‘END OF THE SEA? ART AND SCIENCE FOR MULTISPECIES FUTURES’ WORKSHOP, 13th December 2021.

Join us on 13th December for another exciting event I have a pleasure to co-curate together with my colleague, Prof. Cecilia Åsberg!

The Posthumanities Hub

It is our great pleasure to announce our upcoming event, hosted by The Eco- and Bioart Lab and The Posthumanities Hub, and generously supported by The Seed Box and Åke Wiberg Foundation:

End of the Sea? Art and Science for Multispecies Futures Workshop takes place on 13th December 2021 at 13:15 – 16:30 – on Zoom!

For registration details – see below.

As the planet’s largest ecosystem, oceans and seas stabilise climate, produce oxygen, store CO2and host unfathomable multitudes of creatures at a deep-time scale. In recent decades, scientific assessments have indicated that marine environments are seriously degraded to the detriment of most near-future human and nonhuman communities.This matters to us, too.Climate change, environmental destruction and diminishing biological diversity form the key pillars of the present more-than-human crisis of planetary proportions.This calls for our attention and for responses from the more-than-human humanities.

Still, a lot remains unknown at the levels…

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Environmental Racism is Garbage. Virtual Research-Creation and Art Symposium. NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

Photo by David Kilabuk (source: https://environmentalracismisgarbage.art/)

On 27th-29th May 2021 Environmental Racism is Garbage: Virtual Research-Creation & Art Symposium took place online.

This wonderful and important event was supported by a Seed Box grant from Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Waste Flow (www.wasteflow.ca) and Queen’s University.

Here comes the (shortened) description from the symposium’s website:

The aim of this interactive virtual research-creation and art symposium is to bear modest witness to waste as a symptom of environmental racism. […] Environmental Racism is Garbage seeks knowledge production and acts of resistance at the intersection of art, politics, and the relationship between racialized injustice and ecological crisis. We’ve invited contributions and collaborations from visual and performance-based artists, curators, theorists and activists, to create submissions that engage with the interconnections between environmental health, socio-economic conditions, racialized discrimination, social justice – with transdisciplinary work driven by creative inquiry and lived experience forefronted.

I had a pleasure and honour to speak in the panel focused on Ecological Grief which took place on 26th May. In case you missed it, feel free to check out the recording of the panel (along with many other fascinating talks and panels) available until May 2022 on the symposium’s YouTube channel and website.

‘Arts of Non/Living Matters’ seminar & the launch of The Eco- and Bioart Lab – on 17th June!

Join us for this event!

Welcome to the Posthumanities Hub Seminar on ‘Arts of Non/Living Matters’ with Margherita Pevere and Dr Marietta Radomska!

The seminar is combined with the launch of the new research group and platform: The Eco- and Bioart Lab (EBL).

EBL, founded and head by Dr Marietta Radomska, connects artists, artistic researchers and other practitioners, as well as doctoral students whose practice and research focus on art and the environment in their broadest understanding.

When: 17th June 2021, 13:15 – 15:00 CEST

Where: On Zoom (more info below)

REGISTRATION: In order to take part in the seminar, please register by sending an email to the.posthumanities.hub@gmail.com by 16th June 2021 at noon (CEST) the latest.

The Zoom link will be sent to you on 16th June in the evening.

Speakers:

Leaking. Mattering.

By Margherita Pevere

Abstract

Drawing from her transdisciplinary practice, Margherita Pevere will recount how the non/living is an ongoing, uncontainable encounter made of leaks and unlearning.

She will do so by sharing the research behind her recent and previous artworks. She will talk about what it means to interrogate slugs and hormonal contraception as she did for the series ‘Wombs’. She will share very real and potential leaks encountered during the realisation of ‘Semina Aeternitatis’. She will delve into the body entanglements in ‘Eingeweide’, made in collaboration with artist Marco Donnarumma. She will recount how she worked with animal remains in ‘Lymph’.

While celebrating art, Margherita’s talk will weave a dialogue across non/living encounters with ecosystems as a fundamental epistemic mode. In fact, her artworks would exist without learning why the lagoon water gets transparent, observing algal blooms in urban waterways, or engaging with hybrid kinships of different kinds. Art and ecological observation are, in her practice, conjoined strategies of knowing differently. 

Bio

A truly transdisciplinary practitioner, Margherita Pevere works across bioart and performance with a visceral signature. Her arresting creations hunt today’s surging ecological complexity and the ways embodiment and environment are always entangled. To do so, her research hybridises biolab practice, ecology, queer and death studies with a hacking attitude. She has exhibited her work internationally and is now completing a PhD in artistic research at Aalto University on bioart and queer theory.
https://margheritapevere.com
https://frontevacuo.com

Contact: margherita.pevere[at]aalto.fi

Ecologies of the Non/Living: A Queerfeminist Biophilosophical Perspective

By Marietta Radomska

Abstract

The concept of ‘the non/living’ (Radomska 2016) stems from a transdisciplinary theoretical and practical engagement with bioart, bioscience, and philosophical approaches to life. The non/living reframes what is conventionally referred to as ‘life’ in order to problematise the materiality, processuality and ambiguity of the relationship between the living and non-living, growth and decay, and ultimately, life and death. This ambivalent entwinement comes to the fore even more so when considered against the backdrop of the planetary environmental disruption and other intersecting more-than-human crises of our times.

Drawing on process, queer and feminist philosophical perspectives as well as several select examples of contemporary bio-, eco- and media artworks, I will offer a queerfeminist biophilosophy as an approach that may allow us to better comprehend the complexity, vibrancy and materiality of the non/living. The latter, always-already understood as ‘ecologies of non/living matters’, calls for not only an ontological reflection, but also for an ethical one.

Bio

Marietta Radomska, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Humanities at Linköping University (Unit Gender Studies); director of The Eco- and Bioart Lab; co-director of The Posthumanities Hub; and co-founder of Queer Death Studies Network. She works at the intersection of the posthumanities, environmental humanities, continental philosophy, feminist theory, queer death studies, visual culture and contemporary art; and has published in Australian Feminist StudiesSomatechnicsWomen, Gender & Research and Artnodes, among others. Web: www.mariettaradomska.com

Image used on the poster:
Margherita Pevere, Wombs | Study. pencil on colour print 27×18 cm, 2018.

The Eco- and Bioart Lab

Seminar on Queer Death Aesthetics, 27th May on Zoom

I am curating The Posthumanities Hub Seminar on Queer Death Aesthetics, which takes place on 27th May at 13:15 – 15:00 CEST and is organised in collaboration with my research group The Eco- and Bioart Lab.

The speakers are: Karolina Żyniewicz (University of Warsaw, PL) and Jacob B. Riis (Aarhus University, DK).

For more details, also on how to REGISTER for the event, see below.

Welcome to the Posthumanities Hub Seminar on Queer Death Aesthetics with speakers: Karolina Żyniewicz (University of Warsaw) and Jacob B. Riis (Aarhus University)!

Queer Death Studies (QDS) is an emerging transdisciplinary field that critically investigates and challenges conventional normativities, assumptions and expectations surrounding the issues of death, dying and mourning in the contemporary world. In particular, QDS pays attention to the ways planetary-scale necropolitics render some lives and deaths more recognised, understood or grievable than others.  If ‘queering’ in QDS is understood in a broad, open-ended sense as strange-making, defamiliarising, where the critical defamiliarisation implied may lead to an opening of other, more affirmative horizons, what would then ‘queer death aesthetics’ mean? During the seminar we will try to tackle this question in depth…

The event is curated by Dr Marietta Radomska and is organised in collaboration with The Eco- and Bioart Lab.

When: 27th May 2021, 13:15 – 15:00 CEST

Where: On Zoom

REGISTRATION: In order to take part in the seminar, please register by sending an email to the.posthumanities.hub@gmail.com by 25th May 2021 at noon (CEST) the latest.

The Zoom link will be sent to you on 26th May.

Speakers:

Safe suicide – becoming immortal and dying anyway.

By Karolina Żyniewicz

How to experience immortal life and death at the same time? How to do it safely, without a risk? Are cells isolated from my body still part of me? These were the main questions which I asked to myself and to my scientific collaborators in the beginning of working on safe suicide project. The project was transmattering on many different levels, a transformation of the body and its notion, understanding of life and death coalition, cognitive production, artistic expression. In the frame of the project I immortalised my cells, B lymphocytes just in order to decide about their death. Technically speaking, it was giving to them/myself immortality to take it back in many different experiments. It was being a donor, an observer, a caretaker and a killer at the same time. The project does not give precise answers for the posted questions but it allows to envision what means being liminal, being many and being constantly reconfigured.

Bio

Karolina Żyniewicz is an artist (2009 graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, Department of Visual Arts) and researcher, PhD student (Nature-Culture Transdisciplinary PhD Program at Artes Liberales Faculty, University of Warsaw). Working in a laboratory (mostly at the Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw) locates her works in the field of bio art, although she tries to avoid using this term.

Are we dead yet?

By Jacob B. Riis

One of the defining characteristics in human behavioural modernity is burial of the dead in conjunction with ritual and art – art’s primordial love affair is with putrefying corpses. This project outlines a genre that utilises material corpses to produce contemporary art pieces. I currently conceptualise this art form as Necro Art, which serves to connect it to Mbembian inspired Necro Aesthetics and simultaneously establish it as its own field or genre within Art History. While perhaps being a version of Body Art originating in Viennese Actionism, Necro Art simultaneously aligns along different trajectories. It samples and shuffles in early human ritual, folkloric, pagan and rural art forms usually not present in realms of High/Academic Art, and brings the overlooked, the spectral, the magical, and the illiterate too Art History. Through focus on materiality, agency and constellations of subjectivities, each artwork conjures ghosts, reveals life where there is none, and allows its experiencer to connect with the dead, forcing us to reconsider the boundaries of life.

Bio

Jacob B. Riis, Art historian (graduated from Copenhagen University in 2014), 2009-2014 Curator Assistant at The Danish Museum of National History, Hillerød, 2014-2018 Head of Teaching and Curator at Ordrupgaard in Copenhagen, currently PhD student at Art History, Aarhus University.

Photos included in the poster:

(1) Portrait of Karolina Żyniewicz by Pawel Jozwiak (CSW Laznia, Gdansk; LEFT) and 

(2) Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991, by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (RIGHT).

Symposium ‘det gode liv/The Sweetness of Living’ at Barents Spektakel Festival, 20th Feb 2021!

Check out the exciting online event: det gode liv/The Sweetness of Living forming part of the Barents Spektakel festival, taking place on 17-21 February in Kirkenes, Norway. The symposium itself is scheduled on 20th February (Saturday) from 10:00 to 14:00 CET. It takes place both on location and online. In order to register, fill out the form here.

Here’s a short description of the event, taken from the organisers’ website:

det gode liv // The Sweetness of Living is a networking, knowledge exchange, and experience-sharing artistic research and contemporary art project that begins in February 2021 and extends into the long-term future. 

The research takes its inspiration from the publication Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: A Tar Sands Tale (2018) by Matt Hern and Am Johal, where the authors investigate philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s invocation of Alexandre Kojeve’s phrase ‘la dolce vita’.

These ideas describe a common attitude in Spain, Italy, and southern Europe that is claimed to be qualitatively different from the Protestant work ethic of northern European countries. Agamben’s claim is that this attitude describes a wholly different relationship to the future, a recovery of time, a resistance to capitalism, and the preservation of a significant way of living: in short, the capacity to define life as something outside of work.

det gode liv // The Sweetness of Living builds on these gestures, investigating and challenging what ‘the sweetness of life’ represents specifically in the Barents region / the nordic countries and north-west Russia / Sápmi. The project  is grounded in the belief that the topic has become an urgent cultural question following the events of 2020, when the present societal changes taking place during the Covid-19 pandemic have urged a radical re-configuration of the priorities of life and living.

The project begins by opening up the topic through three artworks and through several discursive, performative, and processual responses under The Sweetness of Living Symposium.

Among the speakers you can also find myself and Cecilia Åsberg with our talk on “More than survival: weaving vulnerabilities, questioning certainties, mobilising resilience. On low-trophic theories-practices for a more-than-human world”, starting at 12:00 sharp! Hope to see you there!

New Publication: “Non/Living Queerings, Undoing Certainties, Braiding Vulnerabilities: A Collective Reflection”

The latest issue of Artnodes: E-journal for Art, Science and Technology, focused on ‘Art in the Time of Pandemic’ and edited by Laura Benitez and Erich Berger is finally out and available in OPEN ACCESS. Inside you may also find a contribution by myself, Mayra Citllali Rojo Gómez, Margherita Pevere and Terike Haapoja, entitled: ‘Non/Living Queerings, Undoing Certainties, Braiding Vulnerabilities: A Collective Reflection’. You can read our article here.

Abstract:

The ongoing global pandemic of Covid-19 has exposed SARS-CoV-2 as a potent non-human actant that resists the joint scientific, public health and socio-political efforts to contain and understand both the virus and the illness. Yet, such a narrative appears to conceal more than it reveals. The seeming agentiality of the novel coronavirus is itself but one manifestation of the continuous destruction of biodiversity, climate change, socio-economic inequalities, neocolonialism, overconsumption and the anthropogenic degradation of nature. Furthermore, focusing on the virus – an entity that holds an ambiguous status between the ‘living’ and ‘non-living’ – brings into question the issue of the agentiality of non/living matter. While the story of viral potency seems to get centre stage, overshadowing the complex and perverse entanglement of processes and phenomena which  activated these potentials in the first place, the Covid-19 pandemic also becomes a prism that sheds light on the issues of environmental violence; social and environmental injustices; more-than-human agentiality; and ethico-political responses that the present situation may mobilise.

This article serves as a written record of joint conversations between artists and researchers in the working group ‘Non/Living Queerings’ that formed part of the online series of events ‘Braiding Friction’ organised by the research project Biofriction. The article strives to capture the collective effort of braiding and weaving a variety of situated perspectives, theoretical toolboxes, knowledges and experiences against the background of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, the text focuses on the issues of crisis, ‘amplification effect’, viral agency and the changing notions of humanity.

Keywords

the non/living, queering, Covid-19 pandemic, art, vulnerability, amplification

Reference:

Radomska, Marietta, Rojo Gómez, Mayra Citlalli, Pevere, Margherita, Haapoja, Terike. “Non/Living Queerings, Undoing Certainties, and Braiding Vulnerabilities: A Collective Reflection”. Artnodes, [online], 2021, No. 27, doi:10.7238/a.v0i27.374989 .

This autumn the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s international programme for Visual and Applied Artists Iaspis Open Studios transforms into an online platform and seven-day programme with live-streamed happenings, art, talks and scheduled conversations. One of the elements of the rich programme is a conversation between brilliant Swedish artist Josefin Tingvall and myself. For more, see IASPIS Open Studios website.

EDIT: If you missed our conversation on 17th September, you can still check it out here: https://openstudiosautumn2020.iaspis.se/programme/#tingvallconversation

New Publication: Methodologies of Kelp

Last month the book The Kelp Congress (in English) / Tangboka (in Norwegian), edited by Hilde Mehti, Neal Cahoon and Annette Wolfsberger, was published by NNKS Press (Nordnorsk kunstnersenter). The volume contains contributions by the participants of the Kelp Congress, an event forming part of Lofoten International Art Festival, which took place in September 2019. Among many brilliant chapters by artists and researchers you may also find an essay by Cecilia Åsberg, Janna Holmstedt and myself, entitled ‘Methodologies of Kelp: On Feminist Posthumanities, Transversal Knowledge Production and Multispecies Ethics in an Age of Entanglement’.

For more info on how to order the book, see The Kelp Congress website.

More on the book itself:

Assembled from a collection of Nordic, international, and multispecies perspectives, The Kelp Congress is a gathering of writings and artworks that contribute to the recent interest in kelp and seaweed within contemporary art and thinking. The book forages for the insights that emerge through spending time together with these ecologies, revealing their inherent and entangled values.

Contributors: Aoife Casby, Devil’s Apron, Robin Everett, Tiina Arjukka Hirvonen, Janna Holmstedt, Øyvind Novak Jenssen, Signe Johannessen, Signe Lidén, Julia Lohmann, Janice McEwen, Arjen Mulder, Astrida Neimanis, Michael Pantalos, Julia Parks, Viktor Pedersen, Marietta Radomska, Francisco Trento, Danni Zuvela and Cecilia Åsberg.

And a little bit more on our contribution:

C. Åsberg, J. Holmstedt and M. Radomska, 2020. Methodologies of Kelp: On Feminist Posthumanities, Transversal Knowledge Production and Multispecies Ethics in an Age of Entanglement. In: The Kelp Congress, edited by H. Mehti, N. Cahoon, and A. Wolfsberger, Svolvær: NNKS Press, pp. 11-23.

Abstract:

This chapter takes departure in the experience gathered through our participation in two workshops: Kelp Curing and Coast, Line, forming part of the Kelp Congress, as well as our daily research and art practices. We take kelp as material entities immersed in a multitude of relations with other creatures (for whom kelp serves as both nourishment and shelter) and inorganic elements of the milieu it resides in, on the one hand, and as a figuration: a material-semiotic “map of contestable worlds” that encompasses entangled threads of “knowledge, practice and power” (Haraway 1997, 11) in its local and global sense, on the other. While drawing on our field notes from the congress and feminist posthumanities and environmental humanities literatures (e.g. Alaimo 2016; Åsberg & Braidotti 2018; Sandilands & Erickson 2010; Iovino & Opperman 2014) – with a special focus on the so-called blue humanities/oceanic humanities (e.g. DeLoughrey 2019) – that unpack human/nonhuman relations in the context of the current environmental crisis and the accompanying “slow violence” (Nixon 2011), we mobilise a reflection on and make a proposal for “thinking with kelp” as a multi-faceted methodology of transversal and transdisciplinary knowledge production and practices: situated (Haraway 1988), enfleshed, transcorporeal (Alaimo 2010), collaborative, and committed to an ethics of multispecies response-ability (Haraway 2008).

You may read it HERE.

“Seeding Stories: A Guide To The Interior Of A Salt Water Crocodile Project” has been launched!

“Seeding Stories: A Guide To The Interior Of A Salt Water Crocodile” artwork by The Migrant Ecologies Project finally has its own beautiful website: https://seeding-stories.org/ – check it out!

More about the project (via Seeding Stories website):

“On 10 June 2019, a single grain of wheat, part of wheat-straw stuffing of a 133-year-dead, 4.7 metres long, saltwater crocodile, shot in 1887 at the mouth of the no-longer-existing Serangoon River, Singapore and kept for over a century in the Raffles Museum, migrated to the Arctic circle and was ceremonially buried in Platåberget, adjacent to the Svalbard Global Seed Bank, on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen.

This gesture was part of an artwork by the Singapore-situated Migrant Ecologies Project. The work was selected by an international jury of artists and scientists from 100 entries from all over the world for an exhibition curated and led by Dr. Fern Wickson from the Centre for Biosafety at University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway. Dr. Wickson believes that nature and human cultures are intertwined and wanted to generate a parallel initiative to remember 21st century cultural relationships with plants and seeds, next door to the world famous doomsday vault.”

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