Outlook: Exploring Geddes in the 21st Century

July 21, 2016 by


To coincide with Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, a two-day international conference (18-19 August, 2016) will celebrate the impact and legacy of Sir Patrick Geddes, polymath, botanist and founding father of town planning.

The conference will be opened by Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop MSP.

The conference will involve a series of interactive seminars and workshops, fusing together strands of academic and practice-based thinking from Scotland and all around the world.

The first day will hear from young people about their sense of place as well as a range of leading thinkers, artists, architects, educationalists and planners.
Day two will provide opportunities for creative, hands-on art and design workshops inspired by Geddes, involving students from Art, Space + Nature Masters Programme at ECA.

Further information and booking here.

Mapping sustainability and the arts

July 20, 2016 by

From Creative Carbon Scotland:

Carbon Image Larissa Pschetz

A quick reminder about our two upcoming Green Tease events which we hope you can join us for! You’re welcome to come along for the whole session or to drop in for a bite to eat and to make your contribution to the network maps that we’ll be developing over the course of the events.

What Lies Beneath: Mapping Sustainability & the Arts with Dr Larissa Pschetz

Date: Monday 25th July, 6 – 8pm
Venue: Out of the Blue, 36 Dalmeny St, Edinburgh EH6 8RG
Find out more and register here

Date: Friday 29th July, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Venue: The Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, G1 5HB
Find out more and register here

What cultural and environmental sustainability activities are taking place in Edinburgh and Glasgow? How do we map existing networks and discover new points of connection between them?

This month we want to hear from Green Tease members and others, about current projects that you’re engaged in, areas of future interest, and how the Green Tease programme can enable stronger ties between artistic practices and environmental initiatives in Scotland.

To do this, we’re very excited to be led by Dr Larissa Pschetz (Interaction Designer and Lecturer, Edinburgh College of Art) through a series of physical visualisation exercises, the data from which will be translated into online maps for use and sharing by participants.

We want to hear from as many Green Tease members as possible, as well as those who are new to the network, so please share this widely with friends and colleagues. Either join us for the whole session or drop in at a time that suits. We’ll have snacks available and drinks for purchasing from the venues.


Please note that the event venues are wheelchair accessible. If you have any access requirements or questions please get in touch with Gemma at gemma.lawrence@creativecarbonscotland.com.

Green Tease is an ongoing informal events programme which aims to build connections between creative practices and environmental sustainability. The majority of our Green Tease are free to attend with refreshments provided.

Multispecies Studies

July 19, 2016 by

Announcement from Thom Van Dooren

Thom van Dooren

ENV_8_1 CoverPRINT copyThis week our new special issue on “Multispecies Studies” appeared in Environmental Humanities. The issue was co-edited by six of us: Thom van Dooren, Ursula Münster, Eben Kirksey, Deborah Bird Rose, Matthew Chrulew and Anna Tsing. The full table of contents is below.

You can access the issue online here: http://environmentalhumanities.dukejournals.org/content/8/1

View original post 627 more words

Off-grid electrification

July 16, 2016 by
Image of mow demolished Port Dundas Power Station.Port Dundas Power Station served the Tram System in Glasgow.

Port Dundas Power Station served the Tram System in Glasgow

Working with Community Energy Scotland on the Land Art Generator Glasgow project has led to discussions about Local Energy Grids.
Reading Prof Paul Younger’s book on Energy highlighted the real challenges of putting renewables together with our existing national grid.

The limitations of the national grid have driven remote Scottish communities to develop proposals for local grids to enable them to make full use of the energy they can generate in their own environments. In this article local grids are being developed in Africa using solar, micro-payments and smart/mesh metering. Just as mobile phones have enabled much of Africa to bypass a ‘wired network’ problem so local grids bypass a ‘national grid’ problem.

What’s really interesting is the importance of a stable civil society, good governance, to support local autonomy and development (which is what this is whether it’s Scotland or Africa). Sustainability is after all totally scale dependent.

For LAGI Glasgow these apparently remote examples have real relevance for city centre regeneration.

Nature art, food & a film

July 12, 2016 by

Lydon Kang event-poster-art-food-film-falkland

24 July / from 2pm
Falkland Centre for Stewardship
at The Stables

Join nature artist and filmmaker team Patrick Lydon (usa) and Suhee Kang (korea) in this special engagement as they bring us on new adventures in sensing and seeing nature.

Their nature art workshops have been given internationally on a “pay it forward” basis for participants of all ages, and their recent feature length documentary film “Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness” is fresh from a 100+ date tour of East Asia.

Feel free to join us for some or all of the day’s events below! You can register here.

2pm | nature art workshop
take a “sensing tour” of forest and field, and enjoy making vivid colors directly from soil, plant, and other natural materials at falkland estate

5pm | potluck dinner
bring something to share with each other and enjoy samples of local produce from the organic and biodynamic farmers right here at falkland estate

6pm | documentary screening
fresh from a tour of japan, watch Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness, a film that BBC’s Barbara Baker called “meditative, mindful … a beautiful film” then join a casual talk session with the film’s directors afterwards

Pay it Forward: The artists are donating their time to prepare and host this workshop, and are pleased to offer it on a “pay it forward” basis. Donations from this event will help to produce the next event for participants in another location. There is no set fee, however participants are encouraged to pay what they can.

Julia Barton: Collecting new rock samples in Scotland’s GeoParks

July 5, 2016 by

Julia Barton sent us the following information on her current work:

plastic rock reveal. NH 093 988 Isle Martin. J Barton

plastic rock reveal. NH 093 988 Isle Martin. J Barton

Artist Julia Barton is presently collecting classifying samples of a new rock now found on beaches in the remotest places on the North West Coast and Shetland, the rocks have become the focus of her Littoral Art Project which is investigating beach litter around Scotland.
Littoral meaning, the zone between the low and the high tide marks.

In 2013 a Canadian geological team named this rock ‘Plastiglomerate’ a category now acknowledged by scientists as a geological marker of our time (the Anthropocene) .  These ‘rocks’ lumps of melted plastic are now common on some beaches, as people turn to burning the increasing volumes of plastic waste which accumulates on beaches.  Every year 8 million tonnes of plastic reaches the world’s ocean and 100,000 sharks, turtles, dolphins and whales die from eating plastic according to the Marine Conservation Society.

The ‘plastic rocks’ are difficult to distinguish from natural beach rocks, and often go un-noticed, each has a unique molecular composition, their toxicity and timeline is unknown.  The ‘rocks’ collected will be used to construct the principal piece of an exhibition opening at Da Gadderie, Shetland Museum – 8th Oct-12 Nov and at An Talla Solais Caledonian Gallery in 2017 (dates to be confirmed).

It is intended that the exhibition will then travel to Edinburgh and internationally. Julia is presently producing a ‘Guide to Beach Litter’ to accompany the exhibition. This exhibition has received part funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding.

Littoral Art Project was set up in 2013 by artist Julia Barton in response to her fear of drowning in litter which she experienced whilst walking on a beach on the North West coast of Scotland. Since then Julia has surveyed and mapped litter on over 20 Scottish beaches engaging local communities in her interactive investigations some of which can be viewed

The aim of the project and exhibition is to encourage understanding of the threat that beach and marine litter presents and to promote change by allowing people to see litter in different ways and consider the long term environmental implications.

Jay Koh

July 4, 2016 by
Jay Koh, Conversation Pieces, Malaysia, 2008

Jay Koh, Conversation Pieces, Malaysia, 2008

Jay Koh – Artist Talk: 6:15 P.M. Thur. 14th July
Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Social Space (2F)
The Whisky Bond Building, 2 Dawson Road, G4 9SS

Jay Koh is one of the foremost artist developing and reflecting on politically engaged social practice.  He has spent the last 15 years developing grassroots engagement through arts, cultural and media based projects in Myanmar working under the radar of a military junta. Meantime he also completed a practice-led PhD in Helsinki.

An overview of his new book is available online. Art-Led Participative Processes: Dialogue & Subjectivity within Performances in the Everyday (University of the Arts Helsinki) http://www.ifima.net/ALPP preview sm.pdf. Also see, Space2 an artist interview, Jay Koh, 2013 https://youtu.be/zXnKBD0iyIw

Jay Koh FINAL_screen

Ben’s Strategy Blog: Art+Renewables Connections – Creative Carbon Scotland

June 25, 2016 by

At last week’s Beautiful Renewables Practical Workshop, two interesting ideas arose that support one of Creative Carbon Scotland’s main aims: to encourage and support more cross-fertilisation between the arts and cultural sector and others working on sustainability. (I hesitate to call it the ‘sustainability sector’ because it is so broad and all-encompassing: renewables, low-carbon technologies, energy demand management, clean-tech, adaptation, environmental pressure groups… and that’s just the beginning of the environmental sustainability part).

  1. Chloe Uden from RegenSW, a community energy organisation in Exeter, argued that every community energy group should invite an artist onto its board, an idea she has followed up in her blog at Power Culture. Interestingly, her list of characteristics and skills – that artists might have and the boards might find useful – has some similarities with the American artist, Frances Whitehead’s, piece What do Artists Know?, that I blogged about recently.
  2. Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry from the Land Art Generator Initiative posed the idea for a ‘Percent for art’ as a requirement for energy projects, adaptation projects, environmental remediation etc. Some people may remember that this was an idea that used to have some currency, mainly for more general civic development, new office buildings etc. Section 75 of the Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 provides the opportunity for local planning authorities to ask for some planning gain when approving a planning application (in England it’s Section 106, and thanks to Ross Anthony of the valuable Theatres Trust for his advice on this). So the mechanism exists.

Read the rest…

We need a Percent for Art for Energy

June 18, 2016 by

Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry, Directors of the Land Art Generator Initiative, reflect on another aspect to emerge from the ‘Beautiful Renewables’ workshop hosted by Creative Carbon Scotland.

Cities that recognize the value of arts and culture have long benefited from percent for art programs. It has become expected (and in many cases required) for large-scale development projects to invest at least 1% in the arts, especially when there is public funding involved, either by bringing an artist onto the project team to produce a local outcome, or by investing in a fund that is pooled for larger projects throughout the city.

As we increase our focus on large-scale environmental and climate design solutions—resilient infrastructures, environmental remediation, regenerative water and energy projects—it is high time that a similar percent for art requirement be placed on these projects as well. This simple policy standard would bring great benefit to communities that otherwise find themselves left out of the process. Even when their net benefit to the environment is clear, if these projects have not been considered from a cultural perspective, they risk being ignored at best. And at worst they risk alienating the public and sparking push-back against similar future projects.

Involving artists in the process can instead deliver a more holistic approach to sustainability that addresses social equity, environmental justice, aesthetics, local needs, and other important cultural considerations. As we have said from the founding of LAGI in 2008, “sustainability is not only about resources, but it is also about social harmony.”


Every community energy group should invite an artist onto its board!

June 10, 2016 by

This is the first of several reflections from the Beautiful Renewables workshop with LAGI and Creative Carbon Scotland picking up on key issues.

power culture

Yesterday I spent a fascinating afternoon with Creative Carbon Scotland and Land Art Generator Initiative at their Beautiful Renewables event in Edinburgh. The event brought together engineers, planners, community energy groups, artists and architects to develop an understanding of what is involved in the development of an energy generation project and what each of the events participants might need or be able to offer in the project’s successful delivery.

Without exception there was a recognition that artists offered something of value to community energy projects but that to get the most out of the collaboration, artists need to be involved EARLY! Perhaps even before a project’s specifics are dreamt up at all.

So, I am suggesting that every community energy group invites an artist (or creative practitioner to use a term that more actively includes, dancers, musicians, theatre makers, writers etc) to join its board.

I can see why this may not…

View original post 1,062 more words


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