The River School Project
4 October 2014 – 4 October 2015
The River Symposium on Art, Ecopower and the Liberation of Energy considers the political, social and ecological proportions of the river and examines it as a site of power. While appreciating the natural strength, kinetic energy and resilience of rivers, the discussion also takes into account political struggles over their use, as well as schemes to control and harness their flows. The presentations reconstruct the environmental history of rivers and the role of human agency in shaping them, with the social, political and artistic histories of the River Danube forming a particular focus of the symposium. Along with examining critical approaches to energy policy and the ecopower associated with rivers, the symposium also introduces innovative attempts from outside the technocratic mainstream to visualize and bring about the liberation of energy. The River Symposium provides a setting for artists, environmental historians, scientists and activists to bridge their fields and investigate the inter-streaming of ecology, energy and power. The symposium also takes a boat trip on the Danube for more fluid discussions.
The Translocal Institute will organise a floating artist lab called the River School Project. The floating lab on the Danube involves artists, theorists and ecologists to explore issues around art and sustainability, the parallels between navigation and migration in human and animal worlds, as well as the role of environmental protest in the democracy movements of Central Europe. These questions are also at the heart of an accompanying exhibition. The aim is to foster new thinking about environmental sustainability through artistic encounters with the natural world, and to build bridges between ecology and science, contemporary artistic practice, grassroots activism and public policy.
The primary target group of the River School is the new generation of artists, cultural producers and young people who experience Europe as a transnational reality in which the shared experience of ecology and the desire to achieve an environmentally and socially sustainable future supersede geopolitical divides based on competing economic and ideological interests.
Download the full report of the River School here.