Activating the Gap between Knowledge and Imagination – 1

I am about to spend three days in London at a series of invitation-only workshops looking at: “the potential for the arts to enter into partnerships with scientists and flood risk and environmental management communities, social science and cultural geography communities, local, regional and national government organisations towards the development of both sustainable policy and practical application”.  This event is organised in part by my old friend Simon Read, along with Ralf Nuhn, Sue Tapsell and Simon McCarthy from Middlesex University and Chris Wainwright at Chelsea School of Art. There are overlaps in core concerns with the Polar Cap conference in Edinburgh where I gave a keynote recently and it will be interesting to see how this London event compares. I have the greatest respect for Simon as an artist and environmental campaigner and an innate suspicion of the London art education world, so will be trying to see past my own presuppositions and see whether there are any real possibilities for ‘transversality’ to develop.

My own short presentation is deliberately slightly provocative – a shorter and less nuanced version of the ‘ecosophical collaboration’ presentation I did in Edinburgh – and begins by picking up on Pauline O’Connell’s wonderful description of herself as a “composite cur”. Given that the original seems to have been very well received it will be interesting to see how the same approach goes down in the South East.