Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The World's Worst Industrial Disaster - Precis

The World's Worst Industrial Disaster is about the industrial disaster that happened in Bhopal in 1984. 15,000 people died by deadly methyl isocyanate gas from the manufacture of the pesticide, Sevin. The deadly gas affected not only human beings, but the water, the soil, the plants and animals, and even in the breast milk of nursing mothers. Today, a large number of people are still suffering from the effects of disaster.

This article reminds me of the industrial disaster that happened in Japan, in 1950s. In 1950s, Minamata disease happened. A factory dumped untreated water waste to river. Because of the water waste, the ocean and the fish around the area was polluted. The people who ate the poisoned fish fot the disease, and thousands of people died. Even now, a lot of people are still suffering from the effects.

Environmental pollution seems as if it happens in only certain places; however, we do not have a certain borderline for the environment as we do nations. That means environmental pollution could be spread through out world. For example, I read the news on internet which said that some pollution that is caused in China came to Japan by the westerlies, a kind of wind.

In all nations, pollution is often made in a process of development and industrialization. We have tried to make a lot of things to live easily; such as cars, factories, and so on, but we also have made various pollutions in exchange for our comfortableness.

"Pollution likely affects over a billion people around the world, with millions poisoned and killed each year. The World Health Organization estimates that 25 perscent of all deaths in the developing world are directly attributable to environmental factor" (Pollution Facts)

I believe that we are still making a lot of toxic things while producing produts even though a lot of people are experiencing scary diseases from pollution. Pollution affects not only one place, but the world. We must grapple with the problem of the pollution, and we have to find a solution as soon as possible.

What is EcoArt?

What Is EcoArt?
Some notes on how environmental issues combine with art

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbMEemyS9aw Eco art parade 2009 (Eagle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCjOjArzf7o Eco Art village Israel 2008-part2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGQgfyew-0c Eco Art Project by Nataly Cnyrim kimmel

What is Eco-Art?

Eco-art is a fresh movement led by artists seeking to explore, address and heal our relationship to Nature. Our work has an agenda, it is activist and can make a difference. We use the spectrum of artistic tools, media and materials to bridge community and often collaborate with non artist partners. Our work remediates polluted sites, creates awareness of regional and global crises, engages local citizens in community issues, protects fragile ecologies and encourages changed or improved behavior.

Eco-art is not the Land Art of Robert Smithson or Michael Heizer; the landscape is not a canvas to be bulldozed or cut up for an outside-of-the-gallery aesthetic. Eco-art is created in harmony with the ecosystem with sensitivity to its environmental impact, implications, choice of materials and outcomes. Eco-art is Ana Mendietta's Silueta Series, Mel Chin's Revival Field, Newton & Helen Meyer Harrison's Future Garden Part 1: The Endangered Meadows of Europe.

From the Greenmuseum's website, a definition that I agree with:

In a general sense, [Eco-art] is art that helps improve our relationship with the natural world. There is no definition set in stone. This living worldwide movement is growing and changing as you read this. Much environmental art is ephemeral, designed for a particular place (site-specific) and involves collaborations between artists and others such as scientists, educators and community groups.

See "A Brief Introduction" by Clive Adams of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World.

Some environmental art:

    1. Interprets nature, creating artworks that inform us about nature and its processes, or about environmental problems we face

    2. Is concerned with environmental forces and materials, creating artworks affected or powered by wind, water, lightning, even earthquakes

    3. Re-envisions our relationship to nature, proposing through their work new ways for us to co-exist with our environment

    4. Reclaims and remediates damaged environments, restoring ecosystems in artistic and often aesthetic ways

An artist statement:

In our modern world advanced by technology, experience of the real is often mediated by the virtual: television, movies or email. With the globalization of economies, widespread and ferocious industrialization, rapidity of communication and commerce and the shift to hypo-real lifestyles, the very nature of our lives have changed. Work entails the exchange of information. Leisure is often sedentary and indoor. And agriculture is managed by a distant corporation. Nature has become an abstract concept; something that we see through a car window, passing at 55 mph.

Society has become disconnected from Nature—the very source of life. The ecosystem that we rely upon for our survival, we poison without second thought. As cultural disconnection from Nature continues to develop, it has become imperative that Nature in art and art in Nature provide a connection to the power and meaning of life. By re-instilling a respect for all life (which does not necessitate an avoidance of death, but an honoring of all life that we consume) and respect for the earth’s resources (which means using fully that which we take and not taking more than we need), we can reestablish a harmonious relationship to Nature and enjoy lives of greater comfort, peace and health.

It has been the responsibility of artists to mirror society, to challenge accepted thinking and to provide a critical voice. I intend works such as Nature Viewers, Found Poster Series and Nature: a Five Mile Drive, to challenge our relationship to Nature and its resources. I challenge us to take responsibility for our actions, regardless of comfort and convenience, because we must. In these works, Nature is the medium conceptually and physically. By creating art that places the body in a new, sensual relationship to the work, Eco-artists re-insert the body into Nature, seeking to reestablish Man as part of Nature—no longer removed from it. Through my work, I ask for recognition of your own physical presence and connection to the land, our complicity in these specific situations and our interconnectivity to the entirety of life. While this can be appreciated through documentation of my own and other Eco-artists’ work, I encourage you to also explore the work of Nature in Nature with the sun on your face and the wind at your back.

Tim Gaudreau


Monday, May 03, 2010

"The Death of Enviormentalism" -precis

The controversially titled article Death of the Environment, is a result of 25 interviews with environmental leaders by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus. The two authors discuss how current environmentalist are loosing momentum toward saving the environment amid political interest, the need to reframe is crucial in order to attract popular support. The text begins by listing the number of influential environmental laws that were achieved in the 60’s and 70’s. Shellenberger and Nordhaus then contrast our current environmental movement and the lack of wins we have experienced. The first noted problems are the ways in which the environment is treated as a “thing” to be protected, and how the three-part strategic framework for environmental policy making hasn’t changed in almost 40 years:

1) Define a problem (e.g global warming) as ‘environmental'

2) Craft a technical remedy (e.g., cap-and-trade).

3) Sell the technical proposal to legislators through a variety of tactics, such as lobbying. Third-party allies, research reports, advertising, and public relations.

Environmental leaders use a set of tactics that focus more on better wording and imagery to reframe global warming, by not using words like warming or change. Thus, trying to find solution through propaganda strategies, alliances, and technological advancements (e.g. Hybrid cars and fluorescent lights), leading to the conclusion that our problem should be structured as environmental. What needs to change is how environmentalist can benefit non-environmentalist instead of the other way around.

Currently, there is a distinct separation between the environment and humans. The environment is regarded as a separate "thing" from humans who are superior from the “natural world.” However, the dichotomy, which the authors note, is that global warming is a human-made phenomenon and hundreds of millions of humans may be killed over the next century due to global warming issues. This mentality creates the illusion that as humans, as environmentalist, we are representatives and defenders of this “thing” instead of a part of the environment.

A legislative defeat can be seen as a win or loss, depending on the increase or decrease of the “movement’s power, energy, and influence over the long-term.” Rio, CAFÉ, and McCain-Leiberman were seen as losses due to the environmentalist belief that the win would only occur if the legislation was successful. In order for the defeat to be considered a win some sort of momentum needs to be created to secure future legislation to pass. Shellenberger and Nordhaus end by claiming that the movement has become a failure coasting on decades-old successes, the void of new ideas, made complacent by easy funding, narrowly defining and environmental problems. If environmentalist want to be more than a special interest group they must restructure the proposals to offer the American people an expansive, inspiring, values-based vision.