Dr. Tanja Beer
Ecoscenography: an introduction of ecological design for performance
Contemporary ecological concerns bring with them an opportunity for innovation; to rethink traditional theatre practices and forge ecologically inspired approaches that push intellectual and creative boundaries. This presentation introduces the concept of ‘ecoscenography’, a practice I define as the integration of ecological thinking into all stages of scenographic (stage design) production and aesthetics. The concept differs from more conventional approaches to sustainability that strive primarily to minimise ecological impacts rather than to activate new social, cultural, and environmental potentialities. Instead of limiting resources in response to concerns about sustainability, ecoscenography considers how ecological and artistic integrity can be a fundamental part of the scenographer’s very ideas, processes, and aesthetics. Using examples from my own practice-based research, I showcase the potential for ecoscenography to lead to new modes of practice in the performing arts where expanded ideas of material entanglement – across bodies, ecosystems and built environments – are central to sustainability in theatre and performance design.
Short CV of the Speaker:
Dr. Tanja Beer is an award-winning ecological designer and community artist who is passionate about co-creating shared spaces for the benefit of the more-than-human world. Originally trained as a performance designer and theatre maker, Tanja’s work increasingly crosses many disciplines, often collaborating with landscape architects, urban ecologists, horticulturists and placemakers to inspire communication and action on ecological issues. Her most celebrated project is The Living Stage: a global initiative that combines spatial design, horticulture and community engagement to create recyclable, biodegradable, biodiverse and edible event spaces. Tanja is currently Senior Lecturer in Design (Interior/Spatial) at Griffith University, Australia. Her pioneering concept of Ecoscenography has been featured in many platforms, publications and projects around the world. She is the author of Ecoscenography: an introduction to ecological design for performance (Palgrave Macmillan).