Art for the Planet's Sake

Cover for Art for the Planet's Sake. Photo shows the top of a statue with a rough sea in the background; titled 'The Drowned Mermaid'.

Informations en français après la présentation en anglais

IETM, international network for the performing arts, shares its new publication Art for the Planet’s Sake that looks at how contemporary arts tackle environmental issues in terms of artistic contents, managerial practices and venues management.

It is the fourth issue of IETM’s Fresh Perspectives – series of publications exploring how the contemporary arts sector is engaged with the crucial issues of today’s reality. Art for the Planet’s Sake is produced in collaboration with COAL – Coalition for Arts and Sustainable Development, Paris and written by Hannah Van Den Bergh.

Climate change engulfs us. It is the unavoidable normality that consistently adds to the order of the everyday, leaving a lasting impression through natural disasters, rising water levels, crop failure, biodiversity loss, and human conflict: a process of continual attrition. Scientists inform us that our civilisation is nearing collapse, unless we implement a radical change towards a low-carbon and low- resource economy. Art prepares us, not in calculations but in humanity. Can art pretend to save the planet? No. And it doesn’t. But if we believe in the power of art as a purely humanistic act, enriching people with non-materialistic values, art is able to tap into a different instinct, rationale and emotion than political rhetoric, corporate sales-patter or even scientific data.

This text, written by Hannah Van Den Bergh and coordinated by Marie Le Sourd (On the Move), seeks to capture a snapshot of the activity being pioneered by the arts and cultural sector. The text explores first the role and power of artists and creators to be the messengers of climate change; it presents then how arts communities try and work sustainably, thus extending ‘sustainable practice’ beyond a purely conceptual subject matter in art.

A set of guest contributions from five international experts (Chantal Bilodeau, Marco Kusumawijaya, Mike Van Graan, Sacha Kagan and Yasmine Ostendorf) enrich the publication, touching upon issues like measuring impacts, the connections between artists and local communities, the Sustainable Development Goals, sustainability as ‘response-ability’, and how cultural differences change the possible approaches to sustainability.

The publication was presented during the ArtCOP21 Professional Workshop in Paris on 4 December 2015.

IETM’s Fresh Perspectives is a series of publications that explore how the contemporary arts sector is engaged with the crucial issues of today’s societies: politics, economy, gender, environment, globalisation, etc. Fresh Perspectives give an expert’s view on the value of contemporary arts and cultural practice to individuals and society.


NOUVELLES PERSPECTIVES 4 : L’art pour le bien de la planète

Le changement climatique nous submerge. Les scientifiques nous préviennent que notre civilisation est au bord de l’effondrement, à moins d’engager un changement radical vers une économie à faible emission de carbone et économe en ressources. L’art, appelant à d’autres instincts et logiques que ceux de la réthorique politique, du baratin économique et des données scientifiques, nous prépare à ce changement - non par de froids calculs, mais humainement. La nouvelle édition des Nouvelles Perspectives d’IETM, conçue en collaboration avec COAL, explore cette dynamique.