Submission Deadline: 30 November 2020 Symposium: 27-29 May 2021
The aim of this interactive virtual research-creation and art symposium is to bear modest witness to waste as a symptom of environmental racism. At least one billion people live in over a quarter of a million slums worldwide, often with no formal waste or sanitation infrastructure or services (Davis 2007). And in economically affluent countries, landfills and other waste management systems are most often sited in or close to poor and racialized communities (for example, Amegah and Jaakkola 2016; Furedy 1993; Mothiba, Moja, and Loans 2017; Parizeau 2006) who bear a disproportionate burden of persistent exposure to the risks, hazards and contamination of pollution (Hird in press; Hird and Zahara 2016).
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 invite 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. We are interested in new or recent work in any medium that could be displayed in a browser. Transdisciplinary work driven by creative inquiry and lived experience will be forefronted.
This virtual (web-based) symposium will be synchronous and asynchronous and feature artwork displayed in the browser as well as keynote speakers, discussion panels and other additions. The symposium will be archived on a dedicated website.
Project description and [technical] requirements for displaying (online), including artist/author statement (2 pages maximum).
Supporting documentation: i.e. maximum 5 images, 1 (3 min or under) video clip or sound recording sample.
Current CV (3 pages maximum) for all team members
Artist/author/activist/curator/theorist biography for all team members (maximum 100 words each)
Please submit your work through this form by November 30, 2020. Submissions will be reviewed by a transdisciplinary panel including members of The Seedbox Consortium, Canada’s Waste Flow, and Queen’s University.
Priority will be given to applicants who are Indigenous, Black, people of colour, women, LGBTQ2+, people with disabilities, and/or are members of other equity-seeking groups.
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!
We are here! Cecilia Åsberg, Marietta Radomska and Janna Holmstedt are taking part in three different research strands in various locations in Lofoten, 16-20 Sep, called Coast, Line (navigated by Futurefarmers), Kelp Diagram Collective (navigated by Sabine Popp) and Kelp Curing (navigated by Sarah Blissett). These will be followed by a three-day public symposium in Svolvaer, 17-22 Sep, that seeks to explore the artistic and cultural dimensions related to kelp and other macroalgae. Cecilia will deliver a keynote 20 Sep, 18:00-19:00, and Marietta will moderate a Q&A with Astrida Neimanis, 21 sep 10:00-11:00. Insights and processes from the Coast, Line, Kelp Curing and Kelp Diagramme Collective research workshops will be shared on the 20th in the evening.
The LIAF cuators together with Annette Wolfsberger, initiated the Kelp Congress with input from several artist-run organisations and research centres based in the Nordic countries and Northwest Russia: the Posthumanities Hub, ArtLab Gnesta, Fridaymilk, Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, Mustarinda, Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art, and The Department of Seaweed. Read more about the program and exhibition on LIAF website.
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
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
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.
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
Welcome to the Open Humanities Lab Symposium: New Humanities & the Anthropocene, taking place on 14th & 15th May at Openlab, Stockholm.
In order to register for the event, please send an email to: the.posthumanities.hub[at]gmail.com
New Humanities & the Anthropocene (Uncertainty, response-ability and humankind)
Now, the environment is in us, and we humans are fully in the environment: that much is clear in this new planetary era of uncertainty some call the Anthropocene. This new geological period, the environmental ‘Age of Man’, is often defined by unparalleled human disturbance of the Earth’s ecosystems, climate, and biodiversity. Almost half of the wildlife on Earth has been lost in the past forty years. Perhaps we will soon have spawned more transgenic organisms, synthetic biological systems, hybrid creatures or artificial intelligences than we ever asked for. In the age of the Anthropocene, humans have become a ‘force of nature’, making nature – in its classical sense – over. The old idea of Universal Man in its classical and imagined sense of a bounded individual, safely zipped up in a white skin of his own, guided by rational thought rather than sociability, preconceptions and desires, along with his anthropocentrism seem dated, if not down-right detrimental to our planetary existence. Conventional divides between nature and culture, sex and gender, body and technology, human and animal, and between science and society, have collapsed.
During the past several decades, emerging research in the humanities has turned its attention to subjects that were previously conceived as ‘not human enough’: women, queers, children, migrants, people of colour, elderly, and other groups. Simultaneously, popular culture, technologies, animal subjects, insects, plants, whole ecosystems, along with all kinds of human and more-than-human infrastructures, call for our attention. After all, values, purpose, existential conditions and sociocultural formations that are historically sustained, or not, on local or larger scales, are the expertise of the humanities (and its sibling social sciences). The human exceptionalism of the humanities is increasingly abandoned in favour of planetary ethics, societal accountability, and a more-than-human humanities of conviviality. We witness now the exciting emergence of new humanities, responding to present societal challenges.
How can the humanities accommodate the transformations associated with advances in science, technology, medicine, with the Anthropocene and the ‘great acceleration’ of planetary damage following suit with ’progress’ and ‘growth’? Is there a solidarity in our precarious diversity as we now all have to learn to live with the wounds of the world, to live on a damaged planet? Can we, like Timothy Morton, re-imagine kindness in its human and more-than-human sense? How can the new humanities, like environmental humanities, feminist bio-philosophy, cyborg studies, architectural philosophy, multispecies studies, eco-art, citizen humanities, gender studies, human-animal studies, plant theory, techno-humanities, media studies and digital humanities, respond to the challenges of the Anthropocene? Such forms of posthumanities – or new humanities – often share a sense of belonging in a world not divided across nature and culture, arts and sciences. For new humanities, postdisciplinary bridge-building and collaborations are crucial. So is responsibility, response-ability, and situated knowledges, as Donna Haraway and decades worth of feminist theorising on what gets to count as human or natural remind us.
Can the new humanities, transformative and integrative in nature, become not just relevant to society but also enact real change? Can we have research that is participatory, communicable, and, as Rosi Braidotti puts it, ‘worthy of our times’?
Come join the conversation on uncertainty, response-ability, and humankind in the age of the Anthropocene, and see if the new humanities’ cultivation of attentiveness, curiosity, care, concern, and critique can do something for you, co-existentially with others.
Warmly welcome to an open dialogue amongst various artists, scholars, educators, citizens, academic activists, and journalists, a symposium where we break bread together in public and forge new brave alliances in the face of the unexpected!
After all, humanities is for everybody.
Katja Aglert, independent artist and researcher, SE
Marco Armiero, KTH, SE
Rosi Braidotti, Utrecht University, UK
Christine Daigle, Brock University, CA
Hayden Lorimer, University of Glasgow, UK
Christina Fredengren, Stockholm University, SE
Hélène Frichot, KTH, SE
Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths, UK
Myra Hird, Queen’s University, CA
Janna Holmstedt, KTH, SE
Lauren LaFauci, Linköping University, SE
Nina Lykke, Linköping University, SE
Tara Mehrabi, Karlstad University, SE
Norie Neumark, LaTrobe University, AU
mirko nikolić, independent artist, SE/FI
Jesper Olsson, Linköping University, SE
Marietta Radomska, Linköping University, SE/University of Helsinki, FI
The International Network for ECOcritical and DECOlonial Research in collaboration with The Posthumanities Hub and with a generous support by Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design present:
The Second International Symposium
Eco/Decolonial Arts: Re-imagining Futures
28th August 2018, 10:15 – 18:00
Venue: Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design, Stockholm
As the current ecological crises and different forms of oppression, discrimination and injustice around the globe demonstrate, the questions of the environment and the people, as well as of social and environmental justice, are not isolated from one another. These concerns and connections come to the fore in both implicit and explicit ways in the work of artists, activists and academics working with the issues of decolonisation, on the one hand, and ecology, on the other.
The network was officially launched at the workshop ‘Eco/Decolonial Arts: Open-ended Poetic/Philosophical Forays’, which took place on 28-29 June 2017 in Linköping. The two-day event was focused on the developing of transversal dialogues between various ways of engagement with both decolonial and ecocritical/ecological perspectives. The slash [‘/’] in the name of the workshop (‘Eco/Decolonial’) refers to feminist scholar Karen Barad’s (2014) concept of ‘cutting together apart’ that points to the necessary entanglement of nature and culture; the environment and the human; epistemic, symbolic and physical violence towards nonhumans and humans alike; and finally, to the call for environmental and social justice.
The rich conversations that arose during the last-year workshop and still fuel the network’s activities have also inspired us to organise the second edition of ‘Eco/Decolonial Arts’ – yet, this time in a form of a one-day symposium. Thus, the upcoming event, scheduled on 28th August 2018 and taking place at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design in Stockholm, will focus not only on the urgency of posing questions that combine concerns with the environment and decolonial critique in their broadest understanding, but also on the arts’ unique potential for a diverse, multifaceted, creative and critical query of what such transdisciplinary engagements might mean for reimaging a different future in a ‘more-than-human’ world.
10:00 – 10:30 – Introduction
10:30 – 11:05 – Katja Aglert, Turning over the grounds of sgulS and.
11:05 – 11:40 – Vera Weetzel, White tears and tear art. Reflections on whiteness and complicity in bio/eco art
11:40 – 12:15 – Marietta Radomska, Non/living Archives: Deterritorialising Death
12:15 – 13:30 – Lunch break (self-paid basis)
13:30 – 14:05 – Madina Tlostanova, On the way to a pluriverse? A Feetless Bird in a Vanished Forest-garden
14:05 – 15:15 – Camila Marambio and Nina Lykke, Vulnerable Story Telling. Queering cancer beyond the life/death hierarchy
15:15 – 15:45 – Coffee break (self-paid basis)
15:45 – 16:20 – Cecilia Åsberg, Why the environmental humanities needs art, worldly situatedness and integrative feminist theory-practices
16:20 – 16:55 – Anne Gough, Walking to Al Quds
16:55 – 17:30 – Dalida Maria Benfield, Where We Are Now: A Dispatch From “Indigenous Knowledges and Sustainable Pasts/Futures”
17:30 – 18:00 – Final discussion: the future of the network (‘where do we go from here?’)
Deterritorialising the Future: A symposium on heritage in, of and after the Anthropocene
14th September 2018, 9:30 – 17:30
Senate House London
What does it mean to conserve, collect, curate or interpret ‘the past’ in the shadow of the Anthropocene? How might we reimagine issues of care, vulnerability, diversity and inheritance in this new geological/conceptual framework? Drawing on current investigative work in the environmental humanities, comparative literature, media studies, archaeology, museology, and cultural geography, this transdisciplinary symposium seeks to ‘deterritorialise’ the future by exploring new modes of doing and thinking heritage in more-than-human worlds.
More specifically, every other day we’ve given you a little insight into what our speakers are going to talk about. Or, in other words, every other day you’ve been able to learn a bit more about each presenter and their paper!:)
Marietta Radomska is a Postdoc at Linköping University, SE; 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 project 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).
Non/Living Archives of Lichenology: Between Stories of Living and Dying in a More-than-human World
The ‘Postmodern Synthesis’ of evolutionary biology (Koonin 2009) challenges the paradigmatic ideas of evolutionary decent, reproductive transmission of genes, and the notion of the individual (be it an organism, a population, or a species). As biologist Scott F.Gilbert argues, instead of individuals, we should talk about ‘holobionts’: composite organisms becoming through multiple cooperative processes.
This paper, being itself a piece of speculative storytelling, aims to explore what thinking with and through the figuration of the lichen – a primary example of a holobiont – can do to the cultural imaginaries and our understandings of the ontologies (and ecologies) of living and dying in a more-than-human world.
More specifically, every second day we give you a little insight into what our speakers are going to talk about. Or, in other words, every second day you’ll be able to learn a bit more about each presenter and their paper! Stay tuned! 🙂
Today we have a great pleasure to present our next speaker, Dr. Line Henriksen!
Line Henriksen is a lecturer in Gender Studies at the University of Copenhagen and holds a PhD in Gender Studies from the Unit of Gender Studies at Linköping University, Sweden. She has published on the subjects of monster theory, hauntology and digital media in journals such as Women & Performance and Somatechnics, and her fiction has appeared in Andromeda Spaceways and Tales to Terrify, among others. She is a founding member of the Monster Network.
From the Void – Speculative Storytelling and Encounters with Nothingness
The void is a recurring figure within the genre of speculative fiction. Whether in the shape of the emptiness of outer space or the depths of the sea, the void embodies nothingness as well as the limits of human understanding and imagination. This, the void’s associations with emptiness and the ‘beyond-human’, makes it a favoured antagonist within speculative fiction, but also a space of infinite possibilities – a blank page that is never quite as blank as one expects. In this paper, I explore contemporary speculative tales of nothingness as they relate to questions of storytelling and encounters with the (never fully) blank page.
Today it is our great pleasure to introduce you to our second speaker, Prof. Nina Lykke!
Nina Lykke, Professor Emerita, Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden. Co-founder of Network for Queer Death Studies, and Network for Ecocritical and Decolonial Research. Her current research focuses on queering of cancer, death, and mourning in queerfeminist materialist, decolonial and eco-critical perspectives, and on autophenomenographic and poetic writing. Recent publications: Queer Widowhood. Lambda Nordica. 2015:4; Academic Feminisms: Between Disidentification, Messy Everyday Utopianism, and Cruel Optimism. Feminist Encounters. 2017:1(1); When death cuts apart: On affective difference, compassionate companionship and lesbian widowhood. T.Juvonen and M.Kohlemainen (eds): Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships. Routledge, New York, London (2018).
Becoming with algae. Exploring Speculative Stories of Reimagining the Imperceptible.
Diatomite earth is fossilized remains of diatoms, single-celled aquatic algae. In the paper, I use diatoms as lens to ask, what diatomite earth may tell about a flat life/death ontology, and which possibilities for speculative story-telling it may open. My focus is a diatomite cliff formation on the Danish island of Fur – and my life partner’s ashes, spread in the waters beneath. I reflect on my co-becoming with my partner through a combination of poetic, autophenomenographic, and philosophic-cultural reflections on her becoming imperceptible in a Deleuzean sense, and her transforming into a body of ashes, now mixed with diatomite sand. The paper’s analysis is based on examples from these writings.
The symposium takes place on 5th April 2018, 13:15 – 16:30 at Linköping University (room: Faros; Tema building; Campus Valla).