Direct from Copenhagen, Denmark - 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference - (8 – 18 December '09)

Acting as the official High Tide COP15 envoy, distinguished ecological artist Aviva Rahmani will be immersing herself in the burgeoning eco-political activism in the city and sharing her experiences with us via this daily blog.

Why not get involved and join in dialogue with her? Log-on to share your views! This is the gathering storm…

Produced in association with FACT

Thursday, 17 December 2009

On Trigger Point Theory and Activism

The three-day workshop I led earlier this week here, was about finding the place where all the edges come together, using aesthetic analysis to observe them and then choosing the smallest possible point, at the site of maximum degradation, to activate sustainable healing for the entire system, as acupuncture can in the body. I developed the theory to apply to environmental restoration. But I do think it applies more broadly.

So where is the Trigger Point here in Copenhagen? Kiribati, the atoll nation that will be the first to go? Muhammed Rasheed, of the Maldives, insisting there must be a meaningful agreement by Saturday? In the legal difference between the word "shall" or "must" in treaty language? In the image of a police baton coming down on peaceful demonstrators? If this is the biggest Happening the world has ever seen, then based on how Allan Kaprow always worked, the real impact isn't in the event or it's site but in the story of the event... whose story, told where?

For me, listening to the BBC "debate" tonight, it was in the subtle timbre of audience applause when people spoke truth to power. You can hear differences in applause: not just duration or volume but the acoustic trajectory of sounds of approval and connection. Not for Kevin Rudd, saying he'd toe the line the others toe. It was for Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace, when he said, "the people are ahead of the politicians," and I might add, possibly ahead of the artists too. And that's a good thing.

The Corner Where I Waited in Vain for the #66 Bus This Morning

First Real Snow on Koefoed's Clematis Arbor on the Way Out of Their Home

Day 11 Copenhagen First Real Snow

It has turned really cold. I moved from where I was staying with Oleg & Suzanne today, to Andrus Jensen and Angelika Gregoruissen's home, in a beautiful old working class part of Copenhagen: Norrebryggel (sp?). The snow slowed down the buses to a crawl and I waited in the cold forty-five minutes for the right bus and then took the closest I could find. By then I was so bone chilled, it took hours to warm up later. Dragging my suitcases thru black slush was an ordeal and since I've stacked one heavy suitcase (full of paper from COP15) on top of the other, I lived in fear of the whole metal infrastructure system breaking. I've already noticed a loosening screw- sort of like the COP15 negotiations for better or worse.

The demonstrations seem to have cooled down with the weather.
But more dire accounts of the demonstrations yesterday (attack dogs) and the following video supplied by Amy Lipton:

Today, was connect with colleagues from my own practice day. So I met Juanita Schaepfler, from the Z-Node PhD program group I'm part of out of Zurich. She recounted waiting two hours in the cold Monday to get into Bella, giving up and waiting 8 hours Tuesday to get in & then being too tired to attend sessions, so she & a friend ended up going out with some of the Nigerian delegation, who apparently told endless jokes about how bad things were there. Aside from that, we shared our mutual burn out before she headed for the airport.

We had met at the Klimat Forum, where I connected with another Z- Noder after she left, David McConville, who is connected to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge grant folks, in his dizzying black dome planetarium:

After the viewing, we talked about events here. We shared a sense that things will go forward regardless of the policy people because so many people with a sense of urgency are doing good projects.

I hung around and watched the plenaries on screens and then met up with Ian Garrett, Executive Director of The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts. He's really concentrating on doing the arts and other events outside Bella here and told me about a lot of stuff I've missed, including the YesMen press conferences. I wanted to go to their reception tonight but had committed to dinner with Andrus and Angelika and was just too exhausted on this bitter cold night to go out again afterwards.

Ian's work is at:

We did an interview for his blog and the ending was pretty close to the conversation with David, to the effect that hope is in the horizontal.