[NetBehaviour] We won't fly for art : Take the Pledge

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Apr 16 14:08:49 CEST 2009


Hi Richard,

To save confusion here is a copy of the main text from the pledge:

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 slowly between 
destinations, to look futureward with more attention to the view from 
the ground and the network, for ways to connect with others around 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, art 
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 to 
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 Reduce Art 
Flights campaign using the generative and viral capabilities of social 
networks. We want to know more about the impact of air-flight on the 
artworld (and beyond). We intuit that abstaining from air flight will 
motivate and enable people (with more time, money, energy and attention) 
to relate differently to their own local cultures and to connect more 
imaginatively to other cultures.

marc
> my understanding of this pledge was that it was aimed at punters 
> rather than artists. i wouldn't fly to reykjavik to see the 
> sugarcubes, i'd wait until they turned up playing a gig in brighton 
> [where i live] or london. the band should travel, the audience remain 
> at home. same goes for yourself or simon. perhaps it gets more 
> complicated with the line continually blurring between consumer and 
> producer but it's still simple for me to recognise that, as someone 
> currently investigating the legacy of the egyptians in our culture, i 
> can easily go to the local library, or the V&A in london, rather then 
> fly to turin (where they have a large egyptian museum) or even cairo.
>
>
>
> 2009/4/16 Pall Thayer <pallthay at gmail.com <mailto:pallthay at gmail.com>>
>
>     In addition to what Simon said, I think you're also oversimplifying
>     the idea of "revitalising [the] [local scene]". The local scene here
>     in Reykjavik is very "flat". I work here with a small organization to,
>     not "revitalize", but rather to "vitalize" this scene as it has never
>     been anything other than "flat". It's highly unrealistic of us to
>     attempt to reach our goals on the merits of our work alone. This would
>     be nice but there are a couple of reasons why this is unrealistic. For
>     one, showing that there is an international scene adds a lot of
>     legitimacy to our claims that this type of art is relevant and
>     worthwhile. Another reason may perhaps be a bit more "Icelandic". The
>     Icelandic cultural scene has always been afraid to acknowledge things
>     that happen in Iceland that can be said to be new and different unless
>     someone else does it first. A very good example of this is that The
>     Sugarcubes were practically unknown, except within a very small
>     underground local music scene, until they hit the charts in the UK.
>     After that, Iceland was finally ready to accept them and what they
>     were doing. The same sort of thing happened with Olafur Eliasson. Very
>     few people in Iceland knew who he was or what he was doing until after
>     he was recognized abroad even though he had exhibited several times in
>     Iceland (he's never actually lived in Iceland). I can't think of a
>     single well recognized figure in the Icelandic art community that
>     didn't first receive recognition somewhere else.
>
>     So, for these reasons it's important that we network outside of
>     Iceland both to make contacts that we can bring to Iceland to show the
>     community here what is happening elsewhere and to make names for
>     ourselves outside of Iceland so that the community here will be more
>     receptive to the work we're doing ourselves.
>
>     In other words, we can't "vitalize" or "revitalize" the local scene
>     without traveling abroad and this is widely recognized as can be seen
>     by the numerous travel grants available within the Nordic countries
>     and Europe expressly for the purpose of "networking".
>
>     best r.
>     Pall
>
>     On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 10:12 AM, richard willis
>     <listservs at richtextformat.co.uk
>     <mailto:listservs at richtextformat.co.uk>> wrote:
>     > hey all
>     >
>     > i took this pledge, but it's easy for me as i barely get any time to
>     > dedicate to art as it is, the idea that i would have the time
>     and money to
>     > fly somewhere to see it is almost absurd. for some of you guys
>     it looks more
>     > challenging, and it really the challenged that should be taking
>     this pledge.
>     > for me it's like saying 'i pledge to carry on pretty much as i
>     already am
>     > doing'.
>     >
>     > if you really need to fly to the art, because you live in
>     rochdale or
>     > reykvavik or whatever and the local scene is a bit flat, perhaps
>     you should
>     > be putting energy into revitalising that local scene, rather
>     than spend time
>     > surfing for cheap flights to new york.
>     >
>     > r.
>     >
>     >
>     >
>     > 2009/4/16 Tim Cowlishaw <tim at timcowlishaw.co.uk
>     <mailto:tim at timcowlishaw.co.uk>>
>     >>
>     >> On 16 Apr 2009, at 10:10, helen varley jamieson wrote:
>     >>
>     >> > yes turning off lights & appliances, & not overheating
>     buildings, is
>     >> > just as (maybe more?) important as reducing flights &
>     driving. i don't
>     >> > have the stats but i understand that even turning off things like
>     >> > computers & stereos at the wall can make a difference.
>     >>
>     >> I think the point is though, that it's not an either / or. We
>     need to
>     >> be doing all of the above, and urgently. If people's personal
>     >> circumstances make this difficult / impossible that's a seperate
>     >> issue, but we can't really be using energy efficiency in some
>     areas to
>     >> jsutify extravagence in others - it's basically the same
>     offsetting,
>     >> but on a personal scale, and it doesn't work.
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> Cheers,
>     >>
>     >> Tim
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>     >
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>     --
>     *****************************
>     Pall Thayer
>     artist
>     http://www.this.is/pallit
>     *****************************
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