Wallace Heim writes, researches and teaches in the median zone where culture, art and human performance meet the other-than-human, meet nature. In these conjunctions of the animate, the material and the elemental, new forms of human experience can emerge; new modes of understanding and action can take shape.
Wallace’s work is to analyse the experience of these art works and social practices, to consider how these events shape their social and ecological contexts, and to develop critical frameworks appropriate to the experience of culture in the time of climate instability.
Her academic slant is philosophical, but she works across disciplines including performance and theatre studies, arts criticism, geography, politics and environmental humanities.
She is the writer and producer of ‘the sea cannot be depleted‘, a spoken word and sound piece for online and radio broadcast about the sea, about how a sense of place evolves with the changing forces of the sea and about the military dumping of depleted uranium into the Solway Firth. Listen online at theseacannotbedepleted.net
Responding to ‘the sea cannot be depleted’, ClimateCultures has a featured blog by Wallace (11 July 2018). Commonweal for a Nonviolent World published an interview on their blog (17 July 2018). The Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts published the essay by Wallace, ‘The tides of not-knowing in a nuclear sea’ ‘Unknown and Uncertain’ issue, Q22, (2018).
Future’s Venture Foundation, funders for ‘the sea cannot be depleted’, are hosting presentations by funded artists at Walk The Plank, Manchester, 29 – 31 March 2019.
Other current work includes:
Council on the Uncertain Human Future : With Prof Pauline Phemister and Revd Dr Harriet Harris, MBE, from Edinburgh University and Prof Sarah Buie from Clark University, Mass., she has organised and facilitated a series of Councils on climate change for Edinburgh University. She is now undertaking a feasibility study for taking the Council process into other sectors, funded by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, USA.
END STATES : With Dr Petra Tjitske Kalshoven, Manchester University, and colleagues, she is part of a long-term project considering land and place remediation of a post-nuclear West Cumbria.
Wallace will participate in Art Gene’s Extreme Views THINK TANK, looking at the future of Barrow-in-Furness, in April, 2019.
Her essay, ‘Theatre, conflict and nature’ for the Green Letters journal Vol 20:2016, is included in the Routledge book publication, Performance and Ecology. What Can Theatre Do? (2018). The journal is behind a paywall and the book is exorbitantly priced. If you would like to read the essay, please get in touch.
Other current work is on rivers and identity; emotions; matter and movement.
In 2015, the Ashden Directory, which Wallace edited with Robert Butler, was awarded the The Nick Reeves Award for Arts and the Environment by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) Arts and The Environment Network, in association with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW), in recognition of an outstanding contribution in the field of environmental arts.
She is on the Advisory Board for the publication series Performing Landscapes. She has been part of the ESRC seminar series Nuclear Futures organised through Sheffield University. She participated in the AHRC ‘Site, Performance and Environmental Change Network’; co-curated the conference/event BETWEEN NATURE; co-edited Nature Performed. Her first career was as a set designer in theatre and television, and, with others, she started the Gate Theatre, London.
The résumé.pdf lists works from these differing careers.
Front page images: research on River Frome, Bristol 2011; cover of Nature Performed, photo by Donna Dunn; tickets for Walden Night at Über Lebenskust, Berlin 2011