WHO: Project Background

The "Greenest Cities Conversations Project" is a research initiative based at the University of British Columbia, and led by Dr. John Robinson.  The GCCP is divided into channels; one of these channels is the arts channel which is commissioning 4 works as part of its research exploring possible relationships between environmentalism and the arts that avoid the standard approach of enlisting art as a vehicle for environmental messagingThe work on this blog is from the "visual arts" commission, the other 3 are:

Don McKay – poet – Don is a member of the Order of Canada for his contribution to

Literary Arts, winner of the Griffin Prize for Poetry and the Governor General's Award, 
and is widely considered one of Canada's premiere literary talents.

Kevin Kerr – theatre – Kevin is a Governor General's Award winning playwright and artistic
director of The Electric Company Theatre, an internationally acclaimed group specializing in
devised theatre, and incorporating high-tech media into live performance.

Giorgio Magnanensi / Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
– music composition – Giorgio is
Director of Vancouver New Music and acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic. The VSO is one
of Canada's premiere professional music ensembles.

The Commissioning Document of the four art commissions sets the playing field for the works.  The issues to be explored, as authored by primary researcher David Maggs, are set out in a wide-ranging theoretical exploration of our specific historical moment -- a moment in which, for the first time, human civilization has identified self-generated threats to its own future, combined with a recognition that there may be enough lead time to make possible changing course through self-intervention in our own patterns.  Within this context of increasing awareness of these threats and the formative stages of our response, the focus here is specifically on art:  if there is a role to be played by it, and if so what it is.