Dreaming Ireland

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Dreaming Place is a new ebook by Anna Keleher with illustrations by Anna Keleher and Claire Cote. The two artists made two journeys wild-camping in the Marble Arch Caves Geopark which straddles the Ireland/Northern Ireland border. They talked with lots of local people about the relationship between the land and their dreams. They recorded local musicians, storytellers, potholers, artists. They wanted to find out about both old and new approaches to off-grid living.

They made a series of radio programmes, a mobile listening and recording studio and now this book.

The book includes 25 line drawings by the artists and is a lively, humorous and vivid read.

It is available from Amazon for £2.75 or free on Kindle Unlimited. I highly recommend it for Christmas presents, accompanying a journey to Ireland, or cosy armchair travelling.

SAÓ Festival in the Catalan Pyrenees

110 people attended the SAÓ Festival on 11 October 2015 organised by the Centre d’Art i Natura in the vicinity of the village of Farrera in the Catalan Pyrenees.

In the morning the audience saw Joanès Simon-Perret’s tree caressing machine and his mountain mirrors greeting the midday sun. Next they passed by my writing on water at the ford. Then Quelic Berga presented his comparative circles designating the amount of landuse to produce one meal with meat, one vegetarian and one vegan. And the audience could also view Quelic Berga’s GOD installation.

At lunchtime documentation of Jutempus’s Mycomorph Laboratory was on display using living mycelium (mushroom roots) to create a new material.

In the afternoon the audience made their way along the narrow vertiginous path to the ruined chapel of Santa Maria de la Serra where Anna Rubio worked with musician Carola Ortiz. Josep Maria Mallarach gave a talk on the history of the chapel responding to Anna Rubio’s presentation. In the guise of an archaeologist from the future Meritxell Romanos presented her project with Blai Mesa, to paint the chapel with brilliant blue and gold representations of the universe. Finally Anna Rubio and Quelic Berga’s haunting film shot in the chapel and featuring the voice of Carola Ortiz was shown, and provoked a spontaneous finale of collective singing from the audience.

You can find more information on the artists and their projects on the SAÓ Artists Blogs.

Centre d’Art i Natura, Jutempus, Joanès Simon-Perret, Tracey Warr, Quelic Berga and Anna Rubio are partners and artists contributing to the Frontiers in Retreat five year art and ecology research programme.

The role of the writer in contemporary society

141113_Zooetics_press_NEW10I did an interview in Lithuania late last year and thought it worth posting a link to it today since the interviewer, Aldona Steponavičiūtė, asked some excellent questions about writing and contemporary society:

http://www.zooetics.net/blog/tracey-warr-interview/

If that whets your appetite at all do hunt around the Zooetics website which is a rich resource on imagining future biosphere-friendly, organic technologies. There is a glossary, bibliography, links to podcasts and to the Zooetics Facebook site.

Posts from an Island 3 of 5: The Interspecies Frontier

By Anneli Salo (Own work (Own photo)) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Anneli Salo (Own work (Own photo)) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Last night I saw a large urban hare in Helsinki, bounding across tramlines and main roads to the port, perhaps heading for the ferry to the island where I am staying.

An island is a distinct thing, it has parameters, water borders, it has by necessity to be a microcosm. I am writing within a project called Frontiers in Retreat. We have used the idea of the frontier as a horizon of expansive possibility – first into the supposedly empty lands beyond the West, across the seas, then into space and the galaxy. The frontier metaphor has been concerned with exploration, conquest and colonisation. But now there is no new frontier for expansion, frontiers are in retreat – now we are on Earth, in the biosphere, and really looking at that instead of evading doing so or taking it for granted (or at least we should be). Instead of endless new frontiers for expansion, there are limits – the limits of Planet Earth, and islands are both an actuality and a metaphor for those limits.

To me, Frontiers in Retreat, speaks to this: no new horizon for the human quest (a species characteristic), no new place for exploration, colonisation, exploitation, previously fulfilled by the New World, the Wild West, and Space. Instead our new quest is to confront the limits of Planet Earth in a time of global warming and the Anthropocene, to search for environmentally sound future technologies and lifestyles, to search for new types of knowledge – perhaps interspecies knowledge. In my own practice I am employing two principle research methods to address this quest: fiction writing and interspecies proximities.

By interspecies proximities I mean the knowledge of another species that zookeepers, or farmers, or hunters, or foresters, or animal behaviour therapists, or pet owners have. So a knowledge from durational familiarity rather than (or as well as) scientific study. I am interested in the body technologies of other species – octopus ink, spitting fish, flying fish, poisonous frogs. I am interested in parasitism across species, mutualism between species, and how other species are colonising human urban spaces and adapting us. See artist Pinar Yoldas‘s vision of aquatic life adapting to plastic infested waters, An Ecosystem of Excess.

See the Jutempus Frontiers in Retreat project, Zooetics.

From the ferry to Suomenlinna Island
From the ferry to Suomenlinna Island
From the ferry to Suomenlinna Island
From the ferry to Suomenlinna Island

Watch Tomorrow’s Zooetics Lectures Live and Pose Questions to the Panel

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Zooetics is a transdisciplinary research project unpacking, reevaluating and recombining the notions of Nature, Interspecies and Anthropocene.

 

It began last week with the first in a series of lectures and seminars at Kaunas University of Technology delivered by Christian Schwagerl, talking on The Anthropocene, and Natalie Jeremijenko on her art and engineering inventions addressing environmental and urban issues.

The second set of lectures are tomorrow, 12 December 2014, from Skylar Tibbits and Caleb Harper, both from MIT. You can watch the lectures live, or as podcasts. You can contribute questions live to our panel via Twitter. You can contribute to our online Reading Group. Details below.

Skylar Tibbits directs MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab developing self-assembly and programmable material technologies for new manufacturing, products and construction processes. Self-Assembly research will enable breakthroughs across biology, material science, software, robotics, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, construction, the arts, and space exploration. Skylar’s accolades include the Architectural League Prize, The Next Idea Award at Ars Electronica, the Visionary Innovation Award at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit, a TED Senior Fellowship and named as a Revolutionary Mind in SEED Magazine.

Caleb Harper directs MIT’s CityFarm and leads an anti-disciplinary group of researchers including engineers, architects, urban planners, economists and plant scientists. CityFarm is researching the potential for large-scale aeroponics and hydroponics food production, aiming to contribute to fundamental agricultural change and develop high performance urban agricultural systems. Caleb is working on an open source platform of farming data to improve the evaluation of aeroponics and other farming methods. He was a Finalist in this year’s Innovation by Design Awards.

Live stream of lectures taking place Friday 12 December 2014 4pm-6.30pm UK time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JXTXWPXGjQ&feature=youtu.be

You can contribute live questions to the panel via Twitter – use #Zooetics

The panel will take place 6pm-6.30pm UK time.

Or you can watch the lectures on our website later on. We invite you to interact with the project as it develops through our online Glossary and Reading Group: Zooetics

Zooetics

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Zooetics has just launched. It’s a research project on the frontier between human and other forms of life from mammals, to mollusks, to microbes. I am Zooetics writer in residence working with the art group Jutempus, who are based in Lithuania. Zooetics starts by unpacking the notions of ANTHROPOCENE, INTERSPECIES and NATURE with a series of public lectures at Kaunas University of Technology by leading international speakers from various disciplines: Christian Schwägerl, Natalie Jeremijenko, Skylar Tibbits, Caleb Harper, Timothy Morton, Jae Rhim Lee, and Territorial Agency. If you can get to Kaunas, book for the lectures via the website. They are free but booking is essential. If you’re not in Kaunas in December you can participate in an evolving online Glossary and Reading Group on the website.

@Zooetics on Twitter

Zooetics on Facebook

Zooetics is part of Frontiers in Retreat.