For the last 10 years, artist Ariel Guzik has searched for a way to communicate with whales and dolphins. Guzik’s project has encompassed the creation of underwater instruments, expeditions to contact whales and dolphins off the coasts of Baja California, Costa Rica and Scotland, and sound recordings of these remarkable encounters.
Guzik's Holoturian was a new work commissioned by Arts Catalyst and Edinburgh Art Festival in 2015. It was an installation of a new underwater resonance instrument, specially designed to communicate with whales and dolphins in the deep seas, and incorporated objects, drawings and films from the artist’s decade-long research project, which included a field trip by the artist and his team with Arts Catalyst to the Moray Firth in the North of Scotland to encounter the population of bottlenose dolphins that live there.
The Holoturian is planned to be launched for the first time in 2017 in the Gulf of California, following extensive underwater tests in a water tank.
To mark this exciting development, Arts Catalyst launches a new book, available as an ebook, on Issuu and as a print book by print-on-demand, which records the project to date and explores the ideas underlying it, bringing together artistic, scientific and environmental reflections on Guzik’s work, the language and culture of cetaceans, and the challenges facing these intelligent creatures in our threatened oceans today.
It comprises images of the research and installation with texts by curator Nicola Triscott and marine scientist and conservationist Mark Simmonds OBE.
“The cetaceans, who belong to a civilization parallel to ours, are the interlocutors who motivate this research. We are interested in building an approach to them without limiting their freedom and without any intentions of intrusion, training, or domination.” - Ariel Guzik
Ariel Guzik - Holoturian
ISBN 978-0-9927776-8-5
Edited by Nicola Triscott
Published by Arts Catalyst, March 2017 in UK
Designed by Margherita Huntley
Pages 44
It is available as an eBook (.pdf and on Issuu) and print-on-demand.
Binding Perfect-bound Paperback
Weight 0.11 kg 
Dimensions (centimetres) 14.81 wide x 20.98 tall
Black & white inside
Full colour cover
eBook - FREE
Print copy - Print on demand, £6

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Actinium – Residency, Exhibition & Fieldtrip, 2014

The Actinium publication is an account of the exhibition, field trip and discussion forum for Nuclear Culture during the Sapporo International Arts Festival in Japan, 2014.

Artists are making the nuclear economy increasingly visible by rethinking nuclear materials and architectures, decay rates and risk perception; questioning the 20th Century belief in nuclear modernity. As the international population becomes more aware of their role as participants in nuclear culture, this exhibition aims to create a space for open discussion.

The Actinium exhibition was an international hub for discussion about contemporary nuclear culture. The exhibition took place during the opening weeks of the SIAF 2014, and was the base for film screenings, discussion forum and field trips exploring the relationship between the metropolis and nuclear sites in rural Hokkaido.

Actinium is a radioactive element named after the Greek word ‘aktis’ a beam or ray, but its name reveals how little we know about the behavior of different kinds of alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Today the word actinium conjures ideas of action in response to radioactive materials as they enter the public realm through the nuclear cycle of weapons, energy, pollution and waste. Today artists and geologists explore the human time of the Anthropocene as the nuclear industry tries to reverse-mine radioactive waste back into the ground. The geological time frames for radioactive decay are beyond human comprehension and challenge the limits of knowledge and not-knowing.

The exhibition included works by artists James Acord (USA), Shuji Akagi (J), Chim↑Pom (J), Crowe & Rawlinson (UK/De), Karen Kramer (USA/UK), Cécile Massart (Belgium), Eva & Franco Mattes (USA), Thomson & Craighead (UK/Scotland) and was curated by Art Catalyst's Associate Curator, Ele Carpenter.

Actinium was curated by Ele Carpenter, Arts Catalyst, produced by S-AIR; and took place during the opening weeks of the Sapporo International Arts Festival (SIAF) in July 2014. The project was organised by NPO S-AIR, Sapporo. Supported by: Daiwa Foundation; Pola Foundation; The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan; City of Sapporo; Arts Council England; Goldsmiths College, University of London.


Publication details

Actinium – Residency, Exhibition & Fieldtrip, 2014
Edited by NPO S-AIR and Ele Carpenter
Published in 2015
Cover design by Theodore Gray
Translated by Emi Uemura and Kyoko Tachibana
Colour and monochrome, 24 pages, softback and electronic

This publication has been made available as a PDF.

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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.


“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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Arts Catalyst Reader Volume 1, 2014

A selection of texts by artists, curators, academics and writers, written between 1996 and 2014 giving an overview and flavour of some of Arts Catalyst’s artistic commissions over the past two decades. The reader offers an insight into the critical discourse around the field of art, science and society.

The chronological order of the essays reflect Arts Catalyst’s shifting and evolving research interests, as well as highlighting relevant theories and critical issues in cross-disciplinary arts practice. It also offers a reflection on artistic practices from a range of artists, some at the start of prominent careers.

Essays and extracts include: 

1996, Unnatural Selection, by Louisa Buck
1998, Thr Bright Tunnels of Alchemy, the Dark Lights of Science by James Flint
2002, Clean Rooms, by Alex Farquharson
2002, Makrolab's Twin Imperatives and their Children too, by Kodwo Eshun
2005, Once Upon a Space Age, by Marina Benjamin
2005, An Introduction to Vertigo, by Rob La Frenais
2008, Images and Imagination in 20th century Environmentalism: from the Sierras to the Poles, by Denis Cosgrove
2010 One By One: Brandon Ballengeé's Malformed Amphibian Project, by Lucy R. Lippard
2011, Critical Art and Intervention in the Technologies of the Arctic, by Nicola Triscott
2012, Human Specimens: a Labyrinth of Morality, Science and Law, by Nicola Triscott
2012, Trans-Species Google-Box, on Rachel Mayeri's Primate Cinema: Apes as Family, by Matthew Fuller
2013, Thinking about Invisibility and Art Objects: Radioactive Divinity and the Nuclear Sublime, by Ele Carpenter
2013, Techne & Poesis by Isobel Harbison
2014, Blue Sky Thinking (an extract), by Rachel Steward

ebook formats

.epub is for Apple devices, Nook, Sony e-readers and pretty much any smartphone or tablet. It can also be viewed on desktop computers. 
.mobi is the format for Kindle. 

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A Brief History of Arts Catalyst, 2014

2014 marked the 20th anniversary year of Arts Catalyst and here we celebrate some of the 120 artists’ projects that we have commissioned over those two decades.

Based in London, Arts Catalyst is one of the UK’s most distinctive arts organisations, distinguished by ambitious artists’ projects that engage with the ideas and impact of science. We are acknowledged internationally as a pioneer in this field and a leader in experimental art, known for our curatorial flair, scale of ambition and critical acuity.

Our primary focus is new artists’ commissions, presented as exhibitions, events and participatory projects, that are accessible, stimulating and artistically relevant. We aim to produce provocative and risk-taking projects that spark dynamic conversations about our changing world. This is underpinned by research and dialogue between artists and world-class scientists and researchers.

We have a deep commitment to artists and artistic process. We work with artists at pivotal stages in their careers, providing opportunities for them to develop bold projects in unusual contexts. This small booklet draws together some examples of projects that have involved:

  • flying teams of artists and scientists in zero gravity in Russia
  • recreating historical bio-warfare experiments off the coast of Scotland
  • setting up live scientific experiments as art installations
  • siting futuristic art-science labs in remote landscapes
  • enabling artists’ access to restricted scientific establishments

We continue to produce projects that develop enduring themes around deep time, autonomous research, bioethics, and the global commons (oceans, poles, atmosphere and outer space), working with both established and emerging artists to create inspiring and thought-provoking new art experiences.



A Brief History of Arts Catalyst
Edited by Nicola Triscott
Published by Arts Catalyst, 2014 
Designed by Abake & Margherita Huntley
Colour, 34 pages, softback and electronic

Download a copy of a new publication, showcasing some landmark projects from the first 20 years from the column on the left.

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Experimental Ruins - West Edition Field Guide, 2012

A collaborative publication, Field Guide, documenting the Experimental Ruins West Edition workshops and critical excursions collated by Luce Choules

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.

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.

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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Clean Rooms, 2002

Exploring ideas of contamination and containment, ethics and accountability, Clean Rooms asks the audience to decide how far they themselves would go with the emerging powers of genetic manipulation.

Clean Rooms was an exhibition of artworks by Critical Art Ensemble, Gina Czarnecki and Neal White, challenging our responses to biotechnology: a science often perceived as secretive and sinister.

Publication details

Clean Rooms
ISBN 978-0-9534546-1-7
Edited by Rob La Frenais and Eileen Daly
Published by Arts Catalyst, 2002
Designed by PKMB
Colour and monochrome, 48 pages, softback
Dimensions 220mm x 200mm
Weight 190g


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Body Visual, 1996

Three artists examining key areas of medical science were commissioned for a series of exhibitions. This book is a record of their works and findings.

Helen Chadwick collaborated with scientists and staff at the Assisted Conception Unit of Kings College Hospital and her work features images of embryos that had been rejected for IVF implantation.

Letizia Galli's work was informed by findings in the field of neurology and explores the chemistry of the brain and the relationship between the neurotransmitter dopamine, addiction and love.

Donald Rodney's deeply personal reflection on medical science stemmed from his own long-term treatment for sickle-cell anaemia and is a meditation on the hope of science within genetic research.

Authors include Pallab Ghosh, Virginia Bolton, Louisa Buck, Gian Luigi Gessa, David Thorp and Alison Bybee.

Publication details

Body Visual
ISBN 978-0-9534546-3-1
Edited by Nicola Triscott
Published by Arts Catalyst, 1996
Designed by Chris Grottick
Colour and monochrome, 36 pages, softback
Dimensions 295mm x 207mm
Weight 190g

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Atomic Book, 1998

Featuring the work of American sculptor James Acord – the only private individual in the world licensed to own and handle radioactive materials.

Atomic confronted our fears and assumptions about science and the nuclear industry. James Acord, Mark Waller and Carey Young explored the economic and cultural legacy of atomic power in an exhibition of commissioned works shown in London, Slovenia and Nottingham.

Publicaiton details

Atomic Book
ISBN 978-0-9534546-0-0
Edited by Nicola Triscott
Published by Arts Catalyst, 1998
Colour and monochrome, 48 pages, soft back
Dimensions 220mm x 200mm
Weight 190g

Buy online at Cornerhouse Books



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