a Hypercube for the Conder

a commissioned artistbook for the Entangled Festival, Morecambe, run by Ensemble, Lancaster University

The term ‘hypercube’ was coined by a team of scientists from Lancaster University and consultants from JBA, Skipton, as a web-based model for blending various data streams in flood risk management. This flexigon is an artistic response to their work. Living near the mouth of the Conder river, I witnessed its 2015 and 2017 flooding and wanted to focus on it for this commission.

I wanted to approach this project with as much sensitivity as possible, given I am dealing with a real life situation rather just theoretical modelling

This hypercube blends data from
https://twitter.com/ #galgate #flooding #22-23November2017
and info from

It is made on 120gsm Accent Antique paper from GFSmith, acid free, FSC certified.

Other forms of data this paper hypercube doesn’t have the space for, that its digital counterpart will, are soil moisture and building impact. And therein lies conflict. This has been commissioned by Lancaster University I am aware of the potential pressures developments at Bailrigg and other new building projects near Ou and Burrow Becks as well as the Conder will exert on those rivers and existing communities, as well as the importance of natural flood management in the upper catchment area.

On the morning I went flysampling with Allen Norris, at the Forrest Hills sampling site (Monday 15th August 2021), he took in vivo samples of 163 beatis nymphs (agile darter upwing flies), 1 blue winged olive, 2 heptagenid (flat stone clingers) almost too small to see without a lens, 1 cased caddis, 21 caseless caddis, 7 stoneflies and 13 gammarus. This sample of the insects in this pool of the Conder represents 7 of the 8 taxons which, according to Allen, means pretty clean and biodiverse water.

These creatures have been living on the riverways for millennia, since before the dinosaurs. Let’s hope they continue to have a rich and fruitful life to enable the rest of the planet to be as rich and diverse.

Thanks are due to
Nick Chappell; Claire Dean; Mandy Dike; Liz Edwards; Sarah James; Rob Lamb; Allen Norris; Vatsala Nundloll; Ben Rigby; Will Simm; Floris Tomasini

We commissioned Sarah to create an artistic response to flood modelling research for the Entangled Festival in Summer ‘22. She worked with scientists and project partners to respond to complex research and lived experiences of flooding. Sarah was a delight to work with as an artist. Her curiosity and commitment are infectious. She was communicative throughout the commission process and met every deadline, meaning we could just relax and trust that she would deliver an inspiring creative response. Sarah’s artistbook surpassed our expectations. She brought content and form together in an engaging, multi-layered way, to produce a work that appeals to a range of audiences and can be returned to again and again – each time revealing something new.

Claire Dean for the Ensemble Network