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BIOART AND POSTNATURAL ECOLOGIES: POSTHUMANITIES FOR THE ANTHROPOCENE

Symposium
April 28th, 2017
Tema, Campus Valla, Linköping University

Image may contain: outdoor’Liminal Creature' (2014) by Katja Aglert (photo: Viktoria Garvare)

Contemporary times of the ecological crises, exposed vulnerabilities of the human and nonhuman kind, and the more than ever blurred boundaries between the natural and artificial require not only critical reflection, but also conceptual and practical creativity.
This symposium aims to generate and nurture transversal dialogues between artists, practitioners and academics, focused on the ways in which bioart and other areas of contemporary art may open up different/new modes of thinking postnatural ecologies. In this way we hope to create synergies between art, theory and science that may mobilise different ways of attending to human/nonhuman entanglements and contribute to the imagining of more equitable futures.
Furthermore, the event is also combined with the official launch of The Eco- and Bioart Research Network, which will serve as a platform for researchers, artists and other practitioners working with broadly understood eco- and bioart, and thus, will foster the creative and critical spirit of the posthumanities.

REGISTRATION: FREE admission. Please, register by sending an e-mail to: marietta.radomska@liu.se

Speakers:
Katja Aglert, independent artist and researcher (Stockholm, SE)
Laura Beloff, artist and researcher (IT University Copenhagen, DK)
Jacob Wamberg (Aarhus University, DK)
Olga Cielemecka (Linköping University, SE)
Vera Weetzel (Linköping University, SE)
Marietta Radomska (Linköping University, SE)

Venue: Tem21, Tema building, Campus Valla, Linköping.

10:15 - 10:30 – Introduction: the launch of The Eco- and Bioart Research Network.
10:30 - 11:30 - Katja Aglert, sgulS – considering artistic transdisciplinary methods in practice, turning over the grounds of Slugs.
11:30 - 11:45 - Coffee break.
11:45 - 13:15 - Panel I: Jacob Wamberg, Deconstructing vitalism: approaching bioart through a dark ecology paradigm; response paper: Marietta Radomska.
13:15 - 14:30 – Lunch break
14:30 - 16:00 - Panel II: Vera Weetzel: Exploring materialities: bioart as a feminist research practice; response paper: Olga Cielemecka.
16:00 - 16:15 - Coffee break
16:15 - 17:15 - Laura Beloff, Survival of The Prettiest
17:15 - 18:00 - Closing panel: roundtable.

ABSTRACTS:

sgulS – considering artistic transdisciplinary methods in practice, turning over the grounds of Slugs
Katja Aglert

The video based work Momentary Seizures that I developed in 2007, triggered a process evolving a series of works re-turning over and over to some of the inquiries, concerns and matters involved - becoming with slugs. The Slugs is the most recent, with public release in a magazine spring 2017, in the form of a scrip for a future manifestation.
My presentation will discuss the transdisciplinary artistic research methods related to this ten years process, and how they explore possibilities of opening new modes of thinking, performing and materializing beyond binary world views.

Survival of The Prettiest
Laura Beloff

How blurring of the borders of technological and biological impacts our desires towards biological environment and our perception concerning artificial and natural? We are increasingly designing ourselves, but also the world we live in – this is visible e.g. in the direction of development in technology and biotechnology. The talk leads from the natural selection described by Darwin to observations on human-conducted aesthetic selection concerning biological organisms that is enabled by human-invented methods. The famous slogan of the early artificial life field, which at the time was primarily connected to computer science, ‘not life as we know it, but life as it could be’ is becoming our reality.

Deconstructing vitalism: approaching bioart through a dark ecology paradigm
Jacob Wamberg

As its name suggests bioart is concerned with artistic interventions in real life as it unfolds in actual dynamic spaces: from bacteria, to plants, to animals. However, what intervene in these life forms are typically different sorts of advanced technology, so that the materials and processes covered in bioart are just as much non-living as living. Through these interventions the relatively stable notions of life, nature, plants, organisms, bodies and technology on which the very identification of bioart rests are deconstructed, putting the genre in risk of fetishizing the very concepts it wants to problematize. In this paper I want to insert bioart in what I see as recurrent concerns of art since 1900: a posthuman problematization of vitalism understood as a celebration of large scale organismic life. Instead a much broader, both more dynamic and more inert repertoire of becoming and coming-apart, is explored in posthuman art forms. This repertoire, embracing the inorganic ways of assembling that underlie and now become more intermingled with life’s complexity, could be connected to the ecologies without nature, which have been proposed by Félix Guattari, Bruno Latour and Timothy Morton.

Exploring materialities: bioart as a feminist research practice
Vera Weetzel

As a feminist researcher commitment to bodies and materialities, I desire methodologies that dig into the matter, that are inviting to get my hands dirty. Bioart invites practices that approach spaces and relationality differently, and therefore make for not only an interesting research subject but a way of doing feminist research as well. Here, I explore how bioartistic practices can center embodied, relational experience in the experiment, allowing for creative, open-ended approaches that encourage us to care for and live with our research subjects.


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Last updated: Wed Mar 22 23:25:29 CET 2017