Planetary Breakdown: autonomous infrastructures for a sustainable future

The artists stand in a large mountain range surrounded by electronic equipment and solar panels.
London Fieldworks: Polaria Fieldwork Noon. Hold With Hope, Northeast Greenland, 2001 for Planetary Breakdown

An event investigating artistic strategies for sustainablity and survivability following impending climate change. A collaboration between Arts Catalyst, Intersections, AV Festival and Baltic.

"Following Helen and Newton Harrison’s notion of the ‘Force Majeure – that we should be preparing for different forms of governance following radical blows to the existing infrastructures by inevitable climate change – Autonomous Infrastructures looks at the many models created by artists and by communities of people operating semi-autonomously in society in intentional and utopian communities. The event examines the symbolic nature of many of these initiatives and proposse the future realisation of unrealised artists infrastructures." - Rob La Frenais

Produced by Intersections (Newcastle University), Arts Catalyst and AV Festival 10.

Day 1 Tuesday 9 March 2010
Autonomous Infrastructures: sandpit (invited)

The first day was a invited group of around 30 people, mainly artists. We looked at different approaches artists are taking to the question of change and sustainability and, working as small teams, hothouse some potential strategies. 

Day 2 Wednesday 10 March 2010
Symposium: Planetary Breakdown: autonomous infrastructures for a sustainable future

Day 2 was a public symposium with three panels looking at alternative approaches to: communities, trade and energy. The symposium brought together an exceptional range of artists, academics and other industry experts to look at future approaches to living. It explored the possibility of creating new autonomous infrastructures across energy, trade and transport, offering a space for everyone to contribute to an active dialogue about our futures. Speakers: Alternative Communities: Malcolm Miles, Lise Autogena, Nicola Triscott, chair David Butler. Trade: Kate Rich, Ashok Sukumaran, chair Sally Jane Norman. Energy: HeHe, London Fieldworks, Bryony Worthington, chair Rob La Frenais

Reviews of Planetary Breakdown symposium


London Fieldworks was formed by the artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson. London Fieldworks aims to enable creative research and collaboration at the art, science and technology interesection. Typically, their projects deal with issues relating to complex relationships existing between social, natural and technological worlds.
Ashok Sukumaran (b.1974) came to international prominence with the extraordinary work Glow Positioning System, 2005. In 2008, he co-founded CAMP, a space for critical artistic research, imagination, and archiving projects. He was awarded the first prize of the 2005 UNESCO Digital Arts Award, and received a Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica, 2007.