SYMPOSIUM AT ABERYSTWYTH UNIVERSITY, ARTS CENTRE FRIDAY 15th JANUARY 2016
CP Snow’s Rede lecture of 1959 (‘The Two Cultures’) considered the humanities and sciences to be two separate strata. Arguably, a large degree of separation has remained ever since. Yet with the subsequent rise in awareness of the need to manage human impacts on the Earth, there have been calls for more integrated, holistic modes of thinking that involve greater engagement between multiple strata in academia and wider society. Such calls have been brought into sharp focus by debate over the Anthropocene, a proposed new geological time interval that suggests that humans are now the dominant influence shaping the Earth system. Are human activities such as agriculture, mining and urbanisation leaving distinctive ‘footprints’ in the Earth’s strata that will endure into the future and so enter the long-term geological record? What are the practical, cultural, ethical and moral implications of such a proposal?
To examine these and other questions, Strata brings together practitioners who work collaboratively across the arts and sciences (both broadly defined) in addressing the concept of the Anthropocene. The symposium’s principal remit is to consider the ways in which art and science collaborations are responding to the Anthropocene debate by representing the past, present and future impacts of human activity on the Earth system.
The symposium is concurrent with the exhibition ‘Stranded’ by Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey at the Arts Centre, and is a collaboration between the School of Art (SoA) and the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES), organised by Julian Ruddock (SoA) and Stephen Tooth (DGES). Support is provided by the British Society for Geomorphology’s ‘Visualising Geomorphology’ Working Group.
Julian Ruddock, Stephen Tooth, Dan Harvey (of Ackroyd and Harvey), Emma Critchley, Alan Beattie, Liz Orton, Anna Falcini, Hannah Sofaer, Deniz Baker