//This is the space for participants to bring up issues and questions relating to Paralelo and its subjects and themes which we will discuss in more detail when we meet. You can find some of the abstracts for participant presentations below.
You can also post expectations about the event, questions you wish to raise now or bring along or find answers to which relate to the research questions etc - and other points you want to share with other participants.
THE BIG QUESTIONS AND THE REASON FOR THE EVENT:
- HOW DO ARTISTS & DESIGNERS WORK WITH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TO ENGAGE WITH AND ADDRESS ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES
- WHAT DIFFERENCES AND COMMON GROUND EXISTS BETWEEN THE TYPES AND KINDS OF PROJECTS WE CAN FIND IN THE THREE COUNTRIES
- HOW NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL IS YOUR WORK, WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK MORE COLLABORATIVELY FOR EG IN RESEARCH PROJECTS WITH EACH OTHER
some other thoughts:
Do you work with people from other specialisms and disciplines and why? Is it because you need to or want to?
Are you doing research in this area and if so where?
What do you think are the main factors influencing the impact of your work?
How long have you been working in a collaborative, team based way?
How many different institutions are involved in your projects?
Do you see yourself primarily as an academic or a practitioner?
How do you document your work?
What do you think would be the challenges involved in distributed research work? Have you ever carried out research in teams living in different countries or parts of a country? What lessons did you learn?
What networks do you feel you are part of?
Would you say you are a member of a research community?
Does the term knowledge transfer have any meaning for you?
Has your work ever been funded from science and technology research sources?
How important are environmental and ecological issues to you? Are these more important than aesthetic or cultural concerns? How linked are they in your work?
What do you find are the main challenges in doing your work?
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK SOME OTHER QUESTIONS
Questions from Rachel Jacobs (Active Ingredient) that are coming out of our collaborative project The Dark Forest -
1. what responsibilities do we have as artists when collating scientific data to use within an arts methodology? When seeking outcomes that are about interpretation and representation (visual or cross discipline) how do we merge the function of the data (e.g. collecting scientific data on CO2 levels in forests) with the outcomes we seek to interpret - through our aesthetic or conceptual interpretation.
2. How can artworks addressing environmental/scientific challenges be "useful" without becoming "issue based" - in terms of scientific research, impact on communities that interact with or experience the work, raising questions around the work… can this be integrated and evolve through the work? as opposed to being restricted by a predetermined set of issues…
3. As an artist working and collaborating within new disciplines such as science, technology and the environment you are often on a steep learning curve and needing to respond to new experiences and knowledge throughout the process. How do you set parameters whilst leaving the space to create an engaging, challenging, sometimes beautiful experience?
INYS - NEW MEDIA
TITLES AND ABSTRACTS
Helke Tapio Makela [ku.ca.droflas|alekaM.T#ku.ca.droflas|alekaM.T]
Ecolocatedness: Art and Science Practice as Situated Information Design
The term environment seems to resist constructive positions for the self that would be in favor of agency for action. How to challenge environmental passivity? How, then to make environment in a given point of time and location, more tangible, open for interaction and constructing response-able positions?
Ecologists find it difficult to use second hand data sets because they lack the first hand experiential information of the environment that had been surveyed. I would also argue that ecological data is often presented through regional rather than locational interfaces.
Media artists and designers have skills in constructing participatory processes, interfaces, and tangibility to information. I am arguing for art+sci collaboration methods beyond (yet perhaps including) visualization, having to do with how knowledge is constructed in relation to environment, and how it is offered for public engagement. As such a paradigm, I suggest “ecolocatedness” as a way of combining environmental data with experience and location, thus basing art and science practice on situated information design.
M.A.R.I.N. is a networked residency and research initiative, integrating artistic and scientific research on ecology of the marine and cultural ecosystems.
For the first three years M.A.R.I.N.’s operational focus is a mobile residency program set on a catamaran sail boat, redesigned and equipped to be a sustainable environment for transdisciplinary research in arts, sciences and technology. Emerging from long experience of collaboration within media art, M.A.R.I.N. develops integrative arts/science/technology practice models.
The name of the project is an acronym of Media Art Research Interdisciplinary Network. The founders of the project, Tapio Mäkelä (FI/UK) and Marko Peljhan (SL/US/LV) emphasize that M.A.R.I.N. is a collaborative platform that acts as a catalyst between organizations, and forms a social network between individual practitioners. The residency allows for concentrated dialogue and work: it is the depth of the ocean, while networks are horizontal.
Jane Prophet [moc.tehporpenaj|enaj#moc.tehporpenaj|enaj]
Net Work or 'not work': are we talking the same language?
I will discuss my 5 year collaboration with a mathematician and with a stem cell researcher, and our development of the art work-in-progress, Net Work. The importance of developing a shared language, while retaining different opinions and goals has been central to this collaboration. At times our cultural differences have lead to conflict, but I will discuss this as a 'creative conflict' resulting in many different outputs and results for the team (papers in medical journals, art works, engineering and simulations).
Rachel Jacobs (ten.ia-ma-i|lehcaR#ten.ia-ma-i|lehcaR)
Beyond the studio, the lab and the imagination… into the public domain
Active Ingredient have collaborated with the Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham since 2005 to develop interactive artworks and locative games. They have used bio and environmental sensors, and mobile and locative technology to address how these technologies can be used creatively in society - through play and artistic intervention.
Active Ingredient and the Mixed Reality Lab will address how their collaborative projects -including Heartlands, Love City, and Them & Us engage public audiences. Active Ingredient will also explore how they work across disciplines and sectors in order to feed the interactive and generative nature of their work.
The Mixed Reality Lab explore and identify emerging application areas for these technologies. In recent years, they have focused on new and evolving forms of entertainment, pervasive gaming and performance as well as on technologies to support home and social life. However, they also have projects in areas such as medicine (surgery), business and scientific visualisation. The MRL is a truly interdisciplinary
Making Matter Move Man: First cycles.
“We are much more driven by low-level [bodily] reflexes than by our high-level rational thought” [Bongard & Pfeiffer, 2007]
The body has been a slave to the progress of our intelligent minds. Yet now, the scientists of the mind convince us that the source of all this intelligence is exactly in the way we use our body and its intriguing musculoskeletal system. Are western symptoms as 11% of us suffering from dyspraxia, a loss of 30% of our bodily activity and half of our dexterity over the past 30 years, not just symptoms that point to a more fundamental disconnect? Is it still enough for design to make sure we don’t hurt ourselves too much, or is there a broader call? A call to take into account the needs of man including those complex needs of his body? A challenge to address these situations where simply bodily needs define our human behaviour? To find solutions that allow us to move ourselves harmoniously in our habitat? Solutions that take the best out of our abilities at all times and allow us to develop the unused potential of our most valuable possession? Wouldn’t that be our responsibility?
In a threefold approach, I’d like to show working examples how innovative uses of the body can help tackle global – ecological - challenges, how advances in new materials and biomimetic mechanisms allow us to create dynamic forms as design interventions, and discuss how the added value of these propositions can be realised – for instance in a country as Brazil!
Afonso Luz [rb.vog.arutluc|zuL.osnofA#rb.vog.arutluc|zuL.osnofA]
Eco-nomics at times of experience design
I will propose two issues: 1) If, in the terrain of a contemporary society, we are geared by the flows of global economy and limited by the sustainability of social consumption, how can we think and propose “cultural policies” for the visual arts? 2) (same question, with a new angle) If we defined the present situation as an age of technological prevalence (both in the universe of social visibility and common sensibility, and in institutional negotiations and flow of merchandise) of a generalized "experience design" platform, how could we establish a public regulation that drove the sphere of cultivated values and kept alive the “arts” in its semantic extension and symbolic intensity? The idea is to formulate these problems at the time of the seminar, make its implications the object of our debate, and consider a few cases.
Alexandre Freire [moc.liamg|erierf#moc.liamg|erierf]
Houses of Joy: Biological Altruism and the Economy of the Gift of High Technology
We live in post-modernity, history has ended and the future goes on being what it has always been. We feel the anguish of a globalized world where even technological development doesn’t present innovations, only new versions of the latest fetish. As we turn to nature, will we be able to build a socially just and ecologically sustainable future? If we don’t change the way we relate to the world, what will be left of it for future (and more and more populated) generations? In this lecture, in addition to addressing these issues, I also intend to present the project "Casas da Alegria", Houses of Joy: our perspective on how a greater technological innovation may not be technical, but human. Lessons from the Economy of the Gift of High Technology are applied to this project as it researches ways to co-exist and co-inhabit the planet.
Camila Sposati [moc.liamg|itasops.alimac#moc.liamg|itasops.alimac]
Core and Nucleation
In this performance I make a parallel between the low Entropy necessary for the crystal nucleation process and its specific aspects, and a perspective for the process of social collaboration.
Cicero Silva (moc.liamg|avlisadoicaniorecic#moc.liamg|avlisadoicaniorecic)
Invention and creative processes in art and technology: the role of laboratories in the production, dissemination and understanding of art and technology.
Art and technology, because they demand that their producers have an intense knowledge of the construction and creation processes through computing instruments, became a form of creation that inevitably calls for interdisciplinarity. Areas such as communication, art and computing are a few that mingle in a technological work of art. In order to meet one of the artists’ demands, which is the access to technological resources, a few centers connected to the technological area, such as the festival Ars Electronica, and others focused on the relationship between art and technology, such as ZKM, started a movement to set up and sustain laboratories for the production of these works. The direct consequences to the appearance of these Labs were, at first: a) a larger insertion of artists in the field of technology; b) a better understanding of the very materiality of technological art, and c) better conditions for the development of technological works. However, to my mind, the key point was: with the Labs, we discovered that there is fruition in the construction process, in the creation of the works, as may be observed with the appearance of a number of workshops focused on the creative process, with software and languages such as MAX, Pure Data, OpenFrameworks and Processing, which have attracted a public of non specialists who want to understand this field and create pieces through the understanding of computing processing. The issues addressed are: why is it important to foster cultural policies for laboratories of art and technology? What is the educational role of these laboratories in society? How can we foster these laboratories?
Eduardo Verderame [moc.liamg|emaredreve#moc.liamg|emaredreve]
The Needed Utopia
In 2008, humanity went through a historic transformation: for the first time, the number of city dwellers exceeded the number of country dwellers. This points to the growing need to create sustainable urban development means, or means that can reduce the impact of this lifestyle in the production chain. The role that art can take within this system passes through the flow of information, the explicit statement of situations and the fostering of new social habits that may drive the debate and possibly result in practical actions. The environmental act is often translated into small actions that may have a global transforming impact, and art is a powerful ally within this process.
Felipe Fonseca [moc.liamg|acesnofepilef#moc.liamg|acesnofepilef]
The development of the information technologies allowing a growing level of knowledge exchange and sharing also generates a large quantity of toxic waste. Essentially, all computers sold last year will be waste in five years. The aim of this presentation is to offer an overview of this topic and propose solutions.
Flavia Vivacqua [moc.liamg|auqcavivalf#moc.liamg|auqcavivalf]
The transdisciplinarity of Art and Ecology in Cultural Design and Sustainability
The introduction will approach the transdisciplinarity of art and ecology in the systemic understanding of social relation, the environment and technology at the scale of new organizations, and its creative processes in both production and experience. The personal experience of Cultural Design and Sustainability in Brazil will also be shared, as they inter-relate in the search for a collaborative society. *CORO – Coletivos em Rede e Organizações, a collaborative social network of art and culture, active since 2003 (www.corocoletivo.org) | *Interações Florestais – Residência Artística Terra UNA, the first Brazilian artistic residence in a rural context, focused on the research on Art and Community Life. It developed its own methodology for the self-selective process of the enrolled participants for the distribution of research grants and living in the ecovillage (www.terrauna.org.br).
INTERAÇÕES FLORESTAIS - Terra UNA Artistic Residency
Cultural Design and General Coordination by the Interações Florestais Council:
Cristina Ribas, Domingos Guimaraens, Flavia Vivacqua and Nadam Guerra.
The Artistic Residency Terra UNA Ecovillage Program is a first in the Brazilian rural context. Surrounded by woods, fields, rivers and waterfalls, it welcomes researchers throughout the year offering them accommodation and a studio next to the forest of the Mantiqueira Mountains, in the town of Liberdade/Minas Gerais, Brazil. Interações Florestais is an edict of prize research scholarships on ‘Art and Community Life’ by the Terra UNA Residency program, for a period of 21 days, which features a pioneering self-selective methodology to promote the distribution of prize scholarships and experience at the ecovillage through a self-management process carried out by the enrolled participants themselves and the council. The initiative has received the Prizes ‘Conexão Artes Visuais FUNARTE/MinC/Petrobrás’ – 2007/2008 and ‘Interações Estéticas’ FUNARTE/MinC – 2008/2009 (www.terrauna.org.br).
CORO – Collectivities, Networks and Organizations
www.corocoletivo.org CORO is a collaborative network community formed in 2003 by active professionals in the Brazilian cultural scene working in a variety of languages and experiences in collective work and creation processes.
The CORO network is geared to the independent cultural production, circulation and dissemination; the direct communication among the art agents and activists, and the articulation and mobilization for joint socio-cultural-environmental actions. It also works on the democratization of current artistic practices through the development of the CORO digital catalogue on the free access website of the community, and through a collection of independent publications featuring information, manifestos, testimonies and images on CD, DVD, VHS and paper, which may be accessed through appointment or public exhibition.
Today, the 327 representatives of over 150 initiatives communicate daily through the e-group (rb.moc.sopurgoohay|ovitelocoroc#rb.moc.sopurgoohay|ovitelocoroc). In BRAZIL, the group articulates representations in the state capitals of 18 states and in all 5 regions of the country. ABROAD, it is already setting up strategies in Europe and South America. Artists and groups, initiatives and independent spaces and ongoing actions, associations and co-ops, all are aware that every action has an echo, a reverberation!
National meetings, international exchange programs and the CORO Forum were held in 2004, 2006 and 2008 by Festival ReverberAções (www.reverberacoes.com.br). It was awarded the PRIZE Culture and Thought/MinC for the seminar THE BEATS OF URGENCY, as it discusses Creative Economy in Brazil.
Giselle Beiguelman [rb.gro.attomoigresoimerp|bg#rb.gro.attomoigresoimerp|bg]
Un-memories and Toxic Memories
A disconcerting binomial follows the supposed asepsis of digital environments: its disposability and its non-degradable character. Among the cultural productions that stopped existing merely because they are no longer executable and the tons of e-waste produced daily, there emerges a two-fold political void: in the cultural and in the environmental spheres. Beyond alarmism, it is time to think and propose strategies that can handle the mobilizing media ecology. This presentation focuses on actions geared to these problems – media ecology – in the area of art and technology, as being proposed by the Sergio Motta Institute, CADRE of the State University of San Jose, California, and the Montalvo Art Centre, among other institutions.
Ivan henriques [moc.liamg|seuqirneh.navi#moc.liamg|seuqirneh.navi]
Estúdio Móvel Experimental - EME
Presentation of the project developed across disciplines through the Grupo Experimental Multidisciplinar Autônomo (GEMA) coordinated by artists Ivan Henriques (Brazil) and Silvia Leal (UK). EME’s insertion in this context exposes a vehicle that can conduct a number of residences with site-specific actions and focus on one theme: Guanabara Bay and its environs (focus of the 1st edition). Artists as catalysts conduct site-specific works and workshops with the communities. How can one think an environmental awareness through art? Is it possible to have a reflection of current conditions through artistic practices? EME is a mobile platform taking contemporary art to the needy suburbs, offering multimedia tools as basis for production and presentation.
Jose Geraldo de Souza [rb.letani|odlaregj#rb.letani|odlaregj]
Case study on the theme: “Education and Development: the socio-economic transformation in the micro-region of the Sapucaí Valley”
Karla schuch brunet [moc.tenurbalrak|liame#moc.tenurbalrak|liame]
The environment as a theme for artmedia.
This communication proposes to show how Brazilian artists and activists are employing the theme of the environment in its artmedia works. These are artistic projects that raise issues related to the environment, its preservation and conservation. Many work with an environmental awareness, developing projects dedicated to the education, recognition and transformation of the community’s routines. Pollution, deforestation, toxic waste, animal e vegetal extinction are the strong points to be discussed in these pieces. The artists use technology as an instrument to discuss the degradation of the environment.
Lucas Bambozzi (moc.mumoc|izzobmabl#moc.mumoc|izzobmabl)
Mobile media: mediated life, ‘anytime, anywhere’.
Statistics about Brazil are always impressive. They are superlative, phenomena of every kind. Brazil has 7 million people that access the Internet exclusively from local – paid or free – places. There are around 40 million people accessing the Internet. The number of cellular phones in use in the country also impresses: there are around 130 million sets. The capacity to connect, to be connected, and to comment other people’s blogs generates a ‘sense of participation’ suggested by advertisements.
What’s to be done with this striking growth of the so-called mobile media? We watch the emergence of responsibility on the construction of social spaces of effective sharing. Also, social reality shouldn’t be mediated in order to become innocuous and lacking in the shades and intensities of life.
Not unlike other media-associated artists, I am interested in the phenomena, the forms of mediation and the friction processes between communication and art. Therefore, I am interested in the uses of these media, and the resulting side effects of its massive, expressive, corporate or abusive uses. So, before seeking a neutral distance, we have approached these media looking at what can be done with them critically.
Marcelo Godoy [moc.liamg|tsefelibomyodogolecram#moc.liamg|tsefelibomyodogolecram]
How to use new mobile technologies to protect the environment
The experience of a multinational project unites artists and researchers using new mobile technologies. BR 163 Mobilefest Expedition Cuiaba - Santarem will map the remaining dirt stretch of the BR163, which connects Cuiabá to Santarém. The goal of the expedition is to capture, transmit and "feel" the rich biome of this region employing the latest mobile technologies such as GPS and sensors, creating for the first time an artistic narrative in real time that is geo-positioned and multiplatform.
Marcus Vinicius Fainer Bastos [moc.liamg|sucram.sotsab#moc.liamg|sucram.sotsab]
Ecology: affection and politics
The lecture will make a brief retrospective of recycling practices in culture, highlighting recent projects using mobile technologies for environmental activism or exploring issues connected to the environment.
In a recent issue of the National Geographic magazine, an interesting experience points to an aspect of the fight for a society that is more aware of its responsibilities in the preservation of the planet. Art, communication and design may have a decisive role in this: the regime, so to speak, of affections. In the text, the senior editor, Peter Miller, writes about his effort to reduce carbon emissions in his routine, amidst the misfortunes that go from the non-availability of industrial products compatible with his desire to the imponderable problems few people know exist. An environmentally aware society, the text suggests, acts on both wide policies being debated on the global scene for decades and on the change of apparently innocent habits. In this context, language experiences in which the relationship with the environment are being discussed may be worth more that one thousand petitions.
Paulo Hartmann mobilefest [moc.liamg|tsefelibomnnamtraholuap#moc.liamg|tsefelibomnnamtraholuap]
Everything in focus, all is relevant, everything and everyone counts.
Opening possibilities for a cross pollination among the different layers of reality.
Study: Gaia Education and Ecovillages
Ricardo Palmieri, <moc.liamg|ireimlapodracir#moc.liamg|ireimlapodracir
“Chat about recycled analogical-digital interfaces and show something of the sort "do your interactive interface yourself ". But I don’t feel like focusing on things like arduino and the like; I really feel like showing ideas related to free culture, open source and how this type of ideology can help developing countries and, of course, artists with little money.”
Interactivity, image and action
Practical workshop to examine methods and processes for the construction of interactive installations using DIY (do it yourself) sensors to start images and sounds within one environment.
These sensors will be produced with easily accessible low-cost materials, such as wood, plastic, pet bottles, aluminum foil and tape. The participants may bring image and sound contents to be triggered by these sensors.
VJ Spetto [rb.moc.ottepsjv|otteps#rb.moc.ottepsjv|otteps]
Performance "Re:cycling Speechs"
Last year I ve readed news about summer in UK.
The big line: "Big Festivals: Welcome Global Warming!".
All that young people, people like you, like me, that loves music, bands, party was really, really happy with the Global Warming effects. Not bad, duh?
Our World is a Game.
Watch this game
Recently I was reading news in an online magazine: In Crisis, Spain goes to Kyoto.
Cos the crisis, less people buying, less people travelling, less money to expend leads Spain to do all that Carbon-Kyoto compromises. Before that, Spain are expected to exceed 30% in your quota. With the crisis the country lower 30% in your economy… Voilá!
Uma crise que ao final foi benvinda!
We can play the game
Are the Art going to be aesthetically ruled by a philosophical style based on global / local economic premiss?
It could be described as a "seasoned art"?
In the future, only Carbon-free artists will receive funds and deduct taxes?
Lets go to what's matter: We could recycle. We could Re:plicate. Self Re:plicate.
Tudo o que fizermos ficarão para as baratas.
Esther Polak (1962)
The relation between urban and agricultural landscape is one of many layers:
food production, fertilization, ploughing and transport form the daily rhythms of
land-care, land-experience and land-use. All play an important, but not always
that easy visible and tangible role and do have an even less visible
connection to the city. Esther Polak has been working with these issues already for some years. Working as an artist she creates a space to depict the landscape in a poetic manner, incorporating the mentioned aspects, approaching them from an
unexpected, open angle.
Proposed performance for Paralela
The grazing patterns of cows can be considered a representation of feeding,
growing and producing. Determined by the rhythm of grazing and ruminate, it
also shows the characteristics of the field and the interaction within a given
herd. It is not very probably that a average human being will spend days watching
this process and getting acquainted with these remarkable patterns, that
nevertheless unfold all over Brazil, day after day, forming a slow-mobilmachine
that provides for steak. Esther Polak plans to arrive in Brazil five days before the Paralela event, to do needed fieldwork. She will travel to the country site to track the movements of 5 cows in one herd for 1-2 days with GPS loggers. Back in Sao Paolo she will present the recorded tracks in the form of a robot-dance; a theatrical
performance of grazing patters, visualizing this unfamiliar choreography.
To do so she will use her special developed robot, that is capable of riding
again any given GPS track, and leaves behind a line of sand on the ground.
The tracks are scaled: both in time and space. Were the cow moves fast, the
robot moves fast and vice versa. The thickness of the lines is determined by
the speed of the robot.
When the cow tracks are drawn like this, an inversed grazing pattern
emerges: instead of the grazing cow that takes grass away, the robot leaves
matter. To emphasis this effect, the artist will mix the sand with local grass
seeds. So theoretically, depending on the location where the performance
takes place, the patterns might unfold again in time: as a green cow-ghost….
when the seeds might sprout.
The performance with the robot will take about 30-60 minutes and a space of
about 8 x8 meter. Every track needs again to be fed from a small computer to
the robot: this technological process is part of the performance. People can
walk in and out: the performance is like an unfolding landscape.
Both field work with the cows, and the performance in Sao Paolo will
be video recorded, a lasting 10-15 min. video piece will result that later also
can be presented as a stand alone piece.
Koert van Mensvoort
NEXT NATURE - The Nature caused by Human Culture
Do we still have genuine experiences of nature or are we living in a picture of it? Real nature is wild, unpredictable, inaccessible, overwhelming, terrifying, infinite and primitive. The average Western person is more concerned about the mortgage interest deduction than about hurricanes or floods.
The average child knows more logos and brands than bird or tree species. Is this our next nature? Do we control the world economy? Do you control the viruses and spyware on your computer? Hypoallergenic design cats are already on the market. Prehistoric woods are being laid out at locations designated by politicians; our image of Nature is being carefully constructed as a recreational simulation. It’s set-building for Sunday afternoon, Disneyland for grown-ups. In order to avoid spoiling of the landscape, mobile telephone antenna masts are disguised as a pine trees. This isn’t nature. At best, it is a picture of nature. It is an illustration, like a landscape painting hanging above the sofa. Greener grass: you get used to it.
A new image of Nature is arising. What does it look like, and how can we see it? Is it a picture of old-fashioned nature, or a practically functioning new form? Now that motorways, airports, websites and supermarkets have become natural environments for us, they are being more and more systematically produced and copied. Recognizability ensures an image that is true to nature. Bureaucratic structures, surveillance models, and strategies to promote a thriving economy are becoming visible.
More and more, trees, plants, animals, atoms and the climate are determined by human beings. At the same time, our systems are outgrowing us: we’re seeing genetic surprises, wild systems, autonomous machines and beautiful black flowers.
Ambient intelligence, tissue engineering, nanotechnology, augmented reality, and biotechnology are a few of the new disciplines with which we are entering our future. All these disciplines are radically encroaching on our concept of ‘what is natural’. They come together in the category of ‘Next Nature’. Next nature is the nature caused by human culture. Next nature is real nature. It is not a picture or a simulation of a long-lost phenomenon: nature changes along with us.
We are entering a mysterious magic garden which surprises us, amazes us, sometimes crushes us and is sometimes favorably disposed toward us. We must give things new meanings in order to define our place: we must resymbolize. We are wading around like newborn children in what we have created. We will have to fight our battle with ‘Nature’ anew. Natural disasters become cultural disasters. We will get the nature we deserve.
WLFR research project, 2007—present
According to contemporary physics, our universe has a smallest unit of space (Planck-length) and a smallest unit of time (Planck-time). These units are, so to speak, the pixels of this universe. The PWf project is a long-term rescaling programme of our scientific and cultural measuring units on the basis of Planck-length and Planck-time. By calculating the harmonics of these incredibly small units within areas we are able to experience as human beings, it becomes possible to conceptually grasp something of the harmonic unity between our daily world and the extreme scales of physics. Parts of this research are presented in different projects, concentrating on conceptual rescaling (like presenting alternatives for the meter or the second) or sensory rescaling (like presenting harmonic scales in sound, light, tactile vibration and smell).
“There you stand with your mobile in your hand, in connection with the whole world, but on former farmland.”
Wapke Feenstra will focus on Former Farmland a collection of stories and images about the ground beneath your feet. The collected knowledge can pop up in your mobile phone while walking in an suburban area.
`When farmland is used as a site for new building projects or urban leisure areas, the farmer gets a good price for the land. The farmer then moves on. He may buy new land or decide to quit farming altogether because there is no-one to take over from him or he sees no financial future in farming. But what the farmer takes away is not just the memory of a piece of land that is about to be re-developed – he takes a wealth of knowledge about the soil he has worked on for generations. This knowledge has no value anymore. The land is designated for other purposes and the personal stories about the influence of the water and soil on the harvest are no longer relevant. As farmland is a part of everyone’s cultural heritage, I decided to unearth some stories about Former Farmland.`
Former Farmland was launched in 2008 within the Overtures 3 programme of artcircolo DE and realised for Expo08 in Saragossa ES and the Ars Electronica Festival 08 in Linz AT. In 2009 a third version will be made for the Edith-Russ-Haus in Oldenburg DE.
From Mike Stubbs:
Interesting info from a recent workshop with DCMS (UK Governement - Department of Culture Media and Sport) regarding impact of the recession in the UK:
1. Recession is deeper and will last longer than recently forecast. Second quarter of 2010 is the average forecast date for recovery.
2. There is a global rollout of the recession, though UK is especially badly hit.
3. There will be three areas for priority that Government needs to address:
· Limiting the length and duration of the recession
· Managing the social consequences
· Planning for the economic recovery
4. Significant impact already being felt in:
· advertising funded sectors
· business to business services, especially those with financial services clients (eg architecture)
· corporate sponsorship, co-funding, donations, trading incomes, endowment income
5. Risks over coming months:
· local authority spending under pressure as demand for la services increases
· consumer facing sectors falls in line with rise in unemployment (including visits to charged events/institutions)
6. Medium term pressure:
· rising demand for free services (already visible in libraries)
· public spending constrained
7. Unemployment already nearing 2 million (it’s gone past this mark since the seminar, of course)
8. Managing the social consequences – “culture is fundamental in gluing society together, giving a sense of purpose, especially when times are bad”.
Social capital is important both for wellbeing and for economic outcomes
High levels of social capital are associated with economic growth, good physical and mental health, lower crime and higher educational attainment
Increased unemployment has a negative impact on well being and social capital
Increased stress levels
Pressure on families and relationships
Loss of confidence, aspiration, hope
Concerns about social tensions, lack of cohesion, anti-social behaviour
DCMS sectors contribute to increasing social capital and improving well being
Culture enhances psychological well being
Engaging with the arts leads to a growth in confidence
Culture facilitates social connectedness
Regions with higher economic performance have higher trust and there is a clear correlation between higher levels of trust and greater participation in culture
9. The big question is, how can our sector mitigate the social consequences of the recession and build a platform for recovery?
· Pessimism is widespread:
· 70% are very concerned about the recession
· 52% worry about making ends meet
· 70% are more worried about the cost of living than the global economy
· 54% have started to feel the pinch
· more so among families (61%)
· …and lower socio-economic groups (62%)
· 80% think it’s going to get worse
· 15% are nervous and are drastically changing their behaviour (especially 35-54 year olds, families, C2Des)
· 47% are concerned and are refining their behaviour
· 90% claim to be cutting back on spending (72% currently, 18% intend to soon) – 80% of families and 77% of under-35s
· 80% cutting back on food
· 74% cutting back on fuel
· 45% cutting back on holidays, breaks, day trips, though for many, breaks have become an essential not a luxury – quality is very important
· Free admission (plus discounts etc) becomes more important
· People will research and plan breaks more carefully