Category Archives: Arts

Notes from Underground: The Depths of Environmental Arts, Culture and Justice


Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)
Eleventh Biennial Conference, June 23- 27, 2015
University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho



In Notes from Underground (1864), Dostoyevsky explores relations between modernity and its discontents at an important historical conjuncture: the novella’s unnamed, unpleasant hero rails against capitalist industry, imperialist architecture and an emerging social scientific understanding of human behaviour premised on predictability and knowability. By writing from the underground – from the subterranean, from the murk, from the world of refuse – Dostoyevsky asks us to consider the importance of experiences that lie beneath (and both before and after) the shiny edifices of progress, rationality and industry. But the “underground” also asks us to consider what lies beneath us much more literally: crust, tectonic plates, magma, minerals, fossil fuels, aquifers, lakes, caves, fungal networks, clay, compost, worms, ants, nematodes, roots, rhizomes, tubers, seeds, warrens, nests, vaults, graves, landfills, nuclear weapons and waste, buried treasure. In this act of collection – underground elements, underground agents, underground movements, underground epistemologies – we hope to draw attention to the multiple ways in which things underground and the institutions that variously cultivate, harness and contain them, are constantly changing the terrain (literally and politically) on which we stand.

Especially in the midst of such widespread focus on atmospheric climate change, perhaps we also need to look down, under, beneath and below for imaginative aesthetic, critical, pedagogical and activist responses? At our current political and ecological conjuncture, the literal underground is very much the subject of contest – extraction, pollution, depletion, neoliberalisation, cultivation, sovereignty, equity, (re)claiming – suggesting the need for creative new ways of engaging in activism, reading, writing and education in these networks of depth:underground arts, humanities, ecocriticism, justice. For the 2015 ASLE conference, we seek proposals for panels, papers, performances, discussions, readings and roundtables that address this constellation of undergrounds. We invite participants to interpret the conference theme as broadly as possible and to imagine their work in terms not only of underground content but also of subterranean form: we particularly encourage non-traditional modes of presentation, including hybrid, performative and collaborative works; panels that minimize formal presentation in favour of engaged emergent discussion; interdisciplinary approaches; environmentally inflected (earthy?) readings of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, film, theatre and other media; and proposals from outside the academic humanities, including submissions from artists, writers, teachers, practitioners, activists and colleagues in the social and natural sciences. 

All proposals must be submitted by December 7, 2014. We will evaluate your proposal carefully and notify you of its final status by February 15, 2015.

The list of keynote speakers includes Donna Haraway, Linda Hogan, Stephanie LeMenager, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Jorge Navarro, Anna Tsing, Rita Wong, and Tanure Ojaide.

For questions about the program, please contact 2015 ASLE President Cate Sandilands at For questions about the conference site, field sessions, progressive event and other local activities, please contact the conference site hosts at For questions about ASLE and membership, please contact Amy McIntyre, ASLE Managing Director, at info [at] asle [dot] org.

Read or download the full CFP: or

Call for Contributions: RACKET! Art in Pursuit of Peace and Quiet

“RACKET! Art in Pursuit of Peace and Quiet” is a forthcoming exhibition and book that explores excessive sound, a rampant form of environmental pollution.

Artists are invited to address the symptoms of noise pollution or propose its remediation.

Solutions, observations, reflections, defenses, offenses, anti-dotes are welcome. Continue reading

The Yes Men: Out-Smarting Capitalism

3 July–30 November 2014

Museum Het Domein
Kapittelstraat 6
Postbus 230
NL-6130 AE Sittard
The Netherlands

“Where criminals use identity theft to prey on the powerless and make money, we prey on the powerful and use their identities and position to get the word out about something that needs to be fixed.”

The Yes Men are among the most prominent and radical activist artists in the world today. Museum Het Domein is proud to present the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands by this provocative duo, the New York-based artists Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno. Simultaneously, Out-Smarting Capitalism presents one of the first opportunities to see work by the Yes Men in Europe. Their often spectacular and bold interventions draw attention to the ways in which multinational companies ignore human rights, democracy, and the environment. “This is Jonathan Swift for the Jackass generation, a combination of devastatingly intelligent critique with slapstick hilarity,” writer and activist Naomi Klein said of the pair. Continue reading

Exhibition: Impermanence at Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong

21 JUNE–24 AUGUST 2014

Rossi & Rossi Hong Kong
Yally Industrial Building, Unit 3C
Wong Chuk Hang
Hong Kong

T: +852 3573 9417

Rossi & Rossi is pleased to present Impermanence, an exhibition of new and recent works by contemporary Tibetan artists living in Tibet and around the world. The first such exhibition devoted solely to contemporary Tibetan art to be held in Hong Kong, it features paintings, sculptures and installations by Benchung, Marie Dolma Chophel, Dedron, Gade, Tulku Jamyang, Kesang Lamdark, Nortse, Tsering Nyandak, Tashi Puncog, Tenzing Rigdol,Tsherin Sherpa, Sodhon, TaNor and Palden Weinreb.

The exhibition focuses on the concept of ‘impermanence’ (Pali: anicca, Tibetan: mi rtag pa, Chinese: ??), which is considered to be one of the three essential doctrines of Buddhist philosophy. In short, while everything in the universe is subject to change, nothing is certain or lasts forever. The Upali Sutta recalls a conversation between the Buddha and a Jain householder named Upali, in which the Buddha argues, “whatever rises has the nature of ceasing”. At first glance, this concept appears to provide a negative outlook on life; however, ‘impermanence’ can also be seen as the vital component that allows for change to occur, whether for better or for worse. One only has to look around to realise how true this is, be it on a small, individual scale—aging, dying, learning, developing—or on a large, global scale: seasons changing, governments falling, national borders being redefined.

Tibetans are all too aware of the fragility of life. Impermanence therefore aims to provide a vantage point from which contemporary Tibetan art can be examined and interpreted. Given Tibet’s recent history, the works included in the exhibition are understandably political. Faced with the impact of globalisation, exposure to new cultures and modernisation, the featured artists have adapted traditional Buddhist iconography, media and motifs to reflect upon the experiences of Tibetans around the world. Their vivid works comment on identity, security, the environment and the future of Buddhism—all increasingly complex concerns for Tibetans living both in their homeland and in exile.


A project to build a tree house for use as a public space in Berlin

Das Baumhaus is a collaborative project between neighbors and local & international artists to build a tree house for use as a public space in Berlin-Wedding starting this year. Together they’re acting on the little voice in their heads that says, “What is it I can do to make the world a better place?”


Their answer is to act locally and create a space that inspires people to come together, communicate in meaningful ways and become part of a growing culture of active engagement and cooperation to develop trans-local sustainable solutions.

Watch Movie


Call For Participation

Imagine a place, an informal and inspiring atmosphere, where you can meet other enthusiastic, like-minded people committed to making Berlin and the world a better place. On August 16th, the Emergent Berlin Festival invites you to Spreefeld (Köpenicker Str. 49) to become part of a growing sustainable urban culture. Continue reading


Sunday, June 22nd at 12 noon is the opening celebration of five inClimate events of WATERWASH Welcomes.

Join ecological artist Lillian Ball for a picnic discussion about the WATERWASH project (2010-2014) and how its native wetland plants mitigate increased storm water pollution. A limited number of participants can also enjoy a rowboat ride with Rocking the Boat program assistants to hear about sea level changes on the Bronx River.

Email them at info [at] waterwash [dot] org to reserve bus transportation and/or rowboat ride to Rocking the Boat. WATERWASH ABC is located behind ABC Carpet at 1055 Bronx River Avenue, Bronx. Entrance on Bruckner Boulevard Bridge.

WATERWASH® Welcomes is part of the inClimate exhibition organized by Franklin Furnace and curated by Regina Cornwell.

More 2014 events will be held on:
Saturday, July 12, 12:00 noon
Friday, August 15, 12:00 noon
Friday, September 19, 12:00 noon
Saturday, October 18, 12:00 noon

More info and press release.

The Kreuzberg Community Arts Festival

The Kreuzberg Community Arts Festival takes place from June 21st to June 27th. For seven days, the courtyard between the Expedition Metropolis Theatre and Rosa Parks Primary School  will be transformed into an expressive arena of cultural diversity with theatre, music, exhibition, film, book readings, games and picnics. Everyone is invited to experience art in its context, art that stands for cultural diversity and participation, an art of gathering.

This year’s Kreuzberg Community Arts Festival is inspired by the Thousand and One Night fairy tale that sets the artistic focus for 2014. This year ‘s festival is the golden mean in the rotational cycle between last year ‘s focus on German literature and next year’ s on Turkish art and culture.

Admission is free. Please find more information on the program here. Kreuzberg is looking forward to seeing you!

New exhibition in Singapore from The Migrant Ecologies Project

Curated by Kenneth Tay and Jason Wee, the exhibition is the latest incarnation of over 6 years of art history-informed explorations of relationships between wood, trees and people from this region.  The exhibition features new wood-print and installation works by Lucy Davis alongside photographic works by Shannon Castleman and a new photo book collaboration with Kee Ya Ting about patriarchy and a place that remembers the boom years for timber in Singapore.

FOODshed: Art and Agriculture in Action

An exhibition of upstate/downstate NY artists who work with food and agriculture - Curated by Amy Lipton (ecoartspace)
Smack Mellon - 92 Plymouth Street at Washington - Brooklyn, NY 11201
June 7 to July 27, 2014
Opening reception: Saturday, June 7, 5pm-8pm
FOODshed: Agriculture and Art in Action focuses on sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, and artists’ use of food as subject matter or medium. The exhibition and programming include 14 exhibiting artists in the gallery at Smack Mellon, 3 public projects in the nearby DUMBO community, as well as public workshops in collaboration with the artists in the exhibition. The gallery exhibition features artworks and inventive projects around agriculture and food that address farming as both activism and art form. Many of the artists in this exhibition are known for bringing community-specific issues into their work and are exploring the real-world implications of small-scale farming and raising community awareness about our food systems. Their varied practices include growing food, cooking food, raising animals for food, and engaging communities around local food production as well as instigating new artist-based economies.

Continue reading

Brandon Ballengée – Events in Germany

DFA 186: Had?s. 2012. Unique digital-C print on watercolor paper. Cleared and stained Pacific tree frog collected in Aptos, California in scientific collaboration with Stanley K. Sessions. 46 x 34 in. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY.
DFA 186: Hades. 2012. Unique digital-C print on watercolor paper. Cleared and stained Pacific tree frog collected in Aptos, California in scientific collaboration with Stanley K. Sessions. 46 x 34 in. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY.

Brandon Ballengée will be exhibiting and talking in Germany from late May 2014 onwards.  He will be in Berlin and in Lüneburg:

In Berlin

Exhibition at  Art Laboratory Berlin: [macro]biologies II: organisms  (Suzanne Anker, Brandon Ballengée, Maja Smrekar) // 31 May- 20 July, 2014
Vernissage: 30 May, 2014, 20:00
Artist and curators talk: 1 June 2014, 15:00
More information here

In Lüneburg

Praeter Naturam: Beyond Nature  (Lecture)
Tuesday 3 June 2014, 12:15-13:45
Leuphana University (Scharnhorststr. 1, building 3) Room C 3.121
The lecture will be followed by an open discussion with Brandon Ballengée, moderated by Dr. Sacha Kagan (Leuphana University, ISKO / Cultura21).

Biologist and artist, Brandon Ballengée creates transdisciplinary artworks inspired by his ecological field and laboratory research into amphibians, birds, fish and insect species found in today’s ‘preternatural’ environments. Ballengée uses art in order to realize scientific research, and science in order to realize art. He is a systemic practitioner and an “ecosystem activist” who stresses public involvement through participatory biology, field investigations and laboratory programs. Since 1996, Ballengée’s primary scientific research and much of his art has focused on the occurrence of developmental deformities and population declines among amphibians. Continue reading