Poetics of Future Work

What is the future of work? Come and discuss, speculate and question!

When: 6 Dec, 2019, 16:00-19:00
Where: Electrolux, Sankt Göransgatan 143, Stockholm, Sweden (Subway: Stadshagen)
Register at: https://nav.confetti.events/poetics-of-future-work

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This event is part of Vinnova financed project DIGI Futures, lead by the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden in collaboration with ABB, Electrolux, Karolinska, Nacka Kommun, GodEl, and NAV Sweden.

About the event
The hostess Soft Innovaitress invites you to immerse into a poetic landscape of the future of work through a multidisciplinary artistic approach you have not experienced before. You will meet the AI as well as the human heroes of our future scenarios made during the past year with teams from Electrolux, ABB, GodEl, Nacka Kommun, and Karolinska. Questions about the future of work will be discussed: What will be the new jobs of the future? How will humans and machines relate to each other in new ways? What kind of re-skilling do we need to go through to arrive to that future? And where can we find poetics and softness in this landscape of the future work? Join us and actively explore your own journey into the future you want to co-create.

Program
16.00-17.00: Welcome drink & interactive art exhibition (download the Artivive app for an augmented reality experience)
17.00-18.00
: Future of work concert & conversation with guests
18.00-19.00: Create your own journey into the future with “Specularities”(speculative fiction cards for the future of work) & Mingle

Conversation guests
Sandor Albrecht, Vice President, AI@RISE & Wallenberg Launch Pad Sandor is a community builder and change driver at RISE where he is actively developing the ecosytem and national agenda for AI. He is engaged also with development of a new innovation platform at the Wallenberg foundation WALP which facilitates innovation arising from investments in strategic research areas of Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems, Software and Quantum Technology. His passion is entrepreneurship and corporate innovation and before coming to RISE he worked almost 20 years for Ericsson where he founded and headed the Ericsson Garage and was the Research Director.  

Janna Holmstedtartist and researcher, The Posthumanities Hub at KTH 
Janna’s researchinquiries into entangled issues such as multispecies relations, interspecies communication, and the intra-action of bodies, environs and technology. She focuses on how sound and listening, in a visually dominated culture, could mediate new relationships with the more-than-human and generate a sense of belonging as part of a dynamic ecology. Her work includes sound-based installations, participatory performances, mixed media walks, storytelling, mappings, writing, and collaborative projects. She is affiliated researcher and research engineer for the more-than-human humanities research network The Posthumanities Hub at KTH, Division for History of Science, Technology. 

Per Johansson, speaker, writer and visionary consultant
Per is doing various consulting work and talks related to human ecological issues, intellectual and existential conundrums, and concerning the impact of digital technologies on society and culture. He is the co-founder of the think tank Infontology – Imagination and Realisation. He has done several radio programs with prize-winning Swedish radio journalist Eric Schüldt, both for Swedish national radio and independently (Man and Machine, Tree of Knowledge, Myths & Mysteries). He is also an independent expert for the European Commission.

Tove Chevalley
Digital Innovation Director, Electrolux
Tove Chevalley is Digital Innovation Director at Electrolux and dedicates her time to making a global organization run as fast as a startup. She is focused on exploring new experiences and solutions that will continue to enrich people’s lives and the health of our planet and is obsessed with finding tools, methods and approaches to move a ship of 55 000 people towards a new way of developing experiences.

Did you miss the New Humanities & Anthropocene event this May? No worries, we have made them available online for you!

Some of the speakers: Rosi Braidotti, Marco Armiero, mirko nikolić, Adam Wickberg, Marietta Radomska, Janna Holmstedt, Norie Neumark, Hayden Lorimer, Hélène Frichot, Sverker Sörlin, Christina Fredengren. Film stills: Karin Wegsjö and Abram Wiklund.

We remember those vibrant days in May with such warmth. We had 26 amazing speakers sharing their reflections, projects and research with an engaged crowd. All keynotes and panels are now online and you can find them here!

The Blowhole: lecture performance, reading and Q&A with Janna Holmstedt, 21 Nov, 10:00-12:00, StDH

Where: the cinema [Bion] at Stockholms Dramatiska Högskola, Valhallavägen 189

If you missed the two events at Reaktorhallen in August, /Mis/communication/s/ and Interstellar Species Society Assembly, where artist Janna Holmstedt delivered a lecture performance and a talk on sonospheric communards, you now have a second chance to see them.

In a combined lecture performance and reading, Janna revisits neurophysiologist John C. Lilly’s interspecies communication experiments, carried out in the 1950s and 60s and partly funded by NASA, where dolphins were supposed to learn to speak English with their blowholes. At the centre of her session are tape recordings from language lessons with the dolphins, and a woman whom during 75 days tried to live under equal conditions with the dolphin Peter in a flooded house.
She will also talk about touching the matter of language, points of listening, and snuggle technologies.

The event is hosted within the framework of the independent course “Sound as Critical practice” at the Department of Film and Media at Uniarts/StDH.

Crosscuts: Stockholm Environmental Humanities Festival for Film & Text, on the theme Ruptured Times, 22-24 Nov

Where: Bio Rio, Hornstulls Strand 3, Stockholm

The second edition of Crosscuts is here! This year the Annals of Crosscuts, a new peer-reviewed publication format for film-based research, will be introduced. The festival’s honorary guests are the urban scholar and sociologist Saskia Sassen and the filmmaker and postcolonial writer Trinh T. Minh-ha. Additionally, the festival will feature readings by Athena Farrokhzad and Jennifer Hayashida as well as conversations with researchers, activists and artists from all over the world.

Crosscuts is organized by the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory (EHL) at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment in collaboration with the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University, the Situated Ecologies Platform and Bio Rio. Program and tickets at https://crosscuts.se/program/  
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Invasive Plantimacies? Queering Kinship. The Posthumanism Research Network Presents Dr. Catriona Sandilands

Following a long line of queer and feminist thinkers who have taken up intimacy as a key terrain of biopolitical struggle, this talk will explore possibilities for living intimately with plants, and especially so-called “invasive” plants, as an important invitation to rethinking ecological relationships in and for the [M]Anthropocene.

The talk will focus on mulberries in Southern Ontario – both Morus alba and M. rubra – as a way of considering the historical and ongoing biocolonial linkages between the regulation of mulberry intimacies and the regulation of human intimacies. Mulberries are particularly good plants with whom to think to imagine revived multispecies intimacies and kinships for these biopolitically complicated times.

Catriona (Cate) Sandilands is a Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, where she teaches in the Environmental Humanities. Her most recent book (edited) is Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate-Changing Times (Caitlin, 2019); her in-progress book
is Plantasmagoria: Botanical Encounters in the [M]Anthropocene, and she is still fielding questions about Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire (Indiana, 2010).

Tue, 12th November, 4:00-6:00 PM, Brock University
Read more here
Posthumanism Research Institute

A Roundtable Session on Teaching Environmental Humanities, with the Posthumanities Hub and Environmental Humanities Lab

When: Thursday 14 Nov, 13:15-14:45
Where: in the big seminar room at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH (Teknikringen 74 D, Stockholm).

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In the pilot project “Popularizing environmental humanities: Film and media resources for young adults pondering the stakes for the future”* (Formas communication grant), the challenge of “popularizing” was approached through integrative learning and co-storytelling in the classroom. Instead of creating media resources for the students to digest, they were asked to critically engage with environmental issues through creative storytelling and film making. In this Roundtable session, the project will be introduced and some key questions concerning teaching and communicating EH addressed. Another approach to teaching and communicating has been practiced by Marco Armiero in his open-air classes during Fridays for Future climate strikes, and through this Roundtable we wish to share and compare experiences from these two approaches.  

Participants: Marco Armiero, Janna Holmstedts, Jesse Petersen, Lotten Wiklund and Cecilia Åsberg.
Chair: Roberta Biasillo.

*”Popularizing environmental humanities”, a collaboration between Professor Cecilia Åsberg (pi), the Posthumanities Hub, KTH, and Lotten Wiklund (co-pi), science journalist at Kajman Media, was implemented mainly during spring 2019 together with researchers affiliated with the Posthumanities Hub, and a group of third grade students attending Samhällsvetenskapsprogrammet at Bromma gymnasium in Stockholm. Janna Holmstedt, PhD, acted as facilitator for the workshops. Participating researchers were Christina Fredengren, Jesse Petersen, Vera Weetzel, Janna Holmstedt and Cecila Åsberg.

The Posthumanities Hub Seminar with Isabelle Doucet and Hélène Frichot on 23rd Oct, 13:15-15:00

Welcome to The Posthumanities Hub Seminar with Prof. Dr. Isabelle Doucet (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and Hélène Frichot, Professor of Architecture in Critical Studies and Gender Theory (KTH, Sweden) on To Care is To Resist: Situated Perspectives on Architecture

When: 23rd October, 13:15-15:00
Where: in the seminar room at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH (Teknikringen 74 D, Stockholm).

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Abstract:
In this joint seminar Doucet and Frichot will discuss overgrowth, care and resistance while drawing inspiration from Isabelle Stengers and Maria Puig de la Bella Casa’s work, as well as share reflections from Doucet and Frichot’s jointly edited journal issue Resist Reclaim Speculate. Situated Perspectives on Architecture and the City, Architectural Theory Review, 2018, Vol. 22/1 https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ratr20/22/1?nav=tocList

Isabelle Doucet is professor of theory and history of architecture at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. At the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Isabelle acts as the coordinator for the Chalmers-wide Gender Initiative for Excellence (Genie) initiative. Her research focuses on the relationship between architecture, (urban) politics, and social responsibility; and since joining Chalmers, Isabelle initiated research on women architecture graduates after 1968. Her books include The Practice Turn in Architecture. Brussels after 1968 (2015).

Architectural theorist and philosopher, writer and critic, Professor Hélène Frichot (PhD) is the director of Critical Studies in Architecture, School of Architecture, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) Stockholm, Sweden. Her research examines the transdisciplinary field between architecture and philosophy, with an emphasis on feminist theories and practices. In 2020 she joins the Faculty of Architecture, Construction and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia as Professor of Architecture and Philosophy. She is the author of Creative Ecologies: Theorizing the Practice of Architecture (Bloomsbury 2018) and How to Make Yourself a Feminist Design Power Tool (AADR 2016).

The Posthumanities Hub Seminar with Myra Hird (Queen’s University, Canada) on 18th October, 10:15-12:00

Welcome to The Posthumanities Hub Seminar with Myra Hird on Iqaluit’s Dumpcano and the Indeterminate Material Politics of Waste.

When: 18th October, 10:15-12
Where: in the seminar room at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH (Teknikringen 74 D, Stockholm).

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Abstract:
Iqaluit, Nunavut Canada’s capital city, became a center of controversy when its main ‘West 40’ dump spontaneously caught fire on May 20th 2014. This presentation argues that Iqaluit’s ‘dumpcano’ may be usefully understood as a virtuality that temporarily condensed a set of relations between the dump as a material object (or more specifically a multi-species bio-geology) and a number of economic, cultural, political, and social conditions. Drawing upon archival sources and primary interview data with a range of local respondents, my presentation examines how scientific and government discourses attempted to convey to the public a uniform ‘message’ of scientific certainty concerning levels of contamination and threats to human health and the environment. For their part, concerned residents and emergent activist groups engaged with official and unofficial ‘messaging’ in terms of material uncertainty. As such, the discourses that developed around the dump fire differentially made visible and registered, or obscured and attempted to displace, the shifting material properties of the dump. I make the case that non-expert local residents were able to effectively mobilize scientific uncertainty to draw attention to the links between the dump fire and issues of social justice.

Bio:
Myra J. Hird is Professor, Queen’s National Scholar, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the School of Environmental Studies, Queen’s University, Canada (www.myrahird.com). Professor Hird is Director of Waste Flow, an interdisciplinary research project focused on waste as a global scientific-technical and socio-ethical issue (www.wasteflow.ca).  Hird has published nine books and over seventy articles and book chapters on a diversity of topics relating to science studies. Hird’s forthcoming book is entitled Canada’s Waste Flows and will be published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

State of the Art Network: video report and follow-up

You might recall our involvement in the State of the Art Network meeting and seminar, organised last October by The Independent AIR in collaboration with Bioart Society, The Posthumanities Hub and Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology?

Finally, the video recordings from a 3-day long event are posted online and if you didn’t have a chance to participate in that unique event, you can have a bit of taste by checking them out here.

Also, the working group of the network is intensely working on the follow-up project and events, so please, stay tuned!

Sonic Sensibilities: /Mis/communication/s/

16 Aug 2019, 13:00-16:00
R1 Reactor hall, KTH, Stockholm (Drottning Kristinas väg 51)

In this mixed and postdisciplinary gathering, with listening sessions and talks by artists and researchers, we will visit the limits of communication(s) – when our technologies, ideas, languages and intentions fail us. We will among other things encounter phenomena that cannot be decoded, interspecies communication experiments, and speculations about how we can communicate with not only aliens but also inhabitants on planet Earth in a distant future.

In a society imbued with communication technologies and a positive belief in the possibilities of accurately formulating, transmitting, receiving and archiving, it might be sobering to consider situations where the communicative attempt takes us elsewhere. Where it derails our assumptions and intentions and where we admittedly are out of control. What can be gleaned from these limits and borderlands? What can be unlearned? What ethico-political considerations do they confront us with?

Participants
Cecilia Åsberg (founder and director of the Posthumanities Hub, KTH/Linköping Univ., SE), Marietta Radomska (co-director of the Posthumanities Hub, Linköping Univ., SE/Univ. of Helsinki, FI), Janna Holmstedt (artist, SE), mirko nikolić (artist, SE/FI), Jacek Smolicki, (artist, SE/PL).

Curated by Janna Holmstedt, the Posthumanities Hub, in collaboration with Jacek Smolicki, Fragmentarium Club, at the invitation of the Public Art Agency. The session will take place inside the large-scale art installation “The Interplanetary Species Society (ISS)” by Jonas Staal. ISS is part of the project “Choreograhies of the Social” curated by Edi Muka, the Public Art Agency Sweden (Statens Konstråd). More information and full program for all the events, 13-25 Aug: www.publicartagencysweden.com

Program, 16 Aug, 13:00-16:00 (in no specific order):

Cecilia Åsberg, Planetary Speculation: Cultivating More-Than-Human Arts

Ursula K Le Guin stated: “The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next”. Today we have, dare I say, enough science facts and credible information to convince us that planetary changes like rampant mass species extinction rates, climate change, glacial melting and sea rise, plastic pollution and environmental health concerns are a very real part of the planetary challenges we now face. What we do not have enough of, perhaps, seem like a sense of belonging to the ecologies of this planet, or enough of an ecological sense of wonder and curiosity to close the emotional gap between values and action, and to sway our ways in more sustainable directions. This is why we need to cultivate the more than human arts of living on a damaged planet. Art and humanities have a particular role to play here, and so does the notion of planetarity. In my talk, while discussing a few unexpected vistas of environmental feminism, I will discuss what the role and function of planetary speculation might entail for more careful ways of knowing.

Cecilia Åsberg, PhD, is Guest Professor of STS, Gender and Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm 2018-2020, and since 2015 Professor of Gender, Nature, Culture at Linköping University. She is Founding Director of the Posthumanities Hub, and of the Seed Box: An Environmental Humanities Collaboratory, and associate editor of the journal Environmental Humanities (Duke University Press). Recent publications: “Feminist Posthumanities in the Anthropocene: Forays into the Postnatural” in Journal of Posthuman Studies; Animal Places – Lively 15 Cartographies of Human-Animal Relations, (Routledge, eds with Jacob Bull and Tora Holmberg), and A Feminist Companion to the Posthumanities (Springer, ed with Rosi Braidotti).

mirko nikolić , lie and shine: eleven steps of

A listening session, a walk along a narrow boundary of extraction, presently in the process of negotiation in the semi-periphery of the European North. Gold, water, arsenic and physical asset currency embody vectors of interest or disinterest by various power formations. Most of the forces operate without prior or informed consent, decisions are being largely made in the absence of the bodies that will experience the material effects. Silent neighbours are not that silent. Communication waves shimmer with dispersals of toxicity and gatherings of resilience.

Through performance and critical writing, mirko nikolić seeks to prefigure more just collaborations among different species and heterogeneous bodies. In recent projects, mirko has been working on counter-extractivist ontopolitics, multispecies commoning, performativity of vegetal touch, and unlearning of anthropocentric and capitalist survival ideologies. mirko holds a PhD in Arts & Media Practice from the University of Westminster, London.

Janna Holmstedt, The Order of the Dolphin

What do we hear when we think we listen? In 1961, a prominent flock of researchers were invited to a semi-secret conference arranged by NASA’s Space Science Board to discuss a subject not yet considered scientifically legitimate: What are the conditions required for establishing contact with other worlds? Could engaging in communication with dolphins prepare us for an encounter with non-human intelligence? At this time, attempts to reach out to intelligent life on other planets happened to coincided with attempts to get inside the minds and bodies of bottlenose dolphins.
In this listening session, I’ll move between the human, the synthetic and the beastly while revisiting some of the interspecies communication experiments that were carried out in the 1950s and 60s, partly funded by NASA, where dolphins were supposed to learn to speak English with their blowholes. At the centre of my session are tape recordings from language lessons with dolphins, and a woman, whom during 75 days tried to live under equal conditions with the dolphin Peter in a flooded house.

Janna Holmstedt is an artist and researcher based in Stockholm. She works across various media, ranging between installation, sonic fiction, text, drawing, mapping and performance, with a particular interest in listening, storying and situated practices. Her projects work transversally in order to weave a web of parasitic relations in an attempt to story more-than-human relations and less anthropocentric we-formations. She explores entangled issues such as multispecies relations, interspecies communication, and the intra-action of bodies, environs and technology. She holds a PhD in Fine Arts in Visual Arts from Lund University, is affiliated researcher with the Posthumanities Hub, and currently research engineer at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at KTH. More: www.jannaholmstedt.com

Marietta Radomska, From Terminal Ecologies to the Non/Living Earth: Storying an Archive

In her work on queer ecocriticism, literary scholar Sarah Ensor offers the concept of ‘terminality’ understood as a state, a practice, an intimate belonging, and a horizon; in other words, a ‘lifelong’ and shared condition, characterised by the potential for relations, non-linear temporality, and an ongoing responsibility for and accountability towards the harmed, the ill, the perishing, and the dead (environments, ecosystems, organisms, and other entities). Staying with the trouble of terminality is but one example of a biophilosophical approach that does not start from a given image of life, but instead, from a multiplicity of relations, forces, and materialities (that which transforms and traverses life) encompassing the potentials for both growth/development and decomposition/decay. Against the backdrop of the current ecological crisis, this short intervention asks what it means to story(tell) an archive of ‘terminal ecologies’, what modes of (non)communication it might entail, and how it matters in an ethico-political sense.

Marietta Radomska, PhD, is a Postdoc at the Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University, SE, and at the Department of Cultures, University of Helsinki, FI. She is the co-director of The Posthumanities Hub; founder of The Eco- and Bioart Research Network, co-founder of International Network for ECOcritical and DECOlonial Studies and a founding member of Queer Death Studies Network. Her current research focuses on ecologies of death in the context of contemporary art. She is the author of the monograph Uncontainable Life: A Biophilosophy of Bioart (2016), and has published in Australian Feminist Studies, Somatechnics, and Angelaki, among others. More: www.mariettaradomska.com

Jacek Smolicki, Per Aspera Ad Astra

Per Aspera Ad Astra (from Latin ‘through hardship to the stars’) was a morse-coded sentence launched alongside other sound recordings onboard Voyager space probe sent into space in 1977. Just like many other signals sent by humans to reach extraterrestrial beings, the Voyager message has so far remained unanswered. Per Aspera Ad Astra is an ongoing artistic and media archaeological exploration of our persistent desire to connect with the non-human, and, more specifically, the extraterrestrial. The project takes the form of a performative soundscape composition built successively of archival material and sounds characterizing technologies used historically to establish contact with aliens. The archival recordings include glitches from digitized interviews with UFO witnesses from the Sweden’s Archive for the Unexplained, snippets from the famous Voyager message, radio signals from the outer space, and reenactments of historical messages sent into space. All these are combined with gradually intercepted remediations of Stanislaw Lem’s deliberations on the inherently flawed idea of establishing contact with other-than-human residents of the deep space.

Jacek Smolickiis a cross-media artist, designer, researcher and “walker” exploring intersections of aesthetics, technology, memory and everyday life. In his design and art practice, besides engaging with existing archives and heritage, Smolicki develops new techniques for recording, experiencing, and para-archiving human and other-than-human environments. In his research, informed by art practice, philosophy of technology, and media archaeology, Smolicki explores how transformations of communication, recording, and computing technologies have been affecting aesthetic, material, performative, and ethical aspects of archiving and memory practices (both personal and public), but also everyday life practices at large. In 2017, he completed his PhD from the School of Arts and Communication at Malmö University where he was a member of the Living Archives, a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council. In 2016 Smolicki founded Fragmentarium Club, an independent initiative uniting enthusiasts of listening, soundwalking, field recording, and soundscape archiving. More: www.smolicki.com and www.fragmentarium.club