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Compiled by: Manisha Gutman
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THE CROAK is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial. Read more..
ART FOR ECOLOGY
Vision is a two way process. We 'see' what exists but we also create what we can visualise. The process of creation begins with a vision. 
As we look around today, and watch the human built environment overtake the last remnants of wilderness, we now need to develop a new vision.

This literally means that we need to be able to 'see' a different reality to be able to create it. To imagine a new kind of beauty one has to let go of the current notion of what we find appreciable. While naturalists and ecologists and environmentalists, may have an intellectual and practical notion of what a healthy ecosystem looks like, the  rest of us folks need help to be able to visualise this.

What would a sustainable city look like? How big would it be? Would it have highways? Would it have forests? Would it have animals cohabiting with humans? What would all this look like? 

This edition of The Croak is looking at Art for the Earth - alternate visions of looking at what exists and what can exist in the future. The artists we have featured here are using their medium to make you stop and think, to disturb you enough to question and also to imagine the unimaginable. Their efforts can awaken us to the beauty and the darkness of the present as well as to the potential of the future.
Questioning Anthropocentricity

ADONNA KHARE

Source: http://adonnak.com/
In the hands of Adonna Khare the animals are protoganists of the stories they are facing today. The beautifully rendered works detail out species from the animal world with loving attention, yet when you get closer they all have a story to tell. Brought together in strange unreal and often quixotic combinations,  Khare makes you look and look again. Question and wonder. 

When men behave like animals will animals behave more and more like humanity? She blurs the line that seperates one from the other, painting a vision where you dont quite know which is which. 
Adonna questions our idea that human beings are the center of the Universe. By mixing human and animal qualities she asks us to reimagine our own place in the natural world.
Visit her website
Redefining sensorial experience

RANDOM INTERNATIONAL

We experience Nature primarily through our five senses. The human body allows and filters natural forces and limits our perception. We have come to rely so heavily on the senses that we dont question them. What is real and what is not? Our behaviour and choices are governed by our senses.

The Rain Room is a hundred square meter field of falling water through which it is possible to walk, without getting wet. Upon entering, the sound of water and a sensation of moisture fill the air, even before seeing the installation. 

While this experience was created as an experiment in human social behaviour, it also sensitises people to the actual experience of rain. When one of the senses does not get the expected input, when the skin does not get wet, it disorients the viewer, and unexpected behaviours result.
Source: VernissageTV
Waste visions

EL ANATSUI

Source: http://el-anatsui.com/
These days it feels like we are drowning in our own waste. Will we ever be able to repair or recreate the beauty of our worlds? 
Some artists have started crafting waste, piece by piece, to create monumental pieces of art that are graceful and yet grave. El Anatsui is one of those artists based in Ghana who started working with bottle caps and other scrap metals to create stunning works of art. His process involves a community of artisans and he allows them the freedom to contribute to his vision. 
Source: Akron Art Museum

Magnifying the unseen

LINDEN GLEDHILL

Source: https://www.flickr.com/people/13084997@N03/
We easily admire the beauty of the natural world that is visible to us - but technology has also been able to show us what our human eyes cannot see, revealing to some degree, the inner order and incredible beauty of the unseen world.
When a biochemist working on cures for cancer and diabetes, spends hours peering through a microscope he becomes an artist - watching how crystals forms and how micro organisms multiply.
“I always wanted to have access to the microscope because of the creative potential.” Gledhill notes  “I’m fascinated with microscopic organisms and the world around me in terms of the image scales.”
 

Source: Creators
Art through a microscope
Eco Visualisation

JULIET HELMKE et al

https://urbanomnibus.net
Out of sight, out of mind ! We dont see how our buildings mine materials from the landscapes, we dont see how our waste pollutes the ocean, we dont see the smog that covers our cities - until it comes within our scope of vision. We simply cannot visualise our impact.
Eco-visualization is trying to change that. It is a tool to educate en masse and to change consumer behavior in an effective way. Architects like Juliet Helmke are designing interactive visuals that measure energy use in a building. In the mornings with very little power use the visual shows an abundance of trees and as the power use increases trees are replaced with buildings and equipment and disturbing sounds. This allows viewers to see how their choice of turning off the fan when not in use, directly affects the environment.
'Eco-visualizations place the use of resources in the lives of viewers, trying to connect the abstract “plundering of our natural environment” with daily life. Because of the way our resources are accessed and delivered, we easily forget that our technology is connected to the earth, ignoring how utterly reliant our artificial environments are on the strength and sustainment of our natural ones. Our attempts to bridge this gap in public consciousness fails because the numbers are unintelligible, and our infrastructure continues to be invisible, whether it’s energy efficient or not.'
Read More...
Arts that engage

NAZIHA MESTAOUI

http://nazihamestaoui.com/
Would you like to see a forest in the place of The Louvre in Paris? Naziha Mestaoui will show you one and for each message of love you send with your phone and tree will be added to the virtual forest you see, and a real tree will be planted elsewhere.
One Heart, One Tree

Through cutting-edge technology and video-mapping techniques, each personalized tree is planted/ projected on the monument with the person’s name or personal positive message. The impact is real: for each tree virtually planted during the event, a real tree is planted in one of our partner reforestation programs around the world.
« 1 Heart 1 Tree » engages citizens of the world with a unique artistic and symbiotic experience to act positively and in a very concrete manner for the protection of the environment.
Source: 1Heart1Tree
Visit her website
Transitions of time 

ANDY GOLDSWORTHY

Source: http://www.artnet.com/artists/andy-goldsworthy/
We are attached to beauty - we are programmed to look for it and we pay heavily to access it. But what is beautiful is constantly changing, just as life and Nature does. Our attachment makes us cling to a current reality, in the fear that we wont be able to recreate the beauty we once had.
The final reminder that Nature is constantly changing and there is immense beauty in this change comes from the works of Andy Goldsworthy.
Working as both sculptor and photographer, Goldsworthy crafts his installations out of rocks, ice, leaves, or branches, cognizant that the landscape will change, then carefully documents the ephemeral collaborations with nature through photography. “It's not about art,” he has explained. “It's just about life and the need to understand that a lot of things in life do not last.”
Read more...
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The Croak is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial. Satirical, urgent and wise the newsletter brings to your attention, topics of global environmental relevance as well as emerging encouraging alternatives. Put together by a team of passionate Nature lovers, The Croak hopes to look at the environmental crisis in its face. It is a tool to reconnect readers to Nature, through questioning and self reflection. To understand the outer environment as a reflection of our own inner state, individually and as a species. And to take responsibility for enabling change.
If you would like to contribute articles on ecology consciousness and sustainability please get in touch with us.
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