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



Call for Contributions to the Edited Volume of the InterGender Research School!

Editors: Edyta Just, Maria Udén, Vera Weetzel, Cecilia Åsberg

What is Gender Studies to you? How can Gender Studies contribute to society, academia and the state of our world at large? What is your view to the interdisciplinarity of Gender Studies? How has Gender Studies changed your career, your life, your world? How could Gender Studies change the world, or, perhaps better be changed with it?
Your situated knowledges count!
With this edited volume we would like to bring forward the importance of Gender Studies as an academic discipline in general and Gender Studies research training (PhD training) in particular using as an example the InterGender Consortium and Research School in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies. In this sense we would like this volume to be of an academic and political significance especially in the light of the current attacks on Gender Studies. The import of Gender Studies research training and as such of Gender Studies can be demonstrated on two, nonetheless intersecting, levels. The first level
corresponds with the significance of research in the field and its transformative power in and, crucially, outside the academia. The second relates to the value of networking/community building for professional and personal development. The idea is that chapters in this volume are written by current and recently graduated PhD candidates and advanced MA students that have participated in InterGender
activities. We also plan to include in the volume interviews with senior Gender Studies professors and their reflections regarding this field of study and its integration and developments.

Therefore, we would like to invite current PhD candidates, recently graduated PhD candidates (up to 6 years after obtaining a degree) and advanced MA students, who have participated in the InterGender activities: courses and cohort meetings, to send us their ideas for contributions.
For this volume we welcome contributions in different formats: academic papers, poetry, short literary stories that address, discuss, reflect on and also problematize and complexify:

  • the significance and transformative power and potential of theories and methodologies developed within the field of Gender Studies for academia and society (you, as a prospective author, are especially invited to refer to/mention a particular InterGender activity: a course and/or cohort meeting and write from the perspective of your own research interests!).
  • the value of networking and community building during Gender Studies research training (you, as a prospective author, are in particular invited to refer to, or, mention a given InterGender activity such as a course and/or cohort meeting that made an impact on your life!)

Interested? Of course! This is your chance to tell the stories of your Gender
Studies training, networking and how it affected you, and thereby tell
something about the state of Gender Studies today!
Please send us your idea for contribution!

What do I need to do?
What we need is an abstract of 500 words excluding references – please indicate the format of the contribution (i.e., paper, poetry, literary story).

Extended Deadline: 5 May 2019.

Please send your idea for contribution to Edyta Just, edyta.just[at]liu.se

We, the editors, look very much forward to your contributions.

Welcome to the Edited Volume of the InterGender research school!

The Second International Symposium “Eco/Decolonial Arts: Re-imagining Futures”, 28 August at Konstfack, Stockholm, SE

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

(room: MANDELGREN)

eco deco Aug 2018
Photo: Cecilia Åsberg

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 International Network for ECOcritical and DECOlonial Research connects artists, activists and academics, who in their work, in both implicit and explicit ways, concentrate on these connections and concerns: the issues of ecology, on the one hand, and decolonisation, 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.

Programme :

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?’)

Full programme with abstracts and bios: click HERE.

 

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

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 and Environment, KTH.

13.15-13.30 Welcome with the Posthumanities Hub, a community of scholars now also at KTH, by Cecilia Åsberg, Prof and Founding Director, and Marietta Radomska, PhD, Co-Director of The PH and VR-postdoc. Welcome words by Sabine Höhler, PhD Head of Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment – host of the PH.
13.30-13.35 “Deep Time and Intragenerational Justice” by Christina Fredengren, PhD, Docent Archeology (SU), Research Director at National Historical Museums.
13.35-13.45 “Prion Stories”, and “Tears for Fish” by Justin Makii and Vera Weetzel, PhD-students.
13.45-13.50 “Flock Frequency” by artist Janna Holmquist, PhD.

13.50-13.55 “A Feminist Feeling for the Forest” by Olga Cielemęcka, PhD, The Seed Box Postdoc.
13.55-14.00 “Popularizing Posthumanities” by Lotten Wiklund, The Posthumanities Hub science journalist.

— Break —

14.15-14.20 “Ecologies of Death” by Marietta Radomska, PhD, VR-postdoc, Co-Director of the Hub.
14.20-14.25 “Death in the Life Sciences” by Tara Mehrabi, PhD.
14.25-14.30 “Feminist Environmental Humanities”, and “Herbaria 3.0” by Lauren LaFauci, PhD.
14.30-14.45 Virtual messages from honorary members.
14.45-15.00 Wrapping up with Cecilia Åsberg and Marietta Radomska.

Part III. Venue: Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH.

15.00-16.00 Snacks and “mingle” with the companions of The Posthumanities Hub.

The Posthumanities Hub is a research group, a lively community, and a platform for postdisciplinary humanities and more-than-human humanities, for philosophy, arts, and sciences informed by advanced cultural critique and some seriously humorous feminist creativity. In our research, we specialize in the human and more-than-human condition, and inventive feminist materialist philosophies. This entails work in environmental humanities, human animal studies, cultural studies of science and technology, new media, citizen science/citizen humanities, digital and techno-humanities, medical humanities and environmental health (especially toxic embodiment), the posthuman, a-human, inhuman, nonhuman, and trans-, queer or anti-imperialist theory-practices, feminist science studies, and other inter- and/or postdisciplinary areas of researching a complex and changing world that does not admit to old academic divisions of labour (i.e., that research on “culture” is for the humanities and “nature” for science.) We work to meet up with pressing societal challenges, across the natureculture divide and target specific cases. Curiously, creatively, and critically.