THE FIELD NOTES COLLECTIVE

The Field Notes Collective is a collective of art professionals and scientists working in the Southern Alberta area who are bound by a shared set of social, environmental and cultural concerns. The mandate of the Collective is to foster dialogue and action through the staging of cross-disciplinary events, engaging with matters of local and regional interest.


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Launch of the Resilient City website

We are excited to announce the launch of The Resilient City website. This is an excerpt from the website describing the new site and the FNC involvement with this new project.

In 2014, the Musagetes Foundation challenged our group to consider what the term resilient meant in relation to our collective, our art and science practices, and to ourselves as citizens of our small southern Alberta city, Lethbridge.

Understanding our history, our environment and influences on our daily lives seemed to be a good starting point. One of the first things we agreed on was that our city included more than just what we found within the physical boundaries. Our water – and the threats to the water system – was something that very few of us understood. And how about our trees and shrubs – where did they come from, and who had the foresight to plant them? What kind of geology did our city sit on?

This site presents the first few investigations we undertook into understanding our city, and the resiliency that it represents. Please browse our past events to view the videos.  I’m looking forward to the next steps, and how our collective considers their own contributions.

http://www.theresilientcity.com

Leanne Elias,
Lethbridge, Alberta
February, 2015

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Shameful legacy of Hidden Creek | The Lethbridge Herald

This is an article by biologist Lorne Fitch outlining the negative effects of logging at a place called Hidden Creek in the headwaters of the Oldman River and the shameful politics of the Alberta Government.

Shameful legacy of Hidden Creek | The Lethbridge Herald – myLH.ca.


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Ecotone at the Nickle Galleries

Ecotone Invitation SingleDavid Blatherwick, Dagmar Dahle, Miruna Dragan, Leanne Elias, Mandy Espezel, Denton Fredrickson, John Freeman, Jason de Haan, M.N. Hutchinson, Mary Kavanagh, Kris Lindskoog, Glen MacKinnon, Troy Nickle, Lyndal Osborne, Peter von Tiesenhausen

A project in conjunction with the Field Notes Collective and the Alberta Rural Development Network

In 2008 a group of scientists and artists recognizing the overlapping interests of their disciplines began meeting under the moniker of the Field Notes Collective. Intent to stimulate discussion, actions and ideas surrounding the complex relationships that exist between people and their local environment, a symposium was proposed – Ecotone. Designed as three stages, the project would see artists, scientists, local ranchers and others from the community meet to explore issues ranging from engagement with the land to responsible food production. The first segment of the project offered lectures, video presentations, a 100km dinner and a walking tour of one of Canada’s oldest agricultural research stations. The second segment invited participating artists to spend time at one of the ranches in the area to live, work and develop ideas for the third segment: an exhibition based on the experiences and dialogues that surfaced throughout the previous stages of the project.

Ecotone has been generated from distinctly local investigations and responses to ecological issues. It looks to the experiences of those artists encountering firsthand an environment in many ways unfamiliar, despite its proximity and our complicity in shaping its form, function, and consequently, it’s social, economic, political and environmental structures. In fact, this condition is succinctly reflected in the title of the project: ‘ecotone’ being defined as that liminal space where two communities meet and integrate – a grey zone where ecologies are in tension and as a result, more biologically rich and diverse.

The works in the exhibition employ a range of material, medium and form as diverse as the issues and ideas that these artists approach. Lyndal Osborne pairs a selection of prints with specimens of rough fescue shifting from the characteristically long roots of a healthy plant to those starved and stunted from practices of overgrazing. Mary Kavanagh considers the inter-species dialectic of abattoir workers and animal subjects while examining the mythological scope of meat production. Dagmar Dahle’s delicately expressive gouache drawings of invasive plant species in Lethbridge underscore the reality that these seemingly benign flora have dramatic and often irreversible impacts on our local environment. From urban encroachment to resource extraction, the multiplicity of responses offered by the many other artists included in this exhibition speak to the enormous complexities at play in our local environment. In light of this, one cannot help but consider the bewildering reality of these same problems magnified and multiplied on a global platform. And yet, as projects like Ecotone are increasingly cultivated in communities around the world – sharing stories, perspectives, ideas and actions – there is a renewed sense of optimism and the promise of a future more accountable than our past.

 


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Wildlife in the Wind Speaker Series

Lethbridge Coulees: Urban Parks and Wildlife Corridor

Mark Goettel and Troy Nickle

Date: March 5, 2013 between 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Location: Lethbridge Public Library – Community Meeting Room

Cost: Free – Everyone is Welcome!

Canada Geese cropped-7
Mark and Troy have been doing weekly walks in the Lethbridge coulees and river valley to document wildlife, plant growth, seasonal changes and biodiversity. The goal of these walks is to publish a book that communicates to the public the beauty that is at their doorstep as well as expressing their concerns about the potential misuse or loss of this natural wonderland. Mark and Troy will discuss their weekly adventures and the importance of the river valley and the coulees as a unique area for Lethbridge residents and importance as a wildlife corridor.

Mark Goettel is a retired Insect Pathologist from the Lethbridge Research Centre. Troy Nickle is a local artist whose practice involves creating ephemeral earthworks, sculpture and photography that center on the conceptual associations made between nature, culture and place.

 


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Ecotone at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery

SAAG_Ecotone_Invite-7February 9, 2013 – April 14, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 9 at 8 PM
Reception Sponsored by KPMG

David Blatherwick, Dagmar Dahle, Miruna Dragan, Leanne Elias, Mandy Espezel, Denton Fredrickson, John Freeman, Jason de Haan, M.N. Hutchinson, Mary Kavanagh, Kris Lindskoog, Glen MacKinnon, Troy Nickle, Lyndal Osborne, Peter von Tiesenhausen

A project in conjunction with the Field Notes Collective and the Alberta Rural Development Network

In 2008 a group of scientists and artists recognizing the overlapping interests of their disciplines began meeting under the moniker of the Field Notes Collective. Intent to stimulate discussion, actions and ideas surrounding the complex relationships that exist between people and their local environment, a symposium was proposed – Ecotone. Designed as three stages, the project would see artists, scientists, local ranchers and others from the community meet to explore issues ranging from engagement with the land to responsible food production. The first segment of the project offered lectures, video presentations, a 100km dinner and a walking tour of one of Canada’s oldest agricultural research stations. The second segment invited participating artists to spend time at one of the ranches in the area to live, work and develop ideas for the third segment: an exhibition based on the experiences and dialogues that surfaced throughout the previous stages of the project.

Ecotone has been generated from distinctly local investigations and responses to ecological issues. It looks to the experiences of those artists encountering firsthand an environment in many ways unfamiliar, despite its proximity and our complicity in shaping its form, function, and consequently, it’s social, economic, political and environmental structures. In fact, this condition is succinctly reflected in the title of the project: ‘ecotone’ being defined as that liminal space where two communities meet and integrate – a grey zone where ecologies are in tension and as a result, more biologically rich and diverse.

The works in the exhibition employ a range of material, medium and form as diverse as the issues and ideas that these artists approach. Lyndal Osborne pairs a selection of prints with specimens of rough fescue shifting from the characteristically long roots of a healthy plant to those starved and stunted from practices of overgrazing. Mary Kavanagh considers the inter-species dialectic of abattoir workers and animal subjects while examining the mythological scope of meat production. Dagmar Dahle’s delicately expressive gouache drawings of invasive plant species in Lethbridge underscore the reality that these seemingly benign flora have dramatic and often irreversible impacts on our local environment. From urban encroachment to resource extraction, the multiplicity of responses offered by the many other artists included in this exhibition speak to the enormous complexities at play in our local environment. In light of this, one cannot help but consider the bewildering reality of these same problems magnified and multiplied on a global platform. And yet, as projects like Ecotone are increasingly cultivated in communities around the world – sharing stories, perspectives, ideas and actions – there is a renewed sense of optimism and the promise of a future more accountable than our past.


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News on Environment Lethbridge

Field Notes Collective Members:
Further to an email I sent you on November 19, the proposal to create Environment Lethbridge will be presented to Lethbridge City Council on Monday, January 14. You can show your support by attending the Jan 14th afternoon meeting at City Hall (agenda tbd) or by sending a letter to City Council. An article by Braum Barber providing further information on Environment Lethbridge follows.
Best wishes for 2013.
Cheryl Bradley

Environment Lethbridge Goes to Council
(Article by Braum Barber from SAGE Newsletter Jan 2013 at: http://sage-environment.org/ )
For the past two years, a steering group representing business, education, and NGOs have collaborated with the City of Lethbridge to create Environment Lethbridge.
The organization has been designed to address the principles of the Municipal Development Plan / Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (MDP/ICSP) which states as its Mission: “We will continue to work together to ensure that Lethbridge is a leader in environmental stewardship, innovation and active leadership.”
The MDP/ICSP goes on to say: “The City is committed to taking a responsible leadership role in the efficient use of resources and land. Resources include water, renewable and non-renewable energy sources, air quality and municipal waste. The conservation and reuse of resources can bring long-term cost savings and demonstrate the City’s leadership in managing its resources responsibly.” Balancing social, economic and environmental needs through good policy development, education, and community initiatives is precisely the support Environment Lethbridge can provide to individuals and business, and towards good governance.
In other words, Environment Lethbridge will provide a service to the community by providing region-specific best practices for water conservation, energy micro-generation and efficiency, optimizing home design and operation, supporting food security, and reducing waste. Not only can Environment Lethbridge promote opportunities for cost savings, the organization may provide consultation and research for environmental innovation in Lethbridge and thereby help improve the economic climate for future prosperity: a greener Lethbridge may attract new business and retain existing businesses through the development of sustainability oriented infrastructure and operations.
For $1.50 per year for each citizen in the city, Environment Lethbridge will make Lethbridge a more resilient community – both economically and socially – and it will help secure the prosperity of our children and their children. To abet this important organization, a Community Interests Committee meeting will be held on January 14th at City Hall. Check the City’s website for the Agenda (www.lethbridge.ca). The proposal will then be presented to City Council on January 21st for budget approval.
Please join us at both events, and show your support for a better Lethbridge.