CALL FOR PARTICIPATION – Adorning our Biosphere – Deadline 7th June (in partnership with Plymouth University’s Sustainable Earth Institute and Science Walden at Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology) invites you to submit a proposal for participation in the forthcoming summit Adorning our new biosphere: how to love the postcarbon world to be held November 7-9 at Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EA, UK.  This event is another in a renowned series of international symposia held at Dartington in the southwest of England.

In our emergent post-carbon world, what of justice? what of beauty? What of art itself? Surely the artist’s ability to stir up and question societal thinking, challenge preconceptions, and assert new forms of beauty and aesthetic reasoning must play a role? Part of the argument against many renewable technologies has been on aesthetic grounds, based principally on an 18thC view of an ideal ‘natural’ landscape. Although we need to continue to poke that model with a sharp stick, new technologies are also revolutionising what power generation looks and feels like.

But beauty is more than skin-deep. Climate change is also an ugly scar on a social consciences. The environmental and health consequences of climate change, which disproportionately affect low-income countries and poor people in high-income countries, profoundly affect human rights and social justice. This, too, is familiar territory for artist-activists whose role is to challenge, question, and subvert.

So this is a call to action for artists, designers, engineers and other thinkers to turn their attention to a world in need of a change of argument, one that can adorn our new biosphere not only with aesthetic pleasure but with a beauty of equality and social equity.

The technological argument has been won; now it is time to win our hearts and make the world beautiful as well as clean.




This list is neither prescriptive nor proscriptive and is a guid only. Please be free to submit any ideas you feel are relevant to the topic.

  • resistance and activism
  • low-tech and hacker approaches to energy generation
  • the power of community
  • invisible technologies / visible technologies
  • role of the artist in community energy projects
  • energy generation as act of resistance
  • climate change, radicalism and social justice
  • art and energy as a metaphor for localism
  • a postcarbon phenomenology?
  • a new rural postcarbon sublime
  • new models for owning energy / ultralocalism
  • climate change and social justice
  • artist as technician
  • artist as non-technician
  • brokering power; challenging the monolith
  • large-scale, small-scale, micro-scale
  • the ir/relevance of art in facing global challenge
  • (re)claiming beauty
  • fighting for a new aesthetic
  • restoration and reclamation: rediscovering lost knowledge
  • art, heart, mind



Alex Wanjiku Kelbert & Natasha Mumbi Nkonde

Ellie Harrison



The deadline for submission is 22.00 BST on Thursday June 7, 2018. We are requesting 250-word abstracts or outlines, which must be submitted through the event website at We are unable to accept any submissions after the deadline.

Read full details at


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