Adapt, Mitigate, Innovate, Unite: Climate Science on a Burning Planet, Grayson Cooke and Jean S Renouf
Video Wall, Building C, Ground Level
Every day: 8-10am, 12-2pm, 4-7pm [more]
John Reid, Emeritus Fellow, Australian National University
Throughout the conference, John Reid will work on ‘Untitled (Collage of Australian banknotes)’, Detail, 1982 –.
The subject of the artwork is political or enforced disappearances. The work was initiated in 1982 in response to Amnesty International’s ‘Disappearance Campaign’ triggered by the criminal political climate in Central and South America; and the Australian government’s relationship with Indonesia and policy on East Timor.
Usually, enforced disappearances are inflicted by governments to suppress popular opposition to repressive economic policies maintained through military aid from foreign governments who are accomplices in the economic exploitation to support affluent living standards in their own countries.
The intent of the artwork is to appeal for ethical vigilance against Australian government foreign policies that are fuelled by greed. The conceptual relationship between the artwork’s focus on economic exploitation and its medium of money serves to visually dramatise the intent; and to attract scrutiny of it by the State and subsequently the media. From 1984 to 1987, the artwork was legally contested which enhanced the impact of the work.
‘Untitled’ is a process artwork. Its exhibition is performative and, in addition to the presentation of the collage, includes the creative procedures of its production in the gallery space.
John Reid is an Emeritus Fellow of the Australian National University. He has a BA(ANU), 1973, a MFA(UNSW), 1995, and is an Associate of the Industrial Design Institute of Australia (Graphic Design), 1972.
He was a staff member at The Australian National University School of Art from 1978–2013 where he integrated a visual art practice in photography, collage and performance about the environment, human rights and cultural identity into his role as a researcher, teacher, curator and graphic designer.
He continues to work as a visual artist, mentor and as a consultant on the engagement of creative artists in science communication strategies.
Adapt, Mitigate, Innovate, Unite: Climate Science on a Burning Planet
Associate Professor Grayson Cooke & Dr Jean S Renouf, Southern Cross University
This project combines quotes from climate scientists and climate change experts with climate data and satellite images of Australia.
The quotes are from interviews conducted by Dr Jean S. Renouf as part of a research project which seeks to understand what measures climate change experts personally implement to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change on their own lives and on the lives of their (grand)children.
The satellite images are produced by A/Prof. Grayson Cooke as part of an ongoing project exploring creative uses of satellite data. The images derive from Geoscience Australia’s “Digital Earth Australia” platform which is supported by the National Computational Infrastructure and the Australian Government. Across the images, text and climate data, a complex tension and resonance emerges between environmental and anthropogenic forces operating at local and global scales.
Associate Professor Grayson Cooke
Born in New Zealand and based in Australia, Grayson Cooke is an interdisciplinary scholar and media artist, Associate Professor of Media in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University.
Grayson has presented media art and live audio-visual performance works in Australia and internationally, and he has exhibited and performed in major international festivals such as the Japan Media Arts Festival, the WRO Media Art Biennale, the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York, VIDEOFORMES in France and the Currents New Media festival in Santa Fe. As a scholar he has published widely in academic journals, and he is also an associate editor for the scholarly journal “Transformations.” He holds an interdisciplinary PhD from Concordia University in Montreal.
Dr Jean S Renouf
Dr Jean S. Renouf is an academic, a professional firefighter and a dad.
Prior to becoming a lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Southern Cross University, he worked as an international aid worker and a researcher in war zones and natural disasters.
All of this informs his interest for climate change and ethical approaches to security.
how are you today
On Manus: Farhad Bandesh, Behrouz Boochani, Samad Abdul, Shamindan Kanapathi, Kazem Kazemi and Abdul Aziz Muhamat; In Melbourne: Michael Green, André Dao and Jon Tjhia
Since 2013, nearly two thousand men have been indefinitely detained on Manus Island, PNG, by the Australian Government – after arriving in this country seeking asylum. When the Manus Regional Processing Centre was formally closed on 31 October 2017, after the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, the men still detained there were ordered to relocate to new, smaller detention centers in Lorengau, the major town on Manus. The authorities eliminated provisions and removed the diesel generators powering the facility, but the men refused to leave: the culmination of years of organised resistance against their involuntary and indefinite detention. Eventually, they were forcefully evicted.
The work commissioned for Eavesdropping is a collaboration between some of these men – Farhad Bandesh, Behrouz Boochani, Samad Abdul, Shamindan Kanapathi, Kazem Kazemi and Abdul Aziz Muhamat on Manus – and Michael Green, André Dao and Jon Tjhia in Melbourne. Every day for the duration of the exhibition, one of the men on Manus will make a sound recording – of anything they like or nothing much at all – and send it ‘onshore’ for swift upload to the gallery. No doubt the vagaries of weather, blackouts and technology, along with changing personal, political and legal contexts, will intervene along the way.
how are you today opens a channel for a form of speech at a moment when words seem to have been exhausted. It is at once an extremely intimate work – a rare opportunity to listen to these men listening, only very recently, some four thousand kilometres away – and a highly political one. It introduces the Manus soundscape to the gallery not just for the sake of the sounds-in-themselves, not just as a matter of curiosity (though the work will surely produce an archive of real historical value), but in a way that directly implicates the listener and demands that we attend to the politico-legal contexts that produce and frame them.
Samad has been detained in an Australian run offshore detention centre on Manus for the last five years. He loves cricket and his only dream was to be a professional cricketer but politicians have taken his dream and used him as a political prisoner. Although his five years will not come back, he now wants to be a social worker to help those who are in pain.
A 36-year-old Kurdish musician, painter and poet who has been detained on Manus Island for over five years. Before seeking asylum, he worked as a guitar maker, and has no formal art training. Whilst in detention, he has produced solo and collaborative works of music, art and writing. He loves nature and is a keen gardener; his sisters now look after his plants.
A Kurdish-Iranian writer, journalist, scholar, cultural advocate and filmmaker. He was writer for the Kurdish language magazine Werya. He writes regularly for The Guardian and several other publications. Boochani is also co-director (with Arash Kamali Sarvestani) of the 2017 feature-length film Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time, and author of No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison. He has been held on Manus Island since 2013.
A writer of fiction and non-fiction. He is the co-founder of Behind the Wire, an oral history project documenting people’s experience of immigration detention, and the deputy editor of New Philosopher. He is also a qualified lawyer, and has worked with asylum seekers and refugees in a legal capacity.
Writer, radio-maker and producer. He is the host of The Messenger podcast and his work has won many national and international awards, including the 2017 Walkley Award for Radio/Audio feature. He has travelled to Manus Island twice.
Shamindan is a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee. In Sri Lanka he was a marketing executive and a student.
A 36-year-old Kurdish musician, heavy metal and rock songwriter and poet. Before seeking asylum in Australia, he lived in Khorramshahr, Iran, and worked as an electrician.
Abdul Aziz Muhamat
Abdul is a 25-year-old man from Darfur, Sudan. He is from the Zaghawa ethnicity, and with his family, he fled his village to a refugee camp. He arrived in Australia by boat in 2013 and was taken to Manus Island, where he remains. He has become one of the primary public voices among the men there, including through the multi-award winning podcast, The Messenger.
Radio-maker, musician and writer. As the Wheeler Centre’s senior digital editor, he led the Wheeler Centre’s collaboration with Behind the Wire to produce The Messenger. He’s a co-founder of Paper Radio and the Australian Audio Guide.
‘Ragnarok (Song of the Three)’
Jonathan will be performing his song ‘Ragnarok (Song of the Three)’ which, quite appropriately, is a song about the end of the world!, at post-Plenary drinks on Monday 2 December.
In the mid-1980s – that is to say, a very long time ago – Jonathan sang, played bass, and wrote songs in the band Wildlife, which performed in and around Sydney at venues including the Woollahra Hotel, The Rooty Hills RSL, and the Tivoli. He also collaborated for two years with Gretel Killeen, providing music and voiceovers for radio 2JJJ’s breakfast show in Sydney, in the days of DJ Rusty Nails.
After a long hiatus he has returned to songwriting and performing, however these days mostly performs solo with acoustic guitar. He describes his current style as ‘somewhere between urban gospel and country noir’. Influences include Blind Boys of Alabama, Ry Cooder, Dylan, and Sam Beam (Iron & Wine). He recently appeared at the Ballina Country Music Festival and gigs occasionally at other Far North Coast venues.
“Atonement” by Demiurge
Dr David Weir, Maya Sapir, Rochelle Bowles and Dr Kirsten Pavlovic
“Atonement” is a short multimedia piece interpreting some of the moods and messages suggested by the conference theme of Law in the ‘end times’. It reflects an urgency, a sombreness and hope-fulness that stretch from ancient apocalyptic apprehensions and religious texts to contemporary perceptions of the state of emergency that, no longer the exception, has become the rule. Drawing images and musical motifs from art and popular culture the performance seeks to set a tone rather than suggest a strategy.
Dr David Weir, Maya Sapir, Rochelle Bowles and Dr Kirsten Pavlovic
Demiurge is a musical collaborative formed from time to time, mainly between four friends, Dr David Weir, Maya Sapir, Rochelle Bowles and Dr Kirsten Pavlovic, that met as students of contemporary music at Southern Cross University during the 1990s. This incarnation also features Michael Keogh on trombone. Currently, David (guitar, studio engineer and vocals) and Maya (bass and vocals) also perform and record as the musical duo, Tupenny Opera; Rochelle (vocals and tabla) teaches music to children and performs with various other musicians; and Kirsten (vocals and key-board) is working on an album of original material and at other times works as a casual academic in SCU’s School of Law and Justice.
The video is created by Suellen and Kirsten.