I research and write on performance and ecology and I do this in many places. My academic slant is philosophical, but I work across disciplines in writing about the experience of performance, art and social practice and how created events shape ecological understanding, ethically and aesthetically. I also write in other ways and produce projects that show multiple dimensions of inquiry, combining academic and social research with the spoken word to investigate, for example, how one ‘hears’ the climate, a location, the enmeshed dimensions of the human and the other-than-human, the rattle of manufactures and trades through the human voice and the sonic languages of a place.
My recent piece, ‘the sea cannot be depleted’, is an online project combining spoken word, academic research and reportage about the shifting bounds of an estuary, the civil-military nuclear industries and the turbulence of living with buried material over deep time. My current work continues with seas and rivers and the nuclear, and with emotions, conflict and climate instability.
With colleagues at Edinburgh and Clarke Universities, I convene ‘Councils on the Uncertain Human Future’, dialogic events about climate instability, and we are extending that work into science, cultural and governmental institutions.
My academic writing includes co-editing Nature Performed (2003) and publishing journal articles and book chapters – on whether a place can learn (Performance Research); on slow activism (in Nature Performed); on theatre, conflict and ecology (Green Letters and in Performance and Ecology: What Can Theatre Do?); on extinction (Elemental); and more. I wrote and compiled The Ashden Directory, an online magazine and database on environment, climate and performance (2000 – 2014), which received the CIWEM, AWE-Inspiring Award, and co-edited Landing Stages, its published version. My PhD is in Philosophy from Lancaster University, where I co-curated BETWEEN NATURE (2000), one of the first events to bring together ecology and performance. I taught on the Art + Ecology MA at Dartington College of Arts.
Before my academic turn, I designed for theatre and television/film and made social sculpture.