Workshop | Time(un)line: Deep Time & the Genesis of Crises, led by The Alternative School of Economics

Screenshot from the workshop Time(un)line: Mapping Crises; courtesy the artists

The second in our series of special online workshops with The Alternative School of Economics, this session will look to deep time to seek out the genesis of today’s environmental and economic crises.  

Part of The Alternative School of Economics' ongoing residency, The End of the Present, this workshop is an experiment in co-research processes, and will include time for individual research and breakout groups, as well as mapping onto an accessible, online platform. During the workshop we will be joined by several researchers - including Nicholas Angelides, Angela Chan, Professor Chamkaur Ghag and Philip Mannion - who will share their field of expertise and there’ll be time for questions and discussions. 
Continuing the investigation into ‘where does a crisis begin and end?’, we will look to 
both the development of the human brain and the formation of our planet to understand both the physical preconditions and human perception of our environment, its resources and resulting crisis. 
Each person will select a particular event or area of interest from a list provided (or submit their own), and work forwards and backwards to map roots and causes, how they unfold, and the environmental, political, financial, historical and cultural conditions and impacts. For example, researching the formation of minerals now used to make plastics could involve mapping geological processes millions of years ago, and connecting this to the idea of the Anthropocene and the swift changes and developments in the use of fossil fuels in the last 150 years. Looking at human behavior around climate change might begin with looking at the moment when the human brain could conceive of time, or when we developed a fear or scarcity. From the history of extraction, to use of tools, to early counting and debt systems, we will collectively map key moments and gradual changes.
The workshop will build on ideas explored in Time(un)line: Mapping Crises, which was held in July, although participants do not need to have attended the previous workshop. 
It will focus on sharing information gathered individually and in groups, and mapping it onto a time(un)line. The time(un)line will ostensibly chart events in chronological order, whilst simultaneously finding connections, repercussions and convergences, which thereby collapse the idea of singular progression of time. 
All levels of experience and interest welcome. 
Workshops will be conducted via video conferencing software. Detailed instructions on how to join the online meetings will be provided for those participating.  
Places are limited due to the group dynamics of learning online, so please reserve your space by 27 October.
Register here on tickets ignite and then email us a brief response to the information requested below via
  • your name
  • your area of interest
  • tell us something about your background, work or interests & why you would like to join the workshop
Nicolas Angelides is a final year PhD student in particle physics and member of the Cosmoparticle initiative at University College London (UCL). By age twenty, he obtained a first class MPhys degree in Theoretical Physics from the University of Edinburgh where he began his involvement in fundamental physics research. Nicolas is now a member of the LUX-ZEPLIN collaboration for which he has held team leadership roles in building the world’s most sensitive dark matter detector. His research aims to optimise the scientific yield of current and future generation dark matter detection experiments. Before travelling to the United Kingdom, Nicolas trained in fine art and sculpture under Cypriot artist Spyroula Skordi. He combines his love for philosophy, art and science through a number of outreach and cross-disciplinary activities. In communicating abstract scientific concepts, he employs a number of digital and physical media and explores unique ways in which information is experienced.
Angela Chan is a 'creative climate change communicator', working with curatorial, research and art practices. She is focused on decolonial climate justice, knowledge systems, geography, and contemporary speculative fiction, and collaborates widely with artists, activists, authors and youth groups. Angela independently curates as Worm: art + ecology, and recently conducted a DYCP research project on climate visual cultures in East Asia (2019), and produced the exhibition Climate Knowledges (Rotterdam, 2020). As an artist, Angela is a Jerwood Arts / FACT Digital Fellow. She also co-founded the London Chinese Science Fiction Group and is a co-director of the London Science Fiction Research Community.
Professor Chamkaur Ghag is an astroparticle physicist working in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London (UCL). Chamkaur completed his undergraduate MSci degree in Astrophysics at the University of London in 2003 before moving to the University of Edinburgh where he completed his PhD in 2006, researching novel technologies to detect dark matter. He held post-doctoral positions at the University of Edinburgh and University of California Los Angeles, continuing his dark matter research and contributing to the world-leading experimental searches, before moving back to the UK in 2012 to start dark matter research in the High Energy Physics group at UCL.
Chamkaur is a leading member of the LUX and LZ experiments that deploy cryogenic noble-liquid targets, and leads the Boulby Underground Low-Background Assay Facility. He also conducts research on the use of novel quantum technologies for dark sector physics and rare event searches. Chamkaur is active in environmental physics research and is developing innovative digital platforms to facilitate broader engagement of global academia in global challenge research, particularly towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr Philip Mannion is a palaeontologist at University College London, working on the macroevolutionary history of terrestrial vertebrates over the last 250 million years, including groups such as dinosaurs and crocodiles. His research aims to understand how past environmental and climatic changes constrained the evolution and distribution of ancient biodiversity, with relevance to predicting the long-term responses of climatically-threatened living organisms.