The Cabot Institute has created a structure through which researchers from all fields can contribute to inter-disciplinary dialogue and research under a common umbrella; what Neville Gabie is calling the Common Room.
Now imagine a room, a physical space, which made aspects of all that research and common knowledge, and the threads that connect it visible. It might be made of glass and completely transparent, it could contain drawers, shelves, freezers, a speaker with sound, a continuous film. It might even be self sustaining, providing its own energy. It could be the physical manifestation of the most essential concerns of every single individual working collectively as part of the Cabot Institute.
Imagine the space as very limited, and the challenge simple: for you to identify just one singular item, object, animal, mineral or other, a sound, a model, or an equation, that in essence is the gravitational centre of your research.
What singular item; a book, pamphlet, a map, a drawing, a film; what object; a piece of stone, ice, plant material, a new material, a liquid, perhaps water? What sound; a volcano, anthropogenic noise, the soundscape from a mega city or urban slum? What model; a specific equation, a climate modelling tool, a graph is most central to your work and why?
If two words encapsulate the concerns of the Cabot Institute in respect of the environment, they are perhaps Change and Risk. Our responses to those words and how we deal with them, as individuals and as scientists, is however different and varied. But what would it look like if we could house those concerns and responses in one place?
Imagine if one could create a collection or an archive of these singular objects where the overlap between one area of research and another might be described visually. The sounds from underwater seen next to a piece of Ice-core, with a film of life in a mega-city etc.
Neville Gabie would like you to get in touch. Please email or phone with your item or suggestion for the Common Room. He is also keen to record, interview, or at least discuss your specific contributions as a means of understanding their relevance.
Over the next few months he intends to build an archive and physical space to house this collection, which will be ongoing and accessible.
His residency is funded by Leverhulme and he will be working within the Cabot Institute until late spring 2013.