“This is how I was born, how my creator, Victor Frankenstein, sparked me into energetic life…” So began my performance-paper at 4S 2015 (Society for Social Studies of Science) and AAA 2015 (American Anthropological Association) in Denver.
I performed a character who haunts the islands of Orkney, abandoned out of hubris after her creation by Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s novel. This figure speaks of her implacable resistance to hubris–so prevalent in the usual centres of innovation– and how the islands of Orkney have been creating a new energy future without hubris… for Orkney and its landscape has its own particular temporality, and a self-determination that does not give in to hope, and expect some higher power to step in to resolve its energy issues. Instead, it acts in defiance of its absurd limitations…
As part of our ongoing collaboration with those involved in marine energy, both in Denmark and in Orkney islands, we developed a ‘fanzine’–a fan magazine, inspired by the cut-and-paste interventions during the 1970s. This handcrafted booklet was composed during a workshop by the Alien Energy research team and many of those we are working with in the marine energy industry.
A fanzine (fan magazine) is often an intervention into existing, dominant understandings; it takes existing material and reformats and repurposes it. We used this paper-based format to explore and experiment with how Science Studies and anthropology approaches could form a dialogue with the marine energy industry and its imaginaries – what might move back and forth?
Those who participated in the creation of the Alien Energy Fanzine were, the Alien Energy research team (Louise Torntoft Jensen, James Maguire, Laura Watts, Brit Ross Winthereik), and…
Jan Krogh, DanWEC Advisor
Hans Christian Sørensen, Wavedragon
Jens Peter Kofoed, Aalborg University
Gareth Davies, Aquatera, Orkney Islands
Sandy Kerr, Heriot Watt University, Orkney Islands
Enrique Vidal Sanchez, Wavestar
Erik Skaarup, Danish Wave Energy Association
Julia Fernandes Chozas, Aalborg University
Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University
Philippe Bonnet, IT University of Copenhagen
Kjell Yngve Petersen, IT University of Copenhagen
The ‘Energy Walk’ is an ethnographic installation in the landscape. It weaves together the sand dunes and harbour seascape of the Danish Wave Energy Center, in Hanstholm, Denmark, with other landscapes at the energy edge: marine energy in Orkney islands, Scotland, and geothermal energy in Iceland. Over a 40 minute journey it offers you stories, experiences, and dreams of sustainable energy futures from our research project Alien Energy at the IT University of Copenhagen.
The walk begins at Færgegrillen, Hanstholm Havn, on the northwest coast of Jutland. There you can borrow a digital walking stick, carved from the wood of the nearby Thy National Park. Integrated into the digital walking stick is an audio player and headphones – technology that has been handcrafted for the project by GeekPhysical, who are part of Illutron, the floating collaborative interactive art studio.
The Energy Walk was written by Laura Watts, in collaboration with the research team. The Danish version was translated by author Peter Adolphsen.
The walk was launched in September 2014, and is now managed locally by VisitThy.
For those who are unable to visit the seascape of Hanstholm, the album is also available on Soundcloud, and you can download the Soundcloud app to listen to the album on your phone as you walk. The walk is in six chapters, whose beginning is marked in the landscape by wooden posts with the Alien Energy sign.
You can now watch a 6 minute extract of the 40 minute ‘Energy Walk’ in the landscape of the Danish Wave Energy Center. Watch the video below…
The IT University of Copenhagen, Communications Department, has produced an introductory video to the Energy Walk. It features both a description of the walk by myself, as well as feedback from some of the walkers who have travelled with the walking sticks along its path…
Writer, Poet & Ethnographer of Futures
Alec Finlay recently announced the publication of ebban an’ flowan: a poetic primer on marine renewable energy. More information below:
ebban an’ flowan
a primer for marine renewable energy
Ebban an’ flowan is the world’s first poetic primer on marine renewable energy. The book focuses on the Orkney islands, as the leading international test site for this nascent energy industry, and expands to reflect on its relationship with the Nordic countries across the sea.
Through both language and technology, the book explores how use is inflected with locality. A number of tide and wave energy devices are illustrated, some in dock, others in the sea, along with an anthology of their characterful names–mixing humour with invocations of classical myth and metamorphosis.
Ebban an’ flowan explores the technical and mythic vocabulary which…
View original post 240 more words