Friday, July 15, 2011

2011 CIVA Biennial Conference: The Future of Matter/The Future of Paradise

Photograph by versluis, 2011

A panel discussion about the acclaimed Biola University’s Visionary-in-Residence Program, Los Angeles. The 2011 CIVA Biennial Conference, Saturday afternoon, 18 June.

Pictured left to right: John Chan, the 2011 Biola Visionary-in-Residence; along with the following Biola University faculty: Barry Krammes, Professor of Art and Biola University Gallery Director; Astri Swendsrud, Adjunct Professor of Art; Daniel Callis, Professor of Drawing & Painting and serves as co-director of the Urban Studies Program at Biola; Brent Ridley, Associate Professor of Physical Science.

The 2011 CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts) Biennial Conference was held at Biola University in Los Angeles, from June 16-19. The theme of the conference was Matter and Spirit: Art and Belief in the Digital Age. The conference was structured by three major themes:

Why Matter Matters: Technology and the Created Order
The Problem of Matter: Technology and the History of Art-Making
The Future of Matter: Technology, Art-Making, and Hope

On the final afternoon of the conference a panel discussion was held highlighting the 2011 Biola University Visionary-in-Residence Program. For 2011, John K. Chan was selected by the Biola University Art Department as it’s Visionary-in-Residence. And John was present to help elaborate on the theme: “The Future of Paradise: Projective Ecologies of Second Nature” a topic that coincided with the final Conference theme and presentation of “The Future of Matter.”

When John asks students about what they think of when they hear the word “Paradise” — their predominate response is a stereotypical Eastern tropical paradise. However, the promotional materials for Biola’s 2011 Visionary-in-Residence Program says this:

From the resplendent ecology of Eden to the celestial archetype of New Jerusalem, the Biblical narrative begins in the garden and ends in the city. The Future of Paradise is an interdisciplinary exploration of this cosmological narrative, through the vantages of art, architecture, sociology, theology and ecology, aspiring to critically examine our cultural conditionings and their contribution to the escalating ecological crisis all around us, while also reclaiming the disintegrating connection between our bodies and the biosphere.
In addition, the CIVA materials states:
John Chan is an Environmental Designer, Assoc. AIA, and is a LEED Accredited Professional with a portfolio of notable architectural projects ranging from large-scale master planning and institutional buildings to idiosyncratic, small-scale residential structures. Chan currently investigates the meaningful integration of ecological intelligence within the collaborative dialogue of design. In 2008, John established Formation Association, an Environmental Design Collaborative.
The Formation Association is involved in a variety of very interesting projects.

Addendum: Coincidently and interestingly, John Thackara in “Design Observer” gives a brief report about the current exhibition in Paris called The Fertile City: Towards An Urban Nature.

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