March 16, 2018 - Arts Catalyst - Test Sites: Assembly
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March 16, 2018

Arts Catalyst

Neal White, Aviary. Image courtesy the artist.

Test Sites: Assembly
A co-inquiry and exhibition asking how we can respond collectively to social and environmental challenges
March 22–May 12, 2018

Assembly: Planetary Perspectives: April 28, 10am–6pm, a one-day gathering on cooperative inquiry and action

Arts Catalyst
London

www.artscatalyst.org
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Test Sites: Assembly
A co-inquiry and exhibition asking how we can respond collectively to social and environmental challenges
March 22–May 12, 2018

Assembly: Planetary Perspectives: April 28, 10am–6pm, a one-day gathering on cooperative inquiry and action

Arts Catalyst
London

www.artscatalyst.org
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Arts Catalyst invites people from art, science, research, activism, and community interest groups to come together to explore methodologies for developing transdisciplinary research and building community resilience. Test Sites: Assembly introduces and opens up Test Sites, Arts Catalyst’s ongoing programme of environmental co-inquiries around the UK.

The major challenges facing us today intertwine environmental, social, political and psychological factors. Challenges such as flooding, species loss and pollution, and complex health issues like mental illness and cancer, interweave global forces with the small-scale and the personal, and are inextricable from the social and political systems in which they unfold. Many scientists and thinkers today are calling for transdisciplinary approaches and new ways of conducting science and research to address these complex problems. Critically, there is a need to involve those who are directly affected—not just to make assumptions about causes and impacts—to create paths towards resistance and resilience.

The term "Assembly" indicates the programme’s intentionality: to gather tactics, practices and theory to create “commoning tools” and cooperative alternatives for co-producing knowledge and taking control. Through workshops, study days, field trips, reading groups, talks and discussions, Test Sites: Assembly will examine, practice and discuss possible approaches to ecology and society centred on collective action and inquiry, highlighting radical, progressive practices internationally. Planetary Perspectives—a day-long gathering—will take place at the University of Westminster on April 28.

An exhibition of works-in-progress by Test Sites artists Ruth Levene and Neal White will draw on their research in the Calder Valley and Poole Harbour. Levene presents Working Waters, an installation of maps, videos and models created from her investigations into the flows and stewardship of waters in the Calder catchment. White’s Brownsea: An Imaginary Island (An Island of the Imaginary) comprises a vivarium containing fauna and flora of an island in Poole Harbour and an archive of local knowledge, interrupted by industrial frequencies.

Confirmed participants include artists Åsa Sonjasdotter, Kathrin Böhm, Tom James, Nabil Ahmed, Luigi Coppola, Ruth Levene, Neal White, and Kat Austen, curators Maja Fowkes and Reuben Fowkes, architect Godofredo Pereira, complexity scientist Sylvia Nagl, curator Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, social anthropologist Megan Clinch, public science expert Tom Wakeford, theorist Shela Sheikh, researcher and activist pantxo ramas, critical design practice public works, and sustainability expert Rokiah Yaman.

Test Sites
Test Sites is Arts Catalyst’s series of inquiries into matters of concern relating to interlocking social and environmental issues. The programme invites local people and groups to be part of transdisciplinary co-inquiries, working with artists, scientists and other experts. From 2017–2019, Arts Catalyst is focusing its research in three chosen sites. In the Calder Valley (Yorkshire), Ruth Levene, social anthropologist Megan Clinch, and artist group Coney are looking at water governance in relation to the health and resilience of communities and ecologies. In Poole Harbour/Brownsea Island (Dorset), Neal White, biologist Rick Stafford, artist Anna Troisi, wildlife experts and other collaborators are examining the delicate balance of overlapping economies and biodiverse ecologies. In King’s Cross, London, the focus is on air pollution and urban “greening” initiatives.

Test Sites represents a significant step in Arts Catalyst’s curatorial model of transdisciplinary co-inquiry. The model focuses on a shared matter of concern, and fosters an ecology of practices, in which artists, curators, scientists, specialists and local experts-by-experience come together to co-produce knowledge. The Assembly will explore a set of approaches that include active citizenship, planetary commoning practices, co-inquiry processes, and collective governance and policy making.

Visit artscatalyst.org for information about upcoming events.
#TestSites

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