The Art of Energy

Envisioning life with energy | Art competition

How would you artistically conceptualise our current energy predicament where we need to balance energy demand with concern about human-driven climate change?  How can we make sense of the entanglement of life with energy in the past, present and future?

It is our pleasure to invite you to take part in the Art of Energy competition at the University of St Andrews. We seek submissions on the topic of energy that engage creatively with the following challenge:

Global energy demand continues to rise. To meet this demand energy producers are increasingly relying on innovative methods of harvesting energy from fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable sources. At the same time, public concern about the impact of anthropogenic climate change is growing, alongside tense conflicts over the human and environmental impact of energy production, distribution, consumption and waste-handling. Recognising that this energy predicament has no simple answer, this predicament raises fundamental questions about what we consider to be right or good, and the kinds of energy futures we envision for ourselves, our communities, and future generations around the world.

We are seeking art submissions of any of the following kinds:

  • Visual arts (e.g. sound installations, video, filmmaking, photography, printmaking, drawing, painting, ceramics, mixed media)
  • Spoken word submissions (e.g. poems)
  • Short Essays (700-800 words)

There will be cash prizes for the top three finalists (£500, £200, £100) across categories.

All participants will have their work exhibited at the Byre, St Andrews, on 11 November 2020. Finalists will have their work also exhibited at the Energy Ethics 2020 symposium on 12 November 2020 in Parliament Hall, St Andrews.

The three finalists will also be invited to attend an invitation-only dinner on 12 November with the symposium’s special guests. We hope you will join us. All Art of Energy participants are warmly invited to also attend the symposium.

The deadline for registering AND submitting is 2 November 2020.  Register to participate online at:  Submissions must either be emailed to or be delivered to Lisa Neilson in the Department of Social Anthropology:

Department of Social Anthropology

University of St Andrews

71 North Street

St Andrews, KY16 9AL

Please contact the organisers Anna Rauter and Dr Sean Field at with any questions.