The Full Story
Seminars and talks
Recent talks and seminars
The tick, the epiphyte and the camel
Studio 1, Parry Williams Building, Department of Theatre, Film and Performance
Aberysthwyth University, Aberysthwyth
9 May 2013, 5:30 pm
The environmental philosopher and practitioner, Dr Wallace Heim will give a lecture as part of the University of Aberystwyth 'Ecology and Environment Series' organised by the Theatre, Film and Performance Studies and the Geography and Earth Sciences Departments.
The talk addresses the question 'Can a place learn?'. The question is not meant to be answered. Instead, it might act to bring into existence a problem or contradiction. Or lead to the invention of a field in which a problem finds its solution. Or be an ingredient of a place that performance shows. These variations are discussed by way of the tick, the epiphyte and the camel. For more information, contact Carl Lavery.
The Study Sessions: Ecosophy Reading Group
Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB
Wednesdays, 6 February - 3 April 2013, 6:00 - 8:00pm
Facilitated by Rebecca Beinart and David Bell, this reading group draws on themes from the current exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary of work by Piero Gilardi and John Newling to give participants the opportunity to critically explore the relationship between art, ecology and social relations.
Places are free, limited, and need to be booked, online, by phone, at the gallery.
This first session will focus on the politics of ecology. Debates from the environmental movement will be discussed, and the (sometimes disturbing) ways in which the term has been used will be considered.
This session explores situated arts practice and notions of place. We will look at the work of both Piero Gilardi and John Newling, and examples of ecological communities.
Session three will focus on ‘ecologies of thought’. We will discuss alternative conceptions of the ecological that focus on the relationships between the environment, human subjectivity and social relations.
Session four will revolve around prefiguration, participation and creation. How do we create new forms of living in the here-and-now, and what might be the dangers in trying to do so?
The final session will explore the current issue of the journal Third Text, a special issue entitled Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology. It will also give participants a chance to reflect on themes throughout the five weeks.
Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology
Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB
26 March 2013
This discussion with TJ Demos, Peter Mörtenböck and Nabil Ahmed, will address new aesthetic strategies through which ecological emergencies, including the multifaceted crisis of climate change, have found resonance and response in artistic practice and more broadly in visual culture.
It follows the special edition of Third Text on Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology, edited by TJ Demos.
image: Nasa, Ganges Delta, 2012
The Wasteland Conversations
Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB
19 February, 26 February, 12 March 2013
The Wasteland Conversations is a series of three public discussions organised by Wasteland Twinning with Nottingham Contemporary. They revolve around themes of creativity, commons, community, capital and gentrification.
with Alan Boldon, Elaine Speight and Ferdiansyah Thajib
A conversation critically exploring the use of art in public planning and place-making strategies, and considering alternative means by which artistic practices might respond to the specificities of place.
Utopia, community and ecology
with Lucy Sargisson and Oliver Rodker
This conversation will consider the role of the utopian imagination (including intentional communities, literature, art, architecture…) in making place, and the relationships between utopia, community and ecology.
The Common Imagination
with Hayley Newman and Stephen Shukiatis
This conversation will approach the commons as both a form of land ownership and as a way of organising beyond capitalism.
From the Wasteland Twinning site:
The Wasteland Twinning Network hijacks the concept of ‘City Twinning’ and applies it to urban wastelands in order to generate a network for parallel research and action.
By subverting the City Twinning concept that aims to parade a city’s more predictable cultural assets and shifting the focus to wastelands, new questions of value and function are raised. Wasteland Twinning is led by independent artists and researchers, that offers the potential for cultural comparison to take place on a local and international scale – going beyond the obvious to examine often invisible perspectives on power relations, land use, urban development and ecology. Through engaged and critical approaches, we hope to uncover some of the peculiarities and commonalities of the wasteland sites.
image: Berlin, Germany
I Went Mental and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt
the vacuum cleaner
4 March at Artsadmin, Toynbee Studios, London
5 March at Nottingham Contemporary
Over the last 10 years artist and activist collective of one, the vacuum cleaner, has become semi-notorious for his acts of street brandalism, performance interventions and online pranks. Yet during this time he has also battled with severe mental illnesses and over the last two years this has become the focus of his work (and life). In this informal presentation he presents recent, current and future projects that have blended his practice with radical approaches to his own and others neurodiversity and mental health.
Theatre and Performance Research Seminars: Baz Kershaw
Roland Levinsky Building, Room 208,Plymouth University
10 January 2013, 4:30 - 6:00 pm
The first in Plymouth University's series of seminars is by Baz Kershaw, Professor Emeritus, Theatre Studies, Warwick University, and is titled: 'Wondering ways out of eco-disaster: on meadow meanders and a turn in temporality.
Reflections from an Earthrise Repair Shop.'
From Kershaw's seminar description:
'This informal seminar presentation is in two unequal parts, each devoted to crucial aspects of the Earth’s current performance ecologies. The parts will introduce different perspectives on a creative and scholarly project – an Earthrise Repair Shop – that is exploring the conditions of human performance compulsions in the twenty-first century. These are hypothesised as critical to Homo sapiens current environmental predicament of an already-happening eco-disaster that could conceivably lead to its extinction.
Other seminars in the series that may have ecological themes are:
But because that outcome is not yet inevitable the project aims to approach its possible sources with a light touch and a cheery grin.
So this presentation simply assumes the worst will happen and focuses on a potential that humans might see through their everyday performances how best the past can be used to change the future. The first part of the seminar raises doubts about the wisdom of how humans currently tend to inhabit space, mainly through past examples of making what I call ‘meadow meanders’ in contrasting kinds of location. My provisional scholarly tag for this is ‘producing collapsible space’. The presentation’s second part is more speculative, as it queries what might be an equivalent to that spatial labour for the medium of temporality.
7 Februrary 2013
Andrew Cope: 'Doing the Earth: The Matter of Things and the Antinomies of Performance', and Tiffany Strawson (title tbc)
12-13 April 2013
'Zombies: Walking, Eating & Performance' Symposium, details to follow.
'Lean-into' by Sue Palmer and David Williams
Department of Theatre, Film and Television, Rehearsal Room 2, Aberystwyth University
13 December 2012, 6:00pm
The next lecture in the Ecology and Enviornment series at Aberysthwyth University is by Sue Palmer and David Williams.
‘Everything’s a question of how you lean’ (John Berger).
A joint presentation about flying and falling, panic and grace. With reference to recent projects and research, they will share some of their own leanings into interconnectedness - via the layered times and places of the Nevada desert, Palermo in Sicily, the seaboard of West Dorset, and customer services at the World Wildlife Fund.
Sue Palmer is an artist making live performance, sound, video and digital artworks, through collaborative work with people in relation to context and contemporary culture. Recent projects include The 100 Year Old Band, and 26 and 7 Bones.
David Williams is Reader in Performance Practices in the Department of Theatre and Drama, Royal Holloway University of London. He is a long-term collaborator with Lone Twin, and is co-editor, with Carl Lavery, of Good Luck Everybody: Lone Twin – Journeys, Performances, Conversations (2011), and editor of The Lone Twin Boat Project (2012).
Sue contributed to our Flowers on Stage project.
Patronage in the theatre
Birkbeck College, London
6 December, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Centre for Contemporary Theatre at Birkbeck will hold the first of its events on patronage, considering patronage in the theatre, on 6 December. The location at Birkbeck to be confirmed.
Lucy Munro, Keele University, on early modern patronage
Gilli Bush-Bailey on 19th century patronage
Theron Schmidt, Kings College, on contemporary forms of patronage.
The event will be chaired by Christopher Cook, broadcaster and arts journalist and a Birkbeck Research Fellow.
Rather than focusing on funding, this event will consider the myriad forms of patronage that have operated at varying moments the theatre: advocacy, guardianship, protection, canonicity, market-led forms of patronage, and more.
Future events will consider patronage from the perspectives of: unpaid labour; urban renewal and gentrification; the media as a patron; and voluntary and charity work at the theatre.
This event is free and does not need to be booked. For further information please email Aoife Monks.
A Green Theatre Map: Reflections on Land, Location and Environment in the work of National Theatre Wales
Parry-Williams Building, University of Aberysthwyth, Wales
29 November 2012
The second lecture of the 'Ecology and Environment Lecture Series' at Aberystwyth will be by John McGrath, artistic director of National Theatre Wales.
The series is a collaboration between the Departments of Theatre, Film and Television and Geography and Earth Sciences.
The aim of the series is to explore how theatre and performance might offer new possibilities for ecological and environmental thinking. Speakers for this academic year include: David Williams and Sue Palmer, Wallace Heim, Harriet Hawkins, Haydn Lorimer, J-D Dewsbury, and Claire Hind and Gary Winters.
Amy Sharrocks: ON FALLING
free talk - application required
Live Art Development Agency
White Building, Hackney Wick, East London
28 November 2012
Amy Sharrocks will lead a discussion on the romanticisation of falling and failing.
Sharrocks is a live artist, sculptor and film-maker whose work centres on journeys, communication and participation. She makes live work across city streets, implicating the public in more or less radical ways: questioning the access and ownership of natural resources and combining visions of the fantastic into the everyday.
She is best known for SWIM, where on 12 July 2007, 50 people swam across London from Tooting Bec Lido to Hampstead Heath Ponds. In 2009 she toured drift around England, taking people one at a time to drift with her in her boat, and in 2011 completed 'London is a River City', a series of public walks tracing 7 of London’s buried rivers. WALBROOK was the largest of these walks, where 65 people were tied together to walk silently along the Walbrook riverbed through the City of London at rush hour.