Harbinger Consultants

Culture + Complexity + Change

REFLECT | Rights in the city

In my work as a sessional academic, this semester I have worked with students to analysis cities that experience extreme conditions due to natural and human-made disasters. Students are challenged to not only examine the urban form of the city, but to form a perspective on the implications of those morphological elements in that complex context. It’s been a rewarding project offering all of us opportunities to learn and be challenged. In another class, my colleague reassuringly told students “Don’t worry if you are having some trouble with this, it means you are learning.” In other words, go with it, stay with the trouble and the discomfort, step outside of what you know or think you know. And, as educators, we are there to facilitate and guide when the going gets tough.

It’s not often that I have the opportunity to introduce students to frameworks for sustainable development and human rights, but it seemed very relevant for this group. It’s important to introduce students to these frameworks and tools so that they can reflect on them, as is important for any reflective or deliberative practitioner, to shape their own professional and practitioner values and perspectives.

The discussion started earlier in the week when students presented their work in progress – with commentaries about overpopulation and secular violence/conflict. Even though I was impressed by the students’ ability to process these concepts, I had some concerns about their understanding of them as dynamic in a complex urban environment. Neither of these urban conditions just happen – so my focus was in trying to encourage students to look more deeply and examine not only what was driving these issues but also to relate that to the urban form and environment. If, for example, we address people as a problem, then in many situations that can justify all kinds of mistreatment, inequality and abuses of power. How we frame problems and issues is a vital part of urban analysis.

In an urban context, people have needs and rights to be addressed in the making and shaping of places. So adopting a rights-based perspective as a designer or planner can be useful with reference to programs like the New Urban Agenda (UN-Habitat) and Sustainable Development Goals (UN). For example, the United Nations/UN-Habitat have made several statements about the role of space and place in society and their support for ‘right to the city‘. The UN also adopted a Charter for Public Space, which is reflected in the New Urban Agenda. All of these foundations and principles of human rights and sustainable development have implications for the city and urban form.

Sometimes when we are struggling to frame issues, it helps to find a framework or a set of principles to guide our thinking, to interrogate the relationships and processes. So when we talk about ‘overpopulation’ or ‘terrorism’, for example, what are we saying about urban form from the perspective of human rights and/or sustainable development? If we work from the perspective that people have a right to livelihood, housing, health and freedom from poverty – that their needs should be met – then we can look to the city and the urban form as important enablers of those conditions and meeting needs. We can see some urban conditions and experiences as an infringement of those rights or otherwise detract from ‘quality of life’ or human dignity. In cities which become militarised and secured, this can have impacts on civil liberties and freedom of movement, and many cities are challenged by resilience and recovery as climate changes. My hope is that these conversations play a role in informing a sense of purpose as well as a perspective of, reflection on and sensitivity to diverse urban and cultural needs and conditions.

 

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SEMINAR | Transformative Innovation in Northern Australia

Yesterday, the Centre for Policy Futures co-presented the seminar, ‘Realising transformative innovation in Northern Australia’, with the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. The seminar was presented by Professor Alan Irwin (visiting from Copenhagen Business School) and Dr Chris Chilchott (CSIRO) in a discussion about the regional development initiatives underway in the vast northern region of Australia. Professor Karen Hussey, Director of the Centre for Policy Futures, acted as MC and provided the necessary context and introductions.

As I have noted elsewhere about northern Australia, the region is complex and diverse, presenting both challenges and opportunities for communities in a multi-stakeholder, multi-scalar and multi-level context. Professor Hussey’s introduction explained that the vision of northern Australia development was not new and had been revisited by governments throughout the 20th century in a bid to capture the pioneering spirit of the earlier cattle graziers (aka colonial land grabbers and squatters). She said that northern Australia development was not easy and that “it will require a great many perspectives to coalesce a vision”. With that kind of statement, I often feel deflated because Australia either does not do vision well or can suffer from implementation paralysis often with governments deflecting action to each other.

Dr Chris Chilcott provided an introduction to set the scene about northern Australia development, providing data and explaining the current policy driver of development. The northern region of Australia, located above the Tropic of Capricorn, comprises 40% of the land mass and 2% of the population. The population can fluctuate, and Darwin experienced a decline of 12% in recent years. The policy prioritises agriculture, mining, tourism and infrastructure with a focus on trade and investment.

Regional development faces barriers including patchy arable land, accessibility of water resources, high risk exposure, lack of infrastructure and barriers to employment. A priority of the government is to build dams with 20 dams proposed to capture 40% of the water. Despite these somewhat sizeable barriers, the government is committed to development in this region. The CSIRO is playing a key role in informing development in northern Australia such as undertaking a range of studies to examine catchments and soil.

Professor Alan Irwin is currently visiting Australia to present a series of workshops and lectures on multi-stakeholder perspectives for transformational innovation. He is an expert in the fields of science and technology policy, scientific governance, environmental sociology, and science-public relations to bear on best practice for developing and shaping multi-stakeholder perspectives on transformative innovation.

Professor Irwin spoke about how integrated transdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approaches play a role in bringing about transformative innovation. He stressed the need to think about innovation beyond the normal model or image, such as genius or heroic figures like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs especially where corporations acted in ways to restrict choice and control access to technology with little transparency. Other kinds of innovation were at play, meaning there is a need to understand both the form and direction that innovation can take. That is, the model of disruptive innovation (particularly predicated on technological breakthrough) cannot be the only way we think about innovation in given the encompassing breadth of wicked problems and complex systems.

Professor Irwin outlined some approaches to and types of innovation including:

  • ‘Responsible Innovation’, which ties together questions of the future and stewardship in terms of product, process and purpose, and
  • ‘Transformative Innovation’ through which a wide range of societal and wicked problems are addressed.

Thinking about innovation differently also requires a new innovation agenda and Professor Irwin outlined the following key points:

  • Innovation as social and political as well as technical process
  • Innovation as a cross-disciplinary and cross-societal process
  • Acknowledging questions of the form, speed and direction of innovation
  • Addressing isomorphism and contextuality
  • Seeking new perspectives on innovation, capacity-building and multi-stakeholder engagement

Questioning about power and benefits are at the core of these types of more purposeful innovation. Innovation must occur in the system – the system has to change and learn – for it to be more than another repackaging of path dependent trickle-down economics predicated on infinite growth.

Professor Irwin finished his presentation with some questions for discussion and further consideration – it was useful to stop without neatly packaging answers and readymade solutions. He identified the following questions and opportunities:

  • What kinds of leadership are required to embrace new possibilities?
  • What new models of innovation are needed?
  • What new partnerships and forms of capacity-building should be constructed?
  • What role of government, research organisations, public groups and industry?
  • What forms of innovation and change are we seeking and where will we take them?

–oOo–

A few questions emerge from this discussion that warrant further exploration:

1. What are the prospects for regional development to be Aboriginal led and centred?

A brief discussion about Aboriginal communities and priorities occurred during question time. This raised a few issues including a reminder that Aboriginal communities are not a homogenous group and that there is significant innovation underway in communities with assets and resources that can be leveraged for job creation, training and intergenerational benefit. The northern Australia agenda does prioritise Indigenous businesses. This is particularly important because Indigenous populations are not aging like non-Indigenous Australia but getting younger with a significant proportion under the age of 25 years.

A CSIRO project coordinator, colleague of Dr Chilcott, commented that even with job creation, there will not be enough jobs generated for so many young people. He claimed that people may need to consider living off country. This was a particularly jarring statement because the only people who can or should make decisions about living on and off country are Aboriginal people. Face value in this exchange does not seem worth much given that many programs in remote communities are not delivering value and simply not working to address disadvantage.

One member of the audience commented that our broken system operates by doing the wrong things a bit less wrong. There is something still inherently wrong and broken in the system – and this seemed to be a crowd au fait with complex systems thinking – that means socio-ecological justice falls from view. This would include supporting creative industries and art forms as well as protecting cultural heritage from development whether it is landscape, whether it is site, whether it is material, whether it is intangible. Presently, we could safely assume that some culturally significant sites remain undisturbed because of their remoteness and the patchiness of the terrain.

Another member of the audience also said that in her work with Aboriginal communities, there was suspicion about the northern Australian agenda as another colonial land grab intended to further dispossess and entrap Aboriginal people. There is much going on in remote communities with the trilogy of training programs, social programs, income management and punitive welfare regimes somehow conspiring to hold people in the bind of meeting obligations but only just treading water. Clearly, there are many points of view and an Aboriginal led and centred multi-stakeholder approach is needed to ensure that individual communities can respond according to their needs and long term vision. By some accounts, new approaches to governance and self-determination are underway in the north.

2. How is the agenda for the north scaled or scaleable in and for small communities?

Professor Irwin presented the case study of Samsø, an island in Denmark with a population of 4000. Samsø has successfully transitioned to 100 per cent renewable energy through the establishment of a community owned cooperative, aiming for zero emissions by 2030. Everyone owns shares in the cooperative which generates biomass, solar and wind energy and heating, earning it the title of ‘renewable energy island’. The transition was in part driven by changing economic fortunes and when industries closed down, other employment was needed.

A Guardian article notes that despite success stories like Samsø, small and island communities have not been well supported in Australia with local enthusiasm for energy transition not matched by federal government. The Guardian also reports “Samsø residents can now boast a carbon footprint of negative 12 tonnes per person per year, compared with a Danish average of 6.2 tonnes and 17 tonnes in Australia in 2015.”

Based on the yesterday’s discussion and this example in particular, I have the sense that the northern Australia agenda is too coarse to account for the small and the local initiatives that are providing communities with new socio-economic opportunities and pathways. The development agenda and the discussion prioritises large catchments and large parcels of land for large intensive uses and large infrastructures. A big region with big things and big industries!

Samsø provides an example of renewable energy industries emerging in rural communities through cooperative ownership. Georgetown in the Gulf, where John worked with Plan C on a strategic economic development initiative, is a leader in renewable energy. Carbon capture and storage has been integrated into land management practices in Aboriginal land holding with a view to ongoing development of enterprise and employment opportunities. Contradictions are evident too – there is a situation of directing funding into dam building, but remote communities still are not equipped with reliable telecommunications, water supply and energy generation.

The commentary also bemoaned Australia’s complex multi-level governance. From my experience, the problem of ‘too many’ Australian tiers of government usually becomes a problem when either there’s a funding shortfall (often the result of vertical fiscal imbalance, lack of time and virulent neoliberal policies), a major corporation wants to steamroll development, or a higher level of government is obstructed by lower levels of government. Local Government was created by State Government statute to fulfil particular roles that are best managed at the local and regional level including some aspects of land use, planning and development, and most of the resource management domains are the province of the State Government. Therefore, in order for the northern agenda to gain momentum, State Governments must act and it is within their power to do so. The relationship is – or should be – collaborative and forge a multi-level and multi-stakeholder approach to regional governance. Of course it is complex and cumbersome, but there are clear signs that this kind of governance capability needs ongoing development. The Federal Government role can be minor, often based on funding, and in some policy arenas it can set some parameters around the disbursements of funds to direct infrastructure and development.

3. If there is not enough funding to build sea walls in the Torres Strait why is there enough funding to build dams and other infrastructure in the north?

This question highlights that the region is undergoing developed in an uneven and unjust way in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities remain vulnerable to climate change impacts. This indicates the northern Australia agenda is not sufficiently anticipatory to develop a response to climate change and opts for either a pattern of selective trading off or blinkering.

Last month, a king tide resulted in the inundation of homes in the Torres Strait. Exasperated and exhausted residents of Yam Island pleaded for help via social media as their homes and belongings were destroyed in gushing tidal water. Despite some funds from government, promised sea walls for the islands have not been constructed and those that have been constructed have been breached. Funds for all sea walls only paid for one of them.

If we are seriously talking about northern Australia development and infrastructure, then that discussion needs to happen in tandem with mitigating the impact of climate change. It is another situation in which the choice to remain on country is being eroded.

As I am writing this I am struck by the contradictions – not only the failure to fund sea walls and mitigate inundation, but in relation to other resource issues. While our governments endeavour to forge an ambitious regional development program that will swell pastoral and agricultural output for export to nearby nations, a small community we know is working to stop young people from stealing food because they are hungry and not getting enough to eat at home. While adults are streamed into pointless training programs in a region where work is scarce, traditional and ceremonial knowledge and skills are being lost and unvalued. This is what I mean by the coarseness of the northern Australia development agenda – too many life and death concerns slip through or fall from view. We know this happening and the agenda is yet to provide a frame for the social and policy innovation that is required to do more except blanket this country in greater depths of social and ecological injustice.

Note: The Centre for Policy Futures was established in August 2017 to provide a forum for The University of Queensland’s (UQ) researchers to inform policy debate and shape public policy by connecting academic research with policy and program development.

WORK IN PROGRESS | Reflective Practice Toolkit

Having had a good response to our Reflective Practice Toolkit survey, we thought it would be interesting to work on some test layouts. We have produced a very slim iteration, not really a prototype, as a limited and indicative demonstration of the intended toolkit.

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This Reflective Practice Toolkit is being developed through an open call to participate in an online survey which featured 10 questions about reflective practice. On one side of the cards, quotefrom the responses are included on the cards as shared reflections from the participants, and the other side features a question or other prompt to stimulate reflection.

Participation is ongoing and you are welcome to complete the online survey – you can be anonymous but some kind of identifier is requested (first name, role and/or purpose) to accompany your comments: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JB6RVZR

We are extremely grateful to those who have contributed – thank you for your generosity in sharing your knowledge and experience. Only a handful of comments are included in this test. Many people have contributed and contributions will be included in the ongoing development of the toolkit.

You are welcome to download the work in progress and assemble (i.e. print double-sided and cut out along the lines). Click on this link to download – RP_Toolkit_V1_learning theme only – further information is included.

If you have any comments or thoughts please be in touch.

 

 

SHARING | Reflective Practice

Yesterday Harbinger distributed a call to contribute to the Reflective Practice Toolkit we are developing. Already many people have responded, offering incredible insights into their reflective processes and their relationship to reflective practice. Already a sense of purpose for human development and sustainability is emerging.

Here are some of the responses to the question, ‘what does reflective practice mean to you?’.

Turning negative experiences into positive outcomes, for the good of all

Connection to a deeper sense of self-awareness; a perpetually evolving, more expansive and inclusive, sense of Self-identity

To think about what I am doing … afterward and sometimes even during the process of doing something … so that what I do might be done better (whatever better means: more caring, more creative, more cunning, etc)

It means learning about and improving myself in both professional and personal contexts.

Reflective practice enables me to dive into the complexity of my situation in the moment to explore alternative ways of doing, being and thinking so that I can make some kind of meaningful contribution to change and justice – and so that I can understand what those aspirations actually mean. It connects me to purpose.

Thank you to those who have contributed – we are enriched already! We’re really looking forward to creating this toolkit and sharing these insights to support others in developing reflective practice.

As we noted in our original call, reflective practice underpins our ability to engage with complexity: “Reflective practice is an active, dynamic action-based and ethical set of skills, placed in real time and dealing with real, complex and difficult situations” (Moon 1999).

Through greater self-awareness, reflective practice also supports creative thinking, presence and engagement, and empathy.

Please be part of the project by completing the 10 question online interview (questionnaire) – most questions are open-ended, and you can select the questions you would like to respond to. Please complete the survey online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JB6RVZR

We look forward to reading about your experiences and ideas.

PARTICIPATE | Reflective Practice Toolkit

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We have always wanted to develop tools to enhance our facilitation and engagement practices. We often do this on the run and on a needs basis for workshops and other engagement processes. However, we’ve also wanted to do and create more, particularly tools that are based on simple printed materials and forms as these are easily distributed online, have a game-like quality and are familiar to diverse stakeholders. We have a collection of these tools and games and use them in our work when the opportunity arises.

We are inviting participation in a Reflective Practice Toolkit that we are presently developing by completing an online survey. Reflective practice is an area that we feel warrants attention as integral to the development of other skills and knowledges to address personal and social challenges. Reflective practice involves “paying critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively and reflexively. This leads to developmental insight”.

We are now developing a simple reflective practice toolkit to promote discussion and reflection. The intent is to enhance reflective practice by engaging in reflective practice both in discussion based exchanges and in individual sessions focusing on prompts and questioning.

The central component of the toolkit will be a set of double-sided cards. On one side appears a statement or quote from a reflective practitioner and on the other are questions or probes. The cards are a flexible tool. They can be used in classrooms, in meetings, as part of professional and organisational development, as a prompt for reflective journaling, and in other ways and situations.

Participation

We are inviting your participation in the development of the toolkit. The quotes and statements that are included in the toolkit are solicited from colleagues and friends – these are not self-proclaimed mavens, thought leaders or gurus, but people who are committed to reflective practice in their professional and personal lives. We feel there is much to learn from each other and by valuing the knowledge and experience in our networks. The intention is to highlight how diverse practitioners incorporate reflective practice into their everyday work and living.

Please be part of the project by completing the 10 question survey – most questions are open-ended, and you can select the questions you would like to respond to. Please complete the survey online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JB6RVZR

Value 

Reflection is an important element of the learning and thinking required to contribute to our ever complex and changing society. Reflective thinking enables flexible and adaptive practice and action. There is a need to enhance this capability in people supports creative and critical thinking. Reflective thinking develops higher-order thinking skills by prompting people to:

  1. relate new knowledge to prior understanding
  2. think in both abstract and conceptual terms
  3. apply specific strategies in novel tasks
  4. understand their own thinking and learning strategies.

Content

The toolkit will be comprised of two elements:

  • Explanatory notes or guide
  • Cards

The explanatory notes will be an introduction as well as include some suggestions for use. The notes will include blank pages where users can make their own notes and document their own processes. Users will be invited to provide feedback and reports on their use of the toolkit. Recommendations for further reading will also be included.

The cards will be colour coded with each colour representing a theme of reflective practice to enhance focus and immersion. Ten themes have been identified:

  1. Learning
  2. Mindfulness
  3. Interaction
  4. Experience
  5. Sense
  6. Values
  7. Transformation
  8. Abstraction
  9. Questioning
  10. Insight
  11. Time
  12. Strategies

The content will be developed in conjunction with experienced peers who will provide feedback and review during the development of the toolkit.

The content will be made available in hardcopy as a boxed set (if we can afford it) and freely available as a download from the internet.

Some thought will be given to expandability so that new themes can be added and new content can be added by users.

EXHIBITION | Implementing the New Urban Agenda at WUF9

The Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum will be presented in Kuala Lumpur, 7-13 February. Harbinger had hoped to attend WUF9 but, with John’s relocation to Mornington Island, the timing wasn’t right. Many of our colleagues are attending including Founding Editors of The Journal for Public Space, Mirko Guaralda and Luisa Bravo, who are are curating an exhibition to be presented at WUF9.

The exhibition, ‘We the people, We the public space’, is intended to boost the global campaign ‘Stand up for Public Space!’ which Mirko and Luisa launched in Quito. ‘We the people, We the public space’ will feature photo portraits of people – including Linda – engaged in public space activities, and photos of public spaces. Visitors to the exhibition will be invited to participate by including a polaroid portrait and writing a postcard with a reference to their favorite public space. These will be pinned on the wall.

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to this event from afar and extend our thanks to the Mirko and Luisa for the invitation to participate!

About WUF9

WUF9 will focus on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted in October 2016 at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador. It is a result of a unique consensus among all participating states. The document sets out a common vision and global standards for urban development in the coming decades.

The New Urban Agenda comes at a critical moment, when for the first time in history over half of the world’s population resides in cities. Cities, if planned and managed well, will become the main platform for sustainable development with the potential to provide solutions to many of the challenges our planet is facing today. The New Urban Agenda lays out the vision for future cities based on the science of urban development providing tools in crucial areas.

The Theme of the Ninth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) “Cities 2030, Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda” – places the Forum’s focus on the New Urban Agenda as a tool and accelerator for achieving Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

PUBLISH | A selected overview of our work

Harbinger publishes a range of documents and media such as pamphlets, writing projects and articles. Sharing through publishing is an important part of our practice and conversation. It not only shares ideas, but can also provide an avenue for thoughtful and creative work. We thought it would be interesting to share some of our selected published works again as many of them are available online. The writings evince a reflective and open relationship with cities and suburbs, places and spaces that informs our work with communities and other groups.

Pamphlets

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I spy … Scenes from microsuburbia captures scenes from our locality which show some of the nuances and subtleties of suburban environments. While there has been a blossoming of engagement with DIY and tactical urbanism, it tends to overlook the complexity and difficulty of suburban contexts. It also tends to overlook the activity that is already part of the suburban environment. This project endeavours to present personal accounts and narratives as a counter to the sometimes anti-suburban tone of current design, planning and academic discourse. It presents small scale encounters that indicate the suburbs operate at multiple scales and offer a diverse palette of engagements and actions. It was an outcome of our Enabling Suburbs initiative.

From an Outer Suburban Life is an essay and Diffusion book commissioned by Proboscis as part of the Transformations, 2009. My local area bears all the hallmarks of outer suburban development and in this spatial complex I consider how this pattern shapes us as individuals and shapes our communities. With reference to notions of ‘dwelling’ (Heidegger), ‘redirective practice’ (Fry) and ‘synoikismos’ (Ingersoll), the eBook considers local encounters, responding in small ways, in thought and act, that disrupt – and ultimately transform – the pattern of suburban life. If we transform the suburbs and our way of thinking about them, can we transform ourselves and bring new futures into the realm of possibility? Can community and gathering displace consumerism and retreat? These works reflect on such transformative potential through experience and through relationships between self, community and place.

Cultural and arts writing

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I have been writing about art, culture, technology and cities for decades. These days it is  a long time between art texts and catalogue essays with the most being an essay for Clare Dyson’s performance project Alone Together, Mandy Ridley’s exhibition Cognition and Miranda Parkes’ public artwork in SCAPE7 Public Art Christchurch Biennial.

I have also developed three major writing projects that focus on different aspects of cultural and artistic practice engaged with text, place and space. The works are built out of blogging projects. There is another one brewing but it is taking some time to develop.

Wording resulted in a series of writings and narralogues engaging image and text in visual arts practice, exploring artists books, hypermedia, art writing and publishing, artists writing and publishing, text based art and other practices.

Placing is a critical and cultural exploration of place, writing place and place writing, comprised of multiple writing projects. It is a platform for writings and publications addressing the intersection of cultural and urban life with an eye for the future.

Fieldworking is designed as a study of contemporary public art undertaken through a process of walking that involves, as Ingold and Vergunst note, wayfaring and storytelling. It focuses on topography and topology with particular attention to writing the topological. The intention is to consider how shifting ideas of space, landscape and geography might shape our experience of place, space and public art through the panoramic view. Public art is recognised as a multitude of projects, imperatives, processes and practices reconfiguring public space infrastructure and time.

Articles and academic writing

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At the end of last year, we received the contributor’s copy of Sustainable Cities in Asia, edited by Federico Caprotti and Li Yu and published by Routledge. The contributed chapter is titled A Changing Cultural Narrative of Citizenship, Urbanism and Cycling in Indian Cities and co-written with QUT’s Dr Mirko Guaralda. The paper recognises cities as critical sites for addressing sustainability and imprinting sustainable development trajectories.

My article ‘Place Making with Dementia in Mind’ was published in IN PLACE, the digital magazine of Place Leaders Asia Pacific. It examines what placemaking means for people living with dementia.

John and I also published a profile of Mandy Ridley’s public artwork, Flourish, at Ernest St, South Brisbane in the Journal for Public Spaces. John also contributed an art on his work at North Lakes in Earth Art Magazine.

An essay about the Placing project with a focus on place writing was published in Semi-detached: Writing, Representation and Criticism in Architecture, edited by Dr Naomi Stead.

Also, Dr Maria Miranda’s book Unsitely Aesthetics is comprised of edited conversations addressing aesthetics that have emerged with a mobile and nomadic shift in artistic practices. Here, I am in conversation with artist Hugh Davies discussing his Analogue Art Map and other projects.

Presentations and talks

One of my most enjoyable talks was presented to Creative Industries students examining cultural futures at QUT. In the talk I posed the question, “how are we to live?” and introduced some social innovation concepts and practices related to sharing, commoning and the reinvention of social relations. It was drawn from the work I was then doing for the Placing Project, examining changescaping.

Creative Writing and Artist Books

Having recently found a bunya pine cone in a nearby park, I recalled this artist book which we produced to document the removal of a local bunya pine. On the 8 November 2011, a (presumed) century old bunya pine was removed from the Hotel in our street. With the loss of this significant feature of the local landscape, this artist book is an exercise in place writing and documentation.

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Finally, another of the most deeply rewarding projects I have been involved in, Long Time, No See? which was a collaborative, online artwork led by Dr Keith Armstrong. It focused Australian and global audiences on our long-term futures. In it, the digital and analogue were uncomfortably meshed and the analogue artist books and workshop materials presented a strange intervention in the seemingly smooth paths and domains of the digital world. The project seeks to link the local and the everyday with the global and the distant future, generatively mapping the ever-changing relationships between each project participants’ ideas and visions.

We hope you enjoy these texts and welcome any feedback or commentary about the works and ideas contained in them.