The law of the forest and the freedom of the streets

March 23, 2015 by

Thanks to Scott Donaldson for sharing this article The law of the forest and the freedom of the streets on openDemocracy.  Forests play an important role in the evolution of public space in England.  The Magna Carta was followed in 1217 by The Charter of the Forest.

The Forest Charter formalised the right of unbonded men to access and use of the goods of the royal forests (grazing, fuel, food), while implicitly assuming the right to wander freely in the landscape as well as providing a place of refuge for those cast out of the social order.

Forests not only played the role that cities now play, forests also offer a conceptual tool for thinking about the public realm in cities today.

 

Food Phreaking Issue 01 – The Center for Genomic Gastronomy

March 21, 2015 by

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy‘s new issue of Food Phreaking draws on research done during Nil by Mouth, is a culinary compedium of curious botanical fruits.

CGG says,

In this first issue, we examine a range of botanical fruit cultivars that have been manipulated by human food cultures…

Botanical fruits include most of the world’s major grain crops as well as colorful fruits like apples and mangoes that have extensive cultural and symbolic meaning. But who gets to decide what changes are made in a single species of botanical fruit such as apple, corn, mango or rice?

Food Phreaking Issue 01 is intended to help amateur readers, who are not involved in agronomy, agribusiness or the food industry, familiarize themselves with some of the technical aspects of agricultural biodiversity.

Food Phreaking is the journal of experiments, exploits and explorations of the human food system. We hope you use this survey of botanical fruits as a starting point to understand past and present fruit cultivars, and to imagine a range of potential food futures.

About:

* Contains 22 short stories Food Phreaking stories
* Risograph printed
* 2-color ink, with 3 color cover
* Cover illustration by Jen Tong
* First edition of 500

Printed by DittoPress in London

If you want to take a look at the content, or if you can’t afford a book, feel free to download the PDF of Food Phreaking Issue 01.

how much is too little, too much, or just enough

March 20, 2015 by

The 12×12 project grows out of the powerful story of a North Carolina pediatrician, Dr. Jackie Benton, who ten years ago gave up a luxurious home to live in a 12’ by 12’ off-the-grid house and permaculture farm.  The World Policy Institute used this idea to develop a project with the Queens Botanic Gardens, which has grown to an international network.

A creative team, comprising well-known NYC-based architects and artists including Betsy Damon, David D’Ostilio, Simon Draper and Christy Rupp, decided that the project must include all the key substances of living lightly: water, energy, and food. After careful planning, they decided on the following: two 12’ x 12’ structures will take the form of a book-like house that consists of living walls based on the DNA double-helix weave-like design; a rain-collecting upside-down umbrella rooftop with a waterproof layer and root barrier; a moisture retention product (such as a rainwater collecting solar panel rooftop); a drainage system and filter fabric made of flow forms that channel rain water into a large container, to be used as the main water source; an erosion cloth; and a space inside the houses that will be open to the public during the daytime (to be securely locked during the park’s closed hours). Once erected, the space will encourage interaction through slide-out walls that will prompt participants to read/write/reflect about their individual houses and our planetary house and share their visions via daily web posts and social media. Readings from the book Twelve by Twelve and conversations will be held adjacent to the installation, where artists will facilitate interaction and imagination.

Check out the 12×12 project tumblr – in particular have a look at the ‘impact’ section.

Future Forest

March 17, 2015 by

Cover of report "Future Forest: The Black Wood, Rannoch, Scotland" click to download

Collins_Goto_Edwards_FutureForest2015

We are pleased to highlight the Report just released by the Collins and Goto Studio and Forest Research entitled Future Forest, The Black Wood, Rannoch, Scotland.   It features reflection and findings from a year long artist-led creative inquiry into the ecological and cultural meanings and values associated with the Black Wood of Rannoch in Highland Perthshire.

Working back and forth across our disciplines (art and social science) we have produced a deep reading of the historical and current condition of the Black Wood while making a small contribution to ideas about cultural ecosystems services. The report focuses on centuries of conflict that go back to the Jacobites in Rannoch and the fact that this important forest was forfeit to the crown three times. It reflects on 19th century historic management decisions, which created gaps in the cultural/forest landscape relationships and the loss of the native language. The modern history includes visionaries in the Forestry Commission who have conserved this forest for future generations.

This report emerged from local community interest in ancient trails that go back to the transhumance, and how they might be gently revealed and mapped without damaging the forest. Out of the discussion questions emerged about management of the forest, the form and function of the forest today, and what the Black Wood means and to whom is it relevant today:.Is the Black Wood a ‘forest cathedral’ without a local congregation or national recognition? Can future forest ideals be ascertained solely within the domain of science?

The potential benefits of increased national interest and use by people are juxtaposed with the on-going challenges of conducting research, putting long-range plans in place and protecting the forest against the day-to-day interactions with institutions and people, as well as other living things. Managers need to consider the risk of catastrophic weather events and the increased likelihood of pests and disease outbreaks within the changing environmental conditions of today. Everyone involved agreed on one point – no harm should ever come to the Black Wood.

The report explores how cultural values might bring new benefits to ancient Caledonian forests, raising questions about what it means for management and the people of Rannoch and Scotland in general. If you have questions or simply want to discuss the report, please contact us.

David Edwards, Social Scientist
Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9SY
email: david.edwards@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

COLLINS and GOTO STUDIO
Art Design and Planning
1M Glasgow Sculpture Studio
2 Dawson Road, Glasgow, G4 9SS
email: tim@collinsandgoto.com

Nil by Mouth at the Scottish Parliament >> CREATIVE FUTURES

March 3, 2015 by

We’ve just put up an excellent video from artinscotland.tv documenting Crichton Carbon Centre‘s Nil by Mouth event (produced by Wide Open) at The Scottish Parliament last November. You’ll also find background on the project, lots of info on the scientists from The James Hutton Institute, Rowett Research Institute and SRUC as well as links to pdfs and websites associated with the various artists: Harry Giles, Center for Genomic Gastronomy, Hans Clausen as well as Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman.  Read more here.

What will artists’ roles be in future societies?

February 24, 2015 by
"VLWA" and surrounding islands from Blaeu's Atlas Maior (1654) from the National Library of Scotland

“VLWA” and surrounding islands from Blaeu’s Atlas Maior (1654) from the National Library of Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland will be running a weekend group residency on Mull again this year, prompted by the following questions, “What will artists’ roles be in future societies? How might artistic practice have contributed to a greener, healthier, more equal planet?”  They are looking for 10 artists to participate.

For lots more information visit Creative Carbon Scotland.  Deadline 3 March 2015.

If you want to know more about the Mull Resdiency check out 2014.

Does anyone know Professor Paul Younger Rankine Chair of Engineering and Professor of Energy Engineering at the University of Glasgow?

February 2, 2015 by

… or any of his co-authors of the letter published in the Guardian 10 October 2014 (his co-authors were Prof Colin McInnes, James Watt Chair and Professor of Engineering Science; Prof Fin Stuart, Professor of Isotope Geosciences; Prof Rob Ellam, Director, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre; and Prof Adrian Boyce, Professor of Applied Geology all of the University of Glasgow).

We are working on the principle of 6 degrees of separation, and since there are nearly 1000 people who receive ecoartscotland posts we reckon someone knows Prof Younger.  You see we sent him a piece of work by an artist and we want to know if he received it.

It started with Roanne Dods posting a story from the Glasgow Herald. Senior Engineers at Glasgow University called the University’s recently announced commitment to long term divestment from the fossil fuel industry “vacuous posturing.”  Read more about divestment here.

We were so enraged by this that we ordered a copy a poster to be sent to Prof Younger.  The poster, created by New York based artist Rachel Schragis, is distributed by Just Seeds and is part of 350.org’s Do The Math campaign.  BTW Global Divestment Day is Feb 14th.

Rachel Schragis’ fabulous mind map for the Do The Math campaign – see more of her work at http://www.rachelschragis.com/

So we’d like to know if Prof Younger got the poster, and whether he’d like to have a conversation about divestment, climate change and the role of public institutions?  Obviously ecoartscotland can only speak to issues of art and ecology, but I’m sure someone knows an economist to can talk about fossil fuels, and a behavioural psychologist who can talk about behaviour change, and a systems theorist who can talk about conflict in systems…

Come on engineers. You must be able to do the maths.

Mourning the planet: Climate scientists share their grieving process – from Truthout

February 1, 2015 by

Dahr Jamail, staff reporter for Truthout and known for his work on Iraq and Afganistan, speaks to scientists working on Anthropogenic Climate Disruption about their emotional responses in this important piece.  Thanks to Truthout for permission to repost extracts.  Jamail starts,

I have been researching and writing about anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for Truthout for the past year, because I have long been deeply troubled by how fast the planet has been emitting its obvious distress signals.

On a nearly daily basis, I’ve sought out the most recent scientific studies, interviewed the top researchers and scientists penning those studies, and connected the dots to give readers as clear a picture as possible about the magnitude of the emergency we are in.

This work has emotional consequences: I’ve struggled with depression, anger and fear. I’ve watched myself shift through some of the five stages of grief proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I’ve grieved for the planet and all the species who live here, and continue to do so as I work today.

Continue reading here…

The Snakes and Ladders of Ecosystem Services

January 21, 2015 by

Originally posted on Forest Planet:

The trend towards applying economic value to forest ecosystems is contentious. While the valuing of the processes of nature (“ecosystem services”) or valuing of their stock value (“natural capital”) is potentially advantageous in helping to tackle challenges of nature’s conservation and protection, it is not unambiguously beneficial. I therefore wanted to find a way to visualise the sometimes contradictory nature of the ecosystem services approach, to convey the pros and cons, and to get away from binary arguments of being either “for” or “against”. The Snakes and Ladders motif seemed appropriate. All those involved (well, almost all) share the same ultimate goal — a sustainable solution to preserving our remaining natural ecosystems (and that is sustainable both in biological and social terms). But an ecosystem services approach leads you on a path that is both advantageous and perilous. There are some clear “ladders” that offer us chances to move us…

View original 300 more words

Opportunity: Urbane

January 14, 2015 by

urbane1

“But cities are not just made of bricks and mortar, they are inhabited by flesh-and-blood humans, and so must rely on the natural world to feed them. Cities, like people, are what they eat.”
Carolyn Steel, from Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives, 2008

With 66% of the world’s population expected to be living in urban areas by 2050, now is the time to ask- how will we sustain these populations within the competing uses of city space? Have city dwellers lost all sense of connection with the rural, and in doing so, alienated themselves from the production of the very sustenance that keeps them alive?

Urbane, a cross-disciplinary exhibition, aims to address these questions and provoke further consideration of these issues. Embracing discourse around the growing energy and attention being drawn towards local growing initiatives and food projects, the exhibition will act as a platform for the exchange of knowledge between artists, architects, scientists, writers, policy-makers and community groups to address the need to more fully embed our food system within our everyday urban lives.

Urbane will run 19-24 February 2015, with talks, workshops and performances activating the gallery space to create a forum to better understand the unique attributes and possibilities existing within Scotland’s urban and social environments for a more sustainable and equitable future.

Submission Guidelines:

Deadline for submissions 23 January 2015

Works of all mediums will be considered for the exhibition, with a preference for interdisciplinary collaborative works. Works will be selected for their cohesion and ability to sit within a group show in the Tent Gallery, a street-front project space located in the Art, Space + Nature studio, a space where direct dialogue between the University and the public can take place. The dimensions of the gallery are roughly 6m x 6.5m x 2.5 m in height, so works must sit well within this scale of space.

Please send a digital copy or photos of your work along with an artist statement and description/interpretation of work to Allison Palenske at thedinnerlab@gmail.com by 23 January 2015 at 5pm. Email attachment sizes must not exceed 5MB, please provide links to a Dropbox file location for larger files. Only works that have already been created will be considered, unfortunately we cannot accept proposals for new work at this time.

Preference will be given to artists proposing a performance, talk or workshop surrounding their work. Applicants will be informed of curators’ decisions by 26 January 2015.

By entering, the artist confirms that if successful, they will deliver finished exhibition quality pieces to Tent Gallery, Evolution House, Edinburgh College of Art no later than 15 February 2015. Artists must be able to pick up their works following the end of the exhibition, or provide return postage, no later than 1 March 2015. Whilst due care and attention will be given throughout, artists should note that the artworks will be sent, exhibited and returned entirely at the owners risk. Artists are liable to make their own insurance cover, if required. Works should be sent suitably packaged and will be returned in the original packaging.  Artists whose work is of a fragile nature should discuss this with the organiser before sending the works. Any further questions can be sent via email to Allison at thedinnerlab@gmail.com.


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