Republic of Learning - Atmospheric Commons Workshop
Republic of Learning – Atmospheric Commons Workshop



Republic of Learning: Atmospheric Commons Workshop
Thursday 9 September 2021, 4 – 6.30pm
Online, via Zoom

“In the space between the past and future, having and losing, knowing and not knowing, lies an opportunity for awakening”
(Prideaux 2021)

We would like to invite you to take part in a Republic of Learning 2021 workshop bringing people together, to learn together about resilience in these times of uncertainty.

The workshop will explore our past and present impacts on the Earth’s atmosphere – personally, locally and globally. We then seek to imagine whatever comes next… making artistic/craft based responses that combine scientific data with our own questions and stories about the future.  We will focus on what was normal, whatever comes next and the possibility that somewhere in between these two states sits grief, hope, resilience and some kind of awakening. 

What is the Republic of Learning?

These workshops aim to plant the seeds for building an informal community with a unique approach to shared learning. Republic of Learning combines artistic and craft making with co-operative thinking – slowing down debate to sideline confrontations and argument in favour of a more gentle form of learning and collaboration. Our methods have been developed over 25 years of artistic practice and research by facilitators Giles Lane (artist, researcher), Dr Erin Dickson (artist, maker and researcher) and Dr Rachel Jacobs (artist, researcher).    

Republic of Learning began in 2019 as part of the Manifest Data Lab’s project, “Materialising Data, Embodying Climate Change”, funded by the AHRC. Six workshops have already taken place in 2019-2020. 

This event is part of the NMG Development Programme (2021 – 2022) intended to support both established artists and individuals with an interest in working in contemporary art. The project will include an expansive programme of free discussions, workshops and activities centred around NMG associates and available to the general public. 


Rachel Jacobs is an environmentally and socially engaged interdisciplinary artist, games designer, and Research Associate. Rachel’s work has won both national and international awards. Her interactive artworks combine art, science, and technology, engaging with themes of social and environmental change, wellbeing, resilience, uncertainty, and the future. She has toured nationally and internationally and publishes and presents regularly in academic and non-academic contexts. She co-founded the artist-led collective Active Ingredient in 1996 and the commercial games company Mudlark Production Company in 2007. She completed a Doctorate in Computer Science in 2014. Rachel currently works as a practicing artist, exhibiting nationally and internationally, as an Associate Researcher at the Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Manifest Data Lab, Central St Martins, University of Arts London.

Recent work includes: A Conversation Between Trees, Rufford Park and Sherwood Forest, Haddon Forest, Rockingham Forest, Museu da Imagen e do Som (2011-2012), an international co-production between artists, forests and schools across the UK and Brazil; The Prediction Machine, Loughborough University and Library, Nottingham Contemporary, FACT, University of Nottingham, Polka Children’s Theatre (2015-2018), an interactive artwork based on Victorian era end of the pier fortune telling machines that uses scientific data to create narrative projections of the impact of climate change; and Future Machine, Furtherfield Gallery and Finsbury Park, Christ Church Gardens Nottingham, River Leven and Tilberthwaite Quarry Cumbria, Kingswood Common Oxfordshire (2019-present), a mysterious interactive device designed to travel across England every year for the next 30 years. Her latest publication is a chapter in Walking, Landscape and Environment, Routledge Research in Landscape and Environmental Design (2019).

Giles Lane is an artist, designer and researcher. He founded non-profit creative studio Proboscis in London in 1994 and continues to co-direct it. His work focuses on storymaking, social engagement and co-creative participation. Projects include : TK Reite Notebooks, Lifestreams, Sensory Threads, Snout, Feral Robots, Urban Tapestries, Mapping Perception and COIL journal of the moving image. Giles is a research associate in human centred computing at the University of Oxford. In 2019 he co-founded the Manifest Data Lab at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London where he is co-leading a research project on developing physical manifestations of climate data.