💌 Be climate-conscious: one step at a time
In this newsletter, we present some of the reasons for launching this new art residency programme and we invite artists to participate in our online survey 'how sustainable is your studio practice'
There is a lot to say about the reasons that led us to create villa villa: a pressing need to leave the city for the countryside, to slow down and connect to the geological time of natural processes, to experiment with new ways of operating as ecologically-sensitive artists and curators, to facilitate research, production and presentation of artistic practices outside of the urban context, to support art practitioners in engaging with ideas of contemporary sustainability, to grow as a community that care for people and planet, etc.
The list of reasons is long, as are our objectives, which can be read on our website along with our mission statement and manifesto; we therefore decided to dedicate this first newsletter to one aspect of our work that seems necessary, if not inevitable, in the face of the current capitalist eco-crisis: reducing and improving our environmental and social impact.
‘It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism’
— Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Žižek
It can indeed be difficult, even scary, to imagine the end of a system in place in the world for so long (at least globally since the 16th century, for some historians, local pockets of capitalism were present long before), a system that is so deeply rooted in all aspects of our daily lives, that it seems impregnable. Yet, we can transform this feeling of overwhelm into a feeling of excitement. The excitement of imagining a world that isn’t based on the exploitation and oppression of human and nature, but a free, fair world that equally respects human people and more-than-human beings and landscapes.
This feeling can also be transformed to create empowerment in the context of climate change, such as when artists use their creativity to find solutions to problems of waste and toxicity within artistic practices. See for instance the work of Future Materials Bank, a meeting place of materials for artists that proposes non-toxic, biodegradable or otherwise sustainable alternative materials.
How Sustainable is your Studio Practice?
At villa villa, we like to look at the big picture and think step-by-step, practical and achievable. We believe that the most urgent first step towards building alternative models for sustainable arts is to reduce our industry’s environmental impact — and this can start where the artistic process usually begins: in the studio.
In order to help artist reduce their impact, we are developing a practical guide generated through open-source discussions with artists and art professionals about sustainable studio practices. In order to identify the tools and systems required for lower-impact artistic practices we have created an online survey.
We need your help to better understand the motivations and barriers that artists may face when seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their studio practice. This survey should not take more than 10min. Deadline for completion is 30 March 2021.
The results of this survey will be followed by an online discussion, in which we will discuss these topics in more detail.
🔗 Link to the survey: https://cutt.ly/Izk4Ki7.
Until next time
If you want to read more about sustainability within the arts, we recommend you to read the dossier ‘Ecological Self’ we wrote for Umbigo Magazine on ecological issues and post-humanist questions to discuss the interdependence of climate, social and cultural injustices.
The dossier includes the work of artists Matthew Verdon, Ouazzani Carrier, Las Nietas de Nóno, Zadie Xa and Alice Bucknell, and is followed by an interview with Hannah Rowan.
💌 Our Digital Carbon Footprint
On most websites and newsletters, images are the main contributors to page weight. In order to be more energy sufficient, we decided to minimise our use of images.