20 Apr 2023 - 21 Apr 2023 All day Bradfield room, Darwin College, Silver Street Cambridge CB3 9EU


An event organised by the Remote Sensing: Ice, Instruments, Imagination research network.


  • Lilian Kroth, University of Cambridge
  • Amelia Urry, University of Cambridge


The ‘Remote Sensing’ research network is an exploration of the practices and technologies that work from a distance in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Taking the history of sciences in hard-to-reach places as our starting point, we work to develop shared methods for thinking and feeling our way across distance. How do we—scholars, artists, historians, scientists—get in touch with remote subjects? If we consider that remoteness is an inevitable (and perhaps under appreciated) aspect of work in the arts and humanities, we might find productive dialogue with scientific conceptions of remote sensing. In other words, when ‘going there’ is not an option, how can instruments, imagination, and embodied practices work to span the distance?

Throughout the 2022 – 2023 academic year, the Remote Sensing network has hosted a series of hybrid discussions, from which we will draw for a two-day exploratory workshop ‘Remote Sensing – Exploring practices between the arts, sciences, and humanities’ on 20 & 21 April 2023. Our aim is to explore disciplinary intersections by bringing together scientific ideas about the collection of environmental data with other approaches to ‘distant feeling’ from the arts and humanities, in order to think together about how so-called remote places are experienced and understood today. In particular, we see the workshop as an opportunity to foster active collaboration between participants through a series of exercises and conversations. We hope to articulate the history of remote sensing as a vital and consequential factor in our contemporary lives, which are shaped and understood through daily mediations across distance.

Engaging with these concerns over two days, we will explore different approaches through three discussion panels that will address the themes ‘Experiencing Remote Ice Before Remote Sensing’ (chair: Thomas Simpson), ‘Bringing Remote Sensing Down to Earth’ (chair: Mia Bennett), and ‘Sensing Oceanic Ecologies’ (chair: Anna Guasco). Additionally, in a series of four collaborative sessions, we will work on building collective visual and textual resources, and explore how our own imaginative approaches as scholars, artists, and individuals influence our understanding of distant phenomena, perhaps opening new avenues for research and creative work.

Supported by:

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For information about this workshop please contact events@crassh.cam.ac.uk.

If you have specific accessibility needs for this event please get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.


20 April

9:00 - 10:00

Registration and welcome coffee

10:00 - 10:10

Introductory remarks

10:15 - 11:45

Input session 1:
‘Sensing oceanic ecologies’

Chair: Anna Guasco

11:45 - 12:00


12:00 - 13:00

Orbital reveries

Richard A. Carter

13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 15.30

Input Session 2:
‘Experiencing remote ice before remote sensing’

Chair: Tom Simpson

15:30 - 16:00


Walk over to Scott Polar Museum

16:00 - 17:00

Responsive museum visit Scott Polar Museum

Elizabeth Lewis Williams and Ruth MacIennan

17:00 - 18:00

Drinks reception

21 April

9:00 - 9:30


9:30 - 11:00

Visual Atlas

11:00 - 11:15


11:15 - 12:45

Input Session 3:
‘Bringing remote sensing down to earth’

Chair: Mia Bennett

12:45 - 14:00


14:00 - 15:30

Sensory lexicon

15:30 - 16:30

Tea and coffee break

16.30 - 18.00

Public panel

‘Remote sensing: coming to terms with distance in art, science, history’

  • Mia Bennett (University of Washington)
  • Andrew Fleming (British Antarctic Survey)
  • Troika artist collective (London)


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