[Renewable] read Article2010 conference reflections by moderators
rasa at rixc.lv
Thu Nov 11 12:59:33 EET 2010
iolab has published online reports on their Article 2010 conference
Read the reflections of the conference by the
moderators Raitis Smits and Erich Berger:
they also have published all the presentations on Vimeo:
REPORTS FROM THE CONFERENCE: Criticism on consumption
Article Biennale 2010, Stavanger, September 14-15
DAY 1 / Moderated by Raitis Smits
IN RESPONSE - report
By Raitis Smits / rixc.lv
How can art address questions about climate
change, sustainable living and ecology to general
public and how do these themes, if it is possible
at all to address them as themes, change the
language of art and aesthetics.
Can art help shift our mindset from consumer
attitude towards building an awareness of a more
sustainable development and what would the
criteria be for discussing such kind of art?
We have experienced the early net culture which
brought various models of gift economy and
sharing culture into discussions and which
implemented some of those models also in practice.
There have also been very practical attempts to
create artists' own infrastructures run by them
and having roots in DIY and open source culture.
These forms of art and creativity can be analyzed
and studied in different contexts beginning with
social and up to scientific and technological.
Furthermore, in many cases the only key to the
work is to experience it in various contexts.
Another significant aspect is the processual
character of net culture and artworks based in
this culture. In other words, the early
conceptualist' idea of making no artifacts has
been identified as a one of the criteria also in
network based art and culture.
Today we can look at art that deals with climate
issues and sustainability as a continuation of
the practice of early new media art and network
culture. Also, it seeks a deeper engagement with
scientific practices and ways of how science
determines our reality.
If we look at climate change or the issue of
climate it is difficult to evaluate or even to
notice these changes in our everyday life.
Scientific community offers deeper climate
studies and comparison of data collected over
time by various kinds of observation equipment.
If we consider technology as our extensions, how
does this help us to actually gain a deeper
understanding of the world and how capable are we
to interpret the data received by our technology?
I see these questions being addressed in
Andrea'ss Poli work "Ground Truth" - the research
and exploration project on meteorology and people
observing the weather.
Relationship between man and environment, the
limits of our insight of the environment we live
in and technology as the determining factor in
perceiving our environment - these are one of the
most fundamental questions in works by Terike
Creating cultural awareness of particular
environmental issue that would lead on to
concrete action is what artists and designer
Karolina Sobecka proposes with her work "Amateur
Human". Absurd and playful design objects in the
form of a smoke cloud get attached to the car
exhaust pipe and with the help of iPhone
application changes the color from green to red
according to the co2 emission exhausted by car.
Through different forms of art it becomes
possible to confront us with the new way of
looking at climate and sustainability issues.
What new metaphors are there and is there a place
for ambiguity and humor in the so called climate
Leaving his tools for creating art behind,
particularly his photo camera Simon Hoegsberg
puts himself in a situation of direct engagement
with by-passers in his action "Free Advice About
Everything +Coffee". In my opinion the project is
about balance, balance between our everyday
reality, various desires and deeper questions
Various design projects by Interactive Institute
presented by Tina Finnas provides us with new
tools for changing our energy consumption
behavior. Objects like "Flower Lamp" and "Energy
Aware Clock" are designed with intent to raise
awareness of everyday energy consumption with the
help of visualizing energy usage.
Sustainable architecture and new ways of
designing family houses was presented by
architect Ane Dahl from company Helen & Hard.
Among various design and engineering approaches
for reducing energy consumption and making homes
more sustainable the most innovative way to
reduce the relatively high costs was the idea of
a family using the house for many generations.
I believe there is a significant difference
between an artist who engages in social processes
and the artist as an outsider in the age of
modernity. How big of a role does the artist take
as the creator of visions and what is the role of
technology in this process and how does this
impact society on a larger scale by using climate
art projects and can we expect a change of
Today art can no longer remain isolated as a form
of representation. It must rather become
integrated in processes where various disciplines
overlap and intercross.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
DAY 2 / Moderated by Erich Berger
PROCESS / IN ACTION - report
By Erich Berger
The second day of the conference continued in the
good and discursive spirit of the first day. It
was themed Process / In action and collected
presentations of artist, researcher and activists
coming from very different directions dealing
with issues like the global environmental crises,
the consumerist attitudes of our society and the
dubious approaches of global powers. As the
curators put it Something is not quite right,
Biennial´s title, refers to a uneasiness which
according to them is fuelled by climate change,
consumerist attitudes and threatening facts about
the future of our planet. Additionally this
uneasiness is also a result from a gap resulting
from, as individual, not being able to experience
these threats as real. The time span of climate
change is a good example. On the other hand, it
is difficult for an average person to follow the
science on which base the alarm bells are rang.
There is disappointment in politics which seems
not being able to act and there is a constant
bombardment of sensationalist media which for
whatever reason permanently evoke another new
global crisis. It is difficult to keep facts and
propaganda apart, especially when there is lack
of trustworthy and comprehensible reference.
Communication, distribution of knowledge and
networks of trust are needed to overcome this
uneasiness. In general I was glad that the title
of this years Article Biennial and its conference
did not follow a trend of festivals which we can
see reflected in catchy screaming titles. Instead
of jumping on the disaster train the conference
took a short cut to practitioners which do not
wait and see what happens but act, without much
agitation but with determination. What a lot of
these practitioners have in common is that they
take people serious instead of patronizing them
and give them knowledge, tools and possibilities
to start to intervene themselves. Besides
creating awareness they create an actual culture
Though saying about themselves that their work is
not political http://uebermorgen.com `s method of
creating thrill media stunts is able to reach far
into the political and economical mainstream
media. For their actions, they help themselves
with whatever seems (un)appropriate; nothing is
save when its useful, the least of all art
history. They presented their new project
www.dotoildot.com commissioned by the Article
Unfortunately their kindred spirits of the Yes
Men www.theyesmen.org have not been able to
attend but would have certainly enjoyed and
enriched the day.
Tapio Mäkelä http://marin.cc presented his ideas
around Ecolocatedness. He defines this as an art
and science practice of situated information
design. For him communication and action are
entangled as he is emphasizing the importance of
turning the invisible into the tangible to be
able to construct response-able situations.
New Zealand based art projects and initiatives
addressing climate change.
Ulla Taipale http://www.capsula.org.es introduced
the Herbologies/Foraging Network. Her curatorial
work is fresh and interesting as she engages
deeply into fieldwork and the production phase of
the art works themselves.
Scott Kellogg http://rhizomecollective.org
presented hands on solutions for urban
sustainable city living and how to reinvent the
urban environment. He gently reminded us that it
is time now to start to act as long as we have
cheap energies at hand as well as that the term
sustainability is meanwhile on the list of words
with the most miss use.
Michel Bauwens http://www.p2pfoundation.net
showed new business models and an analysis of
possible models with the example of free software
The closing discussion centred around practical
questions on sustainable business and living and
which role art can play to support to establish a
response-able culture. I had two fine days in
Stavanger and enjoyed the vital conference very
much. It was perhaps its manageable size which
allowed for a quality interaction with speakers
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