Location Composites / Ignite 2014 / The Postcolonial Arctic

The Polyply site specific collaboration which I took part in, Location Composites, is now up online to listen to here, with a recording of the sound piece performed by Sarah Hughes, Kostis Kilymis and Artur Vidal, based on words by myself and the poets Chris McCabe and Andrew Spragg. This was the sixth composition in James Saunders’ site specific series; it also features on the Location Composites website here with full details on the site itself (directly underneath the clock at Waterloo station, 51°30’11.6″N 0°06’44.6″W), and the process. The night itself took place at the Centre for Creative Collaboration and included, alongside a research talk by myself relating to forests and the concepts of feedback systems and echo, a reading by Andy Spragg (see blog).

Ignite 2014 at the Natural History museum was an incredible experience, bringing together 14 speakers giving lightning talks on their arts-science collaborations (from turkey bones to Bob Brown’s Reading Machine); I’ve heard that the filmed talks will be up online soon (this is the project blog). My own discussion attempted to quickly present the Time, the deer exhibition in the context of the relevance of forest memory as a form of civic monument, and the role of trees to environmental scientists but also in social imaginations of the environment (see the image from The Woodland Trust’s Centenary Woods campaign, below). Silviculture is already a necessarily interdisciplinary field, crossing traditional boundaries and asking questions about the role of nature in ‘natural history’, so I tried to quickly present the science of dendrochronology alongside some discussion of the philosophies of social and environmental memory, and the role of trees in cultural projects – which opens up into thought about the new roles of “public geographies” in cultural projects, casting the critical researcher as a curator and commissioner as much as a reader and writer. For those interested, energies are still gathering for future activities via the Forest Humanities jiscmail I set up last year…


we will stand


Finally, the programme has just been released for my first School of English event at my new institution, the conference on The Postcolonial Arctic, 30-31 May here in Leeds, run by the Arctic Encounters research group (@arctic_encount). The full programme is here, and one of the keynotes will be by Dr. Michael Bravo



~ by amycutler on April 7, 2014.

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