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Unintended Consequences

An exhibition, lab and public engagement project exploring stories of environmental change present within the landscape of Quarry Bank and building an evolving installation starting with the oldest recorded tree on site and a dendrochronological sliver extracted from its core.

(Project dates TBC)

Climate change, environmental disruption and the ecological impact of human activity are some of the most urgent questions of our age. But to imagine a more sustainable future, we must first collectively understand how we got here and how we move forward together.

Unintended Consequences is a year-long artistic collaboration, inviting visitors to Quarry Bank to map and explore the unintended consequences of the industrial revolution in this unique historical landscape. Visitors will get hands-on in an onsite creative lab; collecting data, conducting experiments and connecting stories of the past, present and future. Alongside the creative lab, artists Invisible Flock will create an evolving artwork expressing public participation and the artists’ critical response to themes of the project.

Artistic collaborator

An evolving art installation

Tree rings will be transformed into a sonified expression of time to reveal centuries of untold stories. Giant musical strings will stretch out from the centre of the core. Reclaimed trunks will resonate and sing across the space, transforming collected data into a generative, poetic score built with each new experiment conducted over the year.

The project will use processes of mapping time through the lens of the trees, the plants, the micro organisms, the rocks, the soil, the water and the air present at Quarry Bank, to build an installation that can act as a conduit for nature to tell new stories, stories of change through time, the rapid changes wrought since the industrial revolution – and of the changes we can make now in our relationship with the living world.

The installation will play out many different types of data; sequences built from deep geological rock formations, tones uncovered from water patterns in the weir, live flight patterns vibrating across the space. The installation will grow and articulate the natural landscape outside while combining it with the hum and rumblings of the mill in abstracted networks of reverberations.

Project partners

From the blog

Unintended Consequences, part of Trust New Art, the National Trust’s programme of contemporary arts, supported using public funding by Arts Council of England. 

Artistic Lead: FutureEverything in collaboration with Invisible Flock.

This project has been underpinned by research from the University of Manchester, with special thanks to: Dr Joanne Tippett, Lecturer in the School of Environment, Education and Development and co-creator of RoundViewFraser How, Co-creator of RoundView, How Creative; Jamie Farrington, PhD Researcher in History and Biological Sciences; Aneurin Merrill-Glover, PhD Researcher in History; Matthew Sanderson, PhD Researcher in Planning and Environmental Management