AGENTS OF CHANGE: Ecological Citizenship and The Art of Changing One’s Mind(set)

by

If you have the opportunity to visit Oxford over the next few months Shelley Sack‘s Social Sculpture programme at Oxford Brookes University is hosting a series of seminars featuring an amazing range of international speakers.

Programme 2011 in Oxford
All events are free and open to everyone
For information please contact Lucy Turner lturner@brookes.ac.uk

Friday 4 February  11 – 4.30  (Oxford Brookes Univ. Buckley Bdg, Room BG01)

Dr. Maritta Koch-Weser

Re-thinking Sustainability: New directions for Rio+20?

An introductory presentation will reflect on (1) the history and range of sustainability definitions, (2) global achievements in the name of sustainability since the Rio Environment Summit 1992, and especially on (3) the current need to reframe and revive the notion of sustainability in tangible, operationally relevant ways in the context of Rio+20

> Lecture-Participatory Seminar  There is no fee for this day, but participants are challenged to contribute their own experiences and visions for the road ahead.

BIO  Maritta Koch-Weser is Founder and President of Earth3000, an international NGO that supports strategic innovations in governance for environment and development, combining academic, advisory and board engagements. She coordinates a program on Amazonia at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Sao Paulo. Prior to this she worked for 20 years at the World Bank, where she was responsible for major sustainable development programs and held senior management positions in sustainable development for the Asia and Latin America & Caribbean programs. She has been Director General of IUCN -The World Conservation Union, and CEO of the Global Exchange for Social Investment, a development initiative supporting emerging social business and entrepreneurship, originated by the World Economic Forum. Her work at Earth3000 builds on over 3 decades in international development, as anthropologist and environmentalist. She has field experience in Latin America, South & East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe & countries of the Former Soviet Union and has led major environmental & social assessment tasks, and investment programs in the agriculture, forestry, mining, energy, and urban-industrial sectors. Her interdisciplinary interests include the role of creative methodologies in attitudinal change and in social sculpture processes linking imagination and transformation.

Maritta Koch-Weser holds a Ph.D. from Bonn and Cologne Universities, and a 2010 Honorary Doctorate from Oxford Brookes University. She has taught Anthropology and Latin American Studies at George Washington University in Washington D.C., and carried out extensive field work in Brazil.

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Friday 18 February  11 – 4.30 pm  (Buckley Building, Room BG01)

Allan Kaplan

Taking Goethe seriously – stretching our thinking

Goethe said: “Natural system: a contradictory expression. Nature has no system; she has – she is – life and development from an unknown centre toward an unknowable periphery”.

In this one-day process we will work together to reach towards the infinite, stretching our thinking between ‘an unknown centre’ and ‘an unknowable periphery’ …and perhaps, in doing so, move beyond systemic thinking to the bare bones of organic thinking.

> There are places for up to 40 participants in this process.

Please RSVP as soon as possible to Lucy Turner in the Arts Department.

lturner@brookes.ac.uk

BIO  Allan Kaplan is a facilitator, writer and social development practitioner, working internationally with groups, organisations and communities to bring a Goethean approach to the social sphere in service of building a social sensibility.

He is the author of The Development Practitioner’s Handbook; Artists of the Invisible – Development Practitioners and Social Change; The Developing of Capacity; and Dreaming Reality – The Future in Retrospect.

Allan co-directs The Proteus Initiative, which works as a vehicle for developing the organic and holistic methods of JW von Goethe into a new understanding and approach to the sphere of social renewal. His work is an attempt to realise the full consequences of true participation, of socio-ecological complexity, and of an emerging consciousness, which holds freedom and responsibility as a generative polarity in the quest for wholeness.  He has collaborated in establishing the Towerland Wilderness, in the southern Cape, South Africa as a space for nature and for the learning that may come through immersion in, and communion with, life processes in the wild. He is currently collaborating with the University of the Trees and is exploring links between his work and social sculpture.

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Monday 21 February  4 – 7.30 pm  (Buckley Building, Room BG01)

Dr. Wolfgang Zumdick

Aesthetic Education and Poetic Imagination: key tools for social and ecological change

Since Friedrich Schiller wrote his ‘Letters on the Aesthetic Education of the Human Being” there has been an increasing interest in education that regards the aesthetic dimension as central. This talk will highlight the urgency and importance of aesthetic and poetic education for humanness and social and ecological change.

BIO  Wolfgang Zumdick is a philosopher and curator, also involved in communications work for the Green Party. He has authored five monographs and other publications on the history of philosophy and on contemporary art and philosophy.

Wolfgang is currently involved in a project with the Art of Survival / Survival Art initiative in Berlin, linked to the Kulturstiftung des Bundes. He is a Research Associate in the Social Sculpture Research Unit and has collaborated with Shelley Sacks on several international social sculpture programmes and projects. He is currently supervising Masters and Doctoral students at Brookes in the field of social sculpture.

See www.social-sculpture.org/people/zumdick

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Friday 4 March  11 am – 4.30 pm  (Buckley Building, Room BG01)

Prof. Dr. Alex Arteaga

Knowledge as process of transformation… and how aesthetic practice can contribute to it

In this open seminar the notion of the embodied and situated knowledge according to the so-called enactive approach to cognition will be presented with a special focus on the concept of sense as an emergent and transformative instance. With this as a basis, the research framework emerging environments will be open to discussion, as a practical example of how aesthetic practice can be understood as a cognitive practice i.e. how it contribute to the emergence of sense.

Alex Arteaga is an artist and philosopher whose work explores ‘sensuous knowing’ as a sustainable form of thinking. He studied music and architecture in Barcelona and Berlin. Alex received his doctorate at the Institute of Philosophy, Humboldt University Berlin with his work “Sensuous framing: Principles of a strategy to realize conditions of perception”, that researches on Cognition and Aesthetic Practice. He is co-director of the Auditory Architecture Research Unit (Berlin University of the Arts), research assistant at the Collegium for the Advanced Study of Picture Act and Embodiment (Humboldt University Berlin) and Visiting Professor at the Master of Choreography (Co-operative Dance Education Centre Berlin) Alex is active in the Social Sculpture Research Unit and has collaborated on and written about the Exchange Values social sculpture project from the perspective of ‘sensuous framing’.

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Friday 18 March   11 – 5 pm   (Buckley Building, Room BG01)

A one-day symposium and dialogue process with contributions from 3 leading figures in the field of arts and sustainability – Arran Stibbe, Hildegard Kurt and Peter Gingold

Dr. Arran Stibbe

Ecological citizenship and the Arts

In this talk Arran will discuss ecological citizenship and its relationship with sustainable development, the transition movement and the Dark Mountain project. He will explore the role of the Arts in helping to break out of a set of social and cultural constructions that have placed humanity on a path to self-destruction and in helping to open up new, previously unimagined paths. He will raise questions of whether it is too late, or impossible, for the trajectory of society to change fast enough to avert ecological collapse of some kind, and the consequences for how we see our work.

BIO  Arran Stibbe has a background in both human ecology and linguistics and combines the two in his explorations of the cultural foundations of an unsustainable society, and paths towards reinventing and renewing society under the changing conditions of the world. Arran is editor of the influential Handbook of Sustainability Literacy as well as founder of practical projects such as the Edible Garden at the University of Gloucestershire where he is a senior lecturer in humanities. His latest book is Animals erased: discourse, ecology and reconnection with the natural world, which will be published shortly by Wesleyan University Press. (You may want to read this recent text before the seminar) http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/publications/networks-magazine

Dr. Hildegard Kurt

What has sustainability got to do with an expanded understanding of art?

In order to become sustainable, we need a viable understanding of the human being: an understanding which is strong, emphatic, but beyond anthropocentrism. The idea that every human being is an artist, based on the expanded concept of art or ‘social sculpture’, offers such a new, viable understanding of the human being. But what does the expanded concept of art mean? Why is it necessary in order to practice truly humane – and thus also ecological – forms of living and working, of economy, of science, of education and of politics? The idea of social sculpture corresponds with the “culture of the inner human being” that the economist and early promoter of sustainability, Ernst F. Schumacher, called for. If this culture is neglected, selfishness, according to Schumacher, remains the dominant power, especially in the economic system.

BIO  Hildegard Kurt is a cultural researcher, author and social sculpture practitioner living in Berlin, Germany. Her work focuses on art and sustainability, culture and sustainability, aesthetic education and intercultural dialogue. Hildegard has initiated several cultural and arts projects. She teaches, lectures and runs workshops internationally. She is currently International Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, linked to the Social Sculpture Research Unit where she is also supervising Masters and Doctoral students and co-authoring a book on aesthetic strategies for transformation with Shelley Sacks. http://www.hildegard-kurt.de/

Peter Gingold

Tipping Point: facilitating collaboration between artists and climate experts

For six years, TippingPoint has been creating dialogue between artists and climate experts of all types, with the aim of creating new projects, collaborations and cross-fertilisations, first in the UK, and more recently internationally. Its activities have given and continue to offer artists and scientists the opportunity to explore the cultural challenges precipitated by climate change and the role of artists in this complex debate. Peter will be talking about what has come out of this programme, and where it is headed next.

BIO  Peter Gingold is a cultural facilitator who founded TippingPoint and is its Co-Director. Peter has had a very varied career, including spending a number of years working in low cost housing in developing countries, founding an electronics business in the silicon fen, and working as a management consultant. He became Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001, and led the artistic side of Liverpool’s successful bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008. He is a Trustee of the meditation centre Gaia House, and the homeless charity Emmaus Greenwich.

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These lectures, seminars, workshops and 1-day symposia are hosted by:

the Social Sculpture Research Unit; the Arts, Culture, Sustainability OBU university-wide research forum and ARP – the Arts Practice Research cluster at Oxford Brookes.

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ALL EVENTS ARE FREE

Please RSVP about the process on 18 Feb with Allan Kaplan.

And please bring your own refreshments. Lunch can be purchased in the near-by canteen.

VENUE: all events at Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Buckley Building BG01

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AGENTS of CHANGE – ECOLOGICAL CITIZENSHIP Summer School

A detailed programme for this summer school in July 2010 is available at http://ah.brookes.ac.uk/shortcourses/details/agents_of_change/

or www.hildegard-kurt.de Book online from January 2011.

2 Responses to “AGENTS OF CHANGE: Ecological Citizenship and The Art of Changing One’s Mind(set)”

  1. meansealevel Says:

    The info ecoartnet is really helpful! This digest much appreciated.

    For those interested, I followed up Maritta Koch-Weser (as sadly unlikely to be there in person) – found a taster of her clear thinking on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNvUbBcmc0Y&feature=channel

    Her starting point: that it is outmoded to think of rainforest as sequestered carbon – instead highlighting it’s biodiversity and calling for systemic changes to marketing it

    Complements the great work of sandbag.org.uk and biofuel watch

    Kate Foster

  2. New Year, New Inspiration | Exploring Art, Ecology & Learning Says:

    […] For full details on that event see https://ecoartscotland.net/2011/01/07/agents-of-change-ecological-citizenship-and-the-art-of-changing… […]

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