Extinction Rebellion UK organised 2 weeks of International Rebellion from October 7 to 19 2019. Bristol and Wales groups joined forces to run a busy Artblockers shop, printing animal and XR logos with woodblocks and screen printing ink on any piece of clothing or fabric.
I took a couple of rotas at the shop on 10 and 11 when it was on Trafalgar Square. The work was pleasant, people being generally well happy with their custom rebel outfits, donating generously before walking away with a smile. A nice way to spread the word and a good use of art in protest.
• October 11, open air printing
• October 12, printing in a purple gazebo
FabCre8 is a research group of Cardiff School of Art and Design, focusing on creative technologies and digital fabrication. Severla micro-grants were allocated to members of the group in 2016-17 for research and development. The exhibition features work by Ingrid Murphy, Jon Pigott, Aidan Taylor, myself and other members of staff.
I am showing two Mudbots that were developed as a direct application of Power of the Mud, my FabCre8 experiments with microbial fuel cells. Also on display are four recently made Insect Buzz objects.
The sounding, wearable objects are to be used in marches and events in support of an ecological society. The Insect Buzz prototypes are being developed as part of the EASTN-DC European research project. Early versions were tested in Extinction Rebellion and Strike for Climate protests in Cardiff.
Strike for Climate Cardiff 20 September 2019
Extinction Rebellion Summer Unrest July 2019
Going to Extinction Rebellion Wales’ Rebel Rising Festival, Borth 13th to 15th September.
“Extinction Rebellion’s biggest ever action is coming. In the weeks building up to it the rebels of the UK are gathering to get trained, get inspired and get ready.
With trainings, talks, music, workshops and food the Rebel Rising Festivals are the essential place to prepare and plan for this historic moment.”
Several of these events are taking place across the UK, see map below. Book your tickets for the Welsh event on FB, £20 for adults includes campsite and food.
The good people of the Deershed have invited me again for supervising the execution of several hundred kilos of obsolete consumer electronics by several hundred children (12 at a time maximum). The operation is called a Wrekshop and takes place in the Science Tent of the family friendly Deershed Festival 10 in Topcliffe North Yorkshire UK from 26th to 28th July.
In the Science Tent this year for the first time: Sam Battle, of youtube fame as Look Mum No Computer, is the inventor of the Furby Organ, the Flamethrowing Henry Hoover and he plays a giant analog synth in his lab. I am looking forward to meet this interesting man and his creations!
RIXC is a Media Art centre based in Riga Latvia. They have been running an ambitious and experimental media art programme since 2000. This year the RIXC Festival features the UN/GREEN exhibition and the conference Open Fields 2019: UN/GREEN: NATURALLY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCES
I will present on 6th July a talk at the conference with the catchy title: What to make [techno-] art about in the age of ecological collapse?…
Video above: Pond Battery by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, 2015
Smit and Smits, curators of the UN/GREEN exhibition, have been making several installations using microbial fuel cells. I am interested in hearing more about the work, as I experimented with similarly sticky technology in collaboration with Michka Melo in the Power of the Mud and Mudbots projects.
A quick note on a recent post by AI and robotics expert Rodney Brooks, from his blog largely focused on misconceptions about AI and its imminent takeover. The post dated May 17th 2019 is titled AGI has been delayed (A-rtificial G-eneral I-ntelligence). Brooks looks into the state of the art technology of autonomous cars and, informed by these observations, predicts that AGI, an artificial intelligence with the same versatility and adaptability as a human intelligence will not occur before 2300.
Brooks writes a short paragraph about the dangers of AI that rings very true with some of my current concerns:
“what does [the fact that autonomous cars are not to be around for another few decades] say about predictions that AGI is just around the corner? And what does it say about it being an existential threat to humanity any time soon. We have plenty of existential threats to humanity lining up to bash us in the short term, including climate change, plastics in the oceans, and a demographic inversion. If AGI is a long way off then we can not say anything sensible today about what promises or threats it might provide as we need to completely re-engineer our world long before it shows up, and if when it does show up it will be in a world that we can not yet predict.”
Just found this funny video from the Man Machine workshop I ran in Gdynia, Poland in 2014.
Workshop produced by Laznia Centre for Contemporary Arts Gdansk, 17th to 23rd November 2014.
Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas), John Gerrard 2017
One of my favourite artworks of recent years…
In a Channel 4 interview Gerrard describes oil as “a dynamic that allowed for a very particular change in society, allowed for hyper-mobility, changes in food and agriculture. Much of what we think of as ‘real’ is a petroleum reality. Heat, comfort, mobility, it all comes from petroleum.”