ELASTIC NATURE


ELASTIC NATURE

AN ART RESEARCH CLUB EXPLORING THE CHANGING SHAPE OF NATURE

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ABOUT

Elastic Nature is an art research club bringing together interdisciplinary researchers, practitioners and thinkers around the broad subject of the changing shape of nature via artificial life, sympathetic synthetics, sensory realities, materiality and speculative bodies. Through interactive workshops, seminars, breakfast salons and screenings we’ll stimulate conversation, ideas and the imagination around the changing shape of nature addressing subjects such as:

/ How are we creating different forms of nature? And for what purpose?

/ To what extent can these new forms of nature help remediate the planet?

/ What constitutes 'artificial' nature? And is there such as thing as 'natural' anyway?

/ What roles do culture, cognition, sensory mediation play in our understanding of nature and the ‘reality’ of it?

/ How have new forms of nature/ life been represented through speculative and science fiction? And how useful are these fictions in modelling the future?

/ To what extent is life contained by the ‘body’? (...and what is the ‘body’ anyway?)

/ What’s the future of the stuff of life - what will living things be made of?

/ Can 'synthetic' nature ever be more sublime and more beneficial to the biosphere than 'wild' nature?

/ How is technology changing the way we view nature - for better or worse?


FUTURE EVENTS

SESSION #5: ASTROBIOLOGY

Is there life out there? How can we begin to know what we’re looking for? How is knowledge of life on earth impacting our search for extraterrestrial life - and what might E.T tell us about ourselves? When our own species and co-species are at melting point - why invest resources in the search for life? 

For the fifth session of Elastic Nature, we will be turning our attention from our home planet to the skies, and perhaps...back again as we delve into a fascinating and relatively new field of scientific research - astrobiology. We are privileged to be joined by Professor Ian Crawford, a luminary in the field who will introduce us to both the ‘what’ and the ‘why bother’? Ian will introduce us to the discipline (and what or whom we might be looking for) and share insights into how studies into extreme environments on Earth may serve as analogues for possible habitable environments on planets like Mars. Crucially he’ll illuminate us on the role of interdisciplinary collaboration in the search and contextualise astrobiology within the neighbouring discipline of ‘big history’ sharing perspectives on how the cosmic world view and space exploration has the power to enrich humanity. 

This event forms part of the programme for Through the Looking Glass, an exhibition exploring how technology has influenced a collective view of the Universe curated by Lumen, Natasha Sabatini and Becky Lyon. 


As we come to a close on what’s been a wake-up-call year for the planet, join us for an evening of fresh perspectives and big-picture discussion. 

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PAST EVENTS

SESSION #4: ENTANGLED MATTERS

For the fourth session of Elastic Nature, we will be discussing a prevalent topic - the interconnectedness of matter. You only have to look to the recent Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish interspecies symposium at the Serpentine or We Live in an Ocean of Air by Marshmallow Laser Feast to sense the urgency of the conversation, a conversation that suggests that by seeing the ‘stuff’ that surrounds us as an integrated, connected part of us - perhaps we can start to empathise with the non-human and stimulate a collective shift in how we start to tackle the colossal crises facing our biosphere.  

We will be hosting an exploratory discussion group as part of the programme of the Falling Stars / Stelle Cadenti exhibition curated by LUMEN. Whether you’re familiar with the research area or not, we will be providing a set of PDF readings and links to provide grounding for what we hope will be an inspiring, fruitful and most of all accessible conversation. Thought starters may include: Jane Bennet's 'vibrant matter', evidence of non-living matter's ability to self organise and whether 'technology can be considered 'nature'. It will be held against the backdrop of the Falling Stars exhibition curated by LUMEN.

All are welcome and it is not at all compulsory to have any prior knowledge of the area or complete the readings to attend.

RSVP for a free place and receive a link to the readings at: elasticnature@gmail.com

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SESSION #3: FRANKENSTEIN

For the third session of Elastic Nature, held on All Hallows Eve, we will be exploring the legacy of Frankenstein - a 200-years-young piece of literature that grows all the more relevant as science and technology pro/digresses.

We are honoured to invite artist, writer and educator Adrian Holme to deliver a richly insightful lecture on one of the most enduring and influential novels of the Romantic era. Frankenstein, product of a challenge by the poet Lord Byron to the Shelleys, himself and Dr Polidori to write a ghost story (Shelley 2003), was published in 1818. It has been interpreted in many forms on stage and in film and has been the subject of much critical analysis.

Join us on 31st October where Frankenstein will be discussed through the multiple lenses of Romanticism, art and science, literary and philosophical influences and critical interpretations, with an attempt to shed light on why the work has such an enduring legacy.

All are welcome. Tickets are FREE but limited, sign up here: https://www.meetup.com/BRAINPLAY/ or email beckyl.lyon@googlemail.com

 

 


 

SESSION #2: SENSING REALITY / WEDNESDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER

For the second session, we will be exploring the role of the senses in our understanding of the reality of nature. Is ‘nature’ in fact an infinite reality? Is it a uniquely processed, individual experience? Is fake nature as real as wild nature?

Can technology help us understand / explore nature in novel and enlightening new ways?  Should we be celebrating the multiple ways of experiencing the world?

We will be joined by Daria Jelonek and Perry-James Sugden of Above & Below who will discuss their multi-disciplinary practice discussing the sensory qualities of un/natural phenomenon. We will also be joined by Pigalle, Tavakkoli, Head of Experience for Guerrilla Science who will be discussing and screening their project Escape To Reality, a video installation questioning us to think about how the brain creates an interpretation of the world.

Start the day the stimulating way, hearing from different creative practitioners on the subject and contributing to brain-tickling discussion over a light breakfast.
All are welcome. Tickets are FREE but limited, sign up here: https://www.meetup.com/BRAINPLAY/events/254204268/ or email beckyl.lyon@googlemail.com

THE CUBE, Studio 5, 155 Commercial St, London E1 6BJ, UK (Through the gates, next to Hawskmoor)



 

SESSION #1: SENSING NATURE / THURSDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER

The first session will be held Thursday 13th September 2018 at THECUBE, Shoreditch as part of the Beyond The Brain residency. We will be exploring the role of the senses + materials in our understanding of ‘nature’ and the ‘natural’.

We’ll have exclusive access to the specialist collection of material consultants and curators Material Driven and will be joined by artist/researcher/educator Jhinuk Sarkar who will lead us through a unique ‘sensory mediation’ exercise. Through hands-on (eyes on, ears on...) interactivity and stimulating discussion points, participants will contribute to a collective conversation and take away tools for their own creative practice or meditation.

What does it tell us about the role the senses play in understanding nature and the natural? Do we all experience nature differently? What are the possible applications of these materials? How can understanding how we sense nature contribute to our understanding of its reality?

Tickets are FREE but limited, sign up here:

All are welcome. Tickets are FREE but limited, sign up here: https://www.meetup.com/BRAINPLAY/ or email beckyl.lyon@googlemail.com

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