Zooetics: Future Energy Summit

Future Energy Summit Conference and workshop

Sunday 3 September, 2017 11am - 6pm

Silver Screen Cinema, Cinema 2 Folkestone Town Hall, Guildhall Street, Folkestone CT20 1 DY, United Kingdom

Free entry, registration required:

Future Energy Summit brings together professionals and enthusiasts from the fields of art, design, life sciences and the humanities to Folkestone, UK for a meeting on the opening weekend of the Folkestone Triennial 2017, to re-imagine and re-script future models of energy, and its role and impact on citizenship and culture.

The ever growing appetite for energy that leads to extreme fossil fuel extraction is being disrupted by a number of revolutionary processes including the rapid transition to renewable energy, and the digitizing and networking of energy production and distribution infrastructures. Massive consumption of energy, demand for new kinds of energy storage, and the development of smart grids are changing the way these networks operate. In this context of increasing demand and the ever-moving target of fossil fuel exhaustion, the future of energy is determined by our capacity to reprogramme our energy dependencies.

In order to undo the way in which modernity has dictated energy provision, Future Energy Summit will emphasize two key perspectives: first, relearning the numerous ways that living organisms produce and store energy — for example, microbes producing energy when breaking down glucose with the help of enzymes, which occurs in both human andnonhuman bodies — and second, reconceptualizing energy independence and energy grids by looking at ‘maker culture’ inspired production models. Testing these models is crucial for the future of the planet in our era of dramatic climate change because not only do they transcend the role of the passive consumer — they also create alliances and associations across disciplines, fields and ontologies.Future Energy Summit, joined by academics, artists, designers, makers and inventors, looks for productive fictions, prototypes and models that can imagine a new diversity of energy interdependencies.

The invited participants of the Summit include prominent researchers and scholars from the fields of energy and science humanities, such as Jelena Martinovic, a historian of science, who will discuss energy, threat, and adaptation strategies, by considering near-death experiences and their relevance in scientific and clinical research in the 19th and 20th century; Tere Vadén, a philosopher whose work inquires into the relation between the humanities, energy, and the project of modernity; and Imre Szeman, the author of Energy Humanities: An Anthology and a key figure in these debates.Artists and designers Cédric Carles and Thomas Ortiz of Paleo-Energetique, will discuss their energy archaeology project, amassing an archive of a multiplicity of energy production patents and inventions which have been previously neglected, censored, or forgotten. Artist and researcher Rasa Smite (a collaborator with Raitis Smits and RIXC in Riga, Latvia) will introduce the artists’ approach in building a “techno-ecological” perspective, and will demonstrate the findings of RIXC's Biotricity research. Also, discussing the sonic expressions of “Pond Battery”, aninstrument that is fuelled by bacteria living in mud, Rasa will give a hands-on workshop on how to make your own mud battery. Stephanie Karpetas, a social entrepreneur and activistwill share her expertise and experience of engaging communities to be part of a local energyrevolution, helping people take ownership and control of their own local energy generation, distribution, and use. The Summit respondent is Asa Calow, a creative technologist and a co-founder of the Institute of Unknown Purpose – a new US-UK technology research initiative working on new forms of post-transition digital infrastructure. New materiality in battery production will be discussed by Viktorija Makarovaite and Sofia Perez-Villar, research scientists at Kent University and scientific advisors for the mushroom batteries deployed at the Folke Stone Power Plant, a work commissioned from Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas for Folkestone Triennial 2017.

Future Energy Summit is brought together by Zooetics, a research platform exploring human, non-human, and poetic knowledge spheres in order to imagine new prototypes and interfaces for future interspecies ecologies. Future Energy Summit is part of Folkestone Triennial 2017, and is supported by theLithuanian Council for Culture, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, and Arts at MIT. Zooetics is an Outreach and Education Program of Frontiers in Retreat, a network supported by the EU “Culture” Programme (EACEA 2013-1297). This communication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained herein.