Study Day: Navigating Ecological Times
How can artists act as guides for society in dealing with profound changes signalled by ecological crises? An afternoon of presentations and discussion on sustainability, art practice and the challenges of green curating, led by curators Maja and Reuben Fowkes(Translocal) with artists Tamás Kaszás, Lise Autogena and Fernando Garcia-Dory.
This event looks at the challenges of living in ecological times and the sense in which the current political, economic and environmental predicament might also offer opportunities for a sustainable transformation of global society. How have artists sought to navigate the dilemmas of living and working in a world system that seems chronically out of touch with ecological realities and can they, through their practice and approach to the world, act as guides during times of crisis?
Maja and Reuben Fowkes are art historians and curators whose interests in the field of art and ecology are manifest in their curated exhibitions, symposia and writings, which have explored key ideas and practices around green curating, environmental art history and the sustainability of contemporary art. Their work also focuses on the theory and aesthetics of East European art from the art production of the socialist era to contemporary artistic responses to the transformations brought by globalisation. Forthcoming projects include a River School on the Danube in Central Europe bringing together artists, theorists, and environmental scientists for a floating lab on art and sustainability, and the exhibition Like a Bird, which investigates migrating metaphors and territories for avian encounter in contemporary art. They work out of Budapest and London through the Translocal Institute.www.translocal.org
The work of Fernando García-Dory (born 1978) engages specifically with issues affecting the relation between culture-nature now, embodied within the contexts of landscape, the rural, desires and expectations related to the aspect of identity, crisis, utopia and social change. He studied Fine Arts and Rural Sociology in Madrid and Amsterdam. He is interested in the harmonic complexity of biological forms and processes, his work addresses connections and cooperation, from microorganisms to social systems, and from traditional art languages such as drawing to collaborative agroecological projects, actions, and cooperatives.
Lise Autogena is a Danish artist, based in the UK. She has since 1990 worked in collaboration with Joshua Portway on large-scale collaborative projects, often utilising live data feeds to explore global issues. She is the co-founder of CRIR – an unusual research facility that provides residency and research support for international artists and researchers with a specific interest in the social experiment Christiania in Copenhagen. Projects include Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium, a planetarium visualising the global financial markets as a night sky and Most Blue Skies, that uses live atmospheric data to continuously calculate and visualise ‘the bluest sky’ on Earth. Most recently she created Foghorn Requiem, a large landscape-interactive musical performance, performed by the Souter foghorn, sixty brass players and more than fifty ships on the North Sea. Lise Autogena is a Reader in Fine Art at at Sheffield Hallam University.http://www.autogena.org/
Tamás Kaszás was born in 1976 in Dunaújváros, Hungary's' first socialist town (former Sztálinváros, “Stalin-town”). He graduated at the Intermedia department of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts where recently he has continued with his doctoral studies. Kaszás usually creates complex projects inspired by theoretical research, applying traditional and new media. By mixing poetic images with useful inventions in his exhibiting practice, art pieces appear mostly as special constellations in the frame of large installations. His projects are based on social questions and spiritual science. His concerns include collectivity, collapse and survival, self sustainability and autonomy, theory vs practice, folk science, home-made homes and cargo cult. In accordance with his conceptual background Kaszás tries to make an economic and ecological art practice using mostly cheap or recycled materials, techniques easily available for everyone.
The travel expenses of Tamás Kaszás are covered by art collectors Zsolt Somlói and Katalin Spengler with the contribution of ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange.