PUBLISHABLE BLOG POSTS ASSESSMENT 3

WEEK 9-

My project is going to be about ‘Global Warming’ and the causes and effects that surround this issue. How humans have come to waste resources and created excess wastage which is thrown away, polluting our planet and lands, killing species and plants that are endangered. This concerns me and is a big issues for me because everything in the world around us is powered by something which in consequence will be somehow effecting our planet, in silent ways in which we cannot see. However, it is good to talk about this topic as I would like future generations to continue living and work towards a better world where resources are not taken for granted or wasted for our continuous human development. Mirzoeff’s idea about what it means to be a citizen in this global era is mainly about how mostly everyone in the world is involved in the creation of issues, or simple partake in the spreading of news somehow. To be a citizen in this global era is simply being a part of networking and connections, “… understand the total noise all around us every day as the new everyday condition” (Mirzoeff, pg280), Mirzoeff believes that everything happening around us is left for us to experience and control. Mirzoeff uses images such as ‘Tank and Bread’ by young graffiti artist Mohamed Fahmy (Ganzeer) to explain how graffiti marks places to tell a story and has the ability to reach those who are illiterate or who do not won device that are connected to the internet. Mirzoeff uses this image to show the different types of visual techniques used to reach all types of groups, and that his artwork marks the city walls as a statement for all to see, not as exclusive as a museum or website. This is a good example of being a citizen in the global era as people who walk past the graffiti of a tank targeting a boy in a bicycle, it is up to them to decide what to do with that information, their reaction and emotions control how they act or wish to act. Ganzeer only creating a story for citizens to think about, making them think for themselves in how they want the world to be, this is their job as citizens of our global era. It is what they do with that information that counts in changing our society.

Mirzoeff states that “visual culture practice has gone through several versions in the past twenty-five years and has now converged around visual activism” (Mirzoeff p.261), meaning that visual activism has bought deeper meaning into our visual culture. Purpose intertwined with politics and social justices in society that has been continuously changing, but now mainly focused on using visual methods to represent group/s to the public.

He also believes that ‘visual thinking’ has evolved from visual culture and into a form of practice. ‘… is something we do not simply study” (Mirzoeff p.263), stating the different degrees in which we are able to engage ourselves with visual texts. It is something that has been growing in society, our desire to make meanings of everything made, to make those connections and question the representation and use of media.

 

 

 

WEEK 10-

For a long period of time now, water pollution has been rising at a faster pace than we anticipated, “… it is created by industrial and commercial waster, agricultural practices, everyday human activities and most notably, models of transportation” (Owa, F.D). As citizens of this planet we fail to comprehend the global issue of our deteriorating environment, we continue to exponentially produce waste that in end we light-heartedly disregard, ‘out of sight, out of mind’. The Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century not only introduced new developing machinery but also new types of air and water pollution. Before new machinery was introduced “industrial communities grew up around the water-powered mills” (Evans, p163) and natural materials less harmful to the environment and its species. During this starting period of developing ground breaking machinery, “well established coal was the most important domestic fuel in towns… beginning to find uses in industry” (Burton, p39), crucial in powering most steam machines, resulting in mass releases of smog and soot, harmful emissions affected the health of communities living in urban areas in close proximity to the factories. As long as people are willing to purchase and consume products, we continue to fuel the creation of waste and develop the issue that is pollution, “… up to 500 million tons of heavy metals, solvents and toxic sludge slip into the global water supply every year”, (A&E Television Networks), manufacturing consequences and unwanted waste thrown away by corporations and businesses that are too lazy to properly deal with their own responsibilities. Groups affected are those who are living in developing countries, such as India and China, where there is a lack of health funding and infrastructure to assist them with proper treatment facilities, “…3.2 million children die each year as a result of unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation”, (EcoMENA.).

It has recently become highlighted as more of a major contemporary issue, as more people have addressed it on social media, which Mirzoeff states “has accelerated change in movements that were now noticed by public” (Mirzoeff, pg272), as the effects of these changes has become more vivid and evident throughout the world by mid-20th century. Consumer waste are products that have been bought and used for its sole purpose and left to be disposed of, being a consumer item, it has fulfilled its intended use and waits to be recycled or thrown away. Although some of these consumer waste materials are not as harmful to humans, garbage that we routinely throw away daily “… average person generates 4.3 pounds of waste per day” (Duke Univeristy), slowly builds up in the shadows to our disregard, finding their ways to oceans, disrupting animal species, poisoning the environment in countless ways.

Toxic wastes are poisonous by-products made from factory processes in form of liquids, gases or solids, “… considered toxic when it causes death or harm by being inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin” (The New York Times). Toxic waste since the industrial revolution, has affected humans, animals and the environment, a serious damaging environmental issue that is becoming globally terrifying as a main cause of diseases and death. The BP Oil Spill in 2010 exemplifies how human activities are piling up waste and fuelling the mass pollution of oceans. On 15th July 2010, “it is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry” (EcoMENA), the consequences of this large spill in the ocean meant months of cleaning up and preventing the further spread of oil, already damaging marine and wildlife habitats, and many distresses about direct contact to the oil and public health. With “… media as the form that keeps us all connected, we are shown the representation of real life events” (Mirzoeff, pg290), meaning that communities are able to tell their stories, having free will to state their opinions and protest on social media against events that concern them. Many sea turtles, pelicans and marine mammals were found dead, however surviving species were nursed back to health. Our desire and greed of living luxurious lives, buying and throwing away wasted materials is not only physically affecting our world and its species, but is influencing us as citizens of the 21st century to take this information, think and do something about it, using the power of mainstream media which is very influential worldwide, taking issues to a public stage.

 

 

 

WEEK 11-

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Figure 1. (Jordan, Chris. Photographic Arts. http://chrisjordan.com/gallery/midway/#about. Midway Project. February 2011. June 2016. Blog)

One of the more subtle approaches to drawing attention to ocean pollution existing in our world today is shown through the photographs taken by Chris Jordan from 2009- to current. As a photographer, he has focused on the effects of plastic pollution on animal species, birds in particular, and has dissected the already dead birds, “plastic found inside birds includes bags, bottle caps, synthetic fibres from clothing, and tiny rice-sized bits that have been broken down by the sun and waves” (Parker, Laura), opening up the ugly truth behind human waste and ignorance. As a cultural critic, Chris Jordan has tackled our society’s way of thinking, questioning whether our actions are actually helping the environment and its species the right way, not necessarily pointing the finger, but using the photograph as a means to capture what others have not been able to witness, asking us how this has happened in the beginning. “These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth” (Jordan, Chris). Using a photograph itself has the power of digitally documenting something to be seen, which is usually unseen by the public, and he has critiqued how we as humans are stuck in a culture and society where consuming and throwing away products has become second nature, and is therefore our responsibility to change and fix this growing problem that he has addressed to us through his still but emotionally moving photographs. He acts as an agent of change as he expresses his individual opinion which Mirzoeff states is “more authentic to have each person tell their own story, individual opinions shown have a more unique and heavy influence” (Mirzoeff, pg264), taking what he sees and feels and transforms them into visual representations of his ideas, demanding a reaction from his audience, his goal is to make people feel how he had felt when looking at these birds who had died at the expense of our waste and environmental destruction.

 

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Figure 2. (Vartanian, Hrag. Liberate Tate Annotates Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 25-Hour Guerrilla Protest. http://hyperallergic.com/214959/liberate-tate-annotates-tate-moderns-turbine-hall-in-25-hour-guerrilla-protest/. June 2015. June 2016. Website)

 

‘Liberate Tate’ is a self- managed organisation of a group of artists working in cooperation to intervene in the social change of ending sponsorship between Tate Museum and BP, “raising their voices for a more ethical approach to the art museum’s relationships and sources of funding” (Vartanian, Hrag). Using social media such as Facebook to keep in contact and organize these protests, “Facebook did not cause the revolution, but allowed for the dissemination of information” (Mirzoeff, pg281), which have been very successful in terms of being able to reach the news media on website and videos online. ‘Liberate Tate’ have already staged 14 protest works that focused on sharing their opinion that the BP company “… presence in galleries and museums is a stain on our culture” (Vartarian, Hrag) to a large audience. “Glen Tarman, a member of the Liberate Tate movement states, “… art museums are places where we make sense of the world… We shouldn’t be complicit in climate change just because we appreciate great art” (Scaife, Amy). They believe that the Museum should not need to continue promoting BP, as they were known for finding cheaper ways out of cleaning up their own mess that still continues to negatively affect the environment. An example of one of their most well- known performance protests ‘Time Piece’ 2010, was when seventy-five protestors spent almost an entire day writing words of warning about climate change on the floor of the museum hall using charcoal. As a group of self-managed artists working together, these powerful 21st century citizens take action and shape what they want to see change in the world. As cultural critics, they are standing up against the collaboration and support of Tate museum with BP, they disagree with BP in regard to their slacking of cleaning their oil spill ocean pollution and reach out to people visiting the Tate museum, a large number of people that all gather to one place. In response, ‘Liberate Tate’ has managed to get their message across to thousands of people through social media, through the internet and physically at the site of the work itself, demanding and captivating their audience, in which a large majority agree that the partnership should end.

 

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Figure 3. (Autonomous Nonprofit Organization. French rivers dyed green – and it’s not even St Patrick’s Day. https://www.rt.com/viral/340914-french-rivers-dyed-green/. April 2016. June 2016. Website)

 

Recently, a stunt performed by French environmentalists in 25th April 2016 has drawn a lot of attention to water pollution being a more contemporary global issue. Their eye- catching protest of safe dyeing multiple rivers neon green across France, aimed to highlight the vast extent to which pollution spreads in the water, the dye following the flow and creating a visible path of where the dye is carried and spread. This form of visual activism is a very demanding and strong in captivating its audience, asking them to recognise the “lack of environmental public service” in their cities (Autonomous Nonprofit Organization). These unknown French environmental activists criticise the works of their government and disagree with their inability to enforce regulations to safe guard the environment and the growing pollution of water. They are agents of change who have acted against the government by calling them out, asking the big question of the lack of environmental public services. Mirzoeff believes that news is only made important by people and groups who take this information and share it “made important through our engagement and participation in adding news and spreading it throughout the media” (Mirzoeff, pg259). By dyeing not one but twelve rivers, audiences are made to ponder what would cause such an uproar for a group to do this, the large degree of this visual protest provoked the government attention. In the end they were able to get answers from the Environmental Inspector at ONEMA, stating that they were going to begin tackling some of their environmental public services. By arranging their own self- managed protests, the French environmentalists have been able to draw attention to water pollution issues and have successfully influenced their government to take action, being good examples of agents of change, working towards a change in the environment that they want to see.

In New Zealand society today, our developed country has allowed the necessary equipment for keeping our water safe, “The Government’s Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund has contributed to seven community initiatives to clean up some of New Zealand’s most iconic waterways” (New Zealand Ministry for the Environment.), the govenrment the issue of water pollution is not as drastic here compared to other developing countries who lack the funding to improve their water and health systems.

Being a 21st century citizen has given us a better advantage with our developed technology, having the ability to globally communicate and share ideas in almost an instant through social media, compared to basic pen and paper in the earlier years. It is up to us as a 21st century citizens to take information of issues and participate in working towards creating the change that we would like to see, our individual influences and actions have the absolute ability and individual power to change the world into what we desire. Our role as cultural critics is up to our opinions and perspectives, our worldviews are each different which contribute to our way of thinking in terms of fixing a problem that we relate to or desire to improve. “Networking and young population has led to revolution and sharing information” (Mirzoeff, pg294), it is important for our generation to make use of the social media that the previous generations had no access to, with faster ability to share information and ideas, activist groups are able to collaborate quicker and revolutionise society through movements and protests.

 

 

 

 

WEEK 13-

Visual activism alone does not change the world, but it is the audience who uses their visual thinking skills to interpret the artwork, making sense and comprehending what it is trying to say. Mirzoeff believes that visual thinking has been growing in our society, the ability to make connections and decided their opinions and ideas. Without visual thinking, people would not be able to make the right connections or be motivated to take action through demonstrations or protest. In our current society, human garbage is finding its way to the oceans, forming into a giant floating landfill in the centre of the ocean“Great Pacific Garbage Patch… bigger than Texas” (NOAA’s Ocean Service). The global issue of water pollution is snowballing, in the future our growing population will need more advanced machinery to meet the demands of the purchase of products, meaning more new gas emissions and leftover waste.

I have created a series of photographs of used trash left to waste flying around our streets, hiding under people’s ignorance. I spent 3 days picking up rubbish polluting our streets, grouped them into a collective pile to be photographed. These photographs were then printed onto A3 paper and pasted onto the side of a building with labels beside them. My creative artwork has been inspired by Chris Jordan, where he documents the unseen, what is silently happening under all the noise of human activities. I have also been inspired by the‘Liberate Tate’ group as they publically state their opinion for a public audience, I have formed an open gallery for pubillc viewing. All these different forms of visual activist projects and various types of citizenships work collectively to stand up against corporations and communicate the change in the world they strive for. This project materially responds to the environmental issue as it only uses paper which is bio degradable, the print is a simple documentation and collection of human waste that demands attention as the paper flaps in the wind on the side of a building wall. The open gallery symbolises the rubbish itself, being a part of the street, only seen when people want to see it. The work promotes needed change in our environment to a wide ranged audience, and how we as a collective community are becoming the main source of pollution and in end, our own destruction. I wanted to change people’s perceptions, not to disregard the singular pieces of rubbish floating around left by humans, but to look at it as a whole and make sense of pollution of consuming products. These series of photographs are associated with visual activism as it challenges the audience to think about what could be done to prevent the continuation of global pollution, to take the necessary action before time runs out for the growth of human waste and lastly the artwork involves label of corporations of products that uses packaging that is not eco-friendly, allowing audiences to pinpoint which companies are not concerned about the environment or planets well-being.

 

 

CREATIVE ARTWORK:

‘The Human Collection of Waste Street Gallery’

Jasmine Chin

7/6/2016

Reused A3 plain paper, ink, masking tape, vivid pen, rubbish and camera.

I have created a series of photographs of used trash that has been left on our streets. I spent 3 days picking up rubbish that pollutes our streets, grouped them into a collective pile to be photographed. The work promotes needed change in our environment to a wide ranged audience in an open art gallery, and how we as a collective community are becoming the main source of pollution and in end, our own destruction. I wanted to change people’s perceptions, not to disregard the singular pieces of rubbish floating around left by humans, but to look at it as a whole and make sense of pollution of consuming products.

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Works Cited:

 

 

WORKBOOK A3

WEEK 9 RESEARCH- activist projects, blogs of art/ design culture.

Information Gathering

Topic and Global Issues-

15 Major Current Environmental Problems

  1. Pollution: Pollution of air, water and soil require millions of years to recoup. Industry and motor vehicle exhaust are the number one pollutants. Heavy metals, nitrates and plastic are toxins responsible for pollution. While water pollution is caused by oil spill, acid rain, urban runoff; air pollution is caused by various gases and toxins released by industries and factories and combustion of fossil fuels; soil pollution is majorly caused by industrial waste that deprives soil from essential nutrients.
  2. Waste Disposal: The over consumption of resources and creation of plastics are creating a global crisis of waste disposal. Developed countries are notorious for producing an excessive amount of waste or garbage and dumping their waste in the oceans and, less developed countries. Nuclear waste disposal has tremendous health hazards associated with it. Plastic, fast food, packaging and cheap electronic wastes threaten the well being of humans. Waste disposal is one of urgent current environmental problem.
  3. Loss of Biodiversity: Human activity is leading to the extinction of species and habitats and and loss of bio-diversity. Eco systems, which took millions of years to perfect, are in danger when any species population is decimating. Balance of natural processes like pollination is crucial to the survival of the eco-system and human activity threatens the same. Another example is the destruction of coral reefs in the various oceans, which support the rich marine life.
  4. Ocean Acidification: It is a direct impact of excessive production of CO2. 25% of CO2 produced by humans. The ocean acidity has increased by the last 250 years but by 2100, it may shoot up by 150%. The main impact is on shellfish and plankton in the same way as human osteoporosis.
  5. Water Pollution: Clean drinking water is becoming a rare commodity. Water is becoming an economic and political issue as the human population fights for this resource. One of the options suggested is using the process of desalinization. Industrial development is filling our rivers seas and oceans with toxic pollutants which are a major threat to human health.

 

Research

Activist projects-

Activist groups-

  • https://freechild.org/youth-led-activism/- Youth led activists, training younger groups in the community about organising and advocacy to alter power relations and make and be the change that they want to see in the world that they live in.

Education — Simply becoming engaged in an issue is the first step towards youth-led activism. However, learning about the politics, economics and social effects of issues being protested are key, too. Youth activists can research, study and critique things central to their community organizing efforts.

Training — Learning about issues is not all youth activists need. Training can be essential for youth-led activists to be successful. They can learn the skills needed and tactics that are vital for successful for powerful short-term and long-term campaigns designed to change the world.

Inspiration — The reality of youth activism today is that there is a lot of inspiration. However, finding it can be challenging for children and youth, as few sources are brave enough to share powerful stories of youth changing the world. Youtube, select media, and many other sources may provide important stories youth can relate to. Also, in communities around the world its important to see what’s happened before, and many communities have hidden histories of youth-led activism.

 

Research Blogs

Activist blogs- http://rescue.neaq.org/ – environmentalists helping marine life from harmful pollutants in oceans and land.

 

Quotes from Mirzoeff chapter 7 and Afterword.

  • “skilful use of media to spread their concept of a politics”
  • “they saw changing media and politics as two parts of the same process”
  • “right to look and be seen online”
  • “used smart phones, graffiti, social media, demonstrations and occupations”
  • “Facebook did not cause the revolution, but allowed for the dissemination of information”
  • “people still had to act as a result of the information for there to be social change”
  • “it thinks with the audience rather than for them”- Mohammed Fahmy.
  • “as long as there’s a camera the revolution will continue”
  • “intended to cause the viewer to question what he or she sees”
  • “new global situation has changed and how change itself is now a key subject for anyone interested in the visual”

 

Mirzoeff believes:

  • That global digital culture is spreading
  • Meanings of combined representation are key to comprehending the era of globalisation (Representative- system of government elected to prevent others interest and how we see events and experience in medium formats)
  • Think about how the world is represented politically and visually or whether oligarchies fuelled on worldwide extensions will continue.
  • Movements were the start of global social media used to make people think about representation and social change.
  • Media has evolved worldwide, interconnectivity, news spreading widely. Revolution all thanks to the spread of information.
  • Social media has accelerated change in movements that were now noticed by public.
  • Media is the form that keeps us all connected, we are shown the representation of real life events.
  • Networking and young population that has led to revolution and sharing information.
  • Media expresses opinions, people and has broken away from past experiences.
  • It is more authentic to have each person tell their own story, individual opinions shown have a more unique and heavy influence.
  • Mainstream media is very influential worldwide, taking issues to a public stage.
  • Visual culture is a bridge linking past and present, everyday visual involvement.
  • Issues in our world have only been made important by/ through our engagement and participation in adding news and spreading it throughout the media.
  • Media has the power to transcend messages, however can be misinterpreted.
  • Once we understand what is happening in our world, ten are we able to take small steps to begin the change that we would like to see.

 

Glossary:

  • Representative- system of government elected to prevent others interest and how we see events and experience in medium formats.
  • Oligarchies- government where power/ dominance is only given to a few.
  • Dissemination- spreading to a wide extent.
  • Catalysed- acceleration of change.

 

 

WEEK 10

  • (Toxic- low income nations, sold, exported, dumped, China/ Ghana, social and health issues. Industrial- fracking/ pumping; mix of chemicals into the ground to release gas; little government enforcement of regulations, China has the capacity to change, BP oil spill 2012. Consumer waste- ‘out of sight, out of mind’) tutorial group, Lyn Ciochetto powerpoint)
  • RESEARCH- Investigate different forms of visual activism and thinking, protests, acts of disrupting governments or corporations. Possible drawings and ideas for your creative artwork, process and construction.

Visual activism:

“I’m not interested in filming the violence and the weapons, you see that enough in the media, what I want to show is the incredible life and energy”. French street artist JR encouraging people to print and paste their image in public spaces around the world, with the help of the community in Israel, he managed to cover a whole hill of portraits of families who had lost people they knew to human trafficking. “It’s people’s curiosity that motivates them to come into the projects.” “art is not supposed to change the world, practical things, but to change perceptions, art can change the way we see the world, art is a neutral place for exchanges and discussions and then enables you to change the world”

 

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’28 Millimeters, Women Are Heroes’ in Rio de Janeiro in 2008

http://nikolasbadminton.com/the-hobo-code-propaganda-visual-activism/. 2015.

 

The common claim of these and other projects is to be able to change the world by making both the world as it is and the change has it happens visible: in everyday life (definitely on the street yet increasingly also on the web it seems). Whether or not successful in achieving the specific aims of each project, they give an example of the visual arts’ possibilities – and growing confidence – for making their voice seen in creative local and trans-local (urban) interventions. Yet the strong focus on images of this kind of visual ‘street politics’ also attracts criticism routed in the concern that the social dimensions of life, space and politics are too fast and too easily thrown overboard pursuing streamline communication design and maximum media impact.

Glossary-

  • Visual activism- using art/ design and other visual forms to act in support of opposition to one side of any controversial issue in society.
  • Citizenship- being an individual residing and belonging to a particular country.
  • Change agents- a person who assists in the transformation of an organisation, helping to improve and develop.
  • Cultural critics- reason why the cultural product is of such value stretches across a wide variety of disciplines.
  • Protest- statement or action against something they do not support or believe in.
  • Resistance- refusing to accept or submit to or with something.

 

 

 

 

  • CONTEXT: (Toxic- low income nations, sold, exported, dumped, China/ Ghana, social and health issues.
  • Industrial- fracking/ pumping; mix of chemicals into the ground to release gas; little government enforcement of regulations, China has the capacity to change, BP oil spill 2012.
  • Consumer waste- ‘out of sight, out of mind’) tutorial group, Lyn Ciochetto powerpoint)

 

From longstanding to emerging hazards, environmental factors are a root cause of a significant burden of death, disease and disability – particularly in developing countries.

Already in many developing countries a range of toxic effluents is emitted directly into soil, air and water – from industrial processes, pulp and paper plants, tanning operations, mining, and unsustainable forms of agriculture – at rates well in excess of those tolerable to human health. Along with the problem of acute poisonings, the cumulative health impacts of human exposures to various chemical combinations and toxins can be a factor in a range of chronic health conditions and diseases

The health impacts of environmental risks are heaviest among poor and vulnerable populations in developing countries. For instance, poor coastal populations in developing countries may be among the most vulnerable to sea-level rises and extreme weather events. The poor in developing countries generally have the least access to clean water sources, and those same populations also may be the most directly exposed to environmental risks such as vector-borne diseases and indoor air pollution from solid fuel use. At the same time, poor people also may be the most dependent on natural resources as sources of livelihoods and well-being, and thus be most impacted by unsustainable exploitation or depletion of those resources

http://www.who.int/heli/risks/ehindevcoun/en/

 

  • PROTESTS: Investigate different forms of visual activism and thinking, protests, acts of disrupting governments or corporations. Possible drawings and ideas for your creative artwork, process and construction.

 

 

WEEK 11

  • Explore how artists/ designers and creative producers perform their role as cultural critics and agents of change through a process of visual and textual research.
  • RESEARCH- artists/ designers that respond in protest, imaging different futures. (2 books, 1 academic site), artists/ designers involved in issue. Artists/ designers and creative works in relation to the issue, same visual strategies as your own?

 

  • Glossary-

Agency- action causing a particular effect.

Social responsibility- ethical framework for individuals to perform, playing their part in our economy and social lifestyle.

Transformative practices-

 

On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.

For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.

http://chrisjordan.com/gallery/midway/#about

 

There was no beauty in the oil rig’s explosion. Nor in the deaths of eleven men, and the torrent of crude oil that gushed into the Atlantic. But catastrophe often inspires culture. In the weeks and months that followed, an international cadre of artists (and pranksters) skewered BP in city streets and pristine white walls of gallery spaces. Some of their efforts were simplistic agitprop — uncomfortably close to an Aldous Snow music video — but many qualify as genuine creative accomplishments.

Most infamously, for the August issue of Vogue Italia, Steven Meisel photographed models wrapped in darkened garments, overwrought with grief, lying across blackened beaches plagued with dead wildlife. The series, which seemed to invite controversy for the sake of controversy, caused more outrage and grief than it soothed.

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a8407/bp-oil-spill-artwork-090910/

 

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This photo of an albatross chicks was taken in September 2009 on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in this photograph was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged or altered in any way. This image depicts the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2,000 miles from the nearest continent. Photo by Chris Jordan – http://chrisjordan.com.

 

Plastic pollution off the northwest coast of North America is reaching the level of the notoriously polluted North Sea, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

 

The study, published online in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, examined stomach contents of beached northern fulmars on the coasts of British Columbia, Canada and the states of Washington and Oregon.

 

“Like the canary in the coal mine, northern fulmars are sentinels of plastic pollution in our oceans,” says Stephanie Avery-Gomm, the study’s lead author and a graduate student in UBC’s Department of Zoology. “Their stomach content provides a ‘snapshot’ sample of plastic pollution from a large area of the northern Pacific Ocean.”

 

Northern fulmars forage exclusively at sea and retain ingested plastics for a long period of time, making them ideal indicators for marine littering. Analysis of beached fulmars has been used to monitor plastic pollution in the North Sea since the 1980s. The latest findings, when compared to previous similar studies, indicate a substantial increase in plastic pollution over the past four decades.

 

 

 

 

 

The research group performed necropsies on 67 beached northern fulmars and found that 92.5 percent had plastics—such as twine, Styrofoam and candy wrappers—in their stomachs. An average of 36.8 pieces per bird were found. The average total weight of plastic was 0.385 grams per bird. One bird was found with 454 pieces of plastic in its stomach.

 

“The average adult northern fulmar weighs five pounds, or 2.25 kilograms,” says Avery-Gomm. “While 0.385 grams in a bird may seem inconsequential to us, it’s the equivalent of about five percent of their body mass. It would be like a human carrying 50 grams of plastic in our stomach—about the weight of 10 quarters.”

 

“Despite the close proximity of the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch,’ an area of concentrated plastic pollution in the middle of the North Pacific gyre, plastic pollution has not been considered an issue of concern off our coast,” says Avery-Gomm. “But we’ve found similar amounts and incident rates of plastic in beached northern fulmars here as those in the North Sea. This indicates it is an issue which warrants further study.”

 

The researchers propose annual monitoring of trends in plastic pollution and the effectiveness of marine waste reduction strategies.

 

“Beached bird surveys are providing important clues about causes and patterns of sea bird mortality from oil spill impacts, fisheries by-catch and now plastic ingestion,” says co-author Karen Barry with Bird Studies Canada, a not-for profit organization that helped facilitate the study.

 

http://ecowatch.com/2012/07/09/marine-litter-birds/

 

 

  • Explore how artists/ designers and creative producers perform their role as cultural critics and agents of change through a process of visual and textual research.
  • RESEARCH- artists/ designers that respond in protest, imaging different futures. (2 books, 1 academic site), artists/ designers involved in issue. Artists/ designers and creative works in relation to the issue, same visual strategies as your own?

 

 

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http://hyperallergic.com/214959/liberate-tate-annotates-tate-moderns-turbine-hall-in-25-hour-guerrilla-protest/

 

 

“We all benefit from corporate sponsorship of the arts. Without corporate sponsorship we wouldn’t have buildings like this, because the government doesn’t give enough,” she said. “I think it’s very difficult where you draw the line about which company is acceptable.”

Glen Tarman, a member of the Liberate Tate movement since its inception, said: “Art museums are places where we make sense of the world. We make meaning from our lives and they contain what we most value. We shouldn’t be complicit in climate change just because we appreciate great art.”

He said the group was increasing its calls for the Tate to drop BP’s sponsorship because the deal was due to expire in 2016. He said the growing divestment movement, which has seen the Rockefeller Foundation, the Church of England and dozens of universities drop fossil fuel investments, was an example of the mounting view that public institutions should not be tied to the companies that drive climate change.

 

Many visitors to the Tate Modern were initially unaware that the performance was unsanctioned. Frances O’Neill, an artist, said she had viewed the work from the balcony above and, without knowing it was a protest was nonetheless “really, really moved”.

“I was just mesmerised by the visuals of it. I didn’t know what they were writing, I just got filled with a deep sadness,” she said. Once she read the interpretation signs laid out by the group she said she was supportive of the action.

“Someone’s got to do these sort of things. Someone’s got to say our planet’s being damaged. It may not be sponsored [by the Tate], but they are doing what the Tate does,” she said.

Another visitor, Audrey Valentine, said she thought it was wonderful the Tate was allowing the protest to unfold, but she that she did not agree with its message. “If these big boys didn’t do these things, are you suggesting that government should pay? They should put some money back,” she said.

Liberate Tate’s campaign against the Tate’s relationship with BP is part of a wider drive to rid the art world of oil patronage. The British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and National Theatre are among many major UK cultural institutions that receive support from fossil fuel companies.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/sep/03/art-not-oil-plan-protest-british-museum

 

 

 

More than a dozen rivers across France have all had the same green flow as “an alarm signal”, reports Le Figaro newspaper.

The conservationists wanted to make the point that resources to the sector had plummeted by 10%. This showed that ecology was down the government’s priority list.

A spokesman said they sought to alert people on the need to strengthen and preserve the environment.

The Environmental Inspector at ONEMA, Yannick Pognart, told the Local that currently it was “very à la mode” as they tried to accomplish more missions with less and less means to do so.

The group says the ministers should put a real public service environment in operation.

At present preserving biodiversity largely depended on 20 public sector workers in each department. However a new public service needs a proper workforce and budget, estimated to be over €200 million.

The group said they used a totally harmless colorant called fluorescein to show the patch pollution takes in rivers. They claimed that while the green colour looked very strong visually, it was totally safe. “They fish didn’t even notice,” they claimed.

The dye is often used to trace water flow in smaller doses but it was not toxic in any way to marine life, they stressed.

 
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2016/04/28/rivers-france-green-environment/#ixzz4ArTsXP9Q

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 12

  • RESEARCH- other existing creative work, variety of open media protest/ resistance to subtle responses.