Announcement
June 10, 2021

Parallel Ecologies: virtual symposium on art, media and environments

University of Oslo

Susanne M. Winterling, cosmo algae, 2019. Photoprint. Courtesy of the artist and Parrotta Contemporary Art. © VG Bild-Kunst 2021.

Kamilla Langeland, For the Mountains, 2019. Pearl oyster mycelium and various materials. © and courtesy of the artist.

With Ina Blom, Synne Tollerud Bull/Bull.Miletic, Jennifer Gabrys, Stefanie Hessler, Ursula Münster and Susanne M. Winterling.

Parallel Ecologies is a one-day virtual symposium convened by Sara R. Yazdani, hosted by Media Aesthetics at the University of Oslo and Kunstnernes Hus.

Access to the online event here. Registration is needed.

Exploring the life of beings both technical and natural in the 1950s and 60s, the philosopher Gilbert Simondon intimated that a being is nothing on its own but only becomes through dynamic interactions with other beings. Such becoming presumes the notion of an environment, the constitution of a “milieu” alongside the individuation and concretization of beings. To speak of individuation rather than singular individuals is to acknowledge the processual nature of “beings”—whether technical or human. Such notions allow us to consider the environmental nature of all beings, the sense that things such as natural materials, humans, animals or basic entities like molecules or pieces of code come into existence through their continual interaction.

This virtual symposium seeks to examine such conceptualizations, the notions that not only humans but technical- and natural objects too form “milieus,” ideas that have been variously explored by artists. More precisely, we wish to discuss how artists since the early 20th century have probed into the material specificity of various objects and technologies to further explore the processes of their individuation and differentiation.

Seeking to contribute to the development of a genealogy of ecological thinking of contemporary art, Parallel Ecologies is concerned with our conceptions of existence, of ways of being and modes of sensations as they relate to the condition of Earth in an era defined by some as the “Anthropocene.” Rather than defining our era in terms of the human, however, or of the “Anthropos,” we may instead understand our condition—the condition of life itself—in terms of “entanglements,” “symbiotic relations,” “networks,” “processes” and “milieus”.

This event brings together artists and scholars from the fields of visual art, art history and media studies to discuss environmental perspectives on and within modern and contemporary art.

Program
June 24, 2021. All times are in Central European Time.

10:30–10:50am: Introduction (Art and Parallel Ecologies)
Sara R. Yazdani

10:50–11:50am: Intramachinic Weather: Two Cases of Digital Atmospherics
Ina Blom

12–1pm: Zoom Blue Dot: Proxistant Earth Models in the Anthropocene
Synne Tollerud Bull/Bull.Miletic

1:45–2:45pm: Sensing Nature: Curatorial Work at the Intersection of Environmental and Social Justice
Stefanie Hessler

3–4pm: Re-constituting the Sensory Infrastructures of Smart Forests
Jennifer Gabrys

4:10–5:10pm: Parallels (Not More Anthropocentric Paths) in Planetary Sensing as Ways and Method of Art/ Science, Decolonial Environmental Humanities Collaborations
Susanne M. Winterling in conversation with Ursula Münster

Parallel Ecologies is the third part of diagrams, a project of workshops, discursive production and the exhibition suddenly gave the effect of sunlight (2019), curated and initiated by Sara R. Yazdani. The symposium is generously supported by Norsk Fotografisk Fond and the Media Aesthetics research group at the University of Oslo.

Thank you!

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