Open Meeting: Inter-Pacific Ring Tribunal (INTERPRT)

A day of meetings and discussions reflecting on the Inter-Pacific Ring Tribunal (INTERPRT) project, initiated by artist-researcher Nabil Ahmed.  

 
INTERPRT is a three-year spatial investigation of the West Papua/Indonesia conflict towards a series of alternative tribunals on ecocide in the Pacific region. West Papua is one of the most bio-diverse areas of the world, with 32 million hectares of tropical rainforest and mangroves, and rich marine reef environments. It is also the site of a long-term conflict between Indonesia and indigenous Papuans seeking self-determination. Central to the conflict is the Grasberg mine, which contains the planet’s largest combined reserve of copper and gold. Ahmed’s painstaking research contributes to building a case of ecocide against Freeport: the mining company that operates Grasberg mine and potentially the Indonesian state.
 
Study Morning, 10am - 12pm
Artist-researcher Nabil Ahmed will present his current research and work in his exhibition as part of Conflict Minerals at Arts Catalyst. Esther Cann, human rights practitioner and writer, will read from her current novel on West Papua. Diploma students from The Cass School of Architecture, London Metropolitan University will give presentations on the theme of “architecture and justice”. 
 
Open Meeting, 2pm - 5pm
Join artist-researcher Nabil Ahmed and invited guests from various specialisms, including human rights and law, to reflect on current social and ecological issues in West Papua. The open meeting will initiate responses from attendees to explore ways of approaching the environmental impacts of industrial mining in West Papua as a case of ecocide. With Fadjar Schouten-Karwa and Szilvia Czevar (International Lawyers for West Papua), Andrew Hickman and others.
 
 
Biography
Nabil Ahmed is an artist and researcher working on environmental violence and forensic architecture. His writings have appeared in academic journals, magazines, and various art, science and architecture publications such as Third Text, Scientific Reports, Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth, and South Magazine - Documenta 14. He has been part of the Anthropocene Project at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin and the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennial. He is co-founder of Call and Response, a sound art organization in London. He holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture. He lives and works in London.
 
Nabil Ahmed’s work is part of Conflict Minerals and supported by Akademie Schloss Solitude, TBA21 Academy and Forensic Architecture.
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Perpetual Uncertainty

An exhibition of contemporary art in the nuclear Anthropocene exploring the complexity of knowledge and the deep time of radiation.

The exhibition brings together twenty-five international artists from across Europe, the USA and Japan, investigating nuclear aesthetics through the material sensing of nuclear sites and experiences.


Exhibiting artists:
James Acord, Shuji Akagi, Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway, Erich Berger and Mari Keto, Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson, Don’t Follow the Wind, Dave Griffiths, Isao Hashimoto, Erika Kobayashi, David Mabb, Cecile Massart, Eva and Franco Mattes, Yelena Popova, Susan Schuppli, Shimpei Takeda, Kota Takeuchi, Thomson & Craighead, Suzanne Treister, Andy Weir, Robert Williams and Bryan McGovern Wilson and Ken + Julia Yonetani.

James Acord was the only private individual in the world licensed to own and handle radioactive materials. He is likely to remain so since the authorities closed the loopholes after he achieved his license. His work was a story of a 20-year performance, a cat and mouse game with the nuclear regulatory authorities, in which he pursued his dream of converting highly radioactive waste into inert metal for use in art. Along the way, he created sculpture and events that probed the history of nuclear engineering, often incorporating radioactive materials. His astonishing story shines light on the secrecy and security with which society cloaks the nuclear industry.
 
Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway have worked together since the early 90’s, developing large-scale multimedia installations, site-specific works and performances. Using custom-built technologies, data visualisations and video, their recent projects have explored the global politics of uranium mining and landrights in Greenland (Bildmuseet, 2016), the regulatory systems of plant growth applied to city planning (Cambridge University, 2016), live data visualisation of the global financial markets: financial belief systems and the naturalisation of finance (Somerset House, ArtScience Museum Singapore, 2016; Nikolaj Kunsthal, 2004; Tate Britain, 2000) and finding the bluest sky in the world:  the changing perceptions of the sky space in the context of climate change (Domaine de Chamarande, 2012; Arts Catalyst, 2011; Tensta Kunsthal, 2010; Nikolaj Kunsthal/COP15, 2009; Gwangju Biennial, 2006). In 2013 Autogena and Portway developed Foghorn Requiem, a requiem for a disappearing sound, performed by Souter Lighthouse foghorn, 3 brass bands and 50 ships on the North Sea.
 
Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson have worked together since 1994 and are drawn to the ways in which power and authority articulate themselves through the grammar and rhetoric that surrounds them. Their works often combine densely layered visual and acoustic allusions to faith, politics, national identity and the environment. They live and work in Manchester and Berlin. Solo exhibitions include MEWO, Kunsthalle Memmingen, 2016; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, 2015; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 2013; Plataforma Revólver, Lisbon, 2012; SALT, Istanbul, 2012 and Institute of Jamais Vu, London, 2012.
 
David Mabb is a British artist who works with appropriated imagery to rethink the political implications of different aesthetic forms in modern art and design history. Recent work has focussed on the designs of 19th Century English interior designer, writer and socialist William Morris. Mabb’s interest in Morris stems from the social and political connotations of Morris’ work, and the continued relevancy of Morris’ politics. His interpretations or reconfigurations of Morris’ designs consider the relationship between Morris’ own thinking and other forms of cultural production.
 
Susan Schuppli's research practice examines media artefacts that emerge out of sites of contemporary conflict and state violence to ask questions about the ways in which media are enabling or limiting the possibility of transformative politics. Her current work explores the ways in which toxic ecologies from nuclear accidents and oil spills, to the dark snow of the arctic, are producing an 'extreme image' archive of material wrongs. Projects have been exhibited throughout Canada, the US, Europe and Asia.
 
Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead (Thomson & Craighead) make artworks that examine the changing socio-political structures of the Information Age. In particular they have been looking at how the digital world is ever more closely connected to the physical world becoming a geographical layer in our collective sensorium.  Time is often treated with a sculptor’s mentality, as a pliable quantity that can be moulded and remodelled.  Jon is Professor of Fine Art at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and Alison is Reader in Contemporary Art at University of Westminster and Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University of London. They live and work between London and Ross-shire.  
 
Don’t Follow the Wind is a collective of artists and curators - Chim↑Pom, Kenji Kubota, Eva and Franco Mattes, Jason Waite - initiated by Chim↑Pom. Working with former residents of the Fukushima exclusion zone in Japan and an international group of artists, they have created an exhibition inside the restricted radioactive zone surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, that will be inaccessible for an undefined period of time.
 
Erich Berger is an artist, curator and cultural worker based in Helsinki. His interests lie in information processes and feedback structures, which he investigates through installations, performances and interfaces. Throughout his artist practice he has explored the materiality of information and information and technology as artistic material. His current interest in issues of deep time and hybrid ecology led him to work with geological processes, radiogenic ohenomena and their socio-political implications in the here and now. Mari Keto explores the limits of artificats by combining jewellery materials in her installations and portraits. In Keto's work both the conceptual underpinning and a high degree of craftsmanship merge into an artwork. Keto's work is strongly research-based. She engages with her subject matter from various perspectives in order to define her own. Keto explores the tensions and structures of our contemporary culture by portraying icons and symbols predominantly surrounding us. Deriving from cultural histories and pop culture her work examines the distinctions between value and consumption. Keto's multi-layered works contain intemperate realism mixed with humor and irony.
 

The exhibition is accompanied by The Nuclear Culture Source Book, edited by Ele Carpenter, and published by Black Dog Publishing in partnership with Bildmuseet and Arts Catalyst, London.

Download the exhibition guide.

 

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The Nuclear Culture Source Book, Sept 2016

The Nuclear Culture Source Book serves as an excellent resource and introduction to nuclear culture as one of the most urgent themes within contemporary art and society, exploring the diverse ways in which post-Fukushima society has influenced artistic and cultural production

The book brings together contemporary art practices investigating the nuclear anthropocene, nuclear sites and materiality, along with important questions of radiological inheritance, nuclear modernity and the philosophical concept of radiation as a hyperobject.

Building on four years of research into nuclear culture by the book’s editor, Ele Carpenter, The Nuclear Culture Source Book features contributions by over 60 artists and is accompanied by a series of essays by international writers including: Peter C. van Wyck, The Anthropocene’s Signature; Gabrielle Hecht, Nuclearity; Tim Morton, Radiation as Hyperobject; Jahnavi Phalkey, The Atomic Gift; Noi Sawaragi, Don’t Follow the Wind; Eiko Honda, Atomic Subjectivity; Susan Schuppli, Trace Evidence: A Nuclear Trilogy; Victor Gama, Searching for Augusto Zita; Nicola Triscott on James Acord; and Ele Carpenter’s interviews with members of the Submarine Dismantling Project Advisory Group in the UK.

Featured Artists

James Acord, Shuji Akagi, Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway, Erich Berger, Chim↑Pom, Thomson & Craighead, Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson, Gair Dunlop, Emptyset, Merilyn Fairskye, Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani, Victor Gama, Joy Garnett, Giuliano Garonzi, Grand-Guignol Mirai, Dave Griffiths, Annie Grove-White, Helen Grove-White, Isao Hashimoto, Hilda Helström, Cornelia Hesse-Honneger, Hollington and Kyprianou, Martin Howse, Pierre Huyghe, Ai Ikeda, Robert Jacobs and Mick Broderick, Katsuhiro Miyamoto, Yoi Kawakubo, Bridget Kennedy, Yves Klein, Erika Kobayashi, Karen Kramer, Sandra Lahire, Jessica Lloyd-Jones, Veronika Lukasova, David Mabb, Cécile Massart, Eva and Franco Mattes, William Morris, Yoshinori Niwa, Takashi Noguchi, Chris Oakley, Uriel Orlow, Trevor Paglen, Yelena Popova, Monica Ross, Susan Schuppli, Taryn Simon, smudge studio, Isabella Streffen, Shimpei Takeda, Nobuaki Takekawa, Kota Takeuchi, Mika Taanila and Jussi Erola, Robin Tarbet, Suzanne Treister, Alana Tyson, Mark Aerial Waller, Andy Weir, Jane and Louise Wilson, Louise K Wilson, Ken + Julia Yonetani.

The Nuclear Culture website has more information about Ele Carpenter's research.

Endorsements

“Marshall McLuhan said that art was an early warning system in times of technological change. In bringing together nuclear art and critical writings that tell our culture what is happening to it, Ele Carpenter’s compelling book proves him right.”
 John O’Brian, Curator of After the Flash, 2015

"A fascinating book visualising the affects of radiation at a time when radioisotopes from Fukushima are being detected around the world."
Dr Paul Dorfman, The Energy Institute, University College London

“It is important that different ways of understanding the nuclear industry are preserved for future generations. Artworks and books that explore nuclear culture will be archived in museum collections in perpetuity, providing an important contemporary view that is accessible to a wide range of people.”
Shelly Mobbs, Director, Eden Nuclear and Environment Ltd

Publication details

The Nuclear Culture Source Book
Edited by Ele Carpenter
Published by Black Dog Publishing in partnership with Bildmuseet, Sweden and Arts Catalyst, Sep 16 in UK, Oct 16 USA/CAN
Dimensions 25 cm x 18 cm
208 pages

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Experimental Ruins - West Edition

A participatory project to explore the Capital's uncharted places of scientific secrecy and technology.

Experimental Ruins: West Edition was a critical excursion and an artwork devised by Neal White of The Office of Experiments (OOE). It is part of a series of artworks by OOE which use a technique called Overt Research to explore the UK landscape as a multi-layered territory that can be interpreted through aesthetic, archaeological, geographical and techno-scientific interpretations. This participatory project focused attention on the history and geography of post-1945 scientific research, and the facilities and spaces created to house technological advances, that were developed around the periphery of London and especially the corridor to the west. Participants explored the often improbable, underground or unremarkable suburban settings in which scientific research institutions have pushed the frontiers of investigation.

Neal White, with Lala Thorpe, Luce, Choules, Lisa Haskell and Roy Stevenson from the Museum of London, welcomed over 20 volunteers in a preliminary experimental fieldwork session for “overt researchers”, mapping and documenting a single site, an archive of 17000 corpses closed to the public in the Ossiary at Museum of London.

A few weeks later this group were joined by a further 30 people for a critical excursion that took in sites of interest across West London. Starting at Churchill’s underground bunker on a suburban housing estate in North London (a tour led by volunteers from SubBritannia), after viewing cold war archive footage, an extract of Bruce Connors 'Operation Crossroads' and nukewatch protest films, the excursion arrived at atomic weapons establishments at Burghfield and Aldemaston. Here we met our anonymous guide to sites used by the UK nuclear peace protestors, taking in sites of their camps at both venues. After stopping for a brief chat with the MOD Police, we set off to a site of victory for the protestors, Greenham Common, where we took time to ponder the low level industrial park as a potential site of ruin and heritage. Further footage included representation by psychogeographers, informational and promotional films from the sites we visited. 

A collaborative publication, Field Guide, of our experiences collated with Luce Choules of 'folded sheet' can be ordered here.

Experimental Ruins is a long-term project lead by Office of Experiments' Neal White (NW) and Steve Rowell (SR).  Project activities include Experimental Ruins Workshop at UCL (NW / SR), Dark Places -  group show (NW&SR), the Secrecy and Technology Tour (NW & SR) all commissioned and curated in collaboration with The Arts Catalyst. Other related projects include independent tours and fieldwork; Secrets of Portland (NW), TelePort for the 2010 Falmouth Convention (SR) and two excursions into military and post-industrial terrains in the Northeast during Steve's 2010 HaSS Fellowship at Newcastle University.

Artists

For over 20 years, Neal White has critically explored art in relation to new ideas, forms and technologies. As part of numerous collaborative endeavours – he has been developing projects, research and artworks, publications, archives, fieldworks, critical excursions as bus tours and exhibitions with academics, architects and activists. His current work explores situated practices and knowledge - drawing together environmental and ecological matters of concern with marine biologists, ecologists, coders, architects and volunteers in Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island, Dorset for Arts Catalyst's Test Sites programme.
 

Collaborators websites

Office of Experiments

Field Users Guide to Dark Places - South Edition

London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre

Supported by

Experimental Ruins: West Edition is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Secrecy and Technology bus tour

The Cold War Legacy in the South - Secrecy and Technology bus tour, part of Dark Places exhibition 2009-10. Devised and led by the Office of Experiments (Neal White and Steve Rowell)

Dark Places uncovers sites of secrecy and technology across Britain presenting a range of new works by artists that explore spaces and institutions below the radar of common knowledge. The exhibitition examines how artists are evolving strategies for art as a form of knowledge production, challenging accepted patterns in contemporary culture and society.

On the final day of the exhibition, the Secrecy and Technology bus tour took place, exploring the Cold War's legacy in the South. Neal White and Steve Rowell led the tour of sites of advanced technological development in the South of England, focusing on sites that emerged during the tensions and paranoias of the Cold War.  The tour briefly visited the sites of Chilbolton Observatory, Porton Down and RAF Boscombe Down, stopping off at a nuclear bunker, before lunch at the International School for Security and Explosives Education. In the afternoon, we went to RAF Blanford to visit the Signals Museum, pausing for tea, before heading back to the John Hansard Gallery, where a small evening event laid on by the gallery launched Neal White's publication The Redactor and allowed the bus tour participants to view the exhibition.

Links to artists' websites:

Steve Rowell, Office of Experiments

Exhibition supported:

Arts Council England

The Office of Experiments’ Overt Research Project is supported by UCL Department of Geography and The Media School, Bournemouth University. Led by Neal White with Steve Rowell and Lisa Haskell.

Dark Places is commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and co-curated with the Office of Experiments, John Hansard Gallery and SCAN.

 

For over 20 years, Neal White has critically explored art in relation to new ideas, forms and technologies. As part of numerous collaborative endeavours – he has been developing projects, research and artworks, publications, archives, fieldworks, critical excursions as bus tours and exhibitions with academics, architects and activists. His current work explores situated practices and knowledge - drawing together environmental and ecological matters of concern with marine biologists, ecologists, coders, architects and volunteers in Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island, Dorset for Arts Catalyst's Test Sites programme
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The Great Glen Artists Airshow

The third international artists' airshow

The Great Glen is a huge natural fissure in the earth, encompassing Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal. In September it will be the site for the Great Glen Artists’ Airshow, with activities that redefine the air as medium taking place at either end of it. Previous Arts Catalyst artists airshows, in 2004 and 2007, involved artists flying objects or investigating aeronautical culture. In common with these earlier airshows movement through air and landscape will be explored. Yet this year’s event will be more abstract, redefining the philosophical territory of the air and the ownership, or the mapping of the spatial landscape.
At one end of the Great Glen will be the main site, at the Highland Institute for Contemporary Art (HICA), with activities taking place on nearby Loch Ruthven, in the woodlands and on the open brae, or fell.  At the other end of the Glen will be the unique Utopian venture, London Fieldworks' project Outlandia, a treehouse for artists in the sky, in Glen Nevis. The two-day event should prove a unique, unusual and rewarding participatory art experience.

(Gaelic information available - see menu on left of this page)

New publication now available

A Journey though the Great Glen to the Library of Outlandia, mapped out by Adam Dant, published by The Arts Catalyst for Great Glen Artists Airshow is now available for £3 (inc UK postage and packing).  SATURDAY 18 SEPTEMBER

The Great Glen Artists’ Airshow, free performances and events at HICA

  • an airborne investigation of wind currents above Loch Ruthven by Dutch artists Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum. Polak will be extending her inventive use of global positioning (GPS) technology in her live performance beside the water in this collaboration.  
  • Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson of London Fieldworks will present new work, installed in the woodland behind the loch, which imagines the flight path of birds as augurs, or omens, part of an ancient tradition of divination by birds. This new project was made in collaboration with a former hunter turned bird guide in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. London Fieldworks are also the creators of Outlandia, the destination of the Sunday bus tour event.  
  • Poet and artist Alec Finlay will read Sky-wheels poems beneath a wind turbine reached through the woodland.
  • Brazilian artist Camila Sposati will create a vast smoke drawing across the horizon of the fell, Yellow Vanishing Point, tracing the landscape, perspectives and contours of the hills, in an ephemeral performance that dissolves into the ether.
  • Participatory flying of 'supremacist kites' by artist, Susanne Norregard Nielsen, suitable for those with kite-flying experience.

Open Air meal at HICA 5-8pm
The Territory of the Air, HICA 6-7.30pm.  Free progamme of talks by artists about the military/industrial and aerospace presence in remote places such as Scotland.

  • Artist, Louise K Wilson will discuss her Spadeadam project in which she attempted to trace the remains of Britain's cancelled space programme, Blue Streak
  • Gair Dunlop will provide insights into his photographic and video work relating to contemporary archaeology of the airfield and his forthcoming project at the nuclear reactor Dounreay
  • Esther Polak will talk about the implications and possibilities of increased civilian uses of GPS technologies
  • Claudia Zeiske, Director, Deveron Arts and cultural activist will talk about Walking and Art, in relation to Huntly’s Walking Festival and the recent residency at Deveron arts by Hamish Fulton

SUNDAY 19 SEPTEMBER

Perambulatory bus tour of the Great Glen, 10am-5pm, conducted by artist Adam Dant, in conversation with The Arts Catalyst curator Rob La Frenais.  This day-long event takes place along the length of the spectacular glen and will reveal unusual and possibly hidden aspects of Loch Ness and the Caledonian canal with the aid of a new ‘aerial map’, Biblioteque Outlandia, devised by Dant.  

The climax of the journey will be the arrival at and the first public unveiling of Outlandia, the tree house for artists, which will be inhabited by Adam Dant in the manner of the Scottish enlightenment. Dant will be the first of many artists to transform the Utopian aerial studio, devised and designed by London Fieldworks as a long-term artists project for Fort William. 

Come Fly With Me: An exploration of the air with artists from the Great Glen Artists Airshow

6.30pm, Tue 24 May 2011, 
The Arts Catalyst, 50-54 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5PS
 
The Arts Catalyst presents two artists’ projects created during our Great Glen Artists Airshow in 2010, an event that commissioned artists to explore the air as a medium in the spectacular setting of the Great Glen in Scotland, a huge natural fissure in the earth that stretches from Inverness to Fort William.
 
Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum’s Wall drawing wind - lake version results from an airborne investigation of wind currents above Loch Ruthven. The artists used balloons and GPS (global positioning technology) in a live performance and experiment that took place on this rain-swept Scottish loch. The artists retrieved the GPS systems from the balloons, chasing them down by rowboat, and have mapped their wind-blown paths. Polak was one of the first artists to make large-scale art explorations using GPS mapping. Collaborating with Ivar van Bekkum since 2004 their work continues to find new ways to explore the visualisation of landscape and experience of space, by means of GPS technology.
 
Augury by London Fieldworks (Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson) was a series of of new video works imagining the flight path of birds as augurs, or omens, part of an ancient tradition of divination by birds. This project was made in collaboration with a former hunter turned bird guide in the Brazilian rainforest and was installed in the woodland behind Loch Ruthven.
 
The evening premiered a short film by film-maker Ben Dickey, which was shot during the Great Glen Artists Airshow.
 

Partners

The Artists' Airshow is presented by The Arts Catalyst in association the Highland Institute of Contemporary Art (HICA) and Sunday's bus tour created in partnership with London Fieldworks' Outlandia artist's treehouse project in Glen Nevis.

Support

Arts Council England, Scottish Arts Council, Henry Moore Foundation, Mondriaan Foundation, Highland Culture Fund, Brazilian Ministry of Culture, The British Council,
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, H2007, Highland Council and Nevis Partnership

Artists' websites

Esther Polak, Ivar van Bekkum, London Fieldworks, Alec Finlay, Camila Sposati, Susanne Norregard Nielsen, Louise K Wilson, Gair Dunlop, Claudia Zeiske, Adam Dant

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