Centre for Alternative Technology: working with nature, an art form in itself?
During my summer holiday (insert kind of rainy, not so sunny) mooching around the Cambrian Mountains, we visited the Centre for Alternative Technology. A working farm, bio science laboratory, engineering unit… you name it CAT encompasses it all and much more. After taking a short trip vertically in a tiny train, you are placed in the immersive world of sustainability and the hope for a greener future.
There’s so much information available to you in terms of what you can do yourself to become more sustainable, and what new inventions have been created to aid change. I almost wish I had gone around with a notebook, is that too far? My favourite places were the model home filled with useful takeaways, the stunning fruitful gardens and composting advice and the big scary mole in the mole hole! Also, there’s food, lots of it and quite cheap. You sit in either a lovely covered outdoor area or in a spacious nice cafe… adore!
What struck me most about all the technology and innovation showcased at CAT is the artistic impression it left on me. I’ve written before about making art more eco, but this is something different. To me, it takes an artistic flare to come up with innovation around creating new ways of living differently, absorbing your surroundings and creating an output which impacts people and changes the world. I’ve read that artistic thinkers are able to connect different elements of time, objects and everything else more often and in a way which holds back from other boundaries, e.g. logic! It’s this artistic thinking that leads to fabulous things such as up-cycling aeroplane propellers, recycling what’s seen as waste into new objects and using found and scavenged objects for new purposes that create environmental change.
This article gives detail on a list of artists creating extraordinary art with recycled materials highlighting issues close to them. See Michelle Reader’s “Seven Wasted Men” a family created out of one month’s worth of household waste. A fitting concept with the work of CAT, exposing the waste we consume in an easily understandable but on the less impactful way. When I was last in Copenhagen, I saw an art installation “Harvesting the Rare Earth” by Jacob Remin which took the concept of renewable materials to a dark, sci-fy esc dimension.
Centre for Alternative Technology and more of that ilk…