2017 Members’ Posts

Here are all the 2017 Members’ Posts — published from March to December, and written by ClimateCultures Members: Paul Allen, Nancy Campbell, Laura Coleman, Mary Eighteen, Ken Eklund, Ruth Garde, Mark Goldthorpe, Linda Gordon, Scarlet Hall, Justina Hart, Nick Hunt, Jennifer Leach, Adam Ledger, Julia Marques, Deborah Mason, Julien Masson, James Murray-White, Mat Osmond, Lola Perrin, Jon Randall, Oliver Raymond-Barker, Sarah Thomas, David Thorpe.


December 2017 

ClimateKeys – Moving Climate Conversations Centre Stage

by Lola Perrin
11 Dec 2017
Cultural Change
approx 11 minutes

 

Composer and pianist Lola Perrin offers this roundup of her own and many others’ experiences of ClimateKeys — the major, global initiative she set up to bring together musicians, experts and audiences to engage in climate change conversations.

By Understanding COP23, We Can Help COP24 Succeed

by James Murray-White, Lola Perrin & Paul Allen
8 Dec 2017
Conversations
approx 3 minutes + 20 minute video

 

In a three-way discussion, James Murray-WhiteLola Perrin and Paul Allen explore Paul’s experiences at the COP23 climate talks in Bonn. Their video interview is a valuable insight for those of us who couldn’t be there in person.

The Beating Heart of COP24

by Paul Allen
6 Dec 2017
Cultural Change
approx 4 minutes

 

Paul Allen, Project Director of the Centre for Alternative Technology’s Zero Carbon Britain programme, shares his reflections after taking part in the COP23 climate talks in Bonn, and looks ahead to the cultural challenges for COP24 next year.


November 2017 

A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #5

by Nick Hunt
29 Nov 2017
A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects
approx 6 minutes

 

Writer Nick Hunt traces the years through present, future and past on a path that will not stay forever on any one course; and returns us to a longer view, honouring the power and beauty of natural forms. 

Doggerland Rising #2: Sinking Into the North Sea 

by Justina Hart  
24 Nov 2017  
Challenges of Creative Engagement
approx 8 minutes

 

Writer Justina Hart concludes her account of writing Doggerland Rising, researching the prehistory of the mesolithic peoples of these lowland plains before sea level rise created the North Sea, and reveals what she has learned from the process. 

Anticipatory History: Living With the Question

by Linda Gordon
13 Nov 2017
Environmental Change
approx 2 minutes

 

Environmental artist Linda Gordon responds to Anticipatory history with reflections on personal memories, intimations of change — ‘places and objects within them become part of our personal inner world’ — and a recent example of her ephemeral art.

Of Fire, Ice and Earth

by James Murray-White
10 Nov 2017
Review
approx 5 minutes

 

Filmmaker James Murray-White reviews Fire & Ice, an exhibition bringing together three artists who complement each others’ practice in a way that points the audience ‘to deeper connections with the base elements that underpin planetary life and consciousness’.

The Rise of Climate Fiction #2: The Emotional Key

by David Thorpe
7 Nov 2017
Speculative Worlds
approx 9 minutes

 

Author David Thorpe considers approaches that engage readers with human stories within the climate change one, and writers’ responsibilities in climate fiction, given that “stories are fundamentally how humans understand and spread wisdom as well as entertain themselves.”


October 2017 

What Use is Grief to a Horse?

by Mark Goldthorpe
27 Oct 2017
Review
approx 10 minutes

 

ClimateCultures editor Mark Goldthorpe reviews Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play, Equus, which explores incomprehensible violence against animals as an indictment of society’s dulling of the feeling of true passion, our relationship with the natural world a distortion of nature. 

Keyboard Conversations Across the World

by Julia Marques
20 Oct 2017
Preview
approx 6 minutes

 

Dramatist Julia Marques previews ClimateKeys, a visionary global initiative from fellow ClimateCultures Member Lola Perrin. Julia considers the space it offers for more relaxed, but still urgent, sharing of thought and dialogue on the predicament of our times. 

Action, Participation, Feeling: Where’s My Igloo Gone? 

by Adam Ledger
18 Oct 2017
Challenges of Creative Engagement
approx 9 minutes

 

Artistic Director Adam Ledger discusses the process of devising The Bone Ensemble’s Where’s My Igloo Gone? and the challenges of making participatory theatre about home and community that presents climate change as something that we can collectively address.

The Rise of Climate Fiction #1: Beyond Dystopia and Utopia 

by David Thorpe
16 Oct
 2017
Speculative Worlds
approx 7 minutes

 

Writer David Thorpe overviews the development of fictional works addressing climate change, and how the term ‘Cli-fi’ (which he discovered when he published his novel, Stormteller) reveals the tension between our twin fascinations with utopian and dystopian visions.

A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #4

by Ruth Garde
12 Oct 2017
A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects
approx 5 minutes

 

Curator Ruth Garde selects three Anthropocene objects: artworks that evoke a past, present and future, highlighting how Deep Time and ‘human time’ are implicated in each other, and the imbalances in our relationship with the rest of nature.

“Water’s Rising, at Their Ankles Now…”

by James Murray-White
10 Oct 2017
Review
approx 6 minutes

 

Filmmaker James Murray-White returns, fresh from a trip to Hull, City of Culture 2017, to bring us his review of the remarkable and immersive performance of ‘FLOOD’, a production that’s “exploring our humanity and responses to the world”.

Walking the Winds: Mistral

by Nick Hunt
5 Oct 2017
In the Elements
approx 3 minutes

 

Writer Nick Hunt walked the invisible pathways of Europe’s named winds for Where the Wild Winds Are. His final extract tracks France’s Mistral (‘masterly’, from the Latin magistralis), the ‘idiot wind’ that inspired and tormented Vincent Van Gogh.


September 2017 

Walking the Winds: Foehn

by Nick Hunt
28 Sep 2017
In the Elements
approx 2 minutes

 

Writer Nick Hunt walked the invisible pathways of Europe’s named winds for Where the Wild Winds Are. Here he pursues Switzerland’s ‘snow-eating’ Foehn, which brings clear skies and wildfires — as well as insomnia, nosebleeds, anxiety and depression.

Walking the Winds: Bora

by Nick Hunt
21 Sep 2017
In the Elements
approx 2 minutes

 

Writer Nick Hunt walked the invisible pathways of Europe’s named winds for Where the Wild Winds Are. In his third extract, Nick follows the freezing Bora –named for Boreas, the ice-bearded Greek god of the north wind.  

Space for Thought

by Julia Marques
18 Sep 2017
Spaces
approx 5 minutes

 

Dramatist Julia Marques reflects on her research for an MA in Climate Change: Culture, History, Society, and the role that theatre can play in opening up space for us to take in what climate change means for us. 

Walking the Winds: Helm

by Nick Hunt
14 Sep 2017
In the Elements
approx 3 minutes

 

Writer Nick Hunt walked the invisible pathways of Europe’s named winds for Where the Wild Winds Are. Here, he’s on the trail of the Helm, which blows from desolate Cross Fell to wreak havoc in the Eden Valley.

Necessity and Urgency – Summer of Learning

by James Murray-White
11 Sep 2017
Art & Eco Activism
approx 6 minutes

 

Film-maker James Murray-White captures the energy and inspiration of a busy summer learning, engaging others and sharing their stories, recalling four very different events: a climate visuals workshop, a regenerative activism retreat, a performance and a coastal encounter.

Walking the Winds: Blown Away

by Nick Hunt
7 Sep 2017
In the Elements
approx 3 minutes

 

Writer Nick Hunt has walked the invisible pathways of Europe’s named winds, to discover how they affect landscapes, people and cultures through which they blow. Five extracts from Where the Wild Winds Are begin with the book’s introduction.


August 2017 

The Words That Make Our Stories…

by Mark Goldthorpe
31 Aug 2017
Cultural Change

approx 9 minutes

 

ClimateCultures editor Mark Goldthorpe returns to Anticipatory history, looking at four entries in that book and at other illustrations of how language reveals and shapes the way we understand and respond to erosion and other examples of change.

Beyond Tongues: Into the Animist Language of Stone

by Oliver Raymond-Barker
18 Aug 2017
Cultural Change
approx 10 minutes

 

Photographer Oliver Raymond-Barker shares a talk he gave at art.earth’s In Other Tongues, encountering on a climb in a Welsh slate quarry a world beyond our normal modes of communication and a route away from modern separatist language.

Doggerland Rising #1: Walking Across the North Sea

by Justina Hart  
15 Aug 2017  
Challenges of Creative Engagement
approx 7 minutes

 

Writer Justina Hart introduces her poem (commissioned following a Weatherfronts climate change conference) about prehistoric events that drowned Doggerland and made Britain an island, and how her research with the help of palaeo-scientists fed into the creative process.

Anticipatory History

by Mark Goldthorpe
13 Aug 2017
Review
approx 8 minutes

 

Writer Mark Goldthorpe reviews Anticipatory history, a book that explores the possibilities for ‘looking back’ at histories of environmental change in places to help us ‘look forward’ to what futures might be in store, and we might shape.


July 2017 

On Symbols of Hope for the Future

by Mary Eighteen
30 Jul 2017
Spaces
approx 4 minutes

 

Artist Mary Eighteen discusses powerful associations of hope she sees between the 20th-century art of Barnet Newman and a 21st-century technology that will protect Venice and its Renaissance heritage from some of the impacts of manmade climate change.

The Stories We Live By

by Mark Goldthorpe
30 Jul 2017
Cultural Change
approx 8 minutes

 

Writer Mark Goldthorpe explores an online ecolinguistics course, delving into how we structure and receive discourses — texts, dialogues, advertising, news reports, stories — in ways that shape our attitudes and beliefs on environmental, social and economic issues.

Meinrad Craighead and the Animal Face of God

by Mat Osmond
17 Jul 2017
Spiritual Ecology
approx 10 minutes

 

Illustrator and writer Mat Osmond explores shifting personifications of ‘animal mysteries’ in artist Meinrad Craighead’s powerful paintings to look for an understanding of how we might approach art practice and our apprehension of landscape in terms of prayer. 

Taking the World for a Walk

by Mark Goldthorpe
14 Jul 2017
Review
approx 6 minutes

 

Writer Mark Goldthorpe reviews the Deep Time Walk app, taking its blend of geology and biology on a walk into local woods, guided by its Fool and Scientist, to explore 4.6 billion years of Earth’s history towards Now.

‘A Plastic Ocean’ at North Devon Arts

by Linda Gordon
11 Jul 2017
Environmental Change
approx 4 minutes

 

Environmental artist Linda Gordon reflects on a recent exhibition she contributed work to, where artists responded to the documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’, and the issues of plastics pollution of the oceans that produced such a diversity of art.


June 2017 

It Begins …

by Julia Marques
30 Jun 2017
Cultural Change
approx 5 minutes 

 

Dramatist Julia Marques introduces her research on the increasing interest in climate change within new drama, using visual discourse analysis to chart how the topics are addressed explicitly or form a backdrop to the world of the performance. 

A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #3

by Jennifer Leach
27 Jun 2017
A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects
approx 3 minutes

 

Artist Jennifer Leach selects three objects that evoke a past, present and future Anthropocene, and highlights care and nurture as constants across humanity’s ages and communities. Her words move from prose to poetry, suggesting a timeline of hope.

The Art of Noise

by Mark Goldthorpe
23 Jun 2017
Review
approx 
8 minutes

 

Writer Mark Goldthorpe reviews Climate Symphony Lab. This lively and loud gathering of scientists, musicians, journalists, sound artists and social scientists was both fun and thought-provoking, and provided an overwhelm of data as raw material for creative thinking.


May 2017 

A People of the Fall

by Mark Goldthorpe
30 May 2017
Review
approx 
8 minutes

 

ClimateCultures editor Mark Goldthorpe reviews William Golding’s The Inheritors, an essential reimagining of a key transition for humanity, our place as inheritors of a world that lives around and inside us, and of separation of culture from nature.

The Anthropocene Writ Small: My Friend Jules

by Ken Eklund
29 May 2017
Art & Eco Activism
approx 3 minutes

 

Artist and game designer Ken Eklund shows how working with stories offers popular and accessible routes into the past and present of our life with energy, and imagining possible futures as part of the Stories of Change project.

Óshlið: River Mouth \\ Slope

by Sarah Thomas and Jon Randall
25 May 2017
Environmental Change
approx 1 minute

 

Filmmakers Sarah Thomas and Jon Randall share a conversation about the ideas, stories and creative processes behind their film exploring Óshlið, an abandoned road in Iceland – accompanied by a slideshow of their images from this changing place. 

A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #2

by Julien Masson
16 May 2017
A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects
approx 2 minutes

 

Artist Julien Masson explores memory, material transience and meaning in his an intriguing response to our ClimateCultures challenge to share three objects with personal significance and illustrate the past, present and future of the emerging ‘Age of Human’.

Utopia and Its Discontents

by David Thorpe
9 May 2017
Speculative Worlds
approx 5 minutes

 

David Thorpe — one of the short story writers, poets and non-fiction writers commissioned from two Weatherfronts climate change conferences — explores the thinking that went into his story, included in the free anthology of the winning pieces.


April 2017 

Generating Counter-Factual Worlds

by Deborah Mason
28 Apr 2017
Speculative Worlds
approx 4 minutes

 

Multi-disciplinary artist Deborah Mason outlines her collaboration with researchers, engaging people in counter-factual imagination. What if one historic event had been otherwise, giving us an alternative present to ours? What would be the possibilities in our altered ‘Now’?

A Questionable Shore

by Mark Goldthorpe
15 Apr 2017
Review
approx 5 minutes

 

Writer Mark Goldthorpe reviews Into the Wind, a film excursion following naturalist, radio producer and writer Tim Dee as he walks off into the edgelands of East Anglia’s Wash, in search of a pure unmediated, uninterrupted, thousand-mile wind. 

The Polar Tombola

by Nancy Campbell
13 Apr 2017
Endangered Worlds
approx 4 minutes

 

Poet Nancy Campbell, whose experience in the Arctic was enriched by learning Kalaallisut, reports on the UK tour of The Polar Tombola, which aims to encourage awareness of endangered Arctic languages and the environment recorded in their vocabularies.

You, Familiar

by Scarlet Hall
8 Apr 2017
Art & Eco Activism
approx 2 minutes

 

Artist Scarlet Hall debuts her poem You, familiar — narrated over photos of clay sculptures used in a Coal Action Network action outside a government department in London, and accompanied by text from fellow CAN activist Isobel Tarr.

The Coccolithophores Project

by Julien Masson
3 Apr 2017
Environmental Change
approx 3 minutes

 

Collage, sculpture and video artist Julien Masson collaborates with researchers in a dynamic dialogue between digital technology, science and arts to explore coccolithophores: tiny, photosynthetic marine lifeforms with an important role in our planet’s oxygen and carbon cycles.

The Ocean as Abject: Between Seduction and Defilement

by Mary Eighteen and Julien Masson
3 Apr 2017
Environmental Change
approx 4 minutes

 

Fine artist Mary Eighteen and multimedia artist Julien Masson collaborate in painting and video, to explore the space between seduction and defilement in a world where meaning has broken down in relation to ecological protection of our oceans.

Bringing Our Monsters Back Home

by Mark Goldthorpe
3 Apr 2017
Review
approx 7 minutes

 

Mark Goldthorpe reviews John Gardner’s Grendel, a novel that reimagines the monster of the Old English epic poem Beowulf and speaks to us about ‘Othering’ the natural world, and how our excluded monsters insist on coming back in.

A Razor-Sharp Fragility

by Lola Perrin
1 Apr 2017
Challenges of Creative Engagement
approx 4 minutes

 

Composer and pianist Lola Perrin discusses isolation: to create, we need to be alone (physically or mentally) and this can be an unpleasant process. And yet, we carry on creating because suppressing that creativity is even more unpleasant.


March 2017 

On Night in the Daytime

by Mark Goldthorpe
30 Mar 2017
Review
approx 6 minutes

 

Writer Mark Goldthorpe joined the gathering for The Night Breathes Us In, part of Reading’s year-long Festival of the Dark, and found three simple, unexpected ways that the ‘outside’ – human, more-than-human, solar – came inside the tent.

On Sullied Seas

by Mary Eighteen 
23 Mar 2017
Environmental Change
approx 4 minutes

 

Fine artist Mary Eighteen introduces her ongoing collection of works on a theme of the Sullied Atlantic and ocean acidification, exploring her deep concern for how humanity is destroying the future of our oceans and, in turn, ourselves.

A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #1

by Mark Goldthorpe
22 Mar 2017
A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects
approx 8 minutes

 

ClimateCultures editor Mark Goldthorpe set Members a challenge: share your choice of three objects with personal significance for you and that say something of the past, present and future of the emerging Anthropocene. Here is his personal contribution. 

Festival of the Dark – Dark February

by Jennifer Leach
22 Mar 2017
Spaces
approx 
3 minutes

 

Artist Jennifer Leach introduces Reading’s year-long Festival of the Dark, whose purpose is to gently lead people into the darkness — a place of stillness, mystery and contemplation, and a locus of the unknowing and the unknown.

Interstices of Things Ajar

by Mark Goldthorpe
22 Mar 2017
Spaces
approx 6 minutes

 

Mark Goldthorpe explores interstices — a “space that intervenes between things, especially between closely spaced things; a gap or break in something generally continuous” — and associations with birds that play off his fascination with two mythical ravens.

Spaces for Joy and Grief

by Laura Coleman
22 Mar 2017
Spaces
approx 4 minutes

 

Writer Laura Coleman explores the urgent need for spaces where we can engage the emotions of environmental change — to hold onto our spaces, and create new ones — and shares two spaces with deep meaning for her.

Culturing Climate Change 

by Mark Goldthorpe
22 Mar 2017
Cultural Change
approx 6 minutes

 

ClimateCultures editor Mark Goldthorpe explores climate change through the lens of ‘Wicked Problems’ and what ‘culture’ — a web of identities and practices that rub up against each other — means for how we might think about it.