conference presentation

I am presenting my published writing, reading from the chapter I contributed to Working on Earth: Class and Environmental Justice (2015), on a conference panel with the book’s editors, Christina Robertson and Jennifer Westerman (see post on the book below). The conference is How Class Works, at the Center for Study of Working Class Life, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, June 9-11, 2016. For conference information go here:  http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/workingclass/hcw2016.html

Much of my doctoral research was focused on themes of class, beginning with the work of cultural theorist Raymond Williams, that great proponent of lifelong learning founded in public pedagogy and open, shared knowledge. As early as the 1950s, Williams supported new media and film as democratizing educational technologies that, though polluted by commercial interests, can also promote a more critically engaged general public (see McIlroy & Westwood (1993). Border country: Raymond Williams in adult education. Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.)

In the neoliberal global marketplace, the rhetoric of classlessness persists as a cultural imaginary. Meanwhile class divisions continue to be reproduced as economic inequalities intensify for much of today’s workforce, whatever their colour of collar, those fated to increasingly precarious employment. As we journey ever more deeply into environmental collapse, let us keep our spirits up as we continue to produce and engage with works and means of challenging that trajectory of doom.

Mining cart

Our conference panel is called “Working on Earth: Essays on Class, Environment, Community & Justice” on Friday, June 10 at 3:45 PM.

This promises to be a timely and important discussion, and I’m happy to be part of the conversation as I look forward to a wealth of great presentations.

A new film by Michael Zweig, Director of the Center for Study of Working Class Life, tells the story of how international worker solidarity changed labour law in Iraq, guaranteeing rights such as collective bargaining, and prohibiting sexual harassment at work, and child labour. The entire short film can be seen here:   https://vimeo.com/164793529

I recently saw The Measure of a Man (2015) , a cinematic masterwork by Stéphane Brizé, which brilliantly interrogates themes of class. Here we witness a Foucauldian panoptical reality, as Snowden’s nightmare and Orwellian fantasy collide in a fusion of complex ethical struggles and human grace.

Image: “Old Mine Cart” (2007) from the series Northland, by Edie Steiner.

music channel on SoundCloud

For many years I’ve recorded music for my films and sometimes for live performance projects, beginning with film performances at The Funnel. For a history of The Funnel collective and its artists, see Mike Hoolboom’s research project, which includes my interview and many others: http://mikehoolboom.com/?p=12552

Here is a sample collection of recordings: https://soundcloud.com/edie-steiner produced in collaboration with Canadian artists Chip Yarwood, Malcolm Lewis, Michael Phillip Wojewoda, and Australian composers Colin Offord and Daniel Rojas. Among my published works is the text for Colin Offord’s Bold New Strategies Suite (EMI International, 1999). Here is Colin in concert, performing Part 1, “I See A Journey”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoZvrbGiIKo

 

2015 Female Eye Film Festival Photography Exhibition ‘FIRE’

1000 Islands SkyI have artwork in the annual Female Eye Film Festival’s Photography Exhibition, ‘FIRE’.

Exhibition Reception June 18, 8:00pm – Midnight. Silent Auction Opens (ends Sunday, June 21, 2015)

FLEX STUDIO SILVER, #106, 180 Shaw Street

PHOTOGRAPHERS Amy Wilson, Claudette Abrams, Edie Steiner, Elaine Brodie, Dlyse Pomeranz, Imogen Whist, Inger Whist, Jenn Wilson, Kasha Sequoia Slavner, Katherine Keates, Lynn Leonard, Shannon Griffiths & Tineke Jorritsma. Curated by Inger Whist.

book review

Here is another book review I’ve written for The Goose – a publication by the Association for the Study of Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC). The text is Adrian J. Ivakhiv’s  “Ecologies of the Moving Image: Cinema, Affect, Nature.” For serious film studies or ecological cinema studies readers, this book is an amazing resource. Read my review at: http://scholars.wlu.ca/thegoose/vol13/iss2/28

book publication

Edie Steiner’s essay “Requiem for Landscape” is published in this 2015 collection of scholarly writing –
Working on Earth: Class and Environmental Justice
Edited by Christina Robertson, Jennifer Westerman
Description
This collection of essays examines the relationship between environmental injustice and the exploitation of working-class people. Twelve scholars from the fields of environmental humanities and the humanistic social sciences explore connections between the current and unprecedented rise of environmental degradation, economic inequality, and widespread social injustice in the United States and Canada. The authors challenge prevailing cultural narratives that separate ecological and human health from the impacts of modern industrial capitalism. Essay themes range from how human survival is linked to nature to how the use and abuse of nature benefit the wealthy elite at the expense of working-class people and the working poor as well as how climate change will affect cultures deeply rooted in the land. Ultimately, Working on Earth calls for a working-class ecology as an integral part of achieving just and sustainable human development. Available at University of Nevada Press: http://unevadapress.com/Browse/Titles/Working%20on%20Earth/W;2289
Reviews
Working on Earth is a significant contribution to the literature on class, labor, personal history, and environmentalism. Indeed, it is one of the first volumes of its kind to explain the ways in which class and the environment are powerfully, and sometimes tragically, entwined.” — Kathleen Newman, associate professor of English and cultural studies, Carnegie Mellon University, and blogger for the Center for Working Class Studies

Bay Street Film Festival

I have 2 films and a video projection in this festival taking place in Thunder Bay, Ontario, from September 3 – 7, 2014. Bay Street Film Festival

My new film Conversations on the Lake (2014), 44 minutes, presents at 2 PM on Sunday, September 7. My film Northland: Long Journey (2007) which was the opening film of the 2007 Bay Street Film Festival, is at 2 PM on Friday, September 5, as part of the festival’s 10th anniversary retrospective. My photo/video installation Views from Home: Facing North (2014) will be showing in the festival lounge. See it here: Views From Home on Vimeo

Images: Conversations on the Lake (2014)

photo/video gallery installation

This exhibition is the culmination of a 10-year photographic documentation of a particular view from my home on Toronto’s waterfront, facing north. In the decade between 2004 to 2014, the visible landscape has changed tremendously, as a once wide view of the city gradually becomes an increasingly enclosed space.

book review

A new double issue of The Goose is here! Published by the Association for Literature, Culture, and Environment in Canada, this journal of great environmental writing and images features my review (page 197) of Jan Conns’ brilliant poetry text, Edge Effects (Brick Books, 2012). The Goose is available free online.

arts history interview

Live at The Funnel, 1984: Derek Graham, Edie Steiner, Gloria Toth. Photo by John Porter.

Here is a link to an interview I recently did with Mike Hoolboom for his arts history project. It includes many photographs and details on my early (1980s!) arts activities with The Funnel, a collective of experimental filmmakers and interdisciplinary artists. http://mikehoolboom.com/?p=12552

Mike’s site has many fantastic artist interviews, images, and cultural writings.