‘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…

View original post 394 more words

Call for abstracts: Queer Death Studies Reader. Edited by Nina Lykke, Marietta Radomska and Tara Mehrabi

The field of Queer Death Studies

The planned reader will gather a wide range of contributions to the field of Queer Death Studies (QDS). This is an emerging, transdisciplinary field of study which takes research on death, dying, and mourning in new directions, inspired by feminist, posthumanist, decolonial, anti-racist, queer, trans, body- and affect-theoretical scholarship, art and activism (Radomska, Mehrabi and Lykke 2020). What distinguishes QDS from conventional Death Studies such as death sociology or anthropology of death is an overall critical focus on the framing of death and extinction in the contemporary world through Anthropocene necropolitics (Mbembe 2003, Lykke 2019) and necropowers of post/colonialism, racial and extractivist capitalism. Death is approached as an ethico-political issue that is embedded in global power structures. QDS pays attention to systematic, necropolitical productions of death, in dialogue with ethico-political critiques emerging from political movements for social, environmental and planetary justice and change. QDS is also based on critiques of the dichotomous divides, characterising Western modernity, and is marked out through a critical focus on normativities and exclusionary notions of the human, casting the death of those who differ from the normative human subject in terms of gender, racialisation, migration status, class, geopolitical situatedness, able-bodiedness, and species as less grievable or disposable and not counting at all (Butler 2004). In short, QDS aligns itself with critiques of the intra-acting multiplicity of hierarchising divides between appropriate and in/appropriate/d others (Minh-ha 1989), articulated by social, environmental and planetary justice movements.

The Call

With this call, we invite abstracts from researchers, students, artists and activists who see their research and activities as aligned with critiques of the necropowers operating in the contemporary world, and who want to contribute to queering, decolonising and posthumanising death and the onto-epistemololgies and politics conventionally framing death.

QUEERING, DECOLONISING AND POSTHUMANISING

The verbform, queering, which we use here, encompasses a wide range of meanings. It refers to (1) open-ended deconstructing of normativities and processes of normalisation in various forms, as well as (2) undoing of heteropatriarchy, heteronormativity, binary gender and sexualities governed by reproductive biopowers or, in other words, the normative heterosexual matrix. Queering death is thus on the one hand understood as a critical strange-making, and defamiliarising, which may imply affirmative openings of other horizons than Christian and Cartesian dualist approaches to death, for example a focus on the vibrant entanglement of growing and decomposing (Radomska 2017; Lykke 2022). On the other hand, queering means critically focusing on the ways in which misogyny, trans- and queerphobia lead to social as well as physical death, and how violence and hate crimes towards non-normative individuals seek to render their lives and deaths non-grievable (Puar 2007; Chen 2012; Snorton 2017). Together with this broad spectrum of meanings, we also want to emphasise that queering should be understood in its intersections with decolonising and posthumanising efforts

Decolonising death involves critically dismantling the violent necropowers of colonisation, racial and extractivist capitalism, which for centuries have made death become ”life’s quiet companion” (Lehman 1997) for racialised and indigenous people worldwide, as well as confronting the over-arching racisms which continue to produce (physical, social and cultural) death along racialised lines. Moreover, decolonising death signals a turn towards pluritopic hermeneutics (Tlostanova and Mignolo 2009), i.e. hermeneutics which do not universalise Western modern frameworks, and which reevaluate indigenous philosophies, cosm-ontologies and sensibilities. In terms of life/death thresholds, this implies critically-affirmatively shifting the meanings of death, for example, substituting conceptualisations and imaginaries of death as a final endpoint within a chrononormative linear temporality, and instead opting for understandings, situated in geo- and corpo-political frameworks outside of Western modernity (e.g. Smith 1999; Anzaldua 2015).

Posthumanising death refers to the systematic problematisation of the planetary-scale mechanisms of annihilation of the more-than-human world in their ontological, epistemological and ethico-political dimensions. It involves critical analyses of the human/nonhuman divide and power differentials that have allowed for the reduction of the nonhuman to mere resource and instrument for human endeavours. Furthermore, the posthumanising move entails unpacking philosophical and cultural meanings of extinction and the ways in which it fundamentally disrupts life processes in relation to time, death and generations (e.g. Rose 2012); it draws attention to environmental violence, environmental grief, as well as nonhuman death manufactured en masse through anthropocentric habits of consumption and mechanisms of extractivism.

Consequently, posthumanising death takes seriously the issues of responsibility, accountability and care for/in dying more-than-human worlds, while remaining grounded in radical critiques of human exceptionalism, and affirmative embrace of alternatives (eg. Braidotti 2013; Haraway 2016; MacCormack 2020).

Formats and deadlines:

We call for abstracts of approximately 300 words, to be accompanied by a bio-note of approximately 200 words, as well as by a title of the proposed chapter and an indication of how the chapter relates to the below main themes to be covered in the reader.

Please, send your abstract etc to ninly[at]fastmail, cc: <marietta.radomska[at]liu.se> and <Tara.Mehrabi[at]kau.se>

Abstract DEADLINE: 1st NOVEMBER, 2021

We will respond to your abstract by MID-JANUARY 2022, and foresee submissions of FIRST DRAFT CHAPTERS by August 1, 2022.

We plan a reader with around 50 contributions, including a few reprints of classics. Scholarly as well as creative and artistic contributions are welcome! We hope together with contributors to build a reader which will be significant and agenda-setting for the field

THEMATIC CLUSTERS:

*Queering Death: Rethinking life/death ecologies

*Histories of necropowers and Anthropocene necropolitics

*Decolonising death

*Posthumanising death

*Demedicalising death

*Politics and Ethics of Mourning

*Alternative Spiritual, Aesthetic and Arts Activist Approaches to Death and After-life

The International Network for Queer Death Studies

The idea for the reader grew out of the international network for Queer Death Studies, which was founded in 2016, (see https://queerdeathstudies.net/). The network has organised several workshops and an international conference at Karlstad University, Sweden, in 2019.

We have earlier published two special journal issues of Australian Feminist Studies (2020, Vol 35 (104)), and Women, Gender and Research (2019: Issue 3-4).

REFERENCES

Anzaldua, G. E. (2015), Light in the Dark/Luz en Lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Reality, Spirituality, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Braidotti, R. (2013), The Posthuman, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Butler, J. (1990), Gender Trouble. Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, London, New York: Routledge.

Butler, J. (2004), Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence, New York, NY: Verso.

Chen, M. Y. (2012), Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering and Queer Affect, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Haraway, Donna (2016), Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.

Lehman, G. (1997), ‘Life’s Quiet Companion’, in G. Carey and R. Sorenson (eds), The Penguin Book of Death, 223–232, Ringwood: Penguin Australia.

Lykke, N. (2019), ‘Making Live and Letting Die: Cancerous Bodies between Anthropocene Necropolitics and Chthulucene Kinship’, Environmental Humanities, 11 (1): 108–36.

Lykke, N (2022), Vibrant Death. A Posthuman Phenomenology of Mourning. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

MacCormack, Patricia (2020a), The Ahuman Manifesto. Activism for the End of the Anthropocene. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Mbembe, A. (2003), Necropolitics, Public Culture, 15 (1): 11–40.

Minh-ha, T. T. (1989), Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism, Bloomington and Indianapolis IN: Indiana University Press.

Puar, J. (2007), Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times, Durham: Duke UP-

Radomska, M., T. Mehrabi, and N. Lykke (2020), Queer Death Studies: Death, Dying and Mourning From a Queerfeminist Perspective, Australian Feminist Studies, 35(104): 81-100.

Radomska, M. (2017), Non/living Matter, Bioscientific Imaginaries and Feminist Technoecologies of Bioart, Australian Feminist Studies, 32 (94): 377-394.

Rose, D. B. (2012), Multispecies knots of ethical time, Environmental Philosophy, 9(1): 127–140.

Shildrick, M (2020) Queering the Social Imaginaries of the Dead, Australian Feminist Studies, 35(104): 170-185.

Smith, L.T. 1999. Decolonizing Methodologies. Research and Indigenous Peoples. London and New York: Zed books.

Snorton, C.R (2017), Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Tlostanova, M. and W. Mignolo (2009), On Pluritopic Hermeneutics, Trans-Modern Thinking, and Decolonial Philosophy, Encounters, 1 (1): 11–27.

New Publication: Dossier ‘What do we talk about when we talk about queer death?’ – Theories and Definitions

Recently I had a pleasure to contribute to the dossier ‘What do we talk about when we talk about queer death?’, edited by Mattia Petricola and published in the latest issue of the journal ‘Whatever: A transdisciplinary journal of queer theories and studies’.

You may find my short text ‘On queering death studies’ in the longer article ‘Theories and Definitions’, along with the fantastic contributions by Patricia MacCormack, Nina Lykke, Ida Hillerup Hansen, Phillip R. Olson and Nicholas Manganas.

Here comes the abstract:

This is part 1 of 6 of the dossier What Do We Talk about when We Talk about Queer Death?, edited by M. Petricola. The contributions collected in this article sit at the crossroads between thanatology and queer theory and tackle questions such as: how can we define queer death studies as a research field? How can queer death studies problematize and rethink the life-death binary? Which notions and hermeneutic tools could be borrowed from other disciplines in order to better define queer death studies?
The present article includes the following contributions: – MacCormack P., What does queer death studies mean?; – Radomska M., On queering death studies; – Lykke N., Death as vibrancy; – Hillerup Hansen I., What concreteness will do to resolve the uncertain; – Olson P., Queer objectivity as a response to denials of death; – Manganas N., The queer lack of a chthonic instinct.

MacCormack, P., M. Radomska, N. Lykke, I. Hillerup-Hansen, P. R. Olson, N. Manganas. 2021. What do we talk about when we talk about queer death? Theories and definitionsWhatever: Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theory and Studies, vol. 4: 573-598. https://doi.org/10.13131/2611-657X.whatever.v4i1.147

New Publication: Fathoming Postnatural Oceans…

It is my great pleasure to say that our latest article, dealing with postnatural ecologies, non/liveability and low-trophic ecosystems and maricultures of the Baltic and North Sea is finally out in Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space (OPEN ACCESS)!

Radomska, M. and C. Åsberg. 2021Fathoming Postnatural Oceans: Towards a Low-Trophic Theory in the Practices of Feminist PosthumanitiesEnvironment and Planning E: Nature and Spacehttps://doi.org/10.1177/25148486211028542

Check it out!

Abstract:

As the planet’s largest ecosystem, oceans stabilise climate, produce oxygen, store CO2 and host unfathomable biodiversity at a deep time-scale. In recent decades, scientific assessments have indicated that the oceans are seriously degraded to the detriment of most near-future societies. Human-induced impacts range from climate change, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, eutrophication and marine pollution to local degradation of marine and coastal environments. Such environmental violence takes form of both ‘spectacular’ events, like oil spills and ‘slow violence’, occurring gradually and out of sight. The purpose of this paper is to show four cases of coastal and marine forms of slow violence and to provide counter-accounts of how to reinvent our consumer imaginary at such locations, as well as to develop what is here referred to as ‘low-trophic theory,’ a situated ethical stance that attends to entanglements of consumption, food, violence, environmental adaptability and more-than-human care from the co-existential perspective of multispecies ethics. We combine field-philosophical case studies with insights from marine science, environmental art and cultural practices in the Baltic and North Sea region and feminist posthumanities. The paper shows that the oceanic imaginary is not a unified place, but rather, a set of forces, which requires renewed ethical approaches, conceptual inventiveness and practical creativity. Based on the case studies and examples presented, the authors conclude that the consideration of more-than-human ethical perspectives, provided by environmental arts and humanities is crucial for both research on nature and space, and for the flourishing of local multispecies communities. This paper thus inaugurates thinking and practice along the proposed here ethical stance of low-trophic theory, developed it along the methodological lines of feminist environmental posthumanities.

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

Watch online: “(Bio)art & ecologies of non/living matters: A conversation between visual artist Emanuela Cusin and philosopher Marietta Radomska.”

In case you missed the event ‘(Bio)art & ecologies of non/living matters’ that was livestreamed last month, fear not… The recording of the session is now available on University of Birmingham YouTube channel (see below).

About the event:

Visual artist Emanuela Cusin (Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (UK)) and philosopher Dr Marietta Radomska (Assistant Professor in Environmental Humanities, Linköping University (SE)) present their artistic and philosophical engagements with the matter(s)—and materialisation—of (bio)art and ecologies of the non/living. They do so against the backdrop of these more-than-human crisis times that are afflicted by political and pandemic violence, (counter)terrorist acts and events, and processes of mourning, trauma, and commemoration.

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 .

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑