Last week the Seed Box Environmental Humanities Collaboratory communication team invited me for a little chat about my research and various collaborations. Here’s the outcome (please, don’t mind the darkness – we’re living in Zoom/non-pro webcam times…):
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!
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.
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.
the non/living, queering, Covid-19 pandemic, art, vulnerability, amplification
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
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.
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.
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.”