Project Description

Research residency

Working with the Gravitational Wave department,
University of Birmingham

Radical Sabbatical

2017, University of Birmingham & Eastside Projects
Faciliatated by Eastside Projects and University of Birmingham.
‘ESP members Emilie Atkinson, Sarah Farmer, Duncan Poulton and Stuart Whipps have been selected to undertake Radical Sabbatical residencies at University of Birmingham (UoB) during the spring term of 2017.
The residencies provide a platform for artists, curators and art-writers to respond to the multidisciplinary nature of research, and offer an opportunity for practitioners to develop new ideas, research and work in an exciting context of learning and expertise. Radical Sabbatical is a space for experimentation, knowledge exchange and cross-disciplinary engagement – a place for artists and academics to explore each others’ research and consider how it is produced and conveyed.
The selected artists have proposed residency strategies that respond to provocations from a range of academics, under the following themes – FUTURE CITIES, AGING AND REPAIR, CONVEYING THE SENSITIVE, TRUST AND RISK, and WAVES’
Over the course of a year I sat in on the weekly Data Analyst meetings in the gravitational wave departments, absorbing what was around me.  Over this year I could develop a better picture of the realities of daily scientific practice, a world usually inaccessible to non scientists.  It was an opportunity to identify the disparities between accessible pop science systems and actual working methodologies, to learn more about how scientists think, identify the similarities and differences between the arts and science and look into specific areas of cutting edge (but not glamorous) research.  Whilst specific interrogations of data materialised into 2 specific projects around the time (A precarious Equilibrium and SPACETIMEBAND), the biggest asset was the knowledge gained from just the experience of watching and absorbing as much of this esoteric system as possible; something I see filtering through all my work and thinking since.

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