The REMNANT/EMERGENCY Artlab was a major arts And cultural reserach and development project. It ran between 2010-12 and concluded in May 2012. It was supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council (Inter Arts), in collaboration with QUT Creative Industries, the UTS Research Centres for Contemporary Design Practices and Human-Centred Technology Design & Embodiedmedia. Other partners include, (or have previously included) UTS Gallery, The Edge, NYU Environmental Health Clinic, the Participatory Design Conference (PDC 2010),Scanz 2011 EcoSapienz, Art Center Nabi (Korea) and Earthbase Productions.
The REMNANT/EMERGENCY ArtLab pivoted on a series of site specific Labs in the Australian neighbouring regions of South-East Asia & the Pacific between 2010 and 2012. The labs involved rigorous research and experimentation offering the team an opportunity to understand and engage with ideas of remnant self, culture and environments, assisted through an examination of the complexity of cultures and inter-cultural exchange. Through this website each Lab event can be exploted - and an overview of what was learnt from the process can be found here.
The Artlab team understands itself to be a new ‘change community’ in that we share a commonality of belief (that also respects our differences) – that we must apply our work towards envisaging an environmentally/culturally sustainable future. As a group we are therefore investigating new modes of creative thinking/action together that confront the roots of today’s ecological crisis. By naming the root of this crisis as cultural (rather than scientific) we clearly understand the problem we face as a being a ‘problem of us’. Towards that end we are seeking to develop new imaginaries that question deeply-ingrained, unsustainable ways of thinking and acting.
By conducting a series of labs in different geographical locations the project gave us an unparalleled opportunity to learn from other cultures whose practices are both different and potentially more sustainable than our own – and to then re-think and re-apply those sustaining knowledges to our own ‘change-politics’ activities. The discoveries made through these labs also translated into each member’s discipline/practice evolving into a methodology that was both increasingly sensitive to intangible cultural heritage and that forgeed new processes that sought to target the roots of our collective ecological crisis.
The core team includeded Director and media artist Keith Armstrong, design theorist Tony Fry and sound artist Leah Barclay and we worked actively with other collaborators when local opportunities arose. We are also joined by QUT Masters students, communications artist/writer Ilka Nelson and Environmental Engineer/Media Artist Tega Brain.
There were 6 key labs in total and a number of satellite events - For example The Bat-Human Project Event onApril 29th in Cook and Phillip Park, Sydney. The wrap up/overview of the project can be found here.