Speaker: Ben Rivers

Duration: Solo watching – two hours; Discussion – one hour; Practical – this could take any amount of time within a two-day period

Maximum participants: 12

In many of his films, artist filmmaker Ben Rivers has looked at different ways humans have co-existed with the ecosystems around them, be that a garden, an island or a constructed biosphere with replicas of Earth different habitats. One of the major causes of environmental collapse seems to be capitalist societies deciding that nature is something apart from them, and forgetting that humans are part of nature and intrinsically linked in the biosphere of the planet. The title of the workshop comes from Ursula Le Guin's book of the same name, which as a starting point Rivers would like people to read if they are able. It's based on another planet but it's clear she is writing about what has repeatedly happened here on Earth. He will share some of his films to watch beforehand, and then will discuss the representation of speculative fictions of our future planet, and the possibilities for positive thought amongst the pessimistic debris. In the first part (18 February) he will set a small moving image task based on the ideas discussed, and we can watch and discuss the results in a second session (25 February). 

Ben Rivers is an artist and filmmaker represented by Kate MacGarry Gallery in London. Awards include the EYE Art Film Prize, 2016; FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, 68th Venice Film Festival for his first feature film Two Years At Sea; Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel 42, for Sack Barrow; Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, 2010, and twice winner of the Tiger Award at Rotterdam Film Festival. Recent solo shows include Urthworks, Hestercombe Gallery, Somerset; Phantoms, Triennale, Milan; Urth, The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Islands, Kunstverein of Hamburg; Earth Needs More Magicians, Camden Arts Centre, London; The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, Artangel, London and Whitworth Museum, Manchester. He recently collaborated on a new feature film Krabi, 2562, with Anocha Suwichakornpong.