I write, I give talks, I make connections between ideas and between people, I tell stories, I bring together conversations and, once in a while, these practices give rise to projects, events and organisations.

Current trajectory

September 2022

The big news is that this summer I finished work on a book: At Work in the Ruins: Finding Our Place in the Time of Science, Climate Change, Pandemics and All the Other Emergencies will be published by Chelsea Green in early 2023. More details soon.

Meanwhile, work continues on this school called HOME. Mattias Olsson from Campfire Stories turned up just as we were starting this summer’s build on the Red House and recorded this podcast about the school. We are in the final stage of converting the old shoe shop and will host our first event on site in October, a collaboration with Uppsala University.

There are new episodes of The Great Humbling, the podcast I present with “recovering sustainability consultant” Ed Gillespie. And I’ve voiced the audiobook of Vanessa Machado de Oliveira’s brilliant Hospicing Modernity.

For more about what I’m reading, writing, thinking and working on, sign up for my newsletter, Crossed Lines.

Talking to Ingrid Rieser for the Forest of Thought podcast, June 2020.

Instead of rebooting civilisation, it’s about regrowing a living culture, as part of a patchwork of living cultures.


The glass artists Monica Guggisberg and Philip Baldwin invited me to collaborate on a book to accompany their exhibition at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft. I wove twelve stories around the twelve installations that form Walking In The Void, documented in Christoph Lehmann’s photographs.

This is a trail that takes us by strange routes, to the role of glass as a philosophical tool, transforming our relationship to the cosmos, and the history of bottles from the workshops of Syrian glassmakers in the first century BCE to a technological breakthrough in the 1970s that made possible plastic containers for carbonated drinks.

‘Hine’s essay accompanying the images of the show provides a lyrical and incisive element which makes this art book something more – a reflection on the proverbial “rock and a hard place” in which civilisation so dramatically finds itself today.’ — Le Stanze Del Vetro

A new essay and a roundtable conversation with six artists from Sweden and the UK in this one-off collaboration with Konstnären magazine. Out on 4th June 2021.

There is always something strange about the way that artists make a living, at least by the standards of modern societies, since for most people around us, work is – virtually by definition – activity you wouldn’t do unless you were getting paid for it.

Cover image: Caroline Ross

Recent writing

The Price of Life
Written as the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Europe, this is an essay about the encounter with parental mortality.
What’s Happening in Sweden?
A long read about Sweden, its story of itself and the role this country plays in the political imagination of millions of people who have never been here.
Negotiating the Surrender
An essay written for This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook (Penguin, 2019).
After We Stop Pretending
An essay for Dark Mountain: Issue 15 on the strange hot summer of 2018 and the beginnings of the new climate movements.
Deschooling Revisited
Writing about Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society (1971) for Issue 25 of STIR magazine.
It’s Time to Start a School
Issue 16 of my Crossed Lines newsletter was where we first announced the launch of a school called HOME.
Where the Words Run Out
For AHA! festival in Gothenburg, Alexander Dam, Sara Rousta and I created this performance for two dancers and a writer running out of words.
Three Seasons With CEMUS
This essay was my contribution to the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Centre for Environment and Development Studies at Uppsala University.
Childish Things
This essay on the role of art in modernity and its relationship to the sacred was written for Dark Mountain: Issue 12 – SANCTUM.
How Climate Change Arrives
An essay for The Precariat, a one-off newspaper published by the organisers of Planet B festival in Peterborough.
You Want It Darker
When the regular mechanisms of political narration break down, there is a need for something stranger: liminal writing for liminal times.
When the Maps Run Out
A letter I sent to readers of Crossed Lines, three days after the election of Donald Trump
Spelling it Out
An essay about the three languages you need to take a project from dreams to reality. Written for Jessie Brennan’s book, Re:development.
Pockets: A Story for Alan Garner
My contribution to First Light, a collection of writing that celebrates the life and work of the novelist Alan Garner.
Expectations of Life & Death
What is different today is that living to grow old has become a reasonable expectation, something we can almost take for granted, rather than a matter of luck.
End of an Epoch?
A review of two books about the Anthropocene by Christian Schwägerl and Gaia Vince.
The Predicament
What does art do when the world is on fire? This was the question that framed the Dark Mountain Workshop project.
A Journey Begins
This October, as the leaves gather in the gutters of Stockholm, a gang of artists, writers, performers and theatre makers will set off on a journey.

Crossed Lines

An occasional letter about what I’m working on.