Art-Science hothouse residency: Tasting the change

Saturday November 9 to Thursday November 14 2019

In November 2019 CCANW and Science Walden are hosting 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. We are interpreting ‘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.

Immediately following the hothouse (Friday, November 15) we will host a public one-day symposium, Emergency Response Time, with the hothouse teams and other invited presenters. Places are still available (Book now).

The residency begins late afternoon on Saturday November 9, and finishes at 4pm on Thursday November 14, with the public symposium event taking place on Friday November 15 that you would be expected to attend.

Following an open call process the selected teams are:

Fereshteh Toosi & Hannah Perner-Wilson

…are an artist/educator and an engineer/textile artist. They ask ‘how do make our way towards a new vantage point of human-nature-culture entanglement? How do we render ourselves careful instead of helpless? We treat materials as resources for artistic expression and technological invention. Could we start to unravel/untie this distinction by starting with ourselves: our materials, our practices? ‘ They use walking as a tool for discussion.

Laura Denning & Suzi Richter

The team is an artist (Laura) with environmental archaeologist / paleo geographer (Suzi). They are exploring experimental geography to articulate affective relationships that might reveal oblique connections between place, people and practices.  Suzi’s work is embedded within science, particularly around examining environmental change within the last 10,000 years, but she has been increasingly challenging existing methods to creatively explore how they can be adapted to be relevant to wider audiences and to shorter, more imminent, timescales’.  Laura has been working deeply with water, with communities (communities of women in particular) and in and around hydro feminism. She is currently studying for a PhD at Bath Spa University.

Noami Hart & Nichola Harmer

This team has been previously supported through Sustainable Earth Institute at Plymouth. ‘The art of politics: representing environmental challenges in the UK’s overseas territories’  Naomi used fine art to interpret and communicate UK Parliamentary debate on the environment in the overseas territories, which host globally significant biodiversity for which the UK retains broad responsibilities. Most academically framed proposal to date.   Their starting point will be a co-exploration of the rich heritage of cultural representations (including art, novels, poetry, ships logs, scientific communications, and popular imagery) about oceans and remote islands, using the overseas territories as an initial mooring from which to embark. They hope the residency will help to develop and expand and challenge Nichola’s social scientific approaches through immersion in more affective, experiential and visual methods such as drawing, mark-making, sculpture, installation and other means of expression.

Pip Woolf, Chris Blake, Kirsty Claxton & Alison Kidd

Pip has a background in ecology and behaviour and works with and in response to communities and landscape, drawing from materials of place; Kirsty has recently completed an MA in Curatorial Practice and who has 20 years of experience in arts research and social practice;. Alison is an experimental psychologist. Her main research tools are everyday language analysis and real world experiments; Chris Blake has studied science and philosophy, and at various times been business leader, entrepreneur, author, lecturer, social entrepreneur and environmental activist. 

‘In our work, we create destabilising moments which help us spot how strange our world is and how irrational we as humans are. Our practice is driven by the psychological principle that what we physically DO as humans changes how we think. So, if we want to change how we think, we need to start by changing what we DO. We invite or are invited by others to create physical and symbolic contexts to trigger conversations and fresh thinking about the socio- environmental issues of our day, e.g. climate change, value, money and social inequality.’  The focus here on ‘non-capitalism’ fits particularly closely with the research aims of Science Walden as they seek new models of structuring our world at a time when capitalism is in decline, leaving behind a wake of destruction in addition to the benefits it has afforded.