ARTISTS AND INNOVATORS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: A three-part exhibition series that toured worldwide
THE VIDEO STILLS BELOW highlight some of the visual and performing arts and design innovations featured in Artists and Innovators for the Environment on big screens around the world and StreamingMuseum.org, October 3, 2008 to April 3, 2009. This three-part exhibition series, produced in video format, featured over 40 international visual and performing artists, new media and software artists, and innovators in the fields of science, mathematics and sustainable design. The Global Tour was launched on October 3 at an event at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in New York City in collaboration with TED Prize, and a cross-continental live presentation with the Urban Screens Conference at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia.
Artist and Innovators for the Environment was produced in 2008 at the cusp of the global expansion of Internet technology. Expanding the range of perspectives on the sustainability theme, the museum introduced in September 2015 A View From The Cloud which reflects the revolutionary changes the Internet and technology have brought to global society since 2008, and the implications for the future.
A View From The Cloud programs include internationally touring exhibitions, public programs, and a website, produced in collaboration with World Council of Peoples for the United Nations. It includes fine art and pop culture visual and performing arts; and innovative ideas and synergies across disciplines including astronauts on “the overview effect,” education, neuroscience, big data, marketing, advertising and social media, global economics and politics, design, urban planning, sociology and cultural anthropology, mobile technology for developing regions, and more.
Buckminster Fuller, Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Scientist Robert Snyder, Director of documentary film –The World of Buckminster Fuller Masdar, Abu Dhabi, A model sustainable city by Foster + Partners Architects Chuck Hoberman, Inventor of transformable structures Benoit Mandelbrot, Mathematician, developed the field of fractal geometry of nature Design innovations: Tesla electric cars, Acquabuoy wave powered generator, Solar Ink spray-on solar energy collectors, Bio fuels
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Scientist, author, futurist, inventor, visionary – with Fly’s Eye Dome and Dymaxion car (1933). Artists and Innovators for the Environment included excerpts from The World of Buckminster Fuller, a documentary film by Director Robert Snyder.
It is highly feasible to take care of all of humanity at a higher standard of living without having anyone profit at the expense of another so everybody can enjoy the whole earth.
Hailed as one of the greatest minds of our times, Fuller was renowned for his comprehensive perspective on the world’s problems. For more than five decades, he developed pioneering solutions that reflected his commitment to the potential of innovative design to create technology that does “more with less” and thereby improves human lives. Fuller’s impact on the world today can be found in his continued influence upon generations of designers, architects, scientists and artists working to create a more sustainable planet.
Masdar Initiative, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerite: Foster + Partners, Architects A model for sustainable urban development regionally and globally, seeking to be a commercially viable development that delivers the highest quality living and working environment with the lowest possible ecological footprint. (Read more)
Shading Roof designed by Chuck Hoberman for Aldar Central Market at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi This grid-based system of sliding steel shutters automatically controls light and ventilation for this Foster + Partners designed open-air market, while creating a movable coffered roof overhead. Chuck Hoberman, Inventer, Founder of Hoberman Associates, fuses the disciplines of art, architecture and engineering, and is internationally known for his “transformable structures.”
Benoit Mandelbrot (1924-2010) was a Mathematician who developed a “theory of roughness” in nature and the field of fractal geometry. (NYTimes) In mathematics, there is an explanation for nature. Fractals are a form of geometric repetition, in which smaller and smaller copies of a pattern are successively nested inside each other, so that the same intricate shapes appear no matter how much you zoom in to the whole. The Mandelbrot set images above are by Dr. Wolfgang Beyer, Physicist
Because of his access to IBM’s computers, Mandelbrot was one of the first to use computer graphics to create and display fractal geometric images, leading to his discovering the Mandelbrot set in 1979. In so doing, he was able to show how visual complexity can be created from simple rules. He said that things typically considered to be “rough”, a “mess” or “chaotic”, like clouds or shorelines, actually had a “degree of order”. His research career included contributions to fields including geology, medicine, cosmology, engineering and the social sciences, and applied fields such as information theory, economics, and fluid dynamics. Read more in The Fractal Geometry of Nature, 1982, Mandelbrot
Artists and Innovators for the Environment included a video collage of renewable energy design innovations. It was underscored with Shifting Shades (2008) by composer Huang Ruo, performed by Trio Real Quiet.
The collection of designs included:
Tesla electric cars, Finevera’s Acquabuoy wave powered generator, Solar Ink spray-on solar energy collectors, Bio and Geothermal fuels, and other innovations.
VIDEO, PHOTOGRAPHY, PAINTING, CONCEPTUAL, SCULPTURE
John Cage, Composer, Artist, Writer Phil Dadson, Sound and Visual Artist Agnes Denes, Conceptual Environmental Artist Ben Edwards, Painter Andrea Juan, Multi-media artist Davidjr.com, Filmmaker, Blogger, and One-Eyed Doll Rock Band Paul Miller DJ Spooky, Author, Artist, Musician Jean Miotte, Painter James Nachtwey, Documentary Photographer and Gustavo Santaolalla, Composer Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta, Multi-disciplinary Creator Anni Rapinoja, Environmental Artist Worariddh Riddhagni, Painter Marty St. James, Multi-media Visual and Performance Artist, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Composer and Jaap Drupsteen, Filmmaker
John Cage, composer, artist, writer (1912- 1982), Lecture on the Weather (1976) Streaming Museum produced a video that juxtaposed a recording of John Cage reading the preface to Lecture on the Weather, with images of Cage, Henry Thoreau, and a live performance of the work at Bard College. Cage set the tone for the work in the preface as he stated his political, social, and environmental concerns regarding the direction the country was taking – that are still relevant today.
Recording and images courtesy of John Cage Trust at Bard College, Laura Kuhn, Director; C.F. Peters Corporation; photographers Emanuel Pimenta, Henny Lohner (image above), Betty Freeman, Donald Dietz; and Getty Images. Lecture on the Weather excerpt John Cage Trust
Photographs of John Cage and his NYC apartment by Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta, composer, artist, writer emanuelpimenta.net
Phil Dadson, Stone, Water, Air, Ice Dadson is a New Zealand pioneer sound artist, instrument inventor, photographer. He recorded a narration of his impressions of his profound experience while walking and filming in the Garwood Dry Valley region of Antarctica. Read Dadson’s stories about his experiences in Antarctica in 2003-2005.
Agnes Denes, Wheatfield – A Confrontation (1982) Denes’s works deal with ecological, cultural and social subjects, often on a monumental scale. Perhaps her best-known work is Wheatfield – A Confrontation: in 1982, she sowed a two-acre area with wheat, on a landfill in downtown Manhattan, a few blocks from Wall Street and the World Trade Center, and tended to it for months, before harvesting hundreds of kilograms of grain. With this, she emphasized global human values, and called the attention to mistaken social and economic priorities. agnesdenesstudio.com Stretching Her Creativity as Far as Possible – New York Times
Ben Edwards, Convergence (2000-2001) and Hidden Village (2006) Other paintings exhibited: Automatic City (2004); Cinnamon Gardens (2006), The Pusan Experience (2002)
Among the themes in Edwards’ work are the materialism of unfettered economic growth; the hopes, dreams and ideologies which provide precedent and background to the utopian impulse; the real/virtual – and how their synthesis will unfold in the future. benjaminedwards.net
Andrea Juan, Methane series (2006) Juan has created performances and video installations in Antarctica since 2004, based on scientific investigations related to climate change. This work has been supported with a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, among several other awards. Andrea Juan is Head of Cultural Projects for the National Antarctic Affairs of Argentine Chancellery and Professor of Visual Art at National University of Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires. andreajuan.net
Thousands gathered by the giant screens in Times Square to hear the broadcast of President-Elect Barack Obama speak on election night 2008. Video artist, davidjr.com captured the excitement and optimism of the moment. Music by One-Eyed Doll, an Austin,Texas-based band underscores the video.
Paul Miller DJ Spooky: That Subliminal Kid
North / South, 2007-8 Courtesy of artist and Robert Miller Gallery, NYC Miller is a turntablist, a producer, a philosopher, and an author, experimental and electronic hip-hop musician, conceptual artist, and writer. He spent several weeks in Antarctica retracing the journeys of several explorers including Ernest Shackleton and Robert F. Scott. In the video North/South, he constructs a collage of their journals and ephemera, and his ongoing relationship with the past, present and future. djspooky.com . .
Jean Miotte, Insurrection, 1996, Acrylic on canvas Miotte is a French abstract painter who is one of the important protagonists of L’Art Informel. His work is inspired by the desire of the postwar generation to create a universal human language through art, a path to peace, a way to overcome frontiers after the horrors of war. Miotte’s work is greatly influenced by jazz, and especially by dance.My painting is a projection, a succession of acute moments where creation occurs in the midst of spiritual tension as the result of inner conflicts. Painting is not a speculation of the mind or spirit, it’s a gesture from within. . .
Photojournalist James Nachtwey is considered by many to be the greatest war photographer of recent decades. He has covered conflicts and major social issues in more than 30 countries. Gustavo Santaolalla, Oscar winning composer, scored Nachtwey’s video documentary on the XDR-TB epidemic that was presented in Artists and Innovators for the Environment. jamesnachtwey.com TED Talk . .
Anni Rapinoja environmental artist, Wardrobe of Nature (2006)
The artist shapes plants and the eco-energy of the seasonal cycle into the forms of the human world.
Marty St. James, multi-media artist Upside Down World 2008, with music by Julia Wolfe, Believing
This ecologically driven video artwork is based on the notion that there are many ways to see the world and locate our environment. Filmed quite literally upside down traveling through the French countryside the work aims to displace received visual values with new positions for visual comprehension. The intention is build a visual metaphor combined with displaced sound to indicate how things can look if we reposition ourselves for just a short space and time.
Jacob ter Veldhuis, composer, Ignition from video oratorio Paradiso . Filmmaker Jaap Drupsteen
Paradiso is an oratorio about an imaginary world without suffering, based Dante’s Divina Commedia. It was premiered the day after 9-11. jacobtv.net .
Worariddh Riddhagni, Only Way To Survive, 1996
Worariddh Riddhagni is a leading painter born and living in Thailand who has long since dedicated himself to meditation and to creating art as a means to relieve spiritual suffering. His paintings are also known for a joyous visual rhetoric. While ideas of contemporary art encourage artists to explore their creativity through mixed media, innovative methods and a concern with social contexts, Riddhagni allows Dharma to direct his art. Meditation is the basis of peace and can free the self from the demands of the external world. Worariddh Riddhagni’s paintings demonstrate the power of art to steer our mind to Buddhism’s Right View, leading to peace for all. Riddhagni is represented by Sombat Permpoon Gallery in Bangkok, Thailand.
Ken Are Bongo, Biegga savkala duoddariid duohken lea soames, 2006 (The wind whispers there is someone behind the tundra) video 9:00
The poem Biegga savkala duoddarid duohken lea soames by award winning Sami poet Synnove Persen reveals a belief in the powers of nature and a connection to their Sami ancestors. The choreography in this dance-on-film symbolizes their evolution as they dance through time and space enjoying the wonders of the sky, passing objects and people that connect them to their Sami ancestors. Choreographer: Elle Sofe Henriksen / Johtti kompani
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, NYC Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Choreographer; Adam Larsen, video; Stefano Zazzera, music
Merce by Merce by Paik, 1976, courtesy of Merce Cunningham Dance Company, NYC. Pictured above in Second Life, virtual world. Part one of a two part series, subtitled Blue Studio, Five Segments, by Merce Cunningham, Nam June Paik and Charles Atlas
“Television obscures art in life, and life in art. Can we reverse time?” In Merce by Merce by Paik, a two-part tribute to avant-garde choreographer Merce Cunningham and 20th-century master Marcel Duchamp, Paik and his collaborators question art, life and time through video. Throughout, Paik’s electronic manipulations cause time and space to be layered and transformed.
Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta, composer, visual artist Excerpt Difesa della Natura, 1998 Mesostic, 1991 (synthesized breath of John Cage) from Concert for Frogs and Crickets emanuelpimenta.net .
Stephen Vitiello, Composer Box Reflection from Bode Sound Project 2005 Published by Institute for Electronic Arts stephenvitiello.com
Julia Wolfe, Composer Believing, 1996 bangonacan.org/about_us/julia_wolfe
Published by Cantaloupe Music Performed by BANG ON A CAN All Stars Maya Beiser, cello Robert Black, bass Lisa Morre, keyboards, piano Steven Schick, percussion Mark Stewart, electric guitar Evan Ziporyn, clarinet
Nunatak band of the British Antarctic Survey Station.
Band members are scientists, engineers and field assistants researching the impact of humans on the natural environment. Images: recording at Rothera Station; exhibited in Streaming Museum’s Artists and Innovators for the Environment in Piazza Duomo, Milan and Second Life. .
Inna Faliks (Russia) pianist, performing Maurice Ravel at Chelsea Art Museum, NYC, behind her is Insurrection, 1996, acrylic on canvas, by Jean Miotte. Second Life, and Piazza Duomo, Milan, Italy
LAUNCH EVENT + GLOBAL TOUR
World renowned photojournalist James Nachtwey premiered his TED Prize Wish, a 18-month photography project documenting the returned pandemic of Tuberculosis, at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City, on Oct. 3, 2008. Guest speakers Paul Simon, Dr. Marcos Espinal of Stop TB Partnership, Joanne Carter of Results, and Rajat Gupta of The Global Fund.
Following the presentations, Streaming Museum and TED participated in a cross-continental conference between the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, New York City, and Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia where the Urban Screens 08 festival was taking place. This marked the launch, through cyberspace and the global network of partnering public screens, of “Artists and Innovators for the Environment”, and the premiere of an important body of work by renowned photographer and TED Prize winner James Nachtwey. TIME MAGAZINE GLOBAL TOUR Locations screening the exhibitions according to local schedules are: Africa: Ubuntu Center, Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Asia: Art Center Nabi, Seoul, Korea Antarctica: British Antarctic Survey Station and Jubany scientific base of Argentina; Australia: Federation Square, Melbourne; Europe: BBC screens throughout the UK; North America: Chelsea Art Museum, NYC, Victory Park, Dallas, Texas, USA; South America: Centro Municipal de Exposiciones Subte, Montevideo, Uruguay; Streamingmuseum.org and Ars Virtua New Media Center in Second Life. James Nachtwey’s TED Prize winning photography was also exhibited at the Time Warner Center, Reuters Screen in Times Square and the National Theater in London. .
PARTNERS + SPONSORS
Artists and Innovators for the Environment was produced in collaboration with the following curators, galleries, cultural centers, corporate and non-profit organizations:
John Cage Trust at Bard College, Laura Kuhn, Director Max Protech Gallery, NYC Buckminster Fuller Institute and Family FRAME – Finnish Fund for Art Exchange, Curator, Marketta Seppälä, Director National Museum of the American Indian – Smithsonian Institution Sombat Permpoon Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand Robert Miller Gallery, NYC Merce Cunningham Studio, NYC Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, NYC Praxis Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina TED Prize Times Warner Center NRDC Nachtwey Studio Getty Images Urban Screens Association MASDAR Chuck Hoberman Associates British Antarctic Survey Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia Bang On A Can Chelsea Art Museum FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds ONSSI