Welcome to the a:n Treeline blog – An a:n bursary international visit by members of the Black Hole Club at Vivid Projects and Salt road artists as part of the Treeline project, an ecology biomimicry & global environmental change artist and Science program, With Black Hole Club artists Rebecca Mahay, Daniel Hopkins, David Checkley, Kate Spence, Jaime Jackson Coral Manton, Leon Trimble and Salt road artist curator Sally Payen. The bursary has enabled artists to develop the ideas that inform their practice in an international context, and for Salt road to develop an international network to develop and deliver a future program of works in Europe.
The tree line, like lake boundaries, appears well-defined from a distance, but upon sufficiently close inspection it is a gradual transition. Trees grow shorter towards the inhospitable climate until they simply stop growing’.
Treeline is a European Biomimicry Global Environmental Change & Biophila art and science climate change adaption artist residency, commissioning exhibition and seminar programme, linking Wales and England with the Basque Country and Oslo. Through a partnership network between D10 and New Art West Midlands Birmingham/ the Midlands, i-DAT Plymouth, PNEK Oslo (Production Network for Electronic Art, Norway) and Technarte Bilbao.
Artists will be working with scientists and researchers with University of Wales Trinity St David and across a network of universities including University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Plymouth University, Oslo University, The University of the Basque Country BC3 (the Basque Centre of Climate Change), Autonomous University of Barcelona Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology , Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences and the Oslo Academy of Fine Art.
The program links the international Biophilic City, a European Green Capital and Euro City programmes. Treeline will be delivered in partnership with project hub organisations in cities in the Basque Country, Oslo, England and Wales including:
New Art West Midlands in Birmingham and the Midlands
i-DAT in Plymouth
D10 in Wales
PNEK In Oslo (Production Network for Electronic Art, Norway).
This is a socially engaged project between artists, scientists and communities, allowing artists to work with communities to articulate a bridge between knowledge and belief, and reconnect people to their own human nature. About how we adapt to the climate changing to the idea to really feel it, to collaborate, an academic and co-production perspectives to make connections between heart and head. And how scientists are affected by working with artists. From a sociological and anthropology position to see how contextual and cultural values of a community shape its environmental behaviour in view of climate action. Developing more effective communication strategies in order to engage society.
The Treeline is an Arts Council England funded visual art commission program linking artists with academics, asking if artists can create a real state change in culture, a re-visioning of social value structures. If art is at the heart of our understanding of social values, can artists working with ecological aesthetics bridge the gap between knowledge and belief. Can artists and the art that they make re-vision the world’s value structure towards nature, the environment and the planet’s resources, to create a real state of emergency, to work with scientists to create a real state change in culture.
I’ve worked as an artist in the world of climate change for 15 years and have been part of many discussions… In moments of despair, it feels like art can’t begin to touch what needs to be done. At other times, it feels like the creative world can open out the conversation and facts in a way that transcends science and also doesn’t alienate or intimidate the casual or lay audience. Michèle Noach, Norwegian Environmental activist & artist based in London, working as a writer on Treeline.
What is the link between the patriarchy and ecocide?
This division between nature and culture is a central component of modern aesthetics. The concept of disinterest that announces itself during the 18th century….signifies exactly this kind of categorical division between culture and civilisation, governed by our desires and interests, and the natural realm that is conceived as a counterpoint, as something outside our human concerns. There is something deeply problematic about this categorical division.’ Fredriksson, A. ‘Environmental Aesthetics Beyond the Dialectics of Interest and Disinterest.
’Why? Fredriksson writes, ‘our understanding of nature…makes us forget the whole story of our natural life-form.’ This forgetting enables an overview whereby other humans as well as natural forms are treated as external, or as environment, enabling their categorisation as, for example, resource. Could natural scenes be a prompt for alternative perspectives or ditching the model of perspective itself which separates the viewer’s eye from the scene observed? Or would that elinate the distancing, which, in modern aesthetics, is the location of criticality.’
Malcolm Miles. Eco-Aesthetics- Art, Literature and Architecture in a period of Climate Change.