Sounds of Extinction
Image © Rosamund Portus
Sunday 26th August 2018, 10.45am -3.30pm, The Loft, Millers Yard, Gillygate, York, YO31 7EB. Please note this workshop is fully booked.
Sounds of Extinction: Exploring the Loss of Bee Populations
Researchers Rosamund Portus and Claire McGinn (University of York)
On Sunday 26th August, a workshop at Millers Yard in York will explore how the world might sound if bees were completely extinct. Funded and supported by arts-science organisation Invisible Dust, the event will be run by two doctoral researchers from the University of York.
Rosamund Portus, studying artists’ responses to the loss and potential extinction of bees, and Claire McGinn, working in musicology, will lead creative activities. Attendees will be introduced to challenges facing bee survival today and given an overview of research and responses relating to bee extinction.
Drawing on Maja Lunde’s novel The History of Bees, which depicts a future where humans have to hand-pollinate crops in order to produce enough food to live, participants will focus on the sounds they might or might not hear in a radically-changed world. Why sounds and not sights? The workshop will also discuss some of the limits of visual media for communicating environmental change issues.
Claire McGinn said: “We’ll look at how soundscapes can help us to explore a variety of possible futures by imagining ourselves in them. As well as accommodating difficult ideas, the imaginary soundscapes could include possible worlds where widespread rewilding initiatives have had a successful impact – improving rather than reducing people’s quality of life – and bees are thriving.”
The workshop will end by providing constructive advice on positive ways in which participants can act to help the survival of bees. Participants will be given wildflower seeds to plant in the closing session, after sharing the imaginary sound-worlds with each other and reflecting on the process.