CHRIS FREMANTLE

Designing Environments for Life

Posted in Texts by chrisfremantle on October 22, 2009

For the next event we have been asked “…we would like to invite and encourage you to prepare a very short presentation (5mins max) on a single reading. Please choose one text which has had a profound influence on your thinking and/or practice, and review it with the very specific brief of Designing Environments for Life in mind.”

So I’ve been thinking about texts…

Jane Jacobs’ Nature of Economies is a definite possibility

Helen and Newton’s piece for Structure and Dynamics pdf

Looking through books:

Vivienne Westwood’s Manifesto

Merle Laderman Ukeles Manifesto of Maintenance Art

(actually I have a lot of manifestos and statements by artists)

James Turrell talking about needing to continue Ranching whilst making Roden Crater

Robert Smithson’s Collected Writings are always good.

Renwick’s report “The land we live on is our home” pdf

Patrick Scott’s Stories Told about the impact of the Berger Inquiry on First Nation Politics and the importance of storytelling.  Or Alistair McIntosh‘s Soil and Soul.

I could also suggest Distance & Proximity, a book of Thomas A Clark‘s poems, and then I could just read a few!

(e.g. “In the art of the great music, the drone is eternity, the tune tradition, the performance the life of the individual”

or “”The routines we accept can strangle us but the rituals we choose give renewed life”

or “A book of poems in the rucksack – that is the relation of art to life”

And I should certainly consider Gary Snyder who I was reading over the summer.

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Rural and city

Posted in Research, Texts by chrisfremantle on July 4, 2009

Martin Wolf in the FT (3 May 2006) summarises Jane Jacobs’ arguments for the importance of cities (not countries) and their role in relation to regions.

Tagged with: ,

Jane Jacobs 1916-2006

Posted in CF Writing, On The Edge, Research, Texts by chrisfremantle on May 1, 2006

Obituaries: Toronto Star, Washington Post, The Guardian

Anne Douglas and I used Jane Jacobs The Nature of Economies as a means of interrogating the first phase of On The Edge Research in “Leaving the (social) ground of (artistic) intervention more fertile“, a paper presented at the Darwin Symposium, Shrewsbury; Waterfronts IV, Barcelona; and Sensuous Knowledge 2, KHiB, Bergen.

On The Edge Research is a practice-led research project based at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen. OTE has, since it was launched in 2001 with a major award from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, focused on developing new articulations of the value of the visual arts. In 2005 Anne Douglas, the principle researcher, and I wrote a paper which started out with the question – what is sustainability in the visual arts? This is a particularly tricky question especially in the UK because of public subsidy. Any discussion about sustainability will normally veer off into a discussion of the Arts Councils. Jane Jacobs book the Nature of Economies seeks to set out the fundamental rules of development looking at developmental processes in natural systems. She argued that the same rules that govern the development of ecosystems also apply to economies, and we explored the application of this thinking to ‘arts development’.

  • What is really important is to recognise that development occurs at multiple levels simultaneously (ie fractally),
  • that all development requires co-development (ie nothing happens in isolation),
  • that all development requires various forms of governors (ie feedback loops, bifurcations and emergency adaptions).
  • Development occurs qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • Development occurs in a cycle of differentiation from generality.

I am very sad that such an important thinker, who I only recently learnt so much from, has died.

Originally posted 1 May 2006

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