News Archive 2012


21-23 December, 2012

Invitation to a Dialogue on Learning: Why children make toys & Why children play
Pune, India

An interesting experiment is happening in a small school near Pune, India, at the Sadhana school. The teachers are being re-oriented to become learners, so that they understand how a child learns naturally and understand how their own true learning has taken place. They are re examining how a child learns and what the child learns.
This is an invitation to a dialogue on learning, play and toys: exploring the reason why children play and why the toys adults make disorient the children's natural learning process. We are inviting people who are interested in a fresh and first hand inquiry to understand how play and cognitive development are connected in making sense of the world. One of the things we are keen is to understand how children use mathematical and science principles in their play and making of toys. How they develop their sense of order and beauty etc. We at Sadhana village school has been exploring to provide a free environment for children to make sense of their world. We have been documenting various things children do. We, adults have termed it as play which is not considered as learning. Learning for us is when children have a book in their hand; it is connected with words. As we have been observing and documenting children from last year onwards some of these aspects are being challenged. Children also make their toys as they play and there is a strong connection in everything they do.There is nothing random about why they do what they do.

From June 2011, the adult members of the Sadhana village school have been documenting children. Apart from videos they have also been documenting their conversations and images on what children make. They have created an environment of freedom so that children could do what they feel like. They have not provided any toys nor the so called educational toys.There were very important lessons that they learned from this experience. Based on this they held a samvaad in April 2012 on ‘What children learn naturally’. This exploration is helping them to re-examine the content or the so-called curricula. And now they are planning another one on ‘Why children play and what toys children make’ in December 21-23 in Pune.
They will be uploading a few videos in the sadhana village Facebook page. They are also keen to work with schools that are keen to make their 'teachers' in to 'learners'. They would like to initiate common sense research among teachers to understand children first-hand rather than believing in theories of Montessori, Steiner, Piaget, Vygotsky, Dewey, etc. This is not to challenge any of these great people work but to pay homage to them by being authentic ourselves.

Jinan/ Ranjana

25 November - 21 December, 2012

Kathmandu International Art Festival 2012: Earth|Body|Mind
Kathmandu, Nepal

The Siddhartha Arts Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2nd Kathmandu International Art Festival will take place from November 25 to December 21, 2012. Titled ‘Earth|Body|Mind’, the Festival is dedicated to one of the most critical issues of the 21st century – climate change.

Climate change is not an isolated phenomenon. It is happening globally and similarly, action is needed globally, down from the grassroots level up to the policy makers of a nation. As a critical creative form, art provides a platform for the society to think, analyze and reason. Artists, therefore, are in a unique position to highlight problems of climate change, generate awareness and create dialogues in the public through their artworks.
We invite national and international artists and curators to partake in this event, to create and establish a much-needed global social change.

KIAF is the biggest art event held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Organized by Siddhartha Art Gallery, the first non-profit Festival was held from October 30 to November 10, 2009.
111 artists from 25 countries showcased their visual interpretations on the Festival’s theme ‘Separating Myth from Reality – Status of Women’. Attended by over 5000 visitors in 6 venues, the event was described by the Mondriaan Foundation ‘an extraordinary project’ and as ‘dawn of a new era’ by national daily The Himalayan Times.

office: 977-1-4438979


3-5 December, 2012

Global Exhibit Forum 2012
Visby, Gotland, Sweden

The Global Exhibit Forum is Sweden’s largest conference and prime meeting place for professionals working with the exhibition medium. The conference takes place in the premises of Swedish Exhibition Agency on the island of Gotland in December 2012. The programme containes more than 60 lectures and workshops focused on everything from new technology, audience involvement, marketing and contemporary art to trend-spotting for future exhibitions and global perspectives.

Do We Have to Go In in Order to Come Out?

14:00 – 14:45 (T47, Swedish; followed by panel discussion at 15:00, event T48)
On the Relationship Between Exhibitions and Nature — Part 1

chair: Tomas Carlsson, Developer • Riksutställningar
The first part of this two-part seminar will present four perspectives on how exhibitions and exhibitors relate to nature. Ecologist Pella Larsdotter Thiel talks about responsibility for the global climate, biologist Staffan Åkeby about zoos and ”living exhibitions”, anthropologist Jan van Boeckel about art-based environmental education and nature as an exhibition space, and architect Mattias Lind about exhibition buildings.

15:00 – 15:45 (T48, Swedish; follows event T47 at 14:00)
Discussion: Do We Have to Go In, in Order to Come Out?

On the Relationship Between Exhibitions and Nature — Part 2

The second part of this two-part seminar will be a panel discussion of exhibitors’ relationship and responsibility to nature. Among the questions to be addressed: Do we have to go in, in order to come out — are “temples” such as nature centres needed in order to experience nature? How can art teach us something about environmental issues, and can artworks in nature contribute to deeper experience of nature? Should exhibitions be Internet-based so that we can avoid expending our CO2 quotas on visits to museums?
Panel: Staffan Åkeby, retired biologist and zoo director whose current activities include chairing the Skåne Ornithological Society; Pella Larsdotter Thiel, ecologist, nature guide and activist; Mattias Lind, an architect who has won numerous architectural competitions and has received several international and Swedish awards; and Jan van Boeckel, Dutch cultural anthropologist, painter and documentary film-maker who has previously worked in Sweden but is currently conducting research at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki. Moderator will be Riksutställningar’s Tomas Carlsson, who has been active in the environmental movement and is especially interested in how nature is portrayed in exhibitions.
Full program (PDF):  Swedish   English

24 November - 23 December, 2012

The Nature Art Boost

Build up your immunity against anxiety, isolation and negativity. Give yourself a creative boost during these challenging times. Receive daily inspiration to paint and draw with nature, close to home, on your own schedule then share with our members-only online community. Time required is 15-30 minutes per day (really!).  Cost $57.

Visit the Creative by Nature online community to learn more and register at:

I look forward to creating together with you.
Lisa Lipsett

Creative Nature Connection Network
Read my blog at
New Book- Beauty Muse: Painting in Communion with Nature-


November 16-17, 2012

Autumn Symposium “Art and Science – Hybrid Art and Interdisciplinary Research”
Tallinn, Estonia

Hosting institutions: Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts. The autumn symposium "Art and Science - Hybrid Art and Interdisciplinary Research" poses a question that despite a tendency towards ‘mutual incomprehension’, there are aspects of art and science which overlap and intertwine. The interrelation between music, art, natural and computer sciences can be seen in new media art, biotechnological or telecommunication art and other contemporary artistic practices that have an experimental character.
It is a second event in the process that will culminate in a conference and exhibition in 2014 under the same title. Our goal in the context of this inter- and transdisciplinary exhibition and conference in 2014 is to form a synergetic cooperation of art and science.

Symposium schedule:

16 November
10.00 – 18.00 Lectures and presentations of the key note speakers (open to the public, EAA)
20.00 – concert "Bird, Whale, Bug: Music from Nature" – David Rothenberg
(open to the public, chamber hall A-405 of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Rävala pst 16)

17 November
11.00 – 16.00 – group seminars and discussions led by the key note speakers (for registered participants, EAA)
Benefits of participation: Doctoral and Master students who have actively participated in the discussions on both days and give a short presentation on the second day will be awarded 1 ECTS.
Registration (necessary for the second day only): Heili Sõrmus,
Deadline: 1 November 2012. The language of the symposium is English. Participation in the symposium is free of charge.

Keynote speakers:

Marina Gržinić, professor of the Academy of Fine arts, Vienna, Institute of Fine Arts, Post-Conceptual Art Practices. She is a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at the ZRC SAZU (Scientific ad Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Art) in Ljubljana. She also works as a freelance media theorist, art critic and curator.

Alan N Shapiro, interdisciplinary thinker who studied science-technology at MIT and philosophy-history-literature at Cornell University. He is the author of “Star Trek: Technologies of Disappearance” (Berlin: AVINUS Verlag, 2004), a leading work in science fiction studies and on the conception of futuristic technoscience. He is the editor and translator of The Technological Herbarium by Gianna Maria Gatti (Berlin: AVINUS Verlag, 2010), a major study of art and technology. He is a practicing software developer. Alan has worked as a consultant to many large companies in several European countries. He is working on projects like “Computer Science 2.0”, “The Car of the Future”, “The Library and Museum of the Future”, and robotics. At his website “Alan N. Shapiro, Technologist and Futurist” (, he has already published more than 200 articles (by himself and others). He is recognised as one of the leading experts on the philosophy and cultural theory of Jean Baudrillard. He is currently starting a book project called “The Prisoner: Confinement and Freedom in the Global Village”.

David Rothenberg, associate professor of philosophy, known as a writer, philosopher, ecologist, and musician, speaking out for nature in all aspects of his diverse work. He is both a respected authority on deep ecology, and a jazz clarinetist known for his integration of world music with improvisation and electronics. His 1993 book, “Hand`s End: Technology and the Limits of Nature”, is about how tools have changed the meaning of nature through history, and how we may direct technology in the future so we will be brought closer to the environment, not farther away.

Xavière Masson, one of the Directors of Le Laboratoire, a hub of ArtScience Labs in Paris. With a sister cultural center in The Laboratory @ Harvard, Le Laboratoire develops experiments every year, led by a major artist or designer, working with one or more leading scientists, to develop works of art or design in purely cultural, industrial, or humanitarian contexts – and sometimes in all three. Experiments lead to three-month-long exhibitions at Le Laboratoire, promoting exhibitions, product development or humanitarian intervention around the world. Le Laboratoire’s products and exhibitions have been presented in Paris and around the world, including the Cannes Film Festival and MoMA in New York.

Erich Berger, artist and cultural worker based in Helsinki/ Finland. His interests lie in information processes and feedback structures, which he investigates through installations, situations, performances and interfaces. Currently he is a lecturer at the Fine Art Academy in Vienna/ Austria and the director of the Finnish Bioart Society in Helsinki/ Finland
Erich Berger

October 12-14, 2012

Santa Fe, New Mexico,
a depth ecology movement & arts workshop
with David Abram and Taira Restar

Imagine an ensemble composed of azure sky, soaring ravens, jagged cliffs, the sun dappled floor of an aspen grove, the poised silence of a desert hare. Imagine yourself as an integral part of this ensemble, the life of this land and your own life meeting, informing one another. Here, near the old adobe settlement of Santa Fe, where forested slopes meet the high desert in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the place is inviting you to dance!

How does the human animal sense and move within the more-than human terrain? In this era of transformation, when so many are struggling to meet the earthly changes now upon us, join cultural ecologist David Abram and movement artist Taira Restar for an adventure into the felt space between the body and the breathing land. We will open our creaturely senses, slipping into subtle and dynamic movement, artistic play, and ensemble work with trees, rocks, sunlight, wind, cricketrhythms, and cloud-shadows. Our explorations will include guided movement, improvisational dance, earthly poetics, rich reflection, and solo time with the other shapes that surround. How will the many-voiced intelligence of this place speak to, and through, your person?
Friday evening October 12, Saturday & Sunday, October 13 - 14. Those with and those without previous arts and dance experience welcome. Workshop costs are $325/ $275 early registration by September 15. Includes art materials. Accommodations self-organized. To register, contact Mountain’s LAP Studio:, 505-795-1032, or For other questions:

David Abram, PhD, is a cultural ecologist and geo-philosopher who lectures and teaches widely around the world. He is the author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology and The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World. Taira Restar, MA, RSME, is a movement artist and body-based arts educator, who teaches and works with groups internationally. She is on faculty at Tamalpa Institute. Taira is passionate about exploring human beingness in and as nature. Taira will draw upon her own Living Ensemble practice as well as the Tamalpa Life/Art Process® (

ROCK TREE CLOUD: PLACE DANCING is part of Everyplace Dances, a series of place-specific arts workshops ( and a project of Alliance for Wild Ethics ( Photo of rock dance by Audicia Morley; Photos of rock exploration and water-sun-rock ensemble by Taira Restar.


25 September, 2012 - 14 May, 2013

Course: Environmental Art Essentials
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Students will learn the history of Environmental Art, and how their own art practice fits into this history.
This course will review the history of environmental art, looking at examples of artists and artworks, as well as critical art theory linked to this movement. The origins of the Environmental Art movement will be examined, looking at precursors to this movement and how the field has developed and changed. This course will begin with a lecture series, and will continue with the discussion of practical issues related to students' own work. Students will create plans for original artworks and realize new artworks throughout the year.

Target Group
Environmental Art degree and exchange students, others also welcome.
Other information:


1-2 September, 2012

Environmental Utterance (conference)
University College Falmouth inc. Dartington College of Arts, Falmouth, United Kingdom

Across disciplines academics and artists are researching and creating practices that are highly contextual (determined by the environment in which they are located), exploring ways of articulating specific environments, spaces or places. This conference examines a specific problematic that attends the dissemination of this work: how to engage with ’being there’ when ‘there’ is not here?
We understand environment (social, built, natural, technological) as that which surrounds and informs us. Through our practice we influence our environment. What we create is shaped by our surroundings. We exist in a relation of mutual exchange; making ourselves other and incorporating that which is other in turn. This conference offers a forum for academics and creative practitioners to come together and engage with articulations of mutual formation: to discuss work as environment.



Such work often relies on direct, personal experience of a particular environment. Transfer and abstraction, necessary for the communication of this work beyond the specifics of this original environment, challenge the work. Negotiating publication or conference environment, for example, necessitates reformulation of the work, engendering changes in texture and experience, in adapting to alternative structures. What do such alterations, translations or transformations, mean for this work?
This conference aims to examine these questions on a very practical level. When it comes to considering environment, what is the relationship between the structures of dissemination and the environment our work seeks to convey? What is the relationship between our academic environment and the work we (aim to) produce? How do we utter our environment?
We invite poets and writers, artists, academics, social and environmental scientists, performers and musicians, among others, to discuss ways of uttering environment. We seek work that explores the phenomenological sense of speaking with environment. We encourage the use of a diverse range of media as part of this dialogue. Participants are invited to find new ways of expressing their research and/or artistic practice in a conference setting that reflects upon this process of adaptation as a process of practical enquiry.
Instead of presenting what they already know, participants are invited to experiment with their ‘potential’ environment, using the space of the conference as an opportunity to learn from and with each other. The structure of the conference is specifically designed to support such an exchange. Over the course of two days we seek to create a plastic community of practice. There will be both indoor (seminar rooms, lecture theatres, studios) and outdoor (gardens, orchard, parkland) spaces available to present your work. Your proposal will have to comply with the health and safety norms of Tremough Campus. Please refer to the health and safety before you start planning your presentation/performance.

Deadline for applications: 31st March 2012

6-10 August, 2012

Wildpainting at Wij Trädgårdar

Maximum of 15 participants - still places left!

Follow in the footsteps of Claude Monet and paint the amazing colors of the flowers at the gardens of Wij Trädgardår, two hours by train north of Stockholm! Teacher: Jan van Boeckel (languages English and Swedish)

The course fee is SEK 1.200 per adult, which includes all painting materials.


Link to Wij Trädgårdar
Download course flyer (PDF)
This course is a part of a program 37 Places – About creating your own space in the world

More information

21-26 July, 2012

Wildpainting at Kandal
Kandal, Norway

Maximum of 15 participants - still places left!

Immerse yourself this summer in the colors and forms of the magnificent nature at Kandal, near Sandane. In this course, we try to approach this landscape through art-making, in surprising and uncommon ways, as if we see it for the very first time!

Fee at NOK 3.500 per adult, which includes room and food on the farm for the duration of the course, and all painting materials are included. Fee for participants who arrange their own accommodation: NOK 2.500.
To register, please send your name, address and e-mail address to polarstarcentre(at)

Teacher: Jan van Boeckel (languages English and Swedish)
For information: Astrid Kallhovd (Vesla), our local host, phone: +47 98109669.

Download course flyer (PDF)

More information

27-30 June, 2012

Berlin study trip
Berlin, Germany

Focus on schoolyards, parks and pocket parks, public spaces (meeting places), small sports arenas, artists outdoor projects in parks and schools, adventure playgrounds and city farms. Grün Macht Schule has 30 new projects in Berlin each year!

Target groups
1) landscape architects, 2) architects, 3) school leaders, 4) kindergarden leaders, 5) town planners, 6) artists interested in working with children and youth, 7) park- and outdoor-planners in the municipalities, 8) sports- and athletic consultants in the communities, 9) actual people in the government and departments, 10) childhood researchers.

Participation fee for four days program - NOK 6000.
In addition come: external travelling T/R Berlin and accommodation.

Adventure Playgrounds and City Farms in Berlin:

Glimpses from the Berlin Studytrip June 2010:

For more information, contact Frode Svane, e-mail: frode.svane(at)


19-21 June, 2012

The home and the world: a creative summit for artists and other thinkers
Dartington, United Kingdom

Many writers have suggested that our increasing alienation from the natural world has had a profound effect on the human condition and the psyche. Ecophilosopher Paul Shephard suggests that human societies have always persisted in destroying their habitat –– but that now this is compounded by our apparent loss of knowledge about the interdependence of all living things.

This summit explores existential questions such as: what does it mean to be at home in the world? what does home mean to us? how can we be more aware of our ‘inhabited place’ in the world? why do we all too often fail to understand the impact we have on the world around us? It’s been more than fifteen years since Gablik suggested that art can re-enchant our connection to the world – how have we responded?

Submissions and proposals are invited from artists and thinkers working within any discipline or from any background. We are seeking a broad mix of challenging ideas and submissions for this three-day summit, looking at the world and how we live in it; how we find our place – our home – and how we use creativity and the arts to ask questions, present problems, and offer up solutions, homages, and celebrations.
While formal paper presentations will be accepted, submissions which feature innovative, participatory, performative and/or interactive formats will be favoured. Most sessions will be streamed live to the internet with live links to chat, Facebook and Twitter, and this is something you might choose to build into your proposal. Presentations are limited to thirty minutes with a maximum of twenty minutes for presenting. There will be a limited number of breakout sessions, with the most inventive and challenging proposals grouped into 90-minute sessions. The conference language is English.
Proceedings will be published subsequent, rather than prior to the event so that it can reflect the mood of the conference, and include post-conference contributions. Presenters who wish to extemporise, rather than reading a paper, are encouraged. We will attempt to reflect the nature of all ‘live’ sessions in the publication.
The summit takes place on the beautiful and historic Dartington Hall Estate in south Devon in southwest England [here], from June 19-21, 2012. The Home & The World is hosted by Aune Head Arts and The Arts at Dartington and is affiliated with the ‘Artful Ecologies’ series of conferences organised by RANE at University College Falmouth. Other supporting partners include CIWEM and CCANW. Find out more about the Organising Committee.

Download/view the Call for Proposals; download/view the print flyer (pdf).


25-26 May, 2012

Affective Landscapes
University of Derby, United Kingdom

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
• Kathleen Stewart, University of Texas Austin, author of Ordinary Affects (2007) and A Space on the Side of the Road (1996) and
• Ben Highmore, University of Sussex, author of Ordinary Lives. Studies in the Everyday (2011) and Everyday Life and Cultural Theory (2002)

This conference seeks exciting disciplinary and transdisciplinary proposals from scholars working in fields such as cultural studies, literary studies, cultural politics/history, creative writing, film and media studies, Area Studies, photography, fine art, interested in examining the different ways in which human beings respond and relate to, as well as debate and interact with landscape.
In 2009, the one-day symposium ‘Land and Identity’, held at the University of Derby, brought together a diverse body of academics to discuss themes and intersections across multiple areas of research interest. This follow-up event, hosted by the Identity, Conflict and Representation Research Centre at the University of Derby in collaboration with the Centre for Studies in Literature at the University of Portsmouth, aims to develop inter-disciplinary debates around the idea of ‘Affective Landscapes’. The conference has been inspired by the work of theorists whose work examines points of intersection between ordinary life and extraordinary encounters and exchanges with the world around us. It asks how do we ‘feel’, ‘sense’, ‘know’, ‘cherish’, ‘memorise’, ‘imagine’, ‘dream’, ‘desire’, or even ‘fear’ landscapes? How do its ‘intensities’ register, flow and circulate? What forms do we use to articulate, debate and record these affects? The Conference will include a related film screening and panel discussion to take place at the QUAD Arts Centre in Derby.

We are particularly interested in proposals examining the following:
psychogeography, critical regionalism, cultural politics on identity and landscape, national identity, suburbia, edgelands, the rural/urban, responses to landscape by creative practitioners (writers/photographers/artists/filmmaker, phenomenology, the body in landscape, Ecocriticism, landscapes of trauma and memory, theories of affect and landscape.

Further details about the conference, the venue, travel, accommodation, registration etc can be found at the website:

14-25 May, 2012

Soul in Nature: Experiencing the Connection
Schumacher College, Dartington, United Kingdom

Teachers: Princess Irene van Lippe Biesterfeld, Satish Kumar, Jonathan Horwitz, Stephan Harding.
Course facilitator: Jan van Boeckel.

Humans are part of nature, but few people in modern society really feel this connection – with the result that the natural world is exploited and abused in ways that would seem incomprehensible to indigenous people who see the earth as their life-giver or mother. Many in the environmental movement believe that the outer challenges of sustainability can only be effectively addressed if we understand and experience our interdependence with the myriad life forms we share this planet with. Sustainability can only be truly sustainable, when we feel and experience nature as our partner.
This course provides an opportunity to connect deeply with the natural world using a variety of traditional and transformational practices.

Week 1: May 14 – 18
Inter-being, an all encompassing worldview – Princess Irene van Lippe Biesterfeld and Satish Kumar
During this week, you will work with guided meditations, walks and other exercises in nature which will help you open your heart and senses to interspecies communication. You will walk on your own with an exercise on the subject of the day, and reflect with others on their experiences. Each day will focus on a different realm – stone, plant, animal and human – and what we can learn by getting to know these elements and beings intimately. One day will be spent on the stunning and tranquil surrounds of nearby Dartmoor, experiencing its open moorland and granite tors.
The exact nature of the exercises and meditations will emerge from the interactions with nature and each other. The main object is to help you re-)connect on a deep level with nature and to revalue on a personal level your place in the global ecosystem – Earth.

Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld, Princess of the Netherlands, has spent her life working as a social educator in Europe, South Africa and the US. For over 24 years she has facilitated transformational processes, working with groups and individuals. This goal now encompasses the vision that all of creation has a right to its own personal space and power. In 2001 she founded the Lippe-Biesterfeld NatureCollege which runs educational and training programmes designed to revive the relationship between humans and nature at all levels of awareness. She has written several books on this subject: ‘Dialogue with Nature’ (1995) was a bestseller in the Netherlands and was translated into five languages, and her latest book is ‘Science, Soul and the Spirit of Nature’. In 2000, she founded the Bergplaas Nature Reserve, a 7000-hectare area of wilderness which hosts retreats, training courses and healing. and

Satish Kumar: When he was only nine years old, Satish renounced the world and joined the wandering brotherhood of Jain monks. Dissuaded from his path by an inner voice at the age of 18, he left the monastic order and became a campaigner for land reform, and has been working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a peaceful world into reality ever since. He undertook an 8,000 mile peace pilgrimage, walking from India to America without any money to deliver packets of peace tea to leaders of the four nuclear powers. In 1973, he settled in England, becoming editor of Resurgence magazine – a position he has held ever since. Satish is the guiding spirit behind a number of ecological, spiritual and educational ventures in Britain and was one of the founders of Schumacher College.

Week 2: May 21 – 25
Shamanism, Science and Soul – Jonathan Horwitz and Stephan Harding
The shaman was the first scientist, but unlike many of today’s scientists, shamans engage with both the physical and non-physical aspects of the world they live in. Many important medicines have been discovered by indigenous shamans, where the initial knowledge about a plant’s use came not from scientific analysis, but from a shamanic communication with the plant itself. Hard science studies that which can be measured. Social science accepts that which can be observed. To this the shaman adds that which can be experienced. What they all have in common is that they are interested in finding out more about the planet we live on, and how its inhabitants connect and interact.
During this week, participants will be introduced by Jonathan to some basic shamanic techniques that enable them to directly contact different layers and forms of Nature. Working both inside and out of doors with traditional shamanic practices, participants will learn how to shift their consciousness so they are able to see different aspects of the web of life. The foundation of shamanic practice is animism, and this course will give participants access to the soul and spirit in all living things, to discover another type of knowledge and encourage a more holistic science.
To complement the shamanic work, Stephan will show how scientists today have come to see the Earth as a living, animate being. Together, Jonathan and Stephan will weave these two strands into a journey to the soul of Nature.

Jonathan Horwitz has studied and worked with shamanism since 1972. For eight years he was on the staff of The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, USA. Jonathan has an M.A. in anthropology, and is a shamanic counselor (HMSC). He has taught courses since 1986. He runs the Scandinavian Center for Shamanic Studies, whose activities include practising, teaching, and research into shamanism, as well as shamanic grassroot networking.
This course is for anyone who feels touched by the environmental, ecological, spiritual and economic questions facing us today. The aim is that people will leave knowing how to communicate directly with Nature, feel able to receive its power and knowledge, and look deeper into the interdependence of ecological and spiritual systems.

Stephan Harding is Programme Coordinator of the MSc in Holistic Science and resident Ecologist at Schumacher College teaching on the MSc core modules and as part of several of the short courses at the College. He is a close associate of James Lovelock and an expert in the study of Gaia theory and deep ecology. He is the author of Animate Earth and Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable World from Schumacher College.

1-22 May, 2012

Permaculture Design Course
Island of Statia, Caribbean

Aardwerk is preparing an international PDC course for 2012. The course will be in English and lasts three weeks from 1 May through 21 May 2012 (22 days including arrival and departure days).

We’ve found a great location that will graphically demonstrate the issues of small scale community development and dealing with global changes in climate, economy and ecology. Its remoteness will enable participants to see their own environment through new and refreshed eyes. We’ve also attracted a great team of teachers and support staff with international experience and local knowledge.
The course will cover the standard permaculture curriculum using creative teaching methods and lots of practical field work. Graduates will receive the internationally recognised PDC certificate, your passport to advanced permaculture education, networking and your entry into professional permaculture teaching and design work.

20-22 April, 2012

Creation, Creatureliness, and Creativity: The Human Place in the Natural World
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, USA


Keynote Speakers:
Bruce Foltz (Eckerd College)
Janet Martin Soskice (Cambridge University)
Norman Wirzba (Duke Divinity School)

SCPT's 2012 conference takes today’s ecological crises as its point of departure. We invite theological and philosophical contributions informed by continental traditions such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, eco-feminism, post-structuralism, post-colonial studies, deconstruction, and social and deep ecology that help us understand and implement a sustainable future together. Authors may submit papers that address ecological issues head on, as well as those that tackle philosophical and theological themes that underlie these issues.

The Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology seeks to promote inquiry at the intersection of philosophy and theology. For more information about SCPT, visit


19-21 March, 2012

4th BaltArt Symposium
Aalto TaiK, Helsinki, Finland

ART * EROS * EDUCATION is the title of the 4th symposium. The words are not separated with any ordinary sign, commas, plusses, or dashes, but a star in order to avoid a premeditated hierarchy, coincidence, sequence or any order between them. The focus is on the dialogical influence between contemporary art and art‐related educational efforts, like curating and mediating art, artification of everyday life, community‐driven art projects, art‐based environmental education, art journalism and political activism in the [dis]guise of art.

Like Plato’s Eros, the child god who was not rich, not beautiful, not wanted but in want of all these, contemporary art is an incubation arena for all kind of wants and wishes that aim at the change through sense‐based methods: we are forced to see, hear, taste, smell and feel.
Ideas and exact explanations, manifests and programs come later, if ever, but the immediate sensory affect already includes the complex context: to become a dialogue, to prepare a platform for discourse, to change ways of making and thinking. Contemporary art is a stance that works for future, activism and change.
In this symposium we propose a discussion on the cultural dialogue that takes the reciprocity of art and education for an interesting and beneficial project towards a future that includes intense responsibility for how the the cultural carriers – people, institutions, texts, artefacts, ideas, images, media – are empowered by today’s incentives.

As key note speakers, among others, will act:
Prof. Gary Peters from York’s St.John University, known for his book on the philosophy of improvisation
Ms. Leslie Johnson, much loved and appreciated former head of Valand Art School in Gothenburg
Ramunas Motiekaitis from the Theatre and Music Academy of Vilnius
Prof. Pia Lindman from The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, celebrated media artist
Ph.D. Senior lecturer Max Ryynänen from Aalto University, known for his interest in popular visual culture

Open call ”scientific posters” wanted! In the lobby of the venue the selected posters will be on display.
The posters must follow the theme and the spirit of the symposium.

8-26 March, 2012

Course An Ecology of Mind: Gregory Bateson and the Arts (tk 0277)
Aalto University, Department of Art, School of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland

Master student level, max 25 students, minimum 8; open to all students of Aalto Schools.
5 ECTS. Students need good to excellent skills in English language. Mondays (14-16 pm, Thursdays and Fridays (10-12 am). Teacher: Jan van Boeckel

Course contents

Bateson's influence is wide (e.g. on Guattari/Deleuze and Lakoff/Johnson). The students will receive a comprehensive introduction to both primary and secondary literature (and film) on Bateson. Specific to this course is a focus on Bateson's view of aesthetics and its relevance to visual studies and art education. Bateson's work was profoundly interdisciplinary and is of relevance to many different fields. At present his work has not been dealt with in a systematic way in any of the courses that i am aware of. The course would be a meeting place of students interested in ecology, philosophy, aesthetics, as well as systems thinking and epistemology.

"What pattern connects the crab to the lobster and the orchid to the primrose and all the four of them to me? And me to you?"

- Gregory Bateson
from Mind and Nature


As preparation to the sessions, participants read the assigned literature from the following books: Gregory Bateson: Steps to an Ecology of Mind, 2000 (ca. 50 pages) Gregory Bateson: Mind and Nature, 2002 (ca. 50 pages) Peter Harries-Jones: A Recursive Vision: Ecological Understanding and Gregory Bateson, 1995 (ca. 50 pages) Optional additional literature: Gregory Bateson and Mary Catherine Bateson: Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred, 1987 David Lipset: Gregory Bateson: The Legacy of a Scientist, 1982.
The students will acquire basic and key knowledge of the seminal work of philosopher-biologist-anthropologist Gregory Bateson, and his importance for understanding questions pertaining to humans' and ecology/nature/biology. The skills the students develop or deepen are studying a range of literature sources, partaking in group discussions and making a group presentation and presenting a well-articulated academic essay in English.

More information: e-mail: jan.vanboeckel(at)


29 February, 2012

Earth Education: Art Education as if the Environment Matters
Location in New York City: Education Center at the Rubin Museum of Art

NAEA Pre-conference
Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 1-6 pm

The purpose of this meeting is to create a gathering of like minded artists, educators, and environmental activists from across the globe, interested in how art education can help us focus on the leading issue of our times: the Earth’s natural environment and how we can live on the Earth sustainably. This pre-conference is structured to allow us to meet each other face to face and to share our work and our practices, and to discuss the possibilities of creating an ongoing formal organization to promote the work of environmental balance and protection through art education.

Location: Education Center at the Rubin Museum of Art
132 W. 17 St. New York City, tel. 212-620-5000,
Room: Raymond G. Chambers Family Seminar Room


1:00 Introductions/Logistics
1:15 Peter London (Keynote Talk)
2:00 Respondents
Virginia Freyermuth, Rhode Island College, Providence RI
Richard Mills, Professor of Art, Long Island University, New York, and
Director, Hackensack River (Restoration) Project
Jane Kunzman, Holistic art educator, Chair, Visual Art Department,
Gill St. Bernard’s School, Gladstone NJ
Ruth Beer, PI on a SSHRC Creation/Research Project "Catch and Release: Mapping stories of geographic and cultural transition"

General audience participation/discussion

2:45 Refreshment break and Posters (poster presenters will not be attendance)
Amy Ruopp, art teacher, Midland MI public schools and Mae DeBruyn,
Science teacher, Midland MI public schools
Andrea Mathieson, Artist, Educator, Environmentalist, Owner/Director,
Raven Essences, Ontario. Canada
Dr. Heather Anderson, Artist, Educator, Environmentalist, author of Art and Eco Awareness: A Teachers Guide to Art and the Natural Environment, Fresno, CA
Erica Hansen, Artist in Residence, The Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD
Lisa Lipsett, Artist, Educator, Environmentalist, Author, Beauty Muse.
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
3:15 Programs and Practicalities:
Florida State University: Tom Anderson, Anniina Suominen Guyas, Kristie Moore, Sunny Spillane.
University of British Columbia: Rita Irwin, Valerie Triggs.
Aalto University Finland, Pirkko Pohjakallio, Jan van Boeckel.
5:00 Summary discussion and future plans.
6:00 Adjourn
6-7 Optional wine and cheese reception at the museum

This pre-conference is free of charge thanks to the generosity of the Rubin Museum, but is limited to the first 35 participants who register. Please register by sending an email of intent to Kristie Moore at

More information

See also:


1-4 March, 2012

NAEA Convention: Emerging Perspectives - Connecting Teaching, Learning, and Research
New York City, United States

National Art Education Association.The 2012 National Convention
Theme: Emerging Perspectives - Connecting Teaching, Learning, and Research

Two hour session on environmental education through the arts

An international panel of researchers and teachers from the United States, Canada, and Finland connect teaching, learning, and research centered on environmentally aware and ecologically activist art education. The panelists are engaged in global initiatives that aim to promote environmental education at all levels through the arts. Participants include Pirkko Pohjakallio & Jan van Boeckel, Aalto University, Finland; Rita Irwin and Valerie Triggs, University of British Columbia, Canada; Tom Anderson and Anniina Suominen Guyas, Florida State University; and Peter London, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
In this session each panelist will discuss his/her research interests and the practical applications of that research for programs and curricula related to environmentally oriented art education. Programs and resources already in place as well as projections for the future will be discussed. Time will be made for audience discussion at the end of the session.

SPEAK OUT SESSION: Environmentally Aware and Ecologically Activist Art Education

DAY: Friday, March 2
LOCATION: Sheraton Metropolitan Ballroom West 2nd Floor

From the NAEA website:

2-3:20pm | Speak Out Session | Panel Discussion hosted by TOM ANDERSON and PETER LONDON
Environmentally Aware and Ecologically Activist Art Education
An international panel of researchers and teachers from the United States, Canada, and Finland connect teaching, learning, and research centered on environmentally aware and ecologically activist art education. The panelists are engaged in global initiatives that aim to promote environmental education at all levels through the arts.
No ticket required.


25 February, 2012

SURVIVAL OF THE BEAUTIFUL: Scientists and Artists Face Off on the Aesthetics of Evolution
New York, NY, United States

An All-Day Wonder Cabinet Guest-Curated by David Rothenberg, presented by The New York Institute of the Humanities and The New Jersey Institute of Technology

Saturday Feb. 25th, 2012, 10:45 am till 9:30 pm
NYU's Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street, New York, NY

Free and Open to the Public

Why did the peacock’s tail so trouble Charles Darwin? Natural selection could not explain it, so he had to contrive a whole new theory of sexual selection, which posited that certain astonishingly beautiful traits became preferred even when not exactly useful, simply because they appealed to the opposite sex, and specifically so in each case. And yet the parallels in what gets preferred at different levels of life suggest that nature may in fact favor certain kinds of patterns over others. Visually, the symmetrical; colorwise, the contrasting and gaudy; displaywise, the gallant and extreme. Soundwise, the strong contrast between low note and high, between fast rhythm and the long clear tone. For that matter, plenty of beauty in nature would seem to arise for reasons other than mere sexual selection: for example, the mysterious inscriptions on the backs of seashells, or the compounding geometric symmetries of microscopic diatoms, or the live patterns pulsating across the bodies of octopus and squid.

Humans see such things and find them astonishingly beautiful: are we wrong to experience Nature in such terms? Far greater than our grandest edifices and epic tales, Nature itself nevertheless seems entirely without purposeful self-consciousness or self-awareness. Meanwhile, though we ourselves are as nothing compared to it, we still seem possessed of a parallel need to create. So: can we in fact create our way into better understanding of the role of beauty in the vast natural world? David Rothenberg recently published a book on these themes, Survival of the Beautiful (Bloomsbury, 2011,, and many of the protagonists he encountered on his quest will join him on stage at the Cantor Film Center to debate the question of whether nature’s beauty is actual, imaginary, useful, excessive, or perhaps even entirely beside the point.


Featured presenters at this all-day Wonder Cabinet will include:

10:45 am - DAVID ROTHENBERG and JARON LANIER offer a musical and conceptual introduction.
11:00 am - GAIL PATRICELLI on building a fembot bowerbird so as to study the way male bowerbirds woo females through elaborate dancing and decorating rituals; drawing on her example, RICHARD PRUM explains why everyone misses the point of sexual selection except him.
12:00 pm - OFER TCHERNICHOVSKI responds to Prum’s claim by way introducing CHRISTINE ROESKE,
a postdoc in his lab, who, veritably haunted by the beauty of the nightingale’s song,
nevertheless tries to subject it to scientific analysis.
12:45 pm - ANNA LINDEMANN, Prum alum turned performance artist, enacts her Theory of Flight.

2:00 pm - PHILIP BALL shows how chemistry and physics might trump biology in their ability to account for formal natural beauty. TYLER VOLK deploys his concept of metapatterns to explain how 3 realms and
13 steps (from quarks to culture) make us who we are.
3:00 pm - We know how Science is regularly said to influence Art, but SUZANNE ANKER explores the flow in the other direction. DAVID SOLDIER and VITALY KOMAR revisit their classic elephant art experiment, asking whether we can learn anything about art by teaching animals to make it.
4:00 pm - Composer DAVID DUNN details his proposal to use music to save the forests of the American West from destruction by pine bark beetles. DAVID ABRAM on how synaesthesia (the blending of the senses) might help us feel our way into the experience of another animal.

5:30 pm - Digital artist SCOTT SNIBBE recounts how he helped turn BJÖRK’s love of science into the Biophilia app.
6:15 pm- BABA BRINKMAN, direct from off-Broadway, performs a special version of The Rap Guide to Evolution.
7:00 pm - JARON LANIER explains why if squid only had childhoods, they would rule the world.
LAURIE ANDERSON evokes some of her journeys along the borderlands of nature and culture.
Closing music by David Rothenberg and Jaron Lanier.

Call for applications: Ars Bioarctica art & science residency in 2012

Ars Bioarctica is long term art&science program by the Finnish Society of Bioart together with the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station.
Since 2010 it is organizing an artist-in-residency program at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of the University of Helsinki in the sub-Arctic Lapland. The emphasis of the residency is the Arctic environment and art& science collaboration and is is open for artists and art&science research teams.

The residency takes place in the facilities of the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station. It provides the residents with a combined living and working environment, a basic laboratory, internet connection and sauna.
The Kilpisjärvi Biological Station offers to the visiting artists the same possibilities and infrastructure as its scientists and staff. This includes access to all scientific equipment, laboratory facilities, the library and seminar room as well as the usage of field equipment. A dedicated contact person in Kilpisjärvi will
familiarize residents with the local environment and customs.
The basic costs of a residency period which have to be covered by the applicant include: travel to Finland,
travel within Finland to Kilpisjärvi, and accommodation and provisions at the Station.
Applications have to include the desired residency duration, a work proposal, a working plan with time schedule, the desired residency outcome, a list of necessities for the work to be carried out and the artist's CV. The application deadline is 31st of January 2012.
The evaluation of the applications emphasizes the quality of the proposal, its interaction of art&science, its artistic and or scientific significance, the projects relation to the thematic focus of Ars Bioarctica, and its feasibility to be carried out at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in the given time.
For applications or questions please contact Erich Berger:

More info:



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