Shock City: Resilience and the Anthropocene
Shock City: Resilience and the Anthropocene was a two-day international event that took place in October, 2015 at Chelsea College of Arts as part of the CCW Graduate School Year of Resilience (YoR). Resilience can be understood as the capacity of a bounded network—a person, bacterial culture, a forest, a city or an economy—to deal with change and continue to develop. It is a response to shocks and disruption, like an infection, financial crisis or climate change that spurs creative practice and encourages renewal. Resilience is a means of taking action and creating sustainable ways to co-exist within our biosphere.
Shock City: Resilience and the Anthropocene included walking, talking, workshopping, an exhibition and a conference with invited speakers and practitioners from CCC Head in Geneva (an educational programme that develops new vocabularies for articulating the political and social implications of a changing world). This section of the Graduate School blog has been designated to showcase the wide-ranging discussion that took place to present new cultural discourse on resilience. The conference followed the YoR themes of: ‘Empathy and Proximity’, ‘Making and Repairing’ and ‘Community and Resilience’. This iteration of Shock City included practitioners located at our own graduate school as well as others—from architectural performance in Warsaw to the impact of culture on policy-making in Geneva—who together began to provide a community response to the broader change that is shaking the foundations of cultural production, including art and design education.
The ideas put forward in October 2015 are too valuable to be lost in personal hard drives or only partially recalled in the minds of the speakers. In a 2017 world of an unravelling Brexit, a Trump-dominated so-called ‘free world’ and hurricane Irma causing destruction in the Caribbean as the latest display of climate change’s impact, a call for resilient practices is more prescient than ever. Archived here is a community of practitioners producing an emergent understanding for the potential of resilience in an attempt to accumulate a shared ethos that we hope will continue on into new, unexpected and divergent practices.
PANEL 1: EMPATHY AND PROXIMITY
PANEL 2: MAKING AND REPAIRING
PANEL 3: COMMUNITY AND PLACES