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Forms of Intelligence

A new project exploring the many forms of animal and plant intelligence and how these could inspire the design of technologies that benefit all living things.

Have you ever thought about how trees or a swarm of bees communicate with each other? Do you feel like you already communicate with your dog or house plant?

We are surrounded by intelligent animals and plants, but how much do we notice or learn from them? Do we feel part of nature or somehow separate?

In 2019 a climate emergency was declared. We are now at the start of a new decade – perhaps this is the perfect moment to open our eyes and ears, to listen better to what is around us and consider how we could live better together.

What could we design and make together that would benefit humans, animals, plants and environments in a more connected way? How might we think differently about ‘intelligence’ and design systems that combine a mix of non-human, artificial and human intelligence? If a dog, a mushroom or a whole garden could collaborate what would they make?

Forms of Intelligence will explore these questions through a process of interviewing, co-creation workshops and making. We will follow processes of co-design and arts-led facilitation to ensure that an ‘ethics of care’ runs throughout the programme – where all human and non-human collaborators are valued.

Practical hands-on knowledge will be valued as highly as academic knowledge and we will work to create spaces where knowledge exchange can take place without hierarchy.

Throughout the programme there will be opportunities for documentation and creative storytelling for adults from South Bristol and artists.

If you work with or research animals, plants or artificial intelligence and would like to get involved we would love to hear from you. We will be recording podcast interviews with ‘experts’, from dog owners to scientists from March 2020.

Look out for call-outs and further opportunities.

A visual artist commission opportunity is open now. For more information and how to apply click HERE. Deadline for applications: 29th May

Some inspirational listening and reading:

How do we define intelligence? How do we decide which animals posses it? PODCAST

The Secret Life of Plants: how they memorise, communicate and problem solve ARTICLE

For more information contact Martha on or 07799067031

This project is a collaboration with UWE’s Digital Cultures Research Centre.

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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