Palazzo Strozzi   CCCS
  Green Platform
  Art Ecology Sustainability / 24.04 – 19.07.2009
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James Bradburne
Franziska Nori
Lorenzo Giusti
Valentina Gensini
John Thackara
Gunter Pauli
Marjetica Potrc
Hans Drexler
Franco La Cecla
  Green Platform at the CCCS
Franziska Nori
  The curatorial policy pursued by the CCCS (Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina) since its inauguration in November 2007 is based on the selection and presentation of projects that address issues and phenomena of major relevance for our present-day society and culture. Emotional Systems examined the correlations between the perception of art and the complex human emotive system in the light of the most recent neuro-scientific discoveries. The group exhibition China China China!!! focused on the recent boom in Chinese contemporary art. Atlas of the Future and Worlds on Video were both devoted to the production of art videos and documentaries focusing on society’s visions of the future. Art, Price and Value investigated the growing links between contemporary art and the international economic system. The list now continues with Green Platform – Art Ecology Sustainability, an exhibition of works most of which were directly produced by the CCCS.

Continuing and broadening the curatorial policy of all CCCS projects, Green Platform is conceived not only as an exhibition but also as a composite platform. The visitors will thus be involved in various types of experience ranging from workshops run by artists and environmental associations to lectures by professionals working in different fields and a programme of videos and documentaries on various environmental issues. In connection with this event, the CCCS has initiated a process of renovation aimed at increasing the ecological sustainability of its production processes by optimizing most of its output (publishing and exhibitions), adopting environmentally sound criteria and making the greatest possible use of recycled and recyclable materials.

The project curators Lorenzo Giusti and Valentina Gensini use the basic idea of the platform to develop critical reflection taking an interdisciplinary approach to the ecological question, understood both as the crisis of the thermo-industrial society founded on non-renewable sources of energy and as the environmental crisis caused by pollution and the overheating of the planet. The overall ecological problem will therefore be addressed not only in environmental terms but also with respect to its philosophical, psychological, economic and social implications. Ecology thus becomes not only the science of nature but also the science of interrelations, borders and transversality as the nexus of the twin poles of nature and culture.

Given the dramatic ecological emergencies, however, the question spontaneously arises of whether art can really help to solve the serious environmental problems of our times. In all honesty, it is hard to believe that the work of a single artist, no matter how critical and actively committed in political and social terms, can actually influence the course of our global reality. The power of a work of art does not rest on the answers it succeeds in obtaining but on its capacity to trigger new processes, reflections and even doubts in those who see, hear and experience it. In the context of our exhibition, the works prompt a rethinking of the relationship between mankind and the environment. First, the role of artistic production will not be confined to registering or reflecting reality but expanded to constitute an active reaction capable of generating broad involvement. Second, the very idea of the environment will be reassessed not only in the strictly ecological sense but also as a complex system of the world around us combining culture and science, society and the individual, art and everyday life.
One central characteristic of the works selected by the curators for Green Platform is a view of the role of art as a critical praxis of reflection on the world and its problems. The results and processes of artistic creativity become tools capable of stimulating awareness, prompting spectators to take cognizance of the complexity and importance of the environmental situation. The work of art thus becomes concrete in its action, which moves beyond its nature as object or example to serve as a tool establishing new relations of joint creativity, unprecedented situations of reciprocity in which everyone can be involved on the basis of his or her spontaneous but responsible personal specificity.

The CCCS has endeavoured to pursue a methodology of work and communication reflecting this type of approach ever since its creation. The aim has been to foster “living discourse” in Bateson’s sense of the ecology of communication, which we believe must be applied in all sectors so as to establish an active dialogue with creative individuals and other institutions.
Green Platform combines a plane of global theoretical thinking and one of territorially-focused meta-reflection. This is why both Italian and non-Italian artists have been involved and space has been given to a number of workshops that will run for the entire duration of the event and involve many different local bodies. Under the supervision of Prof. Giacomo Pirazzoli, students from the Florence University school of architecture have been involved in a workshop with the art collective Alterazioni Video to produce ideas and material in connection with their project Incompiuto Siciliano, generating works to be put on show. In collaboration with the engineers Filippo Ginanni and Giacomo Pancani, the artist Nikola Uzunovski will hold a workshop in the months of May and June with the students of professors Antonio Glessi, Gilberto Corretti, Dirk van den Eyden and Giovanni Del Signore of the ISIA in Florence. Michelangelo Consani is now working with a team of international artists on a series of projects for solar kitchens, which he will present both at the CCCS and in a special feature in the magazine Urban. The Liquidcat group of Italian artists will launch the challenging idea of a “sustainable” workshop operating through correspondence.
Through collaboration with the international exhibition-conference Terrafutura, it is planned to give space to associations operating in pursuit of specific environmental aims such as Greenpeace, Quadrifoglio and the WWF. Finally, collaboration with the Turin-based Festival CinemAmbiente on a networking basis will make it possible to show a number of international documentaries for the first time in Florence.
The following speakers have been invited for the CCCS programme of weekly lectures: Marco Sala, director of the master’s course in sustainable architecture run by Florence University; Almo Farina, an expert on the ecology of the landscape and author of Il paesaggio cognitivo (2006); Filippo De Pieri, the editor of the Italian edition of Gilles Clément’s Manifeste pour le Tiers-paysage, a crucial text both for the current debate and for international artistic reflection; Tue Greenfort, an artist of deep environmentalist convictions present at the Skulptur Projekte Münster 2007, whose work will be exhibited in Green Platform; the artist Piero Gilardi, founder of the PAV (Parco di Arte Vivente) in Turin; Leandro Pisano, the curator of the Interferenze – Naturalis Electronica festival of electronic music, addressing the relationship between new media and environmental issues; Andy Cameron, artistic director of the Fabrica interactive department in Treviso; Enzo Tiezzi, professor of chemistry at Siena University, a leading scientist of interdisciplinary working and expert on issues of sustainability.

A crucial role is played in the dynamics of the Green Platform project by the publication of the catalogue, which will include articles by international authors with different cultural and academic backgrounds (from economics to architecture, from social sciences to public art). John Tackara, the founder of Doors of Perception, and Hans Drexler, architect and lecturer at Darmstadt University, respectively address design and architecture in connection with the new criteria of sustainability. Marjetica Potrc puts forward an operative methodology of reference for young artists active in projects of territorial and social impact. Franco La Cecla, who presented Guattari’s Les Trois écologies to the Italian public just two years after it came out in France, gives an overview of present-day ecological thinking. Last but not least, Gunter Pauli presents the innovative concept of industrial production constituting the basis of the ZERI (Zero Emission Research Institute) philosophy, which draws inspiration from nature and rejects any idea of residual elements or waste.
Finally, the Green Platform exhibition inaugurates a new publishing joint venture with a very special partner, namely Moleskine. The project envisages a special form of publication-catalogue encapsulating a concordance of ideas and intentions.

Drawing the attention of the general public to these issues with a view to triggering a real process of change is perhaps one of the greatest challenges now facing the human civilization of the 21st century. The state of emergency here is unquestionably even more important then the present world-wide economic crisis, in that the consequences of environmental collapse would be unstoppable and perhaps even lethal for mankind as a whole.
The goal that an event like Green Platform pursues is to offer those members of the public wishing to participate an opportunity for involvement and debate aimed at ever-broader awareness of environmental issues capable in its vital urgency of taking real and authentically contemporary shape and direction through artistic actions, everyday practices and creative products.
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  Artists: Alterazioni Video, Amy Balkin, Andrea Caretto e Raffaella Spagna, Michele Dantini,
Ettore Favini, Futurefarmers, Tue Greenfort, Henrik Håkansson, Katie Holten, Dave Hullfish Bailey, Christiane Löhr, Dacia Manto, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Julian Rosefeldt, Carlotta Ruggieri, Superflex,
Nicola Toffolini
, Nikola Uzunovski