Making a Difference: Sustainability in the Artworld and Museums 03/10/2023 – 05/10/2023

Kumu Art Museum
Lecture or talk
Theme event

Making a Difference: Sustainability in the Artworld and Museums

The climate crisis has developed into the defining crisis of our time, interlinked with the military, socio-political, and humanitarian conflicts and inequalities across the globe. The artworld must inevitably reevaluate its priorities. A major part of rethinking art in the age of the anthropocene centers around creating and adapting more sustainable practices.
The global lack of resources, issues of environmental justice – and possibly also careful visions of post-extractivist futures – make art workers think through circularity and sustainability.

Participation is free of charge. Please register here: https://form.jotform.com/231972683642060

This workshop calls to discuss the art world’s green transition in a creative and at the same time critical manner and explore it across disciplines – inviting professionals and students from art and design, conservation, curating and museology and related fields.

  • How to make art institutions, art and exhibition production more sustainable?
  • What are the other ways in which arts and culture can contribute to transforming the extractivist mindset?
  • What is the role of artists, designers and other art workers in fulfilling the climate aims set by governments and politicians?
  • What is the relationship between an artwork and its carbon footprint?
  • How to avoid greenwashing?
  • How to make space for time and effort that goes into experimenting with more sustainable practices and avoid burnout?

Valuing learning from different perspectives, skills and knowledge, the teaching staff includes experts from various fields. The event is designed for art workers, as well as students across disciplines (MA and doctoral, but also motivated BA students).

The programme involves lectures, workshops, study visits to museum funds and exhibition tours. Lecturers include: Margit Keller (University of Tartu), Laura Linsi and Roland Reemaa (LLRRLLRR), Arnita Melzoba and Kārlis Melzobs (GAISS), Darja Jefimova (Art Museum of Estonia), Varje Õunapuu (Estonian Academy of Arts), Hilkka Hiiop (Estonian Academy of Arts), Maria Muuk and others.

Venues: Estonian Academy of Arts, Kumu Art Museum

Workshop programme. October 3

Where on earth to begin?

Venue: Kumu Art Museum

11:00–11:15 Welcome, introductions and coffee

11:15–12:15 Karin Vicente: High Impressions, Low Impact: Reducing the Emissions of an Art Exhibition

12:15–13:15 Group work: How to make a difference?
Moderators: Linda Kaljundi and Karin Vicente

Carbon emissions and the value of / pressure on contemporary art
Sustainable curating: from concepts to work methods
From circular design to circular exhibition design
Mapping sustainable practices in art institutions/museums
How to endure: sustainability and mental well being

13:15–14:15 Lunch

14:15–15:15 Kārlis Melzobs: Decolonial ecologies

15:30–17:00 Guided tour at the exhibition Art in the Age of the Anthropocene by Laura Linsi and Roland Reemaa and Maria Muuk, designers of the exhibition

Workshop programme. October 4

Theory into practice

Venue: Estonian Academy of Art. Meeting point: 5th floor

10:00–11:00 Laura Linsi and Roland Reemaa: Working with material flows

11:00–12:00 Maria Muuk: Sustainable developments in exhibition graphic design

12:00–12:30 lunch

12:30–13:30 Grete Arro: How to fit the environment into one’s Umwelt?

13:30–14:30 Siim Preimann: Keeping on keeping on: in pursuit of a curatorial approach fitting the times

15:00–17:00 Meeting point: Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia.
Meeting with curator and a project manager Maria Helen Känd and visiting Jaanus Samma’s exhibition “Iron men”

Workshop programme. October 5

Fields in dialogue: from contemporary art to collection to conservation

Venue: Kumu Art Museum. Meeting point: lobby

10:00–11:00 Darja Jefimova: Sustainable practices in collections management
Discussant: Varje Õunapuu (Estonian Academy of Arts)
venue: painting collections of Art Museum of Estonia

11:00–12:00 Hilkka Hiiop: Sustainability in collecting contemporary art: does it exist?
meeting point: permanent exhibition of Estonian Art in the 1990s (4th floor, B wing)

12:00–13:00 Lunch

13:00–14:00 Margit Keller: Sustainability transitions: complexity and hope
meeting point: Kumu educational centre

14:30–15:30 Tour at the exhibition “The Art of Adapting” with Triin Metsla and Madli Ehasalu
meeting point: Kadriorg Art museum, lobby

15:30–16:30 Concluding panel: How to build and sustain dialogues between fields?
Mari-Leen Kiipli (artist), Marju Niinemaa (National Heritage Board), Kaisa-Piia Pedajas (Art Museum of Estonia), Laura Põld (Estonian Academy of Arts)
moderators: Linda Kaljundi, Karin Vicente

17:00 Presentation of the Model for sustainable exhibition at Kumu (in Estonian)

Organisers: Kumu Art Museum and Estonian Academy of Arts in collaboration with the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

For more information:

Linda Kaljundi ()
Karin Vicente ()

With the support of the Nordic Culture Point

In case you need study credits, you can gain 2 ECTS credits by attending all the talks and visits and completing a conference report in the format of a visual essay.