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Let's be human beings


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The genesis for Dialogues with Tomorrow (at Downstage Theatre, Wellington, April–June 2010) was the desire to bring a cultural perspective to the looming climate crisis. We began with the aim of bringing artists into the discussion around climate change, to add some complexity to what had become a simplistic understanding: a) humans are responsible for the warming of the planet, b) the warming of the planet leads to disaster, c) now PANIC and feel guilty and/or too overwhelmed to think or act.

In an attempt to unpick panic, to examine our sense of agency and control (or apocalypse), and the potential for arts-led pathways out of a clouding atmosphere, we sought six artists and a cultural historian whose work strongly engaged with climate-related matters. To help link the artists’ work to the empirical understandings of climate and economics, we
sought five interlocutors who could respond to the artists’ explorations and might find their science or business enriched by artistic reflections.
It is a bold attempt to mix disciplines, to ask people from very different worlds to meet on stage and either find some common ground or talk across a gulf. It is precisely such conversations though, that are needed in facing up to the complex challenges of climate change. This volume documents the original texts and images of the 2010 Dialogues contributors, without introduction or the discussion that ensued between them. The texts give a clear sense of the thinking of these presenters, the ways in which they understand their work, as well as the work of their conversational partners, to be engaging with the multifaceted—perhaps even Hydra-headed—issue which they are determined to wrestle with.

After Supermarkets:

Status quo economics are an environmental hazard. How can business be conducted so as to allow both people and planet to prosper? Is feeding the hungry less about increased food production and more about re-distribution? Kim Paton’s recent Free Store project was living research into attitudes to food and waste from produce, posing counter-cultural alternatives to commercial exchange in a retail context.

Guest speakers:
Kim Paton, Artist and Retailer - Kim Paton has an Honours degree in Fine Arts from Massey University (Wellington) and is currently completing a Masters in Business at Waikato University. She exhibits regularly throughout New Zealand, recent projects include Imagining Victories at the Adam Art Gallery and Break: Towards a Public Realm at the Govett Brewster. She is interested in new ideas in economics and independent business practice and for the last 3 years has owned a grocery store in Raglan.

Dr M. Claire Dale, Economist, University of Auckland - Dr M. Claire Dale, Research Fellow for the Retirement Policy and Research Centre at the University of Auckland, serves on the Insurance and Savings Ombudsmans Scheme Commission, and on the Child Poverty Action Group Executive. Her primary interest is in discourses of excess, complexity, and collaboration.

Chair: Ian Wedde - Ian Wedde is a freelance writer and curator based in Wellington. In 2008/9 he curated the Rotorua Museum of Art and History's centennial exhibition,'He Korowai o te Wai - the Mantle of Water', a project about freshwater. His recent books are an art monograph, 'Bill Culbert: Making Light Work'(AUP/RGAP 2009) and a collection of poems, 'Good Business' (AUP 2009).

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: Based on the 2010 Dialogues with Tomorrow Lecture series organised by Dugal Mckinnon and Sophie Jerram. Dialogues With Tomorrow: After Supermarkets, presented by Kim Paton at the Downstage Theatre, Courtney Place, Wellington, New Zealand, on 27 May, 2010
Uncontrolled Keywords: After Supermarkets, Now Future, Dialogues With Tomorrow
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Kim Paton
Date Deposited: 14 May 2012 23:32
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 02:57

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