Curation takes many forms. Events, like BETWEEN NATURE, a performance event and conference in 2000, was the first major international, inter-disciplinary event on ecology and performance. Online exhibitions and projects have brought together artists, activists, cultural commentators and theoreticians around a question. Included, too, is the organisation of screenings and talks.
With Dr. Pauline Phemister, from the Philosophy department at the University of Edinburgh, I am co-organising a series of three conversations on climate change in 2016 as part of the Uncertain Human Futures Councils project initiated by Clark University. More to follow soon.
BETWEEN NATURE . explorations in ecology and performance
The first international trans-disciplinary conference / performance event to explore ecology and performance was BETWEEN NATURE at Lancaster University in 2000. It was co-curated by Wallace Heim in the Philosophy Department with colleagues in the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change and the Theatre Studies Department.
Speakers and artists included: Alan Read, David Abram, David Rothenberg, Sue Clifford, Ronald Grimes, Simon Whitehead, Una Chadhuri, David Crouch, John Fox, Sarah Franklin, PLATFORM, Shelley Sacks, Kate Soper, John Urry, David Haley, Beth Carruthers, Barbara Adam.
enter change . performance and nature
‘Here. Now. These are the imperatives of performance. This is an exhibition of transformations. A performed work of art is a process through which something is transformed, some alteration is made during that live, transient experience. What may be changed is not so easily named.
The experience of change may be unpredictable, postponed, fragile – brought into being by tenuous and complex methods. The capacities of language, reflection, memory, metaphor and imagination are raised in the ancient relation between human performer and participant. Performance, which is face-to-face, must balance the demands of the poetic and the ethical – to be free to imagine all possibilities and to be answerable to the lives and suffering of others’.
online exhibition for greenmuseum.org
By Another Name: New metaphors for sustainability
In response to the poverty of language around sustainability, Wallace Heim asked artists, scientists, activists and cultural commentators to suggest a metaphor for sustainability. The people asked included: Ansuman Biswas, Ruth Little, James Marriott, David Haley, Hester Reeve, Zoë Svendsen, Mario Petrucci, Francesca Galeazzi, Carolyn Steel, Bradon Smith, Caspar Henderson, Amanda Thompson, Nick Robins, Sue Palmer, Peter Harrison, David Harradine, Annie Catterall, Alison Turnbull.
The metaphors included: the act of breathing, the sailboat, the shopping divider at the check-out, water on a fire, the family, art & grace, ‘Come into my house’ (dvd), symbiosis, mercury, the timeless meal, coral reef, the Kelo, ‘A matter of time’, song, the yew tree, the soil in my family’s garden, the Fetch (of a wavelength; to collect, a stranger’s compass, the Spanish Dehesa, a stranger’s compass and advice to the Dude.
The metaphors are collected on www.ashdendirectory.org.uk/features.asp
Flowers on Stage
Flowers are the perfect size for imagining. The philosopher Elaine Scarry writes about flowers in poetry, daydreams, conversations and painting. They are so vivid in imagination because their size means the concentration of detail and colour is more intense than if looking at a landscape or large animal. The curve and shape of petals ‘breaks over’ the curve of the human eye. They move in an arc between the material and the immaterial, blooming and fading, like the imagination itself. ‘We were made for each other.’
Wallace Heim asked a playwright, a performer, a designer and two academics to choose one play and one flower to see what vivacity flowers have in theatre. Their flowers were the poppy, the lotus, the ‘breath of life’ – a manufactured flower, the daffodil, the lungwort, the snake’s head fritillary and kudzu.
The collection is on www.ashdendirectory.org.uk/features.asp