Artistic approaches to the echoes of fossil fuels
25 May 2021, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm
In this talk, artist Kat Austen will discuss two artworks that address the topic of fossil fuel legacies.
This event is free.
Fossil fuel use is essential to the anthropocene. In this presentation artist Kat Austen will discuss two artworks that address the topic of fossil fuel legacies. In the context of the climate crisis, Stranger to the Trees looks at microplastic, themselves a product of fossil fuel-intensive industrial processes, and their coexistence with trees in forests as carbon sinks. This Land is not Mine looks at the postextractive landscape of Lusatia as the region transitions from brown coal mining towards sustainability. Leveraging diverse methods including DIY science, acoustic ecologies and new material studies, Austen creates multimedia works that develop aesthetics of sustainability.
Kat Austen is a person. In her artistic practice, she focusses on environmental issues. She melds disciplines and media, creating sculptural and new media installations, performances and participatory work. Austen’s practice is underpinned by extensive research and theory, and driven by a motivation to explore how to move towards a more socially and environmentally just future.
Working from her studio in Berlin, Austen is currently Artist in Residence at the Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences, University College London, Senior Teaching Fellow at UCL Arts and Sciences and Artist Fellow at Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam. Her studio hosts two Scientists in Residence through the STUDIOTOPIA programme hosted by Ars Electronica. Austen is a member of the bbk, an inaugural member of the London Creative Network, co-founder of the DIY Hack the Panke collective in Berlin and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Austen’s field research has included a voyage around the Canadian High Arctic as Artist in the Arctic 2017 for Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute (University of Cambridge) for her project The Matter of the Soul. In 2018 Austen was selected as inaugural Cultural Fellow in Art and Science at the Cultural Institute, University of Leeds for the same project. Austen has been awarded residencies internationally, including EMAP / EMARE Artist in Residence at WRO Art Center, AiR at NYU Shanghai, ArtOxygen Mumbai and LAStheatre.
Austen has exhibited at Bonhams Art Gallery, London; The Polar Museum, Cambridge; Kuehlhaus, Berlin, among others, and her work is held internationally in private collections. She has performed around the globe, including at Opera North, Leeds; Fusion Festival, Berlin and Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco.
Picture credit: Roger Pimenta