The environment has always been the Artists muse. The Earth has been painted, revisioned, pulled, plucked and sculpted. Artists are also borrowers of technology, revisiting its purpose to enhance, question, conceptualize and transform. This issue of SWITCH is about opening the discussion of using this planet as we connect it to technology. This issue is "Greenish".
The CADRE New Media lab opened this issue to contributors whose eclectic backgrounds compliment and even conflict with each other as they visit issues of sustainability, green technology and personal responsibility. This issue also parallels the San Jose ZER01 festival, June 4-8, by tying in the FUSE residencies with festival events.
When the SWITCH editorial staff began discussing "Green" it took us several hours to come an agreement on how to approach the concept and the word itself. The word had become trendy leaving it a truism while forgetting its original intent. Our initial hesitancy of approaching this topic makes it even more of an important challenge. As artists living in the post-modern we need to rethink our approach to technology and venture out beyond the digital. It is not enough for us to be simply carbon neutral, in fact that is a false assumption just read the interview with Ted Smith. We need to look at sustainable approaches to creating and disseminating art. Method of metal casting, oil painting and woodcarving leave the similar marks as SUV's and aerosol cans. At the same time toxic waste left from poor natural disaster planning becomes new material for artists (read FEMA Trailers). Architecture is moving faster than art using strategic methods of building and bringing awareness that the structure and design is permanent and will withstand the life of the artist but its waste and reminisce has an impact beyond the life of the human (read Architectural Sustainability). It seems there is a lot to discuss here if we look beyond the hype. This is not just about trendy magazine reporting on the latest product made from bamboo or the movie theater that has decided to recycle their paper cups. This is about artists approaching the technology, methods and thinking behind sustainability and Green.
To spice up the dialogue we invited a few activists to contribute to this issue. Activists such as Julia Butterfly Hill and Curtis Baffico have spent a good portion of their lives trying to communicate to us the importance of how we create. Their approaches have changed with technology while sustaining the grassroots methods of discussing, inspiring and networking. Their stories are valuable since they revisit what we have heard but may have forgotten. They are voices of the past that tell us to think about which path we might choose and provide us the courage to take the first steps into a possibility of a more just and equitable future.
When looking through this issue approach it as "Greenish". This is collaborative. Rethink Green.
-Managing Editor, Danielle Siembieda