web - Zero Carbon Culture – FACT 2024 Symposium
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Stories & Ideas

Tue 27 Feb 2024

Zero Carbon Culture – FACT 2024 Symposium

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What might zero carbon arts, culture and its attendant institutions be like?

This session explores how arts and cultural institutions are thinking about their role in a societal transition that results from a more erratic and extreme climate. Are arts and culture to be swept along in a societal shifts, or are there opportunities for culture to be a primary force to help our communities think, act and adjust? From international festivals and touring musicians to cultural institutions that rely upon affordable global tourism, what are the challenges that will most acutely change how we make culture, and how are institutions practically answering these questions? What fundamental questions are being asked by cultural institutions about what they are, who they are for and how they operate? What might zero carbon arts, culture and its attendant institutions be like?


Clare Reddington (Watershed, UK), Carmel Reyes (Powerhouse Museum), Associate Professor Fiona Cameron (Western Sydney University). Moderated by Emily Sexton (ACMI)

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Watch the video with graphic notations by Jessamy Gee

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This transcript was machine-generated and published for search and accessibility purposes. It may contain errors.

My name is Emily Sexton. I am a relatively new member of ACMI. I'm the director of programming. And what I love about this role and this museum is it is a demands a profound thing which is to hold more than one truth, more than one art form, more than one community and more than one experience at the same time. The next two days we'll be offering you a similar kind of dazzling slightly dizzy demand on your practice now and in the future. Personally I hope you find a lot of contradictions, many rabbit holes and ideally some good collaborators who can work with you in the future to find some answers. Now one of the slider questions we didn't get to was is there a world in which AI isn't intrinsically linked to negative climate impacts? Seb says no. Let's find out with our speakers now. I think one of the things that's really important to remember that is very deftly and deliberately ignored is that the internet is a place. Noise has a large ecological impact even when it pretends otherwise. So we're going to talk about how that happens. And an environment that is both erratic and extreme and we saw that just yesterday. It is the people in this room, all of you, who have our hands on the levers of change. It is within our control to determine what role arts and culture will play for our communities and which includes all kinds of species and for the institutions we create. To charge us into that action we have three people who have thought deeply and practically about what change requires. Associate Professor Fiona Cameron is the principal research fellow for contemporary museologies and HDR director at the institute. Her work takes place between social and ecological crises and digital transformation. She researches positive changes happening in culture and society. Claire Reddington is the CEO of Watershed, which she first joined in 2004. She established its creative technology programs including Pervasive Media Studio and she became CEO in 2018. Claire works with industry, academic and creative partners from around the world to champion inclusion, support talent and develop new ideas. And then finally we'll hear from Carmel Rees, Client in Action and Sustainability Manager at the Powerhouse in Sydney. It's a dedicated leadership role charged with embedding sustainability across the museum's work. So each of our speakers will outline their work for 15 minutes and then we'll have a short chat at the end. Welcome, Fiona. Well, I just wanted to say thank you for SEP and ACMI for this invitation and I'm absolutely delighted to be talking to you today. First of all, I'd like to pay my respects to the traditional owners of the land that we're meeting on, past, present and emerging, and who have not ceded this land. So in this presentation, I challenge the current obsession with greenhouse gas thinking as the dominant way that we and museums think and act on climate change. Rather, I'm going to propose a manifesto for a more profound and deep change that can produce a more sustaining zero carbon culture so we can create a truly habitable world. So current ways of thinking and living in the Western world and the value judgments and actions that are born out of modern humanism in which museums are complicit are contributing to the devastating consequences of global warming and related more than human disasters. So such circumstances require a rethinking of museum curatorial practices and the anthropocentric concept of strong human agency and the current focus on greenhouse gas emissions reduction in the mindsets that emerge from them. So it's increasingly apparent that all things are interconnected and human agency is just one among many others in complex unruly processes. So we must heal this disconnect that modernity has created, both conceptually and practically if we're going to create a zero carbon culture. So I'm going to propose a series of provocations to the museum sector drawn from arguments in this recently published monograph, Museum Practices in the Post Humanities, Curating for Planetary Habitability. So in this book I seek to inspire museum scholars to conduct research and from museum professionals to create, to curate from a different ecological reference point. And for this to occur novel and plural more than human curatorial visions, methods, conceptual frameworks, policies and museologies required that signal this enmeshed approach to the makeup and composition of the world. To promote a planet good enough for all things to live and thrive through the development of new concepts and theories that draw inspiration from the critical post humanities, the ecological turn, new materialisms, planetary praxis and so forth to encourage new forms of scholarship and curatorial practice that engage thoughtful thoughts, experimentation and agential reconfiguration. Its specific goal is to promote embodied and embedded curatorial practices that involve relational and more than human ways of thinking and acting through collections, exhibitions and institutional practices. Museums and curatorial practices have historically been dominated by narratives and practices of modern humanism. Most specifically strong human agency in which the concerns of capital growth, progress, social and technological advancement, hubris, extraction, species logics and colonial domination predominate often without reflection. So acts of curating the organisation of collections, associated research, interpretive documentation and exhibiting exhibitary practices are influential not just conceptually but materially. We materially curate the world. They are material enactments mobilised for privileging certain types of knowledge, detailing how desired futures are imagined and realised and who is involved. These are ascribed to different forms of life, non-life and human others through exhibitions, programmes, policy frameworks and through collecting and interpreting. Museums of modernity and colonialism have long taken it for granted that our subjects of study, non-human others, other peoples in earthly process, are there to satisfy the needs of modern populations. So representational, documentary and pedagogical practice are often acts of negation, that is a negation of the agency of others, the narcissistic use of them and the promotion of a humanist vision of man as the supreme authority. Strong human agency in scientific research and technological innovation is presented in exhibitions and through collecting activities as a means of solving existential, social and environmental problems. Therefore museums have a new activist role directed to changing established assumptions, values, principles and practices in taking on new responsibilities. And that is to make explicit curatorial practice as acts of recuperation and care and speculative world making and expand economic practice as regenerative. So the question is how can institutions cultivate attunement with others in a shared world across domains of practice and in which way as to render others capable in new types of capacity rendering relations. In curatorial practice the environment and nature must be replaced by a broader range of entities that operate together with their own agencies and radical interrelatedness and situated broad and distributed social collectives across vast scales. Non-human agency with curating practice extends beyond museum spaces. Curating encompasses earthly and planetary processes and is reconfigured to become what I call eco-curating to include all manner of entities often times bonded with human curatorial agencies such as chemicals, minerals, cabling, fire, the photosynthesis, synthetic and viral agencies just to name a few. So eco-curating becomes processes of planetary becoming flowing through and across museum spaces in curatorial practice. Curating is not confined to the liminal spaces of museum buildings or context and this has never been the case anyway. While it is not possible to escape our human centredness from a non anthropocentric position it is still conceivable to represent, compose and work with other things and processes in experimental ways. And eco-curating practice new notions of community emerge and comprise entities that are more than human and other than human. Earthly processes such as the atmosphere, biosphere, oceans and ice become critical stakeholders. They become kin in relationships and demand, respect and care. So curating for planetary habitability mobilised through a more than human lens involves reworking divisions of the human and non-human and the injustices and exclusions that result from these limited modes of thinking or being. We've always been more than human and other than human but such a figuration has been intensified, more visible and more compelling. There's many examples of human non-human relations that First Nations people developed over millennia, all of which are more caring and respectful of the non-human world. First Nations knowledge practices therefore work within museum context as fractiversal constellations that is working with other more than human frameworks. Regenerative practices through policies, exhibitions and collections and engagement become both fractiversal and multiversal communitarian design practices. Museums can perform other worlds. One way to do this is to showcase diverse economies that open out economic activity to the possibilities of alternatives that support more than human flourishing alongside a critical analysis of economy and how it is performed through museum practice. Heritage collections can be created as material agents of the culture and social change and what decarbonisation and modern societyism are reliant. This is not just through the conventions of greenhouse gas thinking. Rather than viewing these collections as obsolete technologies receiving interpretive input from curators and educators in respect to the climate or anthropocene histories, they are vibrant with carbon materialities and demonstrative of moments in the trajectory of rising atmospheric fossil fuel emissions and their consequences. As climate collections they can serve as new cultural carbon mitigation strategies, first by rethinking human agency and emissions as dynamic biochemical fossil fuel life forms and meshed in the photosynthetic register of the wooden fabrics of collections. So using the Bolton-Mamotte Lap engine at the Science Museum built in 1788 as an example, a C13 carbon isotope analysis of its wooden components and contexts reveals its human non-human climatic emeshments and the changes in the composition of the atmosphere from the start of the Industrial Revolution. So rethinking fossil fuel burning populations as biochemical fossil fuel life forms has the potential to expand world views and changing beliefs in respect to our relations with the non-human world to one of profound emeshments from a position in which responsibility, acts of care and respectful design might emerge. And furthermore audiences and staff become embedded and embodied subjects in earthly processes who are cognisant of more than human relations and equipped to understand material responsibility. So by reframing knowledge, modifying the disciplinary actions and research regimes and changing the very concept of creating, curating to become attuned eco-curating crafting practices operating in worlds, museums become laboratories for experimental communitarian design. I'm just going to talk a little bit about why the sustainable development goals are not the answer. Now I know many institutions are adopting Agenda 2030 and the SGGs, a set of 17 goals developed to frame global initiatives for sustainable futures. While aspirations enshrined in these goals such as ending hunger, alleviating poverty and violence are admirable, the goals are based on economic growth, strong human agency and fail to support relational interdependence with others in the non-human world in respectful regenerative ways. Sustainability must become habitability practices of care and respect, attuned to the rhythms and vitalism of the non-human world through our understanding of their emeshments with human designs and the sustenance of these relations. Sustaining frameworks must be viewed as fractiverse or comprised of a broad range of habitability and economic living practices and specific context rather than adhering to one global agenda. Now finally I'm going to talk a little bit about some ideas for more than human museologies. The museological frameworks that inform practice move beyond the current focus on human agency, narratives and social construction, structivism and become open to and enmeshed with the full agency of the world from technology, the digital to plants, animals, climactic systems, human bodies, emotions, diverse ontologies and so forth. Non-human entities become curating agencies and new forms of bonded humanisms with the geological, with fire, the photosynthetic and the viral for example. The figure of the human and strong human agency becomes humanness, extended and distributed practices of culturing, crafting and influencing on broader planetary processes with other agential processes. Communities expanded to include human and non-human others in the non-human world and earthly processes. Engagement is extended to include entanglements with an array of entities. Identity, agency and history become the emergent processes wrought by the entanglements of more than human and other than human entities within these broader social collectives. So subjectivity, expertise and difference become an array of affecting entangling agencies and their affordances as eco-curating processes. Collections become situated ecological compositions comprising diverse material agencies and more than human and non-human domains of influencing in and across planetary processes. Museumal heritage time becomes the co-mingling of the durations and temporalities of many agencies. Cultural diversity conceived as plural cultural expressions sent against the backdrop of a one worldview and one nature must be viewed as fractiversal, comprising a diversity of natures and entities requiring a negotiation of different realities to co-produce shared worlds. And finally museum curating and the museology system forms such practices become ecological embodied and embedded of more than and more than human and become more than human communitarian design and experimentation. Thank you. Hi everyone. I'm Clare. I'm just going to wait for my slides to come up. I am so happy to be here. I'm such a huge fan of ACMI and of Seb's work and we've talked online for years and I've always thought of ACMI as like our sister venue. So it's really exciting to be here to talk through that stuff. So I'm Claire from Watershed in Bristol in the UK and I'm going to talk to you a little bit about Watershed, about some of the work that we're doing around climate justice and share some of the questions that we're asking ourselves in the journey that we're calling Watershed, World and Generous. So last year Watershed was 40 years old and to celebrate our birthday we invited our communities to join us in an exploration of our vision, our values and our relevance. We wanted to ask some open questions about our past to top up our spirits and to reset our journey for the next 40 years. But of course in the next 40 years we're going to face real catastrophe due to climate change. So we also began to ask what will the world want from a cultural centre in a climate crisis? So for today's talk I've gathered some of the elements we believe are important in answering that question. So let's start with healthy soil. The political context in the UK is a shit joke. Our government is rolling back on climate pledges. There's no clear policy on environment, society, culture, maybe anything at all and the opposition is not much better. Nationally we do not have healthy soil. But in Bristol where we're based things feel a little bit different. Bristol is in the south west of the UK and we're a city known for creativity and innovation. We're home to a global centre of natural history filmmaking, we're the home to Wallace and Gromit, we have a huge silicon chip industry and we're home to artists like Banksy and Massive Attack. So their attitudes of authenticity, diversity, rebelliousness and pioneering are in our blood. 92 languages are spoken in Bristol and we're a city that values sustainability. So we were the UK's first ever European capital of green culture in 2015, back when we were part of Europe, with the birthplace of Sustrans which runs the UK's bike networks and also the Soil Association which certifies all of the organic produce in the UK and Bristol was the first local council to declare a climate emergency. Our region is also home to international climate activist movement Extinction Rebellion and who've of course significantly changed the way the world understands and undertakes activism. And in June 2020 as part of the global racial reckoning we saw this shameful statue of Bristol slave trader Edward Colston toppled by a crowd and dumped in the river outside Watershed. Though the slave trade very much casts a shameful and ongoing shadow on equity in our city, we can see that we have a soil of grassroots activism and community action. Which brings me to Watershed. So I think we're both a product and a contributor to that soil. This is our home and some Victorian good sheds in Bristol. We were opened in 1982 as the UK's first media centre exploring the coming together of the communications and media industries and what that might mean for culture. Our organisation is made up of about 110 team members and last year we turned over about 6 million UK quid. So our vision is based on the importance of togetherness. We're known as one of Europe's leading independent cinemas, we're a city centre venue and meeting place and we're a space for creative R&D. We believe that to address the complex challenges our world is facing we need to develop new imaginative capacity and the best way to do that is together. So whether it's watching a film, making a piece of art or discussing it in the bar, togetherness is what makes a hopeful future possible. So how does togetherness show up for us and why do we think it's important for making change? Perhaps the most unconventional part of the Watershed business is the pervasive media studio, always looks like that. It's a co-working space for creatives and technologists where nobody pays for their desks. The currencies circulated are stories and ideas. So in pervasive media studio we support a community of about 180 artists to make extraordinary and inspiring work. We give them time, space, permission to experiment with new ideas and ways to share the learning in the moment. Sixteen years ago when we set up the pervasive media studio, I didn't realise that gifting free space to artists in the city centre would be such a radical move against extractive capitalism. I definitely did know it would be a radical move against the tech bros of Silicon Roundabout but that's a different story. The model of community has supported globally award winning work and I believe what gets made in the pervasive media studio wouldn't get made in other technology accelerators or co-working spaces. Let me show you a few projects. So Shrouk is an artist, belly dancer, drag performer, engineer and LGBTQ refugee from Egypt. Through their residency with us, Shrouk explored the creation of an autonomous belly dancing robot, creating a duet with the machine as part of a new performance piece. Anagram's award winning Goliath is a 25 minute animated VR experience about schizophrenia, gaming and connection. It's narrated by Tilda Swinton and it won prizes at the Venice International Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy. This is Cargo Classroom, the brainchild of poet Lawrence Hu and creative director Chas Golding. It's about addressing the missing perspectives of African and African diaspora heritage in how we treat history, which in the UK at least is very centred on white saviours. Shrouk, Anagram and Cargo and many more in our community are foregrounding the power of art and imagination to direct technology towards a more inclusive, playful, sustainable world. To create engaging and meaningful work, we must also, as we've already heard, look at the structures of power inherent around how the technologies are being used and understand why and how they're limiting full participation. We believe the way things get made are as important as what gets made. So we've centred an inclusion practice in our curation in all of our own work. We've developed equitable models for recruitment. We use random selection to give out our artists' residencies. We have new ways to undertake evaluation, facilitation, knowledge production and sharing. So why is this relevant to a discussion about climate? Because unless we acknowledge and understand and recognise that climate change is not felt equally by all and centre justice in the work that we're doing, we won't create an equitable future. This is hard to do as a large organisation, but it's perhaps even harder to do as individual artists or small organisations. Plus, as we all know, when you start to think about climate in your work, you face climate anxiety and despondence. So the solidarity that comes with approaching these challenges as part of a community and the knowledge and resource sharing that goes alongside that can keep us all honest, open and hopeful. We need to rewild the world. That much is obvious, but first we need to rewild our imaginations. That's a quote from This Is Not a Drill, the excellent handbook from Extinction Rebellion. When we map the influence and impact that we have as cultural organisations, it's rewilding and supporting imagination where we can perhaps have the biggest reach and make the most change. So that means for us supporting artists and creatives to develop work that connects with the present and imagines the future. So I'm going to share a few examples. As sea levels rise and wildfires burn, Duncan Speakman's Only Expansion uses custom headphones to remix the sound of the city around you, blending field recordings of climate collapse so that you experience sonically how your life might alter in the future. Only Expansion has toured the world and it's won awards at IDFA and London Film Festival. Inspired by Somali-style nomadic structures called the Aqal, feminist artists Dhaqan Collective blend Somali weaving songs, woven tapestries and electronics to connect the world to cultural practices from a place that is really feeling the impacts of climate change every day. All of this is not to say that making change is easy. Like many of you, I imagine, we face difficult questions about whether climate work is part of our charitable purpose, whether it's the right place to put resource at a time when the culture sector is in crisis. However, I believe that if we do not act to address our own sustainability and in service of greater societal change, the climate crisis will dramatically alter our ability to fulfil our charitable objectives at all. And luckily, as this survey in the UK demonstrates, our audiences agree with us. We have a responsibility to act. So what action have we taken? In 2019, Watershed declared a climate crisis as part of the Culture Declares movement in the UK. We've employed a climate justice researcher as a full-time employee who works with us on changing our own practices and also supports our community to share theirs. A major piece of work, which I think is really lush and I urge you to seek out, is the climate justice toolkit that they've created, which is geared towards creatives wanting to make change but not knowing where to start. We've undertaken carbon accounting to understand our own emissions. So in 2022-23, Watershed operations emitted just under 406 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, and about 45% of that was purchased goods and services, and about 48% of that was our utilities. And we've designed and delivered carbon literacy training for all of our staff. So 75% are bronze accredited and understand how to make change in their own roles. Going forward, our key focus is how we retrofit the building to make it energy and heat efficient. We'll join the city's heat network. We'll replace our windows and boilers. We'll face the challenges of getting permission to do any of that in a heritage building, and we'll work out how to fund it, because I'm sure like many of you, COVID has rinsed us out. But we will do a focus on procurement. We know about 59% of our emissions come from goods and services. Lager, beef burgers, and milk are the biggest contributors for us. And much of our food is locally sourced, but we can't have zero emissions until everyone in our ecology, including our audiences and how they get to Watershed, is thinking about their emissions. In terms of practical things for our organisation, we have a small projects fund that anyone in the staff teams can bid into to make change. And we're just beginning to work with our university partners to ensure that climate action is centred in the R&D that we do with them as well. Our recent grounding technologies programme placed an emphasis on the creative use of both new technologies and mundane tech for climate action, supporting small companies and collectives who hadn't engaged with creative technology before. And the projects were everything from using data to keep an eye on night flights, to creating new ways for neurodiverse people to engage with nature. Our next programme is called More Than AI Sandbox. And so we'll be supporting six projects which incorporate AI ideas that have more than human intelligences, as we've just heard about within them, bringing together multiple species and processes within the work. We're excited in the ways that technology can help us to connect things at previously impossible scales, to sense our environments in new ways, to form relationships with living things and to reflect all of that stuff back from different perspectives. Because as we've heard, a focus on sustainability is not enough. To be truly doing the work, we must also reconnect with living systems and create cultural spaces where humans and nature can thrive, survive and co-evolve all together. This is the Three Horizons, International Futures Three Horizons diagram, which we've used since the beginning of Pervasive Media Studio as a framework of understanding how our role in the creative ecology works in the times of uncertainty and unknowing. So the model shows us three patterns or ways of being and helps us understand how each interacts with each other. So the first horizon, the red line, represents business as usual, management, the status quo. It's necessary to keep the lights on, but it loses its purpose really quickly and it comes with deeply ingrained power structures. Horizon One is governments, funders, institutions, industries. Horizon Three, the green line, is a viable future, a visionary world that's hard to fully flesh out right now, but we can intuitively understand the transformations we might need to go through to get there. And Horizon Two is the world in transition. The three horizons all exist right now in the present, and if we look carefully enough, we can see the pockets of the future that we might want to spot, identify, and nurture. When we first started using this model, it gave us a great sense of relief and hope. I didn't understand why our funders didn't get us. I was essentially shouting into the void, and this helped us to think about all of those systems and languages and how they interact with each other. Now I'm using this to think about our work in climate justice, and we're thinking about questions like, what do we stand for in the Horizon Three space? What are we building on? What can we learn from? What do we need to confront and see clearly in Horizon One? Can we collaborate with Horizon One or must we compete? What needs to die and what might we compost? What seeds of the future should we nurture and support? So for us to truly bring Horizon Three into being, we think we need an abundance mindset. We need to move beyond carbon counting and notions of scarcity and competition. And in Kate Rayworth's Donor Economics, she identifies generosity as a necessary business behaviour. So our Horizon Three vision is called Watershed, Wild, and Generous, and it's an emerging plan for how we can redesign the spaces around us to honor the generosity of those communities you met earlier and to contribute more to the city than we extract. We've canceled our pre-COVID capital project, and instead we're working with artists and communities to create a development project that will serve generations of Rastolians in 100 years' time. I'm interested in stewardship, not ownership. We want to ensure that our plans are configured for commitment and for care, that they use regenerative design, that they're queer like ecology, that they have multiple modes of being present where humans and nature can rest together. This is a journey that we're on the very beginning of. I don't really know where Watershed, Wild, and Generous will get us, but I think it's important that we think of it as a process rather than a project. When ecology isn't something you deliver, it's something you tend. So we believe that the world will need togetherness, worldness, and generosity from a culture centre in a climate crisis, and to make that possible we must face the future with hope. So when Rebecca Solnit writes about hope, she distinguishes it from optimism or pessimism because she believed that both of them kind of encourage a pacificity in us. So by centring good soil, community, imagination, action, and hope, I believe we can find our place within all of this uncertainty and create some room to act. Thank you. Hi everyone, my name's Carmel. I'm from the Powerhouse. I acknowledge that Powerhouse Museums sit across Darug Land and the Eora Nation, and I pay my respects to the Burramattagal and Gadigal elders and recognise their continuous connection to country. And by extension of this acknowledgement, the Powerhouse has developed our own caring for country principles. These were developed in collaboration with our First Nations directorate and local First Nations communities where we asked the community, what do you think our responsibilities are to operate sustainably across these sites? And these are used as the foundational principles to the Powerhouse's first climate action plan, which I'll take you through briefly. And not only are they the foundation of that action plan, which is essentially our first cohesive sustainability strategy, but they provide an internal reference point for all of our staff to think about caring for country and what it means for them and their work, regardless of what their functions are across the organisation. Our climate action plan is the way that we're going to embed climate solutions and sustainability across all the ways that we work. So I'll walk us through a bit of a snapshot of this, but this effectively is an operational plan. We are looking at three areas that we're concentrating on at the moment. Some of you may know that the Powerhouse is going through a significant renewal program in its infrastructure. And in support of that, we have set ourselves a number of objectives to enable us to deliver sustainable infrastructure across all of our sites. We're looking at the way that our programs will demonstrate leadership in sustainable practice, but also provide a hook of engagement for our communities. And by extension of that, the plan looks at Powerhouse operations and how we embed sustainability in the way that we work. And the under-script of those you can see where the caring for country principles support each of the directions across the climate action plan. But I'm also aware that some of you may not know who the Powerhouse is and what we do. The Powerhouse is our museum of applied arts and sciences. And we operate and will be operating across four sites throughout Sydney. This is a render of Powerhouse Parramatta, which is currently under construction. Powerhouse Ultimo, which is currently under design redevelopment. It actually closed its operation just last week so that we can start a significant decant project in order to hand over for redevelopment. Powerhouse Castle Hill, it's the location where we actually have been storing the majority of our collection over the years. And we'll be opening a new public building there in the next couple of months. And the Sydney Observatory is also under our operation. But even prior to that, the history of the organisation is about 140 years long. And this is the site at Ultimo as it was in 1988. And it's probably the site that most Sydney-siders sort of fell in love with. This is the site that people are most nostalgic about and probably have really tried to hang on to. And in some ways, if you've been watching the news, have maybe, yeah, been not so keen for us to move on from. But there is a long history of change in our infrastructure. Prior to that, we were operating out of the Harwood building, which was the tram shed, neighbouring the power station that fuelled Sydney's tram network up until the 1960s. And before that, we operated out of the, we were the Technological Museum paired in with the Technical College in Ultimo in Sydney. Before that, we were operating out of an agricultural shed, which was in replacement of the Garden Palace. The Garden Palace was the home for the Sydney exhibition in 1879. And the Technological Museum was to move into the Garden Palace. But it burnt down about a month before we were supposed to move in. And if you fast forward back through those slides, that's how we ended up where we are. So the organisation has always had a really strong connection into technology and industry. We were really the Technological Industrial Museum that was looking to showcase and research the resource and economic prosperity for New South Wales. But we are in a state of renewal at the moment. And hence, our intent to look at how we do this responsibly, how we do this and embed climate solutions at the same time. So our infrastructure section of our Climate Action Plan really is looking to ensure that we practice responsible stewardship across our sites. That involves decarbonisation across all of our locations. And within this plan, we have embedded our Net Zero path to be Net Zero in operations by 2025, by the time Parramatta opens. So the way that I had zipped through our locations, but to go back again, Powerhouse Ultimo was the power station for Sydney's tram network, like I said, and we moved into there in the 1980s. It has closed and will be closed for redevelopment, planning to reopen in around 2028. Here are a couple of renders that have been socialised. And we really, the intent is to embed the principles that you saw early on into the fabric of the redevelopment itself. Again, Powerhouse Castle Hill, we had, this was our storage location, but it will house our new conservation labs and a very large object store. Powerhouse, you may be aware, is kind of synonymous with planes and trains and automobiles, and all of those items are still objects within our collection, and the intent is to move them into this very large object store to be a viewable space, where they can be conserved and cared for. We also have, this is also an image of the conservation labs where we'll be operating from. But Powerhouse Parramatta is really our flagship museum, and we're due to open there in a couple of years' time, in about 2025. It's currently under construction, and just this week a good chunk of our staff actually moved to, not exactly the construction site itself, but overlooking the construction site. And so this is what it currently looks like, and you'll note that the, I guess, the construction itself, we really plan for this to be undertaken sustainably. A couple of the elements that you might note there, there's a lot of carbon intensity in building new museums, and it's not lost on us that we need to do that really responsibly, and we're aiming for our upfront carbon emissions to be heavily, heavily reduced. But of course, in the construction itself, there's a lot of steel and concrete, and a lot of our cities are steel and concrete. But what we, we are producing the steel for the exoskeleton, the elements that you see here, using electric arc furnaces, which are different to coal-fired steel manufacturing. So there are a number of ways that we can take responsibility for the construction site itself, and that's one of them. The cranes that you see here are actually powered by, they're powered by renewable diesel. So we're using renewable diesel instead of traditional mineral diesel, which is fossil fuel-based fuel. And even with that, we, on the construction site, can start to decarbonise how we're building. It's the first use of renewable diesel in Australia, and we really hope that the construction project is a project of influence across the construction industry. The exoskeleton is probably the most recognisable element of the building, and like I said, we're really putting a lot of effort into manufacturing the components as responsibly as possible. But not only that, at Powerhouse Parramatta, we will also have the Lang Walker Family Academy, which is really, which is an on-site academy, a 60-bed dorm, which will accommodate students who are travelling to open access more broadly. Some of you may or may not know, oh sorry, I thought I was in that slide when I started talking about the academy. Yeah, some of you may or may not know, the majority of cultural institutions in Sydney are all, they're sort of hugging the harbour, and what's in the sort of traditional city centre is really quite far east in the city. You know, the centre of Sydney really is Parramatta, and it's important that we give access to regional, interstate, and travelling students to experience cultural institutions in a way that is a lot more inclusive. We'll also have a food theatre in Powerhouse Parramatta, the Vitocco Family Kitchen. It will be fully electrified, running on induction, which is probably unusual to see commercial kitchen reject gas use, but as per our brief, we are moving to a fully electrified building, and we hope to use this as a point of engagement where we can educate our audiences about seasonality, food, climate, and the way that that relates to our community stories. But moving on to our programs, we also have set ourselves a number of objectives to ensure that we embed sustainability in the way that we develop our programs. I'll zip through the next few slides, but we have a history, a long-standing history in resource extraction and research around how natural resources can serve the economic prosperity of New South Wales, and that's something that we're really mindful of that we need to sort of hit on the head, reckon with our history, and redirect the way that our programming will move. So if we zip forward to our programming, just in this last year, we've been really mindful to embed sustainability and climate in the way that we present, for example, our City Design Week Festival, an annual festival, and with that we collaborated with UTS and presented the Material Ecology Design Lab. In our Talanoa Forum, we presented the additional programming with the Yuki Kihara Paradise Camp, which was a conversation with artists, scientists, and researchers looking at climate justice and identity. And Atmospheric Memory, we hosted last year from out of Manchester International based on the computer pioneer Charles Babbage's concept that the atmosphere holds and remembers every word ever spoken, but also it had links programmatically to the digital world, surveillance, and the accumulation of emissions in the atmosphere. But our flagship climate programme over the last two years has been 100 Climate Conversations, where 100 leaders from around Australia had a weekly interview with one of 10 Australian journalists to discuss the positive and climate solutions focus of their own work. And this programme was also turned into a podcast. The conversations are available online. And this began in last March 2022, and the last, the 100th episode actually dropped just on the 26th of January. So please have a look at that if you haven't already. The conversations will also form a digital archive. So it's I suppose an example of the type of programming that is not object based, but concept based. And we really intend that our future direction for collection is not only going to be object based, but that a programme like this actually pulls together the ideas of now and the way that people have been responding to climate in the 2020s. It'll be interesting to have a look at what this archive means and the ideas discussed, what it means to people in five, 10, 15 years time. And I think I rushed through the 100 Climate Conversations bit, but my time's running out. And please find out more by having a look at the 100 Climate Conversations Spotify, well on your podcast, and on its own website as well, 100conversations.com. And we really look forward to welcoming you at Powerhouse Parramatta in the next couple of years. Thanks very much. Okay, thank you everyone. We've got about seven minutes before we'll head out for a break. But what I wanted to pick up on for each of you, oh, is that the slide? Right. Thank you. So Claire, you talked about togetherness as a sort of core attribute of your organisation. What do you think, and you mentioned UK's Culture Declares movement, which isn't something that we have in Australia yet. With that notable example aside, there are a lot of conditions that drive cultural organisations towards a mindset of competition and individualism. And I think the way that we champion artists sometimes also contributes to that. So I wonder, are cultural organisations good at collectivity? And are we good enough? And what do we need to unlock to become better? Well, I woke up pretty pissed off this morning because according to Twitter, I really shouldn't say this anyway, biting the hand. According to Twitter, the UK Arts Council just sort of put out a note that said that if individuals were political, then the organisations that they work for would get their funding taken away. Being human is a political thing. So maybe I'll start with the funders. So the way we fund encourages a scarcity mindset. We fund, we have these stupid KPIs that ask us to list our deliverables of research and development for one year's time. We don't fund ecologies, we fund individuals. So I think maybe the thing that we need to partner with is new forms of funding and new ways of making long-term, careful, caring investments in people. And we've just been funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation's emerging pathfinders. And I'm so excited by the fact that some foundations are doing this differently, but I don't think the governments are. Carmel, how is the role that Powerhouse plays in Sydney's cultural ecosystem, especially knowing that you've got it finally, a new cultural policy for the state government, how is that your role as an institution relating to communities? How is that baked into your thinking and planning? I think we're, I touched on it earlier, we're really mindful that we're the first major cultural institution to move into Western Sydney. And the way that presentations and programs are being looked at is really that we take our responsibility seriously as being an institution that reflects the stories of the community. And Western Sydney is the most culturally diverse community in Australia. And there's a really important role that we can play in order to platform stories of the community. And there's very much, you know, the top-down approach of the institution dictates what's important and what we should learn about is just being thrown out, really. And the curatorial development, the program development is very much working hand-in-hand with existing community creative organisations, existing educational institutions in the area. And we really see it as our role simply to platform and reflect and give agency to the community to really own Powerhouse really as their own place for culture. Fiona, you have the advantage for all of us of an incredibly wide look at how museums do this or don't do this. Can you give us an example of an institution or a program you've seen that really harnesses collective thinking rather than, you know, just focusing on what that one institution might achieve? I think the new institute in Rotterdam is trying to engage the more than human, I think. They had a program back in 2019 where they tried to bring in non-human voices into the institution. But really, it's not really happening, although you talked about what you're doing in that space is kind of an emerging project. And we're really influenced by James Bridal's work because James's book Ways of Being really kind of digs into that. So we're excited to be commissioning around that. Can you tell us more about what the commissioning process and decision making was like for them? Yeah, actually, I was just like, I'm really excited to go and read about the Rotterdam thing because I've been like begging people to say when Patagonia or those other famous brands have put nature on their board, like, what does that mean? Like, how is decision making? Is somebody like pretending to be a beaver or like, because that feels a bit performative. So I actually don't know. We're researching how that's going to work at the moment. And if anyone has ideas about that, I would love to hear them. You said it's the problem about being anthropocentric in the way that you engage the non-human world. But I think it's about observation. I think science has got a new role in terms of, you know, they do it. Science does engage the agencies of things, but maybe molding that sort of research in a different way to think about entanglements more than, you know, entanglements more rather than for extractivism, for understanding the non-human world in a way. I'm going to ask one more question and then you're all released to continue this conversation over lunch. But when we are talking about any kind of change work, and I think Kamal, you've talked about this too, and so have you, Claire. It is also a conversation about privilege and about ethics and values. And I think what I hope you take from this conversation is that the climate change panel is actually a conversation about how we are going to do what we are doing and what values we take forward. So, you know, Kamal, I'm interested in how you open this incredibly shiny, beautiful museum without some really sh*t hot international artists at the front. I'm interested in what the modes of collaboration may be that do privilege those local voices and are both like intergalactic but hyperlocal at the same time. Can you give us a window? Because I think the default conversation in Australia, especially, you know, who feel distance at times is, well, we're just not going to get on planes anymore and we've heard the ways in which that's not, that that's reductive. And I think it's further reductive for the parts of the global south who perhaps didn't get to travel in the first place in the same way that, you know, other parts of the world do. What is, what comes next in that conversation for Powerhouse but also for any institution programming? I think, well, for Powerhouse, in the recognition that there are so many cultural communities already in and around the Powerhouse Parramatta region, there, for example, with the Yuki KiHara work and the Talanoa Forum, Western Sydney has the highest population of Pacific Island nations outside of Pacific. And there is a vast representation of international stories within the reach of Western Sydney in itself. So we are actually taking a hyperlocal focus with its own reach internationally. Collaborations and things will still happen, but the programming that's being developed now in preparation for opening is really looking at all the vibrancy that is already around us. Terrific. Claire, do you want to add anything? Well, of course, it's incredibly awkward that I came to speak on this panel by plane and like I'm feeling really weird about it. But also, for us, what we've done is stopped parachuting in and out of places. So I said yes to an exciting invitation from ACMI because we've been talking for years over online and I believe in global citizenship. I believe in the importance of collaboration and exchange. So for us, it's kind of not doing that tokenistic, like I'm going to drop my thing in here, do a project and ship out again. It's about long textured relationships between communities. Terrific. We might leave it there. We will commence the conversation again at one o'clock. So please head out. There's terrific snacks and things available at the ACMI Cafe. Thanks for this morning and we'll see you later.