitants. Projects include Running Fence, Umbrellas, Surrounded Islands, Valley Curtain, and The Gates.

 

July 18, 2006

Prevailing Climate @ Sara Meltzer

Redheat
Joy Garnett: Red Heat (Strange Weather #20) 2006

"Prevailing Climate"
@ Sara Meltzer Gallery
curated by Rachel Gugelberger and Jeffrey Walkowiak

opening reception Wednesday, July 12, 6 – 8pm
July 13 - August 18, 2006

artists:
Eric Anglès
Andrea Bowers
Margarita Cabrera
Anthony Discenza
Christoph Draeger
Joy Garnett
Boukje Janssen
John Jurayj
Catarina Leitao
Joan Linder
Anna von Mertens
Jason Middlebrook
Yumi Janeiro Roth
Karina Aguilera Skvirsky
Type A

Sara Meltzer Gallery
525-531 West 26th Street
NYC [USA]
http://sarameltzergallery.com/

more info about screenings and events (including eteam, Andrea Bower, Carlos Motta, + others): screenings and public programs; press release [PDF] 

CloudSara Meltzer Gallery is pleased to present Prevailing Climate, a group exhibition curated by Rachel Gugelberger and Jeffrey Walkowiak. The exhibition will be on view July 13 through August 18, with an opening reception on Wednesday, July 12, 6 – 8pm. Gallery summer hours are Monday through Friday, 11am – 6pm.

Prevailing Climate examines two meanings of climate: the average course of a location’s weather conditions and the feeling or atmosphere that characterizes a period in time. Using severe weather and natural disasters as points of departure, Prevailing Climate comments on the various consequences of man's actions on nature and society, and in doing so, examines the tragedy, fear and distrust that connects our history, politics, consumerism and mass media.

Based on documentary photographs culled from the Internet, Joy Garnett's apocalyptic paintings evoke romantic landscapes that explore the conflict of culture, technology and politics through a decontextualized media lens. Using disaster photos from newspapers as the basis for somber, gray-scale paintings that feature anonymous human figures, Boukje Janssen awakens the deep psychology of the original images' subjects that may be lost in the overload of images in the mass media. John Jurayj combines imagery of war-torn Lebanon taken from journalistic images and personal travel and employs a variety of painterly tropes to investigate territory, genealogy and displacement, creating a disequilibrium interlaced with exuberance, melancholia and political disturbance. Jason Middlebrooks landscapes are in-depth examinations of land as sites loaded with symbolism and history, reflecting in particular, on the devastating effects of land development on indigenous plant, animal life and human life.

Questions of empowerment and participation are at the core of Andrea Bowers' artistic practice. Imbued with social, political and feminist critique, her video projects, drawings, photography and sculpture are reminders of the continued struggle for rights in anticipation of the political landscape of the future. Crafting simulated consumer goods out of soft vinyl sewn together with long, uncut lengths of thread, Margarita Cabrera explores the economic gap between those who manufacture consumer goods and those who purchase them. Yumi Janeiro Roth transforms everyday objects into forms that contemplate our relationship with material culture and the language of design vis-à-vis function. Domestic objects such as kitchen towels, for example, have been altered so as to serve as distributors of information and propaganda in our fear-driven and safety-prepared society. Catarina Leitao offers a refuge from the urban environment in her Artificial Retreat Devices (A.R.D.), portable tents designed to satisfy the desire for escape. Color and audio simulate a natural experience in order to provide a superficial retreat.

Anna von Mertens' hand-stitched works depict the rotation of the stars during violent moments in history, functioning as a memorial, landscape and as a study of astrological forces. More importantly, von Mertens reminds us of the deep psychological impact that history has on our lives and yet, the cycle of nature is oblivious and imapssive to its violence. Christoph Draeger, Anthony Discenza and Karina Aguilera Skvirsky reconstruct images from the mass media to investigate the ways in which information is dispersed. Draeger collects images and translates them into a variety of media including video, photography and painting. His "disaster jigsaw puzzles" suggest that the media conveys disasters to the public in the form of entertainment. Skvirsky appropriates and transforms media coverage of victims of war and natural disasters into cinematic compositions that critically investigate media's intentions and cultivation of our interpretation of events and their implications. Discenza culls visual material from commercial film and telvision, reorganizing, compressing and collapsing original information into a moment of simultaneous destruction and reification.

Questioning the nature of authority, Type A's photograph "Ours/Theirs" exposes and imitates the subjective meaning of the Prime Meridian. By creating their own "line" and documentation of evidence, they expose the arbitrary nature of Greenwich Mean Time and the "civilized" world’s measure of time and space. Joan Linder's pen and ink drawings explore and claim the sub-technological process of observation and mark making. Her series of images of bound bodies, void of human presence, are suggestive of power play as a tool in both sexual and political practices. Eric Anglès' quarterly publication is a blank broadsheet newspaper that is circulated via placement in arbitrary sites and on a free subscription basis. Lacking content of images of any kind, the publication instead bears only the marks of the printing process itself, a nod to the potential fpor information to stand in for knowledge.

June 26, 2006

Arts & Ecology Programme, London

 

via Arts & Ecology (new to the Blogroll) - http://www.artsandecology.org:

Arts & Ecology is a programme supporting the work of the arts in examining and addressing environmental concerns in an international arena.

Arts & Ecology explores the current practice of artists, writers, architects and film-makers through a series of conferences, publications and projects that looks at local and global projects that attempt to communicate, challenge and sometimes propose solutions to pollution, waste and loss of natural habitats. The issues at stake – from the broad one of climate change to thespecific problems of desertification, waste and dwindling biodiversities- are being examined through artists’ practices, and through interdisciplinary dialogue with scientists, industrialists, government and environmental groups.

A key notion informing the entire project is that of ecology as a study of an individual’s relationship with their cultural, social and economic, as well as natural, environment. As such this is a broad reaching programme and aims to locate the arts as a central player in providing creative, and sometimes radical, insights and solutions to the challenges facing contemporary society. The information hub of this website provides a growing bibliography and directory of the inspirational work of many artists, writers and agencies that is currently taking place across arts forms.

June 23, 2006

Beached

 

via NYTimes:
Next Victim of Warming: The Beaches
By CORNELIA DEAN
Published: June 20, 2006

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — When scientists consider the possible effects of global warming, there is a lot they don't know. But they can say one thing for sure: sea levels will rise.

This rising water will be felt along the artificially maintained beaches of New Jersey, in the vanishing marshes of Louisiana, even on the ocean bluffs of California. According to a 2000 report by the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, at least a quarter of the houses within 500 feet of the United States coast may be lost to rising seas by 2060. There were 350,000 of these houses when the report was written, but today there are far more.

"If it is as bad as people are saying, at some point it will be a crisis," said Thomas Tomasello of Tallahassee, Fla., a lawyer who represents many owners of coastal property. But he does not dwell on it. "I cannot deal with sea level rise," he said. "That's such a huge issue."

Though most of the country's ocean beaches are eroding, few coastal jurisdictions consider sea level rise in their coastal planning, and still fewer incorporate the fact that the rise is accelerating. Instead, they are sticking with policies that geologists say may help them in the short term but will be untenable or even destructive in the future.

Florida is a good example. To prepare for hurricane season, which began June 1 and has already brought Tropical Storm Alberto, Floridians were still repairing storm damage from 2005 and even 2004, building or repairing walls to shield beachfront buildings.

Until May 1, when turtle nesting season forced them to stop, they were also pumping hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of sand onto eroded beaches. Florida has relied on this approach for decades, but after the past few storm seasons, there has been an increase in applications for sea wall permits, many from Mr. Tomasello's clients. "If you have a house or a condo that's threatened, it's really the only alternative," he said.

Maintaining eroding beaches with artificial infusions of sand is difficult and costly, and as sea levels rise, it may become economically impractical or even impossible. "The combination of sea walls and rising sea level will accelerate the rate of land loss in front of those sea walls," said Peter Howd, an oceanographer who conducts shoreline research for the United States Geological Survey in St. Petersburg. "So people with a sea wall and a beach in front of it will end up with just a sea wall."

Many people "want to disagree" that global warming is a threat to the coast, said Daniel Trescott, a planner on the staff of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, one of 11 such boards in the state. "But the first place you see these impacts is on the beach."

The council is participating in a federal program to map areas that are vulnerable to rising sea levels, identify crucial infrastructure there and assess how much will probably end up protected by armor. Mr. Trescott said he hoped that the effort would put sea levels "on the radar, to start addressing how we are going to respond to this rise."

Elsewhere, scientists are studying data from ancient sediment formations to predict how the barrier islands that form most of the East and Gulf Coasts will respond to rising seas. "As scientists, and especially as federal agency scientists, it's our responsibility to think long term," said S. Jeffress Williams, a coastal geologist at the United States Geological Survey in Woods Hole, Mass., who is organizing a session on sea level rise at a meeting of coastal scientists next year. "What are the cumulative impacts we can expect over the next 50 to 100 years?"

Dr. Williams pointed to a plan by the Army Corps of Engineers for beach maintenance on the South Shore of Long Island, from Fire Island to Montauk Point. The project relies on historical rates of sea level rise, measured by an array of instruments in many locations, rather than on predictions of future acceleration, said Cliff Jones, a project manager for the corps. That is typical of the corps, he said, "to take advantage of what history has shown, as opposed to what might be predicted."

It is an understandable approach, Dr. Williams said, but "it is going to build up false expectations."

As with climate change and other environmental problems that develop imperceptibly, it is hard for people to see rising sea levels as a threat.

"It's a slow process," Dr. Howd said. "It's not something that is visible right now or next week or a year from now."

And the remedies are not attractive, to say the least. Few coastal residents want to see their towns walled off and surrounded by water. And few want to elevate their houses by 20 feet or more, as flooding experts are beginning to recommend in some coastal areas. The approach favored by many scientists, a gradual retreat from the coast, is a perennial nonstarter among real estate interests and their political allies.

"Socioeconomically, politically, it's an ugly mess," Dr. Howd said. [read on...]

May 17, 2006

Reclaiming the Land @ the Vera List Center

 

Panel Discussion
Reclaiming the Land: Conversations on Collaboration

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 6:30 PM
The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, New York City

Admission: $10; free for New School students and alumni with ID 

Acknowledging the conditions arising from harmful past land uses and evolving methods to address them, landscape architects, artists, scientists, educators, engineers, lawyers and civic leaders have embarked on efforts to reclaim and reuse polluted lands. This conversation will address such topics as toxic pollution, waste disposal, reclamation design, public lands and urban renewal, looking at the potential for innovative collaborations that engage in contemporary land patterns and processes.
    
Participants
Alan Berger, Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design; author of "Reclaiming the American West"

Chris Reed, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Boston

Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Percent for Art-Artist of Fresh Kills, New York City, and Artist-in-Residence, NYC Department of Sanitation

Moderated by Niall Kirkwood, Professor and Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture, Director, Center for Technology and Environment, Harvard Graduate School of Design

This event is part of the Vera List Center's year-long theme "Considering Forgiveness."

TICKETS:  Reservations can be made by email to: boxoffice@newschool.edu.  Tickets can be ordered by phone with a credit card (212) 229-5488; in person at The New School Box Office, 66 West 12th Street, main floor, Monday-Thursday 1-8 p.m., Friday 1-7 p.m.

INFORMATION: 212.229.5353, specialprograms@newschool.edu www.generalstudies.newschool.edu/specialprogram

 

May 16, 2006

Battle for the North Pole


 via The Week, 5/12/2006:

The Battle for the North Pole
The melting Arctic ice cap may be bad news for polar bears, but it is prompting a frantic scramble for territory and resources. What's at stake?

How fast is the ice cap melting?
The size of the summer polar ice cap has shrunk 20 percent since 1979, reaching its smallest size last year. With average temperatures in the Arctic rising twice as fast as elsewhere in the world, climate scientists predict the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free by the summer of 2050. In place of the white wilderness that killed explorers and defeated navigators for centuries, the world would have a blue North Pole and a seasonally open sea nearly five times the size of the Mediterranean. Last August, a Russian vessel, the Akademik Fyodorov, became the first ship to reach the North Pole without having to use an icebreaker.

Who stands to lose from all this?
The melting of the ice could shut down the Gulf Stream and wreak havoc with the world’s coasts and climate. It would spell potential disaster for traditional Arctic communities, for ecosystems, and for plant and animal species—polar bears would drown or starve, and the species could become extinct. But fish would prosper. Warming Arctic waters are already creating new fishing grounds as fish migrate and adapt to new conditions. Pink salmon have been seen spawning in rivers far to the north of their traditional territory.

Who stands to gain?
The melting ice cap represents a colossal commercial opportunity. Russian icebreakers are already preparing to take tourists to the Pole for $30,000 each this summer, and the thaw could open up some highly lucrative shipping routes. A northeast sea route, north of Siberia, would allow shipping to sail from Europe to northeast Asia, cutting the journey by a third; and the fabled Northwest Passage through Canada's Arctic archipelago could be open to shipping in a few decades, cutting the journey from Europe to East Asia (now routed through the Panama Canal) by 4,000 miles. The greatest profits, however, are likely to be found under the ice.

What is being discovered there?
Oil and natural gas. A quarter of the world's untapped fossil fuels (including 375 billion barrels of oil) are thought to lie under the Arctic, and will become accessible as the ice melts. Industry experts now talk of a "black gold rush," as companies such as BP Amoco, Statoil of Norway, and the Russian giant Gasprom all race to tap already discovered reservoirs in the region. The Arctic, says Moscow-based energy analyst Christopher Weafer, "is the next energy frontier." [read on...]

Busan Sculpture Project: 'Homage to the Earth'


via e-flux

Busan Sculpture Project in Busan Biennale 2006
(Special Exhibition)

Theme: 'Homage to the Earth'
Period: 05. 27. 06~08. 31.06 (97 days)

*Opening Ceremony: 05/ 27/ 06 16:00, Open Air Stage in Naru Park

Venue: APEC Naru Park
Artistic director: Tae-ho Lee, Professor, Kyung-Hee University
Artworks: 20 works from 12 countries
Host: Busan Metropolitan City, Busan Biennale Organizing Committee

Contact: tel. 82-51-888-6691~9 / FAX: 82-51-888-6693
http://www.busanbiennale.org / bbiennale@paran.com

Humanity’s brutal destruction of the environment has put our planet’s ecosystem in jeopardy not only for human beings but also for all living creatures. As a result, the discussion of environmental issues can no longer be restricted to a select group of environmental specialists, but must become the responsibility of all human beings. Caring for, and protecting our ecosystem is a challenge for each and every one of us.

For this reason, the Busan Sculpture Project - a special exhibition of the Busan Biennale 2006 – has made “Homage to the Earth” its theme. Among other things, the exhibit’s goal is to raise awareness of our natural environment, the broader eco-system and our role within it, as well as to encourage all human beings to take the appropriate measures to appreciate and care for the world around us.

“Homage to the Earth” will showcase 20 artists from 12 countries. Through their art, each artist will focus on the importance of the natural environment, highlighting the message of becoming responsible guardians of the Planet Earth. To facilitate this theme, and stress our relationship with the natural world, the exhibition will be composed of site-specific earth artworks located throughout the APEC Naru Park along the Suyoung River.

Moreover, to maximize viewer interest, the artworks will be dynamically displayed and visual overlapping will be minimized. Some of the exhibits will be set underground, or arranged in a line to represent the interconnectedness of all human beings with the earth. This approach promises to generate a novel experience for viewers – one that will result in lots of fun, while serving as a continuous reminder of our natural connection with the earth around us. 

[read more]

A Series of Practical Performances In The Wilderness


"A Series of Practical Performances In The Wilderness Summer 2005 "
Cary Peppermint & Christine Nadir
Performance on DVD
Summer 2005

via Ecology | Art | Technology:

A Series of Practical Performances In The Wilderness, Summer 2005 is a video performance work made in the woods and on rural back-lots. Performative chapters on the DVD include, Move This Rock, Waiting On Bob, DoAble, Home Economics, Sticks Like Snakes, Digging for Chicory, and Springwater Finale. This video is the first in a series of forthcoming performance-art videos by Peppermint & Nadir which engage issues, ideas, and mythologies of the American concepts of wilderness, space, the frontier, and humans’ relation to animals, forestlands, and nature.

This project is part of Cary Peppermint and Christine Nadir’s series of performance-art videos begun in 2002. Peppermint is an artist who works with new media technologies to create networked environments incorporating the internet, physical installations, experimental music and sound, and live performance. Until recently, Cary directed the Digital Art and Design program of Hartwick College, and in Fall 2006 he will assume the digital media position at Colgate University's Department of Art and Art History. Christine Nadir teaches literature at State University of New York College at Oneonta and is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University where she is completing her dissertation. Its working title is “The Future of the World: Sacrifice, Economy, and Ethics in Environmental Literature and Ecocriticism.”

Christine feels that these videos capture some of the energy, activities, and thoughts that she and Cary have experienced as New Yorkers living in the wilderness for four months every year: trying to establish a functional home without running water, electricity, or maintained roads; developing relationships with locals; un-learning the romanticization of nature while re-learning humanity’s dependence on the environment for survival; and researching the details of the history of the land and the surrounding area (its previous deforestation, its logging, its near use for an auto salvage yard, its use as farmland and grazing ground one hundred years ago, its inhabitation by Native Americans for millennia before that).

Cary says: The North American concepts of wilderness are informed by nationalist ideologies and concepts of freedom as a wild, un-checked frontier of possibility. I don’t believe there is any such thing as wilderness as we Americans are inclined to see it. How could one know or understand that which is truly wild much less employ it toward nation-building? Also, I find a certain intellectual humor in the offering of performances that purport to be both practical and wild.

Look for our quicktime videos on DVBlog.org
If you have seen these quicktime videos on DVBlog.org or through any other venue, we would welcome hearing your response.

May 07, 2006

Planet in Peril: Atlas of Current Threats to People and the Environment

 reBlogged via >> mind the __ GAP* ?

mapping the planet in peril

Posted: Wednesday 12 April 2006

Le Monde Diplomatic just published the introduction for the new atlas Planet in Peril: Atlas of Current Threats to People and the Environment

Written by an international team of specialists, these pages from the Atlas illustrate through text and maps, graphics and diagrams the interplay between population and the world’s ecosystems and natural resources both in the short and long terms. It brings together a wealth of information from the most up-to-date sources on such key issues as climate change, access to water, exploitation of ocean resources, nuclear energy and waste, renewable
energy, weapons of mass destruction, causes of industrial accidents, waste, export, hunger, genetically modified organisms, urban development, access to health care and ecological change in China.

That is a good opportunity to point also to its listing of political maps and for those who have access to the article of P.Rekacewicz Confessions of a map-maker:

Earlier this year, Le Monde diplomatique published the second edition of its atlas, and the United Nations Environmental Programme, in partnership with the paper, published a translation of the part of it that focuses on environmental issues. It’s a difficult business being a mapmaker. Maps, as mere visual representations of the idea of the world, are just as subject to diplomacy, border disputes and international struggles as real geopolitical territory.
… (continue on Le Monde Diplomatic - sorrily a password is needed)

April 22, 2006

Public Programs for The Drop, @ Exit Art

Drop

via NEWSgrist, 4/21/06

 

Announcing Public Programs for The Drop, @ Exit Art:

Water Challenges Facing New York City: Finding Visionary Solutions

Saturday, April 29, 2006

THE DROP public programs will include two panel discussions and an artist-led walking tour of New York's waterways & water resources, organized by Amy Lipton of ecoartspace, a curator who has been engaged with art and the environment for ten years. In the spirit of promoting discussion and analysis, Exit Art has organized a flexible presentation of panels and speakers.

The full-day panel and walking tour will focus on visionary approaches to resolving problems with and disputes over New York waterways, and will include artists, activists, water scientists, and representatives from the Department of Environmental Conservation who will speak about the importance of New York waterways. Panelists will present their visionary solutions to the water challenges facing New York City. The afternoon session will be a forum moderated by Amy Lipton, where the panelists will discuss solutions to our local water issues.

11am Morning Session
Each of the participating artists, environmentalists, scientists and landscape architects on the panel will give a five-minute presentation on their work and how it relates to water issues in New York City.

1:00 - 2pm break for lunch

2pm Afternoon Session
The morning panelists will begin a dialogue about real solutions to the water problems facing New York, and then open this discussion with the audience.
Panelists for morning and afternoon sessions include:

Artists: Brandon Ballengee, Bob Braine and Jackie Brookner
Eric Goldstein, Co-Director, Urban Programs, National Resources Defense Council
Chris Wilde, Watershed Director, Riverkeeper
Franco Montaldo, hydrologist / environmental engineer, Earth Institute, Columbia University
Margie Ruddick
, Landscape Architect


Sunday, April 30, 12 noon
Artist led walking tour of New York City waterways, exploring existing and former water sources and their importance.

Organized by Amy Lipton, Curator ecoartspace, NY and Abington Art Center, Philadelphia

Please contact Exit Art for more information 212-966-7745 or info@exitart.org

More about THE DROP:
Introduction - Artists - Curatorial Text - Public Programs - Funders

April 14, 2006

U.S. Geological Survey Website: Repeat Photography of Glacier National Park

 

(thanks Christina!) 

News Release, March 22, 2006
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey

New USGS Website features repeat photography of Glacier National Park glaciers over time.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists with the Global Change Research Project are unveiling a new website featuring a collection of repeat photographs of glaciers in and around Glacier National Park, Montana. The striking images created by pairing historical photographs with contemporary photographs reveal significant glacial
recession.  The website was created to showcase the photographs for scientific as well as general purposes. To view the photographs, go to http://nrmsc.usgs.gov/repeatphoto/. 

Currently, 55 images are featured on the website with more color versions and newly repeated photos added as they become available. Most of the photographs were taken in Glacier National Park and many of the historical photos came from the Park's archives. 

USGS scientists began documenting glacial decline through photography in 1997.  While less quantitative than other high-tech methods of recording glacial mass, depth, and rate of retreat, repeat photography provides an effective visual tool to better understand how climate change contributes to the dynamic landscape of Glacier National Park.

The website provides an easy method to download the images. It also includes an overview of the project, instructions for downloading images, guidelines for using and crediting the photographs, and links to other historical and repeat photograph collections.  The images can be downloaded as repeated pairs or individually.  File
formats include high resolution TIF images (300 dpi), lower resolution JPG (72 dpi) images, and Powerpoint ®.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

To receive USGS news releases go to

April 13, 2006

EcoPoetics Exhibition

 

via  The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF)

EcoPoetics Online Exhibition
Curated by Timothy Murray, Tom Shevory, and Patricia Zimmermann Selected artistic interventions from artists throughout the world explore the electronic interfaces between sustainability and environmental thought. Subsequently, they will be maintained in off-line form in the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University Library.

This international exhibition probes a series of questions about digitalities, visualities, and environments to create new landscapes for contemplation and action.

How might new media environments and technological flows intervene in ecoculture and ecopolitics? What is the relationship between the techne of ecopoetics and the imperative of ecopolitics?

How do Internet paradigms of speed, flow, and traffic impact notions of sustainability? Do mobile technologies and global positioning systems provide platforms for ecological activism? How can we decipher and comprehend the military’s utilization of ludic gaming systems for digital terror and ecological devastation?

How might new media interventions offset media blackouts of the global ecology of war and public health degradation? How can the artistic mixing of ecological and poetic materials—organic, inorganic, technological, aural, and visual—create alternative and fertile environments in new media culture?

The exhibition includes works by Judy Malloy, Diane Ludin, Ryan Griffis, Ian M. Clothier, Andrew Bucksbarg, Thorsten Knaub, Sam Smiley, Olga Kisselva, Ollivier Dyens, Joseph Rabie, Lillian Ball, Katerie Gladys, Annette Weintraub, Tiffany Holmes, Maria Damon and mIEKAL aND, Agricola Cologne, and Regina Célia Pinto.  We plan to archive the exhibit in The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library,
following the Festival.

Digital Artists Selected for EcoPoetics Exhibition

    1. Ryan Griffis, United States
    The Temporary Travel Office: Parking Public (2005)
    www.temporarytraveloffice.net/hollywood/parking.html
    2. Ian M. Clothier, New Zealand
    Roll over Oe sun, roll over Oe rain
    www.art-themagazine.com/ian/pages/anim803.htm
    3. Andrew Bucksbarg, United States
    Consumertopia (2001) Duration: Variable-Interactive
    www.adhocsound.org/consumertopia.html
    4. Judy Malloy, United States
    Concerto for Narrative Data
    www.well.com/user/jmalloy/concerto/begin.html
    5. Diane Ludin, United States
    Version 3.0. I BPE, Ecological and Seed-Based Patents
    www.ibiology.net
    6. Thorsten Knaub, United Kingdom
    GPS Diary
    www.gpsdiary.org
    7. Claude Shannon, United States
    AstroDime Transity Authority
    www.virtualberet.net/ata
    8. Olga Kisselva, Russia/France
    My Conquest of Iraq
    www.kisseleva.org/iraq.htm
    9. Ollivier Dyens, Canada
    The Profane Earth
    http://etfran.concordia.ca/~odyens/profane.htm
    10. Joseph Rabie, France
    Landscopes/Ayguesvives /"Here Comes the Sun"
    www.joetopia.org/_swf/e/landscopes/ayguesvives.htm
    Landscopes/ Jerusalem, Old City/"Possession"
    www.joetopia.org/_swf/e/landscopes/jerusalem_aqsa.htm
    11. Lillian Ball, United States
    Gusher
    www.lillianball.com/Gusherstills.html
    12. Katerie Gladdys, United States
    Commuting: Ditch
    www.layoftheland.net/portfolio/start.html
    13. Annette Weintraub USA
    The Mirror That Changes
    http://www.annetteweintraub.com/mirror_content/mirrorpage.html
    14. Tiffany Holmes, United States
    Floating Point
    www.enviroart.org/HolmesColab/docs
    15. mIEKAL aND, United States
    Floraspirae
    www.joglars.org/floraspirae/inhale.html
    16. Maria Damon and mIEKAL aND, United States
    Erosion
    www.cla.umn.edu/joglars/erosion
    www.cla.umn.edu/joglars/erosive_media
    17. Agricola de Cologne
    Message from Behind a Wall
    movingpictures.agricola-de-cologne.de/volume11/wall.html
    18. Regina Célia Pinto (Brazil)
    I Want Some Red Roses for a Blue Earth
    arteonline.arq.br/ecologia/

Resonance104.4FM: the Art of Listening

 

via Furthernoise:

Resonance104.4FM: the Art of Listening

In January 2006, a unique creative opportunity was announced to the North-East's [UK] universities – a call for Music & sound art based on the theme of climate change. Realising the inspirational quality of the call and the fact that this wasn't just a regional concern, David JC de la Haye requested that Newcastle University opened the call out to a wider audience, so that others may voice their concerns through their chosen medium. And, perhaps more importantly, have their voices heard. Since then it has become the focus of attention for many visual and audio artists worldwide.

What this endeavour has amounted to is a compilation CD featuring the works of 10 artists, spanning from Lithuania to Austria through the UK to Vancouver. Themes covered take a trajectory that focuses not only on the affects apparent in our surroundings, from the devastation of forestry to the concern over the state of the arctic caps and also the affects incurred upon ourselves as humans.

For all the new reviews and Climate Change Compilation feature:
http://www.furthernoise.org

more via Resonance104.4FM: the Art of Listening

Put down that insecticide!The First International Arts Pestival http://www.pestival.org is dedicated to raising awareness of the integral role that insects play in animal societies across the global ecosystem.

Through appreciation of "insects in art and the art of being an insect," the Pestival aims to create positive PR for this 400-million-year-old, highly evolved taxon that has endured centuries of bad press.

Pestival fuses art and science to reach out to a broad audience of homosapien adults and children: bug art, music, film, comedy, performance, bio-mimicry, nature walks, demonstrations, workshops and installations with involvement from, John Keane, Chris Watson, artist Tessa Farmer, entertainer Stewart Lee, The Resonance Radio Orchestra, sound artist Mira Calix and lots of live insects.

Pestival is an independent wing of the London Wetland Centre http://www.wwt.org.uk.

April 07, 2006

Freeman Dyson, the heretic's heretic

 

Bruce Sterling writes in one of his recent Viridian Notes

One of the weirdest things Freeman Dyson ever wrote,
among a mighty stock of very weird things:
http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/03/issue/magaphone.asp
(((Freeman Dyson is the heretic's heretic and the
visionary's visionary.  In this speech, Dyson opines
that climate science is too reliant on brittle
computer models and isn't paying enough attention to
the facts on the ground:  that the warming is indeed
very real, but simply not as threatening to us as
certain other challenges our civilization faces.
I really hope this old gentleman is right.  I've seen
him be right before.  When I'm as old as Freeman Dyson
 is now, and I somehow find myself putting my stocking
feet up during balmy winter nights when everything else
is just peachy, man, that prospect will be grand.
I won't be  one bit embarrassed or ashamed that I
howled about a wolf that time revealed to be a small,
friendly pup.  I'll just apologize at equal length
and volume to anyone who will listen. I'll be really
grateful to have been that mistaken.)))

 

Michael Mandiberg's Oil Standard

 

Check out artist Michael Mandiberg's new project, a plug-in for the firefox browser that converts all prices on any webpage into barrels of oil (w/ a live price feed from the New York Mercantile Exchange.) The script is at http://turbulence.org/Works/oilstandard along with screenshots of it in action. Commissioned by Turbulence. Read the Press Release

 

March 28, 2006

Invisible 5: a self-guided critical audio tour along Interstate 5

via Rhizome Net Art News, March 22, 2006:
- Ryan Griffis
In the 1972 BBC documentary 'Reyner Banham Loves California,' the architectural critic pops an 8-track cassette into his car stereo and begins a guided voyage around Los Angeles. A pleasant voice directs Banham to iconic sites like the Watts Towers, while Banham directs us to the 'real' Los Angeles comprised of strip clubs and mini-malls. With the growing accessibility of audio distribution methods, from cheaply-produced CDs to podcasts, audio tours have become a prime vehicle for artists and activists. A new large-scale project entitled 'Invisible 5' explores the potential of such guides to critically engage space. Created by a collective of California-based artists and organizations, including Amy Balkin, Kim Stringfellow, Tim Halbur, Greenaction, and Pond, 'Invisible 5' presents the voices of writers, scholars, and activists telling the stories of communities and their struggles for environmental justice along the major North-South interstate in California. Starting this April, the tours will be available for download, so you can embark on your own guided voyage into the 'real' California. 

more info:

Invisible-5 is a self-guided critical audio tour along Interstate 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It uses the format of a museum audio tour to guide the listener along the highway landscape.

ABOUT
Invisible-5 investigates the stories of people and communities fighting for environmental justice along the I-5 corridor, through oral histories, field recordings, found sound, recorded music, and archival audio documents. The project also traces natural, social, and economic histories along the route.

ROUTE
The tour follows I-5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles, with additional routing via I-580/I-880 to San Francisco. Sites along the tour, which can be driven in either direction, include Livermore, Crows Landing, Kesterson NWR, Kettleman City, and Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles.

HOW TO
Full and by-site downloads of Invisible-5 will be available online in April. A 2-CD set, along with a companion map booklet will also be available in April. Please visit this website in April for further information about CD availability.

March 15, 2006

Alaska Oil Spill

 

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.
Workers are cleaning up a two-acre site in the Prudhoe Bay area of Alaska.

via NYTimes: 

Large Oil Spill in Alaska Went Undetected for Days
By FELICITY BARRINGER
Published: March 15, 2006

WASHINGTON, March 14 — The largest oil spill to occur on the tundra of Alaska's North Slope has deposited up to 267,000 gallons of thick crude oil over two acres in the sprawling Prudhoe Bay production facilities, forcing cleanup crews to work in temperatures far below zero to vacuum and dig up the thick mixture of snow and oil.

The spill went undetected for as long as five days before an oilfield worker detected the acrid scent of hydrocarbons while driving through the area on March 2, Maureen Johnson, the senior vice president and manager of the Prudhoe Bay unit for BP, said at a news conference in Anchorage on Tuesday.

At the conference, officials from BP, the company pumping the oil, and from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said they believed that the oil had escaped through a pinprick-size hole in a corroded 34-inch pipe leading to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.

The pressure of the leaking oil, they said, gradually expanded the hole to a quarter- or half-inch wide. Most of the oil seeped beneath the snow without attracting the attention of workers monitoring alarm systems.

The leak occurred in a section of pipe built in the late 1970's, in the earliest days of oil production at Prudhoe Bay. The larger pipeline, which carries North Slope oil across the state, was completed in 1977.

Environmental groups were quick to point out that the spill raises doubts about the continuing reliability and durability of the infrastructure of North Slope production.

The current spill is among the worst in the pipeline's history, and the first of such a magnitude likely to be blamed on the decay of the aging system. In 1989, about 11 million gallons fouled Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground. About 700,000 gallons escaped from the pipeline after vandals blew up a section of it in 1978, and about 285,000 gallons spilled in 2001 when a hunter shot the pipeline.



Corroded pipe leads to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.

Asked later on Tuesday about how company and state officials arrived at their tentative conclusions about the cause of the spill, Ms. Johnson said investigators had "looked at the leak investigation system, at all the logs and all the charts" that measure oil volume and pressure at different times and in different areas.

At the news conference, Ms. Johnson said that although routine inspections last year indicated increasing corrosion in the pipe, the severity of corrosion found since the leak pointed to a swift and sudden deterioration. "We had no reason to expect" that this pipe, which carried 100,000 barrels of oil to the Alaska pipeline a day, "was going to leak," she said.

Ms. Johnson also said the leak was "smaller than our system would detect," adding that it was "still not acceptable to BP."

The normal fluctuations of oil flow in this particular pipe could have masked warning signals, state environment officials said.

March 13, 2006

Deborah Fisher's "Glacial Melt" @ Socrates Sculpture Park

 
Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

via NYTimes: Lens
The Quest
By SUZANNE DeCHILLO
Published: March 8, 2006

The working title is "Glacial Melt." It is made of dripping liquid plastic and wood.

Deborah Fisher is a 34-year-old sculptor working at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens.

Her quest:

"There has to be some way to look at climate change that isn't desperate, that doesn't waste time on blame or politics or collapse into end-of-times lists of future plagues and floods."

 

 

View multimedia slide show:

Sculpting in the City

Land Boom: Bad for Whales

 
Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times
A gray whale pops up for air in Baja California, where advocates of tourism and the environment clash with those favoring heavier development.

Mexican Land Boom Creates Commotion in Whale Nursery
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
Published: March 12, 2006

LAGUNA SAN IGNACIO, Mexico, March 7 — This remote lagoon, surrounded by salt flats, mesas and desert, has been a sanctuary for gray whales for centuries.

Every year they return in January to these quiet, protected waters to give birth and nurse their calves through the first few months of life. Then they mate again in a swirl of water and fins, and frolic in the warm waters, breaching and flopping their gargantuan bodies.

Fishermen, who serve as guides during the whales' three-month stay, ferry tourists to the center of the lagoon, and the whales play with the boats. Sometimes, enthusiastic visitors can pet and scratch the leviathans' blubbery, sensitive skin.

But the lagoon has proved a powerful draw for more than just nature lovers. The area's salt and oil deposits have long drawn development interests, pitting environmentalists and local fishing and tourism concerns against big companies and land speculators in battles that have intensified in recent years.

In 2000, for instance, environmentalists won a long-fought victory over the Mitsubishi Corporation, which had sought to build a giant salt-mining complex on the lagoon, which would have devastated fishing and the whale-watching industry.

Another company, Exportadora de Sal, has received a 50-year concession from the government to mine salt, suggesting another looming battle. Environmentalists also say that plans to exploit oil deposits near the lagoon and build a big marina near its entrance threaten the whales.

From ecologists' standpoint, though, perhaps the greatest threat to the lagoon is the land boom that is sweeping the peninsula. All across the Baja California, land speculators are buying out members of ranching and fishing cooperatives, which own vast tracts including beaches on some of the most pristine and rich marine habitats in the world.

But here, environmental groups have reached an unusual agreement with a cooperative that will help protect the lagoon, the last undisturbed gray whale nursery, from industrial development or land speculation.

Under the accord, the cooperative, the Ejido Luis Echeverría, has agreed to protect 120,000 acres around the lagoon from development, in return for a $675,000 trust fund put together by several groups, among them the Natural Resources Defense Council and Wildcoast.

Trust earnings go to the cooperative to be invested in projects to create permanent jobs and give its 43 members a stake in protecting the whales and their habitat.

"This is a long term project, a project for perpetuity," said the president of the cooperative, Raúl López. "We have to be an example for the other cooperatives."

Still, the Echeverría cooperative is only one of six that own land around the lagoon, and the environmentalists have their work cut out for them persuading the rest to commit themselves to protecting the whales.

Serge Dedina, the executive director of Wildcoast, has tried to convince the cooperative members that they have more to gain in the long run from developing tourism around the whales, as well as sustainable fisheries, than from a one-time windfall of cash for their land.

The gray whales migrate every year from the seas off Alaska to Mexico's waters. They begin arriving in January and stay until early April. The lagoon, along with two other less pristine bays, are vitally important to their survival, since it is here the mothers give birth and here the calves gain enough strength to handle the perils of the open ocean.

The lagoon is also home to 221 bird species. Ospreys, cormorants and pelicans fish the waters, while falcons, gold and bald eagles sweep the skies. Rare species like endangered peninsular pronghorns and green sea turtles can be spotted here, too.

The whales are the big draw, however. Eight camps are scattered along the southeastern shore of the bay and 16 boats have permits to take tourists out.

Mr. López said that the idea of the local cooperative, or ejido, was that the trust fund's support of small projects would bring in jobs and erase the temptation for people to sell out to mining or other development concerns.

But leaders of other cooperatives around the bay are not convinced. To the north, the San Ignacio Ejido is controlled by ranchers and businessmen who have little or no stake in the whale-watching business.

Their president, Rodrigo Martínez Zapien, a grocer, said most of the 81 members were ranchers or small-business men and would support selling their beaches to a salt-mining company or anyone else who would produce jobs. Already, they have been approached by land speculators, he said. "The truth is there is not much interest in going to exploit this business of the whales," he said.

Others say they see the whales as a resource. The whale tours are a lot less work than hauling in fishing nets. And the money from the trust will help small businesses that provide jobs. The only other option, they say, is to sell, move to the city and run through the profit.

"Sure there have been people who have come around wanting to buy, but for us it doesn't interest us to sell the land, because almost all of us work in tourism now," said one local fisherman, Alejandro Ramírez, 35, who works at a whale-watching camp. "If I sell out, sure, I'll have more money, but money in your hands goes quickly, and with this natural area my family has a way to make a living for a long time."

March 07, 2006

The Canary Project: documenting dramatic transformations

 

New Orleans Three Months After the Hurricanes, 2005
Salt burn in a satsuma orange orchard. The ghostly white line marks the level at which salt water remained for days after the initial twenty-five foot storm surge flooded this coastal area.

The Canary Project

Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris [more info

The Canary Project's mission is to photograph landscapes throughout the world that are exhibiting dramatic transformation associated with global warming and to show these photographs to as many people as possible. By documenting the vulnerability, beauty and destructive power visible in places as disparate as melting glaciers in Iceland and bleached coral reefs in the Pacific, we hope to generate a deep emotional response in viewers and to heighten awareness that global warming is already underway and of immediate concern.

Why Canary?
We chose the title "The Canary Project" because the changing landscapes we are photographing stand as warnings of more severe changes to come, like the canaries once used by miners to warn of deadly methane levels.

Where Are We Going?
We are choosing locations that are visually dramatic and diverse. Cumulatively, the images we take from these locations will express the following about the scope and potential of global warming:

Global warming will affect the earth in a variety of ways (melting ice, sea-level rising, increased severity of storms, drought, desertification, damaged habitats). For instance, in September we shot glaciers in Austria as an occurrence of melting ice; and in November we shot the devastation in and around New Orleans as an occurrence of increased storm severity due to warming oceans.

The effects of global warming will be felt throughout the world. To this end we will be shooting the drying of Lake Chad in Africa, as well as the melting of the Greenland ice cap; we will be shooting the flooding of San Marco in Venice, as well as the drunken forests in Alaska.

Click here for a complete list of proposed locations

Our Approach
We are shooting landscapes as opposed to people and communities because human stories are all too easily exoticized and made distant. (It's so easy to say "It's them, not us.") We hope to create a perspective that allows viewers to place themselves in the landscape and feel intimately involved in its change. The images will convey the magnitude and scale of the land but not in such a way that intimidates or alienates the viewer.

Our approach draws on a tradition of North American landscape photography that dates back to frontier photographers such as Tim O'Sullivan and Carleton Watkins. This tradition took a new direction in the 70's when human impact on the landscape became central to the work of photographers such as Robert Adams and Richard Misrach, and more recently Edward Burtynsky.

MORE INFO

My Climate Is Changing @ the Dana Centre

 

In collaboration with the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) and scientist and writer Barry Gibb, Zev Robinson is curating a half hour screening of films that deal with the impact of man on nature and nature on man as part of an event on Climage change. The artists showing work will be Barry Gibb, Esther Johnson, Laure Prouvost, Mireya Masó, andZev Robinson. 

My Climate Is Changing
Monday 13 March
18.30 - 20.30

d.cafe
The Dana Centre
165 Queen's Gate
London, SW7 5HD
MAP

What does climate change mean to YOU?  This event will showcase a number of short films, expressing up and coming filmmakers’ views on global warming.  Then it's your chance to discuss the issues and share your opinions with a panel of scientists and commentators.

Panel:
Dr Craig Wallace, climate researcher, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Dr Sophie Nicholson-Cole, social scientist, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Norwich
Marc Cornelissen, Dutch professional adventurer

www.the-ba.net/the-ba/Events/DanaEvents

To book your FREE place, please email events@the-ba.net or call 020 7019 4938

Rain Forest Gets Too Much Rain...

 

Courtesy of Grace Wong

From left, Grace Wong, Dr. María Fernanda Mejía and Gustavo Gutiérrez-Espeleta working on a squirrel monkey in December in the Corcovado National Park near the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

via NYTimes:

Rain Forest Gets Too Much Rain, and Animals Pay the Price
By HILLARY ROSNER
Published: March 7, 2006

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica — Eduardo Carrillo was on a field trip to Corcovado National Park with a group of his biology students last November when he realized that something was wrong. In just over a mile, the group found five dead monkeys.

Three more were in agony, he said later — emaciated, near death, sitting on the forest floor unable to climb a tree.

"I had never seen something like this," said Dr. Carrillo, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Costa Rica. At first he suspected yellow fever, which swept through monkey populations in the 1950's. So he hurried back to San José, the capital, and convened a team of scientists, which included wildlife biologists, a microbiologist, a geneticist and a veterinarian.

Tourists in the park, a relatively remote 212-square-mile tropical rain forest preserve that stretches along the Pacific coast and inland, reported sightings of other dead animals, including deer, toucans, macaws and sloths.

In mid-November, park officials closed Corcovado to visitors after tourists, despite warnings not to handle wildlife, began bringing sick animals to ranger stations in the hope of saving them.

Dr. Carrillo and his colleagues, as well as government officials, worried they might have a mini-epidemic on their hands. But tissue samples from Corcovado spider monkeys — Costa Rica's most endangered species of monkey — sent to a laboratory at the University of Texas for analysis showed no evidence of a virus or other pathogen.

The story of what really happened in Corcovado, or at least the prevailing theory, is less worrisome in the short term than a disease outbreak, but it has the potential to be deadly serious.

Costa Rican researchers think the affected animals starved to death because of a lack of available food sources and an inability to forage for food during several months of extreme rain and cold.

September, October and November brought excessive rainfall, nearly twice the monthly averages, and unusually low temperatures to many parts of Costa Rica, especially the Osa Peninsula, which juts into the Pacific in the south.

Corcovado averages about 24 inches of rain in September, 31 inches in October and 20 inches in November. In 2005, more than 39 inches fell in the park in September, 59 inches in October, and 41 inches in November.

While it is impossible to know if the weather in late 2005 is related to climate change, the Costa Rican team studying Corcovado worries that if the climate changes and produces more extreme weather events like this, animal populations may not bounce back easily, said Gustavo Gutiérrez-Espeleta, a wildlife population geneticist at the University of Costa Rica.

The weather caused several problems for the monkeys. Some fruit trees did not bear fruit during the rainy months. Others produced fruit but it fell to the ground early, leaving nothing on the trees for long periods of time.

Compounding the problem, researchers say, was that monkeys were unable to look for food because of the incessant rain. [read on...]

Igloo opens @ SummerBranch

 

Igloo
SummerBranch

4 March - 30 April 2006
Reception for the artists: Saturday 4 March 2006 2pm - 5pm

ArtSway
Station Road
Sway, Hampshire SO41 6BA
UK
Tel: +44 (0)1590 682260
E: mail@artsway.org.uk
W: www.artsway.org.uk

Summerbranch is a new commission by Igloo that explores movement and stillness in nature. Using camouflage and other disguises, a person or a computer character can blend into a "natural" environment captured and treated through the moving image. This installation uses the tools of the military-entertainment complex: computer gaming, motion capture, 3D environments and special effects to question what is truth and artifice in our attempts to reproduce nature. Through the creation of a computer generated virtual world Summerbranch seeks to address this through the use of disguise in dance and movement. Igloo not only investigate the role of the "real" in virtual environments but also that of the reproduction of nature in the history of art and particularly landscape work.

PRESS + MEDIA:
If you require full press release, additional images or access to artists
please contact Adelina Jedrzejczak on +44 (0)1590 682260 or by email
adelina@artsway.org.uk

Additional information:
http://www.artsway.org.uk/email/summerbranch.htm

http://www.igloo.org.uk

http://www.scansite.org.uk

Further Information on Capture 4:
http://www.portlandgreen.com/capture4

http://www.ica.org.uk

http://www.artatwalsall.org.uk

Summerbranch
Ruth Gibson & Bruno Martelli

Igloo Collaborators:
Mark Bruce, Joanne Fong, Alex Jevremovic, John McCormick, Adam Nash, Alex Woolner

Many thanks to Henry Dalton, Lisette Punky Pixie, Matthew Andrews, Gillian Carnegie, Toby Zeigler, Verushka & everyone at ArtSway

Industry Support:
Animazoo, RMIT, Coventry University, Bionatics, 3TRPD

The Greening of Greenland's Glaciers

 
via CNN: SCIENCE & SPACE:
Greenland glaciers dumping ice into Atlantic at faster pace
Thursday, February 16, 2006; Posted: 11:40 p.m. EST (04:40 GMT)

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Greenland's southern glaciers have accelerated their march to the Atlantic Ocean over the past decade and now contribute more to the global rise in sea levels than previously estimated, researchers say.

Those faster-moving glaciers, along with increased melting, could account for nearly 17 percent of the estimated one-tenth of an inch annual rise in global sea levels, or twice what was previously believed, said Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

An increase in surface air temperatures appears to be causing the glaciers to flow faster, albeit at the still-glacial pace of eight miles to nine miles a year at their fastest clip, and dump increased volumes of ice into the Atlantic.

That stepped-up flow accounted for about two-thirds of the net 54 cubic miles of ice Greenland lost in 2005. That compares with 22 cubic miles in 1996, Rignot said.

Rignot and his study co-author, Pannir Kanagaratnam of the University of Kansas, said their report is the first to include measurements of recent changes in glacier velocity in the estimates of how much ice most of Greenland is losing.

"The behavior of the glaciers that dump ice into the sea is the most important aspect of understanding how an ice sheet will evolve in a changing climate," Rignot said.

"It takes a long time to build and melt an ice sheet, but glaciers can react quickly to temperature changes."

Details of the study were being presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The study appears Friday in the journal Science.

The researchers believe warmer temperatures boost the amount of melt water that reaches where the glaciers flow over rock.

That extra water lubricates the rivers of ice and eases their downhill movement toward the Atlantic. They tracked the speeds of the glaciers from space, using satellite data collected between 1996 and 2005.

If warmer temperatures spread to northern Greenland, the glaciers there too should pick up their pace, Rignot and Kanagaratnam wrote.

The only way to stem the loss of ice would be for Greenland to receive increased amounts of snowfall, according to Julian Dowdeswell of the University of Cambridge, who wrote an accompanying article.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

February 16, 2006

Uneasy Nature @ the Weatherspoon Art Museum

 

ROXY PAINE, Misnomer, 2005 (detail).
Stainless steel, 12.33 x 16 x 11.58 ft.
Image courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York.

Uneasy Nature

Lee Bul
Bryan Crockett
Roxy Paine
Patricia Piccinini
Alyson Shotz
Jennifer Steinkamp

February 18 - May 28, 2006
Opening Reception: Friday, February 17
6-7 pm Member's Preview / 7-9 pm Public Reception

Weatherspoon Art Museum
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Spring Garden and Tate Streets
Greensboro, North Carolina 27402-6170
336.334.5770

via e-flux:

The exhibition Uneasy Nature brings together sculpture, drawing, photography and digital animation by six internationally recognized artists who incorporate mythology and narrative to reflect on the evolving perception of nature in contemporary culture. Artists include: Lee Bul (Korea), Bryan Crockett (US), Roxy Paine (US), Patricia Piccinini (Australia), Alyson Shotz (US) and Jennifer Steinkamp (US).

Our impact upon the natural world is immense. We hear and see signs of it everyday, usually in terms of unseasonable weather, pollution and rising gas and water bills. But our influence thus far is miniscule compared to the idea of nature envisioned by biotechnology. The introduction of genetically engineered foods and animals and the ongoing research into stem cells present us with a whole new reality of potential organic forms and creatures. Today our idealistic concepts of nature are proving to be archaic, and we are re-awakening to a new version of nature that is of mythic character. The works in Uneasy Nature manifest this uncomfortable view of a nature strangely altered through cross-pollination with culture and technology.

Uneasy Nature is organized by Weatherspoon Art Museum curator of exhibitions, Xandra Eden. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with full color images of the work in the exhibition, artists' biographies, and essays by Eden and British cultural historian, critic and novelist Marina Warner. The catalogue for Uneasy Nature is made possible through the generous support of the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.

Panel Discussion: Fact or Fear? Genetics and Public Perception
Weatherspoon Art Museum: Tuesday, April 25 at 7 pm
Celebrate your unique genetic code on National DNA Day by joining artist Bryan Crockett, Uneasy Nature; Dr. Vincent Henrich, Director of Institute for Health, Science and Society and Professor, Department of Biology at UNC-Greensboro; and Dr. Barbra Rothschild, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Social Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill for an informative discussion on our fascination with and perception of genetic research and biotechnology. Free, limited seating.

For more information:
Loring Mortensen
336.256.1451
lamorten@uncg.edu

Deep North: a virtual expedition

 

Deep North: a virtual expedition...a year to the north pole
by jane d. marsching

deepnorth: a year to the north pole blog is complete and archived here for perusal--here are some ways to navigate through this year of research, information, ruminations, analogic connections, and wondering on the cultural imaginary of hte north pole and deep arctic
* click on the archived months in right column to view and read the year's entrie
* click on keywords in the right column to view groups of entries by topics
* type a word into the search field to find topics in the blog

Your comments are welcome and can be added by clicking on the comments link under each entry.

this year's blog, north2006: parallel conversations, is in development

Jane Marshing is 2006 recipient of a Creative Capital Grant

Jane Marsching (Roslindale, MA) Digital Arts
About Here and Later: Data Mining the North Pole – A series of digital images and sculptures, exploring both scientific and myth-based impressions of The North Pole, while detailing the collapse of the area due to environmental changes

February 14, 2006

Free Soil: international hybrid collaboration of artists, activists, researchers and gardeners

 

Check out our new favorite website: Free Soil

 from their "About" page: 

Free Soil is an international hybrid collaboration of artists, activists, researchers and gardeners who take a participatory role in the transformation of our environment. Free Soil fosters discourse, develops projects and gives support for critical art practices that reflect and change the urban and natural environment. We believe art can be a catalyst for social awareness and positive change.


Current members
amy franceschini
nis rømer
stijn schiffeleers
joni taylor



Website
The Free Soil website is a public resource for the exchange of related ideas and for learning. It is a way to connect discourses similar in content but separated by geography. The website includes features, news, and reviews about relevant artists, exhibitions, books, architecture, public projects and sustainability.
www.free-soil.org

Projects
Free Soil works collectively using various mediums. We realize workshops, public projects, articles, museum exhibitions and tours.
 
Check out their recent exhibition "Groundworks: Environmental Collaboration in Contemporary Art" held in October - December 2005 at Regina Gouger Miller Gallery Carnegie Mellon University.

February 12, 2006

Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art

Allora & Cadzilla
Under Discussion, 2004-05 (detail)
Single channel video projection with sound

Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art
A traveling exhibition co-oraganized by the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago and iCI, New York. Curated by Stephaine Smith

On view:
February 2 – May 7, 2006
Museum of Arts & Design
40 West 53rd Street
between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
New York City

http://www.madmuseum.org
http://www.ici-exhibitions.org
http://www.smartmuseum.uchicago.edu

Sustainable design has the potential to transform everyday life through an approach that balances environmental, social, and aesthetic concerns. Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art is a traveling exhibition that examines some of the ways in which contemporary artists are exploring a socially and environmentally conscientious – in other words, sustainable – way of living and working. This emerging strategy emphasizes the responsible and equitable use of resources and links environmental and social justice. By doing so, it moves past a prior generation of more narrowly eco-centered or ‘green’ approaches to architecture and industrial design. Enacted around the world in large and small ways by architects and designers, as well as, a growing numbers of activists, corporations, policymakers, Beyond Green ventures into the fertile new zone of sustainability in the arena of contemporary art.

Beyond Green, curated by Stephanie Smith of the Smart Museum of Art, explores the ways in which sustainable design resonates in the work of an emerging generation of international artists hailing from cities in the United States and Europe, including Brooklyn, Chicago, San Francisco, Copenhagen, London, San Juan, and Vienna. The exhibition’s thirteen artists and artists’ groups combine a fresh aesthetic sensibility with a constructively critical approach to the production, dissemination, and display of art. They embed environmental concerns within larger ethical and aesthetic explorations, building paths to new forms of practice that go beyond green.

Artists in the exhibition
Allora & Calzadilla
Free Soil (Amy Franceschini, Myriel Milicevic, Nis Rømer)
JAM (Jane Palmer and Marianne Fairbanks)
Learning Group (Brett Bloom, Julio Castro, Rikke Luther, and Cecelia Wendt)
Brennan McGaffey with Temporary Services (Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin, Marc Fischer)
Nils Norman
People Powered
Dan Peterman
Marjetica Potrc
Michael Rakowitz
Frances Whitehead
WochenKlausur
Andrea Zittel 

Itinerary

February 07, 2006

Andrea Zittel: Critical Space

 

via Artnet (2/7/06):

A THORN TREE IN THE GARDEN
by Jerry Saltz

Andrea Zittel, "Critical Space," Jan. 26-May 27, 2006, at the New Museum, 556 West 22nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10011

The year 2005 was the hottest on the planet in recorded history; there is open water for the first time ever at the North Pole; the snows at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro will probably disappear within 25 years. A power grid the size of Houston is being added to China every month; the United States, with only four percent of the world's population, emits more than 20 percent of the world's carbon. "Fifty years from now," a noted scientist speculates, "you may be living in a world where you don't go outside between one and four in the afternoon." In short, our increasingly brutish country, with its end-time mentality and barbarian attitude toward the environment, would gladly trade the last frog for cheaper gas prices.

The gypsy-visionary, social-scientist, explorer-architect, eco-rogue, control-freak artist Andrea Zittel will not be able to stop any of these things from happening. But her circuitous journey away from New York to what she calls her "High Desert Test Site," 40 acres of parched land two and a half hours east of Los Angeles and two hours south of Las Vegas -- as Zittel puts it, "23 miles past the sign that says 'Last Service for 100 Miles'" -- where the weather is brutal, the snakes are poisonous and the water is trucked in, is a glimmer of selflessness, creativity and fearlessness in the face of a technologically advanced culture flirting with geo-meteorological suicide. Zittel uses HDTS as a part-time studio and a site for other artists to execute ideas. Its existence is a reminder that chaos is a choice breeding ground for art -- an unknown zone and mental garden that can produce new thought patterns and exotic artistic fruit.

You might not know this from her current survey at the temporary headquarters of the New Museum. While expertly organized by Trevor Smith and Paola Morsiani, the exhibition, though fascinating, is so cramped it looks like Ikea. Perhaps "Critical Space," as the exhibition is called, should have been postponed until the museum is located in its new building. But never mind. This is New York, space is always at a premium, most of the artist's key works are here, and the show is a chance to sample Zittel's art and to ponder what it's about.

The Chinese "Book of Changes," or the I Ching, talks about "limitation" in terms of "ruthless severity" and as "leading to freedom." These ideas fit Zittel to a tee. Her rage for rules and protocols is ever present, as is her attraction to Constructivism, Bauhaus design and modernist architects like Richard Neutra and Rudolf Schindler, not to mention artists like Dan Graham and Robert Smithson. You can see this in the plain but subtly sexy "uniforms" Zittel has designed, made and worn for over 15 years. It's in her "living units," "eating terrains," and "cleansing chambers," each made to organize an aspect of one's life. "I love rules," Zittel says. "The only way that I can think of to be free from external rules is to create your own personal set of rules that are even more rigid. Rules are a way of liberating oneself."

In 2000, Zittel followed these rules to their logical and illogical extremes and found herself in the desert, a place that is ruthlessly rule-less. Here, Zittel's work perked up. After living in a trailer, she built several small structures, including a studio made of three contiguous shipping containers in a horseshoe configuration. As many as 14 people have slept on her front patio at once, or out back in the brush. HDTS is run on what she calls "no budget." It receives no funding, and seeks none. Thus, connections to Donald Judd's extraordinary kingdom of minimalism in Marfa, Texas, don't hold. Zittel, 40, is as possessed as Judd, but she's more ephemeral and investigational. She is exploring the place where art, entropy and self-sufficiency fuse. She'sRobinson Crusoe and Mad Max by way of Walden Pond, St. Augustine and Greenpeace.

Zittel contends that in today's art world it is "necessary to find new ways to convey meaning and create experience." She says, "The desert opens enough thinking space to reimagine all sorts of parallel new art worlds." Artist Pierre Huyghe concurs and talks about this "parallel world" as "a kind of counter-place that is outside other places but that also includes them." The desert's total lack of structure and its indigenous chaos combined with Zittel's utopianism and American gumption creates what she calls "gaps in which invention or change can happen." Curator Lynn Cooke eloquently refers to such places as "a position of elsewhere," by which she means artists like Zittel create situations "where like-minded people can go somewhat informally to work." Zittel's art is bigger in the mind than it is in person. This is not a failing. Her project entices the imagination and is a resonant example of a kind of thinking and acting that, with luck, will become more prevalent.

 

The Internal City
One of the more intriguing things about Andrea Zittel is her name, or rather her initials. Clearly she knows this. Her company is called "A–Z Administrative Services." These initials are a sort of philosophical readymade or hieroglyph that signifies completeness (from A to Z), incrementality (A, B, C), generic corporateness, the personal and the public. Aloud, they also sound like Aziz, the Muslim doctor in E.M. Forster's A Passage to India.

In Foster's book, Aziz takes two English women, longing to see "the real India," to the mysterious Marabar caves. There, amidst the thundering never-ending echoes of caverns that multiply the sound of the self until the self is annihilated, the older woman has a sort of existential seizure and glimpses her own death; the younger believes she has been molested by Aziz. This triggers a chain reaction in which Aziz is imprisoned, tried and eventually released.

The connection to A-Z is not only in the echo of the name, but in the metaphor of the cave, which for Zittel is the desert. The cave, like the desert, is elemental and has been there since the beginning. It is a place to contend with the chaos of the world, to confront nothingness, and understand one's scale; there, the cycles of life supersede all else. The Earth Mother/Sacred Womb aspect of the cave is present in the way Zittel talks about the desert as "a place to create a new organism." In this way, it's a kind of reverse garden, a symbolic image of the universe where reincarnation and the overcoming of death are thrown into high contrast. Zittel's desert is a place where tire tracks, dilapidated shacks, burned out trailer homes, broken down windmills and art merge; where science fiction, archeology and esthetics blur.

Passage to India ends with the brutal realization that England must vacate India for the two cultures to co-exist. Zittel's insight is that for art to thrive, sometimes it needs to go elsewhere.

More about Andrea Zittel:
Andrea Zittel: A Place Outside the Art Basel Herd, NEWSgrist (2/2/06)

January 26, 2006

The Rush Creek Wilderness Trail

 

 via Brett Stalbaum (Rhizome.org):

A typology of an interpretive trail sign indexing the Rush Creek Wilderness Trail (Phase 1) was produced for the University Art Gallery "New Faculty" exhibition, 1/13/2K6 to 3/25/2K6. The Rush Creek Trail was produced by a C5 Landscape Database API "virtual hiker" and then followed on foot through the actual wilderness.

http://www.paintersflat.net/rush_creek/
http://www.paintersflat.net/rush_creek/exhibit.html

The Rush Creek Wilderness Trail

Sections:

The Rush Creek Wilderness Trail is possibly the world's first computationally derived, unofficial public wilderness trail. It traverses the backcountry of far northeastern California, extending to near the border with Nevada. It was first "discovered" by a computer algorithm called a "virtual hiker" that pre-explored the landscape by "hiking" through a virtual landscape consisting of data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey. The virtual hiker found a traversable hiking path between the trailhead and the terminus, both of which were very much arbitrarily chosen by Brett Stalbaum, the author of many virtual hiker algorithms for C5 Corporation. The results of the virtual hiker's exploration produce a tracklog (computer file) which can be uploaded to a GPS device and then followed by a real hiker through the actual landscape. There is no "trail" per se, only a rugged overland backcountry track that can be followed with the assistance of a GPS device. The trail provides beautiful views of the Great Basin desert environment, plentiful wildlife viewing opportunities, and the unique experience of comparing the wayfinding abilities of a virtual hiker to your own wayfinding skills and intuition.

Phase 1 of the trail (From the Rush Creek Wilderness Trailhead to Rush Creek Spring) was opened by Stalbaum December 27th and 28th of 2005. (See Photo Journal for more info). Phase 2 (from Rush Creek Spring to the Nevada Border), will be opened sometime during 2006.

The Difference a Degree Makes

via SFGate:

Chronicle environment writer Jane Kay and photographer Kat Wade traveled from Alaska to Mexico to see how global warming is changing life along the coast of North America.

Sunday: Polar bears signal changing ice cap in the Arctic.
Today: Subtle seaside transformation in California.
Tuesday: A family sees its way of life threatened in Mexico.

E-mail Jane Kay at jkay@sfchronicle.com

Nature out of sync

Sea life depends on the intricate workings of wind and current, driven by temperatures of ocean and air. Animals depend on the natural timing of seasons to find food. In the past 60 years, as ocean temperatures off the California coast warmed by about 3 degrees, the tiny animals at the base of the food chain declined by 70 percent.

A WARMING WORLD: THE DIFFERENCE A DEGREE MAKES
SEASHORE SEA CHANGE

- Jane Kay, Chronicle Environment Writer
Monday, January 16, 2006

 

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 [excerpt]:

Pacific Grove, Monterey County -- On the edge of the California coast, in the tide pools that tourists can see from Cannery Row, delicate anemones and sea stars are helping to tell the story of a warming world.

At low tide in the dawn light, John Pearse, a retired professor of biology at UC Santa Cruz, kneeled in the water in hip-high waders examining sunburst anemones. He found pink barnacles encrusting rocks, and the hard white shells of worm snails.

Those invertebrates normally are more common in warmer southern waters. But over decades, they have increased in numbers here. Invertebrates that do well in colder water, such as giant green sea anemones and porcelain crabs, have declined. Central California has become more like Southern California.

"Animals are responding to changes in temperature, and the change in temperature is very rapid,'' said Pearse, who began studying the low-tide zone as a graduate student nearly 50 years ago.

Unlike in the Arctic, where floating sea ice and land glaciers dramatically melt before Alaskans' eyes, along the California coast the signs of a changing environment are more subtle.

Those who know where to look can see that a few degrees increase in the temperature of the Pacific and a couple of inches rise in sea level have already changed life in Monterey Bay's fragile tide pools.

While some species will prosper, others may die. The question scientists up and down the coast are pursuing is just how the continued warming of the atmosphere and water may disrupt the ocean's intricate web of life.

In the ocean, the whales, seabirds and fish at the top of the hierarchy depend on lower organisms for food. In the last six decades, as sea water temperatures on the Monterey coast increased about 3 degrees Fahrenheit, scientists measured a 70 percent decline in zooplankton, the tiny animals at the base of the food chain.

What does it matter if a warmer world loses some inedible crabs or sea stars?

"It's hard to predict,'' said George Somero, director of the Hopkins Marine Station, the state's oldest marine laboratory, which looks down on the rocky shore here. "If you remove one species from the ecosystem, there could very well be severe perturbations in the system. In many cases, we can't predict what that means.''

[read full article

January 21, 2006

Invisible Aesthetic: Mel Chin's Hyperaccumulators

 

excerpts via Eyeteeth

Mel Chin's "invisible aesthetic" 

In 1990, as part of a residency at the Walker Art Center, sculptor Mel Chin began a work every bit as monumental as Michelangelo's but far less visible: with USDA scientist Rufus L. Chaney, he planted hyperaccumulators, plants that can extract and store heavy metals from soil, at the Pig's Eye Landfill in St. Paul, a plot so polluted by incinerator ash that it's on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Permanent List of Priorities. The work, a fenced-in area reminiscent of a crop circle, was called Revival Field and consisted of a target-shaped square of land circumscribed with a circle with an X in the middle, a reference to the project's pinpoint cleanup. As Pruned quotes:

The divisions are also functional, separating different varieties of plants from each other for study. In the circular field the intersecting paths create four fields where six types of plants and two pH and two fertilizer tests can occur in each quadrant. The land area between the square and circle functions as a control plot where plants will be seeded with local grasses. The design for revival field facilitates the chemical analysis of each section.

When the project concluded in 1993, research showed that Alpine pennycress was the best at leeching heavy metals, although no plants were effective enough at cleaning up the land. But it did seem to provide an expansive definition of art. Chin said, "For a time, an intended invisible aesthetic will exist that can be measured scientifically by the quality of a revitalized earth. Eventually that aesthetic will be revealed in the return of growth to the soil.

For more on Land Art, visit the Center for Land Use Interpretation's catalogue of projects.

January 20, 2006

James Lovelock on "The Revenge of Gaia"

 

via The Independent, Jan. 16, 2006:

The Earth is About to Catch a Morbid Fever That May Last as Long as 100,000 Years
Each nation must find the best use of its resources to sustain civilization for as long as they can
by James Lovelock 

[...] This article is the most difficult I have written and for the same reasons. My Gaia theory sees the Earth behaving as if it were alive, and clearly anything alive can enjoy good health, or suffer disease. Gaia has made me a planetary physician and I take my profession seriously, and now I, too, have to bring bad news.

The climate centres around the world, which are the equivalent of the pathology lab of a hospital, have reported the Earth's physical condition, and the climate specialists see it as seriously ill, and soon to pass into a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years. I have to tell you, as members of the Earth's family and an intimate part of it, that you and especially civilization are in grave danger.

Our planet has kept itself healthy and fit for life, just like an animal does, for most of the more than three billion years of its existence. It was ill luck that we started polluting at a time when the sun is too hot for comfort. We have given Gaia a fever and soon her condition will worsen to a state like a coma. She has been there before and recovered, but it took more than 100,000 years. We are responsible and will suffer the consequences: as the century progresses, the temperature will rise 8 degrees centigrade in temperate regions and 5 degrees in the tropics.

Much of the tropical land mass will become scrub and desert, and will no longer serve for regulation; this adds to the 40 percent of the Earth's surface we have depleted to feed ourselves.

Curiously, aerosol pollution of the northern hemisphere reduces global warming by reflecting sunlight back to space. This "global dimming" is transient and could disappear in a few days like the smoke that it is, leaving us fully exposed to the heat of the global greenhouse. We are in a fool's climate, accidentally kept cool by smoke, and before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.

By failing to see that the Earth regulates its climate and composition, we have blundered into trying to do it ourselves, acting as if we were in charge. By doing this, we condemn ourselves to the worst form of slavery. If we chose to be the stewards of the Earth, then we are responsible for keeping the atmosphere, the ocean and the land surface right for life. A task we would soon find impossible - and something before we treated Gaia so badly, she had freely done for us.

To understand how impossible it is, think about how you would regulate your own temperature or the composition of your blood. Those with failing kidneys know the never-ending daily difficulty of adjusting water, salt and protein intake. The technological fix of dialysis helps, but is no replacement for living healthy kidneys.

My new book, The Revenge of Gaia expands these thoughts, but you still may ask why science took so long to recognize the true nature of the Earth. I think it is because Darwin's vision was so good and clear that it has taken until now to digest it. In his time, little was known about the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans, and there would have been little reason for him to wonder if organisms changed their environment as well as adapting to it.

Had it been known then that life and the environment are closely coupled, Darwin would have seen that evolution involved not just the organisms, but the whole planetary surface. We might then have looked upon the Earth as if it were alive, and known that we cannot pollute the air or use the Earth's skin - its forest and ocean ecosystems - as a mere source of products to feed ourselves and furnish our homes. We would have felt instinctively that those ecosystems must be left untouched because they were part of the living Earth.

So what should we do?

[read full article]

Bottle-nosed Whale Spotted in Thames

 
John Griffiths/Reuters
Edwin Talliwell attempted to usher a northern bottle-nosed whale away from the Chelsea embankment of the Thames River. 

via NYTimes:

A Whale of a Tale on The Thames
By ALAN COWELL
Published: January 20, 2006

LONDON, Jan. 20 - As urban pursuits go, it had the ring of the strange and the short-lived: whale-watching on the River Thames.

Of course, London's great stream is no stranger to the bizarre and fascinating. There have been bodies hung from bridges, seals and porpoises in the water and even a piranha that fell from the sky when a sea-gull dropped it onto a boat.

But when a northern bottlenose whale measuring around 17 feet and weighing up to 7 tons was spotted today heading upstream near the London Eye Ferris Wheel, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, even the most jaded Londoners sensed they were in the presence of something unusual.

"There have been dolphins and porpoises but we've never heard of a whale here," said Carla Redmond, 21, a disc jockey on a pleasure boat moored on the river. Experts said it was the only whale-sighting in over 90 years of formal records.

Thousands left their offices to line the river to watch. TV helicopters took to the skies. Friends exchanged text message photographs of sightings. At one point, in early afternoon, the whale seemed to beach off Cheyne Walk - one of the most fashionable streets in already fashionable Chelsea - and a man waded into the Thames, flapping his hands to get the whale back into deeper water.

"It's quite surreal," said a BBC television reporter as she bobbed in one of the flotilla of small boats that formed in an attempt - unsuccessful by nightfall - to herd the whale back downstream.

Plumes of water from the whale's breathing hole marked its slow, zigzag progress, hither and thither, as the tide changed. It blundered into a moored pleasure boat, its big dark tail flapping forlornly in sharp contrast to the usual whale-watching images of T-shaped tails over crystal waters.

It evoked something of the magic that comes when one species meets another at close quarters - like sitting with mountain gorillas in Rwanda or stalking lions by open Land Rover in Tanzania. And it touched something, too, in the soul of a nation with a traditional fondness for waifs and strays.

"I hope somebody escorts it out to sea again; otherwise it's going to get a bit confused," said Joan MacLeod, a retiree from Guildford, south of London, as she disembarked from a river cruise - without, disappointingly, sighting the whale.

"I think half of London will be out there trying to rescue it," said her husband, Michael.

All in all, it was a mystery, many on the river bank and elsewhere agreed, particularly since whales of this kind usually inhabit the deep, cold waters of the northern Atlantic off Norway, rather than the murky, brackish shallows of the Thames.

Generally, the northern bottlenose whale is held to be one of the deepest-diving whales, capable of plunging up to 3,000 feet under water to hunt quid, starfish and other prey by using its sonar capabilities.

To reach central London, moreover, the whale must have crossed the Thames Barrier, a series of movable gates downstream from central London designed to guard the city from flooding.

"I wonder why it's here, I'm curious about it," said a man on the Golden Jubilee Bridge who identified himself only as Sean, 43, a vendor of the Big Issue, a magazine usually sold by homeless people.

"Number one, I wonder how it managed to get past the Thames Barrier, which you know can't be that easy for a whale,"he said, "unless it does Free Willy tricks or something. I'm concerned: why would a whale choose to come up the river? I just hope they get it back in one piece."

Liz Sandeman, a spokeswoman for Marine Connection, a not-for-profit whale and dolphin protection group, said: "No one will ever know why this animal has come up here."

According to Richard Sabin, an expert on whales and dolphins at London's Natural History Museum, there has been no sighting of an animal of this kind in the Thames since records were first kept in 1913.

That did not prevent the theories among onlookers, though the facts remained scant: had its sonar systems been damaged? Had it been following food? Was it sick and seeking a place to die? Was it simply disorientated? Would the whale survive?

"The last few hours have given me great concern," Ms. Sandeman said as night began to fall.

There were reports today, Ms. Sandeman said, that a second whale had been spotted in the sea off Southend, near the mouth of the Thames, and seemed distressed. Were the two mammals related?

According to the Press Association news agency, Alan Knight, a spokesman for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue Group, said: "Yesterday we had a report of two whales going up the Thames and we sent divers but we found only one."

"About 6 p.m. it went back out again," he said. "Then at 8.30 a.m. today we got a phone call from someone on a train who thought they had just hallucinated and seen a whale going up the Thames near Waterloo Bridge."

Pamela Kent contributed reporting for this article.

 

January 17, 2006

The Coded Utopia of Makrolab

via Rhizome.org: 

January 15th, 2006, 5:41 pm
By Brian Holmes

Makrolab is one of the more seminal and enduring projects to have developed out of the tactical media canon. Brian Holmes sets the project in the context of epochal shifts underway in the former Yugoslavia during its inception and fixes our vision firmly on the utopian horizon that this living laboratory probes.

Originally from Mute magazine - Culture and politics after the net - CULTURE AND POLITICS AFTER THE NET at January 15, 2006, 08:58, published by Marisa S. Olson

Permalink

continued: excerpts from MUTE Magazine:

Makrolab is a collaborative project that emerges from the vision of the Slovene artist Marko Peljhan. It offers some answers to these questions – singular answers. To make them useful in any general way, one would first have to approach the project in its multiple dimensions, to discover its stakes and challenges, to locate its contexts and learn to read its codes. Is it sculpture or architecture? A concept or a performance piece? A nomadic war machine, or a theater to replay history? The difficulty, when you want to perceive a project like this, is to let yourself enter the horizon of its possibilities, even while analyzing its specific features. [...]

Considerable stakes underlie this kind of project, though they are rarely formulated in any explicit way. No one can work on the recurrently traumatic structure of technological civilization without realizing how deeply its military origins reach into the fabric of our daily lives. Indeed, the American military expansionism of the Second Cold War (1980-89) is what sparked the globalization process, culminating in the events of September 11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. At the very outset of the eighties, Deleuze and Guattari conceived the heteronomous model of the 'nomadic war machine' as a way to dissolve the military hierarchies of contemporary civilization. This is what Peljhan more pragmatically calls the conversion to civil technologies. But to understand how this could even be attempted, is it really enough to say that art becomes life, and artwork becomes documentation?

The language of Makrolab suggests something else: a generative matrix, close to the models of social evolution developed in Guattari's complexity theory.23 Guattari tried to understand how people can displace their embodied routines, their existential territories, by transiting through a machinic assemblage capable of producing collective enunciations. Makrolab achieves this by bringing the deterritorializing force of scientific formulas and artistic images into play on the experiential level, the level of temporary habitation. What results for the participants is not a simple 'decoding' of encrypted contents. Rather, within a device that itself encapsulates certain aspects of the Slovene artistic experience, fragmented images from a wider variety of vanguard projects can knit together into complex sensorial refrains, interrupting the normalized modulation of time imposed by the commercial and military cultures of transnational capitalism, and loosening up subjectivity for original work with the most challenging scientific and symbolic material, at variance with the dominant patterns. Each of participants then adds something to the device, to its pool of references, tools, algorithms and images – to its horizon of evolutionary code.

The end-products of the 'dataesthetic' can therefore be interpreted somewhat differently, outside the gap between raw documentation and the ineffable immanence of lived experience. For the vital activity of the researcher does not just produce data in the etymological sense, mere 'givens' excerpted from the dominant flux. Instead these maps, images, films, diaries, programs, soundscapes, texts and streaming signals are artistic and scientific gifts – offered to other sites, other devices, other possible futures. [read full article]