Presencing The Heating Skies – A Biophilic Art Call To Action

Biophilic Art and Design – calling empathic action on climate change and adaption. An Arts Council England funded Culture and Climate & Ecology Crisis webinar program that explores the purposes of culture in an earth crisis, linking the sciences, engineering and culture, with artists climate science researchers and sustainability experts.

Invitation to participate on the afternoons of the 4th- 5th November, to book for place click this link

‘Presencing is a movement that lets us approach ourself from the emerging future’.

The University of Birmingham’s Word Music Image program,  New Leaf’s Sustainable Future Centre and Salt Road are hosting  this webinar with short presentations, discusions  and Q&A with Culture Declares Emergency on the subject of culture and the climate/ecology crisis from practice and research persectives. Scroll down for more detailed information on the events. 

Event 0. Reimagining the City 3. Wednesday 4th November 11:00am – 12:30  (this is a partner event hosted on zoom, register here)

Event 1. Presencing in disparate times, Wednesday 4th November 2-3pm: Sally Payen, Annie Mahtani, Kate Ince

Event 2. Presenting the Challenges from the Natural Sciences, Wednesday 4th November 3:15- 4:15pm: Sergio Faria, Marc Neumann, Bridget McKenzie

Event 3. Co-production and relational Biophilic Art practice, Wednesday 4th November 4:30- 5:30pm: Jaime Jackson, Susanne Börner, Neela Phalkey

Event 4. Actively stopping harm, Thursday 5th November 2- 3pm: James Brady, JD Brown, Nick Grayson, Julie Ward

Event 5. The purposes of culture in an earth crisis, Thursday 5th November 3:15- 4:15pm: Bridget McKenzie, Adam Ledger, Heather Ackroyd, Tyrone Huggins

Event 6. Linking the sciences and engineering with culture, 4:30 – 5:30pm: Marcela Brugnach, Catherine Walker (prerecorded interview)

Event 7. End Round table. Follow on activities, Thursday 5th November 5:50 – 6pm

Event information: 

Event 0. Reimagining the City 3. 

A Culture Declares Emergency Offer event 

Wednesday 4th November 11:00am – 12:30  (this is a partner event not hosted on Crowdcast, it is hosted on zoom, register here)

Reimagining the City 3 focuses on two cities, Birmingham and London, and the land that lies behind.  This session invites a radical stretch of imagination where the city’s green reservoirs of nature extend beyond the city’s administrative boundary into the hinterland of wilder, inspiring landscapes. The Prize to Transform the Future is an open call to imagine what the London City Region may look like 20 years or even 200 years into the future, as a wilder, greener and healthier place. The Prize taps into a pulse of possibility – if we can see it, we are collectively more likely to make it happen.  

Facilitator: Heather Ackroyd Artist
Contributors: Rob Fairbanks Surrey Hills AONB, Nick Grayson Green City Manager, Birmingham City Council, Jaime Jackson Artist, Dan Raven-Ellison Guerilla Geographer

Event 1. Presencing in disparate times

Wednesday 4th November 2-3pm  

Dr. Sally Payen, painter & researcher

Building on her modernist painting roots Payen began to explore the push and pull of democracy and its relationship to place and time from 2005. Her work has been discussed in terms of history painting and its relationship to conflict and more recently embodied action, erasure and exploration of a feminist mark making.  Payen recently had a one person show at the MAC Birmingham the Fence and the Shadow.

Dr Annie Mahtani, Head of Department of Music UoB

Presenting her latest project on community and the environment, Annie is a composer of electroacoustic music, specialising in acousmatic composition and multichannel audio

Kate Ince, Professor of French and Visual Studies

Kate’s will be presenting Eco Feminism work ‘Partnering the Planet’ Her work encompasses French cinema and women’s cinema, film and feminist theory and philosophy, and film and the visual arts, sexuality and gender.

Event 2. Presenting the Challenges from the Natural Sciences

Wednesday 4th November 3:15- 4:15pm  

Segio H. Faria,  Ikerbasque Professor 

Presenting challenges from the point of view of the natural sciences Environmentalphysics, glaciology, human and physical geography. 

Marc Neumann, Ikerbasque Professor BC3

Environmental modelling, uncertainty, complexity, mitigation and adaptation, engineering.

Bridget McKenzie Climate Museum UK 

Bridget is an independent researcher, consultant and creative curator as director of Flow Associates. She founded Flow in 2006, after 14 years’ managing cultural learning programmes, including Education Officer for Tate and Head of Learning at the British Library.

Event 3. Coproduction, community relational practice

Wednesday 4th November 4:30- 5:30pm

Jaime Jackson, Ecology artist working in moving image digital and 2D visual art 

Jaime will be talking about and launching Biophilic Art portrait mapping program 

Dr Susanne Börner is UoB senior researcher in the field of resource (in)security, youth agency, vulnerability and environmental justice.

Susanne will be presenting her propject on youth(everyday) engagement with climate change adaptation and disaster riskreduction: insights from the periphery of Sao Paulo,Brazil

Dr Neela Phalkey is an interdisciplinary UoB researcher in climate vulnerability and resilience to natural hazards in the global south.

Engaging with climate, hazards and migration 

Event 4. Actively stopping harm

Thursday 5th November 2- 3pm

Julie Ward  served as a Member of the European Parliament for the North West England region from 2014 to 2020.

Julie’s background is in theatre and helped develop and impliment key EU cultural policy frameworks 

James Brady, interdisciplinary artist-curator, publisher and climate activist

 James will prestent Zone to Defend or ZAD (French: zone à défendre) an occupation old land that is intended to physically blockade an ecologically damaging development project. 

JD Brown, Biophilic Cities Network Program Director, 

JD Brown facilitates the expanding and deepening connections between the partner cities of the Biophilic Cities Network and the many individuals and organizations advancing the theory and practice of planning and designing biophilic cities.

Nick Grayson, Birmingham City Council Green officer 

In his City role Nick has had extensive European experience with the EU-Project URGE- devising a draft European policy for urban green space; EU-Cities-Adapt, involving 21 cities across Europe on multi- governance adaptation assessment. Nick authored of the City’s integrated Gi and adaptation policy- Birmingham Green Living Spaces Plan; that introduced natural capital to the City in 2013. In 2014 Birmingham was invited to join the global Biophilic Cities Network, a sharing platform for 11 aspirational green cities; becoming the UK’s first Biophilic City.

Event 5. The purposes of culture in an earth crisis

Thursday 5th November 3:15- 4:15pm

Bridget McKenzie, Climate Museum UK 

Bridget is a creative curator and consultant dedicated to Regenerative Culture as the force of hope in face of the Earth Crisis. She braids together her multi-passionate creativity and analytical intelligence to help communities and cultural organisations grasp the reality of this crisis, find their flow and grow their capacities to change the world. 

Dr Adam Ledger, UoB Reader in Theatre and Performance

Adam will present his project Making Connections; stories and theatre about climate and the environment. He  co-artistic director of The Bone Ensemble, where major projects include international tours of performance about environmental issues.

Event 6. Linking sciences and engineering with culture

 4:30 -5:30pm

Marcela Brugnach, Ikerbasque Professor BC3

Collective decision-making under uncertainty and knowledge coproduction. 

Dr Catherine Walker, Geography and Environmental Sciences
Teaching Fellow in Human Geography(prerecorded interview)

Dr Catherine Walker is a children’s geographer with interests in environment, childhood and youth environmental activism, family life, negotiations of environmental knowledge, environmental education, and cross-national understandings of environmental sustainability,

Heather Ackroyd, Artist

Heather Ackroyd works with Dan Harvey, both  internationally acclaimed for creating multi-disciplinary works that intersect art, activism, architecture, biology, ecology and history. Referencing memory and time, nature and culture, urban political ecologies, climate emergency and degradation of the living planet,

Tyrone Huggins Actor/Performer 

Co-founder of the experimental/visual theatre company Impact Theatre Co-operative, Tyrone has over 40 years experience as actor and performer.

Event 7. End Round table. Follow on activities,

Thursday 5th November 5:50 – 6pm

The webinar will consist presentations discussions and art held across three afternoons, and will consider topics including:

Research and learning, Science and Humanities collaborative research and case studies from University of Birmingham and the Basque Centre for Climate Research

Community engagement programs with communities across the west midlands, how we can spread our message and get people active.

Biophilic art and design, artists responses to the climate and ecology crisis.

Networks and programs, ways of supporting and presenting artwork to practitioners curators and audiences, the ground to help us practice and learn.

Models of living, integrating biophilic art and design into cities and communities.

Presencing the Heating Sky is an Arts Council England funded New Leaf Sustainability and Salt Road project in partnership with the University of Birmingham. Linking Birmingham and Cardiff with the Basque Country and Wales through the Biophilic City Network and Culture Declares Emergency. Bringing together different schools and departments in the University of Birmingham, the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), Cardiff Metropolitan University and the Biophilic City Network.

Moving image still, Professor Marc Neumann Ikerbasque Professor BC3, Environmental modelling, uncertainty, complexity, mitigation and adaptation, engineering

Biophilic art is based on the understanding that culture is at the heart of people’s identity and creativity is essential for us to adapt and change intrenched habits and behaviour. We believe that both artists and designers have a crucial role to play in the dialogue of climate change adaption and mitigation. Biophlic art can open a collaborative place no matter our background and explore our individual relationships to internal nature and external nature – bringing out a shared vision where art meets science, engineering and social engagement. Biophilic art will create a space to pause, be present and sit with the science of climate and ecological crisis, leading to a series of creative actions.

We believe that both artists and designers have a crucial role to play in the dialogue of climate change adaption and mitigation, this art project will create a space to pause, be present and sit with the science leading to a series of creative actions. We are collaborating with climate change researchers; who are sharing a more personal story about how they came to embody themselves into these subjects to creatively engage a wide audience. The project with explore Biophilia (love of nature), Biomimicry (learning from nature) and as dynamic ways to engage audiences in the art, design and climate crisis dialogue. Based on a new immediacy amongst a growing network of artists, humanities academics and scientists collaborating across disciplines to bring creative, visionary methods to bear on environmental and ecological challenges. We want to base our project in the creativity of civil society and help amplify the environmental voices of communities through stories, narratives and public imagination projects that can lead to new ideas, questions and visions of a sustainable future. To help people engage with their local nature, Biophilia and the science of climate/ecological crisis. Climate science is linked with a creative focused approach to climate change and biodiversity loss stress & trauma. Using a process of co-production and co-creation of stories people work on through digital platforms and traditional analogue ways of engagement.

More about Biophilic art and lead artists Dr Sally Payen & Jaime Jackson