[NetBehaviour] we wont fly for art

Ruth Catlow ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org
Wed Apr 15 21:18:47 CEST 2009

forward from Marc--->
Hi Pall,


 > Being stuck on an island in the middle of the North Atlantic makes
 > this one a bit tough for me too.


Yes, of course - things probably need to be measured out in a conscious
way, it is a matter of balance rather than an absolute.


Some of the furtherfield crew disagreed with us, and suggested that we
did not make it a furtherfield project, and we respectfully honoured
this request; and decided to make it a project set up by Ruth and myself
instead, which is fair enough.


In response to this, we have received many questions. Which are all
relevant, highlighting how difficult such a request is. In an interview
with Art is Open Source, discussing about the economic crisis, climate
change and neoliberalism. I said " I was impressed by Gustav Metzger’s
recent project ‘Reduce Art Flights’. A campaign challenging the art
world to stop contributing to global warming by reducing their air
flights all over the world, “following a reaction to Art Basel in 2006.
RAF / Reduce Art Flights which deliberately resonates with both the
Royal Air force and Red Army Faction acronyms comprises of a series of
leaflets distributed at significant art events and exhibitions in an
attempt to awaken the art world into considering  alternative travel
options.”[15] Reduce Art Flights (RAF) is a simple project asking us
head-on to change and be more effective in our everyday lives in respect
of our use of air flights. Questioning the systematic behaviour of the
art world and its reliance on travelling to conferences and art fairs.
“Two decades of procrastination ensure that only emergency measures now
have a chance of preventing a climate disaster."


So, perhaps it is more about 'reducing' art flights - not ever going on
an 'art' flight.


Ruth and I have both made personal sacrifices 'our decision', no one
else's to not go on flights for six months and see how we approach
different ways in travelling, instead of choosing the easy option of
flying. As you know, we are pretty busy and so it will be ard for us,
but we wish to see what happens.


Like Gustav Metzger, we feel that each practice has its own set of
circumstances. By sharing this 'personal' challenge in an art context,
with the (media) art world and others - a realisation hits you, how
varied everyone else's perspectives and concerns really are, around this
complicated issue. Which I think is great, because the discuourse itself
can teach myself and Ruth, and anyone else who is interested, what it
means for others and how it relates relationally, especially in respect
of social relationships with the real world, and how it all connects
locally, personally and internationally when using infrastures to
support our art activities.


The other thing is, already we know that many have been reliant on
flight to further their, ahem - careers. One of the main problems I see
here is that, there are some who thrive by travelling the world to
conferences and having exhibitions everywhere, whilst there are those
who rarely travel in contrast to this. Perhaps, such a process of
re-evalution will allow the smaller groups or individuals to be seen as
equal in the future, if things change, doubt it ;-)

        Pall Thayer wrote:
         > Being stuck on an island in the middle of the North Atlantic
         > this one a bit tough for me too. I will however promise never
        to sail
         > for art as I've never found the ocean's sense of balance
         > appealing.
         > best r.
         > Pall Thayer
         > On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 11:01 PM, Michael Szpakowski 
        <szpako at yahoo.com> wrote:
         >> Hi Ruth
         >> pretty much my every breath is dedicated to trying to blag
        an art 
        related trip outside Europe so I don't think I can do this one,
        or at 
        least not until I've pulled that off. However I am happy to
        *never, ever* to drive anywhere in pursuit of my art...
         >> warmest wishes
         >> michael
         >> --- On Sun, 4/12/09, Ruth Catlow
        <ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org> wrote:
         >> From: Ruth Catlow <ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org>
         >> Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] We won't fly for art : Take the
         >> To: "NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity" 
        <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
         >> Date: Sunday, April 12, 2009, 6:07 PM
         >> Thanks Karen and Dimos for joining us so quickly and for
        longer pledge deadlines; )
         >> For those who'd like to join us but have tickets already
        booked for 
        art-flights before 26th April, check out the comments:-
         >> - Karen's pledge has a 10th May as its deadline 
         >> - Dimos Dimitriou has 15th May 
         >> Cheers
         >> Ruth
         >> -----Original Message-----
         >> From: Ruth Catlow <ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org>
         >> Reply-To: ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org, NetBehaviour for
        distributed creativity <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
         >> To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity 
        <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
         >> Subject: [NetBehaviour] We won't fly for art : Take the
         >> Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2009 14:16:35 +0100
         >> We won't fly for art for six months
         >> but only if 6 others will do the same AND replicate this
        pledge by 
        26th April 2009
         >> http://www.pledgebank.com/wewontflyforart
         >> - Marc and Ruth
         >> We will not take an aeroplane for the sake of art. For the
        next 6 
        months we will find other ways to visit and participate in
        fairs, conferences, meetings, residencies. We will not fly for 
        inspiration, nor to appreciate, buy or sell art.
         >> But only if 6 others will do the same AND replicate this
         >> This pledge is designed for exponential growth so if you
        another 6 people to do the same, within a year you could be one
        millions of people changing the way the artworld works. So sign
        create a replica pledge and share your own experiences,
        observations and 
        arguments towards reducing art flights. Post a link to it in the
        box so others can find their way to it.
         >> This is a public art experiment in the de-escalation of 
        carbon-fuelled, high altitude, high-velocity, global art
        careering. For 
        six months we choose to cover less physical distance, move more
        between destinations, to look futureward with more attention to
        the view 
        from the ground and the network, for ways to connect with others
        the world.
         >> Who can sign up to this pledge? Any individual involved in
        the arts: 
        artist (in the broadest sense), curator, art administrator, art 
        appreciator, gallerist, art critic, art historian, art academic,
        technician, art security, art transporter etc. Whether you
        currently fly 
        for art 50 times a year or never, your engagement will change
        things by 
        making your position in the artworld visible and by offering an 
        alternative perspective. If you work with others you may need
        completely revise your schedules and budgets and lobby for the
        right not 
        to fly.
         >> This is to light the blue touch paper of Gustave Metzger's
        Art Flights campaign using the generative and viral capabilities
        social networks. We want to know more about the impact of
        air-flight on 
        the artworld (and beyond). We intuit that abstaining from air
        will motivate and enable people (with more time, money, energy
        attention) to relate differently to their own local cultures and
        connect more imaginatively to other cultures.
         >> Inspirations and Observations
         >> Artwork- 'Reduce Art Flights' by Gustave Metzger, reviewed
         >> Sustainable Development- Social science on the environmental
        of economic growth
         >> 'Why Politicians Dare Not Limit Economic Growth' by Tim
         >> Investigative Journalism - What can we do to stop climate
         >> Heat (2006) by George Monbiot, summarised and reviewed here 
         >> Monbiot's Guardian blog http://tinyurl.com/dcew6o
         >> Plane Stupid Campaign- 'bringing the aviation industry down
        to earth'
         >> http://www.planestupid.com/
         >> More Art and Ecology Links-
         >> DIWOlogue- http://diwologue.net/blog/?p=38
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