Create & Sustain: Alastair McIntosh at GSA Sustainability

December 19, 2014 by
Alastair McIntosh By Dominique Carton, Oct 2010 http://www.alba-photography.com/

Alastair McIntosh By Dominique Carton, Oct 2010 http://www.alba-photography.com/

TALK + Seminar – 14 January 2015 15.00-19.00 Reid Auditorium. Booking here

Alastair McIntosh is a writer, poet, speaker, researcher and activist. Originally from the Isle of Lewis he now lives on Govan near to the GalGael Trust, for which he is a founding trustee.

“ Most of my work is constellated by a passion for community… I see the lack of it, or damage to it, as a prime driver of the the lack of meaning, emptiness and loneliness that underlies many of the world’s most pressing problems. Human ecology is therefore central to my work because it is the study of, and participation in, human community in relation to the wider natural environment. It therefore encompasses the great issues of our times, including the roots of war, poverty, meaninglessness and climate change.

For me, community is much more than just another name for society. It has three pillars – relationship with one another, relationship with the natural world, and relationship with the psychospiritual underpinning of all life. “Soil, soul and society” are therefore themes that weave through all my work. Integrating these requires bringing about a rich connection between our inner and outer lives. As such, both action and reflection interlace through all that I do and in the ways that I work with others.”

Sustainability at Glasgow School of Art.

Funded PhD Opportunity: Performing Geochronology: Deep Time and Sustainable Futures along Scotland’s Western Seaboard

December 17, 2014 by

How can creative research investigation into the climatic and tectonic processes operating along Scotland’s Western Seaboard can help to nurture and communicate a sense of the ‘deep time’ involved?  This includes the ‘slow’ temporality associated with glaciations, and the ‘quick’ events of storms and flooding, but also organic temporalities, from evolution to settlement patterns. Such an expanded notion of time is crucial if we are to respond to what Dipesh Chakrabarty has termed the sense of ‘historical confusion’ that climate change presents us with. For Chakrabarty, the uncanny spectre of ‘a world without us’ produces a sense of melancholia and helplessness. One way in which this despair might be countered is by imagining ourselves as planetary creatures whose history has always been entangled with a larger natural history.

This studentship investigates:

  1. How field-based geochronological dating methods can use cultural artefacts (written and image-based, and oral traditions), ranged alongside physical artefacts (e.g. morphologies and sedimentary archives), to outline the extent and impact of particular climatic/tectonic processes along Scotland’s Western Seaboard.
    How this work can be theorised, contextualised and composed with respect to extant artistic practices and theories of aesthetics.
    How an appreciation of the ‘deep time’ involved in Scotland’s changing Western Seaboard can produce 3 site-specific performances/exhibitions/films such that new narratives of place and alternative histories emerge. The student will draw on geomorphological/archaeological data and techniques as creative resources, and will prompt reflection on new ways of communicating science.

A suitable candidate is sought to apply for one of the prestigious Kelvin/Smith PhD Studentships at the University of Glasgow. The studentship is fully funded and the criteria for eligibility can be found by visiting http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/postgraduateresearch/scholarships/kelvinsmith/shortlistedscholarshipprojects/

The student for this project should possess a high quality undergraduate degree (2.1 or 1st), a Masters Degree and/or equivalent experience as an artist. The candidate should be able to work both theoretically and creatively. Evidence of prior work – both academic and artistic – in the proposed research areas (arts, geography, ecology) is crucial for this project. As well as strong academic achievement and excellent intellectual ability, the candidate should have a developed artistic practice and be able to provide a CV listing some evidence of the following: professional performances, screenings, exhibitions, commissions, recordings, and residencies and collaborations with both arts and non-arts organisation

If successful the candidate will work with an interdisciplinary team of scholars on the project from 1 October 2015 onwards. The primary supervisors will be Professor Carl Lavery (Theatre Studies) and Professor Deborah Dixon (Geography).

The Scholarship is intended to support candidates of the highest calibre and as such may be offered to residents of any country provided that the candidate has obtained leave to remain in the UK for the purposes of full-time study.

The deadline for applications is Friday 23 January 2015.

Further details can be found by emailing Professor Carl Lavery (Carl.Lavery@glasgow.ac.uk).

Anthroposcene Evolution

December 15, 2014 by

James Eckford Lauder - James Watt and the Steam Engine- the Dawn of the Nineteenth Century - Google Art Project

James Eckford Lauder – James Watt and the Steam Engine- the Dawn of the Nineteenth Century – Google Art Project

James Watt didn’t start the anthropocene age, nor is he responsible for climate change, but the invention of the Steam Engine is more than a footnote in history.  The new online journal at www.anthroposcenemanifesto.com (sic) is a platform for research and reflection from social, cultural ecology perspectives.  The introduction reads,

The Anthroposcene Evolution is a dialogue that began at an Environmental Research Network conversation, convened in Glasgow by Alex Benchimol, Hayden Lorimer and Rhian Williams in 2011. As that conversation closed, Chris Maughan suggested that for the arts and humanities  the idea might be better understood in terms of an ‘anthroposcene’, as a social or cultural ecology. All agreed it was an idea that needed to evolve and spiral outwards rather than a manifesto that would solidify and be set in stone. Here-in with many voices, hearts and minds – we establish a evolution of that discourse. In 2014-2015 an international group of contributors have agreed to develop critical variations on this theme for posting and discussion. Some will critique the form of the manifesto itself. We are the first contributors to a this dialogic journal. The membership of this group will change each year at summer solstice.

This online journal embraces all those in the arts and humanities who feel they have a vital role to play in the future. We will establish links to various projects, workshops and exhibitions as this site develops.

 The blog has a series of reports that Tim Collins and Reiko Goto wrote after ‘The Anthropocene: Artists and Writers in Critical Dialogue with Nature and Ecosystems held at the Australian National University, Canberra, June 2014:
1 Introduction, 2 Participants, 3 Images, 4Reflections and 5 Key Points.

 

33 dagar/33 Days

December 14, 2014 by
Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén, “33 dagar från ett krikonsnår” (“33 Days from a Damson thicket”), 2014

Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén, “33 dagar från ett krikonsnår” (“33 Days from a Damson thicket”), 2014

”33 Days” – an exhibition by Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén
20.11 2014—15.2 2015
KONSTHALL C , Cigarrvägen 14, 123 57 Farsta, Sweden
http://www.konsthallc.se

33 dagar/33 Days is an exhibition by Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén, and an investigation into the life of insects existing in a habitat of Damson trees (Prunus Insititia). The first Scandinavian findings of Damson, the “poor man’s plums”, are from the Viking age. The thicket measures 26 x 13 meters and is situated a few hundred meters from Grimeton Radio Station, on the west coast of Sweden. It’s a large-scale radio station for long wave transmissions and wireless telegraphy with the US from the 1920s. The Grimeton Radio Station of Halland is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

The Damson thicket is surrounded by an agricultural landscape with monoculture. It’s a fragment of an old cultural landscape and represents an endangered biological heritage. The insects have been filmed in high resolution (4K), with a camera that “sees” more than the human eye and that reveals a “new” visual reality. Vegetation observed from the inside with the ultrafast reactions of the insects versus standstill and slow-moving time.

A diary of the unexpected behaviour of insects and their encounters (with man and his machines as an alien element) – during a rapidly proceeding summer.

Another work, “DRIFT, what about Callisto?”, questions the usage of pesticides in today’s industrial agriculture.

Works in the exhibition:
Video: “33 dagar från ett krikonsnår” (“33 Days from a Damson thicket”), 115 min, 2014
Video: “DRIFT, what about Callisto?”, 28 min, 2014
Posters: ”Superweeds”

Ingrid Book and Carina Hedén are two artists based in Oslo. In their work – photography, video and installations – they actualize ethical and social questions in the intersections of architecture and urban and regional landscapes. Exhibitions of their work include Midlertidige utopier/Temporary Utopias for the Norwegian Democracy Investigation (Museet for Samtidskunst, Oslo 2003), News from the Field about urban agriculture (Bienale de São Paulo 2004), Militære landskap/Military Landscapes (Festspillutstillingen in Bergen, 2008). They participated in the Moderna Show 2010 with the series of photos Bexells Stenar, ett undangömt monument (Bexell’s Stones, a hidden monument).

The exhibition 33 dagar/33 Days also marks the end of our two-year long exhibition/investigation Sustainability – What Do We Actually mean?*, initiated by the Konsthall C work group in January 2013.

In connection with the opening of the exhibition, Thomas Bøhn, researcher/professor in gene ecology at the University of Tromsø, gave a lecture.

About Thomas Bøhn: “My research interests are focused on the effects of modern biotechnology, and in particularly of genetically modified orgamisms (GMO), on experimental model systems and on real food-webs. At my institution GenØk I’m particularly interested in risk assessment and effect studies of modern biotechnological products. One focus has been on the food quality and ecotoxicology of GM-plants (for example Bt-corn or Roundup Ready soy) in a feeding model with water fleas (Daphnia magna), also in combination with chemical stress factors (herbicides and other chemical pollutants). In the field, I work with the consequences of modern biotechnology on biological diversity and food-webs, both in terrestrial and aquatic systems. I also have a great interest in evolution, biodiversity, ecological interactions and invasion biology.”

Fallen Animals cfp

December 13, 2014 by

Deadline for this workshop is 15th January 2015.
Call For Papers – Fallen Animals: an interdisciplinary perspective
19th-20th March 2015, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Following the success of the Fall Narratives project in 2014, this workshop will explore the theme of fallen animals. The serpent in the Garden of Eden is but one example of the ambivalence which has characterized the human-animal relationship over the centuries, both across, and within, cultures, societies and traditions. With publications such as Anat Pick’s Creaturely Poetics (2011), the field of post-anthropocentrism studies has in recent years become particularly vibrant and attracts scholarly attention from a variety of disciplines. We welcome proposals with research interest in fields such as, but not limited to, literature, religion, languages, history, philosophy, psychology, art, film and visual culture, cultural studies and economics.

We are pleased to confirm that Dr Laura McMahon of the University of Cambridge will be the keynote speaker.

Potential topics include (but again, are not limited to) the following:

  • Physical falls
  • Symbolic falls
  • Literary falls
  • Psychological falls
  • Changing symbolisms within a single tradition, culture, society or religion, or across different ones
  • Animals’ creation stories
  • Demonic and demonized animals
  • The changing significance of animals in terms of religion, society, economics, nutrition, etc.; and in interconnection between any such fields
  • Cinematic fallen animals
  • Animals in popular culture

Abstracts of approximately 200 words should be sent to the organizers:

Dr Zohar Hadromi-Allouche zohar@abdn.ac.uk and Dr Áine Larkin a.larkin@abdn.ac.uk

Deadline for submission is 15th January 2015

Dr Zohar Hadromi-Allouche
Lecturer in Islam
School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
King’s College, Aberdeen AB24 3UB
Scotland, United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 (0) 1224 273112
Email: zohar@abdn.ac.uk

Strange Attractor

December 11, 2014 by
Image from Strange Attractor exhibition courtesy of David Blyth

Image from Strange Attractor exhibition courtesy of David Blyth

If you are in Aberdeen you should take the opportunity to visit David Blyth’s exhibition at the Georgina Scott Sutherland Study Centre, Aberdeen Business School, Garthdee, before going to the discussion being held at Aberdeen Art Gallery at 2pm on Saturday 13 December.

This first event in a series of three brings together artist David Blyth with social anthropologist Petra Tjitske Kalshoven and artist Alana Jelinek.

David Blyth’s current exhibition Strange Attractor, on show at the Georgina Scott Sutherland learning centre, RGU, draws on themes of totem and the fetish to examine the ambiguity of human animal relations. Through a sustained examination of the craft skills of taxidermy the exhibition seeks to breath new life into the taxidermy specimen by imagining new ways of understanding their ‘being’ in the world.

Blyth will speak to social anthropologist Petra Tjitske Kalshoven exploring her research into different genealogies of knowledge and London based artist Alana Jelinek who has just completed a residency in Cambridge Museum of Archeology and Anthropology which produced the site specific intervention and stand alone art work ‘The Forks Tale’.

All three speakers will present on their work entering into conversation with each other around the intersections of their practices before opening the discussion up to incorporate feelings and observations from the room.

These events are programmed in partnership with SCAN, Grays School of Art (IDEAS Institute, Robert Gordon University) and supported by Aberdeen City Council and Creative Scotland.

Click here to reserve your FREE ticket.

Prior to the main event SCAN will host an informal meeting (at 1pm) for current members and anyone interested in finding out more about the SCAN network (www.sca-net.org/what-is-scan/). Please email info@sca-net.org to RSVP.

Guest Post: Ariane Koek – Art and Science Conversations

December 9, 2014 by

Originally posted on Cultural Value Project Blog:

The 21st century is being heralded as the era when arts and science interactions finally come of age. That’s according to José Carlos Arna the Director of Etopia – the visionary art and technology centre which opened two years ago in Zaragosa, Spain, in the midst of the economic crisis.

It is being forecast that the influence of arts/science interactions mixed with technology on culture will be as significant as the technology and arts movement was in the 70s as exemplified by the extraordinary E.A.T project held at Bell Laboratories in the USA. This highly influential project fostered collaborations between such artists as Robert Rauchensberg and dancer Lucinda Childs with engineers like Billy Kluver and Manfred Schroeder. Its influence in performing and visual arts has been felt ever since.

However there is nothing intrinsically new in arts and science interactions. Artists throughout millennia have nourished their curiosity and…

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Encountering Crows: Living with wildlife in a changing world

December 8, 2014 by

Originally posted on Thom van Dooren:

I am currently beginning work on a new 3-4 year research project focused on crows around the world. Below are a few excerpts from a recent grant application, stitched together to give a sense of my larger project and research questions. 


A House Crow by Rachid H

A House Crow by Rachid H

This project explores the dynamic interface between people and wildlife in this period of incredible social and environmental transformation. As a consequence of interwoven processes of climate change, increased urbanisation, escalating biodiversity loss and the unprecedented global movement of commodities, ideas and organisms, it is now often the case that people and wildlife find themselves thrust into novel environments and relationships. These ‘contact zones’ (Haraway 2008) present us with a range of important challenges: many species are being pushed to extinction, unable to adapt to shifting habitat or climate pressures (Barnosky et al. 2011), while around the world wildlife are often perceived as…

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Sharing video Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl

December 1, 2014 by

We have previously covered the subject of collapse and recently talked about extinction. This beautiful short film, part of a larger project, takes us to a zone where one of the major ‘collapse’ events, the meltdown of the Chernobyl reactor, has meant that we can see one of our potential future: the one where the planet recovers from our presence. (Of course it is still our eyes and our aesthetic communicating the story, and our emotions are still manipulated by our music in the background.)

Art in the Anthropocene | Xavier Cortada

November 30, 2014 by
Global View of the Arctic and Antarctic on September 21, 2005. Courtesy NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

Global View of the Arctic and Antarctic on September 21, 2005. Courtesy NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

The introduction to the current issue of the Journal American Art takes as its starting point Astrid, a work by Xavier Cortada. “The works were made in Antarctica, about Antarctica, using Antarctica as the medium (provided to me by the very researchers who inform us about Antarctica).”
The Introduction goes on to open up a series of key issues for both art and for ecocriticism in the Anthropocene. Read on here http://cortada.com/press/2014/AmericanArt


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