When David Attenborough joined the BBC, 60 years ago this September, Britain had only one television channel. Cameras had to be wound up like a clock and could only film live or in 20-second bursts. There was no way to capture sound and vision at the same time, or to broadcast from anywhere but the studio. Attenborough, like most people, did not own a television set; he thinks he had seen only one programme in his life. He had applied for a job in radio, as a talks producer, and been turned down, and it was only by chance that his CV was seen by a television executive, the head of factual broadcasting, Mary Adams. She gave him a chance—but when he first went in front of the camera, she said his teeth were too big.
By 1956, Attenborough had persuaded the BBC to let him try a new way of filming—from and of the natural world. With only a cameraman and animal expert for company, he would go off for months to remote lands in search of rare beasts. In Borneo, some days’ walk from civilisation, he was on the trail of orangutan when he spied a man paddling up the river, wearing only a sarong and bearing a message tucked in a cleft stick. It was from the BBC, giving instructions on how to use their new toy: colour film. What started in a makeshift fashion with “Zoo Quest” matured over the decades into “Life on Earth”, “The Private Life of Plants”, “Life in Cold Blood”, “Frozen Planet” and many more. With Attenborough, the phenomenon of natural-history film-making was born.
Excerpt from an article written by Samantha Weinberg at Intelligent Life. Continue HERE
Across disciplines academics and artists are researching and creating practices that are highly contextual (determined by the environment in which they are located), exploring ways of articulating specific environments, spaces or places. This conference examines a specific problematic that attends the dissemination of this work: how to engage with ‘being there’ when ‘there’ is not here?
We understand environment (social, built, natural, technological) as that which surrounds and informs us. Through our practice we influence our environment. What we create is shaped by our surroundings. We exist in a relation of mutual exchange; making ourselves other and incorporating that which is other in turn. This conference offers a forum for academics and creative practitioners to come together and engage with articulations of mutual formation: to discuss work as environment.
Such work often relies on direct, personal experience of a particular environment. Transfer and abstraction, necessary for the communication of this work beyond the specifics of this original environment, challenge the work. Negotiating publication or conference environment, for example, necessitates reformulation of the work, engendering changes in texture and experience, in adapting to alternative structures. What do such alterations, translations or transformations, mean for this work?
This conference aims to examine these questions on a very practical level. When it comes to considering environment, what is the relationship between the structures of dissemination and the environment our work seeks to convey? What is the relationship between our academic environment and the work we (aim to) produce? How do we utter our environment?
Poets and writers, artists, academics, social and environmental scientists, performers and musicians, among others, are invited to discuss ways of uttering environment. Organizers seek work that explores the phenomenological sense of speaking with environment. They encourage the use of a diverse range of media as part of this dialogue. Participants are invited to find new ways of expressing their research and/or artistic practice in a conference setting that reflects upon this process of adaptation as a process of practical enquiry.
Deadline for applications: 31st March
Conference: 1st-2nd September 2012
More info HERE