The Posthumanities Hub Seminar “Re:Sound – Sound as Evidential Medium in an Age of Crisis”, ONLINE 28th January at 13:15 (CET)

The Stars Beneath Our Feet (2015), video still. (© Louise Mackenzie)

Welcome to the first session in The Posthumanities Hub Seminar Series 2021!

When: 28 Jan 2021, 13:15-15:00 (CET)
Where: Zoom (link will be sent out after registration). Please, have your name visible upon entering.
Registration: In order to take part in the seminar, please register by sending an email to the.posthumanities.hub[at]gmail.com by 26th January 2021 at noon (CET) the latest.
Recording: The session will be recorded, and possibly also made available online at a later stage. By attending the seminar, you accept these conditions (and can of course choose to keep your camera switched off).

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ABSTRACT
This session, moderated by Morten Søndergaard and Janna Holmstedt, will focus on sound as evidence and sonic explorations in the hybrid field between scientific and artistic practices. It seeks to look beyond the visual, attend to sonically mediated phenomena, and explore how sound and listening might offer ways to navigate fields and areas on the borders of uncertainty and imagination in an age of crisis.

The seminar gathers the contributors to the recently released Special Section (ed. Morten Søndergaard) of Leonardo Music Journal (LMJ) Vol. 30, December 2020 (all the articles are available online). The artist-researchers who have contributed to this Special Section, follow a line of inquiry into the construction of evidence and its ethical implications. Søndergaard suggests that geopolitical situations of crisis force us to look at the politics of evidence – and how it is being practiced. In doing so, it operates between scientific and aesthetic modes of approximation. It is this intricate relation between world, data, sound, representation and causality the Special Section is investigating. The main claim running through all the articles is that this relation is as intricate as it is challenging, and that we need to reimagine what evidence is, reclaim its politics, through sound.

Here, listening emerges as a shared orientation and critical mode of inquiry in technological layered and mediated environs, a strategy even, for moving the taken for granted – the unnoticed or oppressed background – to the affective foreground, as well as a form of activism and resistance. In different ways, the artist-researchers explore the potential of a sonic sensibility that can reorient the politics of visibility.

In the LMJ Special Section, Tullis Rennie investigates sociosonic interventions in the context of social engaged art, and the role of disruption and distributed authorship. Laura Beloff, in her contribution on human-plant relations, asks: What does it mean to hear through technological mediation? Louise Mackenzie further investigates technologically embodied and layered forms of looking and listening to nonhuman entities such as microorganisms, while Marie Højlund and Morten Riis invite us to consider processes of transduction and atmospheres as relational attunements in their sonic interventions with wind mills. Janna Holmstedt suggests that “the transformative role of sound and listening troubles Western knowledge systems in fruitful ways”, and Stephanie Loveless proposes the flaneuserie sonore, feminist soundwalking, as a way to recontextualize the practice of walking in literature and art, arguing for listening as a feminist and ecologically oriented mode of engaging with the world. Freya Zinovieff and Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda further demonstrate that “to listen attentively to the sonic is to situate oneself at the intersection of geopolitics and sensory perception” in what they, with Pratt and Haraway, term Anthropocene Contact Zones.

BIOGRAPHIES
Laura Beloff is an active artist and accidental academic working in the intersection of art, science and technology. She currently works at Aalto University, Finland.
Marie Højlund is a sound artist, composer and assistant professor in sound studies at Aarhus University, Denmark. She received her PhD in 2017 with her thesis on sound, noise and atmospheres in Danish hospitals: “Overhearing—An Attuning Approach to Noise in Danish Hospitals.”
Morten Riis is a sound artist and composer and holds a PhD degree in electronic music from Aarhus University. He has written articles and books on artistic research and music technology, conducted workshops over most of Europe and has received commissions from leading festivals and ensembles in Denmark, Germany and Poland.
Janna Holmstedt is an artist and researcher investigating listening as a situated practice, composition in the expanded field and the cultivation of care and environmental attention. She is part of the research group The Posthumanities Hub, and received her PhD in 2017 with her thesis “Are You Ready for a Wet Live-In? Explorations into Listening”. She currently works at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and National Historical Museums, Sweden.
Stephanie Loveless is a sound artist and a lecturer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she directs and the Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer. She holds MFAs from Bard College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Louise Mackenzie is an artist and researcher based in the U.K., affiliated with the Cultural Negotiation of Science research group, Northumbria University.
Tullis Rennie is a composer, improvising trombonist, electronic musician and field recordist. He is cofounder of Walls on Walls and senior lecturer in music at City, University of London.
Freya Zinovieff is a sound artist and theorist who uses emerging technologies to research the geopolitics of sound in borderlands. 
Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda researches the histories of media arts from a feminist perspective and produces interactive installations. She has degrees in graphic design, visual arts and cultural history.
Morten Søndergaard is an active curator, exhibition designer and academic working in the intersection of art, science and technology. He is currently working at Aalborg University, Denmark.

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

Open Humanities Lab Symposium: New Humanities & the Anthropocene (14-15 May)

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.

Speakers:

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

Lina Rahm, Linköping University, SE

Margrit Shildrick, Stockholm University, SE

Sverker Sörlin, KTH, SE

Lotten Wiklund, journalist, SE

Cecilia Åsberg, KTH, SE/Linköping University, SE

Full programme in PDF

UPDATE (13.05):

The registration for the event is now CLOSED as we have reached the capacity of the venue. There might be a few spots left in case anyone from the registered participants cancels last minute.

 

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SYMPOSIUM: Deterritorialising the Future

Deterritorialising the Future - Poster-page-001

Deterritorialising the Future: A symposium on heritage inof and after the Anthropocene

14th September 2018, 9:30 – 17:30
Senate House London
UK

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.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Cecilia Åsberg, Stockholm University
  • Denis Byrne, Western Sydney University
  • Rick Crownshaw, Goldsmiths University of London
  • Caitlin DeSilvey, University of Exeter
  • Christina Fredengren, Stockholm University
  • Franklin Ginn, University of Bristol
  • Þóra Pétursdóttir, University of Tromsø
  • Mary Thomas, Ohio State University
  • Adrian Van Allen, Musee du Quai Branly
  • Kathryn Yusoff, Queen Mary University of London
  • Joanna Zylinska, Goldsmiths University of London

Register for Tickets

 

* SAVE THE DATE *

The symposium will be preceded by a public lecture from Professor Claire Colebrook, Penn State University, on Thursday 13th September. See the AHRC Heritage Research Events Page for further details.

The lecture and symposium form part of the AHRC Heritage Research programme. Please visit the website to find out about our other events and activities.

To keep up to date with news and events follow us on Twitter: @AhrcHeritage

Feminist posthumanities is for everybody!

Human nature is not the oxymoron we imagined it to be. In this new planetary age of the Anthropocene, defined by human-induced climatic, biological, and even geological transformations, we humans are fully in nature. And nature is fully in us. This was, of course, always the case, but it is more conspicuously so now than ever before: people are entangled in co-constitutive relationships with nature and the environment, with other animals and organisms, with medicine and technology, with science and epistemic politics. We live and die, play, thrive, and suffer by each other. For example, think of “mad cow” disease, where humans feeding cows with by-products from slaughtered sheep infected with the prionic disorder “scrapie” in turn generates prion disorders in cows that get transmitted to human beef consumers through a series of transcorporeal (Alaimo 2010) gestures across species. We can think, too, of pollen allergies and their increased prevalence as an index of our environed embodiment. Or how hormone-like substances seep from plastics into microorganisms, fish bodies, human infants in increasingly aggressive polymere ecologies. While culture and nature never were in fact separated but for academic divisions of labour, we live in a time when the so called “human mastery”, alterations, and especially the “slow violence (Nixon 2011) of these naturcultural relationships of embodied environments and environed embodiments appear to us more clearly. For such power-imbued yet generative relationships, we need a more-than-human humanities. We also need expertise on human differences; those between men and women; between men and men, or women and women; transgender, and internal to our, after all, not-so-fully rational human (and microbial) Selfhood. More-than-human and human differences (gender, class, race, nationality, age, sexual orientation, specie- or land relationality, etc) interplay in intricate ways, socially. Our work at the Posthumanities Hub, take such differences very seriously as we make our case for diverse feminist forms of the posthumanities (Wolfe 2003). Our starting points are diverse too; a love for science, art and philosophy,  postnatural feminisms, technological empowerment, humanities disciplines like history, literature, philosophy, languages, the cyborg ontology and situated epistemology of Donna Haraway (1991), anti-racist justice movements and anti-colonial environmentalism, veganism, plant theory, and multispecies justice. All of these are critical and creative endevours that provide mind-sets and society’s psyche with new concepts to guide thought and practice.  At The Posthumanities Hub, we embrace a feminist posthumanities that stands able to frame naturecultures unfolding and recalibrate humanities analytics for an Anthropocene of many differences. We aim for alliances and research worthy of our complex times, a humanities for our  “postnatural” condition of human and nonhuman co-constitution of the planetary.