climate change and me

a sharing I offered at the recent CopOut21 event at Arts House; watch the recording of the live stream here. image by Michael Morgan.

Hi, my name is Jamie, Jamie Lewis. I am a charismatic, bright, and cheeky cheerful woman. I enjoy cooking and eating, sharing food with people. I enjoy good conversations. I am all about the deep and meaningful. I also enjoy alone time, reading, and sleeping in. I enjoy taking walks, sunshine, the ocean, sand on my feet, dancing, and one of the most important things in my life is having enough moisturiser. And I am a performance maker.

I will turn 30 on the 20th of December. And I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means. I have been quietly celebrating and/or mourning the end of a decade, and dreaming up what the next could look like.

In 2010, I moved to Melbourne, and subsequently set up home in Australia. And my personal growth in these last 6 years has been nothing short of exponential. I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s going to look like this for a bit more.

You see, when I was younger, I thought I was ambitious. But I suspect, for better or worse, I’ve only grown more ambitious.

I’m someone who talks about her ideas all the time. If you have ever had a chat with me over coffee or dinner or something, you would probably have heard an idea or two. You would likely also have had one of your thoughts transform into an idea. You might have seen me shrug and say, “I’m an ideas kind of girl.”

So today, I want to share this big idea with you. The bigger it is, the more people should hear it. Because in my ambitiousness, I suspect I would also appreciate all the help I could get. So here goes:

What is the equivalent of Renewable Energy for the Arts, as a source of energy, and as a different economy?

When we can see how the world’s reliance on fossil fuel and gas is outdated, environmentally and financially unsustainable, and increasingly irrelevant, how do we view, in the Arts, our similar reliance on existing infrastructure?

In the way we function, as an Industry with a capital I, as a participating sector in the larger world of Culture with a capital C, and of the Economy with a capital E, are we not also perpetuating a similar outdated and unsustainable model in which our arts practices situate within?

If we are challenging corporations to rethink their capital, their market, and their source of income, are we reimagining ours?

I’m not romanticising our role as artists here – but we are the dreamers. As artists, we exercise a lot of optimism and idealism in every work we create, we have to; we make something from nothing and anything and everything. If we aren’t imagining what change could look like – intelligently, tangibly, and poetically – then who else would?

So that’s my big idea at the moment. These questions have been rather intensively driving my thoughts in the past year, and have begun to shape how I move forward with my practice. In fact, it’s become my practice. My next projects seem to be about figuring out what this different economy could look like for me as a practicing artist. And really, it’s not asking “how do I make a living from my practice, but how do I live practicing my art?

So there, I’ve put it out there. Hold me accountable. Join me in the inquiry.

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