Dialogue on Art and Climate Change

April 26, 2009

Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) hosted an event titled Dialogue on Arts, Culture & Climate Change in Beijing, October 9-12 2008.

The Marine working session looked at marine ecosystems, art and science collaborations and new designs for sustainable technology for the seas. I myself presented the M.A.R.I.N. network and art & science residency concepts, Toshiroh Ikegami shared examples of marine and land based biospheres, Andreas Siagian talked about art and science and workshop practices by HONF (House of Natural Fiber), and Oleg Koefoed discussed  plans for a boat project, to be based from Denmark and to address climate change.

The ASEF event gathered 43 Asian and European artists, designers, architects, cultural practitioners, environmentalists and scientists, who participated in a three-day workshop, organised in partnership with the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, the China Academy of Social Sciences and the Danish Cultural Institute. A second project phase will follow which will lead to an event held in Copenhagen in December 2009 alongside the Climate Change Summit. A report of the event can be found from here as a PDF.

Marine and littoral biospheres

Toshiroh Ikegami, Sea Farm projecct.

Toshiroh Ikegami, Sea Farm projecct.

An eco-designer based in Osaka, Japan, Toshiroh Ikegami works with sustainability of seaside cities. He aims to create designs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while demonstrating the vast possibilities design has to offer for the revitalisation of cities.

His Sea Farm project focuses on experimental equipment installation concentrating on the recovery of living organisms in the Osaka Bay. Sea Farm will create a suitable surrounding for marine life forms that would no longer be able to cope with the water in the Osaka bay. Further, development ot phytoplankton and algalg reproduction aids in the absorption of carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. The project has been proposed for Tokyo Bay area.

The Seaside Farm project is an experimental greenhouse at Seafront, utilizing solar energy, desalination of seawater for plant irrigation, and an architecture optimal for carbon binding – and growing plants.  Hopefully we will be able to set up a collaboration with Toshirah in the coming years.

Global Village – education and  ecology

Global Village farming + branding

Global Village farming + branding

China produces 70 percent of its energy on coal – and India’s figures are not far from it. If these two population and industry giants, as well as US, would reach carbon neutralilty, there really could be chance for earthly survival. During Dialogue on Art and Climate Change we visited a local ecology educational initiative called  Global Village Yan Qing. A bit outside of the busy Beijing, in the midst of  green hills and corn fields, the place was idyllic. During  a retreat like walk into the hills, each participant was left to meditate with surrounding nature before convening for lunch. The site at which we ate was once a thriving river, now only a trickle of water remained. Water may very well be the oil of coming decades. Yet amidst this comfortable feeling it was easy to forget the bigger eco-picture and focus on grass roots dialogue and thinking of initiatives that could make sense in Beijing context. Global Village educates into recycling, energy saving light bulbs, public transport, and the like.

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