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Reimagining Waste Landscapes seminar series (February – March 2022)

Reimagining Waste Landscapes seminar series (February – March 2022)

Sanday bruck totem
Sanday bruck totem, an assemblage by artists Rosey Priestman and Brendan Colvert. © The artists and Antonia Thomas.

An exciting new seminar series on waste landscapes based at Edinburgh College of Art and hosted online (and in March, hopefully also in person)!

Runs 9 February to 23 March [no seminar 1 March].
Seminars begin at 16:00 and are streamed via Collaborate.

Register for individual talks on the Eventbrite Seminar Series page.

[Jump to ‘Line Up’]
[Jump to ‘How to Watch’]
[Download poster]


About the series

This seminar series presents the work of six leading artists, researchers and authors who engage with landscapes that are characterised by their diverse relationships to waste materials and waste infrastructure. Each of them investigates how such landscapes are formed, used and represented through varied processes of waste ‘management’ and reimagining the role wasted places and materials can play in the contemporary era.

Such landscapes are frequently called wastelands and seen purely negatively as in need of removal, or ‘regeneration’; valuable only for what they might become in the future rather than what they offered us in the past or in their continued usage in the present. In contrast, and as representatives of a growing interest in waste and discard studies across many different disciplines, the speakers in this series take waste landscapes – both ‘real’ and ‘imagined’ – as sites of creative potential. Though taking different forms, each speaker’s approach involves a re-envisioning of these waste landscapes, engaging with them as terrains of spatiotemporal and social possibility, rather than as one-dimensional, ahistorical and abject spaces.

Whilst some of the speakers investigate the people who work with waste, or those who dwell within such sites, others consider the historical agency of waste materials themselves, with others questioning established understandings of what is to be considered waste through processes of creative research and practice. The work presented in the series therefore offers an eye-opening array of approaches, engagements and reimaginings of what waste landscapes mean for us today, and offers a glimpse into how valuations of such places might change in the future.

This series is organised by Jonathan Gardner (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art) and is part of his research project, Reimagining British Waste Landscapes. The series and the project are funded by The Leverhulme Trust and Edinburgh College of Art (University of Edinburgh).

Detailed abstracts for each talk will be available via their respective Eventbrite listings.

Line up

February 2022

9 February:
Waste Worlds in Kampala: Inhabiting Kampala’s Infrastructures of Disposability
Jacob Doherty (SPSS, University of Edinburgh)

16 February:
Waste in Place: A Response to ‘Re-imagining British Waste Landscapes’ Susan Trangmar (artist researcher)

23 February:
Life in the Post Human Landscape
Cal Flyn (author)


March 2022

2 March:
Narrating a Wasted Landscape: Exploring Architectural Heritage in an Industrial Town in Bengal
Edward Hollis (Design, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh)

9 March:
Lifetime Piling Up. Visual Accumulations of Objects and Experience
John Brown (Art, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh)

16 March:
[No seminar]

23 March:
Bruck: The Art and Archaeology of Waste in Orkney
Antonia Thomas (University of the Highlands and Islands)


Watching the series

The series takes place online*. Please register for each talk on Eventbrite individually and will be accessed with a link supplied upon registration (streamed using the Blackboard Collaborate platform). With permission of the speakers, each talk will also be recorded and shared afterwards.

All Eventbrite registration links can be found here

All recordings will be hosted here

Updates on the project blog: or Twitter:




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