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11 October 2019 @ 5.00 pm - 9.45 pmFree
An evening of panel discussions, conversation and music, all dedicated to examining the sky. In the three panel discussions, participants will be invited to consider the sky above their heads, not as a void, but as a multi-layered, complex cultural and legal space, both shared and personal, with a long history and rapidly changing future.
Sky Forum will also form an integral part of the ongoing installation project, Topologies of Air, by artist Shona Illingworth. Illingworth is Reader in Fine Art at the University of Kent, and in April 2019, Illingworth spent two weeks in Sharjah on a production and research residency exploring the relationship of people in the Arabian Gulf region and the sky.
5pm Panel 1 – In Traces of the Past, the Sky Reveals its Secrets Starting with reflections on the significance of the sky and cosmos in Bedouin and Arab life and culture, this panel contemplates the borderless celestial landscape through historical perspectives and personal narratives. What might we learn from a time when the sky was open and belonged to us all?
6pm Panel 2 – Precarious Ecologies (or Welcome to the Last Earth) This panel examines the sky as as a metaphor for life, sustenance, mobility and universality, in an age when these are being threatened and curtailed – and how the sky has become an occupied space of political power, governance, restriction and surveillance (but also a field of scientific emergence, competition and discovery).
7.15pm Music by Azhar Kubba
7.50pm Panel 3 – The Sky is (not) the Limit What are the new frontiers of travel, exploration and technological innovation? How might we imagine the future? Can we arrive at a model of co-existence rooted in the idea of a ‘commons’, where land, air and space are deregulated and universalised?
9pm A Conversation with Shona Illingworth Marta Michalowska,, Artistic Director of The Wapping Project in London (which originally commissioned Topologies of Air), talks with Shona Illingworth about the interdisciplinary nature of the artist’s work, which encompasses not only art but also science, law and engineering, and how research, forums and public discussions feed into it her practice.