Carbon Dating: Part 1 of the Uncanny Valleys: Super-site project.
Carbon_Dating is an experimental artwork designed to seed ‘consensual’ partnerships between plants and humans, based upon their shared need to breathe each other’s ‘exhaled’ air. In this time of environmental stress, we call upon adventurous humans & vivacious plants to ‘conspire’ together – to breathe radically new kinds of relationships into life, gently & discretely encouraged by our WIFI-enabled ‘Conspirators’. This life-affirming project will be developed during a ‘creative incubator’ process that cross-fertilises Ecological Science, Human Physiology Science, Environmental Philosophy & Media Arts – to together uncover the scientific & poetic connections between the ‘lungs of the earth’ & our own breath physiology.
Carbon Dating is the first project from 'Uncanny Valleys: Super-site' - a forthcoming speculative art-science project to be developed during a art/science 'creative incubator' at the Samford Ecological Research Facility in SE Qld (a member of the National Network of Intensive Eco-System Observatories named 'Australian Super-sites'). On site, we engage collaboratively visiting ecological field scientists to deeply understand their experiments and methods – establishing shared questions that span ecological science and philosophy. Findings will be presented as experimental hybrid art forms, to be completed by mid 2020. In 2021 I will then seek to replicate this model, by pitching a ‘National Network of Intensive Eco-Cultural Observatories/Super-sites’.
Collaborating Scientists: Prof. Jennifer Firn, Dr. Bek Christenssen, Prof. Peter Grac and Prof. Graham Kerr.
Tania Leimbach: Critical Writer
Luke Lickfold: Sound Artist
SERF (Samford Environmental Research Facility)
Australia Council for the Arts
In this time of ‘State Shift’, that Elizabeth Kolbert names the '6th Great Extinction', well-incubated art/science outcomes must engage ‘unthinkable’ ideas that deeply challenge public imaginations, exposing the deep interconnections & inconsistencies between how we think about science, society, politics & preserving the future. Grounded both in field work, art & eco-philosophy Uncanny Valleys: Super-site will speak to the profound strangeness of all that is unfolding around us, as we increasingly sense the presence & violent effect of nonhuman interlocutors on our lives; & as changing climatic phenomena remind us all how in some way, great or small, we contributed to their making. Now that the mysterious work of our own hands is returning to haunt us, where better a place to ‘re-direct it for change then at this newly imagined ‘Super-site’ - where rich, uncanny media arts & science together engage unthinkable histories, possibilities & future pathways.
Artists are well placed to broker such ‘unthinkable’ experiments, especially when science is framed as ally & equal. This concurs with Art-Science luminary Jill Scott’s assertion that 'creative incubators', based in the field, create particularly powerful opportunities for ideas & skills exchanges - building trust & ensuring access to high-end resources that support ensuing collaborative journeys. Scott also asserts extending this process through national networks further builds critical real-world impact & value.