Lancaster University: New festival to showcase arts, environment and digital technologies

Lancaster University researchers are hosting a festival to celebrate arts, the environment and digital technologies.

Entangled is a free event, inspired by the ways in which places and people are connected and how digital technology can uncover these connections, or “entanglements”. It will run from 18th to 26th September and is designed to awaken curiosity, regardless of age or background.

The festival, organised by a team from the School of Computing and Communications and including contributions from Lancaster Environment Centre and Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, will take place online and outdoors around Morecambe Bay. It will include a series of expert talks and panels, podcasts, family-friendly activities, live performances, walks and workshops. A full list of activities can be found via the Entangled website.

A Sketchbook Challenge has been running throughout August, encouraging people to draw to notice their surroundings – and also to highlight the value of these records over time and inform understanding of climate change.

Distinguished Professor Gordon Blair is an EPSRC Senior Fellow in Digital Technology and Living with Environmental Change (DT/LWEC), and the Festival is designed to showcase the research of the fellowship. It will highlight ways in which scientists and technologists are working together to meet environmental challenges, and will run during the Great Big Green Week.

Professor Blair said: “This festival is very much the culmination of my senior fellowship, and we have chosen the theme of entanglement given the importance of understanding complexity in environmental systems – something that has been ever present in the five years of our studies.

“So much of what we have done relates to the role of digital technologies in understanding and managing the many complex interactions and feedbacks that are prevalent in nature. We are excited to engage with many different audiences around this theme during the period of the festival.”

Festival co-organiser Dr Claire Dean said: “Working on the festival has been an exciting way of bringing researchers together with artists to explore how digital technologies can help us better understand the environment and human impacts on it. We can’t wait to share their creative responses to this vital research and to get audiences involved through lots of activities and events outdoors and online.”

Dr Liz Edwards, who has co-organised the event and who has led on educational events, said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with people from around the University to develop outdoor education activities that combine arts, computing and environmental science. During the festival we’ll be working with local schools and organisations like the Wildlife Trust to increase awareness of the natural world.”

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