Future Possibilities Lab: The earth moves as artists take over regional geology museum.

A programme in Birmingham is making major new moves in artistic practice as it partners with a geological museum. Future Possibilities Lab (FPL) is working with Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham, to explore new geological research data, making connections with artists, exploring deep earth, time and people’s relation to it.

University academics will take part in experimental test labs with artists using diverse arts practice.  Artforms include the use of South Asian Kathak dance to explore earthquakes and movement, digital mapping and its relation to Muslim women, place-making and identity, and the use of chemical data to make connections with Commonwealth war graves. Technology used in geology, will also be used to experiment and demonstrate activity with audiences and visitors to the museum.

Lapworth Museum of Geology was successful in beating leading national organisations, as a runner up for the Art Fund Museum of the Year Prize 2017 and is only in its first year of re-opening after a major redevelopment but is still making continuous strides to engage with new audiences in exciting new ways.

José Forrest-Tenant, Curator of Future Possibilities Lab (FPL) says:

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to have Lapworth Museum as our host for the pilot year of the programme. FPL will explore how diverse audiences and individuals engage with scientific data and art – how they relate to it and what connections and meanings they make. This self-exploration of wanting to understand who we are and our place in the world is something that is fundamental to us all. FPL will offer audiences a new understanding and appreciation of arts and science that is relatable and relevant to individual experience.”

Future Possibilities Lab is supported by leading Birmingham-based organisation Sampad South Asian Arts & Heritage. Artists within the programme include Shaheen Ahmed, dancer Divya Kasturi and visual artist Barbara Walker who is winner of a Jerwood Prize in 2017 and artist at the Diaspora Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2017.

The pilot programme will launch in November 2017 and culminate in a final seminar on plate tectonics (movement of a place) and digital Diasporas as part of the Arts & Science Festival held at the University Of Birmingham in March 2018. New digital data art in development will be uploaded to the Future Possibilities Lab online platform.

Jonathan Clatworthy, Director of Lapworth Museum comments:

“There are few opportunities for sharing the subject of geology to audiences in an understandable way. It’s a vast science, ranging from igneous rocks, to dinosaurs, deep earth and climate change. Future Possibilities Lab will be a great way to showcase the infinite possibilities of the science to communities and visitors entering the museum – through new arts practice and public events they’ll get an insight into what an exciting and diverse subject geology really is. I’m looking forward to seeing what the artists come up with.”

For further information about Future Possibilities Lab, please contact Curator of FPL, José Forrest-Tennant on 0121 414 6148 or email: info@futurepossibilities.net

See the latest information about Future Possibilities Lab Artist and Academic Talks and sharings of work-in-progress via the flyer:

*Please note that the sharing with Barbara Walker and Dr Sebastian Watt has been postponed from Thursday 8th February (as advertised in the flyer below) and will now take place at 3.30pm, 28th February 2018.

Future Possibilities Lab is funded through an individual Grants for the Arts, Public Engagement Research Funding through the University Of Birmingham and is supported by Lapworth Museum and Sampad South Asian Arts & Heritage.
Further online details can be found at: www.futurepossibilitieslab.net



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