[-empyre-] Introducing Week 2: Mediated Natures, Speculative Futures and Justice and thank you to Week One

margaretha haughwout margaretha.anne.haughwout at gmail.com
Tue Oct 10 09:06:35 AEDT 2017

Dear -empyre- soft skinned space,

Randall, Lisette, Valentine and Antonio have enlivened a rich terrain for
us to continue our conversation and our work. I am so grateful to Randall
for introducing a critical lexicon for ecoaesthetic systems, a lexicon that
draws out the ways that the neoliberal art system (much like the draining
industrial agriculture model) must be subsumed by a soil practice; to
Lissette for reminding us that the multispecies work we do is wholly
anti-disciplinary, with anti-colonial potential, and is tied to the Black
Radical tradition, to queer and trans*activism, and feminism; to Valentine
for asking how "to practice relating to communities of more distant soil,"
how to "live in myriad relations without losing out shit"; to Antonio for
writing in about agroecology and peasant solidarity -- a few of many points
to acknowledge how generative and *grounding* Week One has been. I am
confident these ideas will continue to be at play in the coming weeks, and
I hope all of you will be able to continue to write in.

I am so excited to introduce a new set of discussants into the mix, and to
begin conversations on the theme/s of Mediated Natures, Speculative Futures
and Justice. Welcome Julie Andreyev (CA), Grisha Coleman (US), Desert Art
Lab -- April Bojorquez (US) and Matt Garcia (US)-- Meredith Drum (US),
Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa (US). We will also receive posts about projects
from guests Tyler Fox (US) and Jordan Yerman (CA) later in the week. Once
again I'd like to thank Meredith Drum for helping me to work out ideas for
this month and for inviting in such distinguished guests as Grisha Coleman,
and Desert Art Lab.

What are the ways that afrofuturism, speculative fabulation and science
fiction influence our practices of multispecies worlding and ecological
art, as well as how we understand the influence or use of media and
technology when encountering nonhuman others? The threads between all of
your work is fascinating -- you all are deeply influenced by SF, use or
study technology and media, and also insist on justice. How do these
threads intertwine for you?

As well, how can we understand terms like justice, solidarity, ethics,
survival, radicality in the Capitalocene? What are the stakes, the costs
and the possible futures for different ecologies and the humans that live
amongst them?

This week's theme can also extend the conversations begun last week around
systems +/or/vs. entanglements, managing and mourning and the many other
lines of thought begun by Randall, Lissette, Valentine and the larger
community of -empyre- (Norie, WIlliam, Melinda, Elaine and everyone).



Week 2 Discussants
Julie Andreyev
Julie Andreyev’s art practice, called Animal Lover, www.animallover.ca,
explores more-than-human creativity using methods of ethics of care,
respect, and play. The projects are output as new media performance, video
installation, generative art, and relational aesthetics. The Animal Lover
projects have been shown internationally, and are supported by the Canada
Council for the Arts and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research
Council of Canada. Andreyev recently completed her PhD at Simon Fraser
University, Vancouver, supported by a Joseph Armand Bombardier Doctoral
Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of
Canada. Her dissertation, Biophilic Ethics and Creativity with
More-Than-Human Beings, is an interdisciplinary investigation into an
expansion of ethics for more-than-human beings, examined through
interspecies relational creativity in art processes. Andreyev is Associate
Professor in the Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media at Emily Carr University
of Art + Design.

Grisha Coleman
Grisha Coleman works as a choreographer and composer in performance and
experiential media. Her work explores relationships between our
physiological, technological and ecological systems. She currently holds
the position of Associate Professor of Movement, Computation and Digital
Media in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, and the School of Dance
at Arizona State University. Her recent art and scholarly work,
echo::system, is a springboard for re-imagining the environment,
environmental change, and environmental justice. Coleman is a New York City
native with an M.F.A. in Composition and Integrated Media from the
California Institute of the Arts. Her work has been recognized nationally
and internationally; including a 2012 National Endowment Arts in Media
Grant [NEA], the 2014 Mohr Visiting Artist at Stanford University, a
fellowship at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon
University, and grants from the Rockefeller M.A.P Fund, The Surdna
Foundation, and The Creative Capital Foundation.

Meredith Drum
With artist Rachel Stevens, Meredith Drum co-created The Oyster City
Project –  a constellation of projects and events that draw attention to
relationships between urban marine ecology, urban planning, neighborhood
life, politics, economics and environmental justice. One component of
Oyster City is an AR walking tour and game featuring 3D objects and text in
real space visible with an iOS device that highlights the history and
future of oysters in New York City. Another is the Fish Stories Community
Cookbook a collection of seafood recipes, local histories, stories,
drawings and ecological information contributed by people who live and work
in the Lower East Side of NYC. Fish Stories was commissioned by Paths to
Pier 42 in 2015.

Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa
Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa is a PhD candidate in Film and Digital Media at
University of California Santa Cruz. His dissertation "The Celluloid
Specimen: Moving Image Research of Animal Life" focuses on the animal
research films made by behavioral psychology during the 1920s, 30s, and
40s. His essay “Celluloid Specimens: Animal Origins for the Moving Image,”
is being published in the forthcoming book Viscera, Skin, and Physical
Form: Corporeality and Early Cinema. Schultz-Figueroa has curated and
screened works at such venues as Anthology Film Archives, Light Industry,
Artists’ Television Access, Northwest Film Forum, and The Shanghai
Biennial, and his writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, Culture
Machine, and Photomeditations Machine.

Desert ArtLAB
Desert ArtLAB is dedicated to a social art practice, explores connections
between ecology, culture and community. Through multimedia performance,
visual and social art, the collaborative reconceptualizes desert and
dryland ecologies not as post-apocalyptic growth of wasteland, but as an
ecological opportunity. The collaborative’s projects activate public space,
promoting ecological restoration, dryland food practice, and a new
understanding of living in desert environments. The collaborative’s work
has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including: IAIA Museum
of Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, and the
Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris, France).

 - April Bojorquez is an independent curator and artist based in the Bay
Area and Southern Colorado. Working within the intersection of art and
anthropology, Bojorquez employs diverse strategies to produce immersive and
interactive environments exploring place, identity and museum practices.
She is fellow of the Smithsonian Institution’s Latino Museum Studies
Program and a former curator of art at the National Hispanic Cultural
Center. Bojorquez is a 2016 Creative Capital Awardee in Emerging Fields.

 - Matt Garcia’s artistic practice investigates ecology, its relationship
to knowledge systems and how media can connect communities to a reclaiming
or re-imagining of lost epistemology. Garcia is currently an assistant
professor of Art and Design at Dominican University of California.
Garcia’s work has been presented nationally and internationally at venues
such as: Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris, France), The
International Symposium on Electronic Art (2012, 2015), Balance-Unbalance
Festival (Noose, Australia), and HASTAC (Lima, Peru). He is a 2016 Creative
Capital Awardee in Emerging Fields.

Week 2 Special Guests
Tyler Fox
Tyler Fox is an artist, researcher, technologist and educator. He is a
Lecturer in Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of
Washington. His work is centered on the attempt to create shared
experiences between humans and nonhumans, both living and nonliving. His
draws inspiration from the philosophies of Gilbert Simondon and Alfred
North Whitehead to create speculative artworks that help us think and feel
alongside of nonhumans.Tyler received his PhD from the School of
Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, an MFA from the
Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland and BAs in Art
History and the Comparative History of Ideas at the University of

Jordan Matthew Yerman
Jordan Matthew Yerman is a Vancouver-based artist and writer who has worked
and created from Reykjavik to Tokyo. He explores the experiences of feral
cats as a metric of urban measurement, while assessing the embodied
practice of engaging such furtive subjects. He documents cities through the
lived experiences of their inhabitants, be they human or otherwise. He
imposes interventions upon his images to explore how those inhabitants—and
those who view them—embody the changes in their built environments. In
collaboration with Leigh M. Smith, he created Street Cat Photo Booth,
consisting of networked shelter environments scaled for feline use. These
autonomous photo booths allow urban cats to initiate their own social-media
photo shoots, recontextualizing the role these animals play in our
perceptions of urbanity and neighborhood.
Yerman’s work has been entered three times into the proceedings and
catalogue of the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA); and his
work has been published by the Vancouver Observer, APEX Experience
Magazine, Wallpaper*, Travel+Leisure, Akihabara News, Tokyo INSIGHT
Magazine, the Vancouver Sun, Daily Hive, Vancouver Courier, Gripped,
Spaced.ca, Manager Magazine, Love Meow, Canadian Avalanche Journal, and
He partnered with Fujifilm to photograph cats across Japan, and takes
high-stakes cat photos for Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue, helping
abandoned cats find new homes. He studied at UC San Diego, University of
Exeter, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Street Cat Photo Booth has been demonstrated in New York, Vancouver, Hong
Kong, Tokyo, and Manizales, Colombia. The Street Cat Project has shot in
Japan, Iceland, Hong Kong, Israel, Canada, Italy, Guatemala, Colombia, and
the United States.

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