LASER Talks at Dartington - Art After The Collapse

Art After The Collapse is a provocative series of talk events at Dartington. Featuring 15 leading artists and thinkers, the series focusses on the idea that artists can point us at directions for ‘deep adaptation’ to a climate and ecological collapse that some say has already started to happen. Inspired by the school climate strikes, Dark Mountain and Extinction Rebellion, this series takes as its starting point the ways in which artists and thinkers are already reimagining how we can create different futures given that we may face significant tipping points. This series launches the new arts education programme at Dartington.


Land and Water After The Collapse Part 1

Panel: Neal White and Shezad Dawood, Ellie Harrison, Vivek Vilasini, Paul Chaney

Friday 8 November 2019, 7pm

Studio 3, SPACE, Dartington Hall


Neal White is an artist and researcher with a background in art and technology. His work draws on a recent history of art that has roots in experimental practice, conceptual and socially engaged forms. In his collaborative practice with the Office of Experiments (founded 2004) he has led a series of projects that concern experimental forms of research. Frequently undertaken with fellow artists, academics, and others within the network, the focus reflects on the growth of the techno-scientific and military industrial complex and is grounded in fieldwork.

Shezad Dawood is an interdisciplinary artist who uses research and collaboration as a way of informing his work in film, installation, writing, publishing, VR, and sculpture. His key concerns with marine ecology, non-aligned movement and the ethics of place recur across different projects including Leviathan: an ongoing multimedia project and public programme that launched at the Venice Biennale in 2017. As much open source resource as artwork, the project looks at the fault lines between climate change, migration, and mental health and is informed by an ever-growing number of activists and academics including marine biologists, oceanographers, and anthropologists.

Ellie Harrison is an artist and activist based in Glasgow. In 2009 she founded Bring Back British Rail, the national campaign for the public ownership of our railways, and has been campaigning for the public ownership of all our carbon-intensive services and infrastructure ever since. In 2016 she slashed her carbon footprint for transport to zero and made headlines with her ‘controversial’ project The Glasgow Effect, for which she refused to leave Glasgow’s city limits, or use any vehicles except her bike, for the whole calendar year.

Vivek Vilasini's latest artistic intervention is a food forest to address society’s everyday concerns about food and water. Vivek conjures up a magical landscape where butterflies hover over the Pala Indigo plant (Wrightia Tinctoria), hordes of dragonflies arrive from Africa to swarm over puddles and ponds as they migrate towards the lower Himalayas, there are berries on shrubs and fruits on creepers, the low-chill apple and greengage blossoms and mushrooms sprout on wet earth. The Inca nut vines thrive along with Jicama (yam) and Chayamansa (the Mexican tree spinach). When the forest is in motion, each species—plant and animal—lives symbiotically.

Paul Chaney is a self-taught artist whose practice explores the metrics of self-sufficiency and human hand labour, human/non-human relations, and post-collapse futurologies, using a mix of participation, long-term engagements with land and agricultural processes, and digital modelling. He has twenty years of experience in horticulture and agronomy. For six months of the year he lives and works on a small off-grid settlement in Cornwall – End of the World Garden – an ongoing research platform where he is lead artist. His project Lizard Exit Plan (commissioned by Kestle Barton Gallery in 2013) imagines a comprehensive speculative design projection where a catastrophic event cuts off Cornwall’s Lizard peninsula, in turn, leading to a full-scale, zero-fossil fuel, horse-driven agrarian economy.

CHAIRS: Tracey Warr, Alan Boldon, and  Rob La Frenais


Vivek Vilasini, Edible Forest.


LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. LASER Talks were founded in 2008 by Bay Area LASER Chair Piero Scaruffi and are in over 30 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website

The mission of the LASERs is to provide the general public with a snapshot of the cultural environment of a region and to foster interdisciplinary networking.

November 8th, 2019 7:00 PM   through   9:30 PM
Dartington Hall
Studio 3
Totnes, DEV TQ96EL
United Kingdom

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Phone: 441803847070