A performance work exploring Sumatra's colonial ecologies.
A programme of artist commissions and events exploring what creative and collaborative methodologies can bring to ecological study.
I don’t mean “ecology” in that you study the environment separate from where we live or who we are as people. Actually, ecology, the way I think of it—the way I’ve been taught to think about it—is: paying attention to the webs of relationships that you are enmeshed in, depending on where you live. So, those are all the things that give us life, all the things that we depend on, as well as all the other entities that we relate to, including human beings.”
Dwayne Donald, “On What Terms Can We Speak? Lecture at the University of Lethbridge,” 2010
During the 2021/22 academic year, Radar begins a programme of artist commissions and events under the title Ecological Thinking. Working with the University’s emerging Environmental Humanities network, the purpose of this programme is to consider what creative and collaborative methodologies can bring to the study of ecology and the environment. How can artistic practices pay attention to the complex challenges facing the world’s habitats and ecosystems in ways which do not perpetuate the logics and power imbalances which contributed to our current situation, instead fostering pluralism and collaboration?
The title is drawn from Canadian philosopher Lorraine Code, whose book Ecological Thinking: The Politics of Epistemic Location argues for expanded ways of knowing “sensitive to human and historical-geographical diversity and well equipped to interrogate and unsettle the instrumental rationality, abstract individualism, reductionism, and exploitation of people and places that the epistemologies of mastery have helped to create.” Code’s thinking owes a debt to Indigenous thought and scholarship, various traditions of which have rejected, in Vanessa Watt’s phrase, philosophies which “separate constituents of the world from how the world is understood”.
The intention of the programme is to critically interrogate the tools with which we study ecology and the environment and consider what creative methods may offer in the quest to open up fairer futures for the world's human and nonhuman inhabitants. Can creative and collaborative approaches help us to grasp and interrogate the webs, in Dwayne Donald’s phrase, which connect lives, actions and histories at a local level to their global reverberations?
New opportunities and commissions forming part of the Ecological Thinking programme will be announced over the coming weeks. The programme begun with Theo Reeves-Evison's Seed Casino on Saturday 30th October, and a screening of Sonia Levy's Creatures of the Lines later in 2021. Both of these works were commissioned as part of our Risk Related programme, but are conceptually and methodologically in keeping with Ecological Thinking's approach. Currently three visiting artists have been selected to work alongside members of Loughborough University’s Environmental Humanities Network as part of our Ecological Thinking programme. They are Aliansyah Caniago, Angela YT Chan and Laura Harrington.
As the artists are just beginning to delve into their research-led projects, we’re introducing them via some of their past projects which connect to ideas they’ll be developing with Radar. You can read more about them on the links below.
Producer: Laura Purseglove
Production Assistance: David Bell, Nick Slater
Marketing: Rachel Fitzpatrick
Climate and Environment Tracking: Stencil Making Workshop
Sun 22 May - Sun 22 May - 2022
16:30pm - 18:30pm
A stencil making workshop led by ecological researcher, curator and artist Angela YT Chan. Read more
Palm to Palm
Wed 25 May - Wed 25 May - 2022
10:30am - 12:00pm
A performance work exploring Sumatra's colonial ecologies. Read more
Creatures of the Lines: Screening and Discussion
Tue 12 April - Tue 12 April - 2022
18:30pm - 20:30pm
Nottingham Contemporary present a screening of Creatures of the Lines, plus artist Sonia Levy in conversation with Heather Swanson and Filipa Rampos. Read more
Sat 30 October - Sat 30 October - 2021
17:00pm - 18:30pm
Gamble on a walnut! Take a punt on a chestnut! Risk it all on an acorn! A pop-up casino with a difference. Read more