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: 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.

Braiding Friction | Biofriction

Join us for public sessions with Braiding Friction project!

EDIT: You can now watch the recording of the session on the Biofriction YouTube channel:

 

 

The Posthumanities Hub

It is our great pleasure to announce details about the upcoming online event series ‘Braiding Friction’, conceived by the Biofriction network with Hangar.org, Cultivamos CulturaGalerija Kapelica / Kapelica Gallery and Bioart Society . As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and postponed activities, Biofriction has set up a series of Working Groups and online events. The aim is to answer to the need of an informed discussion on the science and politics of the pandemic and the possible role of artists and researchers, to unpack and understand the enormous complexity we are confronted with. The group hosted by the Bioart Society is called Non-Living Queerings and consists of philosopher Marietta Radomska, biologist Markus Schmidt, and artists and researchers Terike Haapoja, Margherita Pevere, and Mayra Citlalli Rojo Gómez. The launch event which will introduce all groups will take place on 2nd of June 18h…

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Re-launch of The Posthumanities Hub at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 28th May 2018!

Welcome to the official re-launch of The Posthumanities Hub at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. On 28th May 2018!

The Posthumanities Hub

Meet the Posthumanities Hub programme image

Welcome to the official re-launch of The Posthumanities Hub that takes place on 28th May 2018 at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden!

For a pdf version of the programme, see here.

Meet the Posthumanities Hub! The program of this day represents a smorgasbord of the many projects and activities – and of course some of the collaborating scholars – working together within The Posthumanities Hub.

Programme

Part I. Venue: Salongen, KTHB.

10.15-12.00 “Practicing posthumanities” – introductory lecture with Prof. Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths University of London, UK and, The Posthumanities International Network. Commentary: Renée Valiquette, PhD, Nipissing University, Canada.

Welcome with Cecilia Åsberg, prof of Gender, nature, culture LiU, Founding Director The Posthumanities Hub (PH), and KTH Guest Prof of Science and technology studies of Gender and Environment, and VR-postdoc Marietta Radomska, Co-Director of The PH.

Part II. Venue: Seminar room, Division of History of Science, Technology…

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