The story of electricity is the story of life itself. From the structure of the atom to the functioning of our brains, this invisible yet vital force is intrinsic to human life. For centuries electricity has captivated inventors, scientists and artists alike, and in the modern era it has transformed our world.
From the first breaths of Frankenstein’s monster to the brutal simplicity of the execution chair, this exhibition contemplates the contradictory life-giving and death-dealing extremes generated by electricity, and traces the story of how humanity has striven to understand, unlock and gain control over this invisible yet all-encompassing force, which continues to mystify and amaze.
Three celebrated artists have been commissioned to create three new artworks for this exhibition: John Gerrard has taken inspiration for his commission from Luigi Galvani’s famous experiments into bioelectricity; Bill Morrison explores historical footage from the Electricity Council archive to consider the movement and networks of electricity and its profound interconnectedness with our daily lives; and Camille Henrot considers our energy-dependent lifestyles, as well as the relationship between humans, technology and the environment.
One of the commissioned works in ‘Electricity’ contains strobe effects. The rest of the exhibition can be visited without entering this installation. Please contact us if you’d like to know more.
‘Electricity: The spark of life’ is a collaboration between Wellcome Collection (London), the Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester) and Teylers Museum (Haarlem) and will be presented as a touring exhibition at each of these venues, beginning at Wellcome Collection in Spring 2017.
(Video includes ‘Looking up in Osaka K Minamisemba 1 cho-me’, by João Penalva, 2005-06. Courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery, London/Hong Kong.)
Did you know that electricity use is one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions globally and in the UK?
Decarbonising electricity is a key measure for the UK to reach its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050. You can help hitting this target by investing in renewables, either through on-site technology or driving demand through procurement.
Most electricity suppliers in the UK offer ‘green’ tariff electricity. But care should be taken when choosing a green electricity tariff, as some suppliers make unverified claims about where their electricity comes from and the environmental benefits.
If you are feeling tested by tariffs – don’t worry, Julie’s Bicycle is on hand to help you navigate and make sense of your energy options. We’ll be discussing clean energy sourcing with Good Energy – the first dedicated 100% renewable electricity supplier – and ensuring you are getting a genuinely clean and green tariff.
If you are in a position to go even further and invest in on-site generation, Julie’s Bicycle and Good Energy will be presenting a whole range of clean energy options, helping you understand the considerations, opportunities and challenges. We’ll be covering other related topics such as: joint procurement, funding and investing, community energy and roof leasing; providing intelligence and a range of case studies from the sector and beyond.
Julie’s Bicycle has partnered with Good Energy, the 100% renewable electricity supplier, to help turn individual action into collective change. We are really proud to be working with Good Energy who are sponsoring our events programme and have funded new development on the IG Tools which recognise renewable energy analysis and impact.
Cultural Launch – ‘Zero Carbon Britain: Making it Happen’
10th April 2017, 10.30am to 1.30pm
The National Theatre, Dorfman Theatre
You are invited to join groups and individuals from the arts and cultural sectors in
this free, participatory event – exploring what a future Zero Carbon Culture might
look like, and how we can get there.
The UN Paris Agreement recognises that humanity must reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. This is an ambitious shift, but we have to succeed if we are to avoid dangerous climate change.
We already have the technologies needed to reach zero, yet changing how millions of people live is a very special kind of problem. Rather than an unresolved technical challenge, it is increasingly accepted that we face a mixture of economic, political and cultural barriers.
Our new report, Zero Carbon Britain: Making it Happen offers a climate tool-kit bringing together insights from psychology, sociology, political science, economics and other social sciences, as well as faith and spiritual practice, arts and culture. Expert views mix with real-life stories of projects that have overcome barriers in innovative ways.
You can download a copy from: http://zerocarbonbritain.com/
The report highlights the vital role of the arts and cultural bodies to help catalyse this transformation.
The arts can communicate and inspire in ways that science, politics, academia, media and other disciplines cannot.
We hope you can join us in exploring the positive, connected approach needed to bring a zero carbon culture to life. The National Theatre has kindly offered to host the event – which will offer key findings from the report, stories from real life projects plus a participatory conversation around how we make it happen.
We recognise your work in this area has already made a valuable contribution, so I do hope that you, or a representative of your group, can join us on the day.
To register visit – https://zcbmakingithappen.eventbrite.co.uk
I just discovered the wonderful Fully Charged show on youtube! How have I worked in the energy sector so long without it?!
Fully Charged is a weekly + series produced and hosted by Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge, Carpool). It’s not only about electric cars, bikes, boats and planes but how we generate and even own the electricity to power these machines. From looking behind the myths of renewable energy, to seeking the truth about conventional generation Robert Llewellyn demonstrates what the future could have in store for us all.
This episode includes some fairly bonkers interpretive dance…..kind of 🙂
The intersection of contemporary art with ecology, climate change, and environmental activism – Call for papers
Cogent Arts & Humanities welcomes submissions of research articles, critical and curatorial essays to a special collection on “Seeds of fierce engagement: Creative work at the intersection of contemporary art with ecology, climate change, and environmental activism”. Artwork, films, audio pieces, datasets and other multimedia files can be submitted as supplementary material.
Humans are having an unprecedented and devastating impact on the earth. Our way of living is causing disastrous climate change, unsustainable levels of toxicity of the water, air, and soil, and shocking extinction rates of organisms that form the fabric of life. We have made decisions that led us to this current situation and we can make decisions to change course. What we need is fresh vision and collective will. Artists, activists, political and cultural theorists, philosophers, curators, architects, designers and others are doing creative, unconventional, and ambitious work to expand our vision in ways that cultivate positive change.
Although we welcome a variety of approaches, authors and artists are invited to consider the following questions in preparing submissions:
- What are the possibilities for and limitations of artistic and curatorial models that respond to climate change and ecological crisis, including the massive depopulation of non-human life on the planet known as the sixth extinction?
- In this time of climate crisis, what role is contemporary art playing in advancing an understanding and valuation of biodiversity, in shaping the relationships between people and the non-human world or in advancing rights for non-human entities?
- The Global North is largely responsible for the environmental problems at the heart of the climate change crisis. How are artists, activists and theorists working between the Global North and South to generate harmony and collaboration with the goal of environmental justice?
- How are creative practitioners and cultural theorists constructively troubling definitions of “nature” or “sustainability”?
- How are creative practitioners engaging ideas of energy futurism in relation to alternative structures of living and locality in production and consumption?
- How are artists, media producers and other visual culture practitioners catalyzing positive changes toward solving ecological concerns (a “Great Transition”) and against the paralyzing narratives of disaster capitalism?
- How does environmental activism function within the spheres of art / creative practice?
- How is the art historical field framing work by artists and artist activists engaged with issues surrounding climate change and political ecology?
- How does work in aesthetic fields join with activism and Indigenous philosophies to suggest a future of increased environmental justice?
- How might art recover environmental understandings held by indigenous populations that are lost or nearly lost?
- What role does art have in interrogating our assumptions about agricultural and industrial revolutions and about pre-modern peoples?
- What historic creative or scholarly works inform contemporary art as it grapples with climate and ecological crises?
To submit your work, and to view our author guidelines, please visit the journal’s website: https://www.cogentoa.com/journal/arts-and-humanities
The deadline for submissions for this special collection is 15th August 2017.
During the submission process you will be able to confirm that your work is intended for the special collection on art and environment.
We look forward to working with you to bring exciting new scholarship to the widest possible audience.
Zoé Strecker, Senior Editor for Visual and Performing Arts, Transylvania University.
Poland just unveiled an amazing new bike path that glows bright blue at night! The path near Lidzbark Warminski is illuminated by phosphor, a synthetic material that lights up after it’s charged by sunlight. Studio Roosegaarde’s Starry Night bike lane inspired TPA Instytut Badań Technicznych Sp. z o.o to create the glowing bike path.
TPA Sp. z o.o. president Igor Ruttmar told Gazeta Wyborcza that the material in the bike path can emit light for around 10 hours. Each day the path collects the energy that enables it to glow at night. Board of Regional Roads in Olsztyn director Waldemar Królikowski said the luminous bike path is meant to improve the safety of people biking at night.
According to Next Nature Network, the luminophores, or “particles” in the bike lane material can emit a variety of colors, and the designers picked blue to best fit in with the surrounding landscape. They also researched the sustainability of the materials they utilized, and how to make the materials as cost effective as possible since the bike lane does cost more than traditional lanes.
While the Starry Night bike path provided inspiration, the technology utilized in the Polish bike lane is quite different from the Van Gogh-themed lane. Studio Roosegaarde’s bike lane drew on LEDs powered by a solar array and “light-collecting paint.” TPA Sp. z o.o.’s bike lane doesn’t require any power sources. The bike lane is still being tested, as it is not known how long the lane will last before it begins to wear out.