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sculptural system as sensorial thinking apparatus

Ami Clarke

artist lead with

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Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland asked me to work with them in developing an artistic response addressing the crisis at Lough Neagh, the largest body of water in the UK and Ireland, that had became eutrophic with algae bloms and a site of ecocide in the summer of 2023.  The complexity of how the Lough became eutrophic presents a text book case in the converging dynamics of power, influence, and conflict of interests, that have developed over decades, if not centuries, around Lough Neagh and the watershed.

I have initiated the following art project, working alongside Friends of the Earth on a live site of ecocide, working within new and emerging dynamics that change on a weekly basis., from the return of Stormont, to the increasing adoption of the Rights of Nature by community groups and the Lough Neagh Partnership, under our provocation.  I was invited to join the Lough Neagh Steering Committee earlier this year. I have so far self-funded and seeded the following initiative, galvanising partners, establishing new contacts, and implementing the research and development that means we know there is a serious case and need for the work.


Friends of the Earth have welcomed my approach of ‘meeting the lough’ on it’s own terms, that brings a new experiential focus at a microbial scale within the sensorial realm (immersive exhibition, online hub/portal for the work, and film), drawing our attention to indisputable facts that show that there is simply too much phosphorous in Lough Neagh. My diagram on the complexities that converge at the Lough was used at the Friends of the Earth conference at The MAC Dec 2023, as different communities came together to develop a recovery plan, where the goal is to set a legal precedent in establishing the Rights of Nature.

The following is to give you a sense of the immersive environment, as we shift our focus to the microbial realm, meeting the Lough on it's own terms, that I would like to develop as a video and sound installation, whilst developing a sculptural apparatus that speaks to the flows of power of a particularly neoliberal sort. 


The project overall is diagrammed below, loosely, to give you a sense of the way it operates itself as a system, with the collective writing project informing everything else, with several outcomes:

  • collective writing project

  • immersive exhibition with sound and sculptures as a sensorial thinking apparatus

  • an online hub that acts as a centralized site drawing together old technologies (magic) and new technologies (science) in order to recalibrate practices around the lough

  • sensorially lead video telling the story of neoliberalism at a microbial scale

  • a VR or video game could be developed from this material also

please scroll down

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pdf of the

foloowing pages

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letter of support

video draft: playing around with the kinds of movement that cyanobacteria and other microbes exhibit in conjunction with creating an underwater ambience through sound, (with additional attention to ASMR sounds) - experimenting with conjuring an underwater immersive feel for the video wall. The construction of the sound is particularly interesting as we respond to sound in our most animal like state. 

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