Welcome to Culture|Futures

We are engaging the cultural sector in creating an ecological age.

Culture|Futures is an expanding spiral of engagement of cultural actors around the world who are moved to engage their work and creativity to sustain human and all life.

We do this through:

  • our communication platform, allowing cultural actors to connect and share knowledge globally
  • our conferences, workshops and event templates, fostering inspiration and sharing of best practices across disciplines and cultures
  • our network of key cultural institutions/organizations around the world committed to innovating their own daily practice
  • our Culture|Futures Clubs creating networks for creative professionals and students in cities around the world
  • linking the cultural component with some of the world’s cutting-edge urban sustainable demo-programs


The cultural transition between now and the dawning of the Ecological Age in 2050 will require fundamental changes in people’s mindset and behaviour linked with political, business, and technological developments

The Culture|Futures 2014 is:

  • Over 1000 institutions around the world working with culture have agreed to change their future daily practices to become sustainable by achieving economic benefits, optimizing resources in cultural production, exploring new creative content inspired by rethinking nature/ecology and by building new mindset in communities and city/region by communication with audiences.
  • At least 100+ major popular cultural institutions around the world achieves results to be recognized as ‘eco-leader ambassadors’

The Culture|Futures 2020 vision is:

  • Cultural actors around the world have through their daily practices accelerated global mindset and behavior changes for an ecological age.
  • There will be a supportive public and cultural environment for reduced CO2 emissions, reduced ecological footprints, and an increased human development index as per global targets for 2020.

The Culture|Futures 2050 vision is:

  • Cultural resilience in support of a reduced carbon footprint, a balanced ecological footprint, and global human development index improvement as per global 2050 targets.
  • The Ecological Age, where human beings live in a way which sustains human and all life, is a reality

Global Protectors for Culture|Futures

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Director-General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).


Jan Gehl, Architect, MAA & FRIBA, Professor Emeritus, Founding Partner at Gehl Architects – an urban research and design consultancy based in Denmark. Jan Gehl is global champion of people-focused urban planning.

Culture|Futures Clubs was awarded the Council of Europe Cultural Event Label 2012

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Australia: Art prize and exhibition to promote climate awareness

In Adelaide, Australia’s fifth-largest city with 1.3 million residents, 51 artists submitted 66 different works for the fifth Solar Art Prize which offered a first prize of AUS$ 8,000 worth of solar panels, along with four minor prizes of AUS$ 5,000 each of solar vouchers.


The winner of the $8,000 prize was Frey Micklethwait, who had submitted his unpublished book ‘Homin-ID’ in the competition. Because he was renting and didn’t have a roof of his own, he gave his prize away.

The 66 artworks have been on display at the Royal South Australian Society of Arts gallery in March and April 2014, and are currently at display at Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide.


Amanda Hassett’s prize winning ‘Carbon Footprint’ – 12.25x60x5 wood and char on board

The aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness of climate change and to encourage “ideas for the reduction of atmospheric green house gasses as expressed through art work, or by illustrating warnings and public responsibility.”

Peter Noble’s ‘Danger Zone’ was winner of the 4th Solar Art Prize in 2013

Peter Noble’s ‘Danger Zone’ was winner of the 4th Solar Art Prize in 2013

The exhibition depicts artists’ concerns with the environment and climate change, through their imagination, diversity and the beauty of nature.

Marg Easson’s oil painting ‘Climate Refuge – No Planet B’ won the Painting Prize, Gerhard Ritter’s water colour ‘The Final Floe’ won the Works on Paper Prize, Amanda Hassett’s ‘Carbon Footprint’ won the 3D Prize, and Aussie Kanck’s ‘Self Portrait’ won the Everything Else Prize.


In addition to viewing the art exhibit, visitors can pick up a booklet, ‘Ways We Can – Meet the challenge of climate change’, which contains a mix of previous art entries and emsissions reduction info – “science to inform and art to inspire.”

“Many approaches are needed to reeducate the public as they are being constantly bombarded with excuses to do nothing at best by doubters, skeptics and denialists of the facts – if they even venture to read them – and self-interested big business,” said Pip Fletcher who is the organiser and sponsor of the Solar Arts Prize.

Lateral thinking
Culture|Futures asked Pip Fletcher what her personal motivation is for doing all this, and in a letter she replied:

“What motivates us to do anything? I think motivational causes can be summarised as: Awareness, Experience, Examples of others, Imagination and some Lateral Thinking. All these things are interconnected.

I grew up in a small farm community, post war – people shared – they had gone through a depression and a war. When something needed doing, they did it, and they didn’t wait for government. Fetes, and working bees, were part of the social fabric.

I nursed and travelled widely. A chance-met American science student made me aware of some of the world’s environmental problems. Working in Ethiopia for six months, a year in a architectural technicians/building course with TAFE, the science module in teacher training in South Australia and research into Australian animals for a board game – Animal Sanctuary – all showed me some environmental aspects of climate change.

For decades I have listened to the BBC at night when I can’t sleep. Europe has been taking climate change seriously while Australia’s offical denial has been an ongoing disgrace for far too long.

Tim Flannery [Chief Commissioner of the Climate Commission which he turned into the independent Climate Council as the Australian government closed down the Commission] generously invited a number of wildlife and conservation supporters to a luncheon launch for his book. I was flattered and read it, and as many more books and magazines on the subject as I could.

Finally my sister an brother-in-law left me money which I wanted to use usefully. Their money’s gone but it is very satisfying to realise just how much we, the ordinary people, can do. I have become aware, not only through the people who have helped me, but of a vast number of other people who are trying to tackle the problem by a multitue of ways.”

The theme for this years’ Solar Arts Prize was ‘Caring for Our Planet’. A People’s Choice Award was handed over 13 April 2014.

Pilgrim Uniting Church hosts the 5th Solar Art Prize exhibition ‘Caring for our Planet’ until 9 May 2014.

» More about the exhibition on  www.facebook.com



“The exhibition aims to celebrate nature and the environment and promote the reduction of carbon output in the fight against global warming by encouraging ideas for the reduction of green house gasses as expressed through art work, or by illustrating warnings and public responsibility. If the world can change to renewable power, we can achieve a more sustainable future for both the natural world and humanity.”
Introduction from exhibition booklet



» The Desert Equinox Solar Art Exhibition
Artists show what they can do with solar power. Held in Broken Hill, Australia, in 2012.

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Performers make video statements about climate change

The Climate Message Video Festival is an online initiative that brings together musicians from all over the world to increase awareness of climate change. They don’t meet in real life, they all meet on Youtube. Festival organiser and jazz musician Warren Senders from USA aims to have uploaded an even 1,000 videos by Earth Day on 22 April 2014.


“Whether we reach that number or not, the video festival will keep on keepin’ on. The goal is to have sounds and voices from all over the world saying in as many different languages and styles as possible that the time to get serious about climate change is now.”

“As a musician, as a human being, and as a citizen of Planet Earth, I can say that we all need to be committed to the fight against global climate change, so that our songs can go on to generations in the future.”
Warren Senders

If you’re a performer in any idiom, you can join the Climate Message Video Festival – an online initiative bringing together musicians from all over the world to increase awareness of climate change: www.theclimatemessage.com

To make a Climate Message video, here’s how:
Use a smartphone or webcam (or a friend’s) and record about a minute’s worth of your music and talking. Then email it to theclimatemessage@gmail.com, along with your name, contact information, and any details you want included.

Warren Senders will then upload it to the YouTube channel, and feature it on The Climate Message website. Eventually all the videos will be linked to an interactive world map.

Climate Message from Warren Senders, teacher and performer of Indian classical music, Medford, Massachusetts, USA

Climate Message from Banning Eyre, radio broadcaster, writer, musician, Connecticut, USA

Climate Message from Jarrett Cherner – piano – Brooklyn, New York, USA


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Book about curatorial methodologies on climate change

The book ‘Portable Nation: Disappearance as Work in Progress – Approaches to Ecological Romanticism’ offers a range of geo-political positions and research-curatorial methodologies on climate change and their approaches to ecological romanticism.


Featuring essays on the geopolitics of climate change and the idea of urgency, the book offers a comprehensive snapshot of the aesthetic, political and poetic dimensions of the situation in the island nation intertwined with a global vision of the climate emergency around the world.

The book is based on the work of curators Khaled Ramadan, Alfredo Cramerotti and Aida Eltorie who were commissioned by the Maldives Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture to be in charge of the exhibition at the Pavilion of Maldives for the 55th International Art Exhibition of Venize Biennale in 2013.

The book expands on several of the themes which emerged conceptually and artistically in the Maldives Pavilion exhibition and six-month-long public programme, and elaborates them in a philosophical, historical, scientific and poetic register within the specific materiality of a book, with its capacity to extend the time, space and context of the ideas beyond the Venice Biennale. It aims to engage a readership further-reaching than the project’s immediate public.

The publication is structured in three main sections: the artists and their projects presented in the Maldives Pavilion, the parallel projects over the six-month period, and the critical text section which includes interviews and thematic analysis.


‘Portable Nation: Disappearance as Work in Progress – Approaches to Ecological Romanticism’

book coverABOUT THE BOOK
Editors: Dorian Batycka, Camilla Boemio, Alfredo Cramerotti and Aida Eltoire
Publisher: Maretti Editore
Year: 2014
Pages: 176
Language: English

» More information about the book at Maretti Editore:  www.marettieditore.com

Mohamed Ali, Sama Alshaibi, Ursula Biemann, Stefano Cagol, Wael Darwesh, Moomin Fouad, Thierry Geoffrey (aka Colonel), Khaled Hafez, Heidrun Holzfeind & Christoph Draeger, Hanna Husberg, Laura McLean & Kalliopi Tsipni-Kolaza, Achilleas Kentonis & Maria Papacaharalambous, Paul Miller (aka DJ Spooky), Gregory Niemeyer, Khaled Ramadan, Oliver Ressler, Klaus Schafler, Patrizio Travagli, Wooloo.

Mark Dahl, Ehsan Fardjadniya, Shani Leiderman, Celeste Pimm, Oliver Ressler, Marian Tubbs.

The project was supported by the Danish Arts Council, Mookai Suites, mooinc, The Allam Foundation, bm: ukk – Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, The Arts and Culture, Kultur Steiermark-Department Culture, Europe, Foreign Relations, Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, 6 Contemporary Arts, Material Fonds, HIVOS: People United, Ayyam Projects, The School of Art and College of Fine Art – University of Arizona, Art Sawa Gallery Dubai, Olympus Cinema Male, Imad Agency Photo Archive, The Maldives National Museum, Meyer Sound and CITRIS, Contemporary Practices Art Journal, Transart Institute New York, Horcynus Orca Foundation Messina, www.doculogia.com.

» Maldives Pavilion:

» Chamber of Public Secrets:

» www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHE4DJmJnGs

» www.doculogia.com/01doculogia.html

» www.vimeo.com/channels/essay/page:8

» www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgDEcJEnupw

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European alliance of artists and arts institutions promote environmental sustainability

Green Art Lab Alliance is a European-wide programme dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability and how that can be challenged in practical, ethical, and artistic ways across arts genres and cultural communities across Europe. On 12-13 March 2014, the alliance’s next workshop will be held in Berlin, Germany


The alliance investigates the challenges and opportunities that environmental sustainability implies for the practice of artists and art institutions:

“We believe it is time that arts and culture takes responsibility in its own innovative and artistic ways. The arts shouldn’t see environmental sustainability as a side issue, but as an essential part of its practice. What that exactly implies for the visual arts and design, is what this project will investigate on different levels and in close collaboration with designers, artists and scientists across Europe,” the initiators of the project stated.

Based on the concept of a ‘knowledge alliance’ developed by DutchCulture|TransArtists in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle the Green Art Lab Alliance of twenty cultural organisations in Europe have created a partnership, building a collaborative project with cultural organisations and artists all over Europe and Georgia.

The project has a total budget of 400,000 euro, of which 50 percent is co-financed by the EU Culture programme. The Green Art Lab Alliance officially started with a kick-off meeting in June 2013 at the Jan van Eijck Academy in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and it will run for almost two years, ending in March 2015.

During this period the collaborating partners organise workshops and labs to share knowledge and raise awareness amongst citizens and artists in particular.

On 28-29 November 2013, Art Motile and the Gas Natural Contemporary Art Museum presented a two day programme of talks, workshops and a round table discussion with TransArtists, ResArtis, On-the-Move and Interarts, among others.

On 12-13 March 2014, the Green Art Lab Alliance will host a workshop on green issues for the sustainable support of cultural mobility in Berlin, Germany. This workshop targets EU funders and cultural policy makers interested in including green criteria in the way they support culture and cultural mobility in particular.

On the Move, Julie’s Bicycle and DutchCulture¦TransArtists co-organise the workshop together with with ITI-Germany and IGBK.

Sholeh Johnston from Julie’s Bicycle is tutor of the training.

“This workshop will provide an overview of various approaches taken to embed environmental criteria into cultural funding. We will share the tools, resources and methodology used by example funding bodies, such as the Arts Council England, which has embedded criteria around environmental reporting into funding agreements since 2012. We will cover case studies of how cultural organisations are interpreting environmental sustainability and the potential impact of policy in aiding and supporting this work, with a focus on touring, residencies and other mobility-related work. There will be ample opportunity for discussion and thinking through how these learnings can be practically applied in various European contexts,” explained Sholeh Johnston.

Along with this workshop a training for ecological and sustainable cultural work will take place, entitled ‘Training sustainability!’. This training – supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) – targets leaders and stakeholders in the performing arts.

Experiences will be shared and synergies will be created at a joined introductory presentation by Julie’s Bicycle and at a ‘Green Salon’ on 12 March 2014. The participants will also get a chance to visit in Berlin cultural and “green” places, including UFA Fabrik.

» For more information about the workshop, you can send an e-mail to mobility (at) on-the-move.org

Advocate for legacy and standards

“Maintaining the diversity of response in the context of a shared ambition will be critical for ensuring that the project has a strong foundation for legacy. With this project we will establish a strong network of artists and organizations engaged with this topic of environmental sustainability, which will be the foundation for establishing a European Knowledge Alliance. This European Knowledge Alliance will consist of knowledge hubs (ambassadors/artists and organizations) across Europe on the different ethical, practical and artistic aspects of environmental sustainability.

The Knowledge Alliance will advocate for legacy and standards for the arts and cultural sector on environmental sustainability on the longer term.”

Transartists.org wrote that this first meeting of all partners “demonstrated what it is that makes this project so unique: the variety of profiles of participating organisations and different geographical backgrounds offer a diverse approach to the different aspects of sustainability.”

There are residencies involved where artists, the general public and partner organisations get the chance to experiment and explore the role of sustainability in the arts.

Others are European cultural networks, government related institutes which have impact on (national) policy level, educational institutes and organisations which are stimulating the exchange of scientific knowledge with the creativity of artists.

The issues related to sustainability that these organisations are going to address vary from mobility to waste, water and energy.

“All partners believe that it is time for the arts and culture to take responsibility in their own innovative and artistic ways. By exploring the different approaches and by sharing knowledge and best practices, the partners aim to identify realistic first steps to create a better understanding  of the meaning  of sustainability for and through the arts.

The GALA partners want to promote and support artists and cultural workers in their contribution to this goal. The ambition is to create a Europe-wide network of individuals and organisations engaged in combining arts and environmental sustainability.”

» Report about the kick-off meeting: www.transartists.org

More information

» Open or download: planning document for the Green Art Lab Alliance 2013-2015 (PDF)

» Discover or rediscover the Green mobility guide for the performing arts sector which On The Move co-produced with Julie’s Bicycle.

» More info on www.on-the-move.org

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