Art-Science symposium: Emergency Response Time

Friday November 15, 2019

This one-day symposium explores relationships between artists and other knowledges. The key partners:, the Centre for Contemporary Art & the Natural World and Science Walden all have an abiding interest in our relationship with and place within the natural world – a world threatened directly by the impact of humanity and human action. We believe art can and should speak to questions concerning how we live on the planet, and do so in an informed and intelligent way. That means listening to others, engaging with other ideas, and working closely with those who understand the planet from different perspectives. 

If you are an engaged artist or someone with an interest in how the arts can speak about and to the planet, this event is aimed at you.

In November 2019 CCANW and Science Walden will host an Art-Science hothouse residency, a week of experimentation and conversation about working across disciplines for a very small number of participants. The focus is on how we can respond intelligently to the challenges of the climate emergency through creative projects or practice.

Immediately following this residency will host this one-day symposium Emergency Response Time – an international gathering of artists and many other thinkers and doers.

As we suggest above, we interpret ‘Art-Science’ very loosely: ‘scientists’ in this context means anyone with a knowledge who is not an artist (and therefore may include philosophers, historians, mathematicians, etc.): we explore how knowledges are shared, exploited and enhanced through collaboration. Admittedly, then, the term Art-Science is sloppy and ill-defined, but useful as a catch-all that is recognised. And it sounds less pompous than ‘transdisciplinary’ which is really what we mean.

More information on the residency (applications close September 20)

The art-science teams who just completed their hothouse residency will give short presentations and we will also have a guest speaker and other forms of discussion and intervention. We also invite all those attending the event to make a presentation, lead a discussion, or present an artwork or project. Once you have registered, just get in touch and let us know what you are thinking.

Registration including lunch is £45. If you are a full-time student or coming in a group of five or more please contact us for special prices. pride ourselves on our conference and symposium event. We bring to them our history as practicing artists and practicing researchers who work collaboratively and with participants from many different backgrounds and disciplines. We believe art does not happen in a vacuum – and that too much contemporary is vacuous and lacking in meaning and engagement.

Read about our previous events.

Here is a sampling of feedback from previous conference events we have organised:

[The event] was a wonderful achievement what yous and Jez managed to pull together and both Harriet and I came away buzzing. We heard a lot of very interesting presentations and managed to catch up with some old friends and make plenty of new ones  My particular highlight was the round table session on the last day, where the space between ideas and action was really assessed and for me I found a real sense of positivism and potential as well as an increased sense of urgency within practice.


I just wanted to thank you all for putting on such an inspiring conference. Everyone I spoke to was so energised by the new connections and the opportunity to confront and develop different ways of thinking across and between fields. It was such an interesting three days and a really exciting start to what I hope will be an ongoing conversation between areas practice, industry and enquiry. Huge congratulations for the vision and realisation of such an event. 


I have attended many conferences over the years, but few have had the potential to actually shift thinking and doing as much as this one. It was really interesting to see the foresters gain confidence in their deep-rooted knowledge and practices, and how they started to understand that their biggest challenges lay in their organisations’ executives and Government. 


It truly was a very inspiring event that I think was probably one of a kind. It certainly broke down a few barriers and I’m sure will help lead to positive change in future.


…you and the team of volunteers were warm, good humoured and I felt like everything was being really well held which is a nice experience as a participant.