PUBLIC TALKS PROGRAMME- 06.07.15- 13.07.15

CAMP BREAKDOWN BREAK DOWN is an eleven-day gathering at Scottish Sculpture Workshop, organised by artist Brett Bloom. Although the full CAMP follows an intensive programme for a closed group of participants, our evening talks programme at SSW is open and we welcome the public to join us.

These talks are free of charge.
Click here for information: CAMP BREAKDOWN BREAK DOWN

Brett Bloom (Artist & Camp Organiser)
Monday 6 July, 20.00-21.30, SSW

How does our all-pervasive use of fossil fuels affect how we see ourselves and how we experience the world around us? How can we work towards an ecology that puts the concerns of the environment and other species on equal footing with those of people? What work needs to be done to shift subjectivity in order to prepare for climate change and the chaos it ensues? How deeply does petroleum penetrate our bodies, minds and ways of being in the world? What are we capable of, and what do we suppress, when it comes to our emotions, senses, and aesthetic awareness of living in a petroleum-based society?

Join Bloom as he addresses these questions and delves into his ongoing investigation of Petro-Subjectivity. He will discuss some of the ways petro-subjectivity limits our abilities to imagine the future and what we can do to become more aware of this condition and to begin to break it down.

Copies of Bloom’s book, ‘Petro-Subjectivity: De-Industrializing Our Sense of Self’, will be available to take home free of charge during the talk.

Brett Bloom is an artist, activist, writer and publisher. He works mainly in collaborative groups, like Temporary Services, and situations. He regularly works with ecological issues. In the summer of 2015, Bloom will coordinate two long, intensive training sessions in London and rural Scotland. They are part of a multi-year effort called Breakdown Break Down, that mobilize others to articulate and build a civil culture to prepare for and survive climate chaos and breakdown. One key goal is to generate new stories that replace western petro-subjectivity, our industrialized sense of self and place, with other narratives and possibilities.

Andy Wightman (Writer & Activist)
Tuesday 7th July, 20.00-21.30, SSW

I am a writer, researcher, analyst, commentator and activist on issues of land, power, governance, democracy and money. Over the past 20 years I have undertaken a wide range of work on land tenure, landownership, land reform and, more recently community land rights, governance and the hegemonic dimensions of land relations. In 2010, I wrote ‘The Poor had No Lawyers (Birlinn)’, an attempt to provide an historical analysis of the land question and to reinvigorate debate around land relations. I remain hopeful of success in countering hegemonic landed power in all its guises.

Alastair McIntosh (Independent Scholar, Activist, Writer, Speaker and Broadcaster)
Wednesday 8th July, 20.00-21.30, SSW

The pioneers of consciousness research, Stanislav and Christina Groff, speak of spiritual development in terms of both “emergence”(as the emergence of the soul) and as an “emergency” (in the sense of provoking acute psychological crises as outworn ego structures give way). This public talk will explore climate change in much the same terms. Alastair will examine it both as a crisis (or turning point) for life on Earth, and as a call to deeper ways of being human in these times.  The workshop the following morning will be for further exploration of themes raised the previous evening with particular emphasis on his forthcoming book, ‘Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service’.

Alastair McIntosh is the author of ‘Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power’ (Aurum 2001), ‘Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition’ (Birlinn 2008), and due in September, ‘Spiritual Activism’ (Green Books, co-authored with Matt Carmichael, due September 24th).

I live within the old parish boundary of Govan in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, am an independent scholar, activist, writer, speaker and broadcaster from the Isle of Lewis and work freelance but with academic links that include being an Honorary Senior Research Fellow (visiting professor) in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow and a Research Fellow at the School of Divinity (New College) in the University of Edinburgh. I also serve locally in Govan as a founding director of the GalGael Trust and a Fellow and special advisor to the Centre for Human Ecology (CHE) of which I was previously director.

Tim Collins and Reiko Goto (Environmental Artists)
Thursday 9th July, 20.00-21.30, SSW

Starting with ethical counterpoints from the writings of John Muir and Duncan ban McIntyre; we will then talk about the Black Wood of Rannoch and the evolving idea of cultural ecology and forest futures understood through the lens of three centuries of social and cultural conflict.

We began by establishing ideas for a critical forest art practice.

  • To make art with the ancient forest, rather than in the forest or about the forest.
  • To understand the forest as an overlapping mix of social and ecological communities.
  • To make a small contribution to the well-being and future prosperity of the forest itself.
  • In the rural context the art making was about social and ecological interface with the forest.
  • In the urban context the art was about correspondent relationships back to the forest.

Tim Collins and Reiko Goto are environmental artists, researchers and authors working together since they first met in San Francisco in 1985. Early work focused on a public realm model of practice dealing with urban critters, habitat and the cultural understanding of water. Over the last fifteen years they maintain a focus on the cultural conditions of environmental change and its human-non-human impacts. The primary themes that inform their mature work began with ethical and aesthetic entanglements found in ecological restoration, leading to ideas about the emancipation of natural systems from the constraints of industrial culture. More recently this led to new ideas about empathy between human and non-human entities.


Nuno Sacramento
Saturday 11th July, 20.00-21.30, SSW

My daily commute, for the first two years, consisted of speeding through the landscape from home to work. This came to a halt when a bridge, I barely registered, was closed for repairs. The tiny structure over the river Bogie, Parish of Auchindoir became a key to decoding the landscape I cross with abandon everyday. Its closure forced me to take a much longer route to and from work. I slowly began to question the fragility of our reliance on petroleum based relationships to the landscape. Had I been on horseback, bike, or even willing to park my car somewhere and walk, I could have easily forded the water and been to work in a short while. This realization made we want to engage this bridge and the landscape around it more directly. This meant walking from the bridge to work. I sought a way to slow down and shift my perceptions of where I was, of how to get oil and speed out of the equation, and to acknowledge the complexity that unfolded around me because of this choice, gradually rewilding myself and my relationship to the land that shapes my days.

Nuno Sacramento was born in Maputo, Mozambique and now lives and works in Aberdeenshire where he is Director of the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Lumsden. He is a graduate of the deAppel curatorial training programme and also completed a Doctorate in Visual Arts at the School of Media Arts and Imaging, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee. He is currently committed to issues of land use and ownership, climate change and the commons, in relation to art practice. He is involved in research, project curation, writing and lecturing.

Dark Mountain (Charlotte Du Cann and Nick Hunt )
Sunday 12th July, 20.00-21.30,SSW

The Dark Mountain Project is a network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself. We see that the world is entering an age of ecological collapse, material contraction and social and political unravelling, and we want our cultural responses to reflect this reality rather than denying it.

 In the five years since the publication of its manifesto, the project has produced seven collections of writing, two albums and accidentally run three annual festival of ideas, music, performance and workshops.

At the camp Dark Mountain editors, Charlotte Du Cann and Nick Hunt will introduce the Project around the fire, and the next day lead creative and exploratory sessions, based on the Eight Principles of the Uncivilisation Manifesto.

We will focus on the crucial role writing and art play in questioning the foundations of the world in which we find ourselves, as well as fostering a culture rooted in place, time and nature.

Charlotte Du Cann is a writer, editor and community activist, living in coastal Suffolk. She is Art Editor of the Dark Mountain books and the editor of ‘Playing for Time – Making Art as if the World Mattered’ (Oberon Books). Previously a lifestyle journalist in London, she went on the road during the 90s and has written extensively about cultural and metaphysical downshift. Between 2008-14 she worked in grassroots communications within the Transition movement, including founding the Social Reporting Project and Transition Free Press. Her book, ’52 Plants That Shook My World – A Radical Return to Earth’ is published by Two Ravens Press.

Nick Hunt is a writer and storyteller, and co-editor of the Dark Mountain books. His first book ‘Walking the Woods and the Water’ is an account of an eight-month walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul. He has written for The Guardian, The Economist, Resurgence, New Internationalist and other publications, but prefers telling stories around campfires.

Karen Grant (Artist & Campaigner)
Monday 13th July, 20.00-21.30, SSW

An illustrated look at how a sense of authentic space supports empowerment and a sense of potential to shape our world on an individual and community level. Includes case studies from the recent history of Dutch squat culture and the current resurgence of a Scottish hutting culture.

Karen Grant is a campaigner with Reforesting Scotland’s Thousand Huts campaign (www.thousandhuts.org). She has a particular interest in the role of spaces in autonomous organising and empowerment. Her background includes work with social justice campaigns at a European level, work with the Green members of the Scottish Parliament, and then 5 years as Director of Scottish Education and Action for Development where she developed projects supporting community-based climate action. She sat for 5 years on the decision-making panel of the Climate Challenge Fund. She recently graduated in painting from Glasgow School of Art and co-manages a farm in North East Scotland. She dreams of having her own hut.

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