Yearly Archives: 2017

Event: Cape Farewell – Space to Breathe

Space To Breathe

A weekend of events at Somerset House
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 January 2017
12.00 – 18.00 Free, drop in

Make the London air you breathe come to life – a Cape Farewell and Shrinking Space production in partnership with Kings College London and Somerset House

Image: Voyage on the Planet, Chih Chuh. Model: Weilin Wang.

Javis Cocker. Photo Nathan GallagherInterrogate the London air you breathe – a weekend at Somerset House, River Rooms with workshops by King’s College London Environmental Research Group; a bicycle-powered French SolarSoundSystem disco with a DJ set by legendary Jarvis Cocker and SolarSound guest DJ’s; Breathing Mephitic Air a new sound installation by Wesley Goatley; Energy Renaissance, a Virtual Reality experience inspired by the Strand, a HammerheadVR/Cape Farewell/Shrinking Space production – and much more…

Click here to find out more >

Debates facilitated by David Buckland and Shrinking Space. 

Saturday 28th, 3pm – 4pm. Technology and Green Energy, participate with guest experts Tessa Blazey, Director of Engagement Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, Elliot Treharne, air quality manager, Greater London Authority and IanEnergy Renaissance VR. Mudway, King’s College London Environmental Research Group.

Sunday 29th, 3pm – 4pm. Advocacy, Policy and Behaviour Change, participate with guest experts Harriet Edwards, British Lung Foundation, Simon Alcock, ClientEarth and Ian Mudway, King’s College London Environmental Research Group.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

Cape Farewell has been the cultural partners with the Tidal Lagoon since the get-go four years ago.  Last week Tidal Lagoon got the green light from a Government commissioned report heralding in the possibility of a nation-wide Tidal Energy programme. Clean guaranteed energy, which could supply 12% of UK energy needs over time – tide in, tide out for 120+ years.

Space to Breathe commissioned and produced by Cape Farewell and Shrinking Space, in partnership with King’s College London’s Environmental Research Group.

Supported by: Arts Council England, The Physiological Society, King’s College London Environmental Research Group; Somerset House; King’s College London.

VR Equipment kindly supplied by Virtual Real HIRE

Part of Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility


New Monthly Post: Renewable Energy Artworks

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

As a renewable energy photographer, I can’t think of a better way to embrace the new year than to celebrate artists who are inspired by renewable energy and who, collectively, are changing the social narrative surrounding what (the late) President Obama calls our irreversible transition to a post-carbon future.

Throughout 2017, I will post once each month about an artist or group of artists whose work explores wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy from a variety of perspectives. From architects to poets to sculptors to musicians, these artists are changing the mood music about climate change while drawing much-needed attention to the many health and economic benefits of renewables, improved energy efficiency and electrifying transport systems in our increasingly crowded and polluted cities.

For our opening post on renewable energy artworks, we travel to the UK’s maritime city of Hull on the Yorkshire coast, where the multimedia artist Nayan Kulkarni recently transformed the historic heart of the city with the installation of a massive 28-tonne, 250ft-long (75m) offshore wind turbine blade. “The Blade” is the first major artwork commissioned as part of Look Up, a year-long cultural celebration of public artwork and installations marking Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2017.

wind, turbine, blade, Hull, installation, renewable, energy, public space, urban, art, what is art

The Blade was built by local men and women newly hired at Siemen’s recently constructed state-of-the-art offshore wind manufacturing plant located in the revitalized Alexandra Docks on the Humber River.

According to The Guardian, this industrial blade-cum-artwork draws important links between Hull’s industrial past, its more recent slide into economic despair and – thanks to the promise of offshore wind – an optimistic future.

For example, up to one thousand new manufacturing jobs will be created by the new factory, in a city with one of the highest unemployment rates in the UK. Further development of Alexandra Dock will continue throughout 2017, including construction of a new harbour for pre-assembly and load out of wind turbine components destined for the construction of massive offshore wind projects off the coast of England and northern Europe.

In an online interview published by The Mirror, Martin Green, CEO and Director of Hull 2017, hopes that the installation of this enormous industrial object will start a debate about what constitutes art. “This is a very beautiful object, hand-made, in a really interesting context at a very interesting time in the city’s history. And to me, that makes art. But I think that debate will rage,” he added.

In a press release, Mr. Green added “Nayan Kulkarni’s Blade is a dramatic, yet graceful addition to Hull’s city centre. Despite its size, what is striking about the sculpture is its elegance. Putting this example of state of the art technology against the historic charms of Queen Victoria Square makes you look at this fine public space differently. It’s a structure we would normally expect out at sea and in a way it might remind you of a giant sea creature, which seems appropriate with Hull’s maritime history. It’s a magnificent start to our Look Up programme, which will see artists creating sight specific work throughout 2017 for locations around the city.”

The Blade will remain in Queen Victoria Square until March 18th.

Next month’s post: Land Art Generator Initiative‘s “Renewable energy can be beautiful”

Follow Joan Sullivan on Twitter @CleanNergyPhoto


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Ben’s Strategy Blog: It IS what you do (not just the way that you do it)

The post Ben’s Strategy Blog: It IS what you do (not just the way that you do it) appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act of 2009 places a duty on every public body to act:
1) in the way best calculated to contribute to delivery of the Act’s emissions reduction targets;
2) in the way best calculated to deliver any statutory adaptation programme; and
3) in a way that it considers most sustainable.

But what does that third duty really mean?

Most if not all public bodies, which include everything from local authorities, universities and NHS trusts to cultural NDPBs such as Creative Scotland and the National Galleries, are now reporting and working to reduce their direct carbon emissions and developing adaptation plans. But the third duty is less specific and, I think, less acted upon. Indeed the 2011 Guidance on putting the Public Bodies Duty into practice is much less detailed about what ‘Acting Sustainably’ means, partly I imagine because it will mean very different things to different organisations.

The first two Public Bodies Duties focus on the direct impacts and responses to climate change of the Bodies involved. They must consider their own carbon emissions and their own adaptation plans. But George Tarvit of the Sustainable Scotland Network, which works with Public Bodies to support them in their duties under the act, points out that the third duty provides an opportunity to look not at their operations, but at their functions: what they do, not how they do it. And to me, this is the more interesting area.

A core finding of my PhD research, working with His Majesty’s Theatre (HMT) in Aberdeen, is that whilst the theatre triggers hundreds of thousands of journeys each year by audience members, 70% of which are made by car, the theatre hadn’t previously been involved in transport planning in the region. Meanwhile Aberdeenshire Council, from where many of the journeys start, hadn’t previously talked to HMT about transport planning; nor had Stagecoach, which provides the relevant bus service. A similar situation recently came to light at a meeting convened by Transport Scotland of the Edinburgh Festivals and all the relevant transport providers. In both of these situations, the individual organisations were generally thinking about their own climate impacts and adaptation, but perhaps not how they were involved in, and could help influence, those of their partners and collaborators.

Working together

My project in Aberdeen brought together HMT, Aberdeenshire Council and Stagecoach to work together to overcome some of the barriers to travelling by bus which no single partner could control – things like the geography of Aberdeen or the coordination of bus services with show times. Whilst the project was only moderately successful in moving people from car to bus, it was acknowledged that these changes take time. What I hope will be its greatest success is that HMT will now see itself as an active partner in transport planning and the others will consider the theatre in their strategic planning. If so they will be able to have a much greater impact on theatregoers’ travel than if they all act individually.

There’s a link here, incidentally, with the Scottish Government’s ISM (individual/social/ material) model of behaviour change. Behaviour change usually focuses on the individual whose behaviour someone is hoping to change (the clue’s in the name). But the ISM model can (I’d say should, but that’s a different blog) be used to influence not individuals but those bodies, companies etc which control or dictate the ‘material’, whether that be the physical infrastructure or the laws, regulations and immaterial infrastructure that we operate within.

There is such a thing as society

The Public Bodies between them interact constantly with all of Scotland’s population. Their first two duties clearly focus on their own climate impacts and adaptation. When it comes to Acting Sustainably, I’d suggest it would be useful to think about how they can work together and with other partners to change the complex social system within which we all live (you might want to call this ‘society’) to help achieve those demanding national carbon reduction targets and adapt to the new world we are building.

Alongside the Act and the Guidance sits another document, the Low Carbon Scotland: Public Engagement Strategy. This was published at the tail end of 2010 and focuses on achieving the carbon reduction targets set by the Act. It stresses that:

Setting targets was just the start. Achieving them can only be done through a joint approach, with government; the private, public and third sectors; local communities and individuals all contributing. (p4)

Let’s consider the role of the cultural strategy

As I have argued before in these blogs, achieving these very demanding targets – which may well be increased in forthcoming legislation following the Paris Agreement – will require a massive change in the ways in which the people of Scotland live. In other words, a massive change in our culture in the widest sense. The Public Engagement Strategy only touches upon culture – in the narrower sense of what the Mexico City Declaration describes as ‘the arts and letters’ – very briefly. On p10 it states, ‘We will also consider the role of the cultural sector which has the capacity to educate, influence and stimulate debate.’ Whilst I would say this is rather a narrow vision of what culture is (there’s more to it than the cultural sector) and what it can do, it’s good to see it in there.

Of the Public Bodies, a number have a cultural focus: Creative Scotland, the National Galleries, Historic Environment Scotland, the National Museums, the National Records of Scotland and the National Library. The Scottish Government has seconded Creative Scotland’s very forward-thinking Director of Arts and Engagement Leonie Bell to write a Cultural Strategy. Wouldn’t it be interesting and exciting to see the Cultural Strategy take on the challenge of climate change directly and develop the role of culture in steering us towards a positive future? Wouldn’t it be interesting if the cultural NDPBs, as those bodies shaping our wider culture, were to take a lead and make building a low-carbon, equitable, post-climate changed society a part of their core purpose?


Image Credit: Ella Fitzgerald New York ca 1946. William P Gottlieb

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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UK Based Event to Inspire Urgent Action on Climate Change

The Season 2018 (working title)

A creative season celebrating the environment and inspiring action on climate change.

What is it?

From June 1st to December 1st 2018 a UK based, internationally connected ‘Season’ will unite the Creative and Cultural Community in a global chorus celebrating the environment and inspiring urgent action on climate change. It is programmed to coincide with the landmark COP24 global climate talks due to take place in November 2018.

The Season will celebrate the widest (and wildest!) range of creative responses to climate change and the environment across arts, design, broadcast, film, fashion, music and in museums, galleries, theatres, venues, cinemas, festivals, parks, schools, and on the streets.

What can you do?

You can choose to do any number of things, including:

  • Programme special events, commission a piece, organise debates, curate an exhibition, provide space for spontaneous performances, host open calls…We just ask that you put climate change and the environment centre stage in whatever creative way you can!
  •  Turn your organisation or practice inside out and tell audiences about what you’re doing to work more sustainably behind the scenes.

The most important thing is that you speak out. All together this season will champion change, showcase sustainable practice, and inspire urgent climate action. If you want to be inspired by what others have done, browse through case studies below or visit:

Who can take part?

Everyone is welcome – individuals as well as organisations, large and small-scale, local and national, commercial to community.


Take part between June 1st to December 1st 2018:

1. Tell us if you are interested in joining. Sign up here to register your interest in taking part:

2. If you are an NPO, or planning to apply to the portfolio this February, it would be fantastic for you to include environmental sustainability and mention ‘The Season 2018’ in your submission, operationally or artistically. Even if you are not sure how you will engage, we encourage you to mention it via a simple phrase such as:

{Organisation name} is participating in Julie’s Bicycle, Artsadmin and Battersea Art Centre’s ‘Season 2018’ taking place between June – December 2018 celebrating the environment and inspiring action on climate change. (Please do adapt to suit you)

The Season Team

Judith Knight Artsadmin, Alison Tickell Julie’s Bicycle, David Jubb Battersea Arts Centre, Lucy Wood and Olivia Gray. If you have any queries get in touch:

What do we want to achieve?

The Season originated during an industry discussion about the arts and climate change. When the provocation question arose ‘What if the UK cultural and creative sector were to come together in a collective moment focusing on climate, raising profile and awareness to such an extent that it could not be ignored?’ countless organisations in the room said they wanted to join in, and the idea took on its own momentum.

We want to:

• Put the issue of climate change higher up both personal and political agendas and rethink our relationship to the environment.

• Celebrate the vibrant green movement already taking place across the arts and creative industries, and inspire others to join.

• Make positive change feel achievable for all.

• Inspire creativity and unleash new design to construct a low-carbon world.

• Raise our voices to policymakers to show them that they have the support to make ambitious political decisions for a sustainable future.

• Create spaces for people to intellectually and emotionally engage themselves with climate change and what it means to build a sustainable, equitable future.

Next steps

A steering group currently comprised of Artsadmin, Julie’s Bicycle, Battersea Arts Centre and London Theatre Consortium is talking with organisations across the UK who want to take part. The conversation to date has been about creating regional networks by identifying a champion in each region, with organisations supporting each other to be part of this national season. Organisations and individuals are encouraged to take their own lead, but will be brought together by a central website and major social media campaign.

Early champions committed to the project represent a range of art forms, geographic spread and size to ensure diversity and inclusivity, including: Curzon Cinema Group, Manchester International Festival, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, Free Word, Artsadmin.

Why does it matter?

Powered by human activity, climate change is wreaking havoc on average global temperatures, weather patterns, ocean levels, land and water ecosystems, disrupting natural equilibriums that have sustained life for over 800,000 years with potentially disastrous consequences on communities, habitats, and biodiversity across the globe. We need to rapidly control greenhouse gas emissions, rethink our land and water use, and completely reshape the way we use and employ resources and technologies.

The creative community has a vital role to play in meeting global sustainability challenges. Climate change is not just a problem of science or technology: many (although by no means all) of the solutions we need are well known and understood. But action to date has not been commensurate with our knowledge. That makes climate change, at its core, a cultural challenge. And at the heart of culture sit the arts and creativity: the stories we tell, how we tell them, and elusive matters of the heart – how we feel about things – but also how we design, craft, and build the world around us, demonstrating positive solutions and stimulating imagination.

Further information and inspiring case studies can be found here:

And remember to sign up simply go to:

Image courtesy Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2014, The Voice Project

Call for Papers: Postcards from the Anthropocene

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

This opportunity comes from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

The post Call for Papers: Postcards from the Anthropocene appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

If the emergence of the Anthropocene implies an epistemological shift, how might this transform the way we think about representation and, more specifically, its geopolitics? What kinds of representations carry significant material, metaphorical and methodological implications for this question, and can help us to ‘situate’ ourselves – if that is a still viable term – in our new conditions of groundlessness and scalelessness?

This symposium proposes to explore this through the motif of ‘Postcards from the Anthropocene’. The postcards that we imagine are documentary space-time snapshots, which convey complex assemblages of dynamic, non-linear, unpredictable, ad-hoc networks between interdependent and trans-scalar actants. They may raise questions about the ethical and political challenges of the dominant modes of technoscientific production in the Anthropocene, modes that are constituted through existing power relationships, subject positions, differences and inequalities. On the other hand, they might open up new streams of speculative and creative geopolitical imaginaries and forms of collective subjectivities that recalibrate existing value systems and indicate alternatives.

For this symposium we are seeking presentations that deploy different formats to reflect upon new kinds of reciprocity between geopolitics and representation through a found, described, designed or imagined postcard from the Anthropocene. We anticipate that this proliferation of anthropocenic representations will reveal and encourage transformations in practices of scrutinizing, strategizing, mediating and assembling, which are in turn animated in complex ways by operations that range from positioning, scaling, scripting, and weathering to fabricating, mining, reframing and recalibrating.

Two kinds of submissions are invited. Intending participants should submit either:

1) a 300-word abstract of a proposed conference presentation;

or 2) a single image together with a 300-word commentary on it. Invitations to speak at the symposium will be extended on the basis of the abstracts. The image/text submissions will be reviewed, and selected submissions presented in a parallel format in the symposium.


Proposals should be sent by email to by Friday, February 24th 2017. Proposals should also include a short biographical note (maximum 150 words), together with the author’s institutional address and full contact details.


It is intended that an edited book will be developed from selected papers and images presented at the symposium.



Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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