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Tuesday 3 August 2010

Why Not Bring Your Own Cup?

I love coffee. Not instant though. That was one of things that took a while to get used to when I moved to the UK. You’d go over to someone’s house; they’d offer you a coffee and get the jar out of the cupboard and the teaspoon out of the drawer. Now, in New York, out comes the grinder and then into the coffee pot. There is a distinct difference between American coffee and British coffee, although Italian coffee tops the list for me.

Being the Editor of Aesthetica Magazine, means that from time to time, I get to sample things, like earlier this year the Nissan Cube (I love that car), and so I was contacted to see if I’d sample the KeepCup. There’s not too much to this product, basically, it’s a plastic cup that you carry around to get your take-away coffee. It’s solid, in the respect that it won’t spill and it has a stopper to make sure that coffee doesn’t dribble out into your bag.

I decided to test this out at Costa, and it worked a treat. But then, I started thinking about all the cups of coffee I’ve had in my life, and how many times I’d thrown away a paper cup. I started to get dizzy with disgust. It must be hundreds and maybe even thousands! I am up-to-speed with recycling, and keeping my impact on the planet to a minimum. I cycle often, have an allotment for growing some of my own veggies and I compost, so I’d say that I’m pretty on the ball, but when I started thinking about how many paper cups I use, and then I started thinking about how many people in a city, a country – the world, well it seems completely pointless, don’t you think? A waste of resources, and a greater impact with the production of one paper cup, so it’s not only about the cups making their way to the landfill (I know paper is biodegradable, but the cups are sprayed with polyethylene, which renders them both non-biodegradable and most often, un-recyclable), but really, it’s about the energy and effort that goes into producing one paper cup, just to be thrown away, and discarded after only one use.

We will be called the disposable age. That makes me sad – how do you feel about that? I began thinking about how people are very much up to speed with taking their own bags to the supermarket, so why not take your own cup? Makes sense.

The KeepCup does what it says, it’s a durable, reusable cup, and I know that Starbucks, et. al offer their own versions, but I think there’s a bigger picture here. It’s about sustainable living, and respecting our environment. Just what would the impact be on our planet if we all used our own cups? Golly.

Monday 2 August 2010

New Issue: August/September Out Today

August/September Issue- Extract from the Editor's Note

When we look back in fifty years, what do you think we’ll remember about these times? Technology is moving quickly; it’s hard to keep up. My new phone isn’t even that new anymore. As a society, we’ve changed – we can access anything we want, create our own user-generated content, and expose ourselves to the world on blogs. There has been a shift in power and we are more in control of our experiences, but this begs the question, what legacy will this leave?

This issue examines the current state of play, and offers answers to this resonating question. In art, we look at the interplay between digital technologies, performance, and installation with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer in his exhibition, Recorders, which opens this September. Stuart Brisley is one of performance art’s instigators; with a prolific career spanning five decades, we review his seminal works from the 1970s. The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today is a new exhibition that surveys over 100 works and illustrates how our definitions of sculpture have been altered by the photograph. Finally, a look at multiplicity and the defiance of categorisation with photographer, Jannica Honey.

In film, Javier Fuentes-León’s Sundance winning film, Undertow, reaches our screens. Abandon Normal Devices: Festival of New Cinema and Digital Culture opens in October, examining the intersection between art and cinema. In music, Canada’s Born Ruffians are back with their new album, while we chat with Rob Da Bank about the boutique festival experience. Writer, Maile Chapman, discusses her debut, Your Presence is Required at Suvanto, and Wesley Stace otherwise known as John Wesley Harding chats about his new book, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer. Finally, a look at the crossover between immersive theatre and live action gaming in The Games of Nonchalance.

In this issue, we’re exploring several important topics of the day, as well as bringing you previews and reviews of this season’s latest exhibitions and releases. Enjoy.

Cherie Federico, Editor

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