It might be unusual for an artist to dive into economic strategies on this level, but the concern for our societies and the endangered ecologic and mental environment, we´re living in, had driven me into the TransitionTowns movement some years ago. Urban Gardens are a great seed for collaborative local food production and eventually a new cross-cultural public space concept for urban quarters. (At least, our gardens in Hanover flourish and spread like mad 🙂
For me as an social sculpture artist, Transition also provides the raw material for urban transformational art: organized interdisciplinary people, willing to change the way of living.
With the collaborative network KdW (=culture of change), we developed social sculptures, installations happenings, events for glocal change for the last 4 years. Artistic experiential spaces have a huge potential to communicate urban transformation and make it a tangible experience for people in search of other societal paradigms and individual lifestyles.
As a matter of consequence, to raise local resilience for upcoming peek-oil scenarios, Transition international has recently developed the REconomy concept, which was adopted by national Transition initiatives all over the world. We need local economies to avoid enormous transportation efforts and unfair production chains, to support local production and services, even to stabilize communal social justice and empathic communities. REconomy could be Degrowth and High-quality lifestyle at once!
Together with Stephanie Ristig Bresser from our German artlab4-collective, I had the opportunity to adopt the REconomy concept for Transition Germany and develop a strategic coaching system for local startups. In March we had our final presentation for our study (download here in English or German) at the sustainable film-fest Utopiannale and the kickoff for a customized REconomy mentoring program:
Our REcoach-program is currently under way with 4 great projects: „Klugbeisser“, vegan caterer; „Karma-Kiosk“, upcycling-design; „Kleiderkabinett“, library of clothes and the „Suffizienz-Zentrum“, a climate-learning-kitchen. These together already form an effective network, which helps to establish their innovative concepts and business models. Social Art in this context interacts with society on the economic sector and brings in a new mindset for holistic enterprises for the common good. I´m looking forward to more entrepreneurs, using artistic principles, methods and mindsets for their economic activities. This will be for the benefit of nature, society and every participating individual.
Keep tuned for further informations and our summary of the REcoach program 2015.