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For the Love of Corals Screening (IAS 'Water' Theme Launch)
Wed 13 November 2019, 2pm - 4pm at U005, Brockington Extension, Loughborough University
Free. Please book here.
Radar has commissioned the artist Sonia Levy to make a new work as part of our Risk Related project. Collaborating with researchers from across the University, Levy is working on the production of a new film which explores how risks related to climate change manifest in aquatic environments.
Levy's period at Loughborough coincides with the University's Institute of Advanced Studies running an interdisciplinary programme exploring 'Water'. This will see visiting fellows coming to the University to work with Loughborough's own academics on existing and potential new projects. The year's final visiting fellow, Dr Heather Swanson, will be working closely with Levy on the production of her film.
To celebrate this, the Institute of Advanced Studies will be showing Levy's 2018 film For the Love of Corals (information below) as part of the 'Water' theme launch. The film will be shown alongisde a presentation by Alwyn Hart, Lead Scientist for Air, Land and Water Research at the Environment Agency; and poster presentations by Early Career Researchers from Loughborough University whose work explores water. Refreshments will be provided.
For the Love of Corals
In the basement of the Horniman Museum in London, a team of marine biologists and aquarists led by Jamie Craggs have embarked on breeding corals in captivity. By mirroring the environmental circumstances – seasonal temperature changes, solar irradiance and lunar cycles – of the Great Barrier Reef within specially designed tanks, the team has become the first in the world to successfully spawn corals in a laboratory.
Levy has followed Project Coral since late 2017 as a case study of new paradigms for multispecies living, environmental conservation and natural history that are emerging in the wake of the Anthropocene. As a model of a sensitive ecological unit that comprises a multispecies assemblage, coral demonstrates how individual beings are not separate from their environment but, on the contrary, by their sheer existence constitute environments for other beings and contribute to all surrounding ecosystems with complex and far-reaching effects. Project Coral expands that assemblage to include scientists, aquarists, and a range of other human and nonhuman actants.
The physical form of coral also subverts the canonised animal, vegetal and mineral categories of natural history, which are embedded to the public displays of the Horniman Museum itself. Levy examines how this architectural context of a museum with a living collection — which still echoes the Enlightenment values of human mastery over nature — can become a base for a project that might exemplify a collaborative multispecies survival endeavour.