University Of London

Call for Papers: two Sessions at RGS-IBG 2014 Annual International Conference, London, August 26-29, 2014.

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Two Calls for Papers that might be of interest to art and ecology practitioners and theorists – thanks to Michelle Bastion, Graham Jeffrey and Wallace Heim for the flag.

“Geoaesthetics: art, environment and co-production”

Session convened by Miriam Burke, Royal Holloway, University of London; Sasha Engelmann, University of Oxford; Harriet Hawkins, Royal Holloway, University of London

Alongside the well-established rise of citizen science and participatory democracies in co-production of knowledge, there has been an exciting parallel expansion in the use of creative and artistic methodologies for the production of, engagement with, and dissemination of knowledge about the environment. Building on this body of work, so often focused on human participants, this session addresses the ways in which contemporary geographical and art practices are brilliantly suited to explore expanded ideas of human and non-human ‘publics’ in the co-production of environmental knowledge. Thus, alongside artists enrolling lay or “non-expert” environmental knowings, we find other practitioners collaborating with the environment itself: for example with non-humans who are ‘big-like-us’, microbes which are not, and even with inanimate forces and environmental matters.

Within the ontological shift to a non-dualistic view of ‘naturecultures’, what can we learn from creative and artistic methods of co-production and engagement with the world around us? How might artistic practices help geographers and others to take account of the forces and matters of the ‘geo’?

Themes may cover, but need not be restricted to the following questions:

  • What kinds of creative methodologies are being employed by artists, geographers and others to create new spaces of encounter between humans and nonhumans?
  • How do we understand ‘impact’ in terms of creative co-production of knowledge with the environment, the public and nonhumans?
  • Who and what are we co-producing knowledge with?
  • What kinds of participatory practices are invented by creative projects that seek to enrol both human and nonhuman actors?
  • What may an expanded notion of ‘publics’ look like, and in what specific ways do creative methods contribute to these new public configurations?
  • How can we creatively engage non-humans in the artist process, and how do non-humans engage us in their creative practices?
  • How is co-produced knowledge disseminated?
  • How can creative and artistic practices facilitate engagement with non-relational and insensible parts of the world?

This session aims to showcase and learn from different practitioners using these ideas in research. Creative and participatory means of presentation are very welcome.

To Submit: Please send abstracts of 200 words to all conveners (Miriam Burke, Sasha Engelmann and Harriet Hawkins) by 14th February 2014.

Complicating the co-production of art: Hidden humans and acting objects

Session organisers: Danny McNally (Royal Holloway), Harriet Hawkins (Royal Holloway), and Saskia Warren (University of Birmingham)

(Sponsored by the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group)

“Collaboration in art is fundamentally a question of cultural form”, John Roberts has claimed (2004: 557). By this he was bringing to attention that co-production in art is not a new phenomenon associated solely with the recent rise of socially-engaged or participatory art – rather that the production of socially-engaged art has become “a self-conscious process” (Roberts 2004: 557).

The creative process of participatory art has become a topic of increased intrigue in Social and Cultural Geography. Foci have emerged detailing its “messy materialities” and fluctuating social tensions (Askins and Pain 2011); its ability to create “senses of stability and belonging” (Parr 2006); and the art studio as an archival space “where things begin” (Sjöholm 2013: 1). More broadly, this geographical work on art can be seen as a move away from representational politics towards an understanding of art as a process constitutive of experience and meaning (Hawkins 2011). Despite this, however, geography’s attention to the intricacies of the co-productive processes of art has remained on relatively narrow grounds.

Drawing inspiration from John Roberts’ complication of the (co-)production of art, this session seeks to encourage geographers to expand their analytical lens to investigate the numerous actors and processes that go into the ‘co-production’ of art. Within this remit of actors and processes it seeks to draw attention not just to the human labour of art production, but also, alongside recent geographical attention to more-than-human publics and technological devices (e.g. Braun and Whatmore 2010; Dixon et al. 2012) the role of the non-human. In this light the session seeks papers that expand on both the understanding of the collaborative human work (e.g. technical staff, volunteers, gallery assistants, community groups, curators, researchers), and the role of the non-human (e.g. the canvas, the paintbrush, the gallery space, the gallery text panels, the raw materials) involved in the co-production of art.

Papers might explore some of the following questions:

  • Who are the people involved in the production of art? What role do they play?
  • Who is hidden and who is exposed in the production of art (e.g. technical staff, volunteers, gallery assistants, community groups, curators, researchers, artist, funders)?
  • What are the connections between co-production and co-authorship in art?
  • How can we think of the non-human as co-producers in art? What role do they play?
  • How does this problematize the idea of co-production?
  • How can this investigation extend geography’s interest in the process and meaning of art?
  • How can we think of the co-production of art as an assemblage?
  • How does this engage with wider geographical questions around co-production and (co)authorship? (For example Crang 1992; McDowell 1994; Withers 2010; Keighren and Withers 2013).

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Danny McNally ( by 14th February 2014.

The session will consist of five 15-minute papers with time for questions.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge Research, Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
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Sustainable Solutions for a Fair Future talk: Maria Adebowale

The next ‘Sustainable Solutions for a Fair Future’ talk will take place on Thursday 29th September in the Arcola Tent. Our speaker this time will be:

Maria Adebowale, who is the founder and director of the environmental justice organisation: Capacity Global. She will be talking about Capacity Global and how they aim to support every ones right to a clean and healthy environment by supporting strong, diverse and multi cultural community action as well as providing innovative thinking on the opportunities for environmental justice and equality, policy, research, campaigns and legislation.

Maria was recently listed in The Independent on Sunday’s –Top 100 Environmentalists.She works on environmental justice and environmental equality policy. She has a Masters in Public International Law from SOAS, University of London. Maria is also the author of numerous publications in environmental justice and equality and the principal author of The Third Sector Climate Change Declaration. She is also the Access and Inclusion Commissioner for English Heritage, a trustee for Allavida, Matron of the Women’s Environment Network and Chair of Waterwise. She is a former Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission..

Time:  Doors open 6.15pm, starts at 6.30pm

Venue: Arcola Tent, 2 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL

Cost:  £3 (£2 concessions). Pay on the door

SSFF website:

Art, Justice & Global Aesthetics: The Equity and Diversity Lecture Series

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Diversity Committee at CalArts, this lecture series was established to bring renowned artists and speakers to campus to address issues of equity and diversity and their intersections with aesthetics and art making practices.

Chris Abani: Art as Witness

October 20th, 2010, 6pm in the Coffeehouse Theatre

Chris Abani’s prose includes Song For Night (Akashic, 2007), The Virgin of Flames (Penguin, 2007), Becoming Abigail (Akashic, 2006) GraceLand (FSG, 2004), and Masters of the Board (Delta, 1985). His poetry collections are Sanctificum (Copper Canyon Press, 2010), There Are No Names for Red (Red Hen Press, 2010), Feed Me The Sun: Collected Long Poems (Peepal Tree Press, 2010) Hands Washing Water (Copper Canyon, 2006), Dog Woman (Red Hen, 2004), Daphne’s Lot (Red Hen, 2003), and Kalakuta Republic (Saqi, 2001). He holds a BA in English (Nigeria), an MA in Gender and Culture (Birkbeck College, University of London), an MA in English and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing (University of Southern California). He is a Professor at the University of California, Riverside and the recipient of the PEN USA
Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize & a Guggenheim Award.

For more information, contact: Matthew Shenoda, Assistant Provost for Equity and Diversity/

via Art, Justice & Global Aesthetics: The Equity and Diversity Lecture Series | School of Theater.

People’s Palace Projects

People’s Palace Projects



People’s Palace Projects is looking for an exceptional and talented individual with passion, skill and a strategic mindset. Working with Artistic Director Paul Heritage, you will deliver collaborative, multi-faceted arts projects that respond to urgent contemporary issues, and produce a programme that integrates art, enquiry and debate.

You will play a key role in the local, national and international partnerships that are key to PPP’s success, including the implementation of a three-year programme in the UK with the Brazilian cultural warriors AfroReggae.

Based at Queen Mary, University of London – one of the UK’s leading academic institutions – PPP has an excellent record of innovative research and advocacy for art that advances social justice. 

You will therefore be able to bring your strategic, management and conceptual skills to academic, arts and social policy contexts.

Salary: c £40,000pa negotiable according to experience.

Deadline for applications: 18th June 2009

For application pack email: Rachel Sanger on`

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