Tag Archive | Laura Watts

Orkney Standard Time (2015)

A recent article by Laura Watts –  Associate Professor IT University of Copenhagen – her site http://www.sands14.com is worth a visit
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“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…

bookicon-smallDownload and read the paper ‘Orkney Standard Time’

Energy Walk by Laura Watts (2014)

Energy Walk

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.

Listen to EnergiVandring (Dansk)


Listen to Energy Walk (English)

Video Recordings

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

ebban an’ flowan: a poetic primer for marine renewable energy


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 sea structure
Alec Finlay and Laura Watts, with Alistair Peebles
pb, 56 pages, morning star, 2015; edition of 500 copies

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…

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