This review of the Environmental Art Festival Scotland which took place last year in Dumfries and Galloway has been published in the International eJournal of Creativity and Human Development: Art is a Dynamic Relationship with the Environment – Creativity & Human Development International eJournal.
Archive for the ‘Public Art’ Category
Recycling of Gully Waste and General Road Construction Materials in South Lanarkshire
The Council requires to procure services for the acceptance and subsequent recycling of gully waste and road construction materials produced from the works of South Lanarkshire Council’s Roads and Transportation Services.
Roads and Transportation Services operates four Depots as follows:-
- Carnwath Depot – ML11 8LR
- Lesmahagow – ML11 0DZ
- East Kilbride – G74 5HA
- Larkhall – ML9 2GA
The waste materials for /recycling will be transported by South Lanarkshire Council to the Contractor’s facility. Where required, the Contractor will also provide an uplift service, transporting waste road construction materials from Council Depots to its recycling facility.
The waste is composed as follows:-
Category A:- Materials including vegetation, timber, plastic and other processed or manufactured materials. Waste Category 17-01-01, 17-01-02, 17-01-03, 17-01-07, 17-03-02, 17-05-04 as defined by Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442/EEC on waste and Article 1(4) of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste.
Category B:- Materials including rock, crushed rock, blaes, concrete, metal, soil, subsoil, and other excavated materials. Waste Category 17-01-01, 17-01-02, 17-01-03, 17-01-07, 17-03-02, 17-05-04 as defined by Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442/EEC on waste and Article 1(4) of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste.
Gully waste:- Waste Category 20 03 03 as defined by Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442/EEC on waste and Article 1(4) of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste.
Motor and lorry tyres: Waste Category 16 01 03 as defined by Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442/EEC on waste and Article 1(4) of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste.
Bitumen emulsion:- Bitumen emulsion tack coat. Waste Category 08 04 16 as defined by Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442/EEC on waste and Article 1(4) of Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste.
CPV: 90500000, 90514000.
We wonder about this, not particularly because of the land art tradition, but more from an ecological art perspective. We’d cite Betty Beaumont’s Ocean Landmark which involved using 500 tons of coal waste processed into 17,000 coal fly ash blocks and then deposited into the ocean to create a new marine environment off Fire Island in the North East United States.
We’d suspect that there are innovative ways to dispose of this material and enhance biodiversity or storm water management or something we can’t even imagine.
Farmers have been a recurring subject in art, perhaps more often in the background of a religious painting, bringing an edifying moral to the scene. Their everyday lives have been the subject of poetry, including of course that of Robert Burns. The Impressionists must be one of the foremost groups of painters to have addressed farming, probably as a result of getting out of Cities and being interested in the everyday and the visible rather than the sublime.
Sylvia Grace Borda’s project Farm Tableaux is a collaboration with Google Streetview photographer John M Lynch. We get a different view of farming because although the image presented to you is framed when you start, the ability to pan, zoom and move around the space enables to you explore the Turkey Shed at Medomist Farm, or the Farm Shop at Zaklan Heritage Farm in a very different way. You start in the Farm Shop but you can move out into the market garden plot and then onto the street – it seems to integrate with Google Streetview so suddenly you’re moving house by house through suburban BC. If you back track you can go back into the farm and back into the shop. If you explore the market garden you can find Sylvia taking a (different) picture. Her face is blurred out according to the Streetview conventions.
Check it out at http://www.streetlevelphotoworks.org/programme/exhibitionsandprojects/sylviagraceborda/sylviagraceborda-streetview.html . Give yourself some time to explore.
Linda Weintraub and Natalie Jeremijenko want to artists to make their materials and mediums themselves from resources around them, rather than always sourcing from art stores.
Linda Weintraub is a curator, educator, artist, and author. Her many books including To Life: Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet, Cycle-Logical Art: Recycling Matters for Eco-Art, and Eco-Centric Topics: Pioneering Themes for Eco-Art.
Natalie Jeremijenko is an artist and engineer known for her projects such as How Stuff is Made, Feral Robots and Environmental Health Clinic.
You can access recipes and instructions as well as contribute your own at DIY Mediums.
If you are interested in examples of eco public art, or you have undertaken an eco public art project (temporary or permanent) you should seriously consider adding it to this important new database. It’s already got a wealth of interesting projects. There is information on how to submit on the website (and it’s peer reviewed so the quality is good). Thanks to Ian Garrett and the CPSA for highlighting this.
It’s part of the wider Curating Cities research programme,
Curating Cities is a 5-year research project that examines how the arts can generate environmentally beneficial behavioural change and influence the development of green infrastructure in urban environments. Founded on the principle of using art and design to curate–literally, to care for–public space, the project places creative disciplines at the heart of the sustainability agenda. In doing so it advances an ambitious research plan for aesthetic practice, proposing ‘curating’ as a method for working through the practical concerns of sustainable living.
If you are in New York in the next month, this is a ‘must see’ show.
January 11 – February 8, 2014
[The Harrisons’] work is a prime example of the potential of ecoart to create knowledge that promotes cultural change. Ruth Wallen, Leonardo XLV, no. 3, 2012
Helen Mayer Harrison & Newton Harrison are the first recipients of the Corlis Benefideo Award for Imaginative Cartography, presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) on October 9, 2013 in Greenville, South Carolina.
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts will exhibit Global Mapping, an overview of the life-long work of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, pioneers of ecologically-oriented art, whose visionary proposals have influenced long-term public policy in the United States and abroad. For more than forty years, the Harrisons’ expansive practice, realized in collaboration with experts from other disciplines and often commissioned by government and art institutions, has been to map out specific geographical areas at ecological risk to encourage public discourse and community involvement. Their impassioned works serve as both a meditation on global ecology and also as a futuristic vision, often with proposals for environmental change and recovery.
The Harrisons’ mapping – on large wall panels and synthesized with aerial photographs and narrative text of Socratic reasoning – dominates the exhibition space. The artworks are selected from large-scale installations of projects from the early seventies to the present. Similar in appearance to the wall panels, a floor panel allows the viewer to walk on a topographical map of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, a work from Force Majeure, the Harrisons’ current on-going series which addresses the effects of global warming on an unprecedented scale.
Earlier works, From The Lagoon Cycle (1974-1984), Law of the Sea Conference from the 1976 Venice Biennale, and Baltimore Promenade (1981), focus on watershed restoration, agricultural and forestry issues, and urban renewal, as well as providing a history of the Harrisons’ engagement with the topic of global warming.
Reflecting the Harrisons’ international perspective and the scale of their research, the exhibition includes projects that study the eco-systems of large bodies of water from around the world: the Sava River in former Yugoslavia, the Yarkon River in Israel, and the Salton Sea and the Bays at San Francisco in the state of California. Their titles often incorporate visual metaphor to define and unify the large geographical areas under consideration: A Vision for the Green Heart of Holland, Peninsula Europe, Greenhouse Britain, and Tibet is the High Ground.
Helen Mayor Harrison and Newton Harrison, Emeriti Professors in the Visual Arts at the University of California at San Diego and currently research professors at University of California at Santa Cruz, have been represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts since 1974. The recipient of numerous awards, they delivered the convocation address at the College Art Association 100th Year Anniversary Conference in 2011. They have exhibited internationally, and their work is in the collections of many public institutions including The National Museum of Modern Art, The Pompidou Center, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.
Closing date for submissions: 12 pm Friday 24 January 2014
Call out for an Associate Artist #climatechange | Gallery Of Modern Art.
Fantastic opportunity for an Associate Artist at the Gallery of Modern Art (affectionately known as GOMA) in Glasgow. Very much look forward to this. It’s on the back of Katie Bruce signing GOMA up to host one of Ellie Harrison’s Early Warning Signs.
One of the few publications that focuses on giving voice to artists involved in ecological work, the magazine of the Women Environmental Artists Directory has just published a new issue entitled Dirty Water. The issue features essays by artists including Betsy Damon, Stacy Levy and Jackie Brookner, as well as Chris Drury. Activist, writer and poet Jourdan Imani Keith provides a personal perspective and Linda Weintraub provides a survey of practices. This is essential reading for anyone interested in artists and water. Previous issues are well worth checking out.
How do you represent ideas that are far away, remote or don’t exist yet? The Environmental Art Festival Scotland (EAFS) was spread across rural Dumfries and Galloway, but its ambition was to represent environmental art ideas from much further afield.
Exhibitions of ideas in the form of documentation can be very problematic, even if they include models and drawings, photographs and plans, video and archives. They can frankly end up being dry and boring for anyone not deeply interested in the ephemera of environmental and social practices.
Two artists addressed this challenge beautifully for the Festival. Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman came up with a genius solution by assuming that this was a performative problem rather than a problem of display. They describe The Archivist as a collaboration with performer David Giblin.
We met The Archivist at the village hall in Gretna Green, just across the road from one of the tackiest parts of the Scottish tourism industry – the Old Blacksmith’s Shop.
The Archivist had his audience in the palm of his hand. He was talking to a group of school children, introducing them to the Archive. He was elegantly dressed in a frock coat and cravat, clearly channelling the antiquarian who has researched the obscure world of artists and designers working on environmental issues. Dumfries and Galloway is of course home turf for antiquarians, researching the monuments of neolithic, bronze and iron age, and Celtic cultures. But the school children were entranced and more importantly engaged with complex ideas and creativity. What more could you ask for?
The Archivist was showing them one of George Wyllie’s (1921-2012) Spires. He captured Wyllie’s spirit in his demonstration of the simple idea of equilibrium.
George’s spires which, from 1982 onwards, he positioned throughout the UK as well as Europe and the US too, celebrated “the places on which they stood. The spire was a very basic structure with the rod going upwards, counterbalanced by a stone and set on a tripod of steel or wood to enable it to move about, like the sails of a ship. In simple rhythm with nature and without complications, the spire freely compromises itself to praise the planet. Air, Stone, Equilibrium, Understanding.” (from the George Wyllie website)
The Archivist had a large, velvet lined trunk next to him which was filled with ideas in the form of iconic ephemera. You could ask him about any of them and he’d pull out the object and set it on the elegant and slightly anachronistic brass tripod. He’d demonstrate how the particular thing might work, explain what it meant and ask his audience about their ideas.
Another example from his trunk was a model of a high voltage electricity transmission pylon covered in vegetation, a proposal by Andrea Geile who is concerned with “replacing lost forests and ever decreasing eco-systems by colonising existing man made structures in the environment.” For a full list of the ideas that The Archivist was working with see the EAFS website.
Usually it’s performance that is the problem, the thing that can only be experienced through documentation. This reversal, using performance as a means to release new life in artworks which only exist as ideas, succeeds because it focuses on the interpersonal experience. These types of ideas are normally shared and discussed in small groups working to make them happen. It’s in discussions between artists, curators and producers, clients and funders, that these ideas are brought to life, literally brought to reality in often long process of negotiation and project development. The Archivist was using one of the methods that normally exists in that process – the maquette. A maquette is a model for a sculpture. Everything in The Archivist’s trunk was a maquette for an idea, i.e. not necessarily literally a miniature of the proposed work, but rather a useful physical manifestation of the idea (the two highlighted above are literally maquettes).
Within the territory of the visual and applied arts, it is usually the artist’s voice which is foregrounded, and if not the artist’s then the curator/producer is the interlocutor of choice. To involve a performer to represent the ideas of a visual artist is provocative, but what it necessitates is the foregrounding of methodology and the clarity of the idea. Environmental and social practices are perhaps more interested in the pedagogical dimensions of the work, and also owe more of a debt to performance art for their aesthetic, as Claire Bishop has recently suggested.
If there is a key reference point for this as a work in itself, it is surely Allan Kaprow’s Gallery in a Hat. As I remember it Kaprow would approach someone in a bar for instance and say “Would you like to see the gallery in my hat?” He’d proceed to take objects out of the hat and relate the stories associated with each. Kaprow’s work in turn relates back to dadaist and surrealist poetry created by pulling words or phrases out of a hat (and of course to William Burroughs’ Cut-Up technique).
We look forward to meeting The Archivist again.
Chris Fremantle’s review of the Environmental Art Festival Scotland will be published in the International e-Journal of Creativity and Human Development (the link will be updated when the article is published).
You can contact Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman to explore how The Archivist might help you with communicating your ideas to your audiences through Jo’s website.
The question of food is central to the issue of sustainability – it is literally what sustains us on a day to day basis, but food production contributes 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. 30% of the world’s population is malnourished and another 30% is obese. Food production uses 70% of the world’s fresh water and 40% of the world’s land. Developed countries waste 30%-40% of food.
The Nil by Mouth: Food, Farming, Science and Sustainability project kicks off Friday with a workshop between the four selected artists/collectives and scientists involved in the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme Environmental Change; Food, Land and People. Nil by Mouth is an initiative of the Crichton Carbon Centre in partnership with Wide Open.
Over the past few days we’ve seen, thanks to a variety of supporters, a number of interesting articles:
Suzanne Benton highlighted an article, Now This Is Natural Food, from the New York Times on farming, soil and perennial polycultures.
We just highlighted Common Ground’s new programme of work on Fields, including this outstanding manifesto, but it’s worth flagging it again.
And finally the obituary of Joan Thirsk, historian of agriculture was published in the Guardian. The latter two are very much English, and the former is Kansas. We wonder what Nil by Mouth can contribute from a Scottish perspective?