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Bella Knemeyer | Sustain what?
Research 3 April–30 June 2023
Title Bella Knemeyer | Sustain what? Dates 3 April–30 June 2023 Location Online Tagline A research project and roundtable discussion ask after sustainability in the arts. Credits

Lead researcher:
Bella Knemeyer

Sustainability Roundtable participants:
Katherine Brinson, Guggenheim Museum
Sadie Coles, Sadie Coles HQ
Thomas Dane, Thomas Dane Gallery 
Wendy Fisher, Guggenheim Museum & A4 Arts Foundation
Beatrice Galilee, The World Around 
Joshua Ginsburg, A4 Arts Foundation
Stephanie Hessler, Swiss Institute
Tarini Malik, Royal Academy
Katherine Schaefer, A4 Arts Foundation
Florian Schaefer
Victoria Siddall, Gallery Climate Coalition 

Taking an expanded view of sustainability as both an ecological and societal imperative, Bella Knemeyer explores mechanisms for measuring impact and implementing change in the global arts ecology. Her project takes A4 as a case study, observing different strategies for exhibition-making, particularly the foundation's focus on how ideas and artworks can travel independently of objects. As part of this research, Bella produces an annual carbon report of A4 and compiles a series of reading lists and resources. Her findings inform A4's first Sustainability Roundtable in London, which brings together arts workers from the museum, foundation, gallery, art fair and philanthropic communities. Piggy-backing on the convening power that is the Frieze Art Fair, arts workers grappling with sustainability practices and their applications within the visual arts gathered for the exchange, which took shape as a sense-making process facilitated from the Global South to North and back. Guiding the discussion is a set of prompt cards that draw together impressions from Harvest Live engagements at A4, as well as quotes from diverse practitioners working in sustainability at large.

Reflecting on the notes from the Sustainability Roundtable, seven themes became apparent: 

Energy, movement and temporalities
Artful lobbying groups
The responsibilities of artists, institutions and collectors
The potential of co-ownership
Experimentation and institutional critique
Thinking globally and acting locally, and
Green fundraising.