Culture and Climate Change: Scenarios

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Photo: Roger Harrabin, BBC Environment Analyst announces our award winners at Jerwood Space, 23 May 2016.

This week we announced the Award Winners of our Culture & Climate Change: Scenarios networked artist’s residencies. We gathered at the Jerwood Space, reflecting the fact that the Jerwood Foundation is one of the core funders of this innovative work (along with Ashden Trust, the Open University and Sheffield University). This is the latest phase in our work at the culture-climate join. We have been working to create an open and discursive space via events, workshops, podcasts and publications since 2010, building on the team’s varied experience in this field across twenty five years.  After a welcome from Jerwood’s Shonagh Manson the initiative was introduced by project leader Renata Tyszczuk, whose current research on scenarios shapes the work, and project producer, Clore Fellow, Hannah Bird, who has worked at the climate change research-arts join for many years. The BBC’s Roger Harrabin provoked the crowd with the complexity of ‘decisionmaking under uncertainty’ with just one (imagined) domestic scenario about waiting for his brother to come out of the shower. After the three artists talked about their first thoughts in response to the brief poet Nick Drake  concluded the evening with a reading from his book Farewell Glacier. These poems were inspired by his Cape Farewell organised trip to Svalbard. It is available to purchase here. Here is the press release announcing the winners:

We are delighted to announce Emma Critchley, Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping and Zoë Svendson as the selected artists for Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios.

Working with artists’ moving image, photography, installation, theatre and performance, the chosen artists will undertake a new kind of residency programme which embeds them within climate research and policy knowledge networks, rather than within one institution. They will engage with climate scenarios, and explore and extend the ways in which society engages with the range of possible future climates.

Announced at Jerwood Space last night, Shonagh Manson, Director of Jerwood Charitable Foundation said “These networked residencies will put culture and artistic practice at the heart of conversations about our climate futures. The artists selected have demonstrated a keen hunger for dialogue and exchange around these issues, which passionately inform their work. These residencies will harness the imaginations of talented artistic individuals for the benefit of the scenario planning network whilst simultaneously providing a unique research environment in which each artist can further their own practice and projects.”

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Emma Critchley is an award-winning underwater visual artist working with photography, film, sound and installation who has exhibited internationally and nationally. Concerned with the human relationship with the underwater environment, She has recently undertaken residencies in New York, Barbados and Singapore. Critchley will use the residency to explore the psychological impacts of sudden flooding and how seismic events shift people’s perceptions of the world, especially within the scenario of the Anthropocene.

“This residency is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with a diverse reach of climate researchers, using scenarios as a way to distill the complex and multi-faceted research involved in climate change and create imagined spaces that allow room to stop, reflect and invite challenge and debate.”

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Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping are a Polish-British artist collaboration working with conceptual documentary photography and artists’ moving image who have won many awards and prizes, and exhibited across Europe. During the residency they will investigate their interests in glacial recession, climate induced migration, drowning islands, the psychological pressure of climate change and the prognosis of a difficult future scenario, amongst others.

“We are working with the Anthropocene and climate change as a cultural paradigm of our time that shapes the way in which we imagine our future. Over the course of the residency we intend to utilise current climate, environmental, geological, economic and socio-political phenomena to illustrate the visceral reality of different hypothetical future scenarios.”

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Zoë Svendsen is an internationally renowned theatre director and dramaturg who creates research-driven interdisciplinary performance projects exploring contemporary political subjects. She has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Young Vic, New Wolsey Theatre where she is Associate Artist, TippingPoint and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin amongst many others. Following her recent performance project, World Factory, Svendsen will use her residency to further explore the relationship between ethics and action, the economics of climate change and the tragic absence of real action against it.

“I am very excited by the residency – both by the idea of the ‘network’, and also by the chance to think more fully about the future, and the implications for human interactions that are implied in climate change scenarios, but which often are not fully fleshed out.”

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