April 13, 2005 - Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) - Art & Ecology Evening Launch
April 13, 2005

Art & Ecology Evening Launch

Art & Ecology Evening Launch
Wednesday 27 April 2005, 06.30pm – 8.00pm

Introduced by Sir David King, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government and Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate, Alfredo Jaar, artist and MacArthur Fellow 2000
Chair: Professor Declan McGonagle
Free event

Ecology and Artistic Practice Symposium
Thursday 28 April 2005, 10.00am – 6.00pm

Allora & Calzadilla; Kayle Brandon & Heath Bunting; Clare Cumberlidge, General Public; Professor Gary Genosko; Henrik Hakansson; Vasif Kortun; Nils Norman; Dan Peterman; Solitaire Townsend, Futerra; Jane Trowell, Platform; Jan Verwoert
Chaired by Declan McGonagle, Director of INTERFACE, Ulster University
Admission price includes lunch and refreshments

8 John Adam Street
London WC2N 6EZUK
arts [​at​] rsa.org.uk


The RSA in partnership with Arts Council England is launching a new programme to profile, encourage and support artists in addressing ecological concerns. The issue of the environment is one of the major challenges of our time. Climate change, pollution and contamination, biodiversity and energy conservation are key concerns. How the environment functions alongside poverty and party politics, conflict, global trade and land use is a pressing matter for a growing number of artists.

The lecture on the April 27 and the symposium on the following day will address the questions: How can art contribute to social and environmental change? In what way are artists currently addressing this field? These events will explore on a theoretical level the role of art, discussing the possible social and political missions of artistic practice. The key notion that informs the entire project is that of ecology as the study of relationships between an individual and their cultural, social, economic and natural environments. Environmentalists, scientists, writers and philosophers are invited to join the debate to explore the roles and responsibilities of contemporary art in ecology. We would like to encourage communication, consultation – perhaps collaboration – alongside facilitating the reciprocation of knowledge and understanding between the artists and theoreticians involved. Ecology will become a conceptual vehicle enabling different arts and related disciplines to work in synergy.

Ecology and Artistic Practice is the first event of Arts & Ecology, a series of five conferences intended as open-research led by practitioners at the forefront of contemporary art and culture. Taking place between April ’05 and April ’06, the series will explore cultural, social and economic questions in response to the threats facing the environment. The debates will examine the role of the arts in addressing these urgent themes, tackling them at local and global levels. This will be an opportunity to consider work taking place in a range of creative practices including avant-garde eco-architecture practices, dystopian science fiction visions and artists experimenting with the use of sustainable technologies and energy consumption. Across architecture and landscape architecture, the visual arts, literature and moving image, artists prompt us with their creative approach to reconsider the way we understand and interact with our environment.

Future events will examine:

Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the conservation of energy in buildings and the environment: How can architecture reduce energy consumption and at the same time be aesthetically challenging? Programmed by Alicia Pivaro. Film and Video (in partnership with Wildscreen) will address issues of documentation and representation including What value can art add to the representation of ecological problems? Can eco-documentation be explored hand in hand with creative experimentation? Programmed by Mark Nash.

A further debate will consider the potential of Literature to ask: To what degree are assumptions about ecological issues embedded in our use of language? Can creative writing be a productive vehicle for scientific discourse? The series will culminate in a major Interdisciplinary convention. Can the notion of Ecosystem be considered as a common formula for diverse disciplines to communicate? Can creative approaches open up a space that allows for innovative solutions?

In addition to the symposia, we will produce a quarterly publication over the year to document and continue the discussions; and set up a website to provide information and links between individuals and organisations across arts, science, environment, government and the media. In the longer term our aim is to act as a catalyst for new experimental work through residencies, commissions and awards. Further information on future initiatives will be available soon.

To book tickets for either event please write to art@rsa.org.uk
Arts Programme, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ

Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA)
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