M.F.A. Jakob Wirth, B.A. Marina Resende, M.F.A. Ina Weise, M.F.A. Lea Maria Wittich
The course aims to introduce the notion of the Anthropocene to then delve into the heterogeneous proposals of posthumanism, with a focus on developing artistic approaches to the topic.
We will achieve this by reading excerpts from different scholars, through practical exercises, such as observing materials transform and noting nonhuman agents in our environment, ; as well as through our own artistic production, culminating in a public action among posthuman agents and anthropocenic materials.
For Bruno Latour, we must overcome the exclusivity of human agency in order to be able to think and act ecologically. Feminist scholar Rosi Braidotti claims that, to overcome patriarchy, we also need to overcome the hegemony of the human. According to Lovelock and Margulis’s Gaia theory, we must take into account the dynamic system of the planet, with its self-organising, living structure, in order to understand our embeddedness in the environment. These are some among increasing claims to consider our own existence beyond the human in order to enact radical political, ecological and social change.
This radical change is a shift to an uncharted paradigm. Art has the power to create the images, languages, and experiences for this new way of being. In this seminar, we ask ourselves how this shift could be pictured and fostered via artistic practices.
Together, we will perform conceptual exercises that can be realized combining the disciplines contributed by the students. These will include outdoors observations, performances, construction, and beyond, according to students’ own development from the class. Over the second and third block seminars, students will also present and develop their own projects and work in progress.
Artists Marina Resende and Jakob Wirth will lead practical exercises and selected readings in each class. Resende’s artistic practice is rooted in a series of material gestures which seek to expand our understanding of the legible, teasing out the ways of acting of infrastructures, codes and plant life in the urban space. With a background in comparative literature and cultural studies, Marina brings the perspectives of postcolonial and critical theory into a discussion of intersectional posthumanism. Wirth is an artist with a background in sociology and political science. He brings extensive experience with interventions and conceptual focus on the edges and borders between systems, to foster students’ creation towards a paradigm shift.