Sessions

KEYNOTE

Presenters:  Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian (The Land Art Generator Initiative, USA) with Chris Fremantle (ecoartscotland, Scotland)
Title:  Powering Places: wild, wonderful, and sexy energy landscapes

When:  9 November 16.45 | Upper Gatehouse

What if the path to our postcarbon future was equitable, empowering people everywhere to improve their lives on their own terms and in harmony with nature?

The ‘gloom and doom’ narrative of climate activism (rising sea levels, increasing storm intensities, coral bleaching, mass extinction, desertification), while based in scientific fact, can be polarizing and paralyzing. By presenting examples of utility-scale renewable energy infrastructures as public art and considering community energy projects as community art projects, the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is helping to inspire the general public about the beauty of our sustainable future with the aim of influencing accelerated climate action.

The presentation will showcase what can happen when thousands of creatives around the world respond to an open call to design our clean energy landscapes. The global conversation that LAGI has initiated on the shifting aesthetics of sustainable infrastructure has created a collective force that is resonating with governments, universities, design professionals, corporations and the public.

We will discuss the influence of renewable energy design on city planning and public policy, and demonstrate the potential for community energy infrastructure projects to be positive cultural contributions to neighborhoods and towns—new civic landmarks for the twenty-first century, economic development drivers, and educational venues—all while helping to power the new energy grid.


2016 Nick Reeves AWE Inspiring Award Ceremony | Great Hall

When:  9 November 20.00

Announcement and awarding of the 2016 Nick Reeves Award for Arts and the Environment is given by the Arts and Environment Network of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management in association with CCANW (Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World) in recognition of an outstanding contribution in the field of environmental arts.


PERFORMANCE

Lola Perrin (UK) and guests | Great Hall
When:   9 November 20.15

Significantus (Piano Suite IX) is a live, interactive piano project performed in collaboration with local guest speakers:  scientists, artists & other thinkers.

I created this project because I want to stimulate more conversations about positive prospects that are presented by climate change. Guest speakers – scientists, artists and other thinkers – respond (as I have in music) to the quotes that drove the music. Audience members are invited to make spoken word contributions later in the concert programme.  My quest is that the conversation then spreads out from concert venues, carried forward by both audience members and by the project website which will document speaker and audience contributions.

 

Presenter: Cathy Fitzgerald (Ireland)
Title: The Ecological Turn: Why and how can we best articulate Slow Art and Ecology Practices?
When:  Session 2 | 10 November 09.45  Great Hall

My creative doctoral inquiry develops an accessible theory-method framework to articulate ‘slow art’ and ecology projects—what I call ‘eco-social art practice.’ I argue these practices routinely foster new ecological values for society. Such transversal practices translate and ground global eco-social concerns through local, transformative activities.

My research analyses diverse practices, including my own, which involve the ongoing (since 2008) transformation of a conifer plantation in rural Ireland, into a permanent forest. While art and ecology practices may appear dissimilar, my work determines broad commonalities in aims and method approaches. Consequently, my research proposes a guiding theory and a clear methodology to describe the common drivers and methods found in these multi-constituent practices. The eco-social art practice theory-method framework I developed employs Guattari’s ecosophy and action research.

I also explore the value of social media to advance ecosophic refrains by accelerated ‘connected learning’. I highlight how blogging has been my primary art research and creative practice method. I present a summary journey of the framework applied to my eco-social art practice through an interactive audio-visual ebook format.

Overall, I argue the theory-method eco-social art practice framework empowers practitioners’ articulation of these important value-creating endeavours. Importantly, it increases understanding of the art and ecology field as an innovator of practice particularly suited to respond to 21st- century eco-social concerns.

See more at www.hollywoodforest.com

 

Presenter: Beth Carruthers (Canada)
Title: A Compass Rose for the Anthropocene: new maps for old
When:  Session 3 | 10 November 09.45 | Ship Studio

A presentation and conversation by way of philosophy and arts-based practices on the transformative capacity of aesthetic engagement and the possibility of future flourishing.

Much research on the impact of the arts in sustainability focuses on tracking such things as raising awareness of environmental problems, and encouraging personal acts such as recycling. If we seek to understand how the arts are transformative we must also see past the rhetoric of artist as detached observer and ironic critic, or as earnest commentator, conveying abstract and smartly crafted messages of social change, politics, social justice, or even ethics for public consumption. The true transformative capacity of the arts has not to do with the content we may want the arts to deliver, no matter how cleverly or carefully devised; it has to do with the capacity of the arts to deeply engage and transform us in ways we cannot fully control, or readily comprehend.

This presentation and conversation delves into the subject of why and how artists can lead us from known ontological territory, to future flourishing. It considers how the deeply engaging and transformative capacity of aesthetic experience, focused by way of the arts, can be our compass rose as we navigate winds of change, sail off the map of the known world to a new world as yet unknown; a world feared by many (here be monsters), but welcomed by others as world of possibility, rich and strange.

 

Presenter: Nancy Holmes (Canada) and Denise Kenney (Canada)
Title: A Dangerous Gift: Artists Expanding Frames of Cognition In Environmental Discourse
When:  Session 4  | 10 November 10.15 | Great Hall

Poet Nancy Holmes and performer/ filmmaker Denise Kenney are Canadian artists who engage in poetic and embodied practices that attempt to shift people’s sense of place, their lived experiences of place, and the language we use to talk about place and the natural world. This paper will discuss how their art practices attempt to challenge frames of cognition as theorized by George Lakoff who notes that we have powerful frames of reference in our heads whereby whole conceptual structures and values are housed. Canadians and peoples of many northern Euroethnic cultures are finding their ‘frames’ around climate change seriously confusing. Winter-haunted peoples hanker after more warm weather but realize these changes mean more flooding, storms, fires, and drought (a result brought home this year with the burning down of the tar sands city of Fort McMurray). This complicated frame of understanding leads to a dislocating state of delight darkly edged with despair. We don’t have a language for the experience of enjoying pleasure and delight at the same time as feeling fear and anxiety—especially when that pleasure is a dangerous gift of the threat. Poetry and physical performance are ideally suited to exploring this rich resource of ambivalence, fear, and pleasure in order to expand the frames of understanding around environmental issues. The paper will present our processes and practices when making art, collaborating with artists and scientists, and training students and discuss why these arts are so valuable for diving into states of ambivalence and conflict.


Presenter: Judy Spark (Scotland) Ship Studio
Title: Nature Shining Forth: Being in the Presence of Technological Objects
When:  Session 5 | 10 November 10.15 | Ship Studio

The energy related infrastructure that sits around the periphery of our living environments that is of such fundamental importance to functioning of our daily lives, seems to give rise to attitudes that shift between their not being seen at all, and their being regarded as visual intrusions. If we bury cables, hide the hardware, we lose the means by which we may understand our dependence on and connection to these things and the natural phenomena that they are related to; storing, receiving, transmitting. We are in the grip of a failure to understand fully the ways in which our energy dependant apparatus relates to, and is a part of, the natural world.

The philosophical starting point of this work is Martin Heidegger’s 1954 claim that modern technology ‘enframes’ the earth and its natural energies so that they are understood merely as ‘standing reserve’. This enframing hides the other possible ways that things in the world might ‘reveal’ themselves, to the extent in fact that it can also be argued that technology has become the defining characteristic of human being in contemporary times. The purpose of this paper is to encourage philosophical debate around human attitudes towards ‘energy’. It is difficult for humans to step out of the paradigm of technological intertwining and dependence enough to gain any understanding of this position and of the natural phenomena that literally fuel our existence. But we may hope that our comportment can be shifted; this paper will explore the possibilities within that shift.

 

Presenter: Laura Kim Sommer (Norway)
Title:  ‘The activating’ and other environmental art clusters with potential to inspire the climate movement
When:  Session 6 | 10 November 10.45 | Great Hall

A global festival of cultural activity on climate change, called ArtCOP21, took place parallel to the 2015 UN climate summit in Paris. It included 163 artistic events and the idea was that art and creativity inspire engagement and communicate environmental issues to the public to spark a global climate movement. The goal of this study was to investigate what kind of psychological effects the artworks had on their spectators, and in case they had one, which characteristics of the artworks were responsible for it. In order to answer these questions a survey was conducted. 874 random spectators of 37 artworks responded to a questionnaire on their perception of one of the artworks. Cluster analysis of the artworks assigns them to four clusters, in respect to the reactions the artworks evoked on important environmental psychological variables. Moreover, it was investigated which emotional patterns these clusters induced. The clusters were named after the emotional profile they elicited (‘the activating’, ‘the comforting’, ‘the confrontational’ and ‘the neutral’). Finally, we suggest for climate change communication via art and to overcome climate change denial that environmental art should aim to provoke a sense of awe, surprise its audience, make people angry but not anxious and be relevant for daily life.


Presenter: Ian Garrett (Canada)
Title:  Vox:Lumen – Engineering for Performance
When:  Session 7 | 10 November 10.45 | Ship Studio

Zata Omm’s Dance Projects Vox:Lumen was the first completely off-grid concert-length dance performance in North America (if not beyond). Presented in the World Stage Series at the Harbourfront Centre’s Harbourfront Centre Theatre in March of 2015, the performance eschewed all installed and existing theatrical systems in the space and engineered the performance around renewable energy capture, running the entire evening off of batteries charged through solar and kinetic capture. What would have traditionally been a process of assigning inventory to positions in the theatre for the in-house theatrical electricians to assign to dimmer circuits; this project instead crossed over into an electrical engineering research project on energy storage, power conversion and distribution, and energy efficiency which had to be designed for to be “show-ready” for a sold-out week-long run in a premier performance series. Vox Lumen’s hypothesis was that it was possible for a theatrical presentation in a professional setting to run entirely off-grid without compromise on the aesthetic of the performance design. Through diligent research and engineering which involved questioning conventional approaches to illumination and power in live performance, the creative team was able to prove that hypothesis correct.

 

Presenter:  Anaïs Roesch (France)
Title: About energy transition, cultural change and the power of the arts
When:  Session 8  | 10 November 11.45  | Great Hall

All of our cultures are dependent on the energy sources that make them possible. And each energy source brings with it certain cultural values that accompany that energy source – either as a value that is necessary to adopt in order to access and use that energy, or as a value that the energy source makes possible.

From there, what has been the role of the artist in shaping these cultural changes? How have the energy sources impacted the context of production of these artworks, of the cultural sector? Today, more than ever, practice and content, materiality and creativity are closely interconnected.

I would like to illustrate this reflexion, through several examples that have been presented during ArtCOP21 and beyond. Keeping an eye on manipulation and political appropriation risks, I will demonstrate that this energy transition context isn’t a constraint but rather a source of inspiration for artists and new ways of making art.


Presenters:  Natalia Eernstman (UK)
and Bryony Onciul (UK)
Title: Miss You Already: an artistic response to accelerated coastal change
When:  Session 9 | 10 November 11.45  | Ship Studio

The presentation reports on the preliminary findings of the artistic research project ‘Miss You Already’ (MYA) which will have completed in the final weekend of October. In collaboration with the University of Exeter, the Cornish cultural production company Golden Tree explores whether an artistic approach can answer the gritty questions that surround the topic of coastal erosion.

With climate change causing extreme weather events more frequently, ever larger chunks of our coast are being eaten away, threatening heritage, properties and livelihoods. In designated places along the coast authorities have adopted a strategy of ‘managed retreat’, meaning that they will no longer defend these sites against storms. But how communities are supposed to deal with the impending loss of these places is not stipulated as part of the strategy.

For MYA 3 artists will create a piece of outdoor work at 3 locations along the Cornish coast. Responding to the environment and in collaboration with the local community they will produce a performance or installation, generating conversations around issues of loss and change and exploring what it means for a community to yield and let go. Thereby we aim to answer questions such as: what is the best way to retreat? How can we reduce the pain that comes with losing something that you love? How can communities respond to accelerated coastal erosion due to climate change?

The findings presented in the paper are the result of reflection, participant observation, focus groups and interviews with participants and audience members.

 

Presenter:  Zoe Banks Gross (UK)
Title: Intersections, How we communicate energy, ecology and sustainability issues, can it influence behaviour change?
When:  Session 10 | 10 November 12.15  | Great Hall

I’ve spent the last two decades primarily working in ecology, but the last 2 years in community development. I’m interested in the intersection between science, activity and people. Spending many years in a more academic career, it’s been fascinating to bring my ideas about sustainability directly to individuals as opposed to writing a paper which will only reach a few people. Working for a community energy group and running a Kidical Mass project has meant that I am able to interact much more directly with people, and potentially engage with them about behaviour change among other things. Whether this happens while I am teaching them to ride a bicycle, leading a group of people to learn to run, or showing them how much physical energy it takes to turn on a light bulb, sharing a kinesthetic experience seems to be an effective way of reaching people who would not engage with written material. Our community energy group has found that the general public are more likely to engage with energy-related issues if there are workshops where they can do something. Some workshops are energy efficiency driven, others are more focused on having fun, making things. Exploring new methods to engage with people is necessary to move towards a lower carbon future and a more sustainable way of living.

 

Presenter:  David Haley (UK)
Title: NON-EQUILIBRIUM: ecology of time
When:  Session 11  | 10 November 12.15  | Ship Studio

In a darkened room, a video is projected onto a vertical screen. On screen, shot from a fixed camera position, against a black background and lit from a single source above, a figure dressed in a black silk Chinese suit stands motionless. During the 8 minute sequence, the figure performs the first and last steps of the Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan form – from Wu Chi to Tai Chi and from Tai Chi to Wu Chi. The sequence fades in from and then out to black. Meanwhile, an immersive soundtrack accompanies the whole sequence – from silence a tumultuous thunderstorm and other SFX increase in complexity, and then simplify to silence. The video may be played as a continuous loop.

Explanation
According to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, ‘nature abhors a gradient’*, so what does life make with energy?  ‘Wu Chi’ embodies the primordial state, prior to the Big Bang. ‘Tai Chi’ embodies the continuing release of all energy (Chi) from the Big Bang that continues to flow through us, and the whole cosmos as time. Each step is preceded by a breath in and enacted by a breath out. The breathing process is seamless and is facilitated by the whole body. Breath, food and liquids are ways that humans receive energy, and the performance of thevTai Chi Chuan form enhances the internal organs to do so.

*Schneider, E. & Sagan, D. 2006. Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics and Life. University of Chicago Press

 

Presenter: Ela Spalding (Panama)
Title: An Art and Science LAB in Panama
When:  Session 12  | 10 November 12.45  | Great Hall

Panama is of great interest for scientific study due to its vast tropical biodiversity. Although much of the research that takes place there produces results that influence the areas of health, environment and technology, there is a delay in such knowledge reaching the people who inhabit this living laboratory. This is definitely not unique to Panama. On a global scale, speeding up knowledge transfer is ever more urgent to promote a shift in behaviour that is necessary for humanity to meet the challenges of a changing planet.

The Art and Science LAB is designed and facilitated by Estudio Nuboso (a platform for art and human ecology in Panama and the globe) as a way to share scientific knowledge through art, bridge the gap between disciplines and people, and promote a more holistic way of thinking, viewing and living in the world.

In my presentation I will share our first LAB experience: A month-long stimulating exchange that addressed energy and health (microalgae), food production (coffee) and nature appreciation through natural dyes. It resulted in an exhibition, a publication, a series of videos and a public / education programme of workshops and talks.

I am especially interested in sparking a conversation about the aesthetics and potential of the art and science integration to promote change through projects such as the LAB and others.

 

Presenter:  Chloe Whipple (UK)
Title: How to make 15 litres of water a day work
When:  Session 13  | 10 November 12.45  | Ship Studio

Performance lecture about my experience of living off 15 litres of potable water a day for a year. This amount is on average 10% of what an individual uses in a day in the UK (150 litres). This includes, showers, flushing toilets, washing up, watering plants, cooking etc…

The performance lecture will be a reflection on the ups and downs of my experience over the year. It will honestly portray my attempts to shift my own behavior around my water usage/wastage and to see what, if any, difference it has had on global warming. Drawing on my skills as a performance maker, I will be looking at ways to make the lecture lively, engaging and imaginative. I will also incorporate facts and figures I have learnt through my collaboration with scientists and engineer Pete Melville-Shreeve, who helped me to find solutions to some of the challenges I faced along the way.

Doing the 15 litre water challenge, is part of my process to make a solo performance piece about climate change. It is also my intention to regain some ownership for my individual role in effecting positive change in the world. I wanted to empower myself to feel I could make a difference with simple acts and perhaps as a result encourage others to do the same.

KEYNOTE

Presenter:  Laura Watts (Denmark)
Title: Walking with Energy – under sea and over stone
When:  10 November 14.45  Great Hall

Energy is an old, wily creature to walk with. It rises from the heat of the Earth’s core, falls in a sunbeam, comes with the tide to form cliffs. It takes people and places, time and technology, to transform and transport energy (it can never be destroyed). How to walk with this ethereal power, and tell its stories? How to imagine and write its futures?

For the last eight years I have been walking with people and places involved in marine renewable energy in the Orkney islands, Scotland, site of the European Marine Energy Centre. Orkney is at the edge of the UK and yet it lives in an energy future only dreamed elsewhere. I’ve been walking with marine energy as it flows under sea and over stone, through metal and fibre optics, alongside mariners and biologists. As an ethnographer and poet, I have been exploring this energy future in writing that is both empirical science and poetic- from a poetic guide to marine energy to an ‘energy walk’ installation in the landscape. These weave the technological and social, with the mythic and imagined. In this talk, I will explore how to imagine and write energy futures otherwise, energy futures that are inseparable from the landscape, sea, and stones from which they rise and form.

 

Presenter: Laura Hopes (UK)
Title:  Tank: Non-standard Units of Measurement
When:  Session 14  | 10 November 15.30 |  Ship Studio

Working with Plymouth University’s Wave Tank, I’ve created a film work documenting wave pattern taken from data of heart rate sequences. I wanted to see if emotions could be mapped visually, so the amplitude and frequency of the waves are derived from the emotional and physiological stimuli impulses that affect one’s heart rate, in this case musical phrases and scores.

I have strived to make visible and tangible the acoustic frisson engendered by certain chromatic musical movements, as well as translating raw data from the mechanical sublime (the wave machine and a pulse oximeter) into an audio-visual flooding of the senses.

Developing this work further, I will be showing the film in Plymouth University’s Immersive Vision Theatre, whose ‘Fulldome’ houses a high-resolution projector fitted with a fisheye lens and customised computers to wrap data, video and images around its inner surface. Each of the theatre’s seats is fitted with a data sensor whereby the audience’s heart rate can be monitored and fed into a data system. I can then ‘harvest’ information from my audience and I am currently translating these heart rate sequences into sculptural forms, which will be unique to the audience of the film’s showing.

Fascinated by the idea of ‘raw’ fields of data, the potential for interpreting and abstracting these aesthetic traces into tangible objects that are capable of reflecting or representing a shared emotional event is limitless..

 

Presenter: David Sergeant (UK)
Title: Reading Poetry while the world burns
When:  Session 15 | 10 November 16.00  |  Ship Studio

This paper will explore how the practice of close reading poetry might advance current debates about the role of the arts in a time of global environmental crisis. Taking as examples the work of ‘nature poets’ such as William Wordsworth and Ted Hughes, as well as the work of poets not generally celebrated for their treatment of the environment such as W. B. Yeats, it will explore how the distinctive patterning utilized by poetry should not be taken as mimetic of our relation to the environment – the basis on which it is still both celebrated and dismissed by ecocriticism – but as valuable for the cognitive and embodied skills it demands. Poetry’s significance in an age of environmental crisis might lie, therefore, not in its capacity for a more powerful mimesis, but in the peculiar pleasures it entails: pleasures which both resist instrumentalisation and which might be shared with others, whether through performance, communal reading, or teaching, or a combination of these. This role for poetry might be more modest than that proposed by much current criticism; but it might also be both more attainable and concretely impactful.


Presenter: Lori Hepner (USA)
Title: #Crowdsourced Landscapes
When:  Session 16 | 10 November 16.30  | Ship Studio

I have been thinking about the experiences of future climate change, our perception of the future landscape, and how we imagine our own landscapes changing from our memories of them over the course of our lifetimes. The threat of climate change and the future shifts that it will cause to the physical landscape will trigger adaptations to our recollections of our personally meaningful landscapes. How the Arctic will change, in physical space and in the space of the mind of those who live there, is of great interest to me.

I began developing this work through a desire to experience places that will be changing dramatically over the course of my own lifetime. Through silent hikes, boat rides amongst deserted islands, and guidance into local landscape stories over saunas and swimming pools, I was shown places on the precipice of climate change across the Arctic.

In addition to my own artwork, the project includes the potential for a participatory public art event or workshop. Participants will focus on two short steps:

1. The Future Memory of our Climate: A short thought about how future climate change may affect one’s personal landscapes in the future.

2. Images of Personal Landscapes Past: A photograph that one took of a landscape that is important enough to their personal history that it lives on their phone.

Individuals combine these elements into a single LED light painting in long exposure photography. Their movements mix the legible text and their landscape image into one.

 

Presenter: Loraine Leeson (UK)
Title: Active Energy
When:  Session 17 | 10 November 17.00  | Ship Studio

“When electricity prices prevent older people from heating their homes, and the River Thames is just down the road, why aren’t we using it to power our city?” was a question posed by a member of the Geezers Club at a senior centre in East London when I met the Geezers through an arts commission addressing the ‘democratisation of technology’. Participants recollected developments in tidal and wave power in the 1980’s halted by the Thatcher government, then later emphasis on wind power, but observed that this island’s extensive water resources still remain relatively untapped.

Eight years on, work with the Geezers is still going strong. We have enlisted professional engineers, investigated how turbines might function on the Thames Flood Barrier, made use of a university prototyping laboratory, tested a small-scale turbine in the Thames, and are currently developing a streamwheel to aerate polluted water and support fish in the Lower Lea.

Along the way we have run renewable energy workshops with a secondary school, produced a wind-driven lightwork for an AgeUK roof, convinced the sheltered accommodation provider to consider alternative sources of power, held two exhibitions, spoken as a group at conferences and universities, and liaised with other seniors in Pittsburgh.

Why an art project? Only the arts have no other agenda than to make meaning, while also employing methodologies of creative production that bring together disparate ideas, people and concepts and, most importantly, an ability to hold the ensuing chaos until something new begins to emerge…


Presenter: Felix Prater (UK)
Title: 1 of 8.4 million
When:  Session 18 | 10 November 17.30  | Ship Studio

1 of 8.4 Million is a selection of several artworks made with the intent of shifting the human centred perspective towards other species. The work serves as a platform to encourage empathy and to allow the audience the chance to see life through other species eyes. In my video piece  23:24 till 11:37 I spent twelve hours dressed as a fox with a GoPro on my head filming from a POV perspective. The camera documents my ‘fox’ perspective as I find food to eat in bins, cautiously avoid human contact and try and find a safe place to sleep. Another of my video works 1 of 8.4 Million consists of a selection of still images of different species eyes, cropped so that just the eye is visible. Accompanying each image is a synthesised heart beat at the bpm of that species. I used online scientific journals to acquire the rate of each animal’s heart rate. The piece is simple but creates a powerful opportunity to engage with other species. The piece presents the possibility for alternative forms to present scientific data, forms that engage the emotions, not just the mind. The artwork within the project spans over a wide array of mediums, from video, performance, installation, music, collage and street art. I will also be sharing some of my research from my dissertation Seeing through the eyes of others, An inquiry into art’s influence upon our perception of nature.


Presenter:  Jaewon Cho (Korea)
Title: Science Walden: A movement of perceiving toward a new horizon for a community
When:  Session 19  | 11 November 09.45 | Great Hall

Science Walden named after the Thoreau’s essay and the Skinner’s novel, two ways to connect scientific technologies and implementations into a community, have been attempted. The two are faeces standard money (FSM; please refer to edge.org/response-detail/26660) and artistic collaboration between scientists and artists. FSM is not substituting for the present currency but a parallel one to supplement it, on economic and social aspects. Arts, here liberal arts, is believed to give imagination and courage in our design of a community using scientific concepts and ideas. To experience all the endeavors, we designed and built a Pavilion that is the laboratory where scientists and artists study together with our goals. The name of the Pavilion is ‘Sa-Wol-Dang’ which means a place where we can think beyond in Korean and Chinese letters.


Presenter: Holly Owen (UK)
and Kristina Pulejkova (UK)
Title:  Switching Heads – sound mapping the Summit
When:  Session 20  | 11 November 09.45 | Ship Studio

Switching Heads – sound mapping the […] is an ongoing film project by artist duo Holly Owen and Kristina Pulejkova. Combining immersive binaural sound technology with environmentally un-intrusive sculpture and video the project captures real people’s stories in environmentally iconic locations. The artists ask local people to talk to a ‘listening head’ sculpted from site-specific materials that, after use, will crumble back into the earth, adding nothing and taking nothing away.

Holding binaural microphones at its ears the life-size head acts as both a confidant and a voyeur whilst it maps and records a 360° sound scape of the site.

The first in the series entitled Switching Heads-sound mapping the Arctic captured the stories from a community deep within the endangered landscape of the Arctic Circle. The artists have shown the film nationwide as well as taking it to the streets of Paris during COP21.Their second film was produced this summer at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales.

The film places participation at its heart from production to the final viewing. It aims to inspire social change through human empathy using storytelling, immersive technology and local materials.

During the summit Owen and Pulejkova will produce their third film, asking attendees of the summit to participate by telling their stories (encouraged by the artists using a set of inclusive questions) to a pre-made, life-size head sculpted in local materials. The resulting film will be available to view on their website www.switching-heads.com.

 

Presenter: Deisa Centazzo (UK/Italy) and Paolo Bombelli (UK/Italy)
Title: Connecting art, colour, nature, and health through the energy of living plants
When:  Session 21 | 11 November 10.15 |  Great Hall

The idea of Magic Dye House Greenhouse – making vegetable colours and art – was to bring life-enhancing energy in hospitals and places devoted to health. The living plants used to make colours and art together with patients also help to generate the electricity to light the greenhouse. In this talk you will see the first part of the greenhouse, a vase to make energy using a living Woad plant.

The development of electrochemical systems to generate small amounts of electrical current is a novel advance in the field of plant science. This exciting prospect is made possible by associating plants with electrodes to create something referred to as ‘plant microbial fuel cell’ (plant-MFC).

 


Presenter: Emma Welton (UK)
Title: Damage Limitation
When:  Session 22 | 11 November 10.15 | Ship Studio

I speak about and play recordings of my musical works confronting or revealing the hidden sounds of electricity generation, transmission and consumption, concerning issues around ‘work’ (by treating musical performers as sound producing slaves, and using climate and electricity generation data to provide structure for musical works.)


Presenter: Roxana Morosanu (UK)
Title: The Factory of Doing: human agency and energy generation
When:  Session 23 | 11 November 10.45 |  Great Hall

This paper presents the concept of ‘factories of doing’ – an idea that links renewable energy generation, the reduction of social inequalities and future practices of sustainable living.

This concept is the practical application of a set of academic considerations about the human agency involved in acts of ‘doing’ that theoretically builds upon the Aristotelian distinction between ‘doing’ and ‘making’. These considerations emerged from 42-months’ research on domestic energy demand of UK families, which combined long-term ethnographic fieldwork, arts-based methods and participant-led methods.

Too often we are being told that economic development is the only means for reducing unemployment. We are encouraged to spend in order to generate profit for private companies, which are further expected to grow and create new jobs. The Factory of Doing proposes an alternative perspective, where a high number of jobs can be created in energy generation – jobs that involve making energy, not using it in the production of consumer goods. This can be the factory of the future: a place where people go to generate energy for their communities; a green gym, where paddle-powered and weight-lifting machines convert kinetic energy into electricity. By bringing together research for the development of human-powered energy generation devices; advocacy for the introduction of jobs in energy generation as public sector jobs; and collaboration with housing associations to implement ‘factories of doing’ as part of their estates, a new way of moving towards a low-carbon future of sustainable prosperity becomes possible, alongside with reducing social inequalities and increasing cohesion.


Presenter: Reka Szekeley (Hungary)
Title: Feeding the insatiable and feeding the birds – birdwatching in Kathleen Jamie’s poetry
When:  Session 24 | 11 November 10.45 |  Ship Studio

”How do you know so much about swallows? – Well, you have to know these things when you’re a king, you know” – goes one of the most famous quotes from Monty Python’s masterpiece, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But how does Kathleen Jamie know so much about swallows and other birds? As queen of Scottish nature writing, she definitely knows these things, and is happy to show us her findings in her poetic observations of nature, either in essay form or in the form of a poem. Death and demise linger around in these observations too, with carcasses and with some lucky bird skulls being reborn on the table of the poet.

In my paper, I would like to show how Timothy Morton’s idea of complete interconnectedness appears in Jamie’s works (starting from The Tree House, up until the latest volume The Bonniest Companie) in the figures of birds, following the line of thought of Claire Colebrook as to how our possible collective demise is embedded in this fragile interconnected coexistence. I will argue how birds embody this actual interconnectedness of living and non-living, past and present, and how their figures offer a possible reading of rebirth. ‘Ecological art is not just about something […] it is something, it does something’, (Morton), and I do believe Jamie’s poetic view of birds helps us leave our ‘myopic attention deficit disorder’ (Colebrook) behind and open our eyes wide to finally replace insatiable greed for insatiable desire to understand nature.


When:  Session 25 | 11 November 12.00 – 13.00 Meet at Great Hall
Tour of the Dartington estate’s renewable energy installations. This requires pre-booking

 

Presenter: Hannah Imlach (Scotland)
Title: Nautilus Turbine, Isle of Eigg
When:  Session 26 | 11 November 12.00 | Ship Studio

Nautilus Turbine (tulip wood, birch plywood, acrylic tube and cork, 2016) is a newly completed sculptural work, which responds to the community-run energy infrastructure of the Isle of Eigg, Scotland. The piece focuses on the island’s hydroelectric scheme which provides the majority of power, and the social, environmental and economic factors that have made the islanders’ self-sufficiency possible.

The sculpture takes the form of a personal turbine, activated by a swimmer. Its multiple kinetic elements are inspired by the logarithmic patterns of shell spirals and industrial turbines. The piece was created during a three-phase residency: with The Bothy Project at Sweeney’s Bothy on the Isle of Eigg, to collect research on the islands energy infrastructure, at Glasgow Sculpture Studios, to develop and create the sculpture, and then returning Eigg to document the work at Laig weir, which supplies the island’s largest hyrdoelectric generator.

I will talk about the research and creative processes behind its creation.


Presenter: Alex Murdin (UK)
Title:
Dissensual infrastructure: the common space in–between
When:  Session 27 | 11 November 12.30 | Ship Studio

Infrastructure is generally understood as the underlying structures or systems which facilitate human activity and productivise the environment, usually broken down as: transport, water management, waste management, communications, energy and other geographical and environmental services, such as satellite positioning. These systems and networks are in effect public spaces to which the public have greater or lesser access, depending on the combination of public and privatised structures for their management, their physical characteristics and function.

Arguably, ability to access this infrastructure is a pre-requisite to participation in society and therefore makes infrastructure a crucial territory for occupying as common ground. Dr Alex Murdin talks about dissensual infrastructure as a place for a reassertion of the idea of the commons, and for reflecting on the sustainability of artistic practices in public space.


Facilitator: TBC
Facilitated open forum / discussion
When:  Session 28 | 11 November 14.30  | Great Hall

Facilitated open forum / audience discussion. An opportunity to converse about some of the many ideas that have come up during the summit. Not intended to be a ‘round-up’ this is instead an opportunity for open community discussion around live issues.

 

 

Workshops

TO TAKE PART IN A WORKSHOP YOU MUST BE PRE-BOOKED

Workshop 1 | 10 November 15.30 – 18.00 | Soundart Radio studio
Leader:  Holly Owen (UK) and Kristina Pulejkova (UK)
Title: Switching Heads – sound mapping the Summit

Artistic duo Holly Owen and Kristina Pulejkova will be mapping the summit through a participatory workshop and their unique combination of immersive binaural sound technology, sculpture and video.

Switching Heads – sound mapping the […] is an ongoing film project. Combining immersive binaural sound technology with environmentally un-intrusive sculpture and video the project captures real people’s stories in environmentally iconic locations. The artists ask local people to talk to a ‘listening head’ sculpted from site-specific materials that, after use, will crumble back into the earth, adding nothing and taking nothing away.

Holding binaural microphones at its ears the life-size head acts as both a confidant and a voyeur whilst it maps and records a 360° soundscape of the site.

The first in the series entitled Switching Heads-sound mapping the Arctic captured the stories from a community deep within the endangered landscape of the Arctic Circle. The artists have shown the film nationwide as well as taking it to the streets of Paris during COP21.Their second film was produced this summer at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales.

The film places participation at its heart from production to the final viewing. It aims to inspire social change through human empathy using storytelling, immersive technology and local materials.

During the summit Owen and Pulejkova will be producing their third film, asking attendees of the summit to participate by telling their stories (encouraged by the artists using a set of inclusive questions) to a pre-made, life-size head sculpted in local materials. The resulting film will be available to view on their website: www.switching-heads.com.


Workshop 2 | 10 November 15.30 – 18.00 | Great Hall
Leader:  Naomi de la Tour (UK)
Title:  Playing with metaphor: new ways of knowing

The metaphors we use to talk about a topic can shape the way we imagine the reality of the world around us and what we believe it is possible to change in the world. If we are to develop new ways of knowing and new behaviour then considering the power of metaphor and the strength of the stories they contain is essential.

In this interactive workshop we will play with ideas of metaphor, revealing metaphors which have become ‘naturalised’ and invisible to us and the way we can unexpectedly find ourselves enacting the ideas embedded within them in our behaviour, our relationships, our institutions and even our architecture. Using theatre techniques and creative writing methods in a workshop which will be accessible to all, we will experiment with how we can identify and rewrite metaphors, thereby developing ways to actively shape the way we imagine and talk about climate change.

This workshop has been developed by Naomi de la Tour as part of the transdisciplinary module Applied Imagination in the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning at the University of Warwick.

Naomi de la Tour is a writer and Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick specialising in the imagination and transdisciplinarity.


Workshop 3 | 10 November 15.30 – 18.00 | Garden Room
Leader:  Richard Lewis (UK)
Title:
Fire/Wood: tracing the energy path (with specific attention to a site of ancient managed woodland)

Please note that this workshop includes over 60 minutes walking outdoors. Make sure you’re appropriately dressed for weather that might be cold, wet and muddy.

Prior to the industrial revolution and the widespread distribution and use of coal, wood was the dominant source of heat and power in most parts of rural England. Wind and water provided some energy for mills, but for cooking, cleaning, metalwork, and domestic warmth, wood was the main fuel people used. Because of its importance, village and hamlet communities managed and protected areas of woodland to ensure a regular and constant supply. This involved woodbanks, coppicing, pollarding and other methods developed over several millenia. With the cheaper and wider availability of coal and other fuels in the 19th and 20th centuries, these technologies and skills fell out of use, and many productive woodland areas were neglected or destroyed.

This workshop will look at a site of old managed woodland, noting the archeological and botanical evidence for this. Methods and practices of woodland management, and the place of this activity within a community will be considered. Through handling firewood, observing formerly coppiced trees, and walking the remains of a woodbank, questions of our connection to and alienation from energy sources will be discussed.

We will then look at mapping the energy involved in some common or shared actions or events, plotting an energy tree, paying attention to side-shoots and branches to get as close to the root as we can.

Richard Lewis is a botanist, ecologist, basketmaker and artist. He lives in a village near Totnes.

 

Workshop 4 | 10 November 15.30 – 18.00 | Holand Room
Leader:  Kelly Love (USA)
Title: SusteNation Rising: Eco-Artisans, Transformative Intelligence and the Power of Creativity

This workshop explores an emergent culture of Eco-Artisans; a metaphorical ‘SusteNation’ whose spirit and artisanship provides the deep sustenance essential to nourish individual well-being, enrich social regeneration and make flourish a verdant trans-national ecology supportive of global resilience (societal/environmental/economical).

Designed as a field-lab to: cultivate artisan-leaders and propagate their indigenous knowledge; help release the energy and form of their intrinsic creative power; provide a wellspring to refresh eco-inspired field praxis and cultural production; inspire taproot designs of socially innovative applications.

The narrative is inspired/informed by their stories, showcasing the Woven Gaze: Eyes of the Earth project, an innovative test case/artistic intervention installation, conceptualised to hinder progress of the Mountain Valley Pipeline through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains/USA.

It will provoke dialogue about/enquiry into the underlying tenets of the culture; the concept of eco-artisanship, metaphor of SusteNation and theory of ‘Transformative Intelligence’. It also integrates visual anthropology, arts-based experience, co-creative action and naturalistic learning.

Transformative Intelligence theory was developed to interpret the ethos/culture/impact of sustainable artisanal communities with particular regard to the experiential nexus of creativity, cognition and human development. TI gives scaffolding to construct knowledge/personal perspectives of artisan-based experience/work/culture and an infrastructure to externalize understanding and apply site-specific cultural methodologies. The theory developed organically from Kelly’s fieldwork as a reflective practitioner/action researcher and doctoral studies..