[-empyre-] Introducing Week 2: Mediated Natures, Speculative Futures and Justice and thank you to Week One
jandreye at ecuad.ca
Wed Oct 11 11:40:47 AEDT 2017
Hi Norie and soft-skins
thank you for introducing me to your writing and to Catherine Clover. Your points remind us of the engrained speciesism of our culture that favors some animals over others. I’m referring to those who are ‘used’ for food, research labs, clothing, vs. those who are companions, and those who are regarded as ‘beautiful’ vs those who are pests. When we take the time to listen and look more thoroughly and mindfully, it becomes evident that those marginalized animals are also someone’s father, mother, brother, sister, daughter. They have communities and interests, cultures and traditions. The crows, and all the birds around my home, remind me of this. It is an ongoing practice of, as you say, unlearning and learning anew that must take place if we are to improve relations with other animals.
We can bring in the practice of acoustic ecology into the mix in which we are asked to listen, to the sonic ecology of a location, and to how human listening and sound making are part of this collaborative biophony. Pauline Oliveros, Hildegard Westerkamp and R. Murray Shafer come to mind. Westercamp discusses listening as a way to join with our surroundings and to move away from isolation and towards connection. Here is a podcast of her’s http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/how-opening-our-ears-can-open-our-minds-hildegard-westerkamp-1.3962163
This is where I was going with the method of indeterminacy, that is similar to your unlearning and learning anew. It is a method first articulated by Fluxus artists of the mid-twentieth century whereby instructions for participatory art leave room for interpretation by participants, and thereby generate indeterminate outcomes. I am transposing this method into interspecies methods where, in my art processes with other animals, I tend to set up situations and invite them to participate. The aim is to do this without force. This involves respecting their right to refuse. Through respectful invitations, expanded seeing-listening can be generated anew.
The crow couple taught me how to play with pebbles, and they revealed to me their quiet conversations between themselves. You can find a video from my Bird Park here http://julieandreyev.com/ph-d-research/ where the couple have a little conversation about bathing.
> On Oct 10, 2017, at 3:01 PM, Norie Neumark <norie5 at mac.com> wrote:
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> Hi Julie,
> The concern about working with animals collaboratively but not harmfully is so important for artists and it’s great to have this empyre discussion. In response to your work with a free-living crow family, i’d like to tell you about a wonderful Australian artist who works with birds. Catherine Clover (http://ciclover.com/ <http://ciclover.com/>) works around listening and unlearning — unlearning the ways we listen to listen — and relate — anew.
> I’ve written about Cath's work (in Voicetracks: Attuning to Voice in Media and the Arts) because it was one of the first works, along with Kathy High’s enchanting Everyday Problems of the Living that really attuned me to the possibilities and importance of the way artists collaborate with non-human animals. I hope you don’t mind if I’m lazy here and just grab a bit from my book:
> Catherine Clover has been making works for and with noisy, wild urban birds for many years—listening, recording, translating, transcribing, reading
> to them, performing for and with and after them, making books and performances and installations. Like some of the scientists that Vinciane
> Despret discussed (2004, 2013a and b), Clover seeks artistic practices and ways to develop relationships of attunement with the birds. Her choice of
> urban gulls and pigeons is deliberately not sentimental; instead of ‘beautiful’ and mellifluous or even sublime birds, calling to us from the ‘wild,’ she
> works in a sort of minor mode (Ngai 2007; see also Manning 2016) with despised and everyday species. These are birds with whom we share urban
> space but often without noticing them, unless to bemoan their presence. These are birds whose groupings we name as deadly and dirty—a murder of
> crows, a filth of starlings, as the title of one of Clover’s works reminds me (Clover 2012). Clover’s practice is multidisciplinary, working with voice, sound, language,
> visual art, installation, performance, and public art. Besides her experiments with voice, she also works visually in a range of creative ways,
> from the texts themselves, to overhead projections, to signage. Clover’s mode is collaborative—with human performers and with avian collaborators.
> Her human collaborators perform and improvise the written word, which includes her own translations and transcriptions of birds’ voices. Her
> oeuvre is a tribute to the importance of learning anew, learning new habits of listening and voice in interspecies relations—bringing new understandings,
> and practices of listening and voice—folding this listening back upon itself through the field recordings and transcriptions and translations and
> performances. Inspired particularly by Salomé Voegelin, Clover works with listening as a way of becoming aware of “sharing space” and intertwining
> lives and voices in urban spaces—becoming aware of what we have in common with cohabitants in urban contexts. As Clover says of her work, her
> concern is to “unlearn” her old ways of listening in order to hear the birds’ calls “not as pleasant musical sounds, nor even as the sound of a species,
> but as distinct communication between individuals living their lives inclose proximity to mine” (Clover 2015b, 33).
> Check out her work on her website — no birds suffer in the making of her work!
>> On 11 Oct 2017, at 4:28 AM, Julie Andreyev <jandreye at ecuad.ca <mailto:jandreye at ecuad.ca>> wrote:
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>> Hi Margaretha, Meredith and -empyre- soft skinned space,
>> Thank you for inviting me as a Discussant for this week’s topics. I am responding to Margaretha’s question in the introduction about justice in encounters with more-than-human others. I’d like to enter here, by pointing broadly to the challenges and potentials offered by encounters with other animals. Ben, in his response to the topic brought up the history of exploitive relations with other animals and the problems these produced for the animals involved, and for the degradation of human empathy. The utilization of other beings for the benefit of humans even finds itself into art practices, such as with some bioart and art involving other animals in gallery settings. Artist working within these genres continue to employ harmful and even lethal methods, generally holding an anthropocentric view on animals, plants and microbes as living materials; these artists arguing for freedom of expression.
>> This is the starting point for my own art research and practice that asks, how to generate post-anthropocentric aesthetics, as discourse and applied methods, that model respectful empathetic forms of relating with other creatures and the ecologies we share? The methods I am particularly drawn to for their empathetic potential are interspecies collaboration, and interspecies participation. My work over the past decade has explored processes with dogs, salmon, and forest ecologies.
>> http://julieandreyev.com/epic-tom/ <http://julieandreyev.com/epic-tom/>
>> Recently I been working with a free-living crow family that lives in the territory that includes my home. The interactions with the crows have included working with stones as an interface for communications and creativity between us. http://julieandreyev.com/crow-stone-tone-poem/
>> What I have found in all of these interspecies instances is that ethics of care, that includes respect for autonomy is critical for developing improved (non-exploitive) relations. As well, building in indeterminacy methods, by being open to the contributions of other lifeforms leads to surprises in terms of creativity, and this can lead to greater empathy on the part of humans.
>> I look forward to additions and comments
>> Julie Andreyev
>>> On Oct 9, 2017, at 3:06 PM, margaretha haughwout <margaretha.anne.haughwout at gmail.com> wrote:
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>>> 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 Washington.
>>> 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 Buzzfeed.
>>> 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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