A-Z Abstracts and Bios

Papers

Organizational Rhythms: A Sonification Perspective

Bilal Abdul Kader, Catalin Ratiu and Paul Shrivastava

Abstract: The current paradigms of management are primarily rational, logical, and scientific, focused on highly cognitive approaches to managing organizations. These paradigms ignore the role of emotional engagement, its role in decision-making, and need for engaging passion. To achieve environmental sustainability, organizations will need emotional and passionate connection to nature. This can be accomplished thru the arts (and particularly music). The arts offer a very useful and necessary complement to traditional scientific methods used by organizations.

In this project we seek to understand organizations from natural & aesthetic perspectives. It is based on the assumption that just like many other entities in nature, such as, people, bio organisms, and ecosystems, organizations also have natural “rhythms”, To uncover rhythmic patterns of organizations, we undertook two exploratory studies using acoustic sonification. As a first step we converted stock price data for publicly traded companies into audible acoustic frequencies — an increasingly used method in life and social sciences. In the first study, we focus on organizational rhythms of publicly traded corporations. We use stock market data (price variations, volatility, etc.) as expressions of financial rhythms, because the financial dynamics are good proxies for a corporation’s heartbeat. In the second study, we used a focus group setting to investigate emotional reactions to sonified stock market data, and to test pattern recognition among an eclectic group of musically trained individuals.

In this presentation we will report on these studies. We will offer a continuous stream of audio — an ambient music-like presentation — which tracks ongoing stock market data. The pattern may well present itself like a drone, a cacophony, or it may be symphonic (Schaffer, 1993). The semiotic of the current stock market is akin to an abstract (non-representational) painting; it cannot make sense to the representational eye because the intellect refuses to engage in patterns other than what is expected or anticipated. In our multimedia presentation we invite the audience to listen to these sounds and be the interpretive guides who can point the way into a non-representational aesthetic.

Bio: Dr. Paul Shrivastava, is the David O’Brien Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal. He also serves as Senior Advisor on sustainability at Bucknell University and the Indian Institute of Management-Shillong, India, and he serves on the Board of Trustees of DeSales University, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Shrivastava received his Ph. D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He was tenured Associate Professor of Management at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He has published 15 books and over 100 articles in professional and scholarly journals. He served on the editorial boards of leading management education journals including the Academy of Management Review, the Strategic Management Journal, Organization, Risk Management, and Business Strategy and the Environment. He won a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award and studied Japanese management while based at Kyoto University. He founded the Organization and Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, and on the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour.

Dr. Shrivastava has 30 years experience in management education, entrepreneurship, and as a consultant to major multinational companies. In 1976 he was part of the management team that launched Hindustan Computers Ltd., one of India’s largest computer companies. In 1985 he founded the non-profit Industrial Crisis Institute, Inc. to mediate the industrial crisis between Union Carbide Corporation and the Government of India, and published the Industrial Crisis Quarterly. In 1998 he founded, and was President and CEO of eSocrates, Inc., a knowledge management and online training/education software company. He has served as consultant to AT & T, Baker Hughes, FMC Corp, Johnson and Johnson, Ketchum Communications, Scott Paper, Wartsila, Oy, and MEC RASTOR, and Elea-Olivetti. He designs and presents strategic summits and training workshops for upper management focused on corporate and competitive strategy, sustainable management, and crisis management.

Catalin is a PhD Candidate in strategic management and a full time lecturer at the John Molson School of Business. In his research, he explores the development of valuable capabilities that allow organizations to operate and develop sustainably. Cata’s research has been published in peer reviewed journals, books, conference proceedings, and the business press. Cata has been associated with DOCSE since the Fall of 2009, primarily for work linking sustainability, management, and acoustics.

Bilal Abdul Kader, a PhD candidate at JMSB, has got his MBA in 2006. His main research interests are: asset pricing, corporate cash management, micro-finance, and sustainability in finance. He has taught and assisted in various undergraduate courses in the department of Finance and MIS. He is committed to integrate active learning experience into his classroom in order to empower and engage students using recent methods, technologies, and activities. Bilal has accomplished several consulting assignments for start-ups in Canada and Lebanon.

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Mapping 7 rivers in Cali, Colombia

Mariángela Aponte Núñez

Abstract: 7 rivers in 49 images is a collection of 49 photographs of the seven rivers (Aguacatal, Cali, Cañaveralejo, Cauca, Lili, Melendez and Pance) crossing the city of Cali, Colombia.

This project focuses on the relationship of Cali’s people with their water. Like most of colombian territory Cali is rich in clean water resources, but the environmental crisis of our globalized era can be seen here too: Cali’s waste has been reaching a point that today most of those rivers have no drinkable water after they pass through the city. The photographs explore the movement and color change of the water passing through the city of Cali.

The 49 images forms a sequence from the Pance river, the one with better conditions, to the Cauca river, the dirtiest and one of the major rivers in southwestern Colombia.

Bio: Mariángela Aponte Núñez, born in Cali, Colombia. With a Visual Arts degree obtained at the Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia in 2007, I am currently completing my Master in Aesthetics and Technology of the Electronic Arts at National University of Tres de Febrero in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2005 I have been showing my artwork in solo and group exhibitions. Some of my works are: TACTOSCOPIO, that addresses issues related to art and blindness; SONOSCOPIO, an experimental sound installation; and the photographic exhibition 7 RIVERS IN 49 IMAGES that explores the color change of Cali’s rivers from their birth through its mouth. I am actively collaborating in Colombian publications, among them, with the ARTEFACTO section for the “Pandora’s Box” radio-cultural series in Javeriana Stereo Cali as well as several other transdisciplinary projects.

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The role of visual art in environmental discourse

Emma Arnold

Abstract: While visual art may often be excluded from scientific disciplines, science and environment frequently figure prominently in the work of many contemporary artists. From paint brushes to knitting needles, from the gallery to the street, visual artists are approaching environmental issues in new, exciting, and engaging ways. Artists worldwide are tackling environmental issues in diverse ways, from the choice of their media to the subject matter they address to the intentions of their work. While these pursuits are not novel, they remain relatively untouched as topic of research within environmental disciplines.

This paper explores the work of various visual artists, examining how artists are addressing environmental issues in their audiences, intentions, materials, media, message, and in the spaces in which their works are found. In examining how artists are exploring these issues, the potential roles of visual art in environmental discourse are expected to emerge. Such roles are likely varied and multifaceted. Art may help us to understand our place in nature, question our values and behaviours, communicate ideas, or may be used as propaganda. Art may provide insight on the environment itself, providing historical information on past environments; may serve to document current environmental challenges; or may promote regard for the space in which it is found. Art may even contribute to the development of solutions to environmental problems by innovating new technologies or approaches. Understanding why art has remained absent from environmental discourse, despite these potential roles, may provide insight into why its inclusion may be important now.

Bio: Emma Arnold is a dual Canadian and British citizen who has lived and studied in Canada, Hungary, and Sweden. Her background is in environmental geography, environmental impact assessment, and environmental policy. She holds a Master’s of Science in Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management from a consortium of four European universities: Lund University, Central European University, University of the Aegean, and the University of Manchester. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Impact Assessment and an Honours Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Geography from Concordia University. She has previously worked as a policy analyst developing environmental legislation and regulation for the Canadian government, as a design consultant for the design agency SNÖGRAFX, and as a freelance illustrator. She will be commencing doctoral studies in 2012 at the University of Edinburgh in the Institute of Geography, where her research will focus on the role of art in environmental discourse. She is also the founder of The Institute for Art and Environment, a think-tank generating knowledge and providing expertise on issues relating to art and the environment, promoting more holistic approaches to sustainability.

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Sustainable agriculture / sustainable culture

Pat Badani

Abstract: The paper discusses “Al Grano,” a transdisipinary project-in-progress that examines the politics of food and GM technology using as lens: maize cultivation, technology, trade and border crossings at the intersection of ancient and contemporary sciences and technologies. The focus is on the livelihood struggles of maize growers in Mexico – center of origin, domestication and biodiversity of maize – and the balance/unbalance created by environmentally sustainable and exploitative agro-practices today.

Maize agriculture is seen as “culture” where unevenly shaped opinions and meanings are formed in engagement with wider economic and political structures in Mexico, the USA and Canada. The complex foundational issues and convoluted stakes derive from history, ethnology, sociology, biopolitics, law and intellectual property, agronomy, ecology, science, and technology of maize.

The “Al Grano” project delves into new structures for life for the 21st century, seeking to re-define ‘growth’ for a sustainable agriculture / sustainable culture. The intention is to set in motion receptivity by intertwining research methodologies used in ethnography into my new media artist’s tool-kit. These strategies allow the development of various narrative grounds about issues related to this contested grain and its contested spaces in North America.

Bio: Pat Badani is an internationally exhibiting artist, researcher, educator and writer. Her essays on new media and interculturality have been published in English and Spanish in books and in journals. Currently, she Editor in Chief of “Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus”.

Badani’s work and research have been showcased in venues such as ISEA (France, Ireland and Turkey); FILE – International Electronic Festival & Symposium (Brazil); Watershed Media Center (UK); MECAD Media Art Center (Spain); New Forms Festival (Canada); Espacio Fundación Telefónica (Argentina); The Tarble Art Center; and I space (USA); Canadian Cultural Center; and Maison de l’Amérique Latine (France).

In 2002 she was awarded a major one-year Canada Council Research Grant to develop her multi-sited new media project “Where are you from?_Stories”. Currently she is working on two projects involving transdisciplinary research and exchange. She is director of “Al-Grano” investigating biodiversity issues in Mexico, the USA and Canada (a feature article analyzing the project, written by Catherine Bédard, will be published in November 2011 in “Nouvelle Revue d’Esthétique”, Paris). Badani is also international network research partner in the collaborative project “RhyCycling – Esthetics of sustainability in the Basel border area”, funded by The Swiss National Science Foundation.

Badani has lectured and occupied full-time academic positions. She created and taught the first Integrated Media program in the School of Art at Illinois State University and was full time lecturer and Acting Director of the Interdisciplinary Media Arts MFA program at Columbia College in the USA.

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Shifting Paradigms: Artist as Agents of Change

Leah Barclay

Abstract: The global ecological crisis has become a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaborations at a time when a shift in thinking is urgently required. World leaders are now looking towards the validity and possibilities of creative methodologies as tools for change. This presents both a challenge and an unprecedented opportunity for creative practitioners to gain a critical understanding of the situation, and devise new processes for a sustainable future.

Bill McKidden recently said; “When art both of great worth, and in great quantities, begins to cluster around an issue, it means that civilization has identified it finally as a threat.” He views artists as the “antibodies of the cultural bloodstream” and fundamental to social change. But is the role of the artist purely to comment on the crisis? Or can provocation extend beyond expression to create a behavioral shift in deeply engrained unsustainable ways of thinking? Can artists confront the roots of the ecological crisis to facilitate the necessary shift? If the answers are yes, then how can these intangible, and often subjective, creative processes be measured?

This paper explores these questions and introduces a multi-platform methodology that could provide a framework to facilitate the paradigmatic shift required to initiate cultural change. The core of this methodology pivots of a site-specific creative project embedded in a multi-layered community cultural engagement process developed in response to the specific community. This evolving model is implemented by the artist, acting as a change agent spiraling between contextualized theory and practice. Rigorous methodologies to measure the results are explored through three case studies of multi-platform projects implemented in Australia and New Zealand. These projects are acting as a catalyst and represent an unparalleled opportunity for artists as agents of change in environmental emergency.

Bio: Leah Barclay is an Australian interdisciplinary artist and curator recognised internationally for her distinctive sonic language. Her work has been commissioned, performed, and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, India, China, and Korea. Barclay creates immersive performances and multi-sensory installations at the intersection of art, science, technology, and the environment. Her work spans film, theatre, and dance to hybrid performance, interactive media, data sonification, and site-specific installations. Her adventurous nature has led her to complete projects on the floor of the Australian ocean, desolate lava caves in New Zealand, and the evocative backwaters of South India. Barclay’s dynamic work has resulted in numerous awards, including the Premier of Queensland’s inaugural National New Media Scholarship, the Asialink Performing Artist Residency for South Korea, and the HELM Award for Environmental Art. She has directed and curated environmental projects across Australia, India, and Korea and serves in an advisory capacity for a range of arts and environmental organisations including Noosa Biosphere (UNESCO) and Ear to the Earth (New York). Barclay is currently engaged in a series of collaborative research projects addressing the value of creative methodologies in ecological crisis and is completing an interdisciplinary PhD under Gerardo Dirié and Kim Cunio at Griffith University in Australia.

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Citizen Sensing in the Canadian North

Matthew Biederman

Abstract: The paper will discuss recent activities of the Arctic Perspective Initiative, a non-profit, international group of individuals and organizations, founded by Marko Peljhan and Matthew Biederman, whose goal is to promote the creation of open authoring, communications and dissemination infrastructures for the circumpolar region. Its aim is to work with, learn from, and empower the North and Arctic Peoples through open source technologies and applied education and training. By creating access to these technologies while promoting the creation of shared communications and data networks without costly overheads, continued and sustainable development of autonomous culture, traditional knowledge, science, technology and education opportunities for peoples in the North and Arctic regions is enabled.

In light of the current trends of ‘citizen sensing’, the paper will discuss the development of the Tatsipaaq environmental mesh network in the Foxe Basin area of Nunavut and its potential within communities facing pressures of climate change. Built from entirely open-source hardware and software, the Tatsipaaq has the ability to geo-locate environmental conditions, and augmenting the data with audio and visual material by recording voice, audio or images. The system propagates its data through open mapping toolsets, allowing for the free dissemination to the rest of the community. The network was designed and built by API through consultation with communities of Nunavut, and will be openly distributed as a toolset allowing for the local communities to direct their own ‘ambient’ research and data collection.

Bio: Matthew Biederman has been performing, installing and exhibiting works, which explore themes of perception, media saturation, and data systems since the mid nineties. Biederman was the recipient of the Bay Area Artist Award in Video by New Langton Arts in 1999, First Place in the Visual Arts category of Slovenia’s Break21 festival, and has served as artist-in-residence at the Center for Experimental Television on numerous occasions. He is a co-founder of Arctic Perspective Initiative, an international non-profit group of individuals and organizations whose goal is to promote the creation of open authoring, production, communications and dissemination infrastructures for the circumpolar region.

His installations have been exhibited in the US, South America, and Europe, in a variety of festivals and venues such as 7 ATA Festival Internacional (Lima, Peru) As a film and video maker, his works have been included in the FILE festival (Sao Paulo), New Forms Festival (Vancouver), the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Paris/Berlin International Meetings, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. His public works have been shown at the ZeroOne2006 Festival, the SCAPE Biennial in New Zealand.

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Tracking Indicators of our Environmental Crisis by Means of Art: A Psycho-Historical Account

Nicolas Bullot

Abstract: Research seeking a scientific foundation for the theory of art appreciation has raised controversies at the crossroads of the social and cognitive sciences. Though equally relevant to an inquiry in the nature of art, the psychological and historical approaches to art developed independently and continue to lack a common core of theoretical and methodological principles. Historicists have argued that psychological and neuroscientific theories overlook the fact that artworks are artefacts produced and appreciated in the context of unique historical situations and artistic intentions. After a presentation of the debate, I introduce a psycho-historical theory for the cognitive science of art appreciation. According to this theory, an essential task of a science of art appreciation is to explain how the ability to appreciate a work of art depends on the appreciator’s sensitivity to and knowledge of the historical context of the work. Drawing from research on essentialism and the societal functions of artefacts, the psycho-historical theory predicts that appreciators understand an artwork when they succeed in deploying an attitude termed ‘artistic design stance’ that guides their historical inquiries into the original context and making of the work. Drawing from case studies, I demonstrate the relevance of this psycho-historical theory to assess how artworks engender awareness about the current global environmental crisis. Specifically, I argue that works of art can manipulate audiences’ emotional sensitivity to and contextual knowledge of usually-hidden facts and mechanisms that cause ecological perils.

Bio: I am a philosopher of Cognitive Science committed to multi-disciplinary research. I am currently developing a research project titled ‘How do we keep track of others? A philosophical and multidisciplinary theory of the tracking of persons and objects.’ The aim of this project is to develop and test a philosophical theory of the human ability to keep track of other persons and environmental facts. The epistemological goal of this work is to analyse how our knowledge of individuals and states of affairs is determined by linkages between our varied perceptual, conceptual and technical abilities to track them over time. The methodology I adopt is aimed at bridging the gap between the psychology and anthropology of tracking and philosophical issues in Aesthetics (How do we track artistic or cultural agency?), Epistemology (What are the connections between knowledge and tracking?), Ethics (How should we regulate the power obtained from tracking individuals?) and Philosophy of Biology (How did our tracking abilities evolve?). In the past, I pursued my doctoral research in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science at the Institut Jean Nicod (EHESS, CNRS, Paris). I was subsequently awarded short or long-term grants to develop my research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris, France), the Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey), the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada), and the University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada).

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Wild Weather

Damian Castaldi

Abstract: My paper presents the prototype for the installation of a networked public sound sculpture planned for the Australian, Newcastle CBD. It includes five light weight transparent acrylic resonators, (approx 2200mm high X 110mm in outside diameter) suspended side by side and mechanically controlled to oscillate in response to the file transfer of media (audio & text files) from a website to the sculpture’s interface. The public installation will provide a transmission interface for the general public to privately reflect on their experiences and relationships with their local weather environment and where possible share meaningful content that might describe the social and physical impact of weather on their communities. The project sits at the intersection of sonic art, networked media, human ecology and remote user interaction. It addresses the intense and dangerous relationship Australians have with the weather and focuses on the recent and devastating affects of floods and storms on our environment and it’s population. One of the ecological concerns central to this work is described by Professor of natural hazards at James Cook University, Cyclone chaser Jonathan Nott who this year warned that, “town planners have become “very, very complacent” about the dangers of wild weather which is likely to increase during La Nina weather patterns and a shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which will warm the east Pacific ocean and possibly fuel severe cyclones.” (Bita 2011).

Bio: Damian Castaldi is an independent sound and digital media artist based in Sydney, Australia. He works in the areas of sound design, installation and electronic music production and has an interest in gestural and sculptural interfaces for sound synthesis. He currently lectures in the Bachelor of Audio Production program at the SAE Institute and has previously lectured at the University of Technology Sydney in Media Art Production (MAP) and the University of Newcastle in Foundations of Media Art Production. Recently Damian co-directed Loop Space, which ran as a Sound & Digital media artspace as part of the Renew Newcastle project.

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The Biopolitics of Milk

Natalie Doonan

Abstract: In this paper, I establish an artistic and socio-political context for the work of artist Miriam Simun, who is currently producing a variety of local, ethical, nutritious, boutique cheeses…made of human milk. I argue the significance of this experiment through trespass — a notion that exists only in relation to territorial distinctions, which are troubled in productive ways through the manufacture of human cheese. This project provokes a visceral reaction, and triggers conversation around biotechnologies that are usually relegated to the dubious domain of so-called ‘experts’.

The French word, terroir, refers to the earth, land, or territory that can be detected in the savoring of a food. This project raises questions such as: What do the eating habits of these women reveal about their origins, their land? The flavours of what mother has ingested are prominent in her milk. And yet Simun’s City Funk Gorgonzola reflects the complex processes of miscegenation at play in this unique and irreproducible taste. Tracing terroir in the production of human cheese reveals the fault lines in the constantly shifting earth (or pavement) of Manhattan. In addition to provoking questions around globalization and sustainable food production, exploring this experiment through the notion of trespass also highlights human rights issues. This project draws attention to the female body as a production unit and a site of desire whose performative functions are tightly regulated. It reveals the complications of ‘closing the loop’ even in returning to this very first and most primitive form of nourishment.

Bio: I am a multimedia and performance artist, currently based in Montreal, Québec. As a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University, I spent six months this year conducting research on artists who perform in public space, incorporating tours and tastings into their work. Through this exploration, I am setting out to test my suspicion that the sub-economies and slow practices employed by these artists offer a certain education in the cultivation of taste. Through these works, I argue that taste can potentially collapse the distance between producer and consumer. Specifically, I am interested in artistic mapping and agricultural works that reveal the contested nature of ‘landscape’. This is an extension of my own performance work in so-called ‘public’ space, which I create for broad audiences of locals and tourists by appealing to sensory-affective registers. Through my work, I am interested in remixing alternative and unofficial narratives with the more pervasive heroic and monumental tales that often serve to silence the seedier sides of tourism and city development. I am a co-founder of The Miss Guides, a cultural walking collective based in Vancouver, BC (www.themissguides.com). Most recently, I have founded le/the Sensorium (www.lesensorium.com), a platform through which I am curating a seasonal menu of artists who will lead participatory community events focusing on the ethics of eating. As a PhD Humanities candidate in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies at Concordia, I am working in the fields of Sensory, Performance and Urban Studies.

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Oceans in Distress

Joseph Ingoldsby

Abstract: All life is interrelated; woven of the water, of the Earth, and of the air. We must listen to the story of Mother Earth told gently to her children. We must listen and cooperate as one people to survive for we live in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources, and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate. Artist’s can play an integral role in the raising of the public consciousness through advocacy. Art can be used to communicate complex ecological and scientific principles to an audience outside of the confines of the academy or science museum. Oceans in Distress documents the three main drivers which are sickening the global marine environment, and all are a direct consequence of human activity: global warming, acidification and a dwindling level oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia. Pollution and global warming are pushing the world’s oceans to the brink of a mass extinction of marine life unseen for tens of millions of years. These symptoms, moreover, could be the harbinger of wider disruptions in the interlocking web of biological and chemical interactions that scientists now call the Earth system. Oceans in Distress is a collaborative work that showcases the science behind the issues of chemical, biological, acoustic and industrial change that is affecting the world’s oceans and in turn ourselves.

Bio: Joseph Emmanuel Ingoldsby. I stand before you at a unique vantage point, which bridges art, science and technology. I research, collaborate, write, exhibit and install my work in the field. Joseph Emmanuel Ingoldsby initially trained in art and landscape architecture with Ian McHarg, who mentored me on Design with Nature at PENN. The focus and methodology involved a comprehensive analysis of the geology, hydrology, soils, vegetation, and the cultural overlays of both local and regional landscapes. An integral part of the work involved interviews with scientists and local experts. Projects included analytical overlays of the Schuylkill River based on the incremental industrialization of an urban river; and the Natural and Cultural Landscapes of the Pine Barrens, NJ in text, aerial patterning and photography. This methodology provided the foundation for current collaborative work, as I transitioned to exhibitions and installations, and to digital media and film. I combine art, science and technology to advocate for vanishing landscapes and endangered species and the role of the artist in the 21st century as a translator and communicator of science. My work is focused on the natural and cultural landscapes of America. I practice what I preach.

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Two philosophical approaches to animal suffering: finding the balance in moral life

Sheila Mason

Abstract: In this presentation I compare two radically different approaches to the problem of animal suffering with the aim of showing how one way of framing our relation to animals enables us to achieve a fine balance in our moral lives. The first approach made famous by Peter Singer appeals to the rational Utilitarian argument that we ought to expand the circle of moral concern to include the greatest number of sentient beings by giving up eating meat. The alternative approach is spear headed by the writings of Nobel Lauriate J.M. Coetzee and several philosophers writing from a lyrical/literary perspective that calls upon a different sensibility by refusing to accept the gap between reason and emotion that underlies Utilitarianism. These writers raise the perspective of an enhanced sensibility that is often cut off at the root by standard philosophical appeals to abstract principles and reasoning which too often eclipse the emotional understanding necessary for real ethical change and growth. I add a further grounding of this view by appeal to Aristotle’s concept of practical wisdom, wherein a wise person gains the capacity to assess the salient features of specific situations without assuming that there are universal principles to be applied algorithmically to our moral dilemmas.

Bio: Sheila Mason, PhD, Purdue University, has taught philosophy at Concordia University since 1969 with a brief stint as a visiting professor at Murdoch University, Perth, West Australia, where she taught environmental ethics. She has published numerous articles in the area of moral theory, environmental ethics and feminist ethics as well as in the philosophy of leisure. She is currently teaching an Advanced Seminar in Virtue Theory and is Undergraduate Student Advisor in the Department of Philosophy at Concordia University. She is the Ethics Coordinator for the Canadian Philosophical Association annual Conference held at the 2011 and 2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

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Photographic Power: Ethics and aesthetics in environmental crisis

Karla McManus

Abstract: Photography is the quintessential medium of modernity, situated at the intersections of art and science, technology and nature. As the history of photography can attest, photography is the classic medium used to document and reflect on the perpetual changes that take place in the modern landscape. American photographer Mitch Epstein’s series American Power (2003-2009) has garnered international acclaim for its evocative look at the relationship between energy consumption and the human impact on the landscape. Most recently, he was awarded the 2010 Prix Pictet, created by the Swiss banking firm to honour photographic art that confronts issues of sustainability. By reflecting on the impact of Epstein’s work, and the various ways that these images have circulated through institutional and individual structures of acceptance, I will consider the ethical and aesthetic implications of photographing environmental crisis. While photography has often been critiqued for beautifying the horrific and for aestheticizing the mundane, this paper asks the question: can photography help to promote human responsibility and positive action towards the environment through the representation of modernity, development and ecological crisis? What role does the medium itself play in communicating these issues? And how do the ways that photographs are disseminated to the public, through institutional frameworks and popular formats, shape and influence the viewer’s perception of the medium and its subject?

Bio: Karla McManus is a PhD student in the Interuniversity programme in Art History at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec and a part-time lecturer in the department of Art History. Her research focuses on the presentation and interpretation of landscape photography as environmentalist and the intersection of meaning and context in contemporary photographic visual culture. Her proposed dissertation title is: Witnessing the Future and Exhibiting the Present: the ecological turn of contemporary landscape photography. Karla is a 2010 recipient of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Ecosystem complexity and adaptative art practices

Perdita Phillips

Abstract: I propose to present a visual essay tackling the apparent lacuna between many artists’ ideas of ecology (and the balance of nature), and contemporary scientific ecology’s conception of the world as a network of dynamic ecological circumstances. The presentation will discuss ecological complexity, resilience and advances in adaptive management and counterpoint these with existing artworks and artists and with potential directions for critical future creative works. Starting with Taylor and Haila’s (2001, p. 521) identification of the challenge to conceptualize ecosystems as simultaneously encompassing ‘particularity, contingency, and structure, and for such structure to be internally differentiated, dynamically tied to its context, and subject to restructuring’ and concluding with the ethical implications of an unbalanced world, the paper will invite action in the face of the inevitable uncertainties inherent in an ecological world view.

Bio:  Perdita Phillips is a Western Australian artist whose work encompasses installation, walking, sound art, photography, book and digital art. Whilst materially diverse, underlying themes of ecological processes and a commitment to a resensitisation to the physical environment, are apparent in her work. She convened and curated the Unruly ecologies: biodiversity and art symposium for SymbioticA (2010) and curated the ArtSource Newsletter issue Resilience: on Art and Environments, which included her essay, The trouble with sustainability (2007). Recent publications include The case of the lengthening legs: cane toads in northern Australia (2011 in Jacob Bull’s Animal Movements • Moving Animals) and Clotted Life and Brittle Waters (2010, for the Landscapes journal). Her practice-based PhD thesis fieldwork/fieldwalking (2007) explored the relationship between art, science and the field. Phillips has undertaken a number of art and science residencies including Green, Grey or Dull Silver: art and the behavioural ecology of the Great Bowerbird, Chlamydera Nuchalis (2007-2008, SymbioticA) with notable exhibitions including Visceral: The Living Art Experiment (2011, Science Gallery, Dublin), The System of Nature (2007, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia), Chart (2006, John Curtin Art Gallery, Curtin University), fieldwork/fieldwalking (2006, Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery) and Zoo for the species (2003, National Review of Live Art). Phillips is currently working on The Sixth Shore, a spatial GPS-based soundscapes as part of SymbioticA’s Adaptation project. The project brings together the sounds and stories of different human and non-human stakeholders in the complex issues surrounding Lake Clifton in southwest Western Australia.

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Floating Land – Cultural Change through Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Jessie Roberts

Abstract: Floating Land is an ongoing conversation about creativity, culture and the environment pivoting on a dynamic ten-day event in the UNESCO listed Biosphere of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Conceived in 2001 as an outdoor sculpture exhibition, Floating Land is now solidified as one of Australia’s most significant green art events sparking the imagination of artists, scientists, politicians and conservationists globally. The biannual project is framed around a thematic site-specific artist residency and offers a platform for creative responses, provocations and interactive experiences that can underpin new ways of thinking and inspire change. The diverse creative responses of Floating Land become embedded in a rich program of community workshops, forums and interactive labs designed to confront and challenge a spectrum of environmental issues across disciplines. The event delivers engaging experiences for the local community, and harnesses the energy of these conversations, ideas and visions across virtual platforms that explore new paradigms for our collective future.

The 2011 Floating Land theme ‘Water Culture’ saw collaborative projects deliver multi-sensory ephemeral installations, incorporating projection, light and sound in the natural environment. Artists worked alongside scientists engaging with and drawing upon the community.

This paper presents Floating Land as a methodology for cultural change through deeply engrained community processes and multi-disciplinary collaborations. Floating Land 2013 is drawing its thematic framework from Biomimicry; bringing the science of nature and the scientific mindset deeply into the conversation and providing a platform for the creative industries, science, technology and culture to enter the conversation simultaneously.

Bio: Jessie Roberts is a dynamic sustainability strategist, biotechnologist, educator and arts manager who has worked in a diversity of positions across Australia and Spain. Most recently, she has held the position of Project Manager for Floating Land (2009 – 2011); one of Australia’s leading Green Art events. Previous project include investigating sustainable water technologies that resulted in successfully building a water efficiency consultancy that serviced the drought effected areas of South East Queensland, Australia in 2005 to 2007. Jessie played a key role in the development and research for the Edgeware Creative Entrepreneurship program and through her current position of Educational Designer and Facilitator at the QUT Innovation Space, within Queensland’s University of Technology, she is conducting action research into alternative educational models and platforms/environments that facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations. Jessie is the co-founder of InterRhythm, a dynamic interdisciplinary company dedicated to facilitating innovative projects for a sustainable future and she is currently working on the thematic development for Floating Land 2013 through her position on the curatorial board. 

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Mapping Meaning

Erin Smith

Abstract: As part of the workshop “Mapping environmental issues from above & from the ground,” I will offer an artist’s talk along with a group project. I will introduce a figurative concept of mapping, outlining a methodology for relating locally to an environmental crisis that often seems to be occurring elsewhere–in drought-ridden Africa, for instance, or on the polar ice caps. In literary analysis, “mapping” is defined as “a conceptual (mental) connection between elements” (Johanna Rubba, “Terms and concepts for metaphorical and metonymic analysis”). Aiming to forge this connection between elements in my visual practice, I adopt the literary trope of metonymy, which substitutes a part for the whole. My visual metonyms map the concrete to the abstract, the knowable tothe incomprehensible, the intimate to the estranged. Statistics and reports about global environmental threats can overwhelm and alienate. Incapacitated by the “big picture,” I seek intimate relationships with my local surroundings in order to connect more firmly to the global scale. For me, the crumbling edges of the city metonymically represent a peripheral knowledge of global entropy. A depiction of urban decay in Griffintown provides a figurative conduit to a phenomenon, like melting ice caps, which registers demise on a more portentous scale. Participants will document their own metonymic readings of sites around Concordia, responding in photography, writing, or another form of expression to convey what the sites mean to them (e.g. how it “maps” onto something weightier). We will compile the imagery and writing into a montage or a simple artist’s book tracing Montreal’s implication in a global network of environmental threat.

Bio: Erin Smith is a visual artist who uses book arts methodologies, intaglio printmaking, drawing, collage and installation techniques to construct poetic homages to the precarious state of human existence. She draws on the urban landscape, positing it as the existential backdrop of daily life. Born in New Hampshire, Erin received her B.A. in Studio Arts and English at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Her passions include running and biking, organic gardening, cooking, and reading, all of which in one way or another feed her written and visual artistic practice. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Print Media at Concordia University.

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Aparato – second life equipment -

Andrea Varela and Natalia Pajariño

Abstract: Proyecto AbRiGo (Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero) is implementing MAGnetismO – reuse program of technological and industrial discards – that returns to the field of use all that obsolete technology that is discarded within the University. Students and teachers at the career of environmental Engineering develop impact studies with the technology which scholars and teachers in the career of Electronic Arts, work on creative processes made reusing that technological discards for new useful objects or pieces of art. Magnetism shows UNTREF´s interest in lower levels of technological garbage produced, taking over the entire path of the equipment that acquires, investing in research and documentation of procedures for reuse to be replicated in other institutions. In addition to strengthening the institutional consciousness, Magnetism seeks to reach homes of our community with the same ideas and so enhance their objectives. To achieve this, we develop training workshops where we call on the families of the community to reach out with some old technology to learn what specific actions they can perform on it. Across these workshops, we share the knowledge gained about the environmental impact generated by this technology and extend our recycling techniques, adapted to enable them to develop both adults and children. We propose a series of creative work on technologies for the end of the day they can return home with a new object that carries a new value.

Bio: Proyecto Abrigo -art, fabric and technology- works since 2006 at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero. It provides workshops open to the community and develops research on the relationship between fabric and technology. It received two subsidies from the University Volunteer Program of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Argentina in 2006 and 2009. It exhibited their products in UNIART -Design exhibition of the National Universities, CCJL. Borges- in ENLACES – Design and Art Festival, UNTREF- La Toma Gallery – Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina-. Since 2010, it implements Magnetism – reuse program of technological and industrial discards-.

Andrea Varela: Director of Proyecto Abrigo since 2006 and Professor in the Electronic Arts career at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero – Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Since 2002) Chairs: Audiovisual Narrative, non-linear narrative, Electronic Image 1. Visiting Scholar at the Hypermedia Studio. 2000-2001, UCLA (University of California – Los Angeles) School of Theater, Film and Television. E.E.U.U. European Master of Art in Image Synthesis and Computer Animation. 1999, Universitat de les Illes Balears. Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Natalia Pajariño: Degree in Electronic Arts. Since 2006 works as an assistant management in Proyecto Abrigo, where she also teaches. Assistant Professor in the Electronic Arts career at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero. Chairs: Electronic Image 1, and non-linear narrative. She is member of CEIArtE from same University. She is part of ‘IQLab’, an artist collective that experiments, researches and creates, operating with electronical media and new technologies.

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The temporal animal

María Whiteman

Abstract: My paper/presentation has two aims. First, it offers a record of a mode of visual-scientific practice in order to provide evidence of a form of knowledge production that is quickly becoming consigned to history. The photo-series I am presenting focuses on animals in the zoology laboratory at the University of Alberta. I record and examine the various modes of the visual in relation to animals in the lab, and consider how this form of animal display participates in and informs on-going discussions of animals and posthumanism. In order to think about how contemporary art plays a role in the posthumanist discourse, I draw out a coherent reading between Cary Wolfe’s claim around “contemporary art and philosophical representationalism” that speaks to refiguring our relationship to the animal. I discuss the connections between animal displays in the natural history museums and scientific practice on animal bodies to a philosophical inquiry to modes of knowing by looking at preserved animals in comparison to living and breathing animals.

In the second part of the paper, I will discuss what I describe as the “sublime animal” by showing a few photographs and a video of what appears to be an ontological passage in the environment of captivity: pickled animals that are preserved for science, but which are also placed in a quasi-embryonic fluid that positions the animal as a figure of fetal growth, as though the animal is still developing rather than persisting in the static form of death. One experiences a loss/absence and dissonance when looking at the eternal sublime space in which the jarred animals float: it places the spectator in a peculiar paradoxical position. This experience can be analyzed through an examination of the similarities between autopoiesis and Samuel Todes’ interpretation of Merleau-Ponty’s notion of “making sense” of the object/subject, which he does through the example of interiority in relation to the animal. Interiority is the organic unity of the percipient—the body’s internal structural system (i.e., blood, vessels, organs)—a system that converges and responds in a manner similar to the spatiotemporal world that we share with the animal. The way in which the animal reveals its existence through phenomenological awareness, which is located ontologically in breath, form and time, can be understood as another form of embodiment. I will show (in the video) how breathing encompasses and embodies our way of “being in the world” through autopoiesis or biological systems in the animal.

Bio: MFA, Pennsylvania State University, 1999. Maria is Assistant Professor of Drawing and Intermedia in Fine Arts at the University of Alberta. Her current art practice explores two main themes: relationships between industry, community and nature; and the place of animals in our cultural and social imaginary. In addition to her studio work, she conducts research in art theory (especially with respect to photography), animal studies and cultural studies. Her most recent exhibition was De Anima at FAB Gallery (2010) and one of her pieces was selected for the Canadian Landscape Juried Exhibition. She taught previously in Multimedia, Studio Art and Cultural Studies at McMaster University.

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Separate paths of the same forest – artists inspired by principle of responsibility

Magdalena Worlowska

Abstract: Artists, philosophers and scientists tread the paths of the forest. They are all concern with their relations with natural world. In this perspective, ecology is no longer solely a branch of biology. It is closely related to human problems, and it turns to arts in order to express relations between man and its environment, and vice versa, ecology is also a source of inspiration for visual artists following the principle of responsibility towards nature.

The Polish artists presented in the paper, as versatile and diverse as they are, have one common characteristic- they are all inspired by the principle of responsibility. Additionally, they all like to attract viewers attention to the significance of tree in our life.

For example, Magdalena Abakanowicz made design of monumental buildings in form of trees. Her Arboreal Architecture is not only bio-morphical, but also is supposed to perform eco-mimetic functions-production of the oxygen and absorption of the energy from sun.

Another works discussed, such as installations and performances, are ephemeral and as such, they become similar to the fragile world of nature.
The series Arboretum of Aleksandra Mańczak is spatial composition made up of withered trees enclosed in cardboard cases. They are like sarcophagi, created for the protection of the beings close to us- the trees.
Cecylia Malik in performance entitled 365 days climbed one tree every day for one year. Her unconventional action was a tribute to each individual tree enabling her sensual and emotional dialogue with nature.
Ecologically responsible artists, in subtle and emotional way, create the model how we should deal with our natural surroundings. They show how the environment could become man’s partner, and not the object of his manipulations.

Bio: I graduated from Tischner European University in Krakow in Poland with BA degree in Applied Linguistic and from Jagiellonian University in Krakow in Poland with MA degree in Art History. Currently I am PhD student in Institute of Art History at Wrocław University, Poland. The subject of my thesis is Ecological artists in Poland. I participated in international conferences concerning environmental issues, such as: 7th Society for Ecological Restoration International Conference in Avignon in 2010 or Third International Conference on Environmental Management, Engineering, Planning and Economics (CEMEPE 2011) & SECOTOX Conference at Skiatho., as well as concerning visual arts: ATINER 2nd Annual Conference on Visual and Performing Arts in Athens in 2011 with presentations linking two domains: ecology and art. My publication includes:

1. Worłowska M., Marko-Worłowska M. 2010. Ecological art in Poland – can worksof art shape respectful attitude towards nature. Chemia- Ekologia-Dydaktyka – Metrologia 1, 15 15-21.

2. Worłowska M., Marko-Worłowska M. 2010. The role of visual arts in ecological education – works of art shaping social sensitiveness to ecological problems. Proceeding book X RISK FACTORS OF FOOD CHAIN, 13-14.IX.2010, Nitra 355-361

3. Worłowska M., Marko-Worłowska M. 2011. Discover of the principles of nature- biomimetic architecture. Nature and culture symbiosis. Proc. Of the Third International Conference on Environmental Management, Engineering, Planning and Economics (CEMEPE 2011) & SECOTOX Conference. 1285-1290

In 2010 I carried out a few lectures with students of both biological and artistic departments concerning ecological education through art. Currently I work as a guide and art educator at the International Centre of Culture in Krakow conducting ecological and artistic workshops.

 Panels

 

PANEL #1: The Many Voices of Sustainability

Dr. James Grant, Dr. Rosemarie Schade, Peter Graham, Dr. Adeela Arshad-Ayaz, Dr. M. Ayaz Naseem and Dr. Erin Manning

Abstract: Loyola International College proposes a panel conversation on Educating for environmental sustainability: A multidisciplinary conversation. The panel consists of five individual presentations. Panellists are educators from diverse disciplines such as history, philosophy, behavioral ecology, sociology, and environment studies. Central to this conversation is the belief that issues related to environment sustainability cannot be addressed in isolation or straitjacketed into individual disciplinary confines. These issues have to be approached from all sides, examined from all view points and analyzed through multiple conceptual and disciplinary perspectives. Each member of the panel will talk about issues related to global environmental crisis and the role education can play in creating awareness about these issues. The panellists will use diverse conceptual frameworks to explain the multi-layered complexity of ecological threats and the importance of trans-disciplinarity in seeking solutions and defining social responsibilities for all citizens around the globe. The panellists will talk about the importance of education in seeking various new alternatives and models to deal with unprecedented ecological threats and environmental challenges.

Bios: Dr. Grant is an aquatic ecologist, a Professor in the Department of Biology, and the Acting Co-Principal of the Loyola International College at Concordia University. His research interests include the behavioral ecology of mating systems, the conservation biology of fishes, and the threats to endangered species in Canada.

Dr. Schade is the Principal of Loyola International College. Her research interests are in the area of 20th c. German women’s history, and particularly the bourgeois feminist and youth movements. She has recently begun studying local projects involving sustainable practices in the state of Hessen.

Peter Graham is part-time lecturer at the School of Community and Public Affairs, Loyola International College and the McGill School of Environment. He has published a book on sustainable development.

Dr. Arshad-Ayaz is a post-colonial critical theorist and an assistant professor at the Department of Education, Concordia University. She has taught for universities in Pakistan, Canada and the United Kingdom. She has published on issues such as education policies and programs in developing countries, quality of education, the impact of globalization on education policies and practices in North American and European context.

Dr. Muhammad Ayaz Naseem is an Associate Professor of Education at Concordia University. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Education from McGill University, Montreal. His research interests include feminist theory and philosophy, peace education, education in diverse societies, post-structuralism, qualitative methodologies and democratic and citizenship education. He has published widely including 4 books and more than 25 articles and book chapters. His co-authored book Scientism and Education was awarded the prestigious American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Award 2008. His current book Education and Gendered Citizenship in Pakistan (Palgrave-McMillan, 2010) has been nominated for the American Institute of Pakistan Studies Book Award.

Dr. Erin Manning holds a University Research Chair in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). She is also the director of the Sense Lab (www.senselab.ca), a laboratory that explores the intersections between art practice and philosophy through the matrix of the sensing body in movement. In her art practice she works between painting, dance, fabric and sculpture (http://www.erinmovement.com). Her current project entitled Folds to Infinity is an experimental fabric collection composed of cuts that connect in an infinity of ways, folding in to create clothing and out to create environmental architectures. The next phase of this project will explore the resonance between electromagnetic fields and movement through the activation of the existent magnets in Folds to Infinity. Her writing addresses the senses, philosophy and politics, articulating the relation between experience, thought and politics in a transdisciplinary framework moving between dance and new technology, the political and micropolitics of sensation, performance art, and the current convergence of cinema, animation and new media.

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PANEL #2: Dr. Nancy Adler, Joel Chadabe, Dr. David Lank and Dr. Pablo Suarez

 

Leading Beautifully

Dr. Nancy Adler

Abstract: Twenty-first century society yearns for a leadership of possibility, a leadership based more on hope, aspiration, innovation, and beauty than on the replication of historical patterns of constrained pragmatism. Luckily, such a leadership is possible today. For the first time in history, leaders can work backward from their aspirations and imagination rather than forward from the past. Responding to the challenges and yearnings of the twenty-first century calls for levels of inspiration, creativity, and a passionate commitment to beauty that, until recently, have been more the province of artists and artistic processes than the domain of most managers. The time is right for the artistic imagination of each of us to co-create the leadership that the world most needs and deserves.

Bio: Nancy J. Adler is the S. Bronfman Chair in Management at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She conducts research on global leadership, cross-cultural management, and the arts and leadership. She has authored more than 125 articles and produced the films, A Portable Life and Reinventing Our Legacy. “When Knowledge Wins”, her article with Anne-Wil Harzing (2009), was named the Academy of Management’s (AMLE) Outstanding Article of the Year. She has authored and edited ten books, including, International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior (5th edition, 2008), Women in Management Worldwide, Competitive Frontiers: Women Managers in a Global Economy, and From Boston to Beijing: Managing with a Worldview. In addition to her research and writing, Adler consults with major global companies and government organizations on projects in Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Management and the Academy of International Business, and was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada. She has been recognized with numerous awards including the Prix du Quebec, the Center for Creative Leadership’s Applied Research Award, the World Federation of People Management Associations’ Georges Petitpas Award, ASTD’s International Leadership Award, SIETAR’s Outstanding Senior Interculturalist Award, the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award, and the Sage Award for scholarly contributions to management. In addition, Canada has honored Professor Adler as one of the country’s top university teachers. Nancy is also a visual artist and has been an artist in residence at The Banff Centre. The most recent exhibitions of her paintings were in Montreal (“Reality in Translation: Going Beyond the Dehydrated Language of Management”) and The Banff Centre (“Serendipity Suite”). Her latest book, Leadership Insight (Routledge) includes 27 of her paintings. Her paintings are held in private collections in Asia, the Americas, and Europe.

 

Ear to the Earth

Joel Chadabe

Abstract: Ear to the Earth is an annual festival and worldwide network that is based on the idea that listening to the sounds of the environment can engage us with the world. As our friend Mark Moffett wrote, “Modern ecologists may have reached a limit on how effectively they can convey messages to the public, and they may now need to draw upon the emotional vibrancy offered by the arts.”

Bio: Composer Joel Chadabe is a pioneer in interactive music systems. His music has been performed at Human Voice in a New World (New York City), Xenakis and a Changing Climate (La Tourette, France), Electronic Music New York (Brooklyn College), Suono Aperto (Conservatorio G Rossini, Pesaro, Italy), ElectroWorks Festival (Athens), Ear to the Earth (New York City), Tevereterno (Rome), HörZeit-SpielRaum 2005 (Berlin), NYU Interactive (NYC), New Mix (Palais de Tokyo, Paris), and other venues worldwide. His music is recorded on EMF Media, Deep Listening, Lovely Music, and other labels. He is the author of  Electric Sound, a comprehensive history of electronic music and his articles have been published in Organized Sound, Leonardo, Contemporary Music Review, Computer Music Journal, and other leading journals and magazines, and anthologized in books by MIT Press, Routledge, and other publishers. He co-authored the first digital sequencer. As president of Intelligent Music, he pioneered interactive music software. He has received grants from NEA, NYSCA, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Fulbright Commission, and he is the recipient of the SEAMUS 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Chadabe is Professor Emeritus at State University of New York, visiting faculty at NYU, and president of Electronic Music Foundation.

 

The “Art” of Entrepreneurship – The Use of Images to Give Concepts a Lasting Form in a Teaching Environment.

David Lank

Abstract: Traditional business courses emphasize concepts that lend themselves to measureable outcomes, quantifiable assertions, formulae and cookie-cutter applications. SWOT Analysis, Discounted Cash Flows, templates for Shareholder Agreements, these are the kinds of things that academia has grown comfortable in pre-packaging for students at all levels. But realities also include such nebulous indefinable concepts as Inspiration, Sensitivity, Ethics, Aesthetics, Beauty, Cooperation, Listening – none of these lend themselves to neat or precise measurement and, frustratingly for dwellers of academic silos, they cannot be reduced to formulae that can be replicated. And yet, after a half-century career in venture capital which included the participation in the funding and founding of 151 companies, I am absolutely convinced that the so-called “soft” skills are exactly what have differentiated successful from unsuccessful entrepreneurs.

The challenge has been, therefore, how to give form to softly defined concepts? My approach has been to integrate into the classroom setting a concise written “themed topic handout” with a piece of art, a photograph or some other visual image. The actual picture may be a thousand years old, or from a totally different culture, but the concept that is being depicted is exactly the same as the topic under discussion in a modern business context. This approach was introduced more than a decade ago, and over the intervening years more than 80 handouts have been created which have been given to a 1000 students in courses on entrepreneurship, launching new ventures, managing the small business enterprise and leadership. In addition handouts were produced for an inter-disciplinary course on the current chaos in the music industry which drew top students from Law, Computer Science, Management and Music. The impact on students has been astonishing.

Bio: David Lank joined the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in 1999 as a professor of venture capital & entrepreneurship in the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies and became Director of the Centre in 2005. He created and taught courses at the graduate and undergraduate level on Launching New Ventures, Managing the Small Business Enterprise, and Entrepreneurial Leadership. He was awarded McGill’s Outstanding Teaching Award for Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Management for 2007.  In 2010 he received the Principal’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching, having been named the University’s Outstanding Lecturer. During his teaching career he pioneered interdisciplinary courses with the Faculty of Management and the Faculties of Music, Architecture, Environmental Studies, and Law. He retired in December 2010 and is now Emeritus Director of the Dobson Centre.  As an author, Mr. Lank has written thirty books on subjects ranging from wildlife art to trekking in the Himalayas, gourmet food to scientific spoofs on the Atlantic salmon, the Canadian arctic to Victorian natural history. The majority of titles have dealt with aspects of animal art and artists from Canada, the United States, New Zealand, England and Switzerland. On 1996 he was awarded the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest non-military award for his work in contributing to Canada’s patrimony.

 

Red Cross / Red Crescent Climate Centre

Dr. Pablo Suarez

Abstract: Why do people suffer and die due to droughts, floods, hurricanes and other climate-related events that are fairly predictable?  A key challenge is how to help vulnerable people to access, understand, trust and utilize the tools offered by science and technology (such as forecasts about likely extreme events). The Red Cross / Red Crescent Climate Centre has been collaborating with filmmakers, musicians, game designers and people from other creative disciplines to help people and organizations understand and address the humanitarian consequences of climate risks – linking knowledge with decisions.

Bio: Pablo Suarez is Associate Director of Programs for the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, as well as consultant for Oxfam America, visiting fellow at Boston University, and research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. He has consulted for the United Nations Development Programme, the World Food Programme, the World Bank Development Economics Research Group, and about twenty other international humanitarian and development organizations, working in more than 45 countries. His current work addresses institutional integration across disciplines and geographic scales, and the use of innovative tools for climate risk management – including the design and facilitation of participatory games fo learning and managing complex dynamic systems. Pablo holds a master’s degree in planning, and a Ph.D. in geography.

 

 Transdisciplinary Activities

Do birds have a conductor?

Catherine Bouchain & Christophe Piot

Abstract:  In one place, all the singing birds are male ; they use their song to try to drive the other males out of the territory, at the same time attracting the females. Each song must therefore be heard from as far away as possible and must also be recognized by the males and females of the species. How to avoid all the songs getting mixed up in a general cacophony where no-one recognizes anyone? In this context, is the tree allied to the bird or does it hinder the propagation of the song?

The composition of the soundscape can also be analysed as a succession of sound events, the latter carry information and are thus going to cause reactions, influence the behaviour of other birds (song, alarm or contact calls, noise of movement indicating presence, …) This game of cause/effect, question/answer is also the basis for the organisation of improvised music. Musical signals which allow musicians to communicate and therefore to play coherent music together, without following a score to the note.

Examples to listen to, explanations, public participation, will guide us on the tracks of a universal composer…

Bio:  Catherin Bouchain: Bioacoustics and musical illustration, animator in science and nature. University studies in Biology (Rennes and Gabon), specialized in audio communication in primates. Then discovered the practice of sound and the craft of sound editing in Sitelle. A degree in multimedia design and construction (Paris).

The transmission of feelings that can be in nature, especially the sounds, motivates me and I try to awaken the public to this dimension.

Piot Christophe: Drummer / percussionist, studied music since the age of 6 years. Studies with Yves Teslar to CIM, Peter Erskine (master class), studied Afro-Cuban music in France and Cuba (Olivier Congar, Alberto Villareal, Panga, Availles Armando, Ernesto Gatel,…).

Fascinated by the rythms of all kinds, he is actively involved in many projects jazz, chanson, world, trad …

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Bio.mythic Beings in a Biological World

John Cimino

Abstract: We human beings are creatures of imagery and narrative as much as we are creatures of logic and technology. The stories we tell ourselves about how the world works, how to get ahead and how to manage the planet have their roots in a long ago time and can no longer guide us. Yet we cling to the old stories as “mindforged manacles” (Blake) limiting our range of motion, emotion, empathy and possibility.

One well-worn story aptly named “The Course of Empire”, tracks our development from hunter-gatherers tucked into Nature’s fierce embrace, to inventors of craft and religion, and onward to great metropolises built on the backs of the less fortunate and torn from the hide of the natural world. Of course, the tale ends badly. Greed and vengeance topple our empire and we leave the place in ruins. How many times have we witnessed this cycle and are we capable of re-envisioning a different course?

In this session, we immerse ourselves in bio-mythic tales, those which govern us still and those emerging from the periphery demanding a more dedicated form of attentiveness which philosopher, Georg Kuhlewind, has called love. We treat ourselves to Thomas Cole’s epic paintings, The Course of Empire , to A.R.

Ammons’ mind-shifting meditation on nature, Corson’s Inlet, and a prologue to a play by Anne Rhodes, The Blackbird Project. Our essential question: What are our convictions concerning Sustainability and how can the arts help us address these issues and move us toward action?

Bio: John Cimino is president and CEO of Creative Leaps International and The Learning Arts. Educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (biology & physics), the State University of New York at Albany (learning theory), and the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools of Music (music & voice), Cimino holds a uniquely interdisciplinary perspective and works across a variety of disciplines dedicated to learning, human development and social change. As a champion of the arts in education, business and professional life, Cimino has brought his “Concerts of Ideas” and other innovative programs into projects of the White House, the Center for Creative Leadership and the leadership training programs of dozens of Fortune 500 companies including GE, IBM, Pfizer and McDonnell Douglas as well as to numerous universities, business schools and institutes for professional development. Projects include presentations before the Global Leadership Forum (Istanbul), the International Organization Development Association (Guanajuato), the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society (Irvine), the Academy of Management (Chicago), the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Alexandria, VA) and the Association for Managers of Innovation (Greensboro),

Cimino is also an advisor to universities engaged in interdisciplinary restructuring and the integration of creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship as essential learning across the disciplines and in all aspects of university life. Finally, Cimino is a composer, author and winner of more than 20 national and international awards and prizes as an operatic and concert performer and has performed to acclaim throughout Europe and the United States including opposite opera luminaries Luciano Pavarotti, Carlo Bergonzi and Anna Moffo.

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Strategies for Product and Service Design

Dr. Carmela Cucuzzella

Abstract: This workshop explores and discusses the differences in output and applicability between design approaches that focus on (1) the redesign of the sample product more efficiently by understanding and identifying problem areas (based on an eco-efficiency strategy); (2) the redesign of the functionality of the product more efficiently, so rethinking how else the function can be provided and designed (based on strategies such as closed loop approaches etc.); and (3) exploring the way in which the needs addressed by the given product can be provided differently (based on a sufficiency strategy).

Bio: Carmela Cucuzzella is a professor in the Department of Design and Computation Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts of Concordia University. She received her PhD in Environmental Design in 2011 from Université de Montréal. She is a researcher at the Laboratory LEAP and leads the research focus on sustainable development. She is an expert in sustainable design (design for sustainability) as well as on assessment methodologies for analyzing the impacts of designed entities (Life Cycle Assessment – LCA, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – LEED) and has developed several comparative analyses on the repercussions of the introduction of environmental standards in the public space design competitions. Her research interests lie predominantly in integrating concerns and questions related to sustainability with the exploratory nature of design thinking by adopting ethical approaches to the environment (built as well as natural).

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ART as UNBALANCE; UNBALANCE as ENLIGHTENMENT

Louise Davey and Marjolaine Arpin

Abstract: Through continued elevation of and adherence to conventional business doctrine, much of the corporate world is now adrift from its anchors in society. Continuously fueled by technology and largely closed to criticism, the fragility of a singularly focused global economic model is revealed. At the core of this divergent macrosocioeconomic process is its dogged pursuit of “performance enhancement” through specialization, as evident by the increasingly segmented and isolated roles of those operating within the corporate sphere.

Ironically, the solution to rebalancing and reintegrating the market economy into a table socio-economic system starts by destabilizing and challenging those within it. Using transdisciplinary teachings and methods, conventional business doctrine can be both examined and remedied in new and remarkably powerful ways. Among many possible disciplines, few are quite as potent as the visual arts. Used as a catalyst, contemporary art allows us to engage business people in conversations that could never be initiated in the language of business. This process of enlightenment ultimately leads to a broader understanding of one’s place in the world and to more socially and environmentally conscious business models.

The lecture-gallery experience proposed applies new lenses to business and, through a few select art works, illustrates the contrasts (and continuities) between the “real object” and its representation. Specifically, how (1) a work of art allows us to approach very challenging topics, (2) make us aware of our relationship to the “every day” world and (3) through that experience make us want to make a very real change.

Bio: Louise has over 20 years experience helping companies design and navigate major change processes. She currently operates as an independent Management Consultant specializing in the area of business transformation where her work includes strategic reorientation, operational effectiveness optimization, corporate culture transformation, corporate restructuring, operational due diligence and merger and acquisition integration support. Adept in both strategy and execution with broad interests inside and outside the field of business, Louise is able to influence and leverage the many facets of the business environment including its operating culture, its people, its internal and external processes and its technology.

Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Louise held several senior executive level positions where she has helped her companies of service achieve higher levels of sustainability and business performance. Her combined operational and consulting experience make her particularly effective in helping other organizations overcome day-to-day challenges of in order to think and progress in new strategic directions.

Louise also has a long-standing interest in community involvement and environmental causes and has introduced these values into business cultures with positive effects. Louise holds a Master’s degree in Physics from McGill University. She is fluent in English and French.

Since 2007, Marjolaine Arpin, a selfproclaimed “Art Ambassador” has been working as a catalyst between the art and business world, endeavouring to develop ever new forms of corporate philanthropy in line the realities of the emerging art world. This includes taking the role of manager and curator at Les Zones d’art actuel while acting as an assistant and guide for emerging artists.

In addition to her work as an academic researcher, artistic critic and collaborator with private galleries and art centres, she combines theory and practice to identify and present new perspectives on emerging art while investing herself fully in the Quebec contemporary art community.

Supported by the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Marjolaine is currently completing a Master in Art History at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), where she specializes in contemporary art. Her academic research, referred to “hypermodern” in contemporary society, focuses on emerging artists and their works on the miniature scale with a nod to “new” forms of excess and the sublime.

Marjolaine is also an active contributor to Esse arts+opinions and Spirale, two prominent Quebec-based art magazines and writes texts for art exhibition catalogues and booklets.

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Dialogues about Mother Earth: First Nation and Mapuche Youth addressing Biocultural Diversity Issues through Cinema

Thora Herrmann (Session organizers: Wapiloni mobile, Ariella Orbach, Andrés Ibáñez, Guido Huaiquil, Elke Shüttler, and Thora Herrmann)

Abstract: The challenges faced by indigenous communities in the Americas to access and control traditional lands and resources and maintain local livelihoods and cultural identities require transdisciplinary efforts and innovative tools. Video is an accessible, powerful information and communication technology (ICT) for enabling marginalized and disenfranchised indigenous communities, particularly indigenous youth, to make their voices heard, bring local perspectives to the forefront of national and global policy debates and overcome barriers of prejudice and discrimination. This session explores the power of cinematographic art, and ICTs for addressing biocultural diversity issues of concern for indigenous communities through the eyes of their youth across two distinct realities: First Nations communities in Quebec and Mapuche communities in Chile. This session offers a round table discussion and exchange with Chilean and Canadian research, cultural and indigenous organizations, and young First Nations and Mapuche film maker; and screenings of a number of short films created by youth trained in scriptwriting, directing, camera, sound recording and editing. In an era where fragmentation and destruction of ecosystems essential to indigenous cultures have led to erosion of traditional ecological knowledge, we open a space for collective reflection on ‘cinema’ as a vehicle for enabling indigenous voices to reach a wider public and to foster a deeper understanding of indigenous perspectives and bringing these to the forefront of environmental debates. The short films screened illustrate youth attitudes toward biocultural diversity challenges, well-being and self-identity, as a medium for self-representation and advocacy for change.

Bio: Wapikoni mobile: Mobile audiovisual training program for rural/remote First Nations youth, working in 18 communities across Québec and initiating 2,000 youth in the use of new ICTs. A new international development actor, working in three South American countries since 2010. Representative and First Nations Filmmaker attending this session to be confirmed.

Thora Herrmann: Associate Professor at the Université de Montréal, with expertise in participatory and community-based research projects on indigenous ecological knowledge and practices, and biocultural diversity conservation in Mapuche and First Nation contexts. Worked at United Nations and German Agency for International Development on issues related to cultural and spiritual values of biodiversity and indigenous rights.

Elke Schüttler: Post-doctoral Researcher at PUC and Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (Germany), with expertise in conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Latin America. Works in interdisciplinary and applied investigation projects on Mapuche knowledge and practices of the natural environment in Chile. Guido Huaiquil: Founder and Director of Mapuche TV and member of board of directors of the Centro de Desarrollo Socio-Cultural Mapuche. Partnered with Wapikoni mobile for the implementation of the First Mapuche Summer School in Cinematography (2010-2011).

Ariella Orbach & Andrés Ibáñez: Cofounders and Directors of Strategic Video Initiative, with a background in rural development, project management, and capacity development. Since 2008 implementing audiovisual capacity development projects with Mapuche communities, emphasizing local applications of video for promoting indigenous rights and self-determination. Co-planned and managed the First Mapuche Summer School in Cinematography.

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Soundwalking Interactions

Dr. Andra McCartney and Don Sinclair

Abstract: The Soundwalking Interactions project investigates how people listen during soundwalk activities and artworks. We will present a public soundwalk, invite members of the public to listen to a recording of the walk during a workshop, and then participate in the creation of a sound work out of that recording that will document the event. Participants are invited to bring audio recording equipment if they wish.

The session will include a 30 minute soundwalk, discussion of listening practices, and demonstration by collaborators Andra McCartney (Concordia University) and Don Sinclair (York University) of ways to work with soundwalk materials to make meaningful environmental narratives. All participants will be given access to a sound recording of the walk online and invited to take part in an internet forum of soundwalk recording and listening exchanges.

Bios: Andra McCartney. Since the mid 1990s, I have been developing an approach to the creation of electroacoustic soundwalk art which integrates audience responses into the creative development of walks and installations. Through my background in ethnomusicology, communication, and cultural studies, I think and write about electroacoustic, sound art and sound recording fields as cultures, considering what kinds of interpretive routines are acceptable within these disciplines, and how aesthetic and professional discourses are established. I transform soundwalk recordings into interactive installations, produced collaboratively in recent years with Don Sinclair, interactive artist and professor at York University in Toronto. I am especially interested in questions of gender in relation to sound technologies. I have written most extensively about Vancouver soundscape composer, Hildegard Westerkamp. The In and Out of the Sound Studio research project investigates the working practices of soundmakers from a range of different professions, focusing particularly on the work of prominent women soundmakers. My present project, Soundwalking Interactions, focuses on the experiences of audiences with different kinds of soundwalk activities.

Don Sinclair is an Associate Professor in the Digital Media program in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University in Toronto, Canada. His creative research revolves around physical computing, interactive sound art, laptop performance, web art, database art, interactive dance, video projection, cycling art, sustainability, green architecture and choral singing. In addition to his internationally exhibited web art and video projects, he collaborates with dance artists, theatre practitioners and sound artists to create works that explore movement-based manipulation of sound and image. See his research creation web site http://www.yorku.ca/dws/research-creative.html

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Using Improv to Save the World

Belina Raffy

Abstract: How do we work together when we don’t know what the ultimate solution is? Or when we know what we want, but we have no idea how to get there? How can we allow ourselves to change and to be generous with others when we are afraid? How can we train ourselves to be masterful at adapting to and including new information in to the story as it arises?

In this experiential session, we will work with either a) the boldest transformation challenge that we’re working with leading organizations in the UK on to solve or b) the most radical vision of the future from the conference – whichever is most inspiring to the group. We will introduce and use improvisational mindsets, principles, and techniques as a powerful technology to support people tackling these issues in doing what improvisers do best: to co-create solutions under pressure, in real-time, with the client watching – joyfully.

Our context is the most important one around – working with business people to fundamentally change how business is done. We support them in shifting the global crisis from something to fear and be mentally shut down by – to something we can work with collaboratively, creatively, quickly and nimbly to create changes now. We develop mindsets and skills so that no matter what emerges, we can respond well, together.

In this session, we will be exploring what improvisation is and how it might be useful in working collaboratively to save the world. Everyone is welcome. No experience necessary.

Bio: Belina is half French, half American and lives in England. She was made in Paris, born in the US, and raised in the US, Mexico and Canada. She grew up playing in the forests of North America She spent the first part of her professional life as a cross-functional project manager for Citigroup, using her ability to intuitively work with complex systems, connect with people and ask good questions. During this time, she started taking improvisation classes and noticed that her complex, dynamic role felt easier. In 1999, she got an MBA from Cranfield in England and has worked ever since with people around the world to build skills in business transformation, change, improvisational leadership, collaboration, creativity, and communication.

She uses improvisation mindsets, principles and techniques originating in theatre and adapted to business as both technology and content. Her passion and next book topic is to ‘use improv to save the world’ – and for her, this can range from improving the interaction between two people to world work. Belina is the Empress of Maffick Ltd, and has worked with organizations including Charities Financial Directors’ Group, Kew Royal Botantical Gardens, Bristol Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk, General Motors, the Cranfield School of Management, London Business School, Exeter Business School, London School of Economics, and Moscow Higher School of Economics.

To keep her improv skills sharp, she also works with young offenders at the Reading HM Prison. She has also chaired two Applied Improvisation Network world conferences (Portland and Baltimore).

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Deep Listening Bathysphere Sub Aquatic Audio Listening Station

Paul Scriver

Abstract: Deep Listening Bathysphere is an immersive multichannel audio installation in sculptural form. This mobile installation is conceived as an intimate, enveloping space that will allow audience members to interface aurally with sounds being gathered underwater from historically significant and environmentally compromised waterways in the Montreal metropolitan area. The intent of Deep Listening Bathysphere is to place audience members in a direct aural relationship with sounds otherwise inaudible, but nonetheless significant to the cultural and historical matrix of their environment.

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From genomes to the environment: Can we create a sustainable future? A sticky wiki installation

David Secko, Anne Goldenberg, Anne Gorry, Lisa Gualtieri and David Mason

Abstract: The Genozymes-GE3LS project is a Concordia based science and society group which, among other activities, attempts to trigger public discussion and knowledge building about the environmental and societal dimensions of genomic science, with a special focus on environmental footprints, sustainability, communications and public engagement.

For Balance – Unbalance 2011, this multidisciplinary team will present an installation that plays the role of catalyst for a public discussion on the potential outcomes of genomic research as related to our degrading environment. It will include a three dimensional participatory mind-map that includes diverse material for participants to consider and include in the structure, as well as an innovative synchronized structured wiki interpretation, as a continuous way to openly develop knowledge in this field.

The participatory installation will invite the public and experts to discuss the relationship between science and society, with a focus on the role of genomics. We will use participant-generated content from a previous public engagement event as a starting point and encourage participants to contribute and link ideas, projects and themes. Ultimately, the installation will work to integrate all contributions into a structured wiki to add both permanence and impact to deliberative outcomes on the event. This will make the generated content, which will address our collective future in the face of a global environmental crisis, available for successive projects focusing on linked ideation and the generation of meaningful environmental solutions that respect multiple value systems.

Bio:  Anne Goldenberg has a Ph.D. in communication and sociology. She is a facilitator and a socio-cognitive sculpture that has produced several participatory installations around the word. In particular, the installation ourcollnnectiveminds (http://ourcollnnectiveminds.blogspot.com/ ) is the partial inspiration for this project. She will lead the physical installation.

Anne Gorry is an epistemologist, and specialist in the relationship between sciences and society. She is finishing an MD about scientific mediation and the sciences and society discourse. She will provide analytic resources for the installation.

Lisa Gualtieri is a Research Assistant with the Genozymes-GE3LS project, where she studies environmental sustainability issues related to genomics-based biofuel development. She will provide research support and issue documentation.

David Mason is a long term innovator and technologist, supporting knowledge development, public engagement and digital literacy in fields including the formative Internet, government, health, science and non profits. He will lead the structured wiki.

David Secko is an Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University. His research links across journalism, public engagement, science and ethical issues to clarify and experiment with the roles of the public, experts and journalists in the democratic governance of biotechnology. He is the team leader and will add expertise in communications, public engagement methodologies and event facilitation.

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GAMES FOR A NEW CLIMATE: Participatory activities for linking climate science with humanitarian work through the art of choice.

Pablo Suarez

Abstract: Why do people continue to suffer and die due to entirely predictable natural hazards? The remarkable progress in science and technology over recent decades allows us to anticipate future conditions, communicate early warnings and take early action to avoid losses, yet many recent disasters are evidence of a dreadful gap between science and the humanitarian sector. Can forecasters and risk managers build common ground through creative processes?

The natural and social systems involved in disasters have dynamic elements that are not easy to grasp through conventional, linear educational approaches. How to devise a communication platform that can successfully convey the existence and relevance of system complexity? Feedbacks, non-linearities, delays, unanticipated “side effects”, and trade-offs between the macro and the micro levels are inherent in risk management decisions, and should be part of the learning experience of government officials and illiterate farmers alike. Well-designed games, like adaptation measures, involve decisions with consequences. Games can help people and organizations improve access, understanding, trust and utilization of information for climate adaptation. Through games we can learn how climate sensitive systems work and the system rewards us as we learn.

In this session we will experience the challenges confronted by subsistence farmers, the Red Cross and donors through a seriously fun game that combines collaboration and competition, as well as art and science: participants will make decisions about disaster management with limited resources. There will be winners and losers. We will discuss the role of innovative participatory approaches for linking knowledge with action.

Bio: Pablo Suarez is Associate Director of Programs for the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, as well as consultant for Oxfam America, visiting fellow at Boston University, and research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. He has consulted for the United Nations Development Programme, the World Food Programme, the World Bank Development Economics Research Group, and about twenty other international humanitarian and development organizations, working in more than 45 countries. His current work addresses institutional integration across disciplines and geographic scales, and the use of innovative tools for climate risk management – including the design and facilitation of participatory games fo learning and managing complex dynamic systems. Pablo holds a master’s degree in planning, and a Ph.D. in geography.

 

Artistic Works

7 rivers in 49 images

Mariángela Aponte Núñez

Abstract: 7 rivers in 49 images is a collection of 49 photographs of the seven rivers (Aguacatal, Cali, Cañaveralejo, Cauca, Lili, Melendez and Pance) crossing the city of Cali, Colombia.

This project focuses on the relationship of Cali’s people with their water. Like most of colombian territory Cali is rich in clean water resources, but the environmental crisis of our globalized era can be seen here too: Cali’s waste has been reaching a point that today most of those rivers have no drinkable water after they pass through the city. The photographs explore the movement and color change of the water passing through the city of Cali.

The 49 images forms a sequence from the Pance river, the one with better conditions, to the Cauca river, the dirtiest and one of the major rivers in southwestern Colombia.

Originally, the images were printed (size: 100 x 70 cm); for Balance-Unbalance I am proposing a slideshow of the entire collection to be screened at the entrance lobby of the DB Clarke Theatre.

Bio: Mariángela Aponte Núñez, born in Cali, Colombia. With a Visual Arts degree obtained at the Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia in 2007, I am currently completing my Master in Aesthetics and Technology of the Electronic Arts at National University of Tres de Febrero in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2005 I have been showing my artwork in solo and group exhibitions. Some of my works are: TACTOSCOPIO, that addresses issues related to art and blindness; SONOSCOPIO, an experimental sound installation; and the photographic exhibition 7 RIVERS IN 49 IMAGES that explores the color change of Cali’s rivers from their birth through its mouth. I am actively collaborating in Colombian publications, among them, with the ARTEFACTO section for the “Pandora’s Box” radio-cultural series in Javeriana Stereo Cali as well as several other transdisciplinary projects.

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Transient Landscapes

Leah Barclay

Abstract: ‘Transient Landscapes’ is a live performance adaptation of the installation Sound Mirrors by multi-award winning Australian artist Leah Barclay. Sound Mirrors is an immersive sonic environment that responds to significant rivers across the world. Throughout 2009 – 2011, Leah Barclay travelled through Australia, India, Korea and China capturing the sound of rivers and their surrounding communities. The resulting work is an ephemeral experience that slides through vivid landscapes and rich cultural traditions.

The Noosa River positioned in a UNESCO listed Biosphere of Australia, the historic Han River flowing through the city of Seoul, South Korea and the Pamba River in the evocative backwaters of Kerala, South India form the core of Transient Landscapes. The process has varied from sculpting and layering sounds recorded on location to directly responding to the environment. The source materials range from hydrophone recordings deep in the Noosa River to pilgrims chanting at dusk on the banks of the Pamba in South India.

Transient Landscapes was selected as one of four national projects for the Australia Council’s HELM Award for Environmental Art. HELM is an initiative of the Queensland Conservation Council that recognises innovative work at the intersection of art, science, technology and the environment.

Bio: LEAH BARCLAY is an Australian interdisciplinary artist and curator recognised internationally for her distinctive sonic language. Her work has been commissioned, performed, and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, India, China, and Korea.

Barclay creates immersive performances and multi-sensory installations at the intersection of art, science, technology, and the environment. Her work spans film, theatre, and dance to hybrid performance, interactive media, data sonification, and site-specific installations. Her adventurous nature has led her to complete projects on the floor of the Australian ocean, desolate lava caves in New Zealand, and the evocative backwaters of South India.

Barclay’s dynamic work has resulted in numerous awards, including the Premier of Queensland’s inaugural National New Media Scholarship, the Asialink Performing Artist Residency for South Korea, and the HELM Award for Environmental Art. She has directed and curated environmental projects across Australia, India, and Korea and serves in an advisory capacity for a range of arts and environmental organisations including Noosa Biosphere (UNESCO) and Ear to the Earth (New York).

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SOUNDLINES

Wende Bartley and Jacky Sawatzky

Abstract:“Soundlines”, a one channel video with spatialized sound, is both a requiem to the forest and the creation of a new ecological space . Using footage taken in Vancouver’s Stanley Park after a storm destroyed thousands of tress in Dec. 2006, we visually enter into the lush environment of an old growth rainforest, the camera tracing both the elegant simplicity and tangled chaos of the fallen trunks and limbs. Aurally, we are embraced and surrounded by multiple voices and sonic characters which speak a wordless language. The music is created from vocal improvisations made at the megalithic temple of Mnajdra located in Malta and draws on an understanding of the voice as a potent conveyor of memory and the mythic.

In “Soundlines”, the visual becomes the bowl that holds the sound. The intersection of image and sound create a mode of engagement that goes beyond a complimentary relationship but rather creates a space that enables an entry point for an intimate encounter and experience with the heart of the forest. We mourn the natural cycle of loss, which can occur both suddenly and over time, while simultaneously becoming re-engaged with the vulnerability of a natural space upon which we are dependent for creating and maintaining sustainable life. “Soundlines” is a collaboration between video artist Jacky Sawatzky and composer Wende Bartley and grew from their collective experience amongst the Stanley Park trees in the days following the storm.

Bio: Wende Bartley is a freelance composer and sound artist dedicated to exploring the full range and potential of the human voice on multiple levels of engagement. Much of her creative work combines vocal sources, electroacoustic practices, soundscape and mythology. She has written for the concert stage, video and film soundtracks, music theatre, installations and site specific performances. She is currently launching her 2-disc album “Sound Dreaming: Oracle Songs from Ancient Ritual Spaces” based on her vocal recordings created on-site in Crete and Malta and mixed in 5.1 surround sound.

Jacky Sawatzky is a visual artist working in the medium of video and installation. She sees her work as cartographies that aid in her search for a home. Currently she is researching the potential impact that renewable energy sources will have on our expectation and understanding of landscape. She teaches part time in the Faculty of Art at OCAD in Toronto.

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One World 1

Joel Chadabe

Abstract: One World 1 is based on sounds from New York and New Delhi, as if the world were one large crowded city, its space shared through a common human bond.

At the same time, it seems clear at this moment in history that the idea of sharing one world through a common human bond is a utopian goal rather than a current reality. It is one of the major problems of our age that inundated with information, much of it disturbing, we view the world today as a complex, turbulent and chaotic system of different nationalities, religions, cultures, and politics, as if the world were one large crowded city overwhelmed by urban noise and discord. We all face the same dilemma. How do we interact with this world? How do we extract humanity from the chaos to focus on individual lives?

The field recordings from New York were done by Benjamin Chadabe. The field recordings from New Delhi were done by Shankar Barua. One World 1 was composed with support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Bio: Composer Joel Chadabe is a pioneer in interactive music systems. His music has been performed at Human Voice in a New World (New York City), Xenakis and a Changing Climate (La Tourette, France), Electronic Music New York (Brooklyn College), Suono Aperto (Conservatorio G Rossini, Pesaro, Italy), ElectroWorks Festival (Athens), Ear to the Earth (New York City), Tevereterno (Rome), HörZeit-SpielRaum 2005 (Berlin), NYU Interactive (NYC), New Mix (Palais de Tokyo, Paris), and other venues worldwide. His music is recorded on EMF Media, Deep Listening, Lovely Music, and other labels. He is the author of  Electric Sound, a comprehensive history of electronic music and his articles have been published in Organized Sound, Leonardo, Contemporary Music Review, Computer Music Journal, and other leading journals and magazines, and anthologized in books by MIT Press, Routledge, and other publishers. He co-authored the first digital sequencer. As president of Intelligent Music, he pioneered interactive music software. He has received grants from NEA, NYSCA, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Fulbright Commission, and he is the recipient of the SEAMUS 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Chadabe is Professor Emeritus at State University of New York, visiting faculty at NYU, and president of Electronic Music Foundation.

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Veins in the Gulf

Elizabeth Coffman and Ted Hardin

Abstract: Countries around the globe seem locked in political stalemates whenever they try to solve their environmental problems. The state of Louisiana in the U.S. has faced some of the worst disasters in the last decade—hurricanes, oil spills, river flooding. But the biggest disaster is land loss. Southern Louisiana is the fastest disappearing landmass on Earth. If the community doesn’t do something soon, Louisiana may not stretch past New Orleans. Filmmakers Elizabeth Coffman and Ted Hardin have documented the Cajun bayou communities of Southern Louisiana as they reach for political consensus to restore their wetlands. “Veins in the Gulf” (76 mins, 2011) traces the environmental crisis of southern Louisiana, the loss of Cajun culture and the rapidly disappearing bayous since before hurricane Katrina. Through interviews with fishermen, engineers, writers, and scientists, Louisiana poet Martha Serpas bears witness as residents confront the mortality of their culture, and a community tries to solve its environmental crises. Serpas guides the audience through the complex story of coastal land loss, hurricanes and damage to the marshes caused by the 2010 BP oil disaster. While shrimping, attending public meetings or looking for tar balls on the beach, Serpas guides us through the heart of Southern culture to discover where great American seafood and oil have come from for the past century, but may not for the next.

Bio: Documentary filmmakers Elizabeth Coffman and Ted Hardin have completed films about communities in crisis. Their last film, “One More Mile: A Dialogue on Nation-Building,” (2003) investigated the delicate and controversial role of the international community in a post-war society trying to build a new nation. “One More Mile” was broadcast in Bosnia and screened at NYU, Northwestern University and won an honorable mention from the University Film and Video Association. Their current film, “Veins in the Gulf,” documents historic bayou communities of southern Louisiana as they try to solve their environmental crises related to land loss.

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Between my sky and your water (Entre mi cielo y tu agua)

Ricardo Dal Farra

Abstract: Surrounded by water or asking for it, with clear and bright skies or cloudy days and long nights, maybe different languages but perhaps common hopes. Who knows? Bridges are all around, both real and virtual. Impossible connections, feelings, thoughts and sensations flow between and across my sky and through your water. Between my sky and your water (Entre mi cielo y tu agua) is a picture in sound of the geography and culture of some Latin American regions, and their relationships with the geography and culture of the Nordic European region. This piece was composed in 2007 using sounds recorded by colleagues in their native lands, in the north of Europe, with plenty of water around; and by colleagues living and visiting the Cusco region, ancient heart of the Inca’s empire in the higher mountains of Peru, closer to the sun but far from the ocean. Between my sky and your water is part of the North-South project. An initiative by Nordic and Latin American composers to share experiences and to know more about each other’s culture and environment exchanging ideas and sounds, and composing a series of electroacoustic works. All pieces are based in a common pool of sounds, created by the contribution of each composer in the group. Between my sky and your water was realized at the Electroacoustic Music Studio, Argentina.

Bio: Dr. Ricardo Dal Farra has been conducting activities in the merging fields of arts, sciences and new technologies as a composer and multimedia artist, researcher, educator, performer and curator focusing mainly on new media arts and electroacoustic music for more than 30 years. He is an Associate Professor at the Music Department of Concordia University (music.concordia.ca/people/faculty/full-time/ricardo-dal-farra.php), Founding Director of the Electronic Arts Experimenting and Research Centre (CEIArtE) at National University of Tres de Febrero, Argentina and Associated Researcher at the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort Univerisity, in the United Kingdom. Dal Farra has been national Coordinator of the Multimedia Communication program at the National Ministry of Education in Argentina during seven years; Research/Creation Coordinator of the (original) Hexagram interuniversity consortium in Canada; Senior Consultant for the Amauta – Andean Media Arts Centre in Cusco, Peru; Coordinator of the Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage (DOCAM) international research alliance in Canada; and national Education Manager at NCS Pearson, Argentina. He has also been consultant for organizations such as: The MIT Press in the US, the interuniversity project No2s in Chile; and consultant and researcher at The Daniel Langlois Foundation in Canada and UNESCO (Digi-Arts), France. Dr. Dal Farra’s work has been distinguished with prizes, grants and commissions by the International Computer Music Association, the International Arts Biennial of San Pablo, Brazil, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Rostrum of Composers from Argentina, the Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, France, and the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale from the University of Padua in Italy, among others. With over 20 international editions including recordings of his electroacoustic music, Dr. Dal Farra’s works have been performed/presented in over 40 countries.

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The Butterfly Effect

María Ezcurra and G. Scott MacLeod

Abstract: “The so-called Butterfly Effect, the notion that a butterfly flapping its wings in China can influence the weather in Florida”. (From http://people.sc.fsu.edu/~jburkardt/fun/misc/butterfly.html)

Through an animation and textile performance of the Monarch butterfly this performative inquiry explores the interconnections that exist between ecological and social issues. Based on ideas of immigration/migration we want to investigate the interconnections, possibilities and consequences of global environmental change. As Maria Ezcurra is from Mexico and G. Scott MacLeod is from Canada, we will use the Monarch butterfly as a symbol to represent the connection between our two countries via the migratory pattern of the Monarch, which in reality transcends our man made boarders and adheres to natural set of rules. This presentation is a metaphor for the emergence of the life from the chrysalis state of the butterfly, before the migration process of the Monarch, showing both its vulnerability and strength and acting as a symbol to illustrate that what happens locally affects us globally. We believe that in our environments we have a responsibility at this defining moment in our history to act and be the change we want to see in the world. Our performance could conclude with an open discussion that reflects how we function as a society within ecological and social matrix. We both feel strongly that by raising issues around social change and its connection with ecology, immigration, migration, transformation, it will incite new interpretative possibilities for a better environment, social and global consciousness.

“And if we seem a small factor in a huge patter, nevertheless it is of relative importance. We take a tiny colony of soft corals from a rock in a little water world. And that isn’t terribly important to the tide pool. Fifty miles away the Japanese shrimp boats are dredging with overlapping scoops, bringing up tons of shrimp, rapidly destroying the species so that it never come back, and with the species destroying the ecological balance of the whole region. That isn’t very important in the world. And thousands of miles away the great bombs are falling and the stars are not moved thereby. None of it is important or all of it is.” (Steinbeck, John (1951). The Log from the Sea of Cortez. P.p. 3).

Bio: Maria Ezcurra: Artist, Art Professor and Mother. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1973. Lives and works in Mexico City since 1978. Currently she resides in Montreal, where is coursing a PhD in Art Education at Concordia University in Canada, with support of Concordia, Promep and Fundación Jumex Awards. Previously she studied at the Visual Arts School (ENAP) in the National Autonomic University of Mexico, received a Master’s degree in visual arts at the Chelsea School of Art in London and completed coursework at the San Francisco Art Institute. A recipient of the Fulbright scholarship, multiple FONCA programs and currently a member of the National System of Art Creators (SNC), Ezcurra has participated in more than 50 group and 10 individual exhibits in the Netherlands, Greece, Australia, the United States, England, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Mexico. Additionally, she has installed her works as outdoor sculptures in Mexico City, London, Caracas and San Francisco. She has taught at diverse universities in Mexico, such as La Esmeralda, UACM, Centro, and is part of the Faculty of Arts at the Autonomic University of Morelos (UAEM) since 2001.

G. Scott MacLeod: Multimedia Artist, Film Director, Musician and Educator.
Born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, in 1965. Scott received his diploma of collegial studies in Fine Arts at John Abbott in 1984 and BFA specialization in printmaking at Concordia University in 2003 and is currently a candidate for a Masters in Art Education at Concordia University. He is a fellow at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico and sits on the Concordia Fine Arts Association. Scott has over 150 exhibitions and performances nationally and internationally and his work has reflected social, political and historical themes with an aim to promote education and accessibility to art and culture. His work is in many museums, corporate and private collections. He has presented his work in Canada, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Czech Republic, and the USA. He was awarded the following grants notably; The William Blair Bruce European Travel Scholarship for his Ancestral Homes Viking heritage project, a Conseil des arts et des Lettres du Quebec ‘A’ grant, on two occasions the Filmmakers Assistance Program from the National Film Board of Canada for his documentary After the war with Hannelore – A Berliner war child’s testimony 1945-1989 and the Saga of Murdo MacLeod, a Conseil des arts et des lettres research/creation grant his Animated short the Saga of Murdo MacLeod and finally the Fr. Shaun Gerard McCarthy Govenlock Scholarship from Irish Studies at Concordia University for his Master’s thesis work on the community of Griffintown in Montreal.

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Corn Field Performances and Live Dining

Nicole Fournier

Abstract: From GMO cornfield to adaptable concepts – “Being there” – food, soil, plants and us. Most people don’t like getting dirty, you get your hands in the dirt, and you want to clean them off. Plants can pick or many people these days have allergic reactions to them. Nature is messy and chaotic, and in our attempt to control it’s messiness human’s have played their role in causing inbalance in Nature. I will present two artworks, the first is “Corn Field Performances” (2002), a questioning performance intervention in a GMO cornfield in eastern Quebec, and the second is the adaptable concept and collective performance “Live Dining” (2005-2011). The evolution of the first artwork to the second, is going from questioning industrial scale monoculture practices in agriculture, to living a solution, of poly-agriculture. In both cases, I am there. I am in the environment. “Being there” is about being in the environment, with plants and soil, in the country and in the city, in particular how it relates to relationships with each other, to food and human consumption. I include in polyagriculture being with biodiversity and eating with it around us, with wild plants, drought resistant plants and plants that naturally survive and live in depleted soil, and do not need to be genetically modified to do so. This polyagriculture is about embracing the messiness of Nature in its diversity, as opposed to trying to controlling it, through monoculture. While presenting “Live Dining”, I will explain two concepts the ‘interconnected-self’ and ‘adaptable concept’, which define my artworks since Live Dining. This concept introduces the inclusion of interspecies interrelationship into what I define as a relational environmental aesthetic. Reflecting invisible complex interrelationships and the idea of performance ecologies, these new performance rituals are about celebration and critiquing norms. The rituals perform the concepts, which are about interrelationships between members of diverse communities and species, adaptation and interconnectedness to the environment.

Bio:  Nicole Fournier is an artist, activist and founder and director of InTerreArt. She has exhibited her art internationally and for more than two decades has been addressing ecological environmental issues in her artwork. Since 1996, her practice has embraced the interdisciplinary of art, communities and environment through independent research and the development of concepts and actions with polyculture-food-medicine systems. In the last 10 years she has been addressing the idea of sustainability by bringing together biodiversity, systemic causes of poverty and new art practices that include environmental thought, performance and conceptual art. She holds a BFA from Concordia University (1993) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Studies from McGill University (2005).

Threat of Extinction by Oil

Stephen H. Kawai

Abstract: The focus of my visual art practice for the last decade and a half has been mobiles (and suspended installations). Although these explorations of mass and gravity draw from a very wide variety of themes and subjects, expressions of molecular phenomena which fuse my artistic and scientific experiences have been of particular interest to me. Of the mobiles especially relevant to the theme of the Balance-Unbalance Conference, “Threat of Extinction by Oil” highlights the Far North’s vulnerability to environmental damage and climate change.

Bio: Stephen H. Kawai was born and raised in Montréal, Canada. Obsessed with drawing from a very young age, his formal art training began as a teenager at the now-defunct MMFA School of Art and Design where he first encountered kinetic art during an outing to see the works of George Rickey. This artist’s spare and slowly moving pieces mesmerized Stephen and eventually (or inevitably) led him to the work of Alexander Calder and to reproduce the basic mobile forms. For many years, mobiles took a sideline to drawing, painting and ceramics, as well as scientific pursuits.* It was during a three-year stay in Paris in the early ’90s, the city where the art form was invented and the term “mobile” coined, that his interest in modern sculpture was rekindled. Upon returning to Montréal in 1994, he began to create mobiles in his own style, focusing on a wide range of natural materials (rock, shell, plant material, etc.) rather than the brightly coloured abstract elements typical of the work of Calder and those who emulate his style. Stephen continues to broaden his artistic scope, incorporating mobile work into installations and exploring novel means of augmenting the kinetic aspect of his creations. He also continues to draw and experiments with a range of mixed media. His work can be found in private collections throughout Canada and in Europe.

*Stephen holds degrees in biochemistry and chemistry, and will be teaching these subjects at Concordia University in the fall of 2011.

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arghanum V [1990-1] ∏, for piano and electroacoustic sounds

alcides lanza

Abstract: The piece, arghanum V, was written as a reaction, as a statement against the destruction of nature by man. When accordionist Joseph Petric commissioned the original version of the work, it was to be premiered at the “Sound Symposium”, in Newfoundland in 1990. At the time, the deforestation in that area of Canada was considerable. Large industrial conglomerates destroyed complete forests having no plans for re-forestation of the area. The first indication in the score “agitated and wild, with repressed anger” is a commentary “sobre la belleza de lo salvaje” [on the beauty of the wild] and the exploitation and destruction of the wild by mankind.

Bio: Canadian-Argentinian composer, conductor and pianist born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1929. He moved to New York in 1965, having received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and lived there from 1965 until 1971 where he worked at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. In 1971 he was appointed professor of composition at the Faculty of Music, McGill University in Montreal. Since 1974 he has been the director of the Electronic Music Studio at McGill. lanza is now the EMS Director Emeritus. alcides lanza continues to have a very active international career as a pianist and conductor specializing in the avant garde repertoire. His programs reflect his particular interest in the music of the three Americas. lanza has performed Piano Marathons at Pollack Hall in Montreal, in 1987 and 1992. This last featured lanza performing for five hours – non-stop – and included 48 different pieces for piano, electronics and film. alcides lanza has done innumerable radio and television concerts, several LP recordings and compact discs, and has organized contemporary music forums and events.

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Stati d’Acqua (2006)

David Monacchi

Abstract: Stati d’Acqua (States of Water) was inspired by water’s constant physical transformations. These field recordings explore motion, stagnation, evaporation, condensation and falling. Water produces an infinite variety of sounds throughout the entire range of audible frequencies, sometimes creating the perfect white noise (i.e., the equal overlapping of all audio frequencies), and sometimes creating pitched tones. The field recordings for this composition were done along the entire course of the Tiber River, from its source at Mount Fumaiolo to its outlet in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Many techniques were employed, including special microphones and recording while in motion along springs, streams, waterfalls, caves, and waves, as well as the sea. The recordings also include the sound scan of a six-month old fetus – the fluid resonance within the human body. The work is a tribute to water, as a symbol and metaphor for the various states of mind and emotion. Carefully observing and analyzing the microcosm of tones in the recordings of streams inspired me to organize the water’s sounds complexity into a tuning system that uses the whole ratios of Zarlino’s XVI Century system. 120 filters were used to create discrete resonant filters carefully tuned on the partials of different harmonic series, ordering the chaotic energy of water along natural intervals. Stati d’Acqua premiered on June 21, 2006 as a 30-minute, multichannel sound installation with 18 points of sound diffusion on an 80×500 meter site in the heart of Rome. The work was created for Tevereterno, a site-specific, multidisciplinary project conceived by artist Kristin Jones to celebrate the Tiber River. The version presented at Balance-Unbalance 2011 is a 17-minute reduction to 6 channels and was first performed at the Festival Ear to the Earth 2006 in New York City.

Bio: Composer, performer and sound-artist, his work documents natural sonic environments and untouched ecosystems throughout the world with cutting-edge field recording techniques. Combining detailed lab analysis and eco-acoustic composition, he creates original music for sound installations, museums, films, contemporary art and new music concerts. Over the past two decades, he has conducted recordings throughout Europe, Africa, North and South America. During recent travels to the Brazilian Amazon in collaboration with Greenpeace (2002) and the African equatorial area of Dzanga-Sangha (2008), he began collecting high definition ‘sound portraits’ of primary equatorial rainforest ecosystems for his major international project “Fragments of Extinction”. His research and music have been published by international labels. Publications (2004-2009) include: CD Canto Sospeso (Domani Musica – Rome, Italy), CD Paesaggi di Libero Ascolto (ANTS Records – Rome, Italy), CD Prima Amazonia (Wild Sanctuary – San Francisco, CA), CD After the Untuned Sky (Coclearia – Urbino, Italy), CD Eco-Acoustic Compositions (EMF Media – New York, NY). Since year 2000, Monacchi taught Multimedia Acoustics at the University of Macerata, and is now Professor of Electroacoustic Music Composition at the Conservatory of Music of Pesaro – Italy. He is based in Italy and travels widely for field research, media and film music composition, and gives lectures and concerts throughout the world .

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Floating Land (2011)

James Muller and Leah Barclay

Abstract: Australian cinematographer James Muller and composer/sound artist Leah Barclay have joined forces to create an evocative response to Floating Land 2011. Floating Land is an ongoing conversation about creativity, the environment and culture pivoting on a dynamic ten-day event in the UNESCO listed Biosphere of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Conceived in 2001 as an outdoor sculpture exhibition, Floating Land is now solidified one of Australia’s most significant green art events sparking the imagination of artists, scientists, politicians and conservationists globally. This abstract exploration of the event features the iconic Lake Cootharaba, one of Australia’s most pristine natural environments, with over thirty resident artists working on the shores. The collaborative projects were realized as ephemeral installations, incorporating projection, light and sound in the natural environment. Performances such as Blue Gold by Australian composer Ros Bandt investigated the delicate balance between wet and dry in our natural landscape, while the multi-sensory installation of Lyndon Davis recognized the critical value of Indigenous knowledge systems in ecological crisis.

Bio: JAMES MULLER directs Earth Base Productions, a multi- disciplinary, creative media studio. He has over 12 years experience in the film, television and digital media industries. Earth Base Productions produce a diverse range of projects utilising screen technologies and emerging digital media. They collaborate in cross sector and cross platform environments to create projects with intrinsic cultural and creative values. Earth Base Productions is based on the Sunshine Coast and works throughout the State. www.earthbase.com.au

LEAH BARCLAY is an Australian interdisciplinary artist and curator recognised internationally for her distinctive sonic language. Her work has been commissioned, performed, and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, India, China, and Korea. Barclay creates immersive performances and multi-sensory installations at the intersection of art, science, technology, and the environment. Her work spans film, theatre, and dance to hybrid performance, interactive media, data sonification, and site-specific installations. Her adventurous nature has led her to complete projects on the floor of the Australian ocean, desolate lava caves in New Zealand, and the evocative backwaters of South India. Barclay’s dynamic work has resulted in numerous awards, including the Premier of Queensland’s inaugural National New Media Scholarship, the Asialink Performing Artist Residency for South Korea, and the HELM Award for Environmental Art. She has directed and curated environmental projects across Australia, India, and Korea and serves in an advisory capacity for a range of arts and environmental organisations including Noosa Biosphere (UNESCO) and Ear to the Earth (New York). Barclay is currently engaged in a series of collaborative research projects addressing the value of creative methodologies in ecological crisis and is completing an interdisciplinary PhD under Gerardo Dirié and Kim Cunio at Griffith University in Australia.

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Listening to a Sense of Place

Jennifer Schine

Abstract: How do we listen? And what does our experience of listening tell us about the pioneer experience, the transformation (and continuity) of resource-based living to environmentalism, and the contemporary importance of sound in the cultural history of British Columbia’s coastal communities? At the intersection of acoustic communication and memory studies, this video and audio piece documents the ethnographic process of community-supported research with residents of Echo Bay, located in the Broughton Archipelago, BC. This fishing and logging community is transforming into a remote tourism destination, and the Archipelago is also home to the highest density of salmon aquaculture in the province. As such, the area has become a contested site over the (mis)use of local knowledge concerning the impacts of salmon farming on the local ecology and community. Using sound as a catalyst and soundwalking as a form of ethnography, storytelling and expression, this multi-media piece explores historical and contemporary ideas about both the global and local environmental crisis. We bring together both scientific and situated knowledge by listening to biologists, researchers, community members and, specifically, to the life-story of Billy Proctor, a renowned elder and pioneer of the community. In doing so, we are able to “hear” the past in the present and understand the importance of historical, contemporary and environmental listening. This piece and research suggests that through listening to sense of place, ideas of nature, art, science, technology and society provide us with a vital interdisciplinary platform as we move into an era of ecological threats.

Bio: Jennifer Schine is a Masters student in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University and an active sound artist. Her work explores the relationships between soundwalking, aural and oral heritage and culturally-specific listening practices within the fields of acoustic communication and memory studies.

Greg Crompton writes, makes video and uses sound in his creations. He began creating narrative fiction films while studying writing at the University of Victoria. Video journalism took Greg to Africa, where he worked as a journalism trainer and documentary filmmaker. Greg is now the creative director and producer of a video production company based in Vancouver.

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