Connecting the littoral zone

While I have positioned myself within the littoral zones of the NW coast of Scotland over the past 3 years, to undertake this project, I am increasingly conscious of the need to stand up and to take a look outside of the zone. Projecting my notes helps me keep in mind the vast network of global environmental that each piece of litter connects us too.  The enormity of this bigger picture  makes me keen to make links with other artists focusing on environmental issues .

carbon change projection climate chang projection  oil projection eaten projection

Reassuringly there is a growing number of artists focusing on ‘Nature and Culture’ and  in Scotland many of which can be found through through Eco-Arts Scotland word press site. Many of these artist’s like me embrace working in a cross disciplinary way. Kate Foster is one such artist who is presently working with  a biogeochemist  Susan Waldron and environmental writer Dr David Borthwick on  a project entitled Flux Chamber. All three collaborators will be sharing their knowledge and findings next weekend at the Enivronmental Arts Festival (details below) They will demonstrating how the Flux Chamber measures carbon locked in water by taking festival participants  on a guided walk and exploration of a watercourse around Morton Castle. Together they will be instigating discussions, mapping and an exploration of our carbon landscape.


Artists seem naturally to cross disciplinary lines but it is refreshing when scientists and thinkers do this too. I recently posted a link to a great website called Worldly which highlighted an article by Audra Mitchell a refreshing thinker into global environmental ethics, she boldly states that she is not bound by any medium, and she puts forward that multiple registers of meaning and visual images can help to crystalise the enormities of environmental phenomena. I totally agree imagery can make ideas about difficult subjects more thinkable or imaginable.

casting votes for beaches #IVoted copy  Plastic Rock  my marine object 1

As I explore ways to develop my imagery to tell the complex stories of the litter objects that I pick up, I am encouraged to discover and read about the  work of other artists who are creating successful and arresting visual work that is tackling urgent environmental issues.  Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin have recently edited a wonderful book  ‘Art in the Anthropocene’ published by Humanities Press. It is a publication which creatively and critically looks into the ‘politics of nature and culture’ and is full of the inspiring writings of artists and images of their work addressing a vast array of issues associated with how we are affecting our environment, each other, disputed territories, war, pollution, excessive consumption, migration, the legacy of past generations. Global issues touching us all.

  Art in the anthropocene Book cover aerosolar 2 Museo Aero Solar  Thomas Saraceno

Aerosolar is one of the most outstanding projects of collective visual action I have learned about and now wish to witness, by a collective of artists based in Italy lead by Thomas Saraceno. Museo Aero Solar is a flying museum, a solar sculpture made up of reused plastic bags, with new sections being added each tie it travels the world, changing techniques and shapes and growing in size every time.
So far it has been shown in Italy, Mecico, Canada, United Emirates and France. It is an inventive liberating sculpture which offers a different conception of space and energy by utilizing our waste and free solar (thermodynamic) energy. The Museo Aero Solar will touch down again next Wednesday August 26, 2015 at 21er Haus in Vienna. In the sculpture garden. Free with a valid exhibition ticket.  I certainly wish I could be there!

WORK_disputed01_t Disputed  Senkaku Islands   2014  Map Office

As I am preoccupied with the litter pollution we find on many remote Scottish islands, I was drawn to the work of Map Office and artists Laurent Gutierrez & Valerie Portefaix who are based in Singapore, they often play with island metaphors in their staged hyper realistic photographs and installations. The simplicity and strength of their work is clear in a piece entitled ‘Disputed’ 2014 which borrows (& therefore highlights) elements of ongoing geopolitical disputes around the world about sovereignty, resources . It is a dart game designed to conquer those disputed territories according to the countries that claim them.

Below are a few links to the references made here focusing on nature and culture:
Environmental Arts Festival is a free festival which uses art installations to inspire discussion about our environment and our role in protecting it. This year’s chosen space – Morton Castle in Upper Nithsdale, Dumfries and Galloway – is a dramatic festival backdrop that will provoke thought and trigger sensory experiences.
EAFS 2015 takes place over the weekend of 29th/30th August.

Eco art scotland  is a platform for research and practice. A resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers.

Art in the Anthropocene

Creative Carbon Scotland

Map Office

Museo Aero Solar  Thomas Saraceno


Thinking Without the Circle: Marine Plastic and Global Ethics

Excited to have found Worldly IR fascinating and mind invigorating articles. Trying to mine the wonderful references/links to learn more. May have to join Political Geography to access the full Marine Ethics and Global Plastics paper. J Barton


My new article on marine plastic and global ethics in Political Geography is now available as a free download here until 2 July, 2015. Here’s the abstract: 

Gyre 1 by Audra Mitchell and Liam Kelly. All rights reserved. Gyre 1 by Audra Mitchell and Liam Kelly. All rights reserved.2015. Here’s a little bit about the article: 

Marine plastic has received significant attention as a spectacle of consumer waste and ecosystemic fragility, but there has been little discussion of its ethical implications. This essay argues that marine plastic poses a direct challenge to the basic frameworks of global ethics. These frameworks are dominated by the image of the ‘circle’, an abstract boundary intended to separate ‘humanity’ from the rest of the universe and insulate it against harm. However, this article argues that marine plastic undermines the ‘circle’ in two ways. First, it embodies conditions of ‘hyper-relationality’, including entanglement and the properties of toxicity, that penetrate the boundaries of ‘the circle’…

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