Sabu Kohso and Jason Waite: Confronting a Catastrophic World

Political and social critic, scholar and activist, Sabu Kohso, will give a lecture and then be in conversation with curator Jason Waite, a member of the Don’t Follow the Wind curatorial collective. Kohso regards the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown and release of radionuclides into the environment as an ongoing and unfolding disaster, one among many disasters across the globe caused by the intensifying development of extractive capitalism across the planetary body. As such, it embodies the collapsing world and the omnipresent life-as-struggles on the earth.  


Sabu Kohso is a political and social critic, translator, scholar, and a long-time activist in the global and anti-capitalist struggle. A native of Okayama, Japan, Sabu has lived in New York City since 1980. He has published several books on urban space and struggle in Japan and Korea, and has translated books by Kojin Karatani and David Graeber. He has written extensively on the Fukushima disaster from the perspective of global anticapitalist struggles.

Jason Waite is an independent curator focused on forms of practice toward forming agency across diverse fields such as art, society, politics and critical theory. He has co-curated Don’t Follow the Wind, an ongoing project inside the uninhabited Fukushima exclusion zone, The Real Thing?, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Maintenance Required, The Kitchen, New York, and White Paper: The Law by Adelita Husni-Bey at Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht where he was curator.

 

 

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Event

Project Fukushima!

Project Fukushima! was instigated by musicians Yoshihide Otomo and Michiro Endo, as well as the poet Ryoichi Wago, all born or residing in Fukushima. The initiative is a network for trying out new social forms with artistic activities as their basis. It reflects on problems that confront the region after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The project was begun in May 2011. In August of that same year came the first “Festival Fukushima!” which attracted more than 10,000 visitors. The activities of the network also include the internet broadcast station “Dommune Fukushima!”, the “School Fukushima!”, a place for further education, as well as the fund-raising initiative “DIY Fukuahima!” This is meant to provide a financial basis for the long-term continuation of artistic activities.

Filmmaker Hikaru Fujii accompanied the activities and discussions during the preparations for the “Festival Fukushima!” with his camera over a period of seven months. The documentary film precisely and unpretentiously observes the different attitudes of the participants, also illuminating the areas of conflict between the protagonists.

The film is 90 minutes in length. During the exhibition the start times will therefore run throughout the day at 12pm, 1:30pm, 3pm and 4:30pm.

Supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Arts Council England.
With special thanks to NPO S-AIR, Project Fukushima!, Art Action and IKLECTIK

 

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Exhibition

A Public Hearing – Cromer Street Lyric

As part of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process postgraduate students from Goldsmiths Centre for Research Architecture, University of London have been in residence at Arts Catalyst’s Cromer Street Centre throughout May and June 2016. During this time, they have developed a project titled A Public Hearing in which they have used the form and function of the public hearing as an aid for investigating a number of contemporary experiences. This has produced a eight channel sound installation, and a range of events examining different aspects of speaking and listening.

For the final event of the project on Saturday 25 June the group have invited local choir groups, singers and musicians for a new lyric to be composed; distilled from conversations with local people and sounds heard in and around the environs of Cromer Street in King's Cross.

This final installation of A Public Hearing, organised by students from the Centre for Research Architecture, looks at oral histories and the means by which knowledge can be altered and passed along. The process for composition will be collaborative – dialogue, consensus and disruption will be made evident in the final choral arrangement. Simultaneous to the performance a live recording with feedback will play in an adjacent room suggesting the configuration of Arts Catalyst as a sensing organ attuned to and bearing witness to unfolding events.

Event schedule

Saturday 25 June, 12 noon – 7pm
12 noon – 6pm Exhibition and performance
5pm – 7pm Closing Drinks reception

This event is FREE no booking required


Support:

A Public Hearting is supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England. 

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A Public Hearing – How to Speak

As part of Arts Catalyst's current programme A Public Hearing, MA students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, host a workshop exploring different ways of speaking in public with vocal coach Christopher Holt and local Kings Cross barrister Ousman Noor
 

Drawing on procedural documents from public hearings* as a starting point, this workshop, organised by students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, looks at the conditions and protocols under which public speaking is conducted. Beginning with a review of speaking in formalized settings – such as court, council chambers or in parliament – we will then look to different, informal, modes of speaking – such as gossiping, complaining, whispering – and invite participants to draw up an alternate set of instruction manuals that give priority to such forms of speech. The latter part of the workshop will review how formal instructions are registered and performed, revealing the impact this has on what gets said and who gets heard, and how architecture changes the register of sound, affecting the ways speech is delivered and supported.

*Public hearings originated from the process of the enclosure of public lands in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were held in order to create a petition to parliament to enclose the land, and then later to hear objections to the act created by Parliament. Today, public hearings are still used when dealing with both public lands and private properties.

This workshop is aimed at residents and workers of the Kings Cross Area. Open to all ages but 16+ preferred unless accompanied by an adult.

Event Schedule


1pm Lunch (Free)
2pm Workshop (Free)
Vocal exercises, discussion and rewriting manuals plus an introduction on court procedures. 

Biographies

Christopher Holt is an actor, a theatre director, a lecturer, a voice coach and a disability arts practitioner, and he has a 20 years experience in teaching, training and developing singing and speaking voices. Holt has lead vocal workshops and taught voice for professional actors, singers and dancers, students of theatre and groups of senior citizens.

Ousman Noor is a Barrister with extensive experience in representing individuals in immigration detention, making bail applications in Immigration Tribunals on their behalf. This experience led to a strong conviction that immigration detention was often performed unlawfully with insufficient transparency or accountability to the rule of law. In 2014 he set up The Habeas Corpus Project, a non-profit organisation that provides pro-bono legal representation in challenging unlawful detention of individuals in the UK.

Arts Catalyst's Centre will be open to the public for A Public Hearing as part of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process
Thursday 2 June – Friday 24 June 2016
Thursdays & Fridays, 12noon – 6pm

 

 

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A Public Hearing – Technologies of Belonging

Calling all residents, workers and communities of Cromer Street and Kings Cross, come and share your stories at the first event in the A Public Hearing series

Saturday 28 May is the first in a series of events to explore the technologies of hearing and the point of mediation between the hearing and listening. It will be used as a foundation to lead into the events on the Saturday 11 June and Saturday 25 June that will continue to develop and explore these concepts and materials in more depth and alternative ones.

Technologies of Belonging investigates how hearing and vocalising are rehearsed. Presenting hearing as narration and storytelling rather than confession. Non-oral bodily sensing and an exploration of the non-human on variety of scales presented in an evolving exhibition as multi-speaker installation, with a collaged sequence of the recent interviews collected by the group with live elements fluctuating between different temporalities, histories and sounds.

Personal hearings

Through a series of informal conversations and discussions the group are inviting you between 1pm–3pm to come and contribute to a developing archive of material.

This event forms part of the first phase of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process, where postgraduate students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London will be in residence at Arts Catalyst’s Cromer Street Centre throughout May and June. During this time, they will use the form and function of the public hearing as an aid for investigating a number of contemporary conditions.

Public hearings originated from the process of the enclosure of public lands in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were held in order to create a petition to parliament to enclose the land, and then later to hear objections to the act created by Parliament. Today, public hearings are still used when dealing with both public lands and private properties. Adopting the device of the public hearing, the Goldsmiths group will consider how diverse experiences and events are communicated through speech, vocalising, hearing and listening. Whose stories are heard and whose not? What other forms of nonhuman expression - animals, plants, industrial, atmospheric - are heard, and what new modes of sensing are needed? In short, who speaks and who listens, and with what technologies?

Arts Catalyst's Centre will be open to the public for A Public Hearing as part of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process
Thursday 2 June – Friday 24 June 2016
Thursdays & Fridays, 12noon – 6pm
With events on Saturday 11 June and Saturday 25 June 2016
 
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Kota Takeuchi in discussion with Eiko Honda

Artist Kota Takeuchi in conversation with curator and writer Eiko Honda chaired by artist Kaori Homma from Art Action UK

During his time in the UK, Kota Takeuchi will be researching the deep time concerns of monuments, site markers and memory around the UK and Belgium. He will undertake field research at the Belgian underground research laboratory for the geologic storage of radioactive waste in partnership with Z33 and the Belgian nuclear waste agency NIRAS / NIROND.

On Saturday 16 July curator and writer Eiko Honda will be in discussion with Kota Takeuchi, chaired by artist Kaori Homma from Art Action UK. Kota Takeuchi's residency has been organised by S-AIR in Japan in partnership with Arts Catalyst, supported by the Sasakawa Foundation and Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Government of Japan.

Event schedule
 

3pm – 4pm KotaTakeuchi Open Studio

4pm – 5pm Eiko Honda in conversation with Kota Takeuchi, chaired by Kaori Homma.

5pm – 6pm Discussion and drinks

 

Biographies

Kota Takeuchi is an artist based in Tokyo / Fukushima, Japan. He produces performative videos and oil paintings about how we physically view images of public scenery, social events, and their memory. His work explores the loop of digital image capture and distribution.
His solo exhibition Open Secret, 2012, explored the labour problems at the Fukushima Dai’ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Takeuchi acts as the agent for Finger Pointing Worker (a man who pointed at the public live camera at the Fukushima power plant after the disaster in 2011). 
 
 
Eiko Honda is a writer and curator of contemporary art and transnational intellectual history. She is the 2013-2016 curatorial fellow of the Overseas Study Programme for Artists, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan. She is a contributor to The Nuclear Culture Source Book, edited by Ele Carpenter, forthcoming September 2016. Recent papers include: 'Political Ecology of Art and Architecture in Japan: 100 Years Ago and Now' in Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (Intellect, 2016). Her curatorial work is driven by the idea of history as an enquiry that unravels potential new understandings of the planetary past, future and present. Recent exhibitions include Saya Kubota: Material Witness, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London; and Missing Post Office UK, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. 
 
Kaori Homma is an artist and co-founder and co-ordinator of Art Action UK. Homma is Associate Lecturer at University of Arts London at Central Saint Martins and Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges (CCW), her art practice includes social engagement, fire etching and video exploring time, and reflecting on nuclear concerns. Art Action UK was established in response to the 2011 Japanese earthquake, tsunami and subsequent Fukushima nuclear fallout. The project supports artists who have been affected by natural and manmade disasters to undertake residencies in London including: Kyun Chome, Yoi Kawakubo, Komori & Seo, Hikaru Fujii, and Kaya Hanasaki. 
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KOSMICA Mexico 2015

KOSMICA is an international festival for earth-bound artists, space engineers, performers, astronomers, musicians and anyone interested in space

KOSMICA Mexico 2015 addressed a central theme of war and peace in space, and ethical issues facing space exploration. The program included more than 15 international guests to reflect upon these issues through workshops, performances, cinema, music and talks.

Kosmica Mexico 2015 is presented thanks to the support of: British Council México, Año Dual UK – Mexico, Fundación Telefónica, INBA / Laboratorio Arte Alameda. Associates: Arts Catalyst, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Agencia Espacial Mexicana, Cine Tonalá, Otoño en Hiroshima, Ovnibus, ITACCUS and Ambulante. Media associates: Vice – The Creators Project, El Fanzine, Pijamasurf.
 

Programme of events

Thu 17 September, 7pm – 11pm

Chris Welch (GB) – Talk
Enrique Jezik (AR) – Performance
Aleksandra Mir (SE) – Talk
Music by: Alias 616, Radiador (MX)
 
Fri 18 September, 7pm – 12am
Jon Bonfiglio (GB) – Talk
Agencia Espacial Mexicana (MX) – Round table
Louise K Wilson (GB) – Talk
Music by: Rob Anaya + guest, Dolphin Star Temple, Monairem
 
Sat 19 September, 7pm – 11pm
Lizzie Wade (EUA) – Talk
Arcángel Constantini (MX) and 220 (MX) – Performance
Miguel Ángel Fernández Delgado (MX) – Talk
Music by: Isaac Soto, Un rêve
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Material Nuclear Culture Roundtable Discussion

A discussion about art and nuclear culture will take place in the centre of the Material Nuclear Culture exhibition bringing together artists, submariners, and members of the Submarine Dismantling Project Advisory Group (SDP-AG) and NsubF Nuclear Submarine Forum in the South East.

Participants include: Les Netherton, chair of the SDP-AG; Mark Portman, WO1, Royal Navy (Submarines); Carien Kremer, Curator, William Morris Gallery; artists: Nick Crowe, David Mabb, Kota Takeuchi, Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead; Ele Carpenter, Curator; Nicola Triscott, Artistic Director of Arts Catalyst.

The discussion will take place around a reconstruction of James Acord’s roundtable that he built in his Hanford studio, USA 1999, to bring together environmentalists and people from the nuclear industry to discuss the clean up of nuclear materials at the Hanford site.

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A Public Hearing

Arts Catalyst announces Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process, a research and public programme launching in May 2016 with A Public Hearing.

As the first phase of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process, postgraduate students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London will be in residence at Arts Catalyst’s Cromer Street Centre throughout May and June. During this time, they will use the form and function of the public hearing as an aid for investigating a number of contemporary conditions.

Public hearings originated from the process of the enclosure of public lands in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were held in order to create a petition to parliament to enclose the land, and then later to hear objections to the act created by Parliament. Today, public hearings are still used when dealing with both public lands and private properties. Adopting the device of the public hearing, the Goldsmiths group will consider how diverse experiences and events are communicated through speech, vocalising, hearing and listening. Whose stories are heard and whose not? What other forms of nonhuman expression - animals, plants, industrial, atmospheric - are heard, and what new modes of sensing are needed? In short, who speaks and who listens, and with what technologies?

Through a series of hearings in June (some public, others with invited groups) and an exhibition, the students will bring together diverse participants, ideas and concerns. They will explore how the conditions of the hearing – vocalisation strategies, performance, technologies, architecture - affect how information travels from one body to an other and from one entity to many. Hearings will address local social issues, as well as more abstract themes.

Starting from Arts Catalyst’s new neighbourhood of Cromer Street in London’s Kings Cross and expanding out across the city, Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process will create a platform for international artists, urbanist collectives and research architects to link with a diverse range of local communities. Together these groups will explore and document the social, political and environmental issues affecting those who inhabit the city. Everyday Urbanism will evolve over the course of three years creating new relationships, networks, events, exhibitions and commissions.
 

Everyday Urbanism will be developed in collaboration with a curatorial advisory group including Arts Catalyst, Territorial Agency / John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, curator Claire Louise Staunton (Flat Time House/MK Gallery) and Susan Schuppli, Deputy Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Cromer Street based Barrister Ousman Noor.

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Exhibition

Actinium – Residency, Exhibition & Fieldtrip, 2014

The Actinium publication is an account of the exhibition, field trip and discussion forum for Nuclear Culture during the Sapporo International Arts Festival in Japan, 2014.

Artists are making the nuclear economy increasingly visible by rethinking nuclear materials and architectures, decay rates and risk perception; questioning the 20th Century belief in nuclear modernity. As the international population becomes more aware of their role as participants in nuclear culture, this exhibition aims to create a space for open discussion.

The Actinium exhibition was an international hub for discussion about contemporary nuclear culture. The exhibition took place during the opening weeks of the SIAF 2014, and was the base for film screenings, discussion forum and field trips exploring the relationship between the metropolis and nuclear sites in rural Hokkaido.

Actinium is a radioactive element named after the Greek word ‘aktis’ a beam or ray, but its name reveals how little we know about the behavior of different kinds of alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Today the word actinium conjures ideas of action in response to radioactive materials as they enter the public realm through the nuclear cycle of weapons, energy, pollution and waste. Today artists and geologists explore the human time of the Anthropocene as the nuclear industry tries to reverse-mine radioactive waste back into the ground. The geological time frames for radioactive decay are beyond human comprehension and challenge the limits of knowledge and not-knowing.

The exhibition included works by artists James Acord (USA), Shuji Akagi (J), Chim↑Pom (J), Crowe & Rawlinson (UK/De), Karen Kramer (USA/UK), Cécile Massart (Belgium), Eva & Franco Mattes (USA), Thomson & Craighead (UK/Scotland) and was curated by Art Catalyst's Associate Curator, Ele Carpenter.

Actinium was curated by Ele Carpenter, Arts Catalyst, produced by S-AIR; and took place during the opening weeks of the Sapporo International Arts Festival (SIAF) in July 2014. The project was organised by NPO S-AIR, Sapporo. Supported by: Daiwa Foundation; Pola Foundation; The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan; City of Sapporo; Arts Council England; Goldsmiths College, University of London.

 

Publication details

Actinium – Residency, Exhibition & Fieldtrip, 2014
Edited by NPO S-AIR and Ele Carpenter
Published in 2015
Cover design by Theodore Gray
Translated by Emi Uemura and Kyoko Tachibana
Colour and monochrome, 24 pages, softback and electronic

This publication has been made available as a PDF.

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