Are we getting Warmer?
Who's Involved | Conversation Cafés | Workshops | Performances

An inquiry by artists and community members into our relationship with our environment through conversation cafes, recorded soundscape, and interactive, voice-movement, site-specific theatre.


If we are truly staring down the barrel of an environmental catastrophe, how does that feel?  How do you want to live? Are we getting any WARMER?

Undertow - Live Performance / as Part of the UN-HINGED Festival of Site-Specific Theatre

Undertow

Starting @ Goudie Lane at Queen St. behind the Waterloo Region Children's Museum

Thursday September 18th, 8:15pm | Wednesday September 24th, 8:15pm

Thursday September 25th, 8:15pm | Saturday September 27th, 9:00pm

For Tickets visit the UN-HINGED Box office at 56 King | 519 957 2228

WARMER presents… ~ Undertow ~

An exploration of our environment / inside and out.

Every day, our culture and our environment change more and more, faster and faster. We need creative ways to sustain ourselves, shelter our children, and find what we need to thrive within the complex systems that cycle through all of us.

As part of the project, we continue to ask ourselves:

If we are truly staring down the barrel of an environmental catastrophe, how does that feel? How do we want to live? Are we getting any WARMER?

The Earthling Collective’s WARMER Project brings together the creative arts and systems-awareness to design for change. As a group organism, we nurture a sharpened, alive state of awareness and dialogue through improvisation. We open a creative space where curiosity and necessity replace judgment, where we can learn and transform together as individuals, and as a community.

Co-created and performed by: Adam Euerby, Jay Carnahan, Rowan Carnahan-Koberinski, Nicholas Cumming, Don Dietrich, Blair Hatch, Diane Hurst, Nathalie Krueger, Sally Ludwig, Janus McBride, Rowan McBride, Katharine Mills, Roger Sumner, Shannon, Jessica Westlake-Ferneyhough, Tanya Williams

Other contributors to WARMER have been: Sylma Fletcher, Iman Shafieloo, Jenna Kennedy, Jodi Koberinski, Joshua Shearer, Melanie Bennett, Todd Armstrong, Derek Lindman, Karen Lord

Monologues by Don Dietrich, James Gordon, Roger Sumner and Tanya Williams

Song “Rolling Thunder” by Don Dietrich and James Gordon

Musical Accompaniment by Jay Carnahan and friends

Organizational Consulting by Jean Robertson

Thank you to Exhibit Cafe, The Working Centre, Brian Scott, City of Kitchener, UNHINGED, and the Ontario Arts Council.

Dedicated to the earth, and in warm memory, to Jeramie Snow.

Join the Earthling Collective in an interactive exploration of our relationship with our environment and ourselves. Help us create a collective experience using voice, movement and improvisation to connect with the currents of downtown Kitchener.

We'll be going outside. Please dress for the weather!

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Media - YouTube Video

A collection of images of some recent work done by WARMER, at the Children's Museum in Kitchener, ON.

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Media - Jokers' day of action on Global Warming

Footage and Interview from the same event, taken by Phil Bast, may be viewed here.

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Important Dates

Conversation Cafés / Performances

UN-HINGED Festival September 15-27

Warmer Workshops

The Research and Development Phase of the WARMER workshop has come to a close. Hopefully you had the opportunity to participate in one of our events. We continue to look for further projects, collaborations, and granting opportunities.

The Core Warmer group meets on Tuesdays in various locations. For more information email Tanya Williams or call (519) 749-0438.

Important Links

Contact Us

Want to know more? Want to know how you can participate in part of this process / get involved / get warmer?

E-mail us here:dancingdialogue at yahoo.ca

"Addressing how people respond to periods of change, how society re-organizes following change, is the most neglected and the least understood aspect in conventional resource management and science."

(Gunderson and Holling 2002 / From The Resilience Alliance:
a multidisciplinary research group that explores the dynamics of complex adaptive systems)

About the Warmer Project

Sharing a curiosity for how social, cultural and environmental change happens, we feel drawn to explore how we can consciously design for change through the arts. Our shared goal is to explore large systemic issues in a way that resounds in the body and heart-felt experience of the people in our community, and frees up the potential energy there. This will happen through interviews, dialogue, development of electronic soundscape, and live voice-movement-theatre workshops, evolving into site-specific, experiential performance-event(s).

Our overarching intention is to open a creative space to explore our experience of ourselves as part of our larger environment, earth. We wish to steward a process of contacting our daily experience of how we sustain ourselves, nourish our bodies, shelter our children, find what we need to thrive, and make the connections to the vast systems that cycle through all of us. Bringing our awareness to the span of time, this cycling of matter and energy reminds us that our ancestors and descendants exist in the flesh and pulse of our bodies and in all that is. As part of this journey, we will contact feelings about this history, what is now happening, and what could happen. We see our emotions as energy that wants to move. Using movement and sound improvisation, we will nurture a sharpened, alive state of awareness, where judgment falls away leaving a clear, resonant body, motivated by curiosity and necessity. We hope that by exploring together we will create a space for our own learning and transformation, as individuals, and as a community.

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Who We Are

The grant from the Ontario Arts Council (with much gratitude!) that initiated the WARMER Project was received by Tanya Williams, contact-improv instructor/practitioner, and James Gordon, well-known Canadian singer-songrwriter. Since then the project has encompassed roughly thirty core community-artist-thinker practitioners and connected with hundreds more in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region in southwestern Ontario.

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What We Do

Conversation Cafes

The form of our exploration in the early stages of the project will be through personal interviews, and public “Conversation Cafes”. Conversation Cafes offer a simple process with a talking object that supports meaningful listening and dialogue. These conversations will be recorded and woven into soundscapes. More information about Conversation Cafes can be found at www.conversationcafe.org.

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Workshops

This will be followed by a series of workshops with artists and community members. In these workshops, along with movement and sound improvisation, we will use the tools of clown, collective ritual, gesture, physical theatre, and image theatre. Source material will be our own experience of our environment, and the experience of others in our community that we hear through direct dialogue and recorded soundscapes. We envisage working in an ongoing way with a small core of people, who spend a significant portion of time delving into their experience, and also working with a larger group from the community that includes the core group who serve as creative catalysts and co-hosts of larger experiential performance-workshops.

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Performance and Beyond

Using movement, sound and theatre, we wish to nurture a state of readiness or responsiveness through awareness, and a kind of “innocence after experience”. Contact improvisation, a dance form that plays with one’s relationship to one’s environment and dance partners, working with the forces physical forces of gravity. CI expands the realm of physicality in relationship for clown, while clown-work offers a playful portal into the psyche, adding a dimension of emotion and meaning to contact dance. The marriage of experience in soundscape, site-specific/environmental theatre and dance, collaborative community theatre, and interactive/forum theatre is an exciting one for all of us. We hope to discover a hybrid that we might also offer to other communities.

We see this kind of work as potentially offering non-arts partners a new experiential way to explore and understand systems. An aspect of the research phase would be the development of current and potential creative relationships with non-arts groups, organizations, and government bodies. What creative potential exists between artistic and non-artistic partners? What might the community gain, for example, from a collaboration between artists and city planners?

There are also several other artists and arts organizations with whom we have a previous connection and have invited to participate in the project. And there will probably be others that emerge as the project unfolds, building a network of creative relationships and possibilities.

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Why are we doing this?

We see our world changing. The landscape of our childhoods disappears under housing developments, and species of animals go extinct everyday. We hear in the news this week, in 24 states of the US, beekeepers discover that their hives are half empty, honeybees are mysteriously disappearing. Conventional agriculture systems burn petroleum to transport our food thousands of miles, only to arrive on our plates devoid of nutrients and laden with toxins…. More and more people are developing environmental sensitivities, allergies, illness, asthma, cancer. And now, changing weather conditions bring about crop failures, melt ice caps, stir up storms, destroy communities…

“In every corner of the globe, on land and in water, in melting ice and disappearing snow, during heat waves and droughts, in the eyes of hurricanes and in the tears of refugees – the world is witnessing mounting and undeniable evidence that nature’s cycles are profoundly changing. I have learned that, beyond death and taxes, there is at least one absolutely indisputable fact: Not only does human-caused global-warming exist, but it is also growing more dangerous, and at a pace that has now made it a planetary emergency.”

~ Al Gore, from the film, An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore asks: Why do so many people believe this crisis isn’t real?

One answer he gives is that the change that is needed is inconvenient. For many, it means the loss of material wealth, comforts, and familiar habits.

Joanna Macy, deep ecologist, points at other factors that get in the way of people making changes. She speaks of being caught up in an overwhelming system with a seeming life of its own:

“We witness destruction of life in dimensions that confronted no previous generation in recorded history… whole cultures, and ecosystems on a global scale, even the oxygen-producing plankton of our seas. Scientists try to tell us what is at stake…But their warnings are hard to heed. For ours is an Industrial Growth Society. Its economy depends on an ever-increasing consumption of resources. To maintain its engines of progress, Earth is both supply-house and sewer… What is in store for our children’s children? What will be left for those who come after? Too busy running to think about that, we try to close our eyes to nightmare scenarios of want and wars in a wasted, contaminated world.”

~ Joanna Macy, in Coming Back to Life, Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World, 1998.

Faced with the potential destruction of our life-support system, we can fall, and have fallen, into overwhelming fear, despair, guilt, denial, cynicism, or apathy.

This is a time of a fundamental shift in our concept of who we are on this planet, our awareness expanding to see ourselves as part of an intricate, dynamic web of life. We ask ourselves how we, as artists, can nurture this awe-inspiring awareness. There is incredible power in the human ecosystem beginning to see itself. Paradoxically, seeing itself involves unhooking the defenses of the system to that awareness, such as fear, guilt, and cynicism. So we also ask ourselves: How can we nurture this shift in consciousness from static dualisms to dynamic ecosystem awareness… shifting from a cultural perspective that sees things in terms of right and wrong, to seeing complexity and nurturing what we deeply value?

We feel that communities, like individual people, need to reveal their evolving story to remain vital and alive. This project will focus on sharing of stories and dialogue amongst people in the community about their relationship with their environment. This is central to the ecosystems view or approach, where the more a system (in this case, a community) reveals itself to itself, the more it will be able to respond to the situation and change in the direction it wants to go. Our intention will be to nurture an open creative context where, with others, we can explore our relationship to our environment that leads to both a sense of collective empowerment and sharing of that experience through interactive sound and movement theatre exploration of the urban and wild, cultivated and uncultivated environments around us and within us.

Central to this process will be the nurturing of the responsive, resounding body. The body that is not separate: a conceptual integration of ourselves into our environment, feeling ourselves as whole system, and paradoxically, as part of a larger whole… integrating voice with movement, our verbal and non-verbal life, our feelings and desires about what is happening with our actions. We will draw the paradoxical connection between living simply, and simply paying attention to the infinite complexity. In this state of awareness, the resounding body becomes a seed in the human ecosystem that is able to respond creatively to a “planetary emergency”.

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Some principles and values that guide our collaboration…

Principles of an Ecosystem Approach and a Complex, Dynamic, Interconnected World:

Values and Direction for our work:

Some questions we are asking…

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last updated March 16th, 2008 | maintained by Nichol and the Earthlings