Alongside the activities of the project I have been researching the concept of a ‘positive future’, particularly in the context of anthropogenic climate change.
Performing the Future is taking place at a time of a particular form of politically polarised divisions, and some of the thinking that has taken place during this project is exploring the causes and effects of these problems. Within this context we have begun to explore the more complex issues around how we understand and envision ‘progress’. What progress, sustainability and positive futures might mean when we look back now to the industrial revolution – the point at which anthropogenic climate change is seen to have impacted on ‘deep time’ – the geological and atmospheric conditions of the Earth, as shown by the graph from the British Antarctic Survey’s research and the graph above. What progress, sustainability and positive futures also might now mean in the context of our technological, data driven age. From these discussions have also emerged explorations into how we express, understand and respond to risk and uncertainty when we look to the future – on global, local and personal scales.
Below is a list of reading, thinking and research from these explorations that have led to an article about the project (awaiting peer review) and I hope to write more about this as this work continues.
These links have influenced the activities and dialogues that have taken place as part of this project, but they do not necessarily represent the views of the project or project partners and participants.
Reassurance, care, abundance, co-creation
Performing the Future has involved an exploration in what it means to ‘envision positive futures’ in response to environmental change, with specific emphasis on opportunities for reassurance, care and abundance.
Considerations of abundance have emerged as a way to celebrate the conditions of practice and nature, that evolved from my long term collaboration with British Brazilian artist Silvia Leal, exploring abundance as a creative force, in reference to nature, community and opportunities for collaboration, as opposed to an economic model of seeking out new ‘resources’ to exploit in response to a sense of lack and scarcity.
Performing the Future worked across institutions, public domains and grass root community spaces, to explore: (a) opportunities to engage with risk and uncertainty in response to environmental change; (b) opportunities for care and environmental stewardship; (c) opportunities for abundance and co-creation; (d) opportunities for reassurance that transformation and positive change can take place.
One concern of this approach is that by focusing on positive responses and actions, reassurance and abundance can lead to further denial and disassociation from the realities of the crisis that results from our changing environment and climate, limiting opportunities to express experiences of fear, loss and despair (solastalgia).
Yet, the explorations that took place during the Performing the Future project aimed to engage the participant’s imaginations, to co-create alternative ways to engage with a broad range of responses to risk, uncertainty and environmental change – that embraced both solastalgia and abundance, and considering opportunities for care and reassurance, across academic and scientific institutions, public domains and community gatherings.
Environmental Change and Ecology:
Bulkely, H. 2001. Governing climate change: the politics of risk society? Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers)
Burgess, A. Wardman, A. and Mythen, G. 2018 Considering risk: placing the work of Ulrich Beck in context, Journal of Risk Research, 21:1, 1-5
Goodman, M. K. Littler, J. Brockington, D. and Boykoff. M. 2016. Spectacular Environmentalisms: Media, Knowledge and the Framing of Ecological Politics. Environmental Communication 10 (6): 677–88.
Griffin, S. 1984. Woman and Nature: the Roaring Inside Her, The Women’s Press Ltd.
Latour, B. 2017. Facing Gaia, Eight Lectures on the New Climate Regime. Polity Press, Cambridge, UK. Sixth Lecture: 184 – 219
Morton, T. 2016. Dark Ecology, For A Logic of Future Coexistence. Columbia University Press.
Remillard, C. 2011. Picturing environmental risk: The Canadian oil sands and the National Geographic. International Communication Gazette, 73(1-2), 127-143.
Rodaway, P. 2002. Sensuous geographies: body, sense and place. Routledge.
Sarewitz, D. 2004 How Science Makes Environmental Controversies Worse. Environmental Science and Policy: 385–403.
Scruton, R. 2013. Green Philosophy How To Think Seriously About The Planet, Atlantic Books, London: 253-255
Tuan, Y. F. 1977. Space and place: The perspective of experience. University of Minnesota Press.
Puig de la Bellacasa, M. 2017. Matters of Care. Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds. University of Minnesota Press
Solnit, R. 2014. Wanderlust A History of Walking. Granta Publications.
Myth, ritual and narrative:
Armstrong, K. 2005. A Short History of Myth. Cannongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh
Bell, D. Daughters of the Dreaming. 1983. McPhee Gribble Publishers, Melbourne in collaboration with George Allen & Unwin Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney: 188-190
Campbell, J. and Moyers, B. 2011. The Power of Myth, Anchor.
Ellwood R. 1999. The Politics of Myth: A study of C. G. Jung, Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell. New York Press.
Pinkola Estes, C. 1992. Women Who Run With The Wolves. New York: Ballantine: 1-10
Data and technology:
Bateman, S. Mandryk, R. L. Gutwin, C. Genest, A. McDine and D. Brooks, C. 2010. Useful junk?: the effects of visual embellishment on comprehension and memorability of charts. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2573-2582). ACM
Polli, A. 2011. Communicating Air: Alternative Pathways to Environmental Knowing through Computational Ecomedia.
Tufte, E. R. 1997. Visual explanations: images and quantities, evidence and narrative. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Debord G. 1992. La Societe du Spectacle, Edition Gallimard, Paris.
Gabrys, J. and Yusoff, K. 2012. Arts, sciences and climate change: practices and politics at the threshold. Science as culture, 21(1), 1-24.
Giannachi, G. 2012. Representing, Performing and Mitigating Climate Change in Contemporary Art Practice. Leonardo, 45(2), 124-131.
Giannachi, G. and Stewart, N. (Eds.). 2005. Performing Nature: Explorations in ecology and the arts. Peter Lang.
Gustafasson D. 2014. The Love of Art, Oikolphilia and Philokalia. In Love and It’s Objects. Plagrave Macmillan, London: 226-240
Hohl, M. 2012. Making visible the invisible: art, design and science in data visualisation. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield
Holmes, T. G. 2007. Eco-visualization: combining art and technology to reduce energy consumption. In Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGCHI conference on Creativity & cognition (pp. 153-162). ACM.
Jacobs, R. Benford, S. Selby, M. Golembewski, M. Price, D. and Giannachi, G. 2013. A conversation between trees: what data feels like in the forest. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 129-138). ACM.
Jacobs R. Howarth C. Coulton P. 2017. Artist-Scientist Collaborations: Maximising impact of climate research and increasing public engagement. International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses; 9 (3): 1-9
Jacobs, R. and Leal, S. Digital Participation Through Artistic Interventions in Digital Participation through Social Living Labs: valuing local knowledge, enhancing engagement, Chandos Publishing 2017: 37-54
Morphy, H. 1998. Aboriginal Art Phaidon Press Limited: 71-73
Rimmer, S. et al., 2009. Paralelo – Unfolding Narratives: in art, technology and Environment. Sao Paulo: MIS and Imprensaoficial.
Heim, W & Margolies, E. Landing Stages Selections from the Ashden Directory of Environment and Performance 2000-2014, Crinkle Crankle Press, London 2014
Utopia, dystopia, society, apocalypse and history:
John Grey, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia
Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination
Yuval Noah Hariri, Homo Deus
Alan Jacobs, How To Think
Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark
Climate Skeptics and Denial:
Washington, H. and Cook, J. 2011. Climate Change Denial, Heads in the Sand. Earthscan, London. Chapter 6: 108-135
Albrecht, G. 2006. Solastalgia. Alternatives Journal 32 (4/5): 34