How do we have to adapt ourselves if we are gong to work in remote areas? How do we do so without adding to the climate Armageddon?

The AE approach to sustainability is to try and make it an integral component of the process. Philosophically we are all interested in the ways in which we can make work with limited impact, without the burden of a ‘green message’ being on the artwork itself.

According to partners Creative Environment Enterprise (CEE) honcho Euan Williamson, the approach is based on the best practice model which is recognised internationally as a key foundation concept of implementing sustainability, a three step model that involves…1. MEASURING everything from materials used, food consumed to the power consumption of AV and technical equipment, 2. REDUCING with better and cleaner options and then if necessary 3. OFFSETTING with complementary environmental actions, like using solar power or planting of protected native forests

Logistically the problematic of travel is the hardest, getting to and around Point Nepean either car-pooling, walking or cycling with masses of technical equipment with 12 people with different creative priorities means that usually only one activity can be achieved in a day. You are also and out of range and so missing the lift means an extra 2- hour walk. None of these things are very interesting in themselves but combined they offer a morass of planning and scheduling issues that are at the core of having to adapt our artistic behaviour for both site and sustainability. We have generated some amazing excel templates if anyone is curious.

During the community filming day the AE crew used CEE’s amazing Germinate mobile solar generator to power the equipment used across the day’s different locations from the beach to the cemetery. Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, having a completely silent mobile generator is ideal for a film shoot environment. The film crew used the rig to power laptops, camera battery rechargers, phones and other camera peripherals as well as the wifi network which included a 3G router, high gain aerial and transponders to receive and stream various film and audio material live to the AE blog. A truly mobile broadband system!

After the shoot, the Germinate solar generator, affectionately known as the “Germinator” powered the Blow Up inflatable cinema screen, PA system and projector. It was an awesome test and we will be looking to integrate the cinema into the launch next year.

One of the challenges of the Atelier Edens Wilderness Lab was to power all the electronic equipment using only the Creative Environment Enterprises solar powered generator for the community filming day from 9.00am until 12.00pm that evening. One laptop was primarily used to set up a WI FI system around the Quarantine station and for live streaming. iPhones were recharged several times to live stream video content and recharge, the sound recordings had to be dumped onto the laptops, the GOPRO, Canon 5D and HD video cameras footage also had to be uploaded to one of the laptops at intervals and charged throughout the day. It was also a great success in powering the Blow Up Cinema. See Gus Berger’s time-lapse of the set up below.


This gave the team an actual reading of the energy consumption of 91-107 Watts or 121VA with 0.7 pf.

This experiment will help the artists and technical team to plan for the launch which will be entirely run by The Creative Environment Enterprises renewable energy rig in late 2012.

Here is a video of Liam O’Keefe from C.E.E speaking about their involvement in the project and how to think sustainably about art making.

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