IMAGINE THE GREAT TRANSITION 22 JUNE 2013, TOYNBEE STUDIOS
Artsadmin & LIFT in association with nef as part of Imagine 2020 Are we trapped in business-as-usual? Could the ‘less’ make us happier than the ‘more’? What do we really value? In 2009 nef (new economics foundation) published The Great Transition, “the first comprehensive blueprint for building an economy based on stability, sustainability and equality”. Now as part of Imagine 2020, a European network of eleven arts organisations engaged in arts and climate change, Artsadmin and LIFT present the first in a series of events across Europe imagining and initiating how the ‘great transition’ might look. Imagine the Great Transition takes place on the final day of Artsadmin’s Two Degrees festival, a week of art events about climate, consumerism and community. Follow the conversation #greattransition @artsadm @LIFTfestival @imagine_2020 artsadmin.co.uk | liftfestival.com | imagine2020.eu | neweconomics.org
photograph by Ludovic Alussi (XTNT)
PROGRAMME 11am-midday Ashbee Hall keynote lecture
Seeking Goodland | Andrew Simms We keep being told there is no alternative. That we must accept the world and the economy as it is, divided and degraded. But what if the better world we dream of is already being invented here, now? What if pieces of quite other futures already exist? In this keynote lecture nef fellow and author of ‘Cancel the Apocalypse’, Andrew Simms goes in search of Goodland and invites us to imagine for ourselves other, better ways of living, that politicians insist cannot exist. And then to find them in the real world.
Midday-2pm (15 mins) Toynbee Studios Theatre screening
Imagine the Great Transition: Imagine2020 Film Commissions Inua Ellams, Gonçalo Tocha, Mels van Zutphen and XTNT Four new short films commissioned by the Imagine 2020 network. Artists Inua Ellams, Gonçalo Tocha, Mels van Zutphen and XTNT respond to the ideas in nef’s The Great Transition in their own diverse visual language.
12:15-2:15pm Lecture Hall installation
Welcome to The Departure Lounge Andrew Simms and Sarah Woods Need a break from modern society? Join us in The Departure Lounge and tell us where you’d like to go. What sort of society would you like to live in? Bring your ideas and queries, visions and stories. We have comfy seats, inquiring minds and biscuits. We’ll make the journey together. Some of the stories and ideas we collect will feature in THE ROADLESS TRIP, the show at 6pm in the theatre.
12:30-1:30pm Ashbee Hall discussion
Language of Transition, Transition of Language Panel: Inua Ellams, Guy Gypens, Richard Hawkins, Juliet Michaelson and Michael Pinsky Do we need to learn the economist’s jargon? Should theory be made comprehensible to all for global change to happen? What role can artists play in reducing complexity and empowering the outsider? This panel discussion revolves around presentation and representation of economic research and why the language of transition matters.
IMAGINE THE GREAT TRANSITION
Artsadmin & LIFT in association with nef as part of Imagine 2020 2-2:30pm Ashbee Hall performance
Imagine 2020 Performance Commission: Families in Transit The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home A nuclear family rehearses excerpts from The Great Transition, inviting audiences to pick what they think will be the most effective bits to get other families on-board. What tone should the ‘great transition’ take? Shall we keep it scary? Fun-filled? Serious? Rhetorical? Bombastic? Gentle?
2:30-3:30pm Ashbee Hall discussion
Nothing Like a Good Crisis...? Panel including David Greig, Danielle Paffard, Ruth Potts and Andrew Simms Public and media discourse about climate change is often dominated by visions of an apocalyptic future. Can the term ‘climate crisis’ ever be a useful one, or do we need to mobilise society into action by using different messages? Are parallels between climate and other moments of crisis in history – from global responses to the recent financial crisis or the spirit of the ‘war effort’ during World War II – an effective means of demonstrating what we can achieve?
4-5pm Toynbee Studios Theatre screening
Steering Through Dystopia Short films by Ursula Biemann, The Otolith Group and Yorgos Zois With Casus Belli (2010), Yorgos Zois offers a powerful reflection on the dominance of financial economy over everyday life. Ursula Biemann’s Deep Weather (2013) takes oil and water as the primeval starting points to articulate the ecological destruction and changing life conditions of Delta communities. Concluding this film programme, the Otolith Group’s Hydra Decapita (2010) comments on capitalism, language and climate change through the imaginary world of Detroit based techno duo Drexciya.
5-6pm Ashbee Hall discussion
Staging the Future Panel including Baki Bateson, Feimatta Conteh and Natalia Kaliada As well as the actions that need to be made by individuals, business and government, it is essential that the arts engages with the crucial issue of climate change, and how we can live, work and create within the limited means of our planet. In this discussion, artists and performing arts workers share their experiences and discuss imaginative and enticing ways to tackle this challenge.
6-7:15pm Toynbee Studios Theatre performance
The Roadless Trip Sarah Woods and Richard Gott An urgent and irresistible invitation to imagine and create a positive future, The Roadless Trip is a very human and often hilarious journey through time, mixing performance, film, audience interaction and the frenzy of the popular gameshow.
THROUGHOUT THE DAY 10am-8pm (20 mins minimum) Toynbee Studios installation
Worktable Kate McIntosh Worktable is a live installation, open to visitors to drop-in any time throughout the day. The installation takes place in a series of rooms at Toynbee Studios. You sign in to enter, and can stay as long as you like. Once inside you are given instructions, equipment and safety goggles. Sign in and get to work.
Midday-2:30pm & 3:30pm-6pm (20 mins) Toynbee Studios performance
What We Owe Harry Giles What We Owe is a highly unqualified debt counselling service. In a one-on-one session, Harry Giles will take you through an audit of what you owe – not just financially, but emotionally, socially and ecologically. In an economy driven by huge financial debts, What We Owe is a tragicomic glance at what we mean by debt and how we struggle to even begin to deal with it.
Midday-6pm (10 mins) Toynbee Studios performance
Imagine 2020 Performance Commission: Island Mass curious directive A hymn to an imagined future. Post-austerity, a world where a collective consciousness for climate change rises again. An intimate installation with dynamic design which responds to you, the viewer.