Publication Day! The Water Age

My new books The Water Age 1, 2, 3 are published today by Meanda Books. The Water Age & Other Fictions is a collection of short future fictions. ‘Meanda’ takes place on an ocean exoplanet. ‘Asbrú’ tangles in the fronds of Icelandic algae. Other stories explore slime technologies. These fictions are spawned by aquatic flora and fauna, such as spitting fish, inking squids and singing whales, and above all, they are inspired by water itself. Available as paperbacks and ebooks on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and iBooks.

The second book, The Water Age Art & Writing Workshops, is a workbook for creative and playful engagements with the possibility that we may be living with more water in the future. The topic of water is explored through writing and art exercises that include aquatic biomimicry inventions, writing with maps, drawing inspirations from Vikings and taking watery words on adventures. Available as paperbacks and ebooks on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and iBooks.

The third book, The Water Age Children’s Art & Writing Workshops, was initially inspired by a workshop I ran at Modern Art Oxford with my sister. I built on the first workshop with a children’s art workshop in Helsinki and, then, with a writing workshop in a primary school in Haydon Bridge. With the participants I explored facts about the behaviour of water and about aquatic flora and fauna. For example: the water you drink has been through the bladder of a Tyrannosaurus rex and many other places; the water on Earth is 4.4 billion years old and came here from outer space; the octopus has three hearts and its eyes can look in two separate directions.

The Water Age Children’s Art & Writing Workshops is a book for teachers, artists and writers who are working with children aged 8–11. Workshop activities include drawing and painting waterscapes, building waterscapes in the classroom or playground, designing and making models for water living, creating simple films about water living and writing a story about a future watery world. Available as paperbacks and ebooks on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and iBooks.

Thanks to James A. Hudson for the lovely covers and thanks to HIAP and Frontiers in Retreat for supporting the publication of the books.

More information at Meanda Books.

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The Water Age – 3 new books for 2018

I have established a publishing imprint called Meanda Books to publish the three small books that are the outcome of my work in the Frontiers in Retreat art and ecology project. The books will be published in July. An expression of interest form is at the bottom of this post. The books are:

 

Green 20970-dd-246-HiRes cover

 

The Water Age and other Fictions

Paperback ISBN 9780995490215

ebook ISBN 9780995490222

 

Includes a revised, expanded version of Meanda, a future fiction novella about an ocean exoplanet. Octavio Paz meets J.G. Ballard meets David Attenborough in tales of hybrid species and aqua technologies. Inspired by spitting fish, spiders’ sticky lines, sliming snails, inking squids and singing whales.  [Image: James A. Hudson]

Ida Larsen, Writing with Water

 

The Water Age Art and Writing Workshops

Paperback ISBN 9780995490239

ebook ISBN 9780995490246

How might we live with more water in the future? Art and writing workshops relating to aquatic biomimicry, walking, swimming, maps, reading water environments, watery language. A wealth of playful exercises to produce art and writing focused on water.

1 Annantalo

 

The Water Age Children’s Art and Writing Workshops

Paperback ISBN 9780995490253

ebook ISBN 9780995490260

The water you drink has been through the bladder of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and many other places. The water on Earth is 4.4 billion years old and came here from outer space. The octopus has three hearts and its eyes can look in two separate directions.

What other facts can we find out about the behaviour of water?

What can we learn about aquatic flora and fauna?

What imaginative ideas can we have about living with more water?

The Water Age Children’s Art and Writing Workshops is a book for teachers, artists and writers who are working with children aged 8-11. The workshops focus on water and contemplate a possible future when we are living with more water.

The art workshop suggests drawing and painting waterscapes, building waterscapes in the classroom or playground, designing and making models for water living, creating simple films about water living. The writing workshop helps to develop a story about a future watery world, and suggests performing and recording a story, creating an exhibition or broadcast, or turning a story into a book.

 

 

Making It Up

“EXOPLANÈTE LOT“
11ème Parcours d’art contemporain en vallée du Lot
présenté par la MAGP centre d’art, du 3 juillet au 4 septembre 2016
www.magp.fr

(Photographie : Yohann Gozard ©)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 jemma.julian@falmouth.ac.uk. Image shows an extract from Meanda installed on the GR36 Compostella path in the Lot Valley, France. Photo by Yohann Gozard.

Writing algae and other life

blake-newton-1795
William Blake, Newton, 1795.

William Blake was critical of the rigid, reductive influence of Newton’s ideas, of his insensibility to vision and ethical restraint. Describing Blake’s portrait, Alan Moore remarks that: ‘Newton sits in single-minded concentration, crouched above his calculations and immune to the more fractal charm of blue and orange lichens spattering the rocky backdrop, his chill bench has the distinct appearance of a bidet or commode. Enthroned, a god of knowledge showers his pearls of wisdom on the species through a process of mere peristalsis, heedless of the fact that mankind’s dream-life is thus rendered a materialist latrine.’

A few months ago I went to Iceland in search of the fractal charm of lichens and algae in the Future Fictions Summit. Researchers met at the Asbru Enterprise Park, Reykjavik – the former NATO naval and military base – to exchange ideas and generate narratives of future multispecies co-existence. The summit included a field trip to the slippery algae beach on Hafnir shore led by Eydís Mary Jónsdóttir.

collecting-algae-vicktorija-gediminas-eydis-henrik

The summit culminated at Reykjavik Art Museum with Jennifer Gabrys’s lecture on lichens, bioindication and environmental politics, discussing the lived effects of pollution as experienced by nonhuman organisms; a future fiction performance-lecture; and algae culinary exploration with Hinrik Carl Ellertsson from DILL Restaurant.

[Extract from a future fiction text on human-algae symbiosis research]

‘Obs.: Enhanced taste capacities in salty range; pigmentation shifts, thickening of skin which is demonstrating patches of heavily whorled textures….Stage 2. Subjects developed holdfast feet complexes. Under-skin vesicles developed, particularly clustered around collar-bone area. Arms have lengthened and are tending towards frond-like flagellata….Rhythmic shifts in verticality and horizontality observed i.e. Subjects are erect during sea immersions and layered horizontally in periods of air exposure….the mouth can function as a knowledge sensor….Nothing intelligible yet, however embodied sensory dialogue with algae appears increasingly likely….Subjects are able to taste impacts from chemical and other marine contaminants….Some subjects demonstrate adaptation to tidal and seasonal rhythms. Greatly enhanced consciousness of interscalar and trans-systemic relationships are being recorded. Prolonged rhythmic immersions are resulting in reflexive consciousness, a form of self-archaeology….Visions of new ecologies glimpsed. Confronting light is the darkness. The awe-ful rainbow.’

Text developed by Tracey Warr in collaboration with Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, Kristopas Sabolius, Nikola Bojić, Lucas Freeman, and other researchers at the Zooetics Future Fictions Summit, Iceland, October 2016.

algae2The Future Fictions Summit was the most recent instalment of Zooetics – a project exploring intersections between the human, non-human and poetic knowledge spheres. A full summary of the project and Jennifer Gabrys’s lecture are on the OH Project site. An interview with Jennifer Gabrys by Viktorija Šiaulytė will be published later this year. A collection of my zooetic fictions will be published later this year as part of Frontiers in Retreat.

What comprises non-human life?

Photo: Nomeda Urbonas
Photo: Nomeda Urbonas

An article and extracts from my novella MEANDA have just been published on the Zooetics website. Zooetics is part of the 5 year Frontiers in Retreat art research project. With artists Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas and curator Viktorija Siaulyte, I have been exploring radical future potentialities for interspecies relations and notions of Nature.

Inspired by JG Ballard’s fictional living plant technologies, the Zooetics team has been working with mycelium – the extraordinary mushroom roots network. In MEANDA I made water one of the protagonists in a future fiction story set on an exoplanet.

Zooetics is a word coined to gesture at poetic, artistic, fictional, playful approaches to all life. Mycelium is certainly living. Is water?

I’m currently working with HIAP curator, Jenni Nurmenniemi, to develop a seminar which will take place in Helsinki in September and consider the question of non-human life within the context of the Museum of Nonhumanity.