Longitudes

Longitudes cuts across Latitudes’ projects and research with news, updates, and reportage.

Cover Story – December 2016: Ten years ago – Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook


The December Monthly Cover Story is now up on www.lttds.org after this month it will be archived here

"The publication Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook is ten years old. Commissioned by the Arts & Ecology programme of The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA), in partnership with Arts Council England, this book was one of Latitudes’s first projects. Through the inspirational contributions of people as varied as Lucy Lippard, Stephanie Smith, Amy Balkin, or the late Wangari Maathai – to mention just a few – the compendium charted the twin legacies of Land Art and the environmental movement while proposing how the critical acuity of art might remain relevant in the face of the dramatic ecological consequences of human activity. The research and reflection involved set Latitudes on a course that led to several further projects engaging with ecology, explicitly or otherwise." Continue reading...

Cover Stories' are published on a monthly basis on Latitudes' homepage and feature past, present or forthcoming projects, research, exhibitions and field trips related to our activities.  

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Sharjah Biennial 8 (2007) part 2 publication with transcripts of the 3-day conference organised by Latitudes and the RSA, London

Catalogue 'Sharjah Biennial 8 – Part II'

'Sharjah Biennial 8. Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change (Part II)'
568 pages, 233 x 165 mm, softcover 350g. Art Matt Card

Paper: 80g. offset wood free and 135 g. Art Matt

Publisher: Sharjah Biennial

ISBN 978-9948-04-328-6 Part II

  
The recently published catalogue of the Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates [25º 22’N, 55º 24’E] titled 'Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change (Part II)' which includes installation shots of the exhibition as well as transcripts of the 3-day conference Latitudes organised in collaboration with the Royal Society of Art's Arts & Ecology programme (today the RSA Arts and Ecology Centre) back in April 2007 (+ info).

The symposium
(images here) considered today’s uses and abuses of the ‘eco-’, notions of artistic agency and critical practice, as well as the role of the public realm in today’s artistic and institutional practices. How has it become fashionable (or profitable) to be seen to be eco? How has what we mean by ecology been transformed and evolved through the uses of terms such as ‘environmental’, ‘green’, ‘ethical living’, and so on?; How do some artists desire palliative results, while others offer strategies of friction or resistance? How far are the sources of materials a consideration for artists, designers and architects? And how does this relate to wider questions of resources—water, energy, oil in the Emirate and beyond?

The symposium included focused presentations by keynote speakers such as Bruce Sterling (read his paper here), critical panels with participating artists Sergio Vega or Peter Fend as well as Van Abbemuseum director Charles Esche, or Smart Museum's
Curator of Contemporary Art Stephanie Smith as well as breakout seminars with participating artists Tomás Saraceno and Michael Rakowitz.

You can download the symposium programme, exhibition guide and view press-related materials in this archive.
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Looking back – 2008 "Annual Report"


Looking back at the past year is a infectious exercise at this point in the calendar. We would like to thank everyone that has visited or taken part in our projects, from the small ones to the 3 year-long collaborations, whether from nearby or far away.

Our 2008 began as intense preparations were well underway for the group exhibition 'Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities' at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (29.02 –18.05.2008) co-curated with Ilaria Bonacossa. 'Greenwashing...' presented the work of 25 artists and artists groups (11 of those produced new work). A 192 page catalogue was published by The Bookmakers Ed., Turin – you can buy a copy here (English/Italian editions).

Following 'Greenwashing...' we presented 'A Stake in the Mud, A Hole in the Reel: Land Art's Expanded Field 1968–2008', a film and video programme curated at the invitation of the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City that later toured to 8 venues between April and October: MARCO, Vigo; Stadtkino (Kunsthalle Basel), Basel, Switzerland; CAAC, Sevilla; Fundació Suñol, Barcelona; Barn Hongersdijk Farmstead, Wilhelminapolder, The Netherlands; Spike Island, Bristol, United Kingdom; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles. For further information you can read an essay in the Winter 2008-9 (upcoming) issue of Art & Co magazine or download press articles and programmes here.

Before the end of the summer we were part of the jury for the Premi Miquel Casablancas, an award for Spanish artists under 36. From around 200 portfolios and projects submitted Latitudes, together with Aimar Arriola, selected four artists to participate in the exhibition later in the year: ‘La, la, la, la: on winning and losing’ (29.11.2008 – 10.01.2009).

The summer was filled with more research and work to be done, which was carried out thanks to the support and hospitality of the Deutsche Börse Residency Programme, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany.

The 2008-9 season began with the exciting realisation of 'The Crest of a Wave’, a four-part project by Lawrence Weiner at Fundació Suñol, Barcelona (08.10 – 15.11.08) that had a great press, radio, specialised media and TV coverage (see post 12 November); followed by the conclusion of the 3 year-long public commission by Tue Greenfort which was presented in a discrete mode alongside his Frieze Art Fair project (16-19 October). This commission was an initiative of the RSA Arts & Ecology programme, London, which has recently become the Arts & Ecology center. Soon there will be a small publication gathering the history of the commission as well visual documentation of the project.

In November, as part of Artissima 15 Latitudes presented 'X, Y, etc!', a video programme comprised of around 40 works that was inspired by Charles Fort's research methodology, the paranormal and anomalous phenomena, the uncanny and the unexplained.

And now looking a little towards what's to come in 2009 ... since May 2008 (see previous posts here and here) we have been working on 'Portscapes', a series of artists’ projects that will take place throughout 2009 alongside the construction of ‘Maasvlakte 2’, a 1,000 hectare area of reclaimed land that will extend the Port of Rotterdam, Europe's largest seaport and industrial area. Mirroring a port's function of transit and exchange 'Portscapes' will involve Rotterdam-based artists and those from countries including China, Austria, Mexico, Scotland and the US, with the aim of considering the physical and conceptual implications of the new lands of Maasvlakte 2, as well as the city-port as a distributive network across artistic, marine and mercantile registers. 'Portscapes' will be introduced during Art Rotterdam (5–8 February 2009) by a small ‘prologue’ publication designed by Ben Laloua / Didier Pascal.

Throughout 2008 we have also contributed several catalogue essays, articles, exhibition reviews, artists profiles, etc. a selection of which can be downloaded from our writing archive.

Happy New Year!
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Lara Almarcegui's Wastelands

Last weekend we visited 2 of Lara Almárcegui's wastelands. One in the Rotterdam harbour (www.braakliggendterrein.nl) and the other one in Genk, Belgium. The Rotterdam wasteland (first 4 pictures) has remained untouched since 2003 and will be kept until 2018. The Genk wasteland's dates are 2004-2014 (following 12 images).



"Lara Almárcegui's work often explores neglected or overlooked sites, carefully cataloguing and highlighting each location's tendency towards entropy. Her projects have ranged from a guide to the wastelands of Amsterdam to the display, in their raw form, of the materials used to construct the galleries in which she shows. Her works are simple actions that belie the vast research process which she undertakes to achieve them." (Frieze Projects, 2006)
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Tue Greenfort & Piotr Uklanski, Secession, Vienna

Tue Greenfort & Piotr Uklanski, Secession, Vienna

Piotr Uklanski 'A Retrospective' (main space) and Tue Greenfort's 'Medusa' (upper and lower galleries) at the Secession, Vienna, 20 September–18 November 2007.

All images: Latitudes | www.lttds.org
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'LAND, ART...' publication reviewed in Frieze



 Brian Dillon reviews LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook in the summer issue (#108) of Frieze, devoted to ecology. Read the article online.

In that same issue, there is also a feature article by Latitudes' Max Andrews entitled 'The Whole Truth' featuring the work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller, Maria Thereza Alves, among others.

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Sharjah Biennial 8 - part 1

‘Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change’
Sharjah Biennial 8, 4 April – 4 June 2007
Symposium: 5–7 April 2007
Venue: Expo Centre, Sharjah
Symposium Organisers: Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna (Latitudes, Barcelona)
Michaela Crimmin (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce, RSA, London)
Roderick Grant (American University of Sharjah, AUS)
Amir Berbic (American University of Sharjah, AUS)
Tarek Talat Al-Ghoussein (American University of Sharjah, AUS)
Jeremy Bendik-Keymer (American University of Sharjah, AUS)

Symposium Coordinator in Sharjah: Sharon Ahimaz (Sharjah Biennial team)

Offset of 70 tonnes of Carbon.
The conference language is English.

The Symposium, which forms part of the Sharjah Biennial, aims to explore specific aspects of the relationship between culture and ecology - not least the challenges and the contradictions. The event will profile the extraordinary work taking place in architecture, the visual arts, across new technologies, in design and on screen. Discussions will involve artists, academics and students, architects and designers, people living locally and a number of key contributors from other continents. It draws from and will build on previous discourse - capturing the perspectives of people who are addressing ecological issues on a daily basis. The Symposium bravely takes place in a country which is prepared to look to the future and the changes we are all going to have to make.

THURSDAY 5 April

9.30 – 10am: Refreshments and Orientation
10 – 10.15am: Welcome by Jack Persekian (Artistic Director SB8) and Michaela Crimmin(Director RSA Arts and Ecology).

10.15 – 10.45am: Keynote speaker: ‘Ecology and the Politics of Change’, Bruce Sterling, Author, journalist, editor and critic, Texas and Serbia.

10.45 – 12.00: Panel Discussion: The lure of the 'eco'
Eco-art, eco-fashion, eco-tourism, eco-politics, eco-activism, eco-village ... In almost every aspect of how and where we live, work and play, the eco has embedded itself. How has what we mean by ecology transformed and evolved through the practice of everyday life?

Panelists:
Sarah Rich (Managing Editor, Worldchanging and inhabitat.com, a weblog covering sustainable design and green building, Seattle)
Sergio Vega (Artist, Gainesville; participating in Sharjah Biennial 8)
Siobhan Leyden (producer and presenter of the daily talk show ‘Siobhan Live’ on Dubai Eye radio, 103.8 FM)
Stephanie Mahmoud (Marketing and Management student, AUS)
Chair: Jeremy Bendik-Keymer (Philosophy teacher in the Department of International Studies, AUS)

12 - 12.45pm: Film Programme Excerpt: Riverglass: A River Ballet in Four Seasons. Andrej Zdravic, 1997 (41 mins)
"Riverglass presents the 'materiality' of the river Soca. A symbol of importance in Slovenian culture, the film presents the force and clarity of the water from the point of view of the river itself, a Gaian perspective possibly. In its content and development of specialist filming equipment it recalls other film-makers landscape interventions (for instance Michael Snow's La Region Centrale (1970) or Robert Beaver's The Stoas, (1991-97)." – Mark Nash

12.45 – 2 pm: Lunch Break

1.45 – 3.00pm: Parallel Seminars:

I. Emergencies and Risk
What is the role of architects, designers and artists concerning housing and communities? With increasing pressure on resources and space, and an increasingly volatile political climate how can we move from coping with aftermaths to try to mitigate risk before crises? Can design and architecture be a political act?

Susi Platt (Architecture for Humanity's leading post-Tsunami reconstruction designer, Sri Lanka)
Michael Rakowitz (Artist, New York; participating in Sharjah Biennial 8)
Moderator: Mehdi Sabet (Associate Professor, Architecture & Interior Design, School of Architecture and Design, AUS)

II. Resources: Truth and Materials
How far are recycled or sustainable materials a consideration for artists, designers and architects? How do such considerations affect our experience/percepetion of materiality in art and the built environment? And how does this relate to wider questions of resources—water, energy, etc.?

Mona El Mousfi (Sharjah Biennial architect and Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Design, AUS)
Tomás Saraceno (Artist and architect, Frankfurt; participating in Sharjah Biennial 8)

3.00 –3.30pm: Coffee Break

3.30 – 4.15pm: Feedback and Group Discussion

4.15 – 5.15pm: In Conversation. ‘Kumar Shahani: Politics and the ecology of change’
Mark Nash (curator of Sharjah Biennial 8 film programme; Director of the MA Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art, London) and Geeta Kapur (Critic and Curator, New Delhi, and member of the Jury for the 2007 Sharjah Biennial 8 Art Prize) in conversation about the work of Indian filmmaker Kumar Shahani.

7.00 – 7.45pm: Presentation by OMA/ Rem Koolhaas, Reinier De Graaf at Qanat Al Qasba

8.00pm: Film Programme Excerpt held at Qanat Al Qasba: The Form of the palace of Matsumae-kun’s Brothers 1, 1988 - Oki Hiroyuki – (17 min)

8.30pm: Film Programme Excerpt held at Qanat Al Qasba: The Char Adhyay, 1997 - Kumar Shahani – (110min)

FRIDAY 6 April

Welcome by Michaela Crimmin, RSA Arts and Ecology Director, London

4 – 5.30pm: Panel discussion: Offsetting / Upsetting. 'Art vs. issues'
Much work in the field of art and ecology has emerged in the field of remedial actions in industrial sites. Today carbon trading and offsetting are, more abstractly, being proposed as a way of restoring the balance of the atmosphere. How might these two motions be linked? How or should the work of some artists might generally be regarded as a form of offsetting or redressing? How do some artists desire tangible palliative results, while others offer strategies of friction or resistance? What is more important, the issues or the art?

Panelists:
Koyo Kouoh (Cultural producer, Arts Manager and Programming Consultant, Dakar)
Peter Fend (Artist, Berlin; participating in Sharjah Biennial 8)
Charles Esche (Director, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and member of the Jury for the 2007 Sharjah Biennial 8 Art Prize)
Chair: Stephanie Smith (Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Curator of Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago)

5.30 – 6pm: Break
6 – 7pm: Jonathan Watkins (Co-curator, Sharjah Biennial 8 and Director Ikon Gallery, Birmingham) and Cornelia Parker (Artist, London; participating in Sharjah Biennial 8) to introduce Parker's project for Sharjah Biennial 8: Video interview with Noam Chomsky
Followed by Q+A from the audience.

7.30pm: Film Programme Excerpt held at Qanat Al Qasba: Darwin's Nightmare, Hubert Sauper, 2004 (107 min),

SATURDAY 7 April

4.30pm: Welcome back by Michaela Crimmin, RSA Arts and Ecology Director, London

4.30 – 5.30pm: Artists' presentation: e-Xplo with Ayreen Anastas (Artists US/Austria; participating in Sharjah Biennial 8)

5.30 – 7pm: Panel discussion: Urban Planning and the future city.
What is the future of the city as a habitat for humanity? Increasingly dense housing, commercial, cultural, infrastructural and civic spaces seem to contradict our desire for space, openness and freedom. What lies ahead for the city as a living, symbiotic form of inanimate structure and animate inhabitants?

Panelists:
Samir Srouji (Artist, Palestine; participating in Sharjah Biennial 8)
Rula Sadik (General Manager, Design and Planning, The Design Group, Nakheel, Dubai)
Samer Kamal (Founder, Bee’ah, Sharjah Environmental Company, Sharjah)
Chair: George Katodrytis (Architect; Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture and Design, Professor of Architecture, AUS)

7.30pm: Film Programme Excerpt held at Qanat Al Qasba: The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk, 2006 (112 min)
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Jeremy Deller's Bat House Project

Jeremy Deller's Bat House Project first Design Challenge deadline is January 29th:

"London - iconic buildings and bridges, the river, nightlife, commuting, astronomical house prices. Imagine you’re a bat in London. Where do you hang out? What do you see, feel, hear, eat, need? What attracts you? What gets in your way?"

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Photos of the launch of the publication 'LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook' at the LCE, London

 All images: Latitudes | www.lttds.org
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Photos of the publication 'LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook' (RSA, 2006)

The 'LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook' publication is finally real! Coming soon are images of the reception at the London School of Economics and Political Science last Tuesday. The book was launched by the UK's Culture Minister David Lammy during the No Way Back? conference that morning. 

You can purchase the book direct from the distributor's Cornerhouse here, or from amazon here.


All photos: Robert Justamante. Courtesy: Latitudes | www.lttds.org
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