Lindsay Clarke’s working life has been devoted to his two principal passions, writing and education. In both contexts he has tried to put the power of the creative imagination – in both its inventive and compassionate aspects – into the service of the radical evolution of consciousness, which he believes is seeking to happen in these transitional times. His first novel ‘Sunday Whiteman’ was shortlisted for the David Higham First Novel Award; his second ‘The Chymical Wedding’ was awarded the Whitbread Prize for Fiction in 1989; and his novel ‘The Water Theatre’ was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award. ‘Green Man Dreaming’, a collection of Lindsay’s essays, talks, poems and occasional pieces, was published in 2018,
James Harpur has had six poetry collections published by Carcanet and Anvil Press, including his latest, The White Silhouette (2018), an Irish Times Book of the Year. Angels and Harvesters (2012), was a PBS Recommendation and shortlisted for the 2013 Irish Times Award. In his poem, Opera, he celebrates the imagination – “an impromptu school trip back in the day which was as much as an opera as the actual opera we went to see”.
Dr Denise Baden is an Associate Professor within Southampton Business School at the University of Southampton. She worked in the area of social psychology for 3 years before joining the Southampton Business School in 2005, where she has been engaged in research and teaching in the areas of ethics, entrepreneurship and sustainable business.
“At the heart of James Harpur’s ‘The White Silhouette’ is a meditative poem inspired by ‘The Book of Kells’, a poem that follows threads into themes such as the nature of the divine, the efficacy of sacred art, and the way of silence.”
Francesca Diano discovers in the work of a contemporary poet, James Harpur, a maze of connections that takes her on a journey through Neoplatonism to Krishnamurti and quantum mechanics.
“Deep time represents a certain displacement of the human and the divine from the story of creation. Yet in the Anthropocene, ironically we humans have become that sublime force, the agents of a fearful something that is greater than ourselves.”
David Farrier is a senior lecturer in English literature at the University of Edinburgh, where his research interests include eco-criticism, postcolonial studies, and asylum and refugee contexts. He is currently working on a book about deep time in contemporary poetry
Sarah Howe is a British poet, academic and editor. Her first book, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), won the T.S. Eliot Prize and The Sunday Times / PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. ‘A New Music’ was commissioned for the ‘Deconstructing Patterns’ exhibition/project.
Leah Henrickson is a doctoral student at Loughborough University’s School of the Arts, English and Drama. Her current research focuses on discerning the social and literary implications of natural language generation. Her past research projects have focused on the visualities of medieval manuscripts and 1960s/70s American countercultural material.
AI challenges fundamental concepts such as the human and the machine. Myth, metaphor, and generally the languages of art and literature as well as philosophy can be helpful in thinking through the challenges of AI when the languages of science, technology and commerce fail. The paper examines the enduring value of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in considering the questions of AI. The impact of AI upon human agency is also discussed. Without ways of thinking about, and grappling with a phenomenon as far reaching and transformative as AI, humans risk unintended, unforseen and perhaps unwelcome consequences of their technologies.
In 2016, Jim Dales’ debut novel, ‘RHL, The Man in the Mirror’, was published, which is based loosely on the Dutch Master, Rembrandt. ‘RHL, The Man in the Mirror’ does not present a flattering portrait of the man whose artistic oeuvre is universally recognised as that of an outstanding master. We observe Dales’ Rembrandt as artist, husband, father, lover, teacher, employer and businessman, a mortal with negative as well as admirable characteristics, a three-dimensional and believable character.
Garry Kennard is a painter, writer and founding director of Art and Mind (www.artandmind.org). A fascination with how the brain reacts to works of art has lead Kennard to research, write and lecture on these topics. With Rita Carter and Annabel Huxley he devised and directed the unique Art and Mind Festivals which attracted leading artists and scientists to explore what light the brain sciences can throw on contemporary culture.