Active Energy

Leeson, L. 2016. Active Energy. Feeding the Insatiable. Dartington Hall, Devon 09 Nov - 11 Dec 2016

TitleActive Energy
AuthorsLeeson, L.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

“When electricity prices prevent older people from heating their homes, and the River Thames is just down the road, why aren’t we using it to power our city?” was a question posed by a member of the Geezers Club at a senior centre in East London when I met the Geezers through an arts commission addressing the democratisation of technology’. Participants recollected developments in tidal and wave power in the 1980’s halted by the Thatcher government, then later emphasis on wind power, but observed that this island’s extensive water resources still remain relatively untapped.

Eight years on, work with the Geezers is still going strong. We have enlisted professional engineers, investigated how turbines might function on the Thames Flood Barrier, made use of a university prototyping laboratory, tested a small-scale turbine in the Thames, and are currently developing a streamwheel to aerate polluted water and support fish in the Lower Lea.

Along the way we have run renewable energy workshops with a secondary school, produced a wind-driven lightwork for an AgeUK roof, convinced the sheltered accommodation provider to consider alternative sources of power, held two exhibitions, spoken as a group at conferences and universities, and liaised with other seniors in Pittsburgh.

Why an art project? Only the arts have no other agenda than to make meaning, while also employing methodologies of creative production that bring together disparate ideas, people and concepts and, most importantly, an ability to hold the ensuing chaos until something new begins to emerge…

Keywordsart, green energy, social practice, sustainability, renewable energy, socially engaged art practice
Year2016
ConferenceFeeding the Insatiable

Related outputs

Art Practice and the Community
Leeson, L. and Duman, A. 2018. Art Practice and the Community. in: Sholette, G., Bass, C. and Social Practice Queens (ed.) Art as Social Action: An Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art New York Allworth Press.

The Docklands Community Poster Project and other creative approaches to regeneration
Leeson, L. 2017. The Docklands Community Poster Project and other creative approaches to regeneration. Top down meets bottom up in post-industrial regeneration: Good practice and challenges in participatory approaches to community engagement in city planning. Glasgow 19 - 21 Jan 2017

The Art of the State
Leeson, L. 2016. The Art of the State. The World Transformed. The Black-e, Liverpool 23 - 27 Sep 2016

Bred and Born - a reflection
Leeson, L. 2016. Bred and Born - a reflection. Four Corners - 40 Years of Film in the East End. Whitechapel Gallery 02 - 02 Jul 2016

Collaborative art activism – a UK perspective
Leeson, L. 2016. Collaborative art activism – a UK perspective. Tuen, D. (ed.) Public Exposures. OCAD University, Toronto 27 - 28 May 2016

Conceptualism/feminism/cultural activism
Leeson, L. 2016. Conceptualism/feminism/cultural activism. The Practicing Feminist. Tate Britain 21 - 21 May 2016

Active Energy: Three Mills - open workshop
Leeson, L. and Borland, T. 2016. Active Energy: Three Mills - open workshop. Active Energy.

Community politics of the GLC (Greater London Council)
Leeson, L. 2016. Community politics of the GLC (Greater London Council). How to do It (H2DI). King's College, London 10 Apr 2016

Big Money is Moving in, Docklands Community Poster Project and posters from the East London Health Project
Leeson, L. and Dunn, P. 2015. Big Money is Moving in, Docklands Community Poster Project and posters from the East London Health Project. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

Cultural policy of the GLC
Leeson, L. 2015. Cultural policy of the GLC. A Greater London: The GLC story 1981-1986. The Rag Factory, London 02 - 02 Dec 2015

Active energy - London: capital / climate / culture
Leeson, L. 2015. Active energy - London: capital / climate / culture. Deadline@Tate. Tate Modern 04 - 06 Dec 2015

Community Collaborations 1978-2015
Leeson, L. 2015. Community Collaborations 1978-2015. Community Arts? Learning from the legacy of artists’ social initiatives. The Black-e, Liverpool 01 Nov 2015

Giving More than You Take
Leeson, L. 2015. Giving More than You Take. in: Collins, D. (ed.) The Tetley Feast: Documentation and Critical Reflections Leeds Leeds College of Art. pp. 81-85

Engaging older people in creative thinking: the active energy project
Leeson, L. 2015. Engaging older people in creative thinking: the active energy project. in: Camic, P. and Clift, S. (ed.) Oxford Textbook of Creative Arts, Health and Wellbeing: International perspectives on practice, policy and research Oxford Oxford University Press. pp. 245-249

Lambeth Floating Marsh
Leeson, L. and Rai, N. 2015. Lambeth Floating Marsh.

Citizen innovation: DIY design and the Thames water turbine
Leeson, L. 2014. Citizen innovation: DIY design and the Thames water turbine. Creative Citizens. Royal College of Art 18 Sep 2014

Reflections on an art and politics of social engagement
Leeson, L. 2014. Reflections on an art and politics of social engagement. The Impossible Constellation. University of Lincoln 02 Jun 2014

Re-thinking (e)valuation
Leeson, L. 2014. Re-thinking (e)valuation. Art, Recognition and Social Science: Re-Thinking (E)valuation. Central Library, Liverpool 16 May 2014

Some lessons learned on the art and politics of social engagement 1978 – 2013
Leeson, L. 2014. Some lessons learned on the art and politics of social engagement 1978 – 2013. The Tetley Feast. The Tetley, Leeds

Active Energy - where art and engineering meet
Leeson, L. 2014. Active Energy - where art and engineering meet. CAA 102nd Annual Conference. Chicago 14 Feb 2014

Art as a force for change
Leeson, L. 2014. Art as a force for change. The Relational and Agonistic Value of Participatory Arts in Superdiverse Localities. Centre For Creative Collaboration, London 01 May 2014

Experiments in ‘real world’ education
Leeson, L. 2014. Experiments in ‘real world’ education. Just What Is It That Makes Today's Art Schools So Different, So Appealing?. ICA, London 29 Mar 2014

Groundswell on the Thames: 30 years of cultural activism with London’s riverside communities
Leeson, L. 2014. Groundswell on the Thames: 30 years of cultural activism with London’s riverside communities. Women Environmental Artists Directory. (7).

The Docklands photo-murals
Dunn, P. and Leeson, L. 2007. The Docklands photo-murals. in: Bradley, W. and Esche, C. (ed.) Art and social change: a critical reader UK Tate Publishing in Association with Afterall. pp. 245-248

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/9z5xx/active-energy


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