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.
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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Material Sight: Research

Arts Catalyst hosts this artist-led research project by Fiona Crisp, who is using non-documentary photography and film to embody a sense of material encounter at three world-leading research facilities for fundamental science.

Many areas of contemporary science, including cosmology, particle physics and astrophysics, operate at scales and levels of complexity that lie beyond the imaginative and cognitive grasp of most people. Historically, Western culture measured space and time through the body, but over the centuries science and technology have pursued knowledge beyond the edges of bodily perception, from the macro extremes of the multiverse to the micro-scale of the sub-atomic world. Today, with advanced science and technology, and with the accelerating impact of human activity on the planet, we live in new scales of size and speed that we cannot easily comprehend. If so much knowledge comes through scientific instruments, how can we make sense of it within our own experience? As the astronomer Roger Malina notes: “Our intuition, our languages, our metaphors and our arts are all built on the wrong data for understanding the universe”.

Crisp approaches this dilemma through the use of still and moving imagery to place us in a bodily relation to the physical spaces and laboratories where fundamental science is performed. The artist's research is taking her to the Laboratori Nazionale del Gran Sasso, sited within a mountain in central Italy, the world’s largest underground research centre for particle physics; Boulby Underground Laboratory, which occupies the UK’s deepest working mine, over a kilometre beneath the Earth’s surface; and the combined facilities at Durham University, UK, that include the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation and the Institute of Computational Cosmology. She is interested in whether photography can embody the spaces of experimental science and present them back to scientists and non-scientists alike as sites of phenomenological encounter.

Arts Catalyst is hosting Crisp’s research process in the context of a broader consideration of the philosophical, cultural and practical issues of science coming to us through mediated data, and the challenge (to use Malina’s phrase) of “making science intimate”. Through an associated symposium with the Institute of Physics and other activities, we will explore the insights and strategies of artists and cultural practitioners whose creative work can help to transform and inform our intuitions and vocabulary about science.

Funded by The Leverhulme Trust under their Research Fellowship scheme.

Keep up to date with Fiona Crisp's ongoing project research by following the Material Sight website.



Negative Capability: Imaging and Imagining Fundamental Science Through Productive Doubt
This article was published in the journal GeoHumanities in 2015 and outlines some of the formative thinking behind Material Sight.


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Notes from the Field: Commoning Practices in Art and Science

Arts Catalyst launches its Centre for Art, Science and Technology with Notes from the Field: Commoning Practices in Art and Science

This multi-faceted project investigates the notion of art as a tool or tactic for action with communities, with a focus on projects involving science and technology or driven by ecological concerns.

Notes from the Field… presents aspects of Arts Catalyst’s ongoing art and citizen science project Wrecked! on the Intertidal Zone with lead artists YoHa, Critical Art Ensemble, Andy Freeman and Fran Gallardo, who are working with communities on the Thames estuary. Alongside this, it presents the Arte Útil archive, a project initiated by artist Tania Bruguera, which chronicles a history of art projects that create tactics to change how we act in society.

In an archive room designed by Collective Works and ConstructLab, housing physical copies of selected Arte Útil case studies, and through exploratory workshops and discussion events, visitors will be able to speak with invited resident guests, undertake their own research, or propose new Arte Útil case studies. Contributing artists, scientists and experts to Notes from the Field… include Alistair Hudson, Dimitri Launder, Lisa Ma, Sylvia Nagl, Graham Harwood and Veronica Ranner.

More information about the 2016 programme can be found on the Arts Catalyst Centre launch press release.



Event Listings; Talks, Workshops and Seminars

Wed 27 January
Introducing Notes from the Field - Alistair Hudson and Graham Harwood in conversation, chaired by Nicola Triscott
Fully Booked

Fri 29 January
Assembly on Useful Art, Science and Technology – with Veronica Ranner, Kit Jones (Centre for Alternative Technology), Dimitri Launder, Graham Harwood, Sylvia Nagl, Jonathan Rosenhead (British Society for Social Responsibility in Science), Gemma Medina Estupiñan, Alec Steadman and Nicola Triscott.
Booking details

Thu 4 February
Socialising Activism - a talk with Lisa Ma
Booking details

Sat 6 February
Sketch a Bioluddite - a science and activism workshop with Lisa Ma
Booking details

Thu 18 February
Inter-species Technologies for Peripheral Contexts (the Bionic Sheep project) - a workshop with Fernando Garcia Dory
Booking details

Thu 18 February
Agroecology a New Kind of Neo Pastorialism - a talk with Fernando Garcia Dory
Booking details

Sat 27 February
Walking and Sensing in the City – a citizen science workshop with Andy Freeman
Booking details

Across March
A Remedy for the City – a workshop with Dimitri Launder
Fully booked

Thu 3 March
Planting in Concrete – A talk with Dimitri Launder
Booking details

Thu 17 March
Invasive Ecology – a working group with Fran Gallardo
Booking details

Sat 19 March  
Explore the Thames Estuary with your Tongue – with Fran Gallardo
Drop in no booking required


YoHa is a partnership between UK artists Graham Harwood and Matsuko Yokokoji, which has established an international reputation for pioneering critical arts projects, including Tantalum Memorial, Coal Fired Computers, Invisible Airs and Endless War. Critical Art Ensemble is an acclaimed US-based collective of tactical media practitioners, focused on the exploration of the intersections between art, critical theory, technology and political activism. Their work has been shown in major museums and biennales internationally.

Fran Gallardo is an artist and engineer, whose background includes studies in biochemistry, computing and space systems engineering. He is an active member of the Environmental Art Activism movement.

Andy Freeman is an artist, educator, technologist and former oyster farmer, whose practice that involves the combination of open data tactics and community engagement.

Tania Bruguera is a Cuban installation and performance artist. Her work pivots around issues of power and control. Several of her works interrogate and re-present events in Cuban history. On 2 January 2015, she was freed having had three back-to-back detentions in three days, and after over a thousand artists worldwide signed an open letter to Raúl Castro calling for her release.


This project is supported by The Arts Council England, with in-kind support from The Block.


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