About The Polymorphic Carbon Library

The Polymorphic Carbon Library is both a physical and online library and exhibition, which is ever evolving. Intersecting science and art, it showcases the interlinked histories of carbon in our atmosphere, and human endeavour.

Life began in an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide, and over millions of years, carbon transformed into other forms to create the environment we exist in today. The Polymorphic Carbon Library guides us to the critical interactions of carbon and human existence, from our breathing to our technical innovations, to our climate emergency.

The physical exhibition features:

The Carbon Pathway Table – specially designed for The Common Room’s Wood Hall, this structure reveals the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide within the space at different points in time, from its origins in 1872, to the opening of The Common Room in 2021, to its projected future in 2100.

A physical and online library - an expansive changing archive, giving access to carbon materials and documents, as well as an online archive of carbon readings over the course of human history, including readings at major scientific, political and cultural moments in time.

The Carbon Reader - device that constantly monitors and records the carbon dioxide level in the Wood Memorial Hall to the online library. See how the carbon levels in the space change as you speak, breathe and move around the space.

Throughout our Opening Festival, The Polymorphic Carbon Library will be an inclusive and open place as it hosts a programme of activities, workshops and presentations. Try your hand at carbon-themed origami and share your message about why climate action matters to you.

Booking information

This exhibition is available to view on select dates throughout the Opening Festival period, but booking is required. If you have already booked a ticket for a workshop, activity or performance, access to this exhibition is included on the same date. Otherwise, you will need to book a general admission ticket to access this exhibition.

If tickets are not available for the month you would like to visit, please check back later as tickets are added on a monthly basis.

Date: Friday 30th July – Saturday 18th December 2021

10am – 4pm

Location: Wood Hall, The Common Room, Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 1SE

About the artists

The Polymorphic Carbon Library is devised and developed by artists Charles Danby and Rob Smith