At Falmouth University Thursday 22 March 11.30-13.00 giving the keynote presentation in the Research Students Symposium. How do we make something from nothing? How do we get from the blank page to the book or the artwork? I will focus on the development of my future fiction, Meanda, set on a water planet. The symposium is open to the public, with other presentations by postgrads. Places are limited. If you would like to attend please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Image shows an extract from Meanda installed on the GR36 Compostella path in the Lot Valley, France. Photo by Yohann Gozard.
Some readers of my posts may feel confused by the polarised nature of my activities: on the one hand writing early medieval fiction and the other hand writing future fiction about exoplanets and other life poetics. I get quite confused by this paradox myself!
However, the medieval historian Henry of Huntingdon, writing in the 12th century, was happy to address readers in the third, fourth and fifth millennia. ‘If mortal generations are prolonged so long as that’, he said. He addressed readers 3,000 years ahead of his own time – ‘I who will be dust in your time have made mention of you in this work, such a long time before your birth’ – because he believed in history’s redemptive potential for both the present and the future. So I guess I shouldn’t worry about my own polarities too much.
For more contemplation on the topic of history and the future see Amanda Jane Hingst’s excellent book on Orderic Vitalis, The Written World, which I was delighted to just buy in the wonderful Raven Secondhand Bookshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
My most recent historical novel is Conquest: Daughter of the Last King (Impress Books, 2016) set in 12th century Wales, England and Normandy. I’m working on the sequel now.
Top image by Jean Le Tavernier, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74516
Bottom image: Algae in Iceland, Zooetics Future Fictions Summit. Photo: Nomeda Urbonas.
As Above So Below is an arts and astronomy project at ACA in Allenheads, Northumberland, UK, coinciding with the building of a new community observatory.
Earlier this year I ran a future fiction writing workshop with schoolchildren and installed a ground text around the Armstrong Hydraulic Engine in Allenheads village. My future fiction novella, Meanda, and the outcomes of the children’s workshop will feature in next weekend’s finale exhibition, along with the work of 17 other artists, 28-30 October 2016. Full details:
For the Exoplanet Lot exhibition organised by MAGP, open in France now until 4 September, I collaborated with artist Tania Candiani on an ‘exoplanet song’. Tania installed this fabulous listening sculpture on the cliff top at Saint Cirq Lapopie above the Lot river. I adapted the lyrics of a medieval song written by the Comtesse de Dia and the song was recorded in Occitan and played in the valley. The Comtesse’s song was a love lament of a woman betrayed. My song is the voice of Earth lamenting that humans have left for an exoplanet. Here are my lyrics in English:
Of things I’d rather keep in silence I must sing
so bitter do I feel toward you
whom I love more than anything.
You left me for another planet,
my forests silent, my seas emptied.
Come home now. I have healed the scars you graved.
It’s not right another celestial body takes you away from me.
Remember how it was with us in the beginning!
Come home. We could still have much time together
Before the death throes of the sun begin.
I send you there, on your exoplanet,
this song as messenger and delegate.
Come home my lovers, my humans.
My Twitter Fiction version of Meanda is 55 tweets in. 35 more to go. If you haven’t started following the daily tweets yet, catch up with the story of a human expedition to a watery exoplanet on @Meanda55555.
For more details see:
Also don’t miss Meanda on Twitter daily until 4 September.
Photos by Yohann Gozard.
The Exoplanet Lot exhibition, organised by MAGP, opens tonight. Visitors will go on an expedition to artworks sited in the Lot Valley, France. The MAGP gallery in Cajarc features works by Tania Candiani and Angelika Markul. From there, visitors travel by bus and bike to works in the landscape by Thomas Lasbouygues, Caroline Le Mehaute, HeHe, and my site on the long-distance GR36 footpath running beside the river Lot. Finally there are late night performances and exhibitions in Saint Cirq Lapopie by Ludwig, Tania Candiani and Nahum Mantra.
The exhibition runs until 4 September.
Follow the story on Twitter in daily doses until 4 September on @Meanda55555