[-empyre-] Beginning Week 1: Radical Aesthetics, EcoAesthetic Systems and Entanglements

margaretha haughwout margaretha.anne.haughwout at gmail.com
Thu Oct 5 04:14:57 AEDT 2017

Hello all, and thank you Lisette and Valentine for diving into how
different bodies encounter the violence and terror of our times....

Thinking about the dead and the ground -- how the dead feed the soil. And
how the ground, as David Abram points out, is the past that we stand on.

So it make sense that this is also where we locate our grief.

I'm wondering if more can be said about the role of grief in this work, and
perhaps it's ties to rehabilitation, recuperation? I connect the work of
grief to Deborah Bird Rose's thoughts of recuperative work, to her, acts of
recuperation are humble, open, incomplete, recognizing that there is no
whole to return to.

A small set of thoughts amidst a busy day --



On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 10:23 PM, Valentine Cadieux <
kirsten.valentine at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thank you, Lisette, Margaretha, and those joining,
> I’m trying to figure out what would make the word terroirism fit in my
> mouth. Especially on a day (in addition to the racoons) when people on the
> land where I live are waking up ruminating about what causes a wealthy
> white man who sends big tins of cookies to his mother to engage in mass
> shootings with automatic weapons, the associations with territorial terror
> complicate my morning’s intent to make cookies for my own godmother, and
> seem to demand an accounting of how we live in myriad relations without
> losing our shit.
> So for the moment, as a way to start into that question via the aesthetics
> of ecological practice, let me articulate what I love about /becoming with/
> the edaphon, why keeping our shit together seems valuable and accountable
> to that body of organisms, and why these still make me uncomfortable,
> productively, about terroirism.
> As a geographer, I often reflect on how decentering humans in our
> regenerative exploratory practices often starts by recognizing the
> disproportionate importance of local relationships in our awareness,
> especially relationships we have to imagine. My soil relationships are not
> just where I live. In fact, the vast majority of them are mediated through
> circuits of capital — with ecoaesthetic implications that make us crazy,
> both ethically and, as we understand more and more about our
> neurodependencies on the microbiome, literally.
> So while it may be relatively possible to recognize that a handful — a
> spoonful, as people often say, despite not often spooning soil — of earth
> enrolls me in more relationships than with all the other people on earth,
> I’m not sure I know how to practice relating to the communities of more
> distant soil, beyond general decolonizing, anti-oppressive, and
> accountability strategies. Figuring out how not to spread my shit beyond
> where I can possibly be responsible to the relations it creates is one
> thing; imagining that it is possible to be held in so many relations maybe
> provides a supportive start for feeling supported by entanglements, and
> able to wholeheartedly engage terroir without fundamentalism, defensive
> localism, or possessiveness.
> Making peace,
> Valentine
> On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 9:26 AM, Lissette Olivares <
> liolivares at fulbrightmail.org> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Dear Margaretha et al.
>> To begin with thank you so much for the invitation to participate in this
>> forum and the opportunity to learn about the works of others in the
>> struggle to destruct anthroposupremacy. Here are some reflections to feed
>> the fire.
>> As I drove to work today I was pierced by the vision of three raccoons
>> who made the fatal decision to try and cross the concrete division of the
>> superhighway during a crepuscular rush of traffic.  I wince each time I see
>> one splayed out on the concrete for I recognize all too well their
>> position, the way their heads are gripped by their prehensile hands, the
>> way their bodies curl in a type of fetal position, behaviors I have often
>> seen them use to protect themselves. Their bodies are fresh additions to
>> what feels like a never ending tally of woodland creatures who I try to
>> make note of daily, as a small ritual of remembrance, a conscious effort to
>> not just look away, to not just deviate my attention while participating in
>> my own daily grind of survival. Yesterday, in the early morning hours as I
>> walked my Matsya, an Indian dog from Goa,  I almost stepped on a piece of a
>> possum’s liver that lied ahead of the rest of their body, flipped inside
>> out from the impact of thousands of pounds coupled with speed. I was told
>> by a wildlife rehabilitation that it’s important to check fresh possum
>> corpses on the side of the road, because if a jill, their marsupial pouches
>> might be full of joeys, and so despite my body’s resistance, despite the
>> sadness, I go to check and am relieved that I will not have to figure out
>> what to do with a litter of orphans. For many this may seem to be a
>> position of privilege, to feel concern for creatures, when on these same
>> streets, a police state with officers armed to the hilt, is busy at work
>> seeking out the rebels and enemies of a settler state, native, brown, and
>> black bodies, bodies marked as masculine, feminine, cuir,  illegal,
>> criminal, who have been under attack since at least the time when Columbus
>> and Conquistadores sailed the ocean blue. Yet, what I believe, what I hope
>> to contribute here, is that these stories are not disconnected, they are
>> not discrete, but rather what Karen Barad has encouraged us to perceive as
>> entanglements, with anti-disciplinary and intradisciplinary knowledges,
>> such as indigenous studies, critical race studies, trans*studies,
>> disability studies, multi species studies, feminist studies, decolonial
>> studies, offering us tools with which to enact foundational paradigm
>> shifts.
>> In eco-critical solidarity,
>> lissette
>> Lissette Olivares
>> Co Director & Founder
>> Sin Kabeza Productions <http://www.sinkabeza.com>
>> http://www.sinkabeza.com/architecture
>> Phone:(917) 213-9820
>> Email: liolivares at fulbrightmail.org
>> On Oct 3, 2017, at 1:10 AM, margaretha haughwout <
>> margaretha.anne.haughwout at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Greetings to all on this list and the many species that surround you,
>> I'd love for the conversations with Valentine, Lissette, and Randall to
>> seed and nourish our coming weeks together:
>> We must begin by asking -- what are the radical aesthetics of our
>> ecological practice? How do we fuse politics and aesthetics in the
>> more-than-human Capitalocene? How do we understand the work of de-centering
>> the human and art making, and how does the collapse of the nature/culture
>> binary figure for us as multispecies artists, activists, collaborative
>> worlders? Indeed, Lissette's multispecies architecture and decolonial
>> laboratory introduce engagements that undo conceptions of nature as
>> ahistorical or apolitical.
>> And, how do systems figure in our understanding of ecological practice?
>> Randall and Valentine call for a soil practice, a 'terroirism' that
>> transforms social practice from a model of art making wholly tied to
>> neoliberalism to a regenerative art system that can recuperate ecologies
>> and re/generate matrices of relationships between humans and non-humans.
>> They introduce  ecoaesthetic systems.
>> Systems and entanglements. Do systems and systems theory inform our
>> radical aesthetics of multispecies worlding and ecological art in the
>> Capitalocene? What happens to our systems and our designs when we tangle
>> with other species? Do our entanglements uphold our systems, our designs,
>> our architectures? which ones?
>> Warmly,
>> -Margaretha
>> ---
>> Week 1: Radical Aesthetics, EcoAesthetic Systems and Entanglements
>> Valentine Cadieux
>> Professor Valentine Cadieux is Director of Environmental Studies and
>> Sustainability at Hamline University. Using art and science approaches to
>> society-environment relations and specifically the political ecology and
>> moral economy of agrifood systems, she builds publicly-engaged
>> participatory research processes for students and members of the public to
>> learn together about differing ways of understanding environments, and to
>> practice performing and justifying environmental and food system
>> interventions in collaborative ways.
>> Her research and teaching focus on how social and environmental practices
>> can help people negotiate aspirations for equitable, healthy, and
>> sustainable food systems and residential landscapes. She has developed a
>> public Food and Society workshop for building collaborative knowledge tools
>> that help communities build food systems. These tools focus on valuing
>> existing community assets and capacity — and on understanding what
>> practices can make food chain relationships sustainable and just, and can
>> repair social and ecological traumas that have resulted from food
>> production methods.
>> Lissette T. Olivares
>> Lissette T. Olivares is the co-founder and co-director of Sin Kabeza
>> Productions, an activist collective of researchers who work together as
>> symbionts. She is a graduate of Vassar College, Peking University, the
>> History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa
>> Cruz, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Between 2010 and
>> 2012 she was an Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin
>> School of Individualized Studies where she was supported by an NYU Provost
>> Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity. In 2012 SKP produced their
>> first architectural intervention, SEEDBANK: An eco evo devo design fiction
>> in the SF Mode, designed for posthumanist research at dOCUMENTA(13), which
>> was published in the Lodz Museum’s Urban Ecologies program. After an
>> unexpected encounter with an orphaned hedgehog in Kassel Lissette became
>> committed to wildlife rehabilitation and multispecies architecture, and has
>> worked with Indian dogs, raccoons, squirrels, and white tailed deer.
>> Between 2015-2016 she was a research fellow at Terreform ONE where she
>> collaborated on the Modular Edible Cricket Farm while investigating
>> “Speculative architecture and design for a Post Anthropos/Anthropocene.” In
>> 2016 Lissette was selected as a rapporteur for the Feral Technologies:
>> Unmaking Multispecies Dumps work group at the HKW’s Anthropocene Campus.
>> She was invited to present SKP’s multispecies architectural platform at the
>> Yinchuan Biennale Conference, while their designs were featured at the NGBK
>> gallery in Berlin as part of the Animal Lovers exhibition. Her
>> intradisciplinary research has been supported by the Fulbright Fellowship,
>> Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, ICI-Berlin Curatorial Fellowship, and A Blade
>> of Grass’ Artist Files Fellowship, which recognizes socially engaged art
>> production.  Lissette and SKP are currently engaged in a coevolutionary
>> dream that envisions a refuge, research, and rehabilitation center for
>> dis/placed and dis/abled wildlife that will also serve as a decolonial
>> laboratory for eco and bio artist activist research.
>> Randall Szott
>> Randall Szott is a writer, chef and former merchant mariner. He has an
>> MFA in Art Critical Practices, an MA in Creative Arts, and an
>> interdisciplinary BA with a minor in philosophy. He has given presentations
>> at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California College of the
>> Arts, the University of Houston, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
>> among others. His writing, commentary and interviews have been published
>> and cited widely including the recent books Say It While You Still Mean It:
>> Conversations on Art and Practice, and I’m Going to Live the Life I Sing
>> About In My Song: How Artists Make and Live Lives of Meaning. He recently
>> was invited to participate in a three week National Endowment for the
>> Humanities summer institute: Space, Place and the Humanities. He lives in
>> Barnard, VT where he has been collaboratively developing a ten acre parcel
>> of land using a variety of regenerative agriculture techniques. There is a
>> small permaculture test plot on the site, as well as a dye garden, small
>> elderberry orchard, and a two acre vineyard. He has studied mushroom
>> cultivation with Tradd Cotter and regenerative agriculture with Darren J
>> Doherty. His work as a chef has involved farm to table restaurants, cooking
>> at sea, and farm to school education for a small elementary school. His
>> ongoing research has involved the intersection of soil + social practice.
>> Guest:
>> Antonio Roman-Alcala
>> Antonio Roman-Alcalá is an educator, researcher, writer, and organizer
>> based in Berkeley, California who has worked for just sustainable food and
>> political systems for the past 15 years. Antonio co-founded San Francisco’s
>> Alemany Farm, the San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance, and the
>> California Food Policy Council, and his 2010 documentary film, In Search of
>> Good Food, can be viewed free online. He holds a BA from UC Berkeley, and
>> an MA from ISS in The Hague. Currently, Antonio maintains the blog
>> antidogmatist.com, teaches with the Urban Permaculture Institute and at
>> UC Santa Cruz, conducts activist-scholar research, and leads the North
>> American Agroecology Organizing Project. He is also in search of new land
>> to farm – a tough prospect in the urbanized and gentrified San Francisco
>> Bay Area!
>> --
>> beforebefore.net
>> guerrillagrafters.org
>> coastalreadinggroup.com
>> --
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