The Environment & Society Portal team, together with alumni fellows Malcom Ferdinand, Rob Gioielli, and our new RCC editor Kristy Henderson, created the new site Environmental Justice Resources Online, in order to highlight digital resources related to environmental justice and environmental racism. Please circulate widely!
As with their site Pandemics in Context, the Environment & Society Portal aims to point its users around the world to resources freely accessible without subscription or login. They invite you to have a look at both pages and send (email@example.com) your recommendations for freely available digital readings and multimedia resources–and remind us of your important publications we may have missed.
“As far as the posthuman debate is concerned, there are no grounds for plunging into melancholy metaphysical ruminations about the end of the world. We need energizing projects that express generative narratives and do not wallow in the rhetoric of crisis. Especially when the crisis in question is to a certain extent the lament of white European cultures feeling vulnerable after they have become aware of how anthropogenic global risks are likely to affect them. They need to develop some decolonial perspective.” Rosi Braidotti (2019: 69) on the role of the humanities and its crisis in Posthuman Knowledge (Polity Press)
At the height of the COVID-19 crisis in the Swedish medical system, it might appear hard-hearted to urge us all to not wallow in the melancholia of crisis. However, the energizing projects Braidotti refers to, and we add, the societal collaborations presently exercised in the most surprising places, is exactly what is needed now in society at large. Take the environmental humanities, medical humanities, technohumanities, bioart, collaborative natural sciences and their convergences internationally: many of us have persistently called for radical socioeconomic change, and now we are faced with just that. At a large scale. It is just that it happened in a way that we are not in a position to easily absorb just yet. Theory can wait, slow as it is at its best.
Clearly the impact of COVID-19 is a significant challenge – especially in relation to the vastness of what we do not know, and the humbleness called for by that insight. Yet also, the impact of COVID-19 also takes us to the threshold of societal re-assessments, reimaginings and new beginnings. And we are swiftly learning new things about ourselves, about how we can “stay together apart (in the trouble)” with social distancing and solidarity. (If we can play with the conceptual work of Donna Haraway and Karen Barad). Let us all continue with care, concern and curiosity with one-another. In this there is hope. Call someone you have not talked to for a while, check in with your students, PhD students, or old supervisors, volunteer at the hospital, do shopping for the elderly or other vulnerable members of society, tend to your garden, and focus the force on the piles of books you have always wanted to read.
The world is changing, again, but it is not coming to an end.
Stay safe and well in there!!
Cecilia, Janna and Marietta for The Posthumanities Hub
The aim of the Gender and Fieldwork unit is to collaboratively unpack and explore gender issues, while offering a social scientific and ethnographic exploration of gender as a phenomenon through roundtable discussions and collective analysis of specific issues that emerge from our personal, self-developed in-field projects. This flexible method allows us to tailor the sessions according to the level, the needs and ambitions of each participant. Inscribed in the pedagogical approach of the summerschool I aim for a profound learning process established through experiential learning, fieldwork, interdisciplinary cooperation and close personal mentoring.
Please feel free to forward this announcement to students or programs you think would be interested.
Contact Xin Pan if you have any further questions: xin.pan[at]xpeditions.be Project Leader of the Expeditions’ Gender & Fieldwork Unit
t4t4t4t4t: Fourfold Sex and Trans-Individuation at the End of the World
by Andria Nyberg Forshage
At present, 20th-century notions of bodily immune systems modelled as repressive-productive sovereign border controls — and vice versa — are at once being superseded, obsolesced, reinforced and reinvigorated as perhaps never before. At the same time, 21st-century notions of desiring-productive, flexible, molecular immuno-security, already dated as hyper-modern, are being folded into and onto any imaginable kind of body, society, or network. In terms of data, flesh, sex, nation, sense-making, resource extraction, ecological disaster, and ongoing resistance, it is at once a situation of planetary global or civil war, armed peace, state of emergency, and stasis.
Departing from a scenario of societal collapse following transgender bioterrorism on a hormonal and molecular scale as imagined in Torrey Peters’ sci-fi novella Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones (2016), this talk explores the drift of t4t desiring-machines in and through the bodies, farms, fields and factories of contemporary and imagined pharmacopornographic capitalism. Where t4t designates trans for trans desire, in the trans woman commune the logograph becomes self-replicating as desire and senseless noise, burnt and embedded through fleshy, tranimal metabolism.
Connecting the fourfold of subjectivation as theorised by Gilles Deleuze in Foucault (1988) with the t4t fourfold complexes of infectious human-animal-societal undoings, as developed through a reading of Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones, how might t4t4t4t4t be understood as an operation-operator of what Gilbert Simondon has termed the transindividual?
Andria Nyberg Forshage is a writer, theorist and poet, part of the editorial team for the Paletten Art Journal and currently working with the Knowledge Hub at Public Art Agency Sweden. She has previously presented research at conferences including the First International Trans*Studies Conference at the University of Arizona and The First International Queer Death Studies Conference at Karlstad University. They have a room of their own in Stockholm and a Scorpio rising.
Chemicals, endocrine disruptors and unruly bodies in trans and queer art
by Wibke Straube
In 2018, the post of a vegan group on facebook went viral which argued, that trans and queer bodies are the “damaged” outcome of environmental pollution and endocrine disruption by POP. The post argued further that to lobby for trans and gay rights would mean to support a capitalist, exploitative system of ecological destruction. In response other vegans and this group in particular, dismissed this (cishetero)econormative position and argued this is merely one individual’s opinion. In my talk, I would like to firstly address this “singular” opinion and unpack the idea of the trans and intersex bodies as a result of endocrine disrupting chemical. I will to do this by considering the trans and intersex body as bodily entangled with environmental pollution and toxic contamination (Ah-King/Hayward 2014; DiChiro 2010; Pollock 2016). Secondly, and most centrally, I explore how endocrine disrupting toxins emerge in trans and queer art, intoxicate art practices and artistic bodies, and foster creative pollution that subverts the gender binary norms of EDC discourses and reclaims the toxic body as a monstrous, alien becoming through and within Otherness.
Wibke Straube, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Gender Studies, Karlstad University, SE. Their work focuses on intersectional analysis of trans, non-binary and queer embodiment, affective methodologies and the affinities of different socially marginalised bodies, their forms of survival and possibilities to create zones of liveability. They have published in Environmental Humanities and NORMA International Journal for Masculinity Studies, among others. E-mail: wibke.straube[at]kau.se
As part of The Posthumanities Hub Seminar Series, we are exited to present Cooking Sections(Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe), a duo of spatial practitioners based out of London exploring how forms of extraction and intensive agriculture and aquaculture can be approached through other forms of eating. Don’t miss this opportunity to cross the boundaries between visual arts, science, architecture, ecology and geopolitics with us! Curator Caroline Elgh Klingborg from Bonniers konsthall will also join the discussion.
When: 4th March, 13:15-15 Where: in the big seminar room at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH (Teknikringen 74 D, Level 5, Stockholm). Facebook
ABOUT THE SEMINAR: How We Eat as Humans Change Climate
CLIMAVORE is a long-term project initiated by Cooking Sections in 2015. It sets out to envision seasons of food production and consumption that react to human-induced climatic events and landscape alterations. Different from the now obsolete cycle of spring, summer, autumn and winter, CLIMAVORE rethinks the construction of space and infrastructure by focusing on how climate alterations offer a new set of clues to adapt our diet to them. Unexpected climatic phenomena, like subsidence, flash floods or drought, may span minutes, days, months, years or centuries. CLIMAVORE is then proposed as a form of devouring following their effects on anthropogenic landscapes. Unlike carnivore, omnivore, locavore, vegetarian or vegan, CLIMAVORE is not only about the origin of ingredients, but also about the agency that those ingredients have in providing spatial and infrastructural responses to human-induced climatic events for a certain period of time. At the core is to embrace a flexible form of eating, shifting, for instance, to drought resistant crops in a period of water scarcity or filter feeders during times of polluted or acidified waters.
For the upcoming exhibition at Bonniers Konsthall, Cooking Sections will continue to explore how forms of extraction and intensive agriculture and aquaculture can be approached through other forms of eating. Building on the work developed on the Isle of Skye in the past years CLIMAVORE is seeking to divest away from intensive salmon farming and develop regenerative aquacultures. The exhibition will be an opportunity to explore the role of salmon in the Scandinavian context, the construction of salmon as an invented synthetic colour and artificial species, and the toll its farming and production of feed pellets takes on communities in countries such as Peru, Chile and Senegal. Furthermore a new project will look into histories of runoff and expand the understanding of eutrophication of the Baltic Sea, as a way to address the changing relations between the human and the non-human, the natural and the cultural.
About Cooking Sections Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe) is a duo of spatial practitioners based out of London. It was born to explore the systems that organise the WORLD through FOOD. Using installation, performance, mapping and video, their research-based practice explores the overlapping boundaries between visual arts, architecture, ecology and geopolitics. In 2016 they opened The Empire Remains Shop, a platform to critically speculate on implications of selling the remains of Empire today. Their first book about the project was published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City.
Cooking Sections was part of the exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion, 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Their work has also been exhibited at the 13th Sharjah Biennial; Manifesta12, Palermo; Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; Serpentine Galleries, London; Atlas Arts, Skye; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Storefront for Art & Architecture, New York; Peggy Guggenheim Collection; HKW Berlin; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; and have been residents in The Politics of Food at Delfina Foundation, London. Their work has been featured in a number of international publications (Lars Müller, Sternberg Press, Volume, Frieze Magazine amongst others). They currently lead a studio unit at the Royal College of Art, London. They have recently been awarded the Special Prize at the 2019 Future Generation Art Prize and are nominated for the Visible Award.
Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, 21st February, 17:00-18:30
As part of Zoönomic Futures – an immersive workshop on ethics for a society that is no longer human-centric – The Posthumanities Hub researcher and artist Janna Holmstedt will present her talk Follow the Blind, Mimic a Worm, and Listen to the Tangle. The talk will be followed by a conversation with Anne van Leeuwen (board member at the Embassy of the North Sea) and Het Nieuwe Instituut researcher Klaas Kuitenbrouwer.
We are very proud and happy to announce that we have some new members of our Advisory Board. They join an already diverse and distinguished crew. Please let us introduce:
Martín Ávila Professor in design at the Department of Design, Interior Architecture and Visual Communication, Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, SE
Erich Berger Director of the Bioart Society, Helsinki, FI, an association developing, producing and facilitating activities around art and natural sciences with an emphasis on biology, ecology and life sciences.
Prof. Myra J. Hird School of Environmental Studies, Queen’s University, CA and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
OBS! Please REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT by sending an email to: the.posthumanities.hub[at]gmail.com
To end the anthropocene is a call to activism at a time where ways of living seem impossible to proscribe and the world’s many urban and natural environments and organisms are increasingly transforming, some becoming more vulnerable while others increase their exertion of power over global systems of information and control. During these ages it can be difficult to imagine new and multiple ways of existing where hopelessness and imagination exist simultaneously. Beyond the Posthuman, but firmly within this world, my concept of the Ahuman acknowledges we aren’t nonhuman, but devalues the term human and its thus far devastating consequences for the world in order to suggest vitalistic, perhaps even optimistic, ways to negotiate some of the difficulties in thinking and acting in a world where meaning and reality are tentative but material actuality and lives (of all varieties) are in need of novel modes of intervention and interaction for the liberation and creative freedom of all organisms and the ecology of the Earth as a whole. Collapsing activism, artistic practice and affirmative ethics, while introducing some radical contemporary ideas such as human extinction and vegan abolition this paper navigates the ways in which we must compose the human differently, specifically beyond nihilism and post – and trans-humanism and outside human privilege. This is in order to actively think and live with connectivity (actual not virtual), viscerally, with passion and grace, toward a new world. The irony of the apocalypse is that the world continues nonetheless. How can we live more ethically? How can the end of the human (even the posthuman) mean the end of human privilege as that which assists in opening the world to all life and to the human apocalypse being the birth of the world through deep ecology?
Patricia MacCormack is Professor of Continental Philosophy at Anglia Ruskin University. She is the author of Cinesexuality (2008), Posthuman Ethics (2012) and The Ahuman Manifesto (2020), the editor of The Animal Catalyst: Toward Ahuman Theory (2014) and the co-editor of Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Cinema (2008), Deleuze and the Animal (2017) and Ecosophical Aesthetics (2018). She publishes extensively in the posthuman, queer theory, animal studies, horror film, and Continental Philosophy.
The event is organised in collaboration with the Konstfack Research Week 2020 – see the detailed programme here.
Read about The Kelp Congress, the world’s first conference on Queer Death Studies, find out about recent events, new publications, and interesting talks, calls for proposals, courses, and workshops. And last but not least, the Open Humanities Lab Symposium: New Humanities & Anthropocene is now available online!