Imagine a circular future. What do you see?
We use limited resources as if they are never-ending while being aware of the harmful impact on our climate. We know that the way we design, engineer, manufacture, distribute, repair and recycle our materials is preventing us from reaching the imperative climate goals. In response, the EU Green Deal introduced a clean and circular economy as a key driver on the roadmap to sustainable economies.
Rethinking our entire manufacturing and consumption practices can be daunting. But fears about the disruption that such a shift might cause to the economy are dismissed by predictions that a circular economy in the EU could create 180, 000 extra jobs by 2030 and 2 million jobs in the longer term. Circular economies not only can but must become a reality.
Perhaps if we start small, engage all actors in society to contribute with ideas, and consider even those that might seem too out-there the shift will seem less daunting. Perhaps once we start imagining what now seems like unimaginable circular futures, we will start seeing the path that leads us to them.
We know there are many ideas out there without a voice. We came up with this tool to harvest the ideas in our local communities and give them a voice in the conversation the Regional STARTS Centers aims to start with policymakers.
Circular Records addresses the environmental impact of new media art, focussing on sound art, by creating a zero- or low-carbon way for listeners to acquire sound works. During the residency, artists Kat Austen and Fara Peluso search for an alternative to the highly polluting and popular vinyl record. The artists will test, develop and combine biomaterials to achieve the necessary material properties, concurrently developing a record manufacturing method suitable for this material. In the end, they will present a prototype release of an experimental music album (This Land is Not Mine | Album) that addresses the complexities of the fossil fuel extractives industry.
Photo courtesy of Kat Austen and Fara Peluso
S+T+ARTS Repairing the Present
Since June 2021, as part of the European Commission’s S+T+ARTS initiative, 12 new Regional S+T+ARTS Centers have been creating a space for artists, scientists, and technologists to work together on a common mission: Repairing the present. The S+T+ARTS initiative is a program funded by the European Commission aiming to bring artistic perspectives into the innovation process to address current challenges in today’s society.
Repairing the Present as part of the S+T+ARTS Residencies encourages a critique of the present, the exploration beyond its current limitations, and the re-imagination of other possible futures. To that end, the program fosters the development of methodologies and frameworks for long-term cross-disciplinary collaborations that can lead to products, tools and processes with a positive impact on society at large.
In October and November 2021, 12 Regional S+T+ARTS Centers called international artists working at the intersection between science, technology and the arts to apply for a 6-month residency. The residencies respond to local sustainability challenges that have been defined by invited Local Experts Groups during workshops that took place in July-September 2021. During the residency, the artists engage with the Local Expert Group, the general public as well as other relevant stakeholders in a strongly collaborative process.
The Regional S+T+ARTS Center Ars Electronica host artist Kat Austen and artist-designer Fara Peluso for their S+T+ARTS Residency.
The challenge is co-commissioned by Ars Electronica with the support of Greiner Innoventures, Johannes Kepler University Linz and Linzer Innovationshauptplatz within the framework of Repairing The Present. Repairing The Present is co-funded by the S+T+ARTS initiative of the European Union.
The S+T+ARTS initiative is a program funded by the European Commission aiming to bring artistic perspectives into the innovation process to address current challenges in today’s society.
Since its launch five years ago, the S+T+ARTS initiative has hosted over 125 residencies across its different projects.
Repairing the Present will be adding 21 thematic residencies to the portfolio. Each of the residencies points to an EU Green Deal or a New European Bauhaus goal and reflects pan-European or global issues that require solutions tailored to specific regions.
Ars Electronica is a cultural institution, educational facility and R&D lab based in Linz, Austria. Since the Ars Electronica Festival first took place in 1979, Ars Electronica has developed a unique, comprehensive approach to techno-cultural phenomena and gained worldwide recognition. Ars Electronica now includes four divisions — the annual Ars Electronica Festival, the Prix Ars Electronica, the Ars Electronica Center, and the Ars Electronica FutureLab – that work in parallel yet inspire one another in a circuit of creativity. From the international, artistic experimentations celebrated with the Ars Electronica Festival and the Prix Ars Electronica, to the local educational and entertainment programme of the Ars Electronica Center and the ground-breaking research conducted in the FutureLab, their approach responds to the Zeitgeist and transgresses disciplinary territories creating a space of dialogue and inter-disciplinary translation.