As part of Ignacio Acosta’s exhibition Tales from the Crust, join us for a conversation with curator and researcher Dr. Sarah Tuck and Nexus project member Rodolfo Lissia. This talk will explore how contemporary technologies, such as drones and VR, can be used to shift power dynamics and create new forms of solidarity when employed by militant researchers, indigenous communities and activists.
Drones and VR technologies have been adopted for decades by state and military institutions with the purpose of surveillance, targeted strikes in zones of conflict and military training simulations. Today, in various places – including Swedish Sápmi, Heathrow Airport or Standing Rock – activists, social movements and indigenous communities are making extensive use of drones as technologies of resistance and counter-surveillance. The verticality and proximity of vision that drones allow means that they are a key tool for monitoring activities of companies and governments provoking environmental damage and displacement through extractive activities and the construction of poisonous infrastructures.
The talk is followed by a VR experience developed by Imperial College-based project Nexus, which takes the form of a tour around the planet, highlighting the connections between water, food and energy through storytelling and real-world examples. The aim is not to present the 'right' solutions to environmental issues: instead, the tour proposes a framework that reveals the systemic impacts of human actions in the world.
Tours take place between 8 and 9.30pm, with each tour lasting 7 minutes (20 people max). There will be a sign-up sheet available on the night and slots will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis.
This talk forms part of Resistance Labs, a series of public events accompanying Arts Catalyst’s current exhibition Tales from the Crust by artist Ignacio Acosta.
Dr Sarah Tuck is Head of Fine Art at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg. A curator and researcher her work has traversed a wide range of situated practice, including community development, post conflict processes and institutional networks where questions of agency, knowledge production and representation have always been central. Sarah is the author of After the Agreement – Contemporary Photography in Northern Ireland, an exploration of the affective meanings of photography published by Black Dog in 2015; and is currently working on a publication with Art + Theory which documents her two-year curated research project, Drone Vision: Warfare, Surveillance and Protest with Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Sweden, National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan and NiMAC, in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Rodolfo Lissia is a filmmaker focusing on environmental and experimental fiction films. In 2013 he created the film studio Rombo Productions, with which he has produced works that have been screened and won prizes in many international film festivals and events around the world, such as the United Nations’ COP 21 and 24. His last work is the environmental VR documentary Nexus, a project exploring global challenges connected to water, food and energy based at Imperial College. Holding a Bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering from University of Bologna and an MA in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, with his works he tries to express the concept of Greek technè – defining technology not as dominance over nature, but as harmony of science and art.