Treeline

The tree line, like many other natural lines (lake boundaries, for example), appears well-defined from a distance, but upon sufficiently close inspection, it is a gradual transition in most places. Trees grow shorter towards the inhospitable climate until they simply stop growing. Wikipedia.

An artist commissioning program in the time of climate change

Art & Ecology

It’s only when we understand the meaning of ‘enough’ that we start to accumulate real wealth. As in nature, ‘enough’ gets the job done well; doing or having more than we need wastes time, resources, and ultimately, our lives.  Andy Middleton

If globally agreed CO2 emission reductions are to be met, then 2/3 of the world’s oil reserves must be left in the ground. This would result in a massive loss in revenue that the oil companies do not want to accept. These reserves are on oil companies balance sheets and are worthless to them if they remain untapped, they would rather the planet becomes almost uninhabitable than see a reduction in their profits. The $674 billion spent on fossil fuel exploration in 2012 could have been spent on the cost of transition to a sustainable economy (Lord Stern, Economics of climate change report). Prospecting with little regard to human and ecological rights, the oil industry views the melting ice as an opportunity for further exploration and production.

Faced with such monumental stupidity and greed on a global commercial and political level, the question has to asked how can art possibly make any shift to culture for climate change to be controlled to prevent catastrophic disaster?


Treeline moving image installation for Lavish at Latitude Festival. Waterscreen projection, Jaime Jackson 2017

At the same time the arts reflect and inflect a societies shared values its culture so a investigation by artists in a period of climate change could still be worthwhile. But only without a operation of art from the global scientific academic, political economic and social systems, in between our society’s ideas values and systems and the way that they are articulated. Art inflects life as life infects art, as it is what constitutes an understanding of what is the self and what constitutes an environment underpins attitudes to, say, the land.

A value of artists and modern art is its critical distance from which dominant trends and systems informing conditioned reality constructs can be seen, and be interupted.

Modern Art’s autonomy, far from being a disabling denial of the political, is a critical dimension in which the aesthetic is a refusal of routine. That is one point of departure; political activism is another. They overlap. For that reason I do not separate art from critiques of political and economic structures; nor do I separate arguments around ecology and environmentalism from those around social justice. Malcom’s Miles ‘Eco-Aesthetics.

Treeline is a national and international New Leaf Sustainability Ltd artist commission exhibition involving installations and woodland projections. As well as a relational engagement program developed through Arts Council England funding supported by the Elmley Foundation, the Woodland Trust, the Youth Social action fund and the A-N bursary program.  A project for the Anthropocene (dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the natural environment and global environmental change) and the new science of Biomimicry, (an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies). The aim of the project is to create an international touring exhibition involving artists and curators in the three cities to examine issues around global environmental change and the love to nature (Biophilia).

 

Digital relational work created by one of 130 participants at the Treeline dark tent touchscreen photobooth installation at Green Man Festival 2017

The program connects contemporary art with academic research with partner Universities on climate change, biomimicry (an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies) and environmental resilience.

Working in partnership with the artist led Black Hole Club, Vivid Projects in Birmingham we have received funding from the A-N artist development bursary in the UK to link artists from the three Biophilic cities in Europe,  Spain, the UK and Norway. A group of digital and moving image artists and curators from the UK will be traveling to Oslo and Vitoria-Gasteiz in October and early November 2017 in order to arrange an international exchange artist program leading to a touring exhibition.