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

James Ravinet: Visual Mitigation, film still; courtesy the artist

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.


James Ravinet is an artist and curator interested in the method of working collectively, across disciplines, and destabilising the understanding of authorship. Having graduated from the Royal College of Art Moving Image programme in 2016, recent shows include The Old Waterworks (2016); Royal College of Art, London (2016); Jerwood Space, London (2016); Firstsite, Colchester (2015); Dyson Gallery, London (2015); Light Eye Mind, London (2013). Curatorial projects have also included Migrating Origins (2014) with Warren Harper. He is currently Assistant Curator for Offsite Projects at Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea. His independent practice is comprised of a long-term project with Warren Harper on Nuclear Culture in Essex.
Warren Harper is a curator and researcher whose approach to working with artists is mainly collaborative, developing long-term projects and outcomes. Recent curatorial projects include Migrating Origins (2014) with James Ravinet, Digital Voices (2015) with Jonathan Weston, MORNING (2016) with artist Shaun C. Badham and the curation of the ESSEX Architecture Weekend talks programme in September 2016 with Stephanie Sutton. He has undertaken research for YoHa, Critical Art Ensemble and the Arts Catalyst for Wrecked on the Intertidal Zone and on Modernist architecture for the Radical Essex programme, led by Focal Point Gallery. He is currently working on a project with artist James Ravinet on Nuclear Culture. Warren is a former Assistant Director of TAP (Temporary Arts Project) in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.