Test Sites: Remedy for a City

Remedy for a City forms part of our 'Test Sites' programme, a series of inquiries into matters of concern connected with environmental change – such as flooding, pollution, and species loss – and their impact on local culture and the health and wellbeing of our ecosystems and ourselves.

In Camden, the area around Arts Catalyst's Centre in King's Cross, we are working with Dimitri Launder, the Artist Gardener, and several local projects and groups, as well as drawing on expertise from specialists in horticulture and medical health.

Treating the city as a body to explore the common ailments of communities and individuals, Launder’s Remedy for a City aims to create a dialogue with the dis-eases of society. During Summer 2017, he will be developing the Phytobscura, a mobile field device to collect medicinal plant material and hand written remedies, drawing on local knowledge around Camden.

If you would like to participate, please email Anna Santomauro at anna.santomauro@artscatalyst.org

The project will continue through 2018 and 2019 with creative activities, remedy gathering, and citizen science research leading to the creation of site-specific artworks, events, and an alternative archive of knowledge.

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Test Sites: Calder Valley

Test Sites is Arts Catalyst’s series of inquiries into matters of concern connected with environmental change – such as flooding, pollution, and species loss – and their impact on local culture and the health and wellbeing of our ecosystems and ourselves. At each site, we are inviting local people and groups to be part of art-led co-inquiries, working with artists, scientists, and other experts.

In the Calder valley, we are working with artist Ruth Levene, in partnership with the Canal and River Trust, to research water governance in relation to human health and wellbeing and the resilience of communities and ecologies.

In Summer 2017, we are making two initial research journeys by narrowboat along the Calder/Hebble navigation, meeting local people, river/canal users, and experts with interests in water, the history of the river and canal, and water governance. In June, the team traveled from Sowerby Bridge downstream through Brighouse to Mirfield, meeting and talking with a variety of people along our journey.

From the 10th-15th July 2017, we plan to travel upstream to Mytholmroyd. We are keen to meet with people living or working in the Calder area - both on and off the boat - with the following expertise (whether professional or expertise-by-experience): water governance, hydrology, geology, history of the waters (river, canal, and tributaries), modelling and mapping the catchment, canoeing, fishing, tree planting, volunteering. If you would like to connect with us during our research journeys to share your knowledge of the Calder catchment and its waters, please email Nicola Triscott at director@artscatalyst.org

The project will gather pace during 2018 and 2019 with creative activities, roundtables, story gathering and citizen science research leading to the creation of site-specific artworks, events, and alternative archives of knowledge about the Calder catchment.

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Warren Harper and James Ravinet: Research Residency at S-AIR, Japan

Curator Warren Harper and artist James Ravinet have been selected for a research programme in Japan organised in collaboration with Arts Catalyst and non-profit organisation S-AIR in Sapporo to research nuclear power and alternative energies.

During their time in Japan, they will meet with scientists, geographers, historians, activists and residents, including people local to the town of Toyotomi near Horonobe, where the engineering and geological research into radioactive waste storage takes place. Visits to Horonobe Underground Research Centre and Tomari Nuclear Power Plant will form an important part of the residency, which will inform their current project on nuclear culture, the Blackwater Estuary, and the complex issues around history, heritage and ecology as well as the geo-politics of energy production, consumption and subsequent ‘disposal’ in order to draw parallels between global industrial-natural sites of energy use and the communities that surround them.

The research trip will culminate with an exhibition a talk given by Harper and Ravinet who will discuss their own practices, and to coincide with these events, former Arts Catalyst artist in residence, Kota Takeuchi will give a talk about his research that he carried out during his residency in the UK.
 

This residency forms part of a wider, ongoing collaboration between S-AIR and Arts Catalyst who have partnered on several projects, including a number of artist and curator residencies, as well as co-producing the Actinium exhibition, forum and research programme, curated by Ele Carpenter, as part of Sapporo’s International Art Festival Collaborative Programme in 2014. In July 2016 artist Kota Takeuchi completed a residency at Arts Catalyst – during which time he researched the deep time concerns of monuments, site markers and memory around the UK and Belgium – and from September 2016-August 2017 S-AIR’s Programme Director Kyoko Tachibana is Curator-in-Residence at Arts Catalyst. 

During their residency at Tenjinyama Art Studio, facilitated by S-AIR, Japan, Ravinet and Harper will be taking over Arts Catalyst's Instagram account, giving glimpses of the locations that will inform their future research and work. Follow us on Instagram via @ArtsCatalyst to stay up to date.

Programme supported by:
Art Council England's Artists' International Development Fund and the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Government of Japan

About S-AIR

S-AIR was established in 1999 with partial funding by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, to run an artist-in-residence programme in Hokkaido. Since it was approved to be a non-profit organisation in 2004, S-AIR started a collaborative residency project with ICC, in which we have been building networks with Japanese and international artists as well as art institutions in Japan and overseas. In 2011, S-AIR initiated a new programme, FRONTIER, which is supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Other associated programmes were funded by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the City of Sapporo, Pola Foundation and Japan Foundation.
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A Public Hearing – Cromer Street Lyric

As part of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process postgraduate students from Goldsmiths Centre for Research Architecture, University of London have been in residence at Arts Catalyst’s Cromer Street Centre throughout May and June 2016. During this time, they have developed a project titled A Public Hearing in which they have used the form and function of the public hearing as an aid for investigating a number of contemporary experiences. This has produced a eight channel sound installation, and a range of events examining different aspects of speaking and listening.

For the final event of the project on Saturday 25 June the group have invited local choir groups, singers and musicians for a new lyric to be composed; distilled from conversations with local people and sounds heard in and around the environs of Cromer Street in King's Cross.

This final installation of A Public Hearing, organised by students from the Centre for Research Architecture, looks at oral histories and the means by which knowledge can be altered and passed along. The process for composition will be collaborative – dialogue, consensus and disruption will be made evident in the final choral arrangement. Simultaneous to the performance a live recording with feedback will play in an adjacent room suggesting the configuration of Arts Catalyst as a sensing organ attuned to and bearing witness to unfolding events.

Event schedule

Saturday 25 June, 12 noon – 7pm
12 noon – 6pm Exhibition and performance
5pm – 7pm Closing Drinks reception

This event is FREE no booking required


Support:

A Public Hearting is supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England. 

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A Public Hearing – How to Speak

As part of Arts Catalyst's current programme A Public Hearing, MA students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, host a workshop exploring different ways of speaking in public with vocal coach Christopher Holt and local Kings Cross barrister Ousman Noor
 

Drawing on procedural documents from public hearings* as a starting point, this workshop, organised by students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, looks at the conditions and protocols under which public speaking is conducted. Beginning with a review of speaking in formalized settings – such as court, council chambers or in parliament – we will then look to different, informal, modes of speaking – such as gossiping, complaining, whispering – and invite participants to draw up an alternate set of instruction manuals that give priority to such forms of speech. The latter part of the workshop will review how formal instructions are registered and performed, revealing the impact this has on what gets said and who gets heard, and how architecture changes the register of sound, affecting the ways speech is delivered and supported.

*Public hearings originated from the process of the enclosure of public lands in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were held in order to create a petition to parliament to enclose the land, and then later to hear objections to the act created by Parliament. Today, public hearings are still used when dealing with both public lands and private properties.

This workshop is aimed at residents and workers of the Kings Cross Area. Open to all ages but 16+ preferred unless accompanied by an adult.

Event Schedule


1pm Lunch (Free)
2pm Workshop (Free)
Vocal exercises, discussion and rewriting manuals plus an introduction on court procedures. 

Biographies

Christopher Holt is an actor, a theatre director, a lecturer, a voice coach and a disability arts practitioner, and he has a 20 years experience in teaching, training and developing singing and speaking voices. Holt has lead vocal workshops and taught voice for professional actors, singers and dancers, students of theatre and groups of senior citizens.

Ousman Noor is a Barrister with extensive experience in representing individuals in immigration detention, making bail applications in Immigration Tribunals on their behalf. This experience led to a strong conviction that immigration detention was often performed unlawfully with insufficient transparency or accountability to the rule of law. In 2014 he set up The Habeas Corpus Project, a non-profit organisation that provides pro-bono legal representation in challenging unlawful detention of individuals in the UK.

Arts Catalyst's Centre will be open to the public for A Public Hearing as part of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process
Thursday 2 June – Friday 24 June 2016
Thursdays & Fridays, 12noon – 6pm

 

 

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A Public Hearing – Technologies of Belonging

Calling all residents, workers and communities of Cromer Street and Kings Cross, come and share your stories at the first event in the A Public Hearing series

Saturday 28 May is the first in a series of events to explore the technologies of hearing and the point of mediation between the hearing and listening. It will be used as a foundation to lead into the events on the Saturday 11 June and Saturday 25 June that will continue to develop and explore these concepts and materials in more depth and alternative ones.

Technologies of Belonging investigates how hearing and vocalising are rehearsed. Presenting hearing as narration and storytelling rather than confession. Non-oral bodily sensing and an exploration of the non-human on variety of scales presented in an evolving exhibition as multi-speaker installation, with a collaged sequence of the recent interviews collected by the group with live elements fluctuating between different temporalities, histories and sounds.

Personal hearings

Through a series of informal conversations and discussions the group are inviting you between 1pm–3pm to come and contribute to a developing archive of material.

This event forms part of the first phase of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process, where postgraduate students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London will be in residence at Arts Catalyst’s Cromer Street Centre throughout May and June. During this time, they will use the form and function of the public hearing as an aid for investigating a number of contemporary conditions.

Public hearings originated from the process of the enclosure of public lands in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were held in order to create a petition to parliament to enclose the land, and then later to hear objections to the act created by Parliament. Today, public hearings are still used when dealing with both public lands and private properties. Adopting the device of the public hearing, the Goldsmiths group will consider how diverse experiences and events are communicated through speech, vocalising, hearing and listening. Whose stories are heard and whose not? What other forms of nonhuman expression - animals, plants, industrial, atmospheric - are heard, and what new modes of sensing are needed? In short, who speaks and who listens, and with what technologies?

Arts Catalyst's Centre will be open to the public for A Public Hearing as part of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process
Thursday 2 June – Friday 24 June 2016
Thursdays & Fridays, 12noon – 6pm
With events on Saturday 11 June and Saturday 25 June 2016
 
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A Public Hearing

Arts Catalyst announces Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process, a research and public programme launching in May 2016 with A Public Hearing.

As the first phase of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process, postgraduate students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London will be in residence at Arts Catalyst’s Cromer Street Centre throughout May and June. During this time, they will use the form and function of the public hearing as an aid for investigating a number of contemporary conditions.

Public hearings originated from the process of the enclosure of public lands in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were held in order to create a petition to parliament to enclose the land, and then later to hear objections to the act created by Parliament. Today, public hearings are still used when dealing with both public lands and private properties. Adopting the device of the public hearing, the Goldsmiths group will consider how diverse experiences and events are communicated through speech, vocalising, hearing and listening. Whose stories are heard and whose not? What other forms of nonhuman expression - animals, plants, industrial, atmospheric - are heard, and what new modes of sensing are needed? In short, who speaks and who listens, and with what technologies?

Through a series of hearings in June (some public, others with invited groups) and an exhibition, the students will bring together diverse participants, ideas and concerns. They will explore how the conditions of the hearing – vocalisation strategies, performance, technologies, architecture - affect how information travels from one body to an other and from one entity to many. Hearings will address local social issues, as well as more abstract themes.

Starting from Arts Catalyst’s new neighbourhood of Cromer Street in London’s Kings Cross and expanding out across the city, Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process will create a platform for international artists, urbanist collectives and research architects to link with a diverse range of local communities. Together these groups will explore and document the social, political and environmental issues affecting those who inhabit the city. Everyday Urbanism will evolve over the course of three years creating new relationships, networks, events, exhibitions and commissions.
 

Everyday Urbanism will be developed in collaboration with a curatorial advisory group including Arts Catalyst, Territorial Agency / John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, curator Claire Louise Staunton (Flat Time House/MK Gallery) and Susan Schuppli, Deputy Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Cromer Street based Barrister Ousman Noor.

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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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Kota Takeuchi: Residency and Exhibition at Arts Catalyst

Kota Takeuchi will be artist in residency at Arts Catalyst's Centre during July 2016. His residency has been organised by S-AIR in Japan in partnership with Arts Catalyst, supported by the Sasakawa Foundation and Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Government of Japan.

During his time in the UK, Takeuchi will be researching the deep time concerns of monuments, site markers and memory around the UK and Belgium. He will undertake field research at the Belgian underground research laboratory for the geologic storage of radioactive waste in partnership with Z33 and the Belgian nuclear waste agency NIRAS / NIROND.

On Saturday 16 July curator and writer Eiko Honda will be in discussion with Kota Takeuchi, chaired by artist Kaori Homma from Art Action UK.
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Commission

Making a universe

Making a Universe explores artistic and scientific practices that deal with contained and extreme environments.

Alistair McClymont creates poetic machines that contain 'natural' environments, making a universe of their own.  Scientists similarly create miniature stars that imitate the birth of stars.

Alistair McClymont recently completed a three-month residency at the Central Laser Facility.  Dr Ceri Brenner is a physicist who enjoys communicating the extreme and inspiring science that she and others carry out at CLF.

The CLF produces some of the world’s most powerful light beams, providing scientists with an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology. These high powered lasers are used to recreate the extreme conditions inside stars and planets, others can reveal intricate detail on a microscopic scale enabling scientists to build up a complex picture of the exact molecular interactions that lead to disease.  The CLF also uses laser beam 'tweezers' capable of holding individual micro-droplets that make up clouds helping scientists gain an insight into climate change.

Alistair's previous work has included making night-time rainbows, suspending raindrops in mid-air and creating tornadoes with deceptively simple machines. A UK based artist working in sculpture, photography and video, McClymont describes these as ‘phenomena’ artworks, in which he tries to capture natural, often overlooked occurrences and evoke a sense of wonder.

He will be discussing his work, and time spent at the CLF, thinking about his work with scientists on experiments both as an outsider and insider, and how this has influenced his practice.

Making a Universe explores artistic and scientific practices that deal with contained and extreme environments

Book online here

Speakers

Dr Ceri Brenner is a Physicist who enjoys communicating the extreme and inspiring science that she and others carry out at the Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

Ceri’s role at the CLF spans research, innovation and communication. In particular, she is studying a form of micro-sized particle accelerator that is formed when the most intense laser light in the world strikes matter, for applications in medicine, manufacturing and security. Ceri will discuss her work, research interests and her experience of having an artist working amongst scientists. She has been closely involved in facilitating the artists' residency and will also give an introduction to the high energy density experiment on the Gemini laser that Alistair took part in during his residency.

Alistair McClymont as artist in residence has been following a team of scientists working with the Gemini Laser at the CLF studying different aspects of laser interaction. He describes the project, "My goal with this project is to investigate the strong similarity I see between scientists and artists, I wanted to do this by taking part in their experiment. My hypothesis is that both ultimately search for truth and both see beauty in that truth.

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